Photo: Paul Rudderow
Canada scored in the second minute of stoppage time to win the bronze medal in the women’s tournament this morning.
The USWNT faces Japan today in the Gold Medal match at the Olympics (2:30pm, NBCSN, Live Extra).
Some 83,000 spectators are expected for the final at Wembley. The existing record is 76,489 for the USA vs. China final at Sanford Stadium during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the US is motivated by their loss to Japan in the World Cup final.
Carli Lloyd said of Japan, “The pressure is on them. They are world champions and we are going to bring it to them. We won’t let this one slip away.” She added, ”
SI previews the game.
If the team wins the gold, the players will share a $1.5 million bonus from US Soccer. In addition, each player will receive a $25,000 bonus from the US Olympic committee ($15,000 for silver).
ProSoccerTalk praises to Megan Rapinoe, who scored the brace that kept the US in the semifinal game against Canada.
SI profiles Cristie Rampone, the “glue” on the USWNT. The gold medal match will be her last with the USWNT.
Alecko Eskandarian writes at SI about Abby Wambach’s “unique legacy.”
Is Alex Morgan the new face of the USWNT?
Rubbing the back of her head at a press conference on Wednesday, Carli Lloyd said of the head stomp she received from Melissa Tancredi, “I’ve got some marks back here, for sure. I don’t think stomping on someone’s head or sucker-punching someone is part of the game. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the replay, that she did it purposely. I hope actions are taken against that, because it’s not part of the game.”
What do you know, a Canadian report that mentions Melissa Tancredi’s head stomp on Carli Lloyd—seven paragraphs into the article.
Did you know Canada goalkeeper Erin Mcleod played college soccer for Penn State?
Mia Hamm has been enjoying the USWNT’s Olympic run.
A SB Nation writer describes how the USWNT has made him care about international soccer again.
US Open Cup
Sporting Kansas City defeated Seattle Sounders on penalty kicks after finishing 1–1 following extra time in a US Open Cup final that will be remembered as epic in length but will hardly be called legendary.
Much as we assumed in a post published before Wednesday’s press conference, John Hackworth explained why the club decided not to appeal Jack McInerney’s red card. “Basically, what the panel is charged with, is they have to find that there has been an error in the rules. By the letter of law, a referee can eject a player for physically contacting another player. It’s up to the referee in that case and it’s really hard to fight that…We are not appealing because we really don’t think we have an option to. It was the referee’s decision and we have to abide by that.”
Hackworth mentioned Chandler Hoffman and Josue Martinez as possible replacements for the suspended McInerney.
Despite suffering a “nasal bone fracture” as a result of the headbutt he received from Nelson Rivas, Antoine Hoppenot says he’s still good to go for Sunday’s game. He said of the headbutt incident, “When the ball is in the air, you’re jockeying for position and arms get tangled and it gets a little physical…And I guess, while shaking him off, he hit the ground kind of hard and that triggered something in his head where he had to headbutt me. I see he’s coming at me and I’m like, ‘He’s not going to do anything stupid,’ and then he headbutts me in the face.”
Will Bakary Soumare make his Union debut against Chicago Fire, his former team, on Sunday? Union Tally says he’s “poised” to do so and the Brotherly Game says it would be fitting for him to get the start against his former club.
Soumare is certainly itching to go. “I’ve never had to sit for so long.”
With Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Gomez and Keon Daniel all receiving national team call-ups for next Wednesday’s international friendly date, the question of their availability for the away game in DC arises. Hackworth said of Valdes, “We’ve got to figure it out with Carlos. We’re still trying to finalize his travel plans with the Colombian federation. We hope he’s available Sunday but if he’s not, we’ll deal with it. Right now, we don’t know.”
ProSoccerTalk has the Union at No. 14 in their power rankings and pretty much out of playoff contention.
Canadian French-language site Soccer Plus calls the Union the league’s the most undisciplined team based on a point system of yellow and red cards.
Harrisburg City Islanders improved their playoff chances with a 3–0 win over ten-men Charleston Battery on Wednesday night with goals from Brian Ombiji, Tom Mellor and Lucky Mkosana. More on the win here.
MLS has released a new set of standings tiebreakers ahead of the playoffs. The first tiebreaker is goals scored “in part to encourage attacking play.” Why new rules would be introduced in the middle of the season is beyond me.
New York have acquired Luis Robles, the American goalkeeper who is returning to the US after five seasons in Germany with Kaiserslautern and Karlsruher.
Houston Dynamo have confirmed the signing of Ricardo Clark.
The formation of a new women’s pro league was announced only hours before the women’s tournament gold medal match at the Olympics. So far, three teams are part of the as yet unnamed league, Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC. Five more franchise are to be announced later including one in Seattle and another on the West Coast. Michael Stoller, managing partner of the Boston Breakers, said, “All these teams are committed to playing with and against each other starting in 2013 and to working out the final details to allow a sustainable professional league for women’s soccer in the US. We want to emphasize this is not a competitor to any of the existing leagues, but rather this is a significant step up in the competitive level and professional standards and we expect to establish a natural relationship to allow teams to enter this new league and perhaps to fall back (self-relegate) to their prior league if they need a break from the higher spending and competitive requirements.”
The founders of the league have reportedly worked with USL and WPSL “to solidify the relationship and roles of the existing women’s leagues with the new league and participation for all teams that elect to meet the minimum standards.”
No word yet if any of the USWNT players at the Olympics will be part of the new league.
Philly Union Talk looks at USMNT roster options ahead of next week’s friendly in Mexico. Jurgen Klinsmann will announce the roster on Sunday.
Tony Hibbert grew up in Merseyside, rose through Everton’s youth system and has played for the senior team since 2001. But in 309 career matches, he never scored a goal. That is until his testimonial game on Wednesday. Cue joyous bedlam.
Liverpool owner John Henry says he is prepared to sell the naming rights to Anfield.