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
Longshot Ticas counter USA with hot keeper    
[SCOUTING REPORT: Costa Rica] Costa Rica, the first Concacaf team outside of North America to qualify ...
Ream gets assist in Bolton Wanderers' victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] It has been another barren weekend for U.S. national team players abroad. Of the ...
An excellent goal-line clearance     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Cruzeiro managed to earn a 1-1 tie with Palmeiras thanks to ...
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives