Phoenix or Bust – USWNT Game

There are few things in life that I can honestly say make me giddy to an embarrassing extent; puppies yawning, sleeping or jumping on top of one another in a giant puppy pile and also anything to do with the US Women’s National Soccer team. My giddy level has been slowly rising as we near November 19th where I will be in Phoenix, AZ watching them play. I may or may not have tried auctioning off my kidney to fund myself getting to the game. I also may or may not have found a buyer who also offered to buy me a beer at the game. I have two kidneys, there is only one game coming up though. So I say, I may or may not have made a great call on that one. See, don’t worry mom, I’m making good decisions out here in LA.

I have only been lucky enough to see them play live twice before. The first time, I was around 13 years old and they were playing a game at the new Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY that me and my mom went to. I will never forget seeing Mia Hamm. She was injured at one point in the game and had to go off the field to be looked at. I was sitting right next to where she walked off.  I was literally about 2 feet away from her. So what did I do? I sat there, dumbfounded, staring at her, mouth wide open catching flies, my camera clenched in my hands. I was paralyzed by her North Carolina / USWNT powers shining down on me. My mom asked why I didn’t take a picture and that is when I snapped back to reality and realized my camera was sitting in my useless hands. Nice work, 13 year old Amy. The next time I got to see them I was 22 and my friend Dawn and I drove out to Rochester, NY for it. It was the game when Abby Wambach scored her 100th goal. The whole place erupted when she put that ball in the back of the net off of a Lauren Cheney assist. I did my best to not look like a drunken fool and instead ended up looking like a drunken 13 year old about to meet Justin Bieber. It was in fact one of my greatest giddy moments.

After the World Cup this summer I am still on a USWNT high. I have been playing / loving soccer since I was 4 years old. I have been performing / writing comedy since I discovered I say 97% of words dripping with sarcasm and feel ill when I do not. (Around 14 years old) So why has it taken me so long to combine the two? A lot of the current players on the team agree that this group is a special group of girls. Maybe it took this special group of players to make my ass wake up and start writing about them.

Here’s what I am looking forward to at the game:

Alex Morgan: Darting around the field creating mayhem for Sweden’s back line and lighting up the entire stadium with a monumental goal followed by lighting up the stadium with that big beautiful smile and the fist pump to end all fist pumps.

Heather O’Reilly: Taking on a Swedish defender with that HAO game face letting us all know that domination is about to occur and burn past them with ease, taking the ball to the end line and serving in a beautiful cross……

Abby Wambach: …….that Abby Wambach gets a head on and buries it in the back of the net. (Hopefully followed by an Amy Maestri original choreographed victory dance.)

Lauren Cheney: I will be bringing some special spy binoculars to find her no matter where she is on the pitch. As she circulates around as one of our most dangerous assets, I will find her. Sweden of course, won’t. Until she puts the ball in the back of the net that is.

Hope Solo: I am simply excited to see Hope Solo be BOSS as always and put a brick wall in front of her goal. Done and done.

Ali Krieger: I will be bringing my darkest sunglasses because I do not want to be blinded by her whitest of white teeth when she smiles into the crowd after a game where she undoubtedly will not allow anyone pass her as usual.

Christie Rampone: This woman is a legend. She’s some sort of never quitting, never giving up, soccer robot. Getting to see her play live again is reason enough to go.

Becky Sauerbrunn: I’m excited to see her play any day, any time because I know she is the future for our defensive sanity. When the sad day comes that the legend, Rampone retires; Sauerbrunn will be our powerful steady force protecting Hope Solo and our net at all costs.

Amy Rodriquez: I’ll be excited to watch her spastically speedy little legs running circles around Sweden. You know when a cartoon runs and their legs move too fast to see them clearly? Yeah, that’s A-Rod.

Megan Rapinoe: I NEED TO SEE THE HAIR IN PERSON. (And also some beautiful crosses)

Carli Lloyd: As someone who played central midfield their whole life, I need to see the best we’ve ever had in that position; plain and simple. I need to see her connecting plays, controlling the game, and creating opportunities like she does so damn well.

Shannon Boxx: Another legend of the pitch, making the trip worth it to see one of US Women’s Soccer’s all time finest. A central midfielder who helps makes us the best in the world.

Tobin Heath: Heath’s magical moves and dancing around the ball is just plain fun to watch. She’s our Magical Prancing Dancing Playmaker.

Heather Mitts: The girl has a permanent smile on her face, I love it. It makes it even more entertaining when you see her go in to take out an oncoming attacker and then pop up from a technically sound and perfectly aggressive tackle with her big smile still intact.

Kelley O’Hara: What a hardworking, speedy, crafty little leprechaun. I’m convinced she comes from a special breed of soccer specific leprechauns. And see the connection? Pot of gold…gold medal? Yeah, this little leprechaun wants gold and she is going to help us get it next summer.

I could go on and on but these are some of the highlights I am looking forward to. Seeing these players and the rest of the phenomenal crew will be wonderful. I also need to shout out Brittany Bock for her call up to camp in Phoenix. She is a hard working, smart, physically demanding, intensely good midfielder. In a piece I wrote about WNY Flash winning the WPS Championship I mention her heavily because of her stellar play that day. Just as Kelley O’Hara is my favorite little soccer leprechaun, Bock is my favorite Fighting Irish Ninja. (I have no idea if she is actually Irish, but she went to Notre Dame, so she basically is) Congratulations Ninja!

Ok, before I end up writing something about every female soccer player who ever existed I need to call it quits. I will be bringing copies of all my pieces I have written about these insanely talented athletes hoping I can get them in their hands. I want nothing more than for them to see these articles. And I mean, if they wanted to help with my idea to get me on Ellen DeGeneres as a correspondent for USWNT doing sketches and interviews…I wouldn’t HATE that either…

Either way…Phoenix, get ready; my giddy level will be at an all time high. I’m ready to watch USWNT dominate.

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Amy Maestri

Writer / actress / producer.

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