U.S. Women’s Soccer proved anything men can do—women do better


Every Monday morning, Section 215’s Akiem Bailum gives an in-depth and unfiltered look at all of the latest sports news in The Monday Morning Realist. You can follow Akiem on Twitter @AkiemBailum.

Unless anyone did not notice, the United States Women’s Soccer Team recently struck gold in Vancouver, Canada.

After a dominating 5-2 win over Japan, USWNT partied like it was 1999 and brought back the gold medals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup back to the U.S. of A.

The difference was three goals—those three goals came courtesy of (South Jersey native, by the way) Carli Lloyd who had a banner tournament.

Only fitting, by the way, one of our women finish the World Cup with a hat trick in Vancouver, Canada (a city and a country that knows a lot about hat tricks)—including a mid-field goal that would have made Stephen Curry proud.

It’s also fitting that in the last World Cup for Shannon Boxx, Christie Rampone, and Abby Wambach—the latter two of which lifted the World Cup trophy with the team. Classy move for sure.

Wambach did say in a pre-game interview that the 2011 loss to Japan was not something on their minds. Interpret that with what you will, but given that it was Japan again—it looked as if this team was determined not to let this game go anywhere near extra time or penalty kicks.

Oh, and the fact that this team rose above FIFA politics (from the Sepp Blatter stuff to the fact that they were subjected to having to play on artificial turf) doesn’t hurt either.

Congrats to this team!

In fact—this team also proved something in terms of how we view soccer in this country (and how we also view men’s and women’s sports in the U.S.)

Anything dudes can do—women can do better.

Unlike the men’s team, the women’s team actually is the best soccer/football team in the world and a consistent threat to win its World Cup. I was doing a lot of questioning on social media as to why sports talk radio stations were not hyping up this World Cup the way the men’s side is on a consistent basis.

Maybe not having the ESPN behind it anymore had a little bit of something to do with it but that’s no excuse. The men’s World Cup is hailed as the biggest sporting event in the world, but in my opinion, women’s soccer is so much more fascinating to watch.

Not to mention all of the flopping and the dramatics that there is on the men’s side—yeah not as much of that nonsense with the women.

FIFA subjected the women of all of these teams to play on artificial surfaces. Astroturf.

Astroturf. The suits in FIFA would never make the men do that because the people who run FIFA are, well, men themselves.

And they still played a much better and more exciting tournament than what can be found with the men’s World Cup. You have to apologize if there are some FIFA suits who got their keisters kicked on the soccer pitch when they were little kids.

The United States’ men’s team routinely gets bounced every year in the round of 16 and yet U.S. Soccer rakes in a grand total of $9 million. The women’s team WINS the World Cup and only draws in $2 million.

That is what I like to call a FIFA issue—just one of many.

But, regardless of all of the bull FIFA put the women of all of these national teams through, it had to be gratifying as an American sports fan to witness what this team was able to accomplish.

Ever since the 2011 heartbreaker in penalty kicks to Japan, this team has now won the 2012 Olympic gold medal in London and now a World Cup in 2015.

Ask the men’s team to do that even though the men’s side is much more propped up by FIFA and has much more cameras on them in the media than what is necessary. Neither will happen for the U.S. men anytime soon unless Spain, Argentina, and Germany’s players decide to play for the U.S.

Now—for the next burning question that has to be on everyone’s minds—what about the parade?

Cities and countries regularly hold parades for when their national teams win the World Cup on the men’s side. This women’s team should get the same celebratory treatment. A ticker tape parade in New York City sounds just about alright with me. I’m looking at you, Bill de Blasio.

Or—since four of the five goals came from South Jersey natives, why not one in Philadelphia. I’m looking at you Michael Nutter.

Just give this team the parade, already. They earned it!

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