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USWNT vs. France: Your Running Commentary

U.S. Soccer Federation    FranceLogo

The U.S. women's national team is a game away from reaching the final of the Women's World Cup for the first time since winning it all in 1999.

After their breathtaking, come-from-behind victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals, the U.S. women face France in a semifinal match in Moenchengladbach, Germany (12 p.m., ESPN/ESPN3.com/Galavision). The French team has been a revelation in this tournament, defeating Canada and Nigeria in group play before falling to host Germany to finish second in Group A. France defeated England in penalty kicks to reach the semifinal.

U.S. coach Pia Sundhage has made one change to her starting XI, replacing suspended centerback Rachel Buehler with Becky Sauerbrunn, who becomes the first player ever to make her World Cup debut this late in the tournament.

If you will be watching the match, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

180 comments
  • Commando Lando

    3-1…effectiveness is the ultimate measure of effectiveness. Pia’s formula works. For every year Barca wins Euro, there are two seasons where a more direct team wins it.

    Like

  • RB

    So glad they didn’t get snake-bit by the situation and the emotions, as seems to have played a role in the men’s exit v Ghana. Should be a tough final but fun to watch, no matter whether it’s Sweden or Japan.

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  • beachbum

    Pia gets a lot of credit from me for the Rapino substitution and tactical change she allowed with her ability to expose France’s vulnerable flank thru the midfield

    excellent stuff on the fly. just love it!!!

    GO USA!!!!

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  • us fan

    PIa Sundhage knows her stuff. I give the France coach props for going for the win. And Sauerbrunn should replace Buehler forever!

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  • francois

    I wouldn’t say not fitter, we’re definitely fitter than almost any other team out there on the Mens side. That’s known to everyone worldwide, every opposing manager says it everytime we play them.

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  • marco

    Great game. Congrats to France for playing great football. They are a little weak in the back which cost them the game. USA looked a bit tired physically and mentally, but had enough to prevail. They also had the character to not go into diving and play-acting with the lead (see Brazil).

    Like

  • beachbum

    France attacked the center mids defensively by commiting numbers to the ball from the weak side. Cheaney was able to help break that when she slid inside after the Rapino sub, and open up the other side of the field

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  • francois

    Well now on to thinking about the final, I would love to play Sweden again. I think our backline has vastly improved since our loss to them in the group stage. I think Japan would be a more difficult final in my eyes due to their possession style of play.

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  • Sergio Hernandez

    I was really impressed with France. I like that they came out to play and really took it to the US. Great attacking soccer. Their only weakness I would say is in the back. That is what ultimately cost them. The US looked tired in that second half, which is understandable after that Brazil game and France had that extra day of rest. Pia’s subs were spot on. Rapinoe was great when she came in. And of course Alex Morgan, sealing the win.

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  • Brett

    It is strange that this felt like a comeback win despite never trailing. France looked a cut above, but it was a tale of defenses and ours was better.

    Morgan could have had a hat trick too, but the one that went in was a beaut. We should be heavy favorites to take the cup now.

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  • Predicto

    Yup, Cheney in the middle, Rapinoe for Lloyd, Morgan for Rodriguez – these changes made all the difference. Lloyd didn’t look good as a playmaker – really slow to react. Cheney is slow too, but seems more comfortable in traffic. Rapinoe is slow but creative. I wonder if these changes will carry over to the final.

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  • Joamiq

    No, it’s purely rhetoric at this point. The MNT has shown an inability to go a full 90 numerous times over the past year. They often seem to have nothing in the tank in the last 10 minutes. Many of the top dozen or so CONCACAF sides are much fitter than us.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Yeah, it felt like we were losing for much of the game, didn’t it?

    Wouldn’t say we’re heavy favorites though. Sweden already beat us, and looked like clearly the better team. And Japan has been playing really well all tournament long. It’s going to be a very difficult final regardless of the opponent.

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  • Brett

    Seeing these changes in action makes me wonder if we will approach the next match as 2 matches. One 60 minute match and then another 30 minute match. If we win the first one, great, and then we play a defensive style to finish it. If we don’t, or find ourselves in a draw, we go the other way and go more attacking.

    Either way I don’t expect our strongest 11 to start the match.

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  • Joamiq

    Lloyd wasn’t great today, but I’m stunned that everyone apparently missed the fact that she had a half dozen very skilled, clever touches that opened things up for the attack – including the back heel that led to the first goal.

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  • Brett

    True, but there is little doubt this team is not the same team that played against Sweden. They have much more going for them.

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  • Brett

    …also, the attitude of a team in the final group stage match and their attitude in a cup final couldn’t be more different.

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  • Joamiq

    They’re playing better, especially the backline, but Sweden didn’t win that game because the US played poorly. Sweden looked much more skilled.

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  • Predicto

    Lloyd seems like a tale of two player – yes she had a bunch of neat touches to get around her defender, and she has a big shot. But she was too slow to the 50/50 balls in the mid – and we lost the mid battle. I think we need a quicker and more creative passer in there.

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  • us fan

    Lloyd’s biggest weakness is lack of tactical awareness. If Boxx makes a run, she needs to stay home, yet she wanders all over the field. Also, her shot selection is not very good — why take shots from all other the field with no angle? She doesn’t get many of them on frame either.

    She did have some nice touches and passes today, but at what price? She loses the ball in the middle third too much and that is extremely dangerous.

    Like

  • Predicto

    Something unusual I saw in this match was the USA trying to possess and control the ball in the midfield. I like it! But they seemed to use it to excess, and had some dangerous give-aways in the their third. Also, while the mids knocked it around, they couldn’t move forward and rarely seemed to connect with the strikers.

    Like

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