Marc Atkins / Getty Image Sport

The US Women's Soccer team pounded out a 2-1 win over Spain Monday in a gritty fast-paced thriller of a match. SUPER STAMINA ACTIVATED!

The last time the US played Spain was in January 2019 and they won 1-0. The US was heavily favored to win this match, but the game quickly proved that anything is possible with elimination on the line. This is the fourth match for the US in the 2019 World Cup and the first game that has really challenged the US in the tournament.

The game started with breakneck speed from both teams passing quickly and sending balls far and high for the front ends to chase down. Spain made a threatening break for goal in the first minute of the match, but the US defense shut them down. It was that early in the match that I had to put my morning chips and salsa aside and FOCUS UP! Spain means business!


In the fifth minute, US forward Tobin Heath was moving the ball steadily and stealthily toward the goal. She broke past one defender but the second arrived a little late, missed the ball and caught Heath’s foot with her own sending Heath into a FULL STARFISH SPREAD on the ground in the box. The ref's whistle blew, US team captain Megan Rapino kicked the penalty kick and the US was up 1-0! O SAY CAN YOU SEE, BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT!

That lead did not last long AT ALL. The US defense was caught off guard near the goal and quicker than a chin whisker can grow Spain’s Hermosa bolted the ball into the net. NO MUY BUENO.

This goal broke the United States seven-game shutout streak and was proof that this game was not going to be an easy win for the US. It was going to be tenacious, tough, and a long 90-plus minutes. Throughout the match Spain were quick to find any lack of speed or preciseness on the US’s passes, intercepting and quickly moving key players toward their goal. As great as our defense has proved itself, IT GOT DICEY. For the first time in the tournament, the US went to half time without the lead.


I have always heard that a little stress is good... gets the blood flowing... gets the heart rate up... MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE. But this second half felt like cardiac arrest on cocaine. It was MOUNTAIN DEW WATERED DOWN WITH A RED BULL—KINDA FUN/KINDA LIKE YOU MIGHT DIE WATCHING. Play on the field got faster, tougher and more technical.

While pursuing a shot in the 71st minute, US midfielder Rose Lavelle endured a possible cleat-up-kick in the box. This foul—just like EVERYTHING ELSE IN THIS TOURNEY—was subject to a VAR (Video Assisted Referee) review. After over belaboring the foul, another penalty kick was awarded to the US. Prior to the video review, US’s Alex Morgan stood ready to take the shot. But after the review, Megan Rapino stepped up and sunk another to take the 2-1 lead.


The head referee added a minimum of seven minutes to the already never-ending match. SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN? MORE LIKE SEVEN MINUTES IN PALMS SWEATY AND MOM’S SWEATER SPAGHETTI HELL! When the final whistle finally sounded, I let out a sigh of relief the size of a hurricane!
Here’s how things look as of Monday afternoon.

The USWNT plays in the quarter-final on Friday against the hosting team, France, at noon Pacific Time. This will be another nail-biter-to-the-nubs kind of match. Lots of folks have been predicting this matchup in the quarterfinals and anticipate that the winner will eventually be the victor of the tourney. But remember how confident we were about the whole Clinton/ Trump election? LET’S KEEP THAT CART BEHIND THE HORSE, GUYS. (Not like France is equivalent to Trump. I mean, I rather love the French team... it's more of a statement of misplaced confidence, FOLLOW?)

Speaking of Fridays: Your hometown heroes, the Portland Thorns, played a killer match this past Friday at Providence Park. Sure the match ended in a 0-0 draw and it’s always a bummer when the Thorns don’t get on the board, but the Thorns second string team held strong in the backfield. Portland’s defense didn’t allow Utah known scorer Amy Rodriguez to take even one shot on goal. SHUT. DOWN.

The Thorns are currently ranked third in the league of nine with 16 points—just below Utah with Washington at the top of the table. Having most of the international stars gone for break has made this size-small league feel a little bigger. I am hoping you all are able to find ways to support your local women’s soccer communities with the enthusiasm that the World Cup offers. It’s exciting to see the ads put forth by ginormous companies like NIKE and Coca-Cola, I just hope their glamorous impact does more than line their pockets with more money.

You can find me clapping aggressively for women in any sport or endeavor around Portland. You can also find me on Twitter @erinjeanius