Puck's Friday Happy Hour: USWNT Roster Announced, Abby Wambach Appreciation, and A Thank You To Soccer Moms Everywhere
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For those of you paying attention, and if you haven’t you certainly should be, the USWNT Roster was released tadalafil lilly 20mg earlier in the week. Before hitting you with my quick thoughts, we should take a look at who made the squad.
Forwards: Amy Rodriguez, Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach.
Midfielders: Lindsay Tarpley, Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey, Tobin Heath.
Defenders: Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn, Amy LePeilbet, Ali Krieger, Stephanie Cox, Rachel Buehler.
Goalkeepers: Hope Solo, Nicole Barnhart, Jill Loyden.
First and foremost, it’s nice to see the triumphant return of Hope “THE WALL” Solo to the squad.
Having debatably the best women’s goalkeeper in the world returning from shoulder surgery does a great deal to increase the team’s chances of returning stateside with some hardware. When it comes to omissions, I can’t find any besides Kristine Lilly. Lilly has been a part of every Women’s World Cup team since the tournament began in 1991, but her retirement is well deserved. For those of you looking for an emerging superstar a la Juan Agudelo, look no further than the youngest USWNT member, Berkeley Bear Alex Morgan. At 21 her super sub ability will be called upon during the knock out stages of the tournament. When you are named “NEXT” in Soccer by ESPN The Magazine, expectations
are certainly high—but Morgan seems to handle the weight of that pressure with grace and class, on and off the pitch. She should have a remarkable summer.
Finally, growing up in Rochester, New York, I have always admired Abby Wambach. I had the opportunity to watch her throughout my youth leagues days and I am still impressed by just how far she has come. I admire Abby for two main reasons. First,
she is the type of hard-nosed goal scoring forward the USMNT has been lacking for years. With all due respect to Brian McBride—she possesses a different level of class- one that the American men and the developmental academies should hope they can one day emulate. Second, back in the day, Abby kicked my ass, no joke. Check out a previous Happy Hour for the excellent story.
Many loyal readers of the Happy Hour may be asking, “Puck, what is the deal with the focus on the USWNT?” The Women’s World Cup starts on June 26th in Germany, and we here at TYAC will be making an effort to bring you news analysis of how the USWNT performs. While Editor in Chief Neil W. Blackmon will do a much more elegant and complete job explaining our motivation to cover the USWNT shortly, we could think of no better way to start covering the Women’s game than announcing our May Yankette. In honor of Mother’s Day last Sunday, TYAC is honored to thank Soccer Moms all over the country. These special women are the truest form of Yankettes. You also might be saying—why still call them “Yankettes”. I suppose that is a fair question. At the same time, we have tried to honor talented American women throughout those segments. At times, we have fallen short. Those shortcoming have been pointed out to us and we’ve done all you can do in that context: try to get better. As a staff, this goal resulted in our inability to name a suitable Yankette in April. Unable to agree—we decided it better to skip the month altogether. In hindsight, and in reality, it is probably better for us to save the Yankette honor for women we feel passionate about, as opposed to shoveling some half-assed attempt down your throat.
That said, all the writers here at TYAC are really proud of this month’s Yankette selection. As you have probably gathered by now, this is not at all a typical selection. While many of the women featured today are talented and beautiful, they are not movie stars or celebrities. We think it is better that way. This month, the boys at TYAC want to honor the women that got us here. In honor of Mother’s Day last weekend, let me be the first to introduce you to the American Soccer Mom. With the Women’s World Cup approaching and Mother’s Day barely in the rearview mirror, we couldn’t think of a better place to start our month-plus tribute to the US Women’s National Team than beginning with that patron saint of men everywhere— our mothers.
Since the mid 90’s the term “Soccer Mom” has become part of the American Lexicon. The term attempts to generalize the young social and political activities of middle aged, typically white, suburban women with children who still need a ride to school. No matter how derogatorily this term may be used by the non-soccer loving community, anyone who played soccer in their youth, or has kids of their own today, has a deep appreciation for the Mom, Aunt, or sister who carted our asses around so we could play the sport we loved. While the anti-soccer sporting community including Jim Rome and Colin Cowherd like to put down the soccer mom for their daily activities, we want to thank them. Quite interestingly, although probably fodder for an altogether different piece—the soccer Mom has moved from term with a mildly derogatory or at-best commodified connotation (IE- “We need the soccer Mom vote”) to one of honor in the American vernacular. Soccer Moms are thought to be largely representative of the “pulse” of middle-class America and a good measuring stick for whether or not the government is acting fairly towards its citizens. This is more than fair—in all honesty—these common-sense, hardworking women do embody what this country is about—and they should wear the label with a great sense of pride. The least we as soccer writers can do is recognize we wouldn’t be writing if not for them.
Soccer moms, we want to thank you for a number of reasons. Thank you for driving the ugly mini-van 40 minutes to and from practice even when you knew you didn’t want to. You could have been driving a sleek sedan during your midlife crisis, but you stuck with the van, and we thank you for it. No matter how much we may have bitched back then, we had fun in that van, even if we did end up totaling it when we first started driving. Thank you for having the orange slices, Capri Suns, and Sunny D ice cold and ready to go during halftime. While it did get a little lame when we hit our teenage years, there was always something to look forward too, even when if you were riding the pine in your local youth league. Thanks for never giving up on the team even when we were getting crushed 8-0 by halftime. We may have been getting stomped on the field, but we could always hear you scream in excitement whenever we touched the ball.
Finally soccer moms, we want to thank you for giving us our start. For many adult soccer fans in this country, particularly those without one foreign parent, our love of the beautiful game developed because we first played it as a child. Without out moms driving us to and from the pitch, cleaning the dirty uniforms, and making sure we didn’t lose our cleats and shin guards, we probably never would have cared what happened in last summer’s World Cup, or what will take place during the upcoming Gold Cup. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are plenty of Dads out there who served the same purpose, but the Soccer Mom archetype still prevails. The great thing about Soccer Moms is just how American they are.
While this is not one of my typical Happy Hours, it’s important to take a moment and thank the people who are important in our lives. From the entire TYAC staff, we would like to say congratulations to Soccer Moms for being named the May Yankette of 2011. As for sentiment—I would specifically like to thank my Mother for all of those rides to practice and unflinching support. My editor Neil W. Blackmon wants to thank his “Mama”, who demanded the coach move him to goalkeeper at age five because he wasn’t particularly good running and dribbling at the same time, but he was tall and gangly and loved the game. That ended up being a good move, as he still tends the net in Men’s Leagues a quarter-century later. It is the little things that make Mothers so special, and hopefully this small thank you serves as an acknowledgement that while we’ll never be able to pay you back, we do admire and love you unconditionally.
Puck’s Free Advice:
Gentlemen, when you are in the gym make sure not to have your headphones pumped up so loud you can’t hear yourself moan and grunt. I assure you the rest of the gym can and it is obnoxious. You are not passing a kidney stone, get over yourself. Ladies, the same goes for you. While most men enjoy hearing a lot of moaning and grunting during one particular athletic event, no one wants to feel like they are working out with the Williams sisters during a long rally.
Sorry for partying.
Puck is the Pop Culture Guy For The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter at @PuckLovesPBR.
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