Photo by Bruce Fedyck/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
It was far from pretty, but the U.S. Women’s National Team got the job done and the Algarve Cup final awaits.
The U.S. kept its dream of winning the tournament alive on Monday, finishing atop Group B following a scoreless draw with Iceland. The Americans finished group play with seven points, and will meet France in the championship game on March 11.
The match in Lagos, Portugal against Iceland was a gritty one, with both sides combining for 29 fouls. Iceland deployed a defensive strategy in the game, and it caused some difficulties for the U.S. in the attacking third.
Jill Ellis’ side still managed to create several chances in the match, especially in the second half, but couldn’t put any of them away. American goalkeeper Hope Solo also had to come up with a big save just before halftime to preserve her second straight shutout.
The U.S. (2-0-1) will now turn its sights towards France, who stands in the way of the Americans’ 10th title in 22 Algarve Cups. France (3-0) handed the U.S. its lone loss of the year, defeating the Americans, 2-0, in a friendly.
The Algarve Cup final between the U.S. and France is set for Wednesday at noon ET, live on FOX Sports 1.
What do you think of how the USWNT’s draw vs. Iceland? See the Americans beating France? What would you like to see Ellis change?
Share your thoughts below.
They look SO MUCH BETTER today.
I agree with others… unacceptable result. For those that ask how this is possible? The answer is Jill Ellis. Poor player positioning, no clear strategy, trouble scoring
Population of Iceland = population of Tampa, FL
Well done, ladies of Iceland.
I’m still willing to give Sermanni the benefit of the doubt, but the lack of results is wearing thin.
You mean Ellis?
To Paulo and everyone love our us wnt,
Change coach is needed for sure, but who? Since all the good coachs are with the team will be at worldcup. Also, it is may too late to have new coach to trying on new style too.
Does anyone have any idea?
I do love the USWNT, otherwise I wouldn’t be wasting my time on this board. I watch every single game they play (and have for over a decade). But I’ve gotta be realistic here: they just don’t look like contenders.
My idea is to bring in a men’s coach. Would shock them perhaps enough to get their act together. Right now they’re just “lost” emotionally and tactically. Push them out of their comfort zone.
The way I see it: a) Stay the course = very likely we go out in the second round of WC, b) Make a change = maybe go further
Tony Diciccio knows all these players well and could walk into the head coaching job tomorrow.
And would like to. Didnt he apply but they selected Jill Ellis?
Pray. Hard. Coz the way that they look right now–we’re going to need a small miracle to win the World Cup…
Let’s see if they man-up against France tomorrow. I don’t except it, but maybe it’s the corner turner? I just don’t think we have the right head coach. If they lose tomorrow and I’m Gulati, I make a change.
Maybe Gulati shouldn’t have been so quick to fire Sermanni… I don’t think that we can afford to make a change this close to heading to Canada.
It would be nice but I doubt Sunil will. BTW, I will be amazed if we get any result against Francwe
How do you not score against Iceland, for heaven’s sake? At the very least, put Wambaugh in the middle of the attack and send in cross after cross. She should physically dominate most any defense.
Exactly. You have Wambach on the team for the Iceland’s of the world and other teams that are small and pack it in. Again, we have the players, we just don’t know how to use them or develop them.
Wambach had a lot of chances with headers. They were all just a little off. That happens sometimes.
The USA dominated this game and were just unlucky not to have at least one of several very good chances see the back of the net. Iceland’s organization defensively was impressive but some of their fouls were a bit too cynical.
Where the heck is Meagan Rapinoe?
Unacceptable result. Tomorrow is a certain-loss. This team is going down in flames this summer.
I wish I could yell at you for that comment, but I can’t disagree at all. How have they fallen so far??
We have a bunch of extremely talented players. A few may have passed their expiration date. But the coaching this cycle has been horrendous. Maybe two players know their roles: Solo and Morgan. Everyone else is uncertain of their status and what they should be doing when they are on the field.
We found a few good players since the last go around: Press and Brian. But how have other players been developed: Leroux, Heath, O’Hara, Dunn — those four and perhaps a few more should be playing significant roles. Plus they keep messing with Rapinoe
And someone must be trying ruin Brian’s confidence since all she has done is play out of position.
Whatever happened to keep it simple.
Rapinoe, Lloyd, Holiday, Heath
O’Hara, Krieger (why not move her inside — too late now perhaps), Engen, Dunn
Then you have players like Wambach and Brian that have clear roles coming off the bench, along with Leroux. Plus a group like O’Reilly, Boxx, Rodriguez, and Rampone who can start in a pinch and play a role depending on conditions.
Why install a system that has the outside backs trying to play the full length of the field while four confused midfielders clog the center.
They complicated the recipe for ice. They have the talent to compete with the French, they could have installed more of possession based approach.
Just bad management, bad coaching, and lack of vision.
When players don’t know their role, this is what happens.