Today in Vancouver, the U.S.Women’s National Soccer Team will face off against Nadeshiko Japan–the same lineup the world witnessed in the 2011 World Cup Finals, when Japan held the U.S. to a 2-2 draw and extra time, before winning in a penalty shoot-out.

This year, having defeated Germany 2-0 in the semifinal, the USA is favored to come out on top. This match is more than just redemption, though; it’s more even than a final opportunity for this generation of American soccer stars to claim the World Cup trophy, which has eluded the team for 16 years. This is an opportunity to seize the attention of the nation, which is only just growing into an interest in the beautiful game, and often directs that new enthusiasm at the men’s national team….even though the women’s team is (dare we say it?) better.

“Every four years the media shows up and realizes we are the best in the world at women’s soccer,” notes Arnim Whisler, an owner in the National Women’s Soccer League. Then the sexist sports media promptly forgets.

This game, though–this trophy–might be U.S. women’s soccer’s media moment, a breakthrough that could create massive change for generations of soccer-playing girls and young women.

“After this game — and hopefully we end up on top — it will…grow the game of soccer,” says defender Christine Rampone. “I hope it’s not compared to 1999 anymore. I hope it’s leading on to the next team that wins the World Cup.”

The match today starts at 7 PM Eastern, 4 PM Pacific. You can watch online with us at FOX’s Soccer 2 Go site.

 

via the Los Angeles Times