The US Women reached the zenith of female soccer by ending their 16-year title drought by capturing their third World Cup title.
Not only was Sunday’s achievement record breaking in its own right, it firmly cemented the US as the greatest country in the history of the sport. In addition to having the most titles of any nation since the tournament began in 1999, the US kept their remarkable streak of reaching the Semi-finals in tact, progressing that far for the 7th straight year.
The US stuttered out of the gate but peaked at the right time thanks to a remarkable coaching job that wasn’t afraid to go 23 players deep.
Head coach Jill Ellis performed masterstroke after masterstroke, deploying her players (including player of the tournament Carli Lloyd) in nontraditional roles and leaning heavily on her staff to employ innovative set piece tactics that rendered a typically disciplined Japan side hopelessly lost.
How do you get a defender to take her eye off the prolific striker she is supposed to be marking because her nerves forced her to ball watch?
After that, it was (almost) all downhill for Japan, with the Stars and Stripes netting 4 times before the clock struck 17.
For a full match recap and footage of Lloyd’s best Beckham impression, head over to NESN.