The word 'redemption' has been used so often in the wake of the U.S. women team's Olympic gold medal that it can only be a matter of time before Hollywood makes it into a movie. Expect the word 'hope' to appear in the title.
Lindsey Dolich is no exception in calling the 1-0 win over Brazil a "redemptive victory" for the team amid all the "bloody noses and mud-soaked uniforms" (there's the blurb for the movie poster already). She describes a game where "Brazil kept the U.S. on the run all game long" with "a passing game that seemed two steps ahead of the [U.S.] midfield." In the first half, the U.S. offense "looked like an afterthought."
In every Hollywood film there are obstacles to overcome before the against-all-odds glory. Here there were Abby Wambach's pre-tournament injury, the two early goals conceded to Norway in the opening group game, and the psychological detritus of last year's 4-0 World Cup semifinal defeat to Marta and co. Will the U.S. girls overcome these seemingly insurmountable barriers?
Oh but yes. After surviving so much pressure during the first 90 minutes, "the superior fitness and toughness shown by the U.S. women began to wear Brazil ragged, forcing Marta to rush several thrilling last-gasp shots that Solo smothered." Dolich concludes that "sometimes it's not about perfection. Careening and zigzagging through each Olympic leg, the U.S. women managed to find the made-for-a-movie flawless ending."
And the final line before the credits must go to goalkeeper Hope Solo: "I feel great. I just won a damn gold medal." [Players all cheer wildly, throw Solo and Pia Sundhage into a bath of champagne, while a wryly smiling but slightly wistful Abby Wambach stands tentatively at the locker room door. FADE OUT]