Alternate headline: “America’s love affair with soccer to continue for four more days.” Consider this post an amends for not blogging the truly epic quarterfinal match against Brazil, which went to penalty kicks after Team USA tied the match in the last few seconds of overtime despite having only 10 women on the pitch. It’s a “Miracle on Ice” for our times: Now, as then, the country’s down in the dumps economically thanks to a Carter-esque liberal in the White House. Now, as then, the public’s been electrified by a scrappy national team that never says die. Now, as then, a death struggle with the Scandinavians in the finals looms. And now, as then, all we had to do to get there was defeat a nation of pure evil in the semis. Mission almost accomplished, my friends.

Here’s the obligatory “women play a purer game than their male counterparts” piece, a refrain heard among WNBA fans since the moment the league was founded. Exit question: What happens if Japan beats Sweden in the other semifinal? (It’s tied, 1-1, as I write this.) We’re not actually going to break that country’s heart after the year they’ve had, are we?