Sunday, November 28, 2010

We're Going To Germany!

The 'we' being the Team USA women's soccer team that is.

Thanks to Amy Rodriguez's goal in the 40th minute, the USA posted another 1-0 win over Italy in the second leg of a two leg home and home playoff series played in Chicago.

The 2-0 goal differential helped the Team USA women secure the 16th and final qualifying spot for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup that will be contested in Germany starting June 26.

Despite being a two time FIFA women's world champion in 1991 and 1999 and the 2008 gold medallists in Beijing, the Number 1 FIFA ranked Team USA women have been a team in transition.  Stars such as Mia Hamm who powered that rise to international prominence have retired and a new generation of players has begun to take their place.     .

Team USA was upset in the 2010 CONCACAF region semifinals by Mexico and finished third behind regional qualifiers Mexico and CONCACAF champ Canada

The 2-1 loss to Mexico sent them into the two leg UEFA/CONCACAF playoff with Italy after beating Costa Rica 3-0 in the CONCACAF third place game.  

They won the first leg of the playoff last week in Italy by the same 1-0 score. .

The teams in addition to the USA, Canada and Mexico who will play for the title next June and July include back to back defending 2003 and 2007 world champions and host Germany, Australia,  England, 1995 champion Norway, 2003 runner up Sweden, France, Japan, North Korea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, 2007 runner up Brazil and tournament first timer Colombia. 

They will now catch their breath and like everybody else in the world tune in at 1:00 PM EST on Monday to watch the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Draw from Frankfurt to see what group they end up in, who they'll play against and where they'll play in the opening round of the tournament this June.

Here's hoping they have a better run than the men did in South Africa this summer and we see Team USA in the final on July 17 in Frankfurt.

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