Soccer archaeologist Dave Brett Wasser recently gave a presentation on “Nerd Nite” at The North Door in Austin on the origins of the sport of soccer, previews the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, highlights of past Women’s World Cups, and the USWNT (US Women’s National Team).
I didn’t realize the Women’s World Cup only started in 1991 (the Men’s World Cup started in 1930), but then again I wasn’t aware there was a Women’s World Cup taking place at that time, and I was a big fan of the game.
Since the US team won the first Women’s World Cup (2-1 over Norway), they imagined they would be greeted at the airport by fans when they returned to the US from China, but only the bus driver was there for them. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who missed it back then.
The first Women’s World Cup I remember was in 1999 when Brandi Chastain scored the iconic penalty shot to win it for the US over China. The US won the Women’s World Cup again in 2015 over Japan.
An interesting and embarrassing thing I learned from Dave’s presentation was that the women’s matches were originally 80 minutes because FIFA didn’t believe women could run for 90 minutes. So it’s not so surprising that the first woman to attain any sort of power or authority in FIFA was in 2013.
Towards the end, Dave mentions Austin FC and the hope there will be an NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) team in Austin in the near future, too. That would be great to see.
Watch Dave’s presentation in between the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches this year – the trivia and old clips he shares are a lot of fun.
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveBrett88