It can be difficult to find a sports topic for discussion in the middle of the summer. The Royals are in last place, and major golf tournaments are four weeks apart.
This year, the U.S. women’s soccer national team came alive and opened the door for a hot topic even in the most boring part of the summer for sports. The U.S. team defeated the Netherlands 2-0 to win their fourth World Cup championship and second in a row. They went 7-0 on the way to that championship.
It is definitely time for the sports media to start recognizing U.S. women’s soccer as a deserving dynasty. If this was a man’s sport, the media would be filled with daily talk of its dominance. The U.S. women’s soccer program is as great as the New England Patriots in football or the Golden State Warriors in basketball.
In fact, if the U.S. women continue at the rate they’re going, they could catch up with the fabled New York Yankees, who have won a record 27 World Series championships. The U.S. team has become a measuring stick for all other women’s soccer teams worldwide, which is backed up by fact.
The U.S. women have won four World Cups and they are one of seven nations to play in every World Cup. They have the most top four finishes with eight. They lead in medals with eight. They lead in final championship appearances with six. They have also won four Olympic gold medals.
They do have a lot of great athletes, but their success is more about the program in its entirety. It is the program that brings individuals together. A program will be successful if all parties understand how the program works and how the role of each individual melds the program together.
The championship team this year contained individual stars, but their success was determined by how every member of the team fit into each play. The U.S. women’s soccer program is proof positive that if all the coaches and players buy into a unified philosophy, great results will occur.
As Benjamin Franklin once stated, “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” This quote relates to men and women alike. When any athletic team is willing to give up their own personal glory for the success of the team and the program, only greatness will result.
This team lives up to the old adage that there is no “I” in the word team. If you watched any of the World Cup games, you could see the team come together no matter who scored the goal or who made the great defensive save. Every woman on that team had one goal – and one goal only – and that was to win the World Cup.
Young girls all over the United States watched the success of this year’s team and are now dreaming of a chance to play for the U.S. in the World Cup. For years young male athletes have aspired to play for a national championship or to win a Super Bowl. At last young females now also have great dreams and aspirations.
This year’s World Cup champions bring new meaning to Rudyard Kipling’s quote, “The strength of the wolf is in the pack, and the strength of the pack is in the wolf.”
It will be interesting to see how much credit the media gives the women’s soccer team going forward. Some little girl who watched the championship game this past Sunday can have a vision to dedicate herself to the game and to perhaps play in that game someday. She lives in a country that supports a prominent soccer program with an opportunity to win a World Cup.
The quote of the week comes from women’s tennis great Chris Evert: “Every time – all the time – I’m a perfectionist. I feel I should never lose.” That is exactly how the U.S. women’s soccer team plays!
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.