The Americans had twice finished second in the world championship and took silver in three Olympic Games. But it took 62 years -- the first world championship was in 1952 -- for them to finally win a gold medal.
The U.S. women's basketball team will be favored in the world championship no matter whom it selects, but deciding which superb players to leave off the squad will be brutally difficult, writes Mechelle Voepel.
Two other leagues, the WUSA and Women's Professional Soccer, both came and went. But the NWSL has a smarter business plan, with the backing of the national federations from the United States, Canada and Mexico.