U.S. Women World Cup Final vs Japan: what to watch for

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The U.S. Women’s soccer team has a 22-0-3 record versus Japan. So you can see why they’re heavily favored today. Of course, ESPN felt the need to give us YET ANOTHER one of those dumb-you-down “sports success remedies a natural disaster” stories this morning; where they dubbed Japan the “sentimental favorite.”

Sara Walsh, you are a hottie (see more pics here) but how could you deliver such mindless pablum on SportsCenter and keep a straight face?

25,000 people dying from an earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown is an epic historical tragedy. It makes us realize how insignificant sports really are in the larger picture. Yet the media continues to feed us this horsecrap.

The New Orleans Saints were “America’s Team” after Katrina, the Michigan State Spartans were to alleviate poverty and crime in Detroit by reaching the 2009 Final Four in Motown. San Diego Chargers wins were to put out Southern California wildfires, and even the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff run in 2010 helped “heal” Oklahoma City from the 1995 Federal building bombing. (yes, believe it or not, I know a writer who actually published this).

Thank God, we had the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup title last summer, to alleviate our community’s pain and suffering from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Let’s move on to the game.

Abby Wambach is the U.S. best player and spiritual leader. Homare Sawa is her counterpart on Japan.

Also Hope Solo is super hot, go here for more on that.

And Alex Morgan is also super hot, go here for more on that

Here are some quick hits and stats/tables from U.S. Soccer.com

  • The USA’s win against Brazil in the quarterfinals was the first time in FIFA Women’s World Cup history a team had come back to win after falling behind in overtime. In fact, it is just the fourth instance in World Cup history, with the rare feat accomplished just three times before in the men’s tournament.
  • Rachel Buehler will be eligible to play against Japan after sitting out her suspension against France for the red card received against Brazil. It was the third red card issued to the U.S. in six FIFA Women’s World Cups, but just the second of this tournament.
  • The U.S. is the only team to have advanced to the semifinals in every FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The 120+2 minute goal from Abby Wambach in the quarterfinals was the latest strike in Women’s World Cup history.

U.S. 2011 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP RESULTS
Date           Opponent        Result/Time (ET)       U.S. Goalscorers/TV                  Venue
June 28      Korea DPR       2-0 W                       Cheney, Buehler                       Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden
July 2         Colombia        3-0 W                       O’Reilly, Rapinoe, Lloyd             Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim
July 6         Sweden          1-2 L                         Wambach                                World Cup Stadium Wolfsburg; Wolfsburg
July 10       Brazil              2-2 T (5-3 pks)          Own goal, Wambach                 Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden
July 13       France            3-1 W                        Cheney, Wambach, Morgan       Borussia Park; Mönchengladbach

JAPAN 2011 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP RESULTS
Date            Opponent             Result           Venue
June 27       New Zealand         2-1 W           FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium; Bochum
July 14        Mexico                  4-0 W           FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium; Leverkusen
July 5          England                0-2 L            FIFA Women’s World Cup Stadium; Augsburg
July 9          Germany               1-0 W          Arena Im Allerpark; Wolfsburg
July 13        Sweden                 3-1 W          FIFA Women´s World Cup Stadium; Frankfurt

Finally, I’d like to say that if Japan wins today, it won’t do anything to help rebuild their country, or bring back the people who died, or decontaminate the radiation from the atmosphere. Despite what ESPN tells you.

I know a thing or two about pain and suffering, as a two time cancer survivor. In 2000, it wasn’t the Chicago White Sox AL Central Division title that helped me conquer Hodgkin’s disease; it was the chemotherapy. When the monstrous illness returned in 2003, it was the bone marrow transplant that helped me overcome the disease, not the Illinois Fighting Illini winning their first ever Big Ten Tournament title.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter

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