The United States Women's National Team has talked the talk before and during the 2011 Women's World Cup and now it's time to let the actions speak. The American squad has walked with an air of confidence, telling anyone that would listen that this team is the best in the world, ready to take-on all-comers. Even after a nail-biting quarterfinal win over Brazil, goalkeeper Hope Solo was feeling confident, taking about bringing home the cup in an interview. On Sunday, she'll have a chance to deliver on her promise as the USA faces Japan in the Women's World Cup Finals.
Solo said she felt this was a team of destiny, and had never doubted its ability to come up big in crunch time. Even in extra time, with the clock striking 120, she thought her outfield teammates would score the equalizer against Brazil, giving her a chance in a penalty shootout. They did, as Abby Wambach hammered home a header, and Solo did her part, saving one of Brazil's tries to give the American side the win.
The USA plays with confidence, knowing it can face any adversity and come out on the other side of the tunnel unscathed. It's a confidence instilled by head coach Pia Sundhage, who comes across relaxed and composed no matter the conditions. It was a fact brought up by Solo after the semifinal win over France, when she told reporters, "Confidence comes from our preparation and because we know we're damn good."
Solo has become a star thanks to her play on the field and charisma off it. But all the interviews, the new-found celebrity and off-field actions don't matter on Sunday as she faces Japan with the Women's World Cup title on the line. For the USA, it's a chance to break through again after a drought that's been in place since 1999, when another charismatic team captured the hearts of America and the Women's World Cup at the Rose Bowl. After a dream run, only one more test stands in the way of the USA and its "destiny."
Solo and the USA take-on Japan at 11:45 a.m. PDT on ESPN.