Team USA Women’s Soccer Most Memorable Moments 2012
The USA’s women soccer team won their fourth Olympic Gold medal in London. Here’s a look at the top five moments from yet another successful Olympic campaign.
Lloyd strikes gold
After picking the ball up just inside the Japanese half, Carli Lloyd had one thing on her mind as she surged towards the south end of Wembley Stadium: shoot. And when she did her shot rifled into the top corner, netting the USA’s, and Lloyd’s, second goal of the game. The stunner gave the Americans a commanding 2-0 lead with 54 minutes gone in the Olympic final.
Despite so much hope and optimism surrounding the USA’s campaign, everything seemed to be crashing to the ground after just 20 minutes of their opening match, against France. Two down and reeling at Hampden Park in Glasgow, the experience and leadership of the US side shone through. Instead of imitating rabbits caught in the headlights of a juggernaut, the US dug in, got back to basics and soon found themselves on level terms.
Given that it was between the US and Canada, you’ll understand why this match will go down in the record books. The rivalry is now bubbling intensely, after the US scrapped a 4-3 win in the dying embers of extra-time.
Canadian rivalry reignited
There is usually a more jovial rivalry between the US and Canada, compared to other sporting rivalries across the planet, but not when it comes to women’s soccer. Glancing at the comments after Monday’s epic semi-final tie, you can see why both sets of players lunged into challenge after challenge on the greasy Old Trafford surface. Yes, there was a trip to the Olympic gold-medal match on the cards, but the ferocity ran deeper than that.
Morgan comes of age
Before the Olympics, coaches, players and opponents all pointed towards one US player who could make the difference at London 2012: Alex Morgan.
Twelve months ago, at the World Cup in Germany, she was a bit-part player. Morgan came off the bench to devastating effect, scoring in the semi-final and final, but disappointment was in store for the California native as the US lost to Japan on penalties. When I met her in Glasgow on the eve of the Olympics, a burning desire surfaced in her eyes. She believed this was her time to shine.