Sanchez, Solo, Rapinoe: Thoughts on the States’ Stunner over Brazil

You will not find the name Sanchez on the back of any of the Brazilian players’ jerseys. (Well, actually you might, but it won’t be the Sanchez I wish to herald here.)

That would be photographer Marcio Jose Sanchez, whose photo of Abby Wambach’s tying header in the 122d minute of yesterday’s incredible US over Brazil World Cup match, is arguably the greatest sports photo ever.

I’d cut and paste it here, but it belongs to the Associated Press, and there’s all this copyright stuff and fees involved, so I’ll just link you to it. It can be viewed here. You can also view it on page C7 of Monday morning’s Courier-Journal, and probably a lot of other places if you google it.

Not only does it capture the essence of this pivotal moment in one of the great soccer games of all time, but it is just about perfect aesthetically. Amazing composition.

Check it out. Give it a good look. It’s as stunning as the play itself.

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Abby Wambach is getting her due for the amazing score that changed the game.

Just as important, arguably more, was Megan Rapinoe’s thirty yard, cross field, left-footed, right on the money assist. Advising she’d never made such a play before, she offered, “I took a touch and smoked it.”

No shit.

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How sweet yesterday’s W must be for American goalie Hope Solo. (Is that a great name, or what?)

Four years ago, she had the audacity to call out the dumbass US coach, who pulled her from between the pipes before a match with Brazil. The South Americans won that one, 4 nil. It wasn’t that close.

That coach’s name is Greg Ryan. Fortunately he was nowhere to be seen on the sidelines yesterday.

But Solo was back. After being kicked off the team for her insolence, she was granted reinstatement. Smart move. Since her return, she’s 5-0 against Brazil, and only lost one game in goal for the US.

* * * * *

I am no expert on soccer, though my love for the game has grown in recent years.

I, frankly, have watched little women’s soccer, though I did attend that US vs. Brazil game at Papa John’s years ago.

One difference my untrained eyes would note is that it is less technical than the men’s game. By that I mean there are many more long passes down field, with teams looking for quick hits. Rather than a slower, more methodical, more gradual, short pass attack.

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While I’m sure glad the US won, I do feel really sorry for Daiane, the Brazilian player who gave the US an own goal a mere minute into the match. Then her PK was stopped by Solo, giving the US the W.

Not a good day for her.

* * * * *

I’m not going to jump on the jingoistic dissing of the referee.

I’ve seen two athletic contests in my life where I believe the refs changed the outcome. They were both long ago, not yesterday.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. cbcard
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Is she related to Han?

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