It’s not about how you got there; it’s about what you did once you were there. That is the entire World Cup for the U.S. Women’s National Team. The knockout stage games were far from perfect for the U.S., but they were able to keep on winning. The semifinal against England wasn’t pretty, but the women got the job done yet again. I felt relieved when I saw the U.S. playing well in the Final. The Dutch were right there with the U.S., but in the end, the reigning champions were too much to handle. Now, with four stars above the crest, the U.S. women are the gold standard for women’s soccer.
Sunday was one of the biggest soccer days in United States history. The women played and won the World Cup Final, and the men’s team played in the Gold Cup Final, trying to prove that it had grown since missing the World Cup in 2018. So, with the women’s victory coming around 1 p.m. and the men’s game beginning at 8 p.m., local time, in Chicago, you would think that there would be extra U.S. fans piling into Soldier Field to witness one of the biggest soccer rivalries in the world, Mexico and the United States. Instead, in a city that is 2,100 miles away from Estadio Azteca, the home stadium for Mexico’s national team, the U.S. fans were drowned in the roars from the large majority of Mexican fans. People wonder why the men’s team struggles, despite those same people not being present to help a home game feel like a home game and not a game in the heart of Mexico City.
The MLB All-Star break is exciting and a time to relax from the day-to-day pressures of playing a 162-game season. That said, it’s time for the second half to get underway. This is where the season becomes far more important for some teams and just a way to pass the time for the teams that are already out of contention. If you’re a Yankees fan, this is going to be a fun ride toward October. If you’re a Met’s fan, unfortunately, there is a lot more season to go.
Hear Mark Shelley regularly with Nick Karski on Between the Lines, from 5 to 6 p.m., on ESPN Ithaca at 107.1 FM/1160 AM. Did we miss something? Contact us at MarkS@VizellaMedia.com.
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