Leogang sits at the base of the Leoganger Steinberge range, with majestic walls of rock rising out of enchanted forests, alpine lakes and idyllic meadows carpeted with wildflowers. It is a ski resort in the winter, a haven for hikers and mountain bikers in the summer, an escape no matter the season.
Leogang and neighbouring communities in the Glemmtal Valley have joined forces under the auspices of the Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang “Ski Circus” to create a ski area comprising around 200 kilometers of slopes, making it the biggest contiguous ski region in Austria.
(Photo credit: http://static.bergfex.at/images/downsized/099/a251eefef00c1099.jpg)
This is where the U.S. Women’s Soccer team spent in preparation for the 2011 Women’s World Cup in neighboring Germany. The players got off the bus at their quaint alpine inn in Leogang and were greeted with a rainbow.
But they left Leogang for the former East German industrial city of Dresden, site of their opening match against North Korea. The World Cup beckons. Reality beckons.
The American women last won a World Cup 12 years ago, prevailing in a penalty shootout against China on that historic afternoon at the sold out Rose Bowl. They were knocked out in the semifinals in 2003, also held in the United States. They went out in the semis in 2007 after Coach Greg Ryan infamously (and divisively) benched goalkeeper Hope Solo.
The US Women’s team has now booked its ticket to the World Cup Finals with its 3-1 victory over France today, after being lead by goals from Cheney, Wambach, and Morgan. They will face the winner of Japan versus Sweden in Frankfurt on Sunday in the Finals.
(Photo Credit of US Womens Soccer: http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/the91stminute/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/canadausfriendly533.jpg)