Little girl dreams: revived, refreshed, fulfilled, just by watching this team take on the world and win.
Sixteen years ago I watched the US play China in the final of the 1999 World Cup. I was eight years old. The game went into extra time, then penalty kicks. I will never forget watching Brandi Chastain drill her PK past the Chinese goalkeeper to win the game.
That generation still lives in the 2015 victory; Christie Rampone played on that ’99 team, and it is not until she has retired that her generation of soccer players will have completely turned over their role to the next. But their legacy will live on even as it is being reshaped and remolded by this generation.
You’re all the ages you’ve ever been, all at once, and I have been eight almost as much as twenty-four since the US played their final game against Japan on Sunday. This is not just a game; not just a sport. Soccer changes lives.
I know, because it changed mine.