Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Gospel According to Mike

Iron Mike Tyson that is...


I have little doubt that the Japanese Women's National Team entered Sunday's World Cup Final against the United States with a plan.  I also have little doubt that whatever plan they carried with them into the arena was resigned to the dust bin of history in the face of the American onslaught that opened the game:  two goals in the first five minutes followed by two more less than ten minutes later.  One third of the way through the first half and the Japanese found themselves trailing 4-0, courtesy of, principally, the exploits of USWNT Midfielder Carli Lloyd. 

Lloyd did what Lloyd does in big spots:  She rose to meet the occasion.  Her first-half hat trick was punctuated by one of the smartest goals you shall likely ever see as she looked up to see where the goalkeeper had positioned herself prior to launching the ball on net from midfield.  Lloyd came into Sunday night's final with a well-earned reputation for being a stone cold killer in the USWNT's most important games.  Her performance further burnished that reputation.  

The resolve of the Japanese team was commendable.  At one point in the second half they closed the gap, momentarily as it turned out, to two goals.  In a game however where the Americans had multiple answers for everything the Japanese tried to do, Tobin Heath responded to the Japanese's second goal by scoring the Americans' fifth goal a little bit more than two minutes later.  

Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath are both Jersey girls as are USWNT Captain Christine Rampone and Heather O'Reilly.  Their performance on Sunday night was extraordinary.  How extraordinary?  So much so that for the evening at least, it served to remind a certain candidate for the GOP nomination for President of the United States from where it is he hails.  

According to a recent survey, more Americans dislike New Jersey than any other of our nation's fifty states.   Methinks that if such a survey is conducted in the not-too-distant future in Japan, the State of Concrete Gardens is not likely to fare much better.  

Oh well...

-AK 

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