Aug. 18, 2008
By Michael Lewis
U.S. women savor confrontation vs. Brazil
Beijing, China -- The U.S. women can't wait to play Brazil for the gold medal in the women's Olympic soccer tournament.
The Americans will take on Brazil after recording a 4-2 win over Japan Monday night. The Brazilians bested defending Women's World Cup champion Germany, in Shanghai Monday, 4-1.
They'll meet for the gold medal at Workers Stadium Thursday at 9 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET).
“We’re pumped," said midfielder-forward Heather O'Reilly, who scored for the U.S. Monday. "Bring it on. We’ve played Brazil before and we know they’re a pretty awesome team with a lot of great personalities. But this team player for player is unified
and strong, and we’re together. We’re looking forward to [playing Brazil].”
Last year the U.S. was embarrassed in the WWC semifinals, as Brazil inflicted the worst loss in American women's history -- a 4-0 setback in the semifinals.
The U.S. beat Brazil in consecutive 1-0 games in July. The Brazilians played without their three most important offensive threats -- Marta, the two-time FIFA women's player of the year, Daniela, who leads all women with five goals in the tournament, and Daniela.
“I’m looking forward to this game," U.S. captain and defender Christie Rampone said. "We played them a couple times this year, but they didn’t have some of their players so it’s going to be a great game. They are playing at the top of their game and we’re getting better each game, so it’s going to be exciting.”
While the players might be excited about the prospect of meeting Brazil again, U.S. coach Pia Sundhage wants to savor the victory.
“Right now, I’m not thinking about anything but our team," she said. "I’m going to really enjoy the win, and then I’ll think about Brazil tomorrow.”