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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: World Cup, Tragedy in Italy, and the Pride Lose Again

The USWNT is in the World Cup final, Swiss National Player found dead, and the Pride can’t win.

Switzerland Women Training Session Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images

Happy Independence Day! I’ve included an inspirational video at the end of the article. There have been so many matches between the World Cup, Gold Cup, U.S. Open Cup, MLS, NWSL, and USL, that It feels like we haven’t had a chance to breathe. Also, I’m loving every minute of it. There’s almost always soccer to watch at any point in the year, but times like this are even better. Let’s see what got me going this week.

The Good

The USWNT is back in the final of the World Cup this Sunday at 11 a.m. This World Cup has been a very entertaining one for me, and hopefully you feel the same. Of course there’s been plenty to talk about with the U.S., from the 13-0 drubbing of Thailand, to the complaining by those in the media and on social media about goal celebrations, and the controversial VAR calls that have absolutely impacted matches. I can’t say I love all the VAR stuff, but there’s been some very good soccer played by many teams, including the U.S. matches against Spain, France, and England. It’s becoming increasingly clear that other teams around the world are closing the gap on the USWNT. My question is: what will U.S. Soccer do about that?

The Bad

In Monday’s Lion Links, I wrote about the Swiss national soccer team player Florijana Ismaili, who was missing after diving into a lake in Italy, and not resurfacing. Ismaili was visiting the lake with friends, when she dove off the boat they were on, and did not come back up. Authorities searched the surrounding area and divers searched the lake on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday Ismaili’s body was found at a depth of 670 feet. It is a horrible tragedy, and our condolences go out to her family, friends, and teammates.

The Ugly

The Orlando Pride lost again. They’ve only won a single match this season, and that’s about as ugly as it gets. I’m not even blaming Marc Skinner, as he hasn’t had the time or the personnel to truly get his system in place. Of course, there are those that will say the internationals have been away, so that’s a part of the problem. Well, all the other teams’ internationals have also been away. The giveaways against the Chicago Red Stars were atrocious, and unacceptable. The team is top heavy talent-wise, and this season has exposed that drop-off. I expect quite a few changes as soon as Skinner has the resources to unload some players, and bring in those who he thinks will be able grasp what he is wanting on the pitch.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for reading, and here is your inspirational video.