Podcast: Bassett's own goal, USWNT-Japan World Cup final; MLS Year 1
The 2015 Women's World Cup is down to two, and it's the same two who reached the final in 2011.
The U.S. women will play Japan for the World Cup title once again, and both are entering under different circumstances. The U.S. played its best game in Canada in the semifinals, beating Germany 2-0 and heading to Vancouver with the utmost confidence.
Japan, meanwhile, went through on a devastating own goal by England's Laura Bassett, who inadvertently hit a ball into her own net with seconds remaining in stoppage time when it appeared that extra time was a certainty. To kick off the newest Planet Fútbol podcast, we pour our hearts out for the England defender, tip our hats to England manager Mark Sampson for his handling of the brutal World Cup exit and then turn our attention to Sunday's final.
Who should get the start for the USA? How vital has Morgan Brian's emergence been for the USA? Is this finally the year that the Americans return to the pinnacle of the sport? Or will Japan, surely an underdog again despite being the reigning champion, provide another heartbreak for Abby Wambach & Co.?
We close by highlighting some of the best stories and interviews during the creation our MLS Year 1 oral history, which can be found in the most recent edition of Sports Illustrated magazine (a longer, unabridged version will appear on SI.com, so stay tuned for that). Grant Wahl and Brian Straus share their favorite parts of the process and some of the nuggets they picked up along the way.
Listen to the new Planet Fútbol Podcast below (and subscribe to us on iTunes here!):