Thursday, July 12, 2007

Women’s World Cup Soccer

Our excuse for going to China is that the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament is—finally—going to be there this year. China was supposed to host in 2003, but at the last minute SARS caused the World Cup to be moved to the United States. Ironically, Pipi and I didn’t see any of those games because the nearest ones were in Los Angeles, and at the time that seemed like a long way to go for soccer.

There are still parts of China I haven’t seen (I never did get to Guilin, for example), but we’ve discovered that multi-city trips are pretty exhausting, so we’re trying to stay in and around Shanghai. There is a first-round game there featuring the United States, so we’re sure to see our women at least once.

We’re also going to Guangzhou for a semi-final match. It’s not a long trip—about three hours by train—so I don’t think it’s too much. We’ll spend a night there. Guangzhou is another city I’ve never been to, so I’m looking forward to it in any case. In addition, there is a strong possibility that this semi-final game will be a match between China and the United States. Those are my two favorite teams. I hate to see one go home early, but at least I will have seen them both play.

The final game is being played in Shanghai. It’s a double-header, with the first game being a consolation match determining who gets third place. This means we get to see the top four teams that day, so there should be lots of good soccer. (I’m predicting a USA/Norway final; China/Germany consolation. You heard it here first.)

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