So, why did U.S. women lose that match?

U.S. goalie Hope Solo right after the U.S. lost on Sunday to Japan in PKs in the Women's World Cup finals. (AP)


If you are a soccer fan hereabouts, you were probably rooting for a couple of things Sunday afternoon as you watched the Women’s World Cup finale between the U.S. and Japan – you wanted a stellar soccer match and you wanted the U.S. to win. You got a split decision.

I am sitting here a couple hours after the match still trying to figure out how the U.S. lost in penalty kicks.

You could use the “C” word (choke), but that wouldn’t really be fair to anyone. It was more like the U.S. squad not playing smart when it counted.

And as in all matters soccer, I elected to pick the brain of one of, if not the best soccer coach hereabouts, Casa Grande High girls coach Vinny Cortezzo.

And I hereby defer to the commentary of Mr. Cortezzo.

Vinny touched on these key points in the match:

– “They (U.S.) just didn’t finish the chances they had early in the game. They could have put it away then, but that’s just like soccer.”

– “(Tobin) Heath, one of the subs, made some runs at the goal late in the game when she should have gone to the flag and burned some valuable time off the clock. It’s not the best soccer to watch, but it can win a game. When you are in that position in a game, we tell the players, ‘It’s OK to be ugly.’”

– “I thought the U.S. played with guts and determination when they beat France in the semifinals. Today in the finals it was Japan who played with guts and determination.”

– “Yes, the penalty kicks were disappointing, but that’s the way it goes with PKs sometimes.”

So, now does it all mean that the U.S. women’s soccer balloon in deflated until the Olympics … or the next World Cup? We shall see.