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Rodriguez goal lifts USWNT to victory over Canada in send-off match


photo by John Todd/

The U.S. women's national team will be heading into the 2012 Olympics in winning fashion.

The United States defeated Canada, 2-1, in their send-off match at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday afternoon courtesy of an 85th-minute goal from Amy Rodriguez. The winner came on a rebound after Abby Wambach's back-heel shot was saved by Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

The Americans jumped out in front in the 15th minute of the game played before 16,805 fans due to an own goal from Carmelina Moscato. Canada pulled level when substitute Melissa Tancredi beat Hope Solo in the 57th minute, but the United States was able to secure the victory after Rodriguez's rebounded finish from close range.

It was not all good news for the United States, however. Alex Morgan suffered a leg injury in the match and had to be removed in the 50th minute.

The United States now will have nine days off before heading to the United Kingdom. The Americans open their Olympic campaign with a match against France on July 25 in Glasglow.

What do you think of the USWNT's 2-1 win over Canada? Who impressed you? Do you see this team winning gold in London?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. How does Pia Sundhage keep her job? This is an honest question, not an attempt to troll. It takes her ages to make even small changes to personnel and tactics, regardless of what actually happens in the match. It took Sundhage a long time to make Alex Morgan a starter even though Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez were out of form last year and Morgan was scoring every other match even limited minutes as a sub. Since becoming a starter, Morgan has scored 17 goals in 15 matches this year. What a surprise!

    The same goes for Megan Rapinoe. She always seems to have great performances off the bench and really sparks the offense when she comes in, but Sundhage kept her as a sub until recently. The only positive is that Sundhage finally changed things up, starting Rapinoe, Heather Cheney and Tobin Heath. I’m not saying this the best lineup, but it’s nice to say Sundhage change things up and give other players a chance from time to time (especially, more skilled, technical players). And what a surprise, this is the team that lit up Japan 4-1 and it only took 3 consecutive winless matches to get Sundhage to make the change.

    Honestly, there’s no excuse for her rigidity. She’s got so more tools at her disposal, a longer leash from her federation and fans, and more matches where she can experiment. Really, did Sundhage have to start the same-old same-old against Guatemala and the Dominican Republic? Did Sundhage have to wait until the final two friendlies before the Olympics to change things up? Isn’t anyone just a little bit curious to see whether Morgan and Sydney Leroux playing together could tear a defense to shreds with their blazing speed? Sorry Biff, Wambach still has a role to play for the USWNT, but she’s fading and she’s not going to suddenly get better. Once Morgan gets pulled from the match with an injury and Wambach whiffs on several golden chances, it almost certain that the US is going to crawl across the finish line against Canada 2-1 or (worse) 1-1.

  2. Troll, (n): In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

    Since you obviously don’t care about the USWNT, and are just posting to garner emotional responses, that makes you a troll. Not only do you specify that you don’t care about the topic, you then post multiple messages on said topic and proceed to get into internet-tough-guy-pissing contests because you are apparently bored.

    I don’t particularly care for women’s soccer either, but I was cheering with the rest of them at the World Cup. Actually, I clicked on this to see if anyone had anything to say about Solo’s incredible “save” that she proceeded to drop across the line.

  3. I made some comments earlier re’ Boxx; while she’s pretty solid as a holding mid with her defense and distributions, she struggles with teams with pace. We need to start identifying some players who have the composure to play in the center mid position; it’s one of the hardest positions on the filed–and one of the most critical. I for one am not worried about Rampone, at least not for the Olympics; she’s cool and collected back there, rarely makes a mistake–and she still has great wheels. I doubt Mitts will see the field in the Olympics; she just doesn’t have the necessary speed anymore to play at this level.

  4. Seems like we struggle finding a consistent presence at center mid. Boxx is occasionally good, usually solid on defense except when facing opponents with pace–and in this game she was solid with her distributions. She’s older, and will likely need to come out in second halves for fresh legs, especially in a tourney. Cheney definitely has the attacking skill, but often neglects her defending responsibilities–which can be overlooked on the wings at times, but that’s a real liability in the middle. Lloyd is maddeningly inconsistent, which is probably why she’s lost her starting spot. The rest of the line-up looks pretty solid–but Pia has to solve the center mid riddle.

  5. Kasloco,

    You are a misogynistic fool. Anyone with half a brain is incredulous at your angry diatribes about “ridiculous coverage of women’s sports”. 1 out of 500 blog entries are about women’s soccer and you are flipping out like you can’t find any coverage of Euro 2012 through all the endless articles about women’s soccer. What an idiot! 1 lone entry out of the last 500 and you have to read it and go crazy. There were 200 channels on my TV and only one carried women’s soccer and Saturday. Hardly overkill and really easy not to watch. Too much coverage? You’ve got to be kidding. Of course it is pretty obvious you are totally against women playing sports and even more opposed to anyone watching them do it…

  6. if you have no interest in the women’s game, why did you even bother clicking on this post? there will be no convincing you about women’s sports. it’s clear that any observation that you offer is seen through rose colored glasses.

    now that we all know how you feel, refrain from commenting on the posts of the women’s team. you can save yourself a lot of anxiety.

  7. i agree the team is quite old and there needs to be a youth movement asap.

    i also think the US needs to implement a new style. possession style. the women are still playing long ball with elements of possession. this style cannot be successful for much longer. one of the reasons why we are still successful is because we are incredibly better athletes than all the other countries.

    imagine what will happen once brazil gets one more player like marta (which i believe they have a couple in the wings already). imagine once france gets some mental fortitude and gets in better shape. japan already beat us with good possession and mental strength.

    i hope that pia leaves after the olympics too. if only to put new life in the program and give us an opportunity to change/update our style.

  8. Pia needs to start a massive youth movement after the Olympics. Boxx and Rampone need to retire…Mitts doesnt really play much anyway

    I personally don’t like Lloyd, Lepeilbret or Beulher as players and would not mind seeing them being replaced.

    Pia did finally stop calling Lilly and think that messsage needs to be given to Boxx and Rampone

    If she doesn’t start building for the next WC immediately, then I would have to question keeping her on.

  9. Women’s sports are different. Women cannot compete head-to-head with men, that’s why they play other women. That being the case, our women’s soccer is usually better than their women’s soccer team. They have over the years, played an attractive, entertaining game

    I would not watch WBA..ever, but will watch gymnastics, swimming sometimes and softball on occasion (prefer that to MLB)

    Back to soccer, they will draw a good audience at the Olympics and if they don’t make the final, will be a big disappointment. The men on the other hand will have to fight to get out of this region…..we’ve already blown out Olympic shot

  10. I think you are a troll

    The Women’s National Team is followed because they are always in the top 2 or 3 ranked teams in the world (something the men can only dream of), and usually play a better brand of soccer than the men. This had nothing to do with politics

    I would suggest that you watch the documentary called “Dare to Dream,” However, I suspect that being a Neanderthal, you probably wouldn’t understand it anyway

  11. I did not see this game, so cannot comment on specifics. But looking at the match report, the age of some players who Pia Sundhage is starting (or is giving key playing time) is kind of worrying. Before I get torched, I am not categorically disputing Sundhage’s roster decisions. I am just saying it cause me some concern. Team captain Christie Rampone, a great player and a wonderful person who plays with heart, is 37 years old. Shannon Box is 35, Heather Mitts is 34. yeah, I know, I know–the great Pirlo is 33 and a lot of players perform well into their mid 30s. But there have been whispers in the past that Sundhage sometimes is too loyal to certain players at the detriment of optimal rosters. And all it takes is one aging and slower player who on a key defensive play is one step behind and allows one single goal and the gold medal is lost. Poof. Think about the one failed clearance by the USWNT right in front of the goal in regulation time in the Women’s World Cup 20011 Final against Japan that resulted in the equalizer in the 82nd minute(?).

    Are there any people out there who have closely watched the US ladies regularly since that heartbreaking loss who can comment on whether or not these older players should be starting or playing key substitute roles roles in the Olympics? or whether there are younger players who might be better options. In my mind, Abby Wambach is the heart and soul of the USWMNT and should be wearing the captain’s armband. She has earned it, and this might be her last chance in a major competition.

    In any case, Sundhage has not doubt done a great job (but with a wealth of talent) in her four years as coach. But I hope she steps down after the Olympics and new coach with a fresh approach is brought in to take the team to the next level.

  12. Misogyny? You must be kidding. The FACTS don’t match your accusation. The reality is that women’s sports at their highest level are inferior to men’s from a SPORTING standpoint. Simply put there is nothing fundamentally wrong with women’s sports existing but If you understood what I’m saying it’s the blending of the COVERAGE in with the men’s game that is insulting to my intelligence. The real fallacy is that the media in this country perpetuates a ridiculous affirmative action policy towards women’s sports. Then when someone calls it out they get accused of sexism. What a joke.

    PS – You just proved my point

  13. The misogyny of your “observations” is so plainly obvious that most of us probably found it unnecessary to engage seriously with your arguments.

    PS – I piss sitting down.

  14. I love how none of you have anything tangible to say regarding my observation except crying that someone actually had the nuts to say ENOUGH with this ridiculous coverage of women’s sports. You people probably sit down when you take a piss too.

  15. “It’s utterly ridiculous and embarrassing to be subjected to specials about Title IX on ESPN along with having ladies soccer shoved down our throats.”

    Aw poor you! You’re being force-fed womens sports…Lol. Wah wah, I’m to lazy to turn the channel when there’s something on it I don’t care for. And then I’m going to subject others to a long whiny rant about the injustice of it all.

    It’s pathetic, really.

  16. There’s a reason we are the only country in the world that refers to our national football team as the US “Men’s” National Team. It’s stupid and purely political. Everyone else is called the German National Team or the French National Team. Here in America because of our obsession with so-called equal rights we have to cave to women’s sports groups and even humiliatingly apply gender assignment to the name of the national soccer team. But hey we’re still a country that gives kids water breaks, has alternative rules for college soccer and has club teams named stupid crap like “Earthquakes” and “Fire” so it’s not surprising.

  17. Right, because since she’s a women she’s obviously soo much worse than Lalas, Harkes, Twellman, etc. I can’ testify about her color work, but her half-time and pregame work for ESPN the past 6 years have been great. Smart commentary, not pompous like the others I just mentioned, and oh yeah, she has a winning pedigree which no American male will have for a very long time.

  18. Let’s see, team sells out good amount of their games, has massive following on TV for big events(which is basically all that is covered here), has incredible personalities and is extremely likeable, plays enjoyable soccer, is EXTREMELY good, attractive at that, and, oh yeah, rarely even covered here? Most USMNT fans will watch the USWNT at the Olympics, especially in lieu of the USMNT playing. That’s cool that you don’t like Title IX, but seriously, you sure seem to care a lot about not caring about something.

    Oh and by the way, your WNBA example is ridiculous-the drop-off from men’s soccer to women’s soccer is probably only behind tennis and golf. Guys dunk in basketball, women largely don’t.

  19. You people are the reason I’m currently being forced to watch the California Classico with Julie Friggin Foudy as the color commentary. The fact you don’t see the ridiculousness of all of this is pitiful. And then we wonder why people make fun of soccer in this country. Shameful.

  20. Juan if you would rather watch womens soccer than ANY level of male European football then I feel sorry for you. Does Baseball Weekly cover women’s softball? It’s utterly ridiculous and embarrassing to be subjected to specials about Title IX on ESPN along with having ladies soccer shoved down our throats. This kind of nonsense only goes on in America. Do English soccer blogs cover the womens premier league or national team? Of course not because they aren’t ridiculous. The fact that ESPN even shows highlights of girls college basketball shows you how pressured these media companies are to conform to the political pressure of “equal rights”. Sorry but no one cares about those highlights except the family members of the people playing. Maybe you guys enjoy participating in the American societal enforcement of gender equality but I personally say NO THANK YOU.

  21. Pretty big crowd for what was essentially a meaningless game, and they seemed really into it. Agree with what everyone has said about Rapinoe. Did you guys see her get taken out by the Canadian keeper just ten seconds into the game? And then Wambach slamming into the post in the seventy-second minute? Both times they just got up and got right on with the game. A lot of top men players would roll around on the ground for a few minutes in either of those situations; it’s great to see our women playing the game the right way.

  22. Yeah, how odd is it that a US national soccer team is covered on a site dedicated to covering US soccer? That is some weird, wild stuff.

  23. Rapinoe was outstanding today, tremendous performance. The US really dominated large stretches, just couldn’t finish. They deserved to get that winning goal for sure.

    They crushed Japan in their last outing and have to be considered the favorite for the gold.

    The jerseys are a bit unusual, but I find the women’s team looks better in them than the men’s team… hmmm…

  24. Solo did not carry into the goal. The entire ball has to be over the line, not to mention the Canadian player was interfering with the keeper in possession, even if that ball is poked in it should not have counted.

    Own goals don’t happen, usually, if you don’t put the ball in a dangerous position. Pinoe put in a dangerous ball and there were players in the box forcing the defender to attemp to clear facing her own net, which is always asking for trouble.

    While this was not the best USWNT outing, you are discounting some things that you should not. Sometimes you have to win ugly. If you can’t do that in a tournament setting like the Olympics then you probably aren’t going to come home with silverware.

  25. Agree Rapinoe had a solid 90 minutes, and OHara played well, too. However, the team did not look in-sync. Passing was often sloppy and they rarely looked in control against a Canadian side that is not their match by a long shot, talent-wise. In fact, the first American goal was an own-goal and the great save by Solo certainly looked like she carried it over into the goal, which would have changed the game for sure.
    The shakeup in the starting 11 was interesting but Cheney and Heath seemed to go missing. Not having leadership in the central mid would be too costly, so if Cheney wants that spot, she needs to step it up.
    This team is talented and can certainly score goals regardless, but we all must hope that Morgan’s injury won’t hinder her preparation for the Games, because this is not as threatening a team without her at Abby’s side. That lady brings something special to the field and the whole team seems to take a step up to match it with her in there.

  26. Then stop complaining and don’t click on the topic. Some of us do care, and appreciate these topics.

    No one is forcing you to read them.

  27. OMG, are you serious? I would rather read about them than some MLS team I wouldn’t even watch unless playing my team? Or some Euro team I’d never watch?

    This was the USA Nat Women’s team and this is exactly where they should be covered

  28. I just for the life of me can’t understand why women’s soccer would be covered here. It’s bizarre. What does women’s soccer have to do with what the readers on this site are interested in besides the fact that it’s the same sport? I DO NOT care on any level what the US Womens soccer team does in the same way I have no interest in the WNBA.

  29. I thought Megan Rapinoe had a great game and continually fought for the ball and offered chances to the offense to score. If they are going to win in London, they need to take more advantage of the opportunities that the midfielders provide. Hoping that Alex Morgan’s injury wasn’t serious and that she’ll be 100% for the Olympics.

  30. Has anyone ever heard the “you suck a-hole” chant at a USWNT game before? I was surprised (shocked really) to hear it on a Canada goal kick around the 34th minute….Stay classy Rio Tinto.

  31. That incident involving Wambach was ridiculous. She gets an intentional WWE forearm shiver/tackle to the chest off the ball in the middle of the penalty box… the lineswoman is looking right at it and the center official calls nothing…. then decides to go back a minute later and card the Canadian player but does NOT award a penalty.

    Pure horsecrap.

  32. From what I’ve seen, the USWMT likes their new jerseys. I don’t see what’s wrong with the unified look? It’s not like the women are wearing men’s jersey cuts.

  33. what I think, as a big fan of the US Foxy Babes, is that the ladies should draft a joint letter to US Soccer demanding that those ridiculous thickly-striped jerseys be dumped for the Olympics. Why should the US ladies be forced to wear the same silly-looking unisex jerseys as the men? Whoever okayed this jersey for the ladies screwed up big time and should be big enough to admit a mistake was made before the US ladies are forced to play on the world stage wearing it. But whatever jersey they were, will be cheering them on and hoping for gold.


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