The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

U.S. women’s soccer team loses to Canada in semifinals, ending bid for Olympic gold

Jessie Fleming celebrates after giving Canada a lead late in Monday's semifinal. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

KASHIMA, Japan — International soccer’s career leading scorer, the woman who endured 20 years of disappointment against the United States but never let it destroy her belief, had a sneaking feeling about Monday night at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.

The Americans had looked out of sorts all tournament. They had just scraped by in a challenging group stage rather than blasting through it like usual. They required a shootout to advance past a quarterfinal with the Netherlands, and needed goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to play hero. And by Monday night, they had not righted themselves, still appearing so stagnant and disordered that not even a trio of supernova veterans subbing in with 30 minutes left could save them.

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