It’s time again for the greatest event in women’s soccer (or football for the non-Yanks), the Women’s World Cup. I’m not terribly happy about the ladies playing on artificial turf, but these days that’s the least of FIFA’s blunders. Of course, my focus is on the United States Women’s National Team. As a big fan of Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, I’d love to see them go out as champions. I suppose Hope could play another World Cup if she made that decision down the line, but for Abby this is it. The key to their chances, however, might just lie in the health of superstar Alex Morgan. A bruised bone in her knee, which has put her on the shelf recently, leaves the American team’s chances in question. Alex says she will be ready. But athletes and their knees are tricky things. We just watched Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers try to push through knee problems in the NBA Finals, only to have his season end. I respect all the players on the USWNT and they can play well without any one person. But without players like Solo, Wambach or Morgan…there might be that one game where they would miss them. If that game comes in the knockout stage, well…that’s the end. For now, I will focus on the beginning and hope for the best. The beginning for the American women is a group stage match against Australia on June 8th. Also in Group D with the Americans and Australians are Sweden and Nigeria. Oh, and yes, Sweden is coached by former USWNT coach, Pia Sundhage, who guided the Americans to the 2011 WWC runner-up, losing to Japan in the championship match. Her knowledge of the United States squad could give Sundhage an advantage over US coach Jillian Ellis. On the other hand, there might be extra motivation for the Americans to best the coach that left them to go home.
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