photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The U.S. women's national team continued its preparations for the World Cup with a match against Japan on Wednesday, and once again the Americans pulled out a 2-0 victory.
Four days after defeating Japan by the same scoreline, the United States was victorious through goals from Heather O'Reilly and Amy Rodriguez. O'Reilly shone in the match, assisting on Rodriguez's tally before scoring one herself in the second half.
O'Reilly's performance is sure to give her and the team confidence as they head into their World Cup Send-off Match against Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena.
The United States faces Korea DPR, Colombia and Sweden in the first round of the World Cup.
Here are highlights from the U.S. women's 2-0 win versus Japan:
What do you think of the U.S. Women's 2-0 win?
Share your thoughts below.
Well, data are open to interpretation. And, yes there is more than one player on the pitch. But we’ll also have to disagree on data being “circumstantial” too! 🙂
But, yes, she’s been trying to cover players as the defense was outta sorts under her leadership. That’s her part of the problem as captain and defensive leader.
Additionally, the defense has been shakey, subject to repeated blind clearances (esp. by her foot) which left them subject to continued pressure from other teams, and was not cohesive with the midfield given positioning.
All this player much weaker teams than the team played while she was out. And, while she was out, the defense unit delivered better results.
I don’t put much stock in that kind of circumstantial evidence, myself. I imagine one could come up with a number of strange conclusions about players that way. I’ve just been watching the play and seen her covering her ground and covering for others’ lapses, as well. Or trying to, at least, during this recent slump.
RB, I’ll argue my point two ways.
First by opinion. We disagree here. I think her play is not as settled as they younger players (AL and RB, even BS in last 2 matches). Less passing more blind clearing.
Second, by data via US Soccer website. Since fall 2009, when Rampone went on leave, the US Women’s team has played 29 games.
– 11 Rampone was NOT involved. These included 3 against Germany and another 2 w Sweden, and 2 Japan. Meaning this was a very tough group of games with 7 of 11 games being against top 4 FIFA competition (at the date of game play). US won 10, tied 1 and, obv, lost none. 23 GF, 4 GA… 0.36 GAA against some of the best in the world.
– Rampone played either full games or subbed in/out of 18 games. The US won 14, tied 1, and lost 3. 48GF and 12GA… 0.67 GAA, doubled w/o her (0.36 above).
However, this can be driven home further by excluding the 5 games she either subbed in/out and the 3 early round concacaf games against very weak competition:
– 13 games: 9W, 1T, 3L, 23GF, 12GA, nearly 1GAA. only 2 of these 13 include Swe/Jap and none against Ger… yet the GAA jumps dramatically (granted, it’s still a GAA most teams in the world would love).
I think the US really needs to move forward.
I wonder how much of her cutting ties w sky blue was mutual? I thought, like Lloyd, she was dropped. …not being snarky, I really don’t know and I’m curious.
Well that’s my reaction to talk of Rampone being a problem. She’s been one of the few consistent bright spots during this period of trouble…
I’m expecting a huge tournament from Morgan, but geez that was a horrible miss! She should be eager to redeem herself, though.
I’ve watched this team for 15+ years now. Last May they were at their absolute best – possibly ever – beating Germany 4-0 on U.S. soil. That was after beating them in Portugal (Algarve final) and in a much pub’d game in Germany, both in the previous six months of the game in the U.S.
What sticks out since then is the blind return of veterans who had been out – injury/child birth – during that time (Llyod/Rampone top the list). I don’t think it’s a coincidence the team holds two straight clean sheets in a row with Rampone on the sidelines. And, while Llyod definitely brings something different to the field than any other American player, her weaknesses are a great liability.
You can’t really shakeup a roster right before the WC, but hard decisions should’ve been made previously. However, Pia S is the right person for the job, regardless of what happens this summer. The dynamic still-in-development style of play by this team has improved so much. They had become an absolute bore to watch under Greg Ryan. And the thought of going backwards to the style of Heinrichs is not a positive either.
Also… I have to say to posters here, and with all due respect to Kai, the talk of her over Wambach is simply nuts.
Right? It’s kind of getting awkward to watch with the tourney barely over a month away. They get pulled apart through the middle of the field, but there doesn’t seem to be any sort of audition for any fresh blood in there. Just Boxx and Lloyd. You are right that what they lack severely is players of Kai’s makeup, super athletic with energy to burn and the ability to break things open based just on their athleticism. Why is Morgan not even stating games during the build up, just to see the effect? Why didn’t Cheney get some serious burn last night?
I’m really liking Alex Morgan and A-Rod. I would like to see them get some minutes together. But I understand that Pia probably wants Wambach in their and have a speedy forward like Morgan or Rodriguez to play off of. Morgan seems to be very active every time she steps on the pitch. She is also hot, which has no baring on the game, but makes me happy.
I hope they’re back. Certainly good to see them control and win 2 consecutive matches against a quality team. They should control and win a third before the tournament, with Mexico coming up.
I would have rather sent the u.s womens national team to the world cup in South Africa
Agreed 100%. I’ve said this before, but I think Kai would fit in perfect w/ this team as a super sub w/ the ability to stretch defenses…and she certainly could add an aerial presence. They will miss her physicality and fight, imo. Pia’s selection is one partially based on her favorites and not necessarily what the team needs. There are others that she left off the squad…Kai simply sticks out like a sore thumb.
Wambach just doesn’t fit. Killed the build up on multiple occasions. Speed/creativity of Rodriguez and O’Reilly make her stick out that much more. The negatives far outweigh the positives (aerial presence)for me. If Pia stick with the hammer/nail approach up top, go with Cheney.
Overall I thought they looked a lot better last night top to bottom. Better in the final 1/3rd.