Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
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
U.S. under-17 men's national team roster    
U.S. head coach under-17 men's national team Richie Williams has named a 20-player roster for the ...
Business Reporter: Union teams up with Dogfish Head    
The Philadelphia Union will open a new destination beer garden with Dogfish Head Brewery at PPL ...
Columbus switches USL PRO affiliations    
The Columbus Crew will team up with the Austin Aztex to send players from its first ...
Lee Nguyen: Sitting back is not in Revs' DNA    
The New England Revolution tied an MLS record when it scored nine goals in its first ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Valcke    
"It is easy to destroy a reputation, it takes one second, it takes years to build ...
Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots    
Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, ...
Video Pick: Bend it like Uesato    
Our favorite free kick goal of the week comes from J-League 2, where Consadole Sapporo's Kazumasa ...
Breaking down the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals    
The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the quarterfinals with three games on Friday and ...
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives