Stunned in regional qualifying, the top-ranked U.S. women's soccer team is scrambling for a spot at next year's Women's World Cup - a tournament it has won twice. After beating Italy last weekend in the first leg of a home-and-home playoff, the Americans can advance with a win or a draw in today's finale in Chicago.
“We’re not stressing, we’re not panicking too much,” captain Christie Rampone said. “What we’re focused on right now is we’re not playing the best soccer, (so) let’s just get the job done.”
The Americans’ loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF semifinals was their first since the opening game of the 2008 Beijing Olympics – where they went on to win the gold medal – and only their second since the 2007 World Cup.
British Prime Minister David Cameron joined criticism of a BBC investigation into FIFA because it could potentially harm England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. The BBC documentary is set to be broadcast three days before Thursday’s vote. German soccer federation president Theo Zwanziger will try to win a place on FIFA’s executive committee to replace Franz Beckenbauer. African soccer’s ruling body will investigate claims that Equatorial Guinea fielded a man on the team that played in the final of the recent women’s continental championship.