By JOHN BOSCHINI
Second-half goals from Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler gave the United States a 2-0 win over North Korea in both teams' opening match in the 2011 Women's World Cup.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up with five saves in a nervy opening half for the USA that ended scoreless. The breakthrough came in the 54th minute when Cheney, who was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup, directed an Abby Wambach cross past Hong Myong Hui.
Buehler's insurance goal came in the 76th minute with a low shot past Hui following a scrum in front of goal. It was Buehler's second international goal and first in the World Cup.
This is the third victory in four meetings for the USA over North Korea in World Cup play.
What did you think of today's match? Share your thoughts below.
I didnt see many crowd shots, but did they have the paid Chinese actors to stand as North Korea fans, similar to what they did in SA2010?
You make some very good points. The overall style of the team has skewed more towards physical imposement (is that a word?) of our will than to a free flowing beautiful game…but I think that this also reflects more on the ascension of the world than just a decline of our current players. The world is getting better, and as such, we are not able to play the same game we used to. I don’t think that one of our former incarnations would necessarily look a lot better than our current team. Much the same way that I could totally school a group of 12 year olds, but can not play the same against people my own age…the world has grown up! But, I do concede that the US does need to play with a greater show of confidence and composure on the ball. There was a time that the world looked at the US as a team to try to only lose to by 2 or 3, and now they look at it as a team ripe for upset.
But I don’t think we are at a point where a new coach would really make a huge difference. Case in point was the decision to play Cheney over Rapinoe. Rapinoe is pure athleticism and speed, and Cheney is a more composed and methodical player.
In closing, Go USA! After watching Germany struggle the way they did with Canada, they are certainly not infallible, and our girls have as good a chance as anyone to add another star to their shirt!
Dennis, i appreciate the response..and i don’t think it’s silly. Her record, does indeed suggest that she’s a good coach. But our (mine anyway) expectations are higher. As in play well, with some flair and composure instead of constantly and needlessly hoofing the ball and giving up possession. Maybe this how Brazilians feel about their mens team. That not only do they expect them to win, they expect them to win while looking composed and being somewhat dominant. And they realize that you can get away with crap while playing against NK, and Columbia..but if they play like that against any of the top 4, they’ll be in big trouble.
I’ve made these conclusions after watching the US play over the last year so…not just one game.
And, finally, i disagree that we are making improvments in our game. I see digression and what is keeping us alive is athletisism and determination….not skill and composure.
Not trying to start any silly arguements, but the facts don’t back your statement. Pia is 66-4-5 since taking over the USWNT. I can’t think of any sport where an 88% winning percentage is considered insufficient for job security. Sometimes the players just need to try a little harder. The fact is that the rest of the world has been making great strides, and we have been making only small incremental improvements. Not to mention that our women are now playing in various professional and collegiate leagues vs. having a primary focus of the USWNT like the golden years of the USWNT.
Congrats on the win, but i expect more from our ladies. That team is tough to watch. If they continue to freely give away the ball needlessly, a remotely better team will make them pay for their carelessness. Chastain and DiCicco (sp)were spot on in their critique. Waayyyyy too impatient.
And here’s the kicker. Though i think there’s a been a drop in talent on the US team and rise in talent from the other teams, it appears to me that the team is playing the way the Pia wants them to play. In other words, i think much of thier crap play is coaching.
Bring back Tony DiCicco.
I totally agree. Heading from honolulu to germany in a week to catch a game.
That’s my point. Readers are dying to hear about it, but SBI does not give its readers exactly what they want. For better or worse, they make some editorial decisions about what’s worth writing about.
Hey thanks! Wish I followed more.
Also, thank GOD the WNT doesn’t have its own Bornstein. One is aggravating enough.
It’s one of those “square peg, round hole” situations.
LePeilbet, the current starting LB, is a very good Center Back (WPS defender of the year) but had never really played on the outside until Pia put her there recently. She has good awareness in the middle and has decent distribution, but doesn’t have the speed for the outside and isn’t the type of player that gets forward.
Steph Cox (Lopez) was the regular LB – she’s a lefty, does alright going forward, and has many years of experience playing LB at the highest level. She isn’t spectacular but gets the job done and is certainly not the Bornstein of the WNT. I really think she should be starting, but Pia is a very stubborn coach.
great comment. I am also familiar with Shek and his site.
It’s really too bad about the state of the women’s game. Just look at some of the comments here – it’s nice that they support the team every 4 years during the Cup, but if we don’t support the team the years in between, there won’t be a team to cheer for at the WWC in the future.
And just look at the people hired by USSoccer to “develop” the women’s program – Ellis and Heinrichs. These hires make it clear that the women’s program is at most an afterthought.
I’m just glad that the Germans have done an excellent job with the tournament and it looks to be the best WWC yet.
Actually, there’s usually 1 posting from a reader that explicity calls for or at least “wonders” why US Soccer isn’t considering doing so (i.e., firing BB). Seriously – review the posts on the Gooch to Sporting in Portugal thread and you’ll see one. So, while Ives doesn’t devote a column or thread to firing/keeping BB, he doesn’t need to. Depending on your POV, there has been a healthy or disportionate amount of posts on this topic.
Actually, there’s usually (at least) one posting a day from a reader that explicity or suggests doing so. Seriously – check out the thread on Gooch signing with Sporting in Portugal. On this topic, there has been a healthy or disproportionate (depending on your view) amount of reader discussion in numerous threads.
I also follow men’s and women’s soccer and root for both the USMNT and USWNT. I know Ives has said that he isn’t into women’s soccer and that’s fine. The All White Kit site is just okay, but if you want to see what’s really happening with the demise of the US women, check out Shek Borkowski’s blog and this interview. The women’s team is failing because SUM Marketing and US Soccer don’t want to invest in women’s soccer. Now that is sad for a women’s soccer fan, especially in a country so rich in talent and money.
Wait, that’s why there were 70,000 people at the Germany vs. Canada match? That’s why ESPN 3 went down due to over demand? Nobody cares though – ha ha.
I think that most people don’t care about the USMNT. Did you see the Rose Bowl the other night? It was a sea of green and red. Where were the USA fans? If I remember correctly in 1999, the Rose Bowl was a sea of red, white and blue when the women played. Quite a contrast.
And most Latinos in the US root against the US. I was sitting with two guys the other night who are US citizens with Latino roots who were cheering for Mexico.
I’m too ignorant to know anything about our left back situation, but things did not look so good out there today, especially early on. Any diehards out there have any insight? Was that an off game or will there be trouble going forward?
Traffic issue for USA match …?
Felt good to watch these ladies win. They played with heart and determination, especially in that 2nd half. I hope the men took notes.
[I take back my first line…looks like nothing was deleted this time]
Few people really care about men’s soccer in the US, either, and yet SBI reports on all levels of men’s soccer in the US. Literally, all levels, all the time. I can guarantee you that the ratings for the US games in the WWC will outpace MLS game of the week. It’s not whining to point out an inconsistency in SBI’s coverage (or at least a willing neglect to report on something it should care about). If it truly cares about American soccer more than it cares about page views, it would try a little harder.
Already deleting posts, SBI? Classy.
I am a bigger women’s football fanatic than men’s, but I still read this site every day and appreciate the hard work that goes into it. I also follow MNT and Men’s club play.
However, I does disappoint me that they are more likely to cover D2 men’s action than women’s action. While I hope someday SBI gives women’s soccer the support/coverage it deserves, I’m not holding my breath.
Go to All White Kit or Equalizer Soccer – don’t bother with this site if you want REAL Women’s coverage.
What is nerve wracking is what could happen when world class lady strikers the likes of Prinz or Marta get in front of our backline… those lady defenders looked lost imho, v the NoKo’s
It worked just fine for Sunday and Monday’s games.
I was irked that ESPN dredged up that old Hope Solo issue from 4yrs ago with Brianna Scurry and Coach DeCicco’s commentary. Why hit piece Ms Solo, 4 yrs after she’s made thing good with her coaches and teammates and has been fully accepted in every respect. It was just plain crappy negative so called journalism during the pre-game segment. Most especially since Solo had no one to represent her side of things as DeCicco and “poor me” Scurry each got to mouth off!
Re: the WNT.. I found it discouraging, the massive lack of connection between our backline and the midfield! The centers played extremely tentative, especilally in the 1st half. Our left side defense was continuously beaten and we were definitely shakey out there.
Whether or not you “call BS,” few people really care about women’s soccer, so much less attention will be paid to it. Stop whining.
Word up, Sistah !
The women will make us proud!
Some stats from the game
interesting that the women’s total rating against N Korea was much higher than any of the men’s ratings from the Gold Cup…
Well, to play devil’s advocate, it’s relief for me. It seems like most of the video re USMNT are coming directly from ussoccer.com and if I want to watch Bob Bradley yammer on for 3 minutes without saying anything of substance, I can go directly to their site.
And I could live without the rumor mill antics.
If SBI were entirely reader-driven in its editorial decisions, there would be a daily post on firing Bob Bradley.
I hear your points but SBI is probably reacting to the demand from its users. Just watch the number of comments a regular MLS game post gets compared to the USWNT and you get a feel for the engagement level.
Sure, extra supply of coverage will drive some additional demand but it still will not compare favorably.
All fair points. Also for a business like SBI, there’s the key factor of what it’s readers (aka customers) demand and I don’t think women’s soccer is high on the list of our preferences for coverage. Yes, I’m making a generalization (and no, I don’t mean anything disparaging to the women’s game), but think it’s a fair obsveration.
Pathetic may be too strong. Disappointing, underwhelming, inconsistent with SBI’s overarching purpose probably more accurate
Chill out. 1) The game just ended and there’s already a post…something that doesn’t always happen for every game mentioned on this site. 2) The WWC just started so maybe wait and see how things shake out coverage-wise over the course of the tournament. 3) SBI’s small army of writers actually is quite small and only provides in-depth coverage for a limited number of US markets. Just because SBI is one of the premier soccer sites in the US doesn’t mean they have unlimited resources, time, and writers to cover all aspects of US soccer. And the fact that the women’s game has always recieved considerably more press from the major US media outlets probably plays into how SBI partitions its limited resources.
The lack of coverage SBI has given (so far) to the WWC, and to the USWNT, is pathetic. They go absolutely fanboy over the US Men’s team for literally 3 weeks linking to every us soccer video, cover the hell out of the semi-professional and collegiate leagues in the US, and post an article today that was blatantly planted by the Louisville dude’s agent, dad, or brother. And for the WWC, which has reached heights that the men’s team will never reach while any of us are still alive (I’d like to be wrong on this point, FWIW) they give a “your running commentary” and a three-paragraph post that a 3rd grader could have written. And I call BS to the people who say “nobody cares about women’s soccer, it’s a slower game, harder to watch, etc.”
The fact is that an American soccer website that touts itself as featuring all aspects of American soccer has provided woefully inadequate coverage of the only successful american soccer entity out there–whether it’s leagues, national teams, youth teams, development academies, or even individual players. This has been going on for years, and SBI persists, even after Ives has a small army of writers on staff. Poor form, SBI. Poor form.
Kudos for the result. The through balls from distance to set up the flank player whose cross either led to the header (1st one) or scramble that ultimately led the score (2nd one) were quality. However, from the stretches of play I saw (and I did not see the full 90), touches were heavy, defenders punted the ball away rather than composed passing and we lacked creative play through midfield. So, no “beautiful soccer” in game 1. Hopefully, we’ll start to see judiciously timed route 1 ball with more creativity to dictate play.
Keep it up ladies!
Too bad the men don’t play like the women. USAWNT rocks!
Someone is getting fired from the IT department at ESPN today. All that hype and pub about the World Cup and when do they choose to update their website? Yea, Noon… perfect.
Yeah, great coverage. I especially loved this part:
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Cheney impressed, Boxx (sadly) did not at all. I hope she can improve on the giveaways and mishaps next game. We looked okay overall, which is a perfectly fine way to start. Nothing to be smug about but still a good result to build on. Probably the best sign is that we got two and neither came from Wambach, who looked fine but can’t be the only option.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely loved the coverage on ESPN3. Perfect way to kick off the World Cup.