- Keith Hickey

Like many of you, I watched the Final of the Women's World Cup yesterday. It was a pretty damn heartbreaking loss. To go up like that twice, it just seemed like destiny. These were our girls, out there representing our country. They were supposed to come home to magazine covers and Letterman appearances and Wheaties boxes. And then it all went horribly wrong.

Here are some of my observations, predictions, and idle thoughts on the USWNT and related topics:

  • I wish the men had a player like Abby Wambach - Incredibly driven, a natural finisher, an aerial threat, and a leader. She's among the best in the world, without question. Came up clutch whenever called upon, Abby, more than any other US player I saw this tournament, deserved to win a World Cup.
  • Alex Morgan should be the public face of the USWNT for the next decade. Get on that, Nike.
  • If not her, Hope Solo probably has the best chance of being the big "crossover" athlete, like Mia Hamm, Tiger Woods, or Wayne Gretzky, instantly recognizable to the American public.
  • I'm sorry, Rachel Buehler, I know that Ali Krieger got in the way and all, but you NEVER NEVER NEVER play the ball across your own penalty area, and this is why.
  • Why didn't Abby take the first PK? You have to start off right, set the tone. By the fourth attempt, we were already done for.
  • Hope Solo, I know you wanted to win the right way, but leading by a single goal in a World Cup Final is not the time to give your opponent a sporting chance. You need to waste time like it's your job, because it is. Tie your shoes before goal kicks. Call the medical staff out. Take the yellow card.
  • The USWNT cannot save WPS. WPS needs committed investors who will put up with a decade in the red. Even a World Cup win would not make casual fans WPS die-hards. The best you can hope for is that it brings some existing soccer fans out to games. Work on putting down roots, keeping teams around for more than a season or two. It was the constant turnover of teams that killed the NASL.
  • Twitter was made for things like this, big, shared events. The WWC, like the Men's version, is an event. Like the Olympics, it will draw non-soccer sports fans and even non-fans because it's the US national team. Unfortunately, it will be the next WWC before women's soccer gets this much exposure again.
  • Japan looked fantastic, but I thought we were even better. Abby could have given the US the lead pretty early on, but for a bit of crossbar. If nothing else, it was a really good game of soccer.
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