It just happened that we had (unintentionally) planned a trip to Vancouver during the Women's World Cup, and since the US had made it to the final, we were very excited to spend the day watching the game in the fan zone area set up by FIFA. About ten minutes before the game started, two girls working for one of the game's sponsors came up to us and asked us if we'd like to go to the game. Of course we said yes, thinking it was a joke, but it turned out we had won tickets to the US vs. Japan final! We were all decked out in our red, white, and blue (as the game was around the same time as the Fourth of July, we purchased a bunch of items before our trip to wear while watching the game), and we ran half a block over to the stadium, where we quickly went through security. We made our way to our seats, which were on the midfield line and about 20 rows back from the field, just as the national anthems had ended. I have NEVER experienced an atmosphere like that at a sporting event before. It was by far the loudest I've ever heard any stadium, and the roar of the crowd continued to grow as the US quickly racked up goals over Japan. My husband and I kept turning to each other and asking if this was real life, because it was such a surreal experience. We spent the afternoon cheering at the top of our lungs for Team USA, and getting to see them win their third World Cup was just an incredible experience that I will never forget.
And, as a bonus, as we were walking back after the game, we happened to walk past the players' hotel as they were returning, so we got to see all of Team USA walking into their hotel on the heels of their victory!