Saturday, May 17, 2003

Cindy, Shannon, Mia

I can watch a great soccer goal over and over, and today I did with the magic of Tivo. With the score 0-0 in the U.S.-England match, Cindy Parlow made a tricky spin move to retain possession, then made a deceptive outside-of-the-foot pass to Shannon MacMillan near the touchline. MacMillan one-timed it back to Parlow, who one-timed it back to MacMillan breaking into space. Shannon dribbled ahead, then slowed down, then waited, then waited some more. Just when this was starting to look like a wasted opportunity, Mia Hamm appeared near the goal. This is my favorite part: Hamm was closely marked by a defender, but at the last moment she suddenly changed the angle of her run and left the defender behind. MacMillan found her with a perfect pass, and Hamm rocketed it into the back of the net. (I always get a little bit misty-eyed when Mia Hamm does something really great. And she does that often -- she has scored more goals in international play than anyone else, male or female.) Every move in that sequence was an impressive bit of precision play.

Later on Cindy Parlow put on quite a show by scoring 4 goals in 13 minutes. The U.S. won 6-0, but that first goal is the one I'll remember.

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