By T.J. Simers
I think tomorrow we’re going to get the results in the L.A. Times telling us how the U.S.A. soccer team did in the World Cup against Sweden.
The Times has done so much on our women on their way to winning a third consecutive World Cup.
They spent all that money to send Kevin Baxter to New Zealand and then on to Australia to document the U.S. women’s glorious run to another title.
Baxter set the modern-day record for writing the most words on one subject in a dying newspaper, hyping the sport of soccer and the U.S. women, and the Times wouldn’t do that unless it was pretty confident the U.S. women were all that.
From what I understand U.S. soccer played Sweden at 2.a.m. so it could be sure to make the 3 p.m. Times deadline to get it in Monday’s newspaper. The Dodgers are rumored to be thinking about changing the start of their games to 4 a.m. to beat the Times’ deadline.
The Angels know there is nothing they can do to get coverage of their games.
Now there really wasn’t any warning from Baxter that the U.S. women would beat Viet Nam by only three goals, and then tie the Netherlands before failing to score against Portugal. At this rate less-than-explosive rate they could finish the World Cup not having scored in their last 238 minutes.
But if this is a team of United States players they will probably score seven or eight goals against Sweden. That’s why we loved our women’s World Cup teams of old and why we didn’t take to Beckham. The Mia Hamms scored; Beckham could not.
Had Baxter told us in all those words he wrote that this was going to be a team that couldn’t score, I’m not sure we would have been all that keyed up. But knowing Alex Morgan was going to go crazy mother on everyone, as Baxter reported, and Rapinoe was just crazy, I think we’re all expecting fireworks here in the Round of 16.
When do the U.S. women play next?
Should we take bets on who will score first for the U.S.?
Isn’t it about time for a Morgan hat trick?
Now I had heard rumblings about a National Anthem controversy involving our women, but don’t remember seeing that in any of Baxter’s stories. I’d like to say I read them all, but if I missed it and there was a National Anthem controversy, I was expecting Plaschke to weigh in.
But I can’t say for sure Plaschke knows the World Cup is even being staged. He seems to only have an eye for the Lakers, Dodgers and some guy named Ohtani these days. I know the Times is counting the number of people to read the work of its writers each day, but I can’t believe Plaschke would just write to suck up to his editors.
You wait, when USC starts playing, he’ll expand his repertoire.
Back to soccer, and I apologize. Baxter told us in a July 10, 2023 story: “Why U.S. women’s soccer heads to World Cup with reinforced optimism.” And if Baxter was optimistic, how could I or any other Times’ reader be anything other than optimistic given everywhere he has traveled to write about soccer.
The Times laid off 74 employees a little while ago to pay for all of Baxter’s excursions, so I take what he writes as the gospel. The Peninsula Press did a profile on our man Baxter earlier this year and I wouldn’t rule out a guest spot on Kimmel if the women, as expected, win a third-straight title.
So now as we await the Times’ comprehensive coverage on the U.S. women’s soccer team in Monday morning’s newspaper, oh man, it’s so exciting, the anticipation. We’ll probably get a huge picture on the front sports page and then inside a breakdown on the women’s dynamic win over Sweden.
That will leave us with eight teams, and three more Baxter game stories on the World Cup. Only three? Well, I guess all good things have to come to an end.