The bumpy, windy road got the Americans right where they wanted to go all along.
Eight months after having to win a playoff just to get to Germany, the Americans play Japan in the Women's World Cup final on Sunday.
A win would be the ultimate finish to their improbable journey, giving the United States its first title since 1999, making the Americans the first three-time champions and delighting a nation of newfound fans.
Carli Lloyd says the match against inspired Japan will be tough.
But just like every other game the U.S. has played in the World Cup, Lloyd says she thinks the Americans will find a way to win.
This will be Japan's first appearance in the final at a major tournament.