Friday, September 23, 2011

The power and grace of Abby Wambach

National pride abounds as the USWNT warms up
Nothing like a night with a US National Team to bump up the swell of pride we Americans are so famous for. Last night's energetic soccer exhibition match against Canada was such an occasion. Jeld-Wen is a fabulous venue for national spirit, with its practiced army chants and well-timed cheers. The only thing missing was the green smoke from bombs-bursting-in-air that stayed in the opening anthem.

A rare hot late September night helped, no doubt, and the sell-out crowd stayed until the bitter end, when Alex Morgan nonchalantly stabbed in the third goal in the last second of extra time. Well, most of the crowd stayed. Kirk, Carson and I prematurely departed at the end of regulation, thus relegating my witnessing of the third goal to You Tube.

We were in the stands for goals one and two, however, delivered passionately by Abby Wambach. Die hard fans couldn't have scripted it better -- keeping the game scoreless with several "almosts" by Rapinoe against the crossbar, right up to the 63rd minute for goal number one - an expertly placed left-footed strike by Wambach, and then, as the perfect follow-up, a crowd-pleasing diving header to all but clinch the win in minute 70.

Look at those guns. Abby and co at open practice session September 21
Nothing against pink-studded Alex Morgan, who's extra goal added dessert to the meaty meal at Jeld-Wen, but for pure athleticism and inspiration, Wambach knocks it out of the park. Thousands of young girls in the stands were witness to a role model who is the pinnacle of power and grace, and that alone was worth the price of admission.

It was another great night to live in Portland, and, okay, even a great night to raise a Springsteen-esque fist in Born-in-the-USA delight.


  1. You live in such a great city! I swear - I spent 10 minutes there a few years ago and I was ready to stay.

    What a great moment for girls. I love the idea of women showing physical strength and athletic prowess as an example of our versatility as humans. Girls really need to see this as a balance to all the princess (no offense) and sexualized messages they receive day in and day out.

  2. And doh! I'm signed in as my husband. It's me. Lisahgolden. Whoops!

  3. Ha, Lisa! You're a trip!(and, I love the ability to co-opt the spouse identity.)

    I do love the range of possibilities for women,especially when they have good relationships with their physical selves. Thanks for the comment!


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