The 2017 FIPFA World Cup in Kissimmee, FL was a world class competition with thrilling play, heart-rending controversy, and great sportsmanship!
10 countries qualified for the competition and the big target was on TEAM USA, who was going for an unprecedented 3rd consecutive championship.
Captained by 3 time USA team member, Michael Archer and 2 time USA team member, Jordan Dickey, the USA steamrolled through Pool A and finished 4-0, giving up only 1 goal. In Pool B France and England dominated the competition and France finished on top of Pool A by virtue of their 2-1 win over England.
In the semi-finals, France made quick work of Australia while the USA edged England (2-1). This game featured a big controversy over a disallowed England goal which would have tied the game late. The call held up and the finals matchup was USA v France (as it was in World Cup #1 in Tokyo in 2007 which the USA won on sudden death kicks-from-the-mark).
In the final, the USA came out strong and just missed scoring in the first minute. The French were on their heels throughout the opening 5 minutes but weathered the relentless USA attack and started putting pressure on the USA. That pressure created a French scoring opportunity about 1/2 way through the first half and the French capitalized to take a 1-0 lead. The USA came back on a penalty kick and a set play and went up 2-1, but France got to 2-2 on a brilliant counter-attack. The half ended 2-2.
In the 2nd half the play was end to end but France dominated possession and neutralized the USA’s potent passing game. A late score by the French put them up 3-2 but did not end the drama as the USA pressed the attack. However, the French were equal to the defensive challenge and scored another goal on a penalty to win the title 4-2.
After 3 years it seems very strange for the journey to be over. As I look back I am very grateful to have been a part of this team and thankful for all the generous love and support I/we received on the way. Don’t know where the 2021 World Cup will be but I’m ready to go!
United, Strong, Able, TEAM USA!!!