Am I teaching my kids bad habits by checking the World Cup scores during Father’s Day dinner? What if other people at the table actually brought up the topic and then we hopped on my phone? I mean seriously who has “dinner” at 1 p.m. on a Sunday?

We do, my family, always 1 p.m. and always on Sundays. It’s actually one of those constants in my life growing up which I knew I could count on, and looking back, I am glad I had that family structure. Every Sunday growing up, my aunts and uncles, their kids, and my family would all go to my grandparents for the afternoon dinner where my little Italian Grandmom would tell us all, “Mangia, mangia!”

All my cousins would run out to the cornfield to play football when we were done eating. Have you ever tried running around in a cornfield? Lemme just say that I am one of the least graceful people you will ever meet, and thus cornfield football caused many bruises. But I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.

Enough of my mid-stream rambles.

Let’s talk about the US game versus Chile

USA soccer logoThe United States beat Chile 3-0 yesterday afternoon. Coach Ellis put Carli Lloyd in to start the game, rather than wait until the end. This turned out to be a good move because Lloyd, from New Jersey, scored two of the three goals. She then became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches. Amazing! Not nearly the high scoring game we saw when the women played Thailand, but still a success. The win ensures the U.S. will progress into the round of 16. This also brings the US Women’s World Cup team to a goal differential of 16 points, which is pretty stellar.

Wait to celebrate

Although many viewers have been pretty harshly judging the team for over-celebrating. I suppose they are supposed to look more somber after scoring 13 goals against Thailand and breaking a world record… But let me offer a reminder why the goal differential is so important if you didn’t read the No Room for Mercy post over the weekend. Those attempting to predict the final teams in the tournament have said they think it will be the US and France.  Should this happen and the teams tie, their tiebreaker will be their goal differential. Since France allowed a goal for Norway in their 2-1 match, then France is already down a point in their differential, thus making it easier for the US to clinch the title.

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Player of the Match

The women did seem to lose some momentum in the second half of the game. Carli Lloyd was set up for an additional goal, but was stopped by Chile’s goalkeeper, Claudia Christiane Endler Mutinelli. Yes, that is her full proper name. Endler also stopped US players Lindsey Horan and Christen Press from completing goals in the second half. So my guess is this is not the last time we’ll be seeing Christiane Endler; she’s definitely one of Chile’s strongest players, and it’s no surprise she was named “player of the match.”

On the horizon

20171123 FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 Qualifying Round AUT-ISR 850 6577There are four matches happening today, June 17, two of which are playing right now as I type this: South Africa vs. Germany (Editor’s note: Germany won 4-0) and China vs. Spain (Editor’s note: this game finished in a 0-0 draw).

There will be two matches beginning at 3 p.m. ET and those are Nigeria vs. France and South Korea vs. Norway. I think both the latter matches will be pretty awesome to watch. France, as we know, is an amazing team, but Nigeria won’t go down without a fight. It’s definitely going to be an intense match (Editor’s note: sure enough, it was a tight battle that France won 1-0). Then personally, I do think Norway is due this win (Editor’s note: they did, by a final score of 2-1). Their team has been struggling a bit over the last several years and have dealt with a lot of negative publicity from their star player who quit in 2017, Ada Hegerberg. She quit because of the disparities between women and men soccer leagues. That has definitely been an ongoing underlying tension throughout these 11 days since the World Cup started on June 7.

The United States will be playing again on Thursday, June 20. They will be up against Sweden. Both Sweden and the U.S. are already assured of a spot in the knockout round.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup runs until July 7.

Oh, and always remember, “mangiare per vivere e non vivere per mangiare!” Eat to live and live to eat! That is my kind of motto!