Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
U.S. women's great journey began in Italy
by Paul Kennedy, November 19th, 2010 12:07AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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
MLS Injury Report: Grella out with knee injury    
The New York Red Bulls lost midfielder Mike Grella indefinitely while he undergoes treatment on his ...
MLS Week 4: Crew rookie Hansen hits winner in debut    
Rookie Niko Hansen came off the bench to score the winning goal in his MLS debut ...
USMNT: Arriola called up, four players depart    
Tijuana midfielder Paul Arriola joined to the U.S. national team for its World Cup 2018 qualifier ...
By the Numbers: USA ties Hexagonal records with 6-0 win    
The USA tied a record for the most goals in a game and largest margin of ...
What They're Saying: Christian Pulisic    
"Clint's an easy guy to play with. He's strong, he's technical, he makes good runs and ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"Christian is just a natural. The game is easy for him. He's got exceptional skill, vision, ...
Hexagonal: USA gets result it wanted in Port of Spain    
Mexico moved into first place in the Hexagonal with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica, but ...
USA-Honduras: Takeaways from a rare Hexagonal romp    
Well, that was as impressive as it was important. One of the biggest games in the ...
Video Pick: How Clint Dempsey completed his hat trick    
Clint Dempsey, who was sidelined from national team play since last June after being diagnosed with ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"We didn't have anyone else." -- U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena on why he started ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives