The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team brought some South Florida sunshine to Dresden, Germany July 10 when, with a cross left from midfielder Megan Rapinoe, forward Abby Wambach literally used her head scoring an extra-time goal to help guarantee the U.S. victory over Brazil in the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals.
Their connection to South Florida helped prepare for such triumphs. The team practices in West Palm Beach. In April they had strength training sessions at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Greene Complex for Sports & Recreation on main campus.
“I was in contact with Brianna Scurry, who was the goalkeeper for the U.S. 1999 World Cup Champion Team, and she inquired about using the Fitness Center as part of the U.S. Women’s National Team training schedule,” Jose Gomez, PBA’s head men’s soccer coach said.
“Strength training in PBA's Greene Complex surely has helped prepare the U.S. team for their grueling matches against the world's best,” PBA President William M.B. Fleming Jr. added. “I was most impressed with the seriousness and focus of each team member as they move from exercise station to station.”
According to Gomez, members of the Women’s National Team were very appreciative of the hospitality shown by PBA. During their training, ESPN was on campus, and Nike shot footage for a commercial.
When not preparing for the World Cup, Wambach and team members, including Hope Solo, a goalkeeper, and newly signed Rapinoe, play for magicJack, a club in the Women's Professional Soccer league based in Boca Raton.
Today’s match against France in the World Cup semi-finals is the next step.
“I do believe the Women’s National Team has a great opportunity in front of them,” said Gomez. “They do have a tough opponent in France in the semifinal especially trying to handle the emotional rollercoaster they have been on since the blockbuster Brazil match.”
If the team wins, they will compete against either Sweden or Japan in Sunday’s finals.
“Sweden is playing well and has yet to lose,” Gomez said. “Japan would pose a different situation with the U.S. having beaten them twice in the past two months. So to beat a team three times in such a short time span can be difficult.
“Though, when it’s all said and done the U.S. has a great chance of winning the World Cup in a stunning fashion,” added Gomez.
“We are definitely cheering for them to capture the World Cup for the U.S.,” said President Fleming.
"Pressure Either Breaks You or Makes You"
View the Nike commercial filmed in the fitness center at PBA's Greene Complex for Sports & Recreation.