It's all that testesterone, Brandi!
Scientific studies have shown that competitive sports increase testesterone levels in men. This is an undisputed fact since the day organized sport began in Mt Olympus in the ancient Olympics in 776 BC.
Success as seen in the FIFA World Cup was all about having a strong squad and good coaching but it also is due to that the X factor, team spirit and machismo. We all know that men produce testesterone in large quantities during a sporting event. It provides us with that surge that we need to win. Floyd Landis, the TdF winner was stripped off his title because he had 11 times the amount of testesterone in his sample as compared to the Tour's allowable limit of 4. The synthetic testesterone he used allowed him to roar back from a dismal 11th place to 3rd place in Stage 17. But this is all a male thing having too much testesterone?
No. Recent studies have shown that female soccer players also secrete excessive testesterone before a competitive soccer game. Saliva samples collected from players in the Portugese Womens League showed that testesterone levels increased before a match day as compared to a non-match day. Levels remained increased in the samples of the winning team much after the match was over and returned to baseline in the losers. Increase in testesterone was also associated with positive changes in mood that came with winning. Having home field advantage is all chemical and not a factor of the tiredness or stresses of being the travelling team. Having home field advantage increases the 'defend your territory at all costs' feeling that is correlated with increases in testesterone.
So watch out for those intensely competitive women soccer games in the Womens World Cup in China 2007. Qualifying matches have already begun. In the Asian Zone, China as the host have already qualified along with North Korea and Australia. The defending champs are Germany.
Now I understand Brandi Chastain's display when the US women won in 1999.