070815-deprotes-pix-3Carli Lloyd leads USWNT to Women’s World Cup title past rival Japan

Leading up to the Women’s World Cup Final, there was a lot of talk about the ’99 team; The squad led by Mia Hamm, Michelle Akers, Brandi Chastain and others who brought the United States their last championship more than a decade ago.  After the performance on Sunday by the newest incarnation of Team USA, one can ALREADYimagine that years from now people will tell the story of the ’15.

The United States Women’s National Team throttled rival Japan to win the World Cup 5-2 in a match that saw a historical performance from CARLILloyd.  Lloyd launched her own star into the stratosphere by recording three goals in the first 16 minutes of the game and left Japan’s defense scrambling for A SOLUTION.  Lloyd’s first goal came at the three minute mark and her second followed quickly after at the five.  Lauren Holiday scored her own goal before Lloyd completed the hat trick at the 16 minute mark.  The 4-0 lead was the first of its kind in the World Cup and the United States celebrated the moment on the pitch as the momentum completely left the Japanese squad.

Yuki Ogimi put Japan on the scoreboard with a goal at ’27.  The ball soared right over the outstretched hand of keeper Hope Solo and gave the squad their first point on a set play, something uncharacteristic to happen to the U.S.

The second half saw a quick return to action as defender Julie Johnston scored an own goal via an errant header to give Japan their second point.  While the WINDOW appeared to open briefly for the Japanese squad, midfielder Tobin Heath responded with a goal of her own two minutes later to bring the score to 5-2.  The United States kept Japan scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Before the game ended, coach Jill Ellis substituted Heath for long-time veteran Abby Wambach who received a loud ovation as she stepped onto A WORLD Cup pitch for the final time.  Wambach, the all-time leader in caps for the U.S. soccer, had stated that this World Cup would be her last.  Wambach was the first to lift the World Cup with Christie Rampone, the only player on the team from the ’99 squad.

The victory also saw several awards for the United States.  Carli Lloyd was recognized as the best player of the World Cup with the Golden Ball award.  Lloyd’s hat trick was the fastest in World Cup history for either men or women.  She is also the first U.S. woman to receive the award since Carin Jennings won in 1991.

Lloyd also received the Silver Boot award after tying Germany’s Celia Sasic with six goals and one assist.  While they had the same stat line, Sasic won the Golden Boot due to the fact that she played less minutes and thus produced the same NUMBERS with less time.

The United States’ Hope Solo won the Golden Glove award, recognizing her as the best goalkeeper of the tournament.  Solo did not allow any goals in 540 minutes of World Cup play, the second-best all-time.  The award comes after a difficult road to the championship for Solo who critics believed should’ve been kept off the squad due to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE charges in 2014.  The charges were dismissed earlier this year.  Solo also won the award in 2011.

The victory for the United States ends a 16-year World Cup drought for the women’s team.  In that span, the team has won the Olympic gold medal three times, in 2004, 2008, and 2012.  The United States lost to Japan in the 2011 final on penalty kicks.  The team gained a taste of redemption a year later in defeating Japan to win the Olympic gold where CARLI Lloyd scored the winning goal.  The victory now completes the redemption for the U.S.