After a 51-game winning streak, it was inevitable that the U.S. women's team would finally lose one. And it was a big one. In the FIFA semi-finals, the American side found the Brazilians doing soccer samba all over them. "Magic Marta" was brilliant, and so were the rest of her teammates. Brazil 4, U.S. 0.
Did Coach Ryan do the right thing by taking out keeper Solo? Did it really hurt us that our Shannon Boxx got hauled out of play with two yellow cards? Could we have done more to counter-attack the brilliant Brazilian onslaught? Woulda, coulda, shoulda? The second-guessing on this one will probably go on for years.
Hopefully our wonderful team will pick themselves up and go on. They've had their own moments of brilliance and history-making...and they will have more in the future. But now it's Brazil's turn, as they go on to play Germany for the Cup on 9/30.
Meanwhile the U.S. will play Norway on 9/30 for third and fourth place. And my hat's off to Brazil for a well-won victory, and for dancing their way to their own shot at the Women's World Cup. -- Patricia Nell Warren