* Greeson: Soccer opportunity could be big for city
* Wiedmer: Stormy weather no match for U.S. women's soccer team
* Wednesday became an eventful day for Julie Foudy
* Victory tour means winning for U.S. World Cup champs
* Sold-out crowd set to watch World Cup champs' exhibition match tonight
* Wiedmer: World Cup champs know how to inspire their fans
* AstroTurf president in town to see Finley field, watch women's soccer
* Road closures planned for U.S. Women's match against Costa Rica
The United States women's national soccer team might play better after a weather delay than it does before.
After scoring two goals against Costa Rica in the 14 minutes prior to an 83-minute delay Wednesday night, the World Cup champions scored four goals in a 20-minute span after the stoppage. They went on to win 7-2 in front of 20,535 fans at Finley Stadium.
The match was the second exhibition on the team's "Victory Tour" after claiming its first World Cup championship since 1999. The U.S. women — who beat Costa Rica 8-0 on Sunday in Pittsburgh — won't play again until a match against Australia on Sept. 17 in Detroit, so they have plenty of time to rest.
Carli Lloyd had two goals in the match and nearly finished with a hat trick, but had a goal initially credited to her called an "own goal" when a Costa Rican defender tapped the ball into her own net. Lloyd was called offsides prior to another score.
Her first goal came on a rocket from 31 yards out, then she had a shot that was deflected by Costa Rican goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz but tapped in by Heather O'Reilly, who also finished with two goals.
They each added a goal after the delay, as did Abby Wambach as the lead grew to 6-0 33 minutes in. Costa Rica answered with a goal by Cristin Granados before halftime, and Karla Villalobos scored on a breakaway in the second half.
Alex Morgan, who recently had surgery, returned to score a goal in the 81st minute for the final margin.
"It's the game of soccer, and we like to play when it's a little bit rainy," Lloyd said.
"This is a celebration for us, but I've moved on from the World Cup — it's over and done with. My focus is on Olympic preparation. Our goal is to enjoy the first couple of games, but come September, October and December we're going to get after it a bit more and take it a bit more serious.
At the end of the day, we're preparing for qualifying. Everything is going to count; everything is going to matter."
ESPN broadcaster Julie Foudy, who is in the National Soccer Hall of Fame, was back in Chattanooga for the first time since 1997 to broadcast the national team's match against Costa Rica on ESPN2.
"I remember when we came here in 1997 loving it and saying that I wanted to get back here," Foudy said during the rain delay. "I just didn't think it would take 18 years."
She had done her homework, though, preparing to unleash the "Power C" to the ESPN2 crowd if and when the opportunity arose.
"There are a lot of stories you can fit in during the Victory Tour," she said. "There's not really a lot of soccer talked about during these broadcasts."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.