When the fall youth soccer season starts up in a couple of weeks, girls from all ages in every city and likely on every team will be calling themselves "Alex Morgan," and "Abby Wambach" and "Carli Lloyd" and "Hope Solo," just to name a few.
One day they might be gold medalists, too.
The U.S. women's soccer team won the Olympic gold medal Thursday night, and also a huge measure of revenge, as they defeated Japan, 2-1, in a tense, thrilling match before an Olympic record-crowd of 80,203 at Wembley Stadium in London. It was the third straight Olympic gold medal for the U.S. women's soccer team and fourth medal overall.
The U.S. team's victory avenged a heartbreaking loss to Japan last summer, 1-0 on penalty kicks, in the World Cup Final.
Lloyd scored both goals for the Americans. The first goal came in the eighth minute on a diving header, with an assist by Morgan, and the second on a breakaway up the middle in the 54th minute to give the U.S. team a 2-0 lead.
Japan cut the lead to 2-1 on a rebound goal by Yuki Ogimi in the 63rd minute and had several chances in the final 30 minutes to tie the match. But Solo was magnificent in goal throughout the match, tipping shots above the goal and stopping a late breakaway by Azusa Iwabucki with a diving stop to her left to knock the ball away.
For more coverage of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team, go to www.nbcolympics.com.