U.S. heads to Women's WC with focus, awareness

When Mexico defeated the U.S. women's soccer team on Nov. 5, it turned the women's soccer world upside down. But since that loss, the U.S. has rebounded by defeating Italy in a home-and-away playoff series, and in doing so, claiming the last berth in the Women's World Cup. What the Americans also received was more attention on emerging stars, more focus on the need to improve in the next six months and more awareness that the developmental system for soccer needs help.

Updated: January 25, 2011, 11:31 AM ET
By Julie Foudy

THANK YOU MEXICO ... Thanks for lighting a fire when a fire was needed.

Thanks for stirring the pot. Thanks for reminding us all it isn't always easy.

Thanks for bringing attention to a sport and team that deserved attention.

Gosh, I wish we all had our own source of oxygen to stoke the low burning log once in a while. Mexico played the part of fiery dragon quite well. The Mexican women's soccer team, a big underdog, beat the USA in the semifinals of the CONCACAF ...

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