The U.S. women’s soccer team is driven to erase heartbreaking 2011 defeat

At top, from left, U.S. soccer players Hope Solo, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg,…
From left, U.S. soccer players Abby Wambach, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, Meghan Klingenberg, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe enter Sunday's Women's World Cup final vs. Japan on a high note.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team has been working for four years for the chance to erase the heartbreaking memory of its loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup final.

Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (34)  in the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (34)  in the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Hot-and-cold Mariners bats go cold again in 2-0 loss to A’s

A day after exploding for four two-run homers in a 9-5 win over the Oakland A’s, the Seattle Mariners’ offense fell silent again as they lost to the A’s, 2-0.

United States’ Michelle Akers (10) battles China’s Yan Jin (8) for posession of the ball during the Women’s World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, July 10, 1999. (10) battles China’s Yan Jin (8) for posession of the ball during the Women’s World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, July 10, 1999. (AP Photo/Michael Caulfield)

Women’s World Cup final is latest ripple from America’s 1999 soccer splash

As the United States faces Japan on Sunday in Vancouver, B.C., in the Women’s World Cup final, the boom in U.S. women’s soccer can be traced back 16 years. But will the game’s slow, steady growth be enough to ensure the survival of women’s pro soccer in America?