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USA Women’s Soccer Team Heartbreak, What’s Next?

Japan v USA: FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Final (Photo by Thorsten Wagner/Getty Images)
Japan v USA: FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Final (Photo by Thorsten Wagner/Getty Images)

We are proud of you Women’s Soccer Team!!

The heartbreak of losing Sunday’s World Cup final will take some time to heal, but in the aftermath of the United States’ extraordinary and ultimately unfulfilled summer journey, there were immediate positives.

As it headed home following Japan’s incredible and thrilling victory on penalty kicks, the U.S. shed some tears, pondered what might have been and shared a common message that regularly featured the word “London.”

That city is where the Americans will seek some form of redemption for a World Cup that looked to be theirs when the Olympic women’s soccer tournament begins in a little over 12 months time. And early indications are that largely the same group of players will be in England to seek the only thing that could make Sunday’s loss more palatable: a gold medal.

So often the immediate period after a major tournament is marked by a spate of international retirements. Yet there were none from the American camp and none are expected.

Veterans Christie Rampone, Shannon Boxx and Heather Mitts all figure to stick around for a shot at retaining their Olympic title despite being well into their 30s. Also returning will be 31-year-old Abby Wambach, who might never achieve her dream of winning a World Cup but is desperate to add an Olympic medal to the one she clinched in 2004.

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