US women’s soccer is no longer the intimidating force it once was
Carli Lloyd, the league’s grand dame, has been seen on one knee, crying into her arms while fellow red-jerseyed opponents cheered a few meters away. The US women’s soccer club’s Olympic ambition has been crushed by its closest neighbors, who had waited fifty years to kick the Americans in the lower leg in a huge game.
Emery remarked Thursday evening after the Americans triumphed 1-0 on Jessica Fleming’s missed penalty in the 73rd minute to advance to the quarterfinals. “You don’t ever want to fall in a world cup, you wouldn’t want to lose to America, and you certainly want to never lose performing the things we think.
The Cup Final curse continued — the current winner never has managed to win the Olympic games — and it threw the United States for the 3rd season. In the championship in 2000, the USA was defeated by the Scandinavians. In 2016, they were eliminated in a semifinal shootout by the Swedish. These times, the Canadians blurred the Americans, who were 3-51-7 all-time against them while hadn’t defeated them in 36 games over 2 decades but not in a global competition.
Previously, this outcome might have astonished the soccer universe, but that is no longer true. Their failure in Rio, the trouble they had regained the Cup 2 months later (three yet another judgment in the losers bracket), and the 1-3 loss to the Swedish in their first match here all contributed to the team’s lack of confidence and ended up making them doubt their self-worth.