Pressure Breaks U.S.
Japan wins World Cup
Team U.S.A. prided itself on succeeding with its back against the wall. It wanted the pressure. In the final match of the 2011 Women's World Cup, that pressure might have proven to be too much.
The U.S. played a better game at every single point of the game that mattered, until the part that mattered the most. Up by one in regulation and then again up by one in overtime, the Women's team twice let its lead evaporate and eventually headed to penalty kicks. The only other Women's World Cup that had gone to penalty kicks was the famous 1999 Brandi Chastain-imprinted win. When it came time to shoot down those echoes of the past, however, this team simply could no do it.
When the game started, it looked as though it was going to be a US-dominated affair. Lauren Cheney got things off on the right foot with a quick run up the left side within the first minute. Megan Rapinoe continued the US pressure with a killer cross to Cheney in the 8th minute and Carli Lloyd almost had a neat clean-up at the 11th minute. Cheney passed to Rapinoe for a fantastic straight-on shot only 20 seconds later.
After an advantage call in the 28th minute, Abby Wambach had a shot bounce off the top of the crossbar, in a dramatic instance that would be repeated time and time again. Despite numerous chances, the United States did not seem as though they'd be able to capitalize.
Things started to pick up for Japan when Shinobu Ohno got a good shot in the 30th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo cut off that effort easily. In the 2011 Women's World Cup, three of Japan's 10 goals had previously come on set pieces. And at the 37th minute, despite being outplayed for virtually the entire first half, they got a corner kick where they might have had another one of those set piece goals. One minute later, Japan got a great service for Kozue Ando, but Solo came off her line quickly and successfully.
As the first half ended, the momentum appeared to have shifted, albeit slightly. The United States had more chances—all missed—but they couldn't capitalize at any point. They played so well for almost the entire half, but they could not come out ahead. It was at this point that the question of pressure had to be rising in many people's minds.
To counter that doubt, coach Pia Sundhage started the second half by removing Cheney and putting in Alex Morgan, who almost put in a cross to the short corner a mere four minutes into the second half. After the referee incorrectly called an offside offense against Japan, Heather O'Reilly hit Wambach with a lift in the 64th minute that Wambach nearly headed just above the Japan keeper.
In the 68th minute, super-sub Morgan got an excellent feed from Rapinoe. Morgan took one touch on the ball and blasted a left-footed shot into the lower right hand corner to take the lid off the goal for the Americans.
In the 80th minute, though, Japan got an equalizer from Aya Miyama and put on non-stop pressure. With two more chances in the next minute for Japan, it seemed as though the U.S. was on its heels. Making it through the last ten minutes of the regulation game was its own blessing, though, and the World Cup Final went to overtime.
Team U.S.A. got overtime started in a similar fashion, with an on-target header from Wambach that was halted by Ayumi Kaihori. However, as the first half of the overtime period moved toward its conclusion, in the 103rd minute, Morgan sent a small cross sailing past the Japanese goal which Wambach redirected masterfully into the back of the net off a header.
In the 111th minute, Team U.S.A. survived a scare, as Solo came off her line, missed the ball and then two defenders collided while attempting to clear the ball. But Japan could not convert. Shortly after, Rapinoe got subbed out in favor of Tobin Heath finishing the game with fresh legs. The threats were not over, however, for the United States, as Yukari Kinga broke toward the goal off a feed from Homare Sawa. Solo was hurt and remained on the ground, but captain Christine Rampone was there to clear the goal. Unfortunately, on the resulting corner kick in the 116th minute, Sawa put in the cross to knot things up 2-2.
There would be no more points scored in the overtime period. And while Japan converted three of its first four penalty kicks, Team U.S.A. was only able to put in one of five, total.
As the pressure finally cracked, nothing good came of it. There was no tremendous release, no dismissal of the specters of the past. There was a better finish for Team U.S.A. than in the previous two World Cups. That's the silver lining. But for the game they played, the way they executed, the near-perfect—minus goal-scoring—team effort, it's hard to focus on that silver lining. For a team that was aiming for a championship or bust, second place cannot be anything other than first loser.
Art auction for Japan tomorrow
Across the Pacific Ocean, Japanese coastal towns are still in need of volunteers and donations as they struggle with the aftermath of March's earthquake and resulting tsunami.
Sunday's fine art auction “Hands Together for Japan” at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History refocuses attention on ongoing relief efforts. Decorating your home has never been so karma-positive:
Albuquerque Museum (2000 Mountain NW)
Sunday, July 10
6 p.m to 9:30 p.m.
Five aid organizations put the event together. It features work from various Southwest artists including Anthony Abbate from Beals & Abbate Fine Art in Santa Fe.
Pieces for sale include pottery, oil paintings and prints that represent the culture of the Southwest and Native American traditions.
All proceeds go to Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, an organization that provides aid around the world. The team's efforts in Japan focus on restoring the homes and lives of the displaced elderly and affected communities. It also offers counseling and activities to help alleviate mental trauma after the disaster.
The Daily Word With No Red Light Cameras, Panhandling Dogs, Crazy Violent Peter Fonda
Peter Fonda is teaching his grandchildren how to use rifles in a conflict with President Obama.
... But how can you despise a man who calmly downs a Guiness pint during his visit to Ireland?
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis says crime will increase if there’s no NFL season next year.
Look at these 25 really awesome photos from China.
The ASPCA is investigating this panhandling dog that has become a fixture at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.
Employees are forced to wear collars at this flea-infested casino in New Zealand.
The Supreme Court orders California to release nearly 46,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding.
New Rapture date! October 21st, 2011.
This first-person video of the Joplin, Mo. tornado is chilling.
That tornado is now recognized as the deadliest in the country since 1953 with the death toll at 117.
Russell Brand was kicked out of Japan.
All red light cameras have been turned off in Albuquerque after the city’s contract with Redflex ended.
There’s plenty more of this effing wind all week.
&#^&#%#^#*(! 47 percent of Facebook walls are covered in profanity.
The Daily Word: Japan’s Own Chernobyl, Penis Museum, Smoking Curing Cancer
Japan’s post-earthquake nuclear disaster is now as bad as Chernobyl.
The Chevy Cruze is recalled after a steering wheel falls off.
Gas is expected to reach nearly $5 a gallon by Memorial Day. Ugh.
Two people steal $130 from a 13-year-old’s lemonade stand.
This Indonesian clinic claims that smoking can actually cure cancer.
Iceland’s Phallogical Museum (yep, that’s penis) gets its very first human specimen from a 95-year-old.
Jack the Ripper v2.0? A ninth human skull has been found in Long Island, being linked to a serial killer with a penchant for prostitutes.
Make yourself sick and take a look at this list of the 20 highest-paid CEOs.
Take some classes on how to grow pot at Marijuana State University.
Steve Carell’s final episode in “The Office” is increased to 50 minutes.
Virgin Galactic is hiring astronauts for its commercial spaceflights out of Spaceport America.
The Daily Word: Government shutdown, another earthquake,
Student says Cibola told her: You're either a boy or a girl, so no pantsuit at graduation.
See video of a San Juan County sheriff's deputy beating a guy in the head with his flashlight.
Another quake hits Japan.
President Obama says there won't be a government shutdown.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says it's going to happen.
What it would mean to you.
If the government does shut down, Congress will still be paid as usual.
The Recording Academy will no longer offer a Grammy for Native American music.
Land Comish Powell returned White Peak to the nature-loving and -hunting public.
16 campus security officers (called "narcs" at my ABQ high school) were slashed from the APS budget.
Read an interview with the journalist who was captured and then released in Libya.
Can we blame Britain for everything?
Alec Baldwin says "30 Rock" ends next year.
A history of stoner movies.
The Daily Word with Lindsay Lohan as Sharon Tate, Conflict in the Ivory Coast, Sperm-Killing Phones and Laptops
Are phones and laptops contributing to low sperm counts?
Two Americans, including an MMA fighter, were shot and killed execution-style at the Tijuana border.
Obama calls upon U.N. and French forces to the Ivory Coast after former president Laurent Gbagbo refuses to leave.
Gamers are becoming physically ill after playing Nintendo’s new 3DS console.
Japan’s ocean radiation is 7.5 million times the legal limit.
Gadhafi’s forces in Libya are now starting to use human shields during airstrikes.
Lindsay Lohan could be playing the role of Sharon Tate in an upcoming Charles Manson-inspired film.
Are ultra-realistic 3D movies becoming just way too damned creepy?
A SWAT conflict at the Rodeway Inn on Menaul ends in a suicide.
UConn defeated Butler last night to win the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in probably the worst game I’ve ever seen.
The Daily Word 3.25.11: Aretha Franklin, Anasazi and the OED
Online abbreviations make OED; apocalypse imminent.
More people get arrested breaking into Anasazi building.
City councilor's aid arrested for DWI.
Police raid t-shirt shop twice looking for skag.
Japan reactor is probably leaking radiation.
Syrian security forces shoot at protesters.
Yemen pres says he will step down if country in safe hands.
Air traffic controller fell asleep.
Kirstie Alley mad at George Lopez.
Happy birthday, Aretha Franklin.
The Daily Word: .xxx, menthols, fast food
Roundhouse 2011: Bills on driver's licenses, social promotion and capital outlay fail.
Gov. Martinez promises to veto a tax that would keep New Mexico's unemployment fund afloat.
The cleanest fast-food joints in town.
First lady gives APS teacher a grant to install a salad bar at his school. But APS doesn't want it.
30 puppies may be euthanized in Las Cruces.
Fire breaks out on the roof of a nuclear reactor in Japan.
Menthols may be harder to quit, says FDA.
Porn industry and religious groups unite in hatred over .xxx web suffix.
Rich countries are eating so much quinoa, Bolivians (who lived of it for centuries) can't afford it.
The world's most perfect steak can be found in Idaho, says globe-circling book writer.
The Daily Word 3.18.11: Japan, Haiti, Yemen and Libya
Libya to halt military action.
Yemen calls state of emergency.
Japan death toll rises to 7,000.
Radiation hampers reactor efforts.
Warlocks go on tour with Charlie Sheen.
Aristide returns to Haiti.
Guy chased by Suge Knight in casino wants rematch.
Judge blocks anti-union law.
Egypt frees brother of al-Qaeda chief.
Jimmy Buffet to make Tiger Blood drink.
The Daily Word sings of leprechauns, hangovers and space coke.
The U.N. debates what to do about Libya.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Obama’s really an O’Bama.
Hangovers get worse as you get older. Unless you stay in constant practice.
People are critical of NASA’s space powder program.
33% of Staten Island is on pain pills.
Good guy Seann William Scott gets a thumbs up from Gawker for seeking help.
Who will be interim chief medical officer?
In 1997 a Roswell woman saw a leprechaun.
Ah, the ever fascninating Hensel Twins.
A funny thing happened to a loser and everybody felt good.
APD officers need to be careful with Facebook or it’s firesville.
It could be curtains for the Radisson Hotel and Water Park.
There will be an open casting call for The Avengers in about a week.
There are more local stories from Alexis over at DCF.
Happy birthday, Kurt Russell.
Thanks to Geoffrey Anjou and Tom Nayder for story links and constant emotional support.
Yoko on the disaster in Japan
Japanese visual artist, musician and wife of the late John Lennon, Yoko Ono always has something inspiring to say. Here’s her message to the people of Japan, along with links to ‘Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami’ donation funds via American Red Cross and Save The Children.
The Daily Word: Sex Toy Defusing, Japan in Even Worse Shape, Soy Sauce Hazing
Radiation levels are increasing in Japan after explosions continue to rock nuclear power plants.
... And with that, Japan’s tsunami and earthquake disaster is more costly than Hurricane Katrina.
This soy sauce fraternity hazing could have been responsible for a seizure.
Yee-haw! Texans are fighting to bring back the Alamo battle flag.
A Russian bomb squad was called to defuse a sex toy.
Al Franken thinks big corporations are trying to take down the Internet.
Libyan rebels want the west to take out Gaddafi.
If you have to tweet your anxiety attack, are you really having an anxiety attack?
Sorry, there will be no Harry Baals building in Fort Wayne.
This man used a samurai sword to rob a pharmacy.
The Daily Word containing equal parts Owsley, Japan, hipster traps, dinosaurs, DST, Julia Roberts and Albert Einstein.
Here's some crazy tsunami footage.
And there's a volcano.
And there’s radiation.
Because life is unfair, the destruction in Japan may lead to lower gas prices in the United States.
Iran uses Children-
Scientists have either discovered Atlantis or Spain.
Someone is setting hipster traps in New York. Police suspect a hipster is to blame.
Cheerful people die faster than the rest of us.
Daylight saving time can be bad for you.
Madonna has a stalker. A time traveler from the ‘80s, most likely.
Here are some crappy yearbook photos.
Watch the trailer for the new X-Men movie.
A Mexican man has 82 Julia Roberts tattoos.
New facts about the world’s oldest profession (being a dinosaur.)
Uh, oh. Steve Vai shreds.
How to freeze water the freaky way.
Meet the emergency internet bunkers.
The world is in love with New Mexico’s evil/dumb gun running ring.
There was a deadly car smash at Coors and Los Padillas Road.
KOAT serves up a gravy boat of cold mugshots.
An Albuquerque bus hit a car. Hard!
Alexis has more compelling local stories over at DCF.
Happy birthday, Albert Einstein.
Special thanks to Tom Nayder, Geoffrey Anjou and John Hankinson for some of today’s important links.
The Daily Word 3.11.11: Tsunami edition
Massive earthquake strikes Japan, sets off tsunami.
California surfers waited in water for tsunami.
Columbus mayor, police chief due in federal court today.
Woman goes to court with monkey in bra.
Police raid Charlie Sheen’s house.
Clovis mom arrested for lettting kids ditch school.
Man gets lesser charge for letting woman cook to death in trunk of his car.
Doctor who was raided by feds sits on anti drug committee.
Former Lobo football player arrested for allegedly having sex with student at high school where he works.
Seven foot waves hit Hawaii.
Oh, Japan. Is there no upper limit to the weirdness you can create? Sega of Japan recently unveiled a new urinal-based video game system. Small screens are mounted above the facility. This allows you to play one of four mini-games, which are controlled by pressure-sensitive plates inside the urinal measuring the direction and pressure of your, um, output. One of the games has you trying to blow the dress off a cute anime girl. With your dingus. Really, what could be worse? ... I’m imagining some sort of toilet-based Enola Gay simulator.