Life is funny sometimes how things come around again.
In a couple of days, I will be heading back to Wembley Stadium, site of the 2012 Olympic Final. My memories of 2012 London Olympics are special. They are memories of a fantastic team, a great coach in Pia Sundhage, an epic semi final at Old Trafford (a game in which I was able to contribute what I feel is one of my proudest plays in my career) and a team victory in Wembley Stadium.
We were very good in those Olympic Games, winning six games straight after a severely disappointing World Cup the year prior where we missed out on gold in the final minutes of the game, eventually losing to Japan on penalty kicks. One thing I remember about after that World Cup, was it felt as though Japan was meant to win it. It was a strange feeling. In 2012, we were meant to win it. We could feel it in our bones.
Although it was nearly six years ago now, I remember things pretty well from that Olympic journey. We did some team building before the tournament started and jumped around on broomsticks, pretending we were Harry Potter. We then had success in Glasgow, Newcastle, and Manchester, and then of course we headed to London to play at the world famous Wembley.
I remember it being loud. I remember it being packed. I vividly remember Hope Solo making unbelievable saves throughout the match to keep us in it, (Pearcie) Christie Rampone clearing one off the line, and Carli Lloyd with a superb header, and later an individual effort where she cut though the Japanese midfield and defense and struck one into the side netting.
There were 80,000 people at Wembley that day to see us win gold against Japan and finish what we started the year before. Although it took us some years later to win the World Cup, winning at Wembley certainly gave us a feeling of redemption.
Since I have been here in England the last year and a half, I have really wanted to get back to Wembley. It is a historic ground for football. I have watched a few games from the stands, seeing Arsenal men play earlier this year in the League Cup final, an NFL game in the fall, the England Men’s National Team in a friendly, and watched my former teammate Carli Lloyd and Manchester City win the Women’s FA Cup in 2017 after we disappointingly got knocked out in the quarterfinals.
But now it’s our turn to take the famous pitch once again. Although I will be in a different kit, with different teammates than in 2012, it’s still football. It’s the game I love in a stadium that is very special.
We’re going to Wembley.