Of all the FOX soccer pundits this Women’s World Cup, the one that’s developed a cult following on Twitter this tournament is Leslie Osborne. Here’s a little more on her professional background:Follow paulmbanks
Love her or hate her, Hope Solo seems to thrive in rough times. Yes, those rough times she completely brought upon herself, and she’s anything but a sympathetic character, but Solo is at her best when things seem to be going the worst. Please don’t mistake this one admirable trait Solo possesses, the ability to succeed amidst strife as worthiness of being a role model.Follow paulmbanks
The U.S. Women’s National Team gives America a side that we can all root for. Hence the #1N1T “One Nation, One Team” hashtag. However, there are provincial angles to every World Cup too. Julie Johnston plays her club ball here in Chicago for the Red Stars; along with Shannon Boxx, Christen Press (who scored the game winning goal last night) and Lori Chalupny.
Despite her status as a cult favorite on Twitter during the game last night, Julie Johnston definitely flies under the radar.Follow paulmbanks
As my Twitter bio states, everything in life relates to The Simpsons. Or you can at least quote The Simpsons to evaluate and judge what you are doing with your life at that very moment; for any and all moments. Three members of the U.S. Women’s National Team – Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Abby Wambach – have been “Simpsonized,” and you can see the results below.Follow paulmbanks
Then on Sunday morning, Outside the Lines dropped the big bombshell story. It’s very curious timing by ESPN. OTL waited until the day before the U.S. Women’s National Team kick off their first 2015 World Cup match to air it- why?
Earlier this week, they ran a propaganda puff piece on Hope Solo in ESPN the magazine; counter-balancing this.
Seems a bit bizarre.Follow paulmbanks
Losing at home to an expansion team always hurts, but last night’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of Orlando City SC might have lingering adverse effects for the Chicago Fire. This one really stings- blowing a 2-1 lead at home in the final 20 minutes. The team is currently 7th in the table and trending in the wrong direction.
It’s especially frustrating; knowing that a postseason berth is right there for the taking.
These blown second half leads are becoming all too common, and dropping a home decision to the 9th place side could really come back and haunt the team come October.Follow paulmbanks
I bet I can guess who the internet’s favorite athlete will be this Women’s World Cup: Canadian Defender Lauren Sesselmann. When I say “the internet,” I really mean the internet; I don’t mean just horny guys doing some Googling ogling.
The page view analytics bare this out- it’s not just guys who spend time online searching photos of very attractive women. It’s women too, and in a much higher percentage than you would expect.Follow paulmbanks
Merica! or Murrica! U-S-A! U-S-A! But seriously folks, the U.S. Women’s National Team or the USWNT has been a favorite or co-favorite in every World Cup played since 1999; the last time they hoisted the trophy.
Last time out in 2011, they lost to Japan in a tightly contested final match. If they do win it all this time; it will happen on July 5th- the day after America’s 229th birthday.Follow paulmbanks
Alexei Lalas is someone with candid opinions that I always enjoy hearing. The FOX studio analyst and National Soccer Hall of Famer might just be the finest American home grown soccer commentator around.
Panayotis Alexander “Alexi” Lalas is as candid and as entertaining as it gets.
He gave a straight answer about Hope Solo, at a time when very few analysts are providing any type of fair and balanced coverage of the best goalkeeper in the world.Follow paulmbanks
For decades, the joke went: “soccer is the sport of the future in America and it always will be.” Soccer skeptics would then usually cite how youth participation doesn’t equal adult fandom. Their other argument was Major League Soccer, and it’s small crowds and low ratings.
These skeptics are going the way of the Triceratops, as I pointed out in my Chicago Tribune RedEye op-ed on Wednesday.
A globalized world, the millennial generation, and simultaneous revolutions in communications technology and sports media reach have made soccer the sport of today in America.Follow paulmbanks