It’s that day after hangover of a World Cup final. The United States Women’s National Team is now back on U.S. soil and getting the royal treatment despite losing to Japan on penalty kicks in the final. Meanwhile, Japan is celebrating its first-ever Women’s World Cup championship, one that came in fittingly dramatic fashion following an inspirational and entertaining tournament.
In the next couple of days you can check back to The Equalizer for some further reflection on the tournament after it has set in a bit and of course you can also continue to turn here for the latest in Women’s Professional Soccer news. For the many new readers to the site: Welcome aboard. Here you can find some inside scoops on WPS and the USWNT as well as analysis and discussion on all things women’s soccer. Anyway, the archives explain all of that. Here is what’s happening on this day after the World Cup:
- First, it is important to reiterate that the U.S. did not choke, as mainstream has been discussing. Japan just really was that good. This was an epic final and one that somebody had to lose. Did Brazil “choke?” Not according to these same folks talking about the final. When the U.S. won dramatically, they talked about a heroic spirit the Americans possessed. Truthfully, Brazil’s poor defensive tactics and inability to kill off a game led to that dream goal for Abby Wambach. So save it. Japan embodies that same “American spirit.”
- People do care. Sunday’s final drew an 8.6 overnight, the second highest ever on ESPN for a women’s soccer game and the sixth largest ever for a soccer game on ESPN. The 1999 Women’s World Cup final is still No. 1. The World Cup final also set a Twitter record for tweets per second with 7,196. What’s that? Social media having an influence you say? Oh, for sure.
- Abby Wambach will be honored by the City of Rochester, MVP and just about everybody on Wednesday. Basically, it’s going to be absolutely nuts here. Expect about 15,000 people at Sahlen’s Stadium for Wednesday’s magicJack-Flash game. It will set a WPS record (currently 14,832 from March 29, 2009 when the Washington Freedom visited the LA Sol in the inaugural match).
- Speaking of Wambach, I watched the final alongside about 1,200 others at her brother Matt’s bar. I’ll have a video package tomorrow. It was an incredible scene.
- Wambach is also mentioned in this little hidden nugget of information in David Hirshey’s piece, where he writes that magicJack ownership could be turned over to Hope Solo, Christie Rampone and Wambach. That’s some pretty odd news, but who knows with magicJack. It is certainly far from confirmed. I chatted with Joe Sahlen about this on Monday night and he said that Hirshey’s notion is a pure rumor right now. WPS owners are not publicly acknowledging anything about the magicJack situation.”We (the owners) haven’t been approached by magicJack to transfer that franchise to anybody,” Sahlen said. “There’s a protocol. You can’t just transfer ownership. We are not aware of any official plan.”
Basically, new owners have to be vetted. No offense to those players mentioned, but I’m not sure they would be (assuming this story even has any legs). We are talking about a good few million dollars here to be vetted for team ownership. Sahlen did say that, hypothetically, it would be interesting to have players involved in the ownership of a team.
- Sahlen also tells me that Marta has returned to the U.S. She landed in Buffalo around 5 p.m. on Monday. Marta was held up in Sweden due to visa issues. She went to Sweden following Brazil’s penalty kick loss to the U.S. on July 10.
- Also, word seems to be there is WPS interest in Ali Krieger. We’ll look into this. It’s only natural that she finish the summer here, but I’m not positive that it would be a long-term thing. She does love Frankfurt.
- Lots more to come, but for now, check out this video recap from yesterday at the Back Nine Grill in Pittsford, N.Y., owned by Matt Wambach: