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United States Faces Japan This Afternoon In Women's World Cup Final

After the horrible earthquake and tsunami that derailed their country in March, Japan's tourney run this year has filled their nation with hope and a sense of loyalty.

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It sounds like quite the obstacle for the U.S. team to overcome in today's final, but they're certainly not strangers to adversity. Although their magical run has captivated the country and made believers out of non-soccer fans, this women's team cannot escape the comparisons to the '99 World Cup championship team. When the United States beat China that year in penalty kicks, most Americans thought that moment of national pride couldn't be surpassed.

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That's why this year's team is trying to rewrite history with a victory today and define their own legacy. Laura Cheney feels the same way:

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"It's cool that we're writing our own story. It's not the Mia Hamms, Brandi Chastains and Julie Foudys, but it's Abby, Shannon Boxx. Maybe people have doubted us, but we have pure heart and determination."

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After their thrilling last-second victory over Brazil last weekend, I think it could be their destiny. I'm a believer.

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You can follow today's game (1PM CT) on twitter @SBNationLIVE for live updates throughout the game. There will also be a live game stream up at sbnation.com/soccer.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.