Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
U.S. women's great journey began in Italy
by Paul Kennedy, November 19th, 2010 12:07AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  fifa, italy, women's national team

MOST COMMENTED

[HISTORY] The U.S. women's national team's trip to Italy for the playoffs series that will determine the final berth in the 2011 Women's World Cup begins back memories of the women's national team's launch that began a quarter century ago with an invitation to travel to Italy.

As Chuck Blazer told Soccer America's Mike Woitalla in 2000, the national team didn't exist before 1985 and he had gotten women's soccer into the Sports Festival that year by getting FIFA to say that there was going to be a world championship in the future.

Blazer, who headed the U.S. national teams committee at the time and is now the general secretary and one of the 22 members of the FIFA executive committee that will vote on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December, says the team picked from the Sports Festival was intended to be a paper team, but out of the blue U.S. Soccer got an inquiry from Aldo Sciarrino, who was the Lamborghini representative in the USA and invited the Americans to Italy for a tournament on behalf of the Italian soccer federation.

The U.S. federation was broke, but Blazer worked things out.

"We shifted costs around. I was able to get Alitalia to eat some of the airfare," he said. "Aldo and I kicked in some more money, and by the time we were finished we had a team that was flying into Milan and taking a bus to Jesolo."

The first game was against Italy, an established European power, and the Americans lost, 1-0.

The story goes that the goal was scored after the Italians were called for a foul -- but took the ball themselves and raced down the other end of the field and scored on a breakaway. The Americans stood stunned but the referee did nothing.

The Americans lost three games and tied one, but they had a great time.

"We were just so happy to be there," Tucka Healy told Soccer America contributor Bob Griendlin. "While watching the Denmark-Italy game, we grabbed an Italian flag and rushed to the sidelines, where we led a cheer. They were totally shocked that we'd cheer another team."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Making a List: MLS players on move to NASL    
Brazilian defender Adailton became the latest former MLS player to sign with an NASL team when ...
MLS player tracker with complete rosters (Feb. 10)    
The Philadelphia Union signed forward C.J. Sapong to a three-year contract. He led the Union with ...
Klinsmann breaks down U.S. goalkeeping situation    
As the USA heads into 2016 with the Copa Centenario and World Cup 2018 qualifying on ...
What They're Saying: High schooler Marte Formico    
"It's awesome having Brandi. Someone who has been that caliber of a player, that has been ...
What They're Saying: Fiorentina executive Sandro Mencucci    
"In Italy, people love football, but everybody thinks that football is only for men -- they ...
MLS Preseason: Training camp and friendly schedules    
The MLS champion Portland Timbers head home after playing Real Salt Lake Thursday morning in their ...
USA-Costa Rica Takeaways: USA doesn't mess around    
The USA isn't going to mess around with Olympic women's qualifying. It wasn't the 14-0 rout ...
U.S. Abroad: Bedoya does it again for Nantes    
In France, they call it "la magie de la Coupe" ("cup magic"). CF2 (fifth division) club ...
Video Pick: Back-heel Golazo of the Week    
VfL Bochum's Tim Hoogland has his back to SC Freiburg's goal when teammate Timo Perthel unleashes ...
U.S. Soccer wins procedural round in women's suit    
Lawyers for U.S. Soccer and the United States Women's National Soccer Team Players Association met in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives