Monday, July 18, 2011

Move over Billy you’ve got company

A recent poll asked what sportsfans felt was the biggest choke in sports history with the top ten put to a multiple choice. Options included the Oilers collapse against the Bills in the AFC Championship, Scott Norwood’s wide left, Greg Norman’s Master’s collapse, etc. At the top of the list (which I personally disagreed with) was Billy Buckner’s 86’ World Series through the legs error. Well, misery loves company and now Billy has some after the US Women’s Soccer Team literally gave away the World Cup on Sunday.

In addition to dominating from the opening kickoff, which they stole and had a golden opportunity to score in the first quarter minute, they outshot the Japanese 12-5 in the first half but most of the good opportunities did not even end up on goal. Like so many other monumental upsets, if you let the sleeping dog lie around long enough they will wake up and bite you and that’s exactly what happened here as Japan was winless against he US in 24 previous attempts. Despite the plethora of scoring chances the US never had more than a goals worth of separation and when presented with the opportunity to simply go into ‘lock down’ phase and hold possession they failed not once but twice. Allowing goals inside 11 minutes in regulation time to allow the tie and then amazingly repeated the feat at the end of extra-time inside 4 minutes on a corner to send the match to PK’s where they simply didn’t show up scoring only once.

After calling their shot stating they didn’t want to be compared to the 99’ team that hoisted the cup, they failed to “back the smac” and instead were the winners of front row seats to the Japanese Cup celebration. Furthermore, Hope Solo’s rant after the last US cup exit at the hands of the Brazilians and persisting that she’s the man, ends here career in a dubious position never reaching the heights of Bandice Scurry whom shut down her opponent in the shoot out leading to that 99’ Cup championship that now still stands as the greatest moment in US soccer history. It’s true this team did erase the memory of the 99’ club but not in the way it anticipated.

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