Top Stories

Lloyd winner leads USWNT to comfortable win vs. China


Photo Michael Chow/USA Today Sports


It may have taken a bit longer than the game dictated, but the U.S. Women’s National Team found its breakthrough to earn a spot in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup.

In complete control throughout the game, the U.S. topped China, 1-0, on the back of a second-half Carli Lloyd finish in Friday night’s Women’s World Cup quarterfinal.

After a first half of complete domination, the U.S. finally got their breakthrough moments into the second half through Lloyd, who rose above with a header to give the USWNT the lead.

Having earned a set piece right in the center of the field, the U.S. played the ball short to Julie Johnston. The centerback unleashed a long ball from over 40 yards out that dropped right onto the head of Lloyd, who powered a header to the right corner to earn the U.S. a deserved goal.

The goal was a long time coming, as the U.S. proved dominant in the first half in what was certainly the team’s best half of the World Cup so far.

Riding a high press that caused China all sorts of problems, the U.S. dominated possession throughout the opening 45 with most of it in the final third. At moments, China was forced to merely survive with 11 behind the ball int he face of the USWNT’s relentless pursuit of the ball.

Starting Amy Rodriguez up top, the U.S. nearly got off to an ideal start through the newly-introduced forward only to see a golden opportunity pushed wide.

Joining Rodriguez as introductions to the lineup were Morgan Brian and Kelley O’Hara, the latter of which particularly played a big part in the team’s attack throughout her 61 minutes. The duo replaced the suspended Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holliday, both of whom were suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

However, the duo’s suspension proved to be of little consequence, as the U.S. cruised to victory against an overmatched China.

With the victory, the Americans advance to the semifinals, where they will take on Germany Tuesday night in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Germany defeated France in penalty kicks on Friday night to reach the semifinals.


  1. Okay, so I didn’t see the game, but I am a big Kelley O’Hara fan and wish she would see more time. She is relentless and an absolute beast offensively…I never understood why they converted her to an outside back. Hopefully she’ll see more time to run Germany ragged after their OT win

    • Karim,

      So I have watched most of the USA matches this World Cup. IMHO,…O’Haras should start on the right side against Germany and Rapino on the left. Heath should sit. You are correct,…she is relentless.

  2. This was obviously a better performance but I also wonder how much of that was due to the new personnel and how much was due to China completely setting back and allowing us to pull almost the entire team into our attacking half. When China was forced to break that shell after the goal they broke the press with some regularity and started winning balls in the midfield. However, there wasn’t a noticeable uptick in the US’s offensive production to go along with that. That could have been personnel once again since O’Hara came off and later Wambach came on. It could also be tired legs but that is also a bit worrying given the ave age of the team. Still that kind of bunker ball is what the US tends to see and does well with; not the pressing we saw in the group stage or that Germany is likely to do.

    • China were toothless.and unable to punish US mistakes

      Germany won’t be.and can make use of the frequent US turnovers.

      The US especially Carli, will have to take MUCH better care of the ball. and they have to move the ball quicker.

      In general they still take too many touches.

  3. Great job by USWNT. I was certain China was going to hack our defenses and steal all of our intellectual property,…..errrr score a goal. In reality, China can’t create anything for themselves,…I suppose they were hoping for an own goal.

  4. USW looked like a senior team playing against an U-21 team. They were physically dominant and outworked China the entire game. The concern, however, is the USW’s lack of goal scoring is now even more troubling. If they failed to translate their physical dominance into mutiple goals against China, how much of a threat will they be against a much tougher German team? The China game brought out their physicality and workmate. Now they need to unlock their creativity.

  5. The coach finally made some needed changes..but only when she needed too. Its obvious now that Rapinoe, Holliday and Wambach slow the attack and would best serve the team coming from the bench. Amy Rodriguez added the attack but her finishing is always atrocious in big tournaments. If the coach has any courage she will trot this lineup out against Germany. Is Leroux still on the team?

  6. Ellis pulled some nice strings tonight faced with her options

    there’s lots for all to discuss on that, I’ll pick Morgan Brian. Thought it’s the best I’ve seen her play in the uniform. Allowed Lloyd to get into the attack in the area, connected, broke things up in that role above the back 4. Thought she was great and would like to see more even tho Holiday will return

    tomorrow we can think about what Ellis will do with Rapinoe and Holiday vs. Germany (first thought is Holiday holds behind Lloyd instead of the other way around and Rapinoe comes out moving the ball side to side ooking to quickly switch the point of attack thru the middle 3rd)

    tonight we party

    • Similar to when MB90 has the right D-mid partner that allows him to play his (albeit not classic) number 10, as we’ve seen recently, for the Men’s team.

      Ellis should get some credit here for her lineup choices that worked the high pressure game very effectively. And – can’t help it – really about time we actually saw a tactical plan that was executed in this tourney.

      • Brian was great sitting and it did free Lloyd and that worked well in some ways but Lloyd was to often were possesion went die, she didn’t switch the field fast enough would be forced to turn back and than lose the ball. Give Holiday the chance to play with Brian in that same position I think we might see magic. Especially is Ellis uses A-rod again because she and Holiday from a strong connection from play at Kansas City together.

      • Agree @Beast about Lloyd and losing possession, especially in the 1h getting shouldered off the ball on a couple of occasions and lingering on the ball too long.

      • agreed, Ellis gets a lot of credit whether forced or not to adjust. high press which forced China back and did not allow them to play their possession passing game at all. Lloyd pushed up into the box instead of holding behind Holiday. Rodriguez for Wambach to push the high pressure. The flank play was much better too, and China was under constant pressure.

        On MB, some similarities. Beckerman lets MB get forward, which is very similar to how Bradley used MB all those years. Against Germany it was on full display, flat pairing on D and then MB getting forward box to box after winning possession. It’s different in that MB is more box to box–his strength from the start–while Lloyd is a real target player in the box. She’s a goal scorer while MB is more a set up man who can score, my opinion.

        and agreed again on the execution piece, great to see the team play all together to execute the plan.

        so how does Ellis reintegrate Rapinoe and Holiday? Germany’s physical presence is a better matchup for Holiday than Brian imo so we’ll see her back in the lineup. O’Hara will sit for Rapinoe BUT hopefully the marching orders for her will be to move the ball and take advantage of all the attention Germany will give her by switching the point of attack. we’ll see

      • Rapinoe rarely passes in the final third. She either shoots or loses the ball. She should see pine. Then she scored the first goal off a lucky deflection, it pretty much guaranteed she would be shooting often, regardless of her chances. Not a team player.

  7. At this stage, winning is all that matters; however, the team looked better. The pairing of Lloyd and Brian was better than the Lloyd/Holiday pairing that we have been seeing. The big difference was the constant pressing. A Rod had a bad miss and wasn’t great with all of her passes, but she was highly effective in pressing and causing the Chinese backline to give up the ball or fire wayward passes. Things are looking up.

  8. For those who missed it, Germany – France was a great match. The French controlled the game for long periods and went up 1-0 but had some missed opportunities, so when a questionable penalty was given to the Germans minutes before the end, the score ended 1-1. Once it went to penalties you knew the Germans would get it done.

    But overall they did not look great in the match – the US definitely have a chance but I think Germany will be looking to put on a better performance in the semis.

    • Those German girls were also beat up.

      I counted five – repeat (5) – Hun spearwife chicks who were gimping at the end of 120. They showed their Teutonic quality by implacably burying their PK’s, as Teutonic Supergirls do, but the French, to their credit, did something I have never seen French do against Germans at any point in their history, and they got after them and almost ran the Prussian She-Kickers into the ground. Really bad luck they didn’t bury their chances because the French were…industrious, positive, resolute…you know, adjectives you don’t ordinarily associate with the French, ever. Kinda cruel they didn’t end up winning because they were the better side, by a lot.

      Bad luck for the French, but maybe good luck for the US Chicks, if they just follow up and keep their foot on the gas. The Hussar Gals (also count ’em, that was my fourth clever cultural reference without a single derisive term, I’m on a roll, man) may be tough as nails, but I dunno how much they have left in the tank if they’re pressed.

      We need to take advantage.

    • The Germany-France game was a classic. I am glad Germany won because I think the US matches up better against Germany than France. The semifinal should be great

  9. I did, with my 7-year old daughter who was leading her camp in the “I Believe” chant. A counseler took video for me. Yep. I’m a better man than you.

    • You are a better man. Don’t understand why so many men feel they need to prove their “manliness” by putting down women.

      • You for you, BombVoyage! You sound like a great Dad. The WNT are great role models for young women today, as they have been for years, and watching their games with our daughters is a great way for a Dad to let them know they too can reach their dreams if they work hard.

        And you, “Eloquent,” are an a-hole model.

  10. Easily the best game they’ve played in the WWC. The new starters brought a lot of energy to the game.

    Julie Johnston isn’t just MOTM. She’s team MVP of the tournament in my eyes – hands down.

    • I would be shocked if this game didn’t draw 7-10 times higher rating than Argentina-Colombia, so you are in a small minority

      • I will admit I was flipping, but I probably spent 85% of my time on the US women. I didn’t expect that. They were entertaining and getting after it instead of frustrating me, and I found they were the better show.

        Soccer like the US women played tonight, and the France-Germany game earlier, will fill stadiums. If the women can get to that level for their pro leagues, they will have little problem winning fans.

      • Watched both. Argentina was annoying with all the whining they did. The China-USA match was by far more entertaining and better played.

      • I was in a bar where 7 of the 9 screens visible at the bar were the USA vs China, one was a baseball game and one was Argentina Colombia. A side room was full of some kids party watching the US on another screen and chanting “I believe that we will win” and “USA, USA,USA” periodically. After the US game the bar emptied out and the kids went home.

    • “Eloquent” really wants you to know that he thinks a men’s regional tournament is more important than the women’s world cup. He responds to articles about women’s soccer so he can let other men know they are not deserving of a “man card” because they watch women’s soccer. “Eloquent” is clearly overcompensating for a tiny penis and very insecure in his masculinity, otherwise why does he spend his time putting down men who watch women’s soccer. “Eloquent” obviously never had a “man card” to begin with

      • Hahaha! THIS!

        And may I add, as much as I want the sport to absolutely flourish, there’s a little part of me that loves the fact that few enough people watch soccer at this point that I can be at a party, recording a game, and have almost zero chance of someone spoiling it…so long as I turn off twitter.

        I know, eventually that will no longer be a reality, but I’m living it up right now!

    • Ignorance.

      Perhaps you’d also like to enlighten us on your views as the pertain to the recent Supreme Court rulings?

  11. China had 5 days rest, playing on 3 days rest took its toll on Alex Morgan… she was terrible on runs, on passes, on touches… I hope she hasnt reinjured the knee and decided to play through it.

    • If she did something to it, it will come out in training. You can’t hide something like that and get away with it for too long with all the testing the staff do. I don’t think she reinjured anything but I think she plays well with Rapinoe and Wambach and neither were out there tonight.

  12. The best game I’ve seen them play so far. Maybe no Wabbach, Rapino and Leroux is the right chemistry. Let’s down Germany next!

    • Hey, we agree.

      US Chicks are super-predators. Maybe not the best technicians, maybe not the best understanding, but Oh My, are they sexy when you just turn them loose and let them do what they do, which is press, run up and down the field, and attack, attack, and attack some more. They reminded us again tonight what happens when your elite athletes play soccer. Because in the USA, if you’re an elite athlete and you’re female, what other choices you got?

      Also liked that chalk they were getting on their heels. What WAS that, anyhow? Haven’t seen width the entire tournament until tonight, and it sorta unleashed Krieger and Klingenberg on top of it all.

      Hopefully Jill Ellis will not forget this against Germany.

      • I agree. It was quite frightening to see the workrate and pressure the USWNT were putting on the Chinese. They are clearly physical freaks who happen to be of average size. The tall ones end up in WNBA or Volleyball if they don’t go into individual sports. Now imagine if you stuck these ladies in a soccer academy the quality of La Masia from the age of 9 on and let them train with each other all the time for 10 years, then at age 19, cut the fat and then made a final selection a few years later for the senior team. That would be a frightening soccer team.

      • OR imagine we had real coaches on club teams that teach technical ability and not just teach our players to kick as hard as they can and run as fast as they can and be overly physical

      • what are you talking about? what do you know about youth coaching or what we’re doing with our kids? your comment is out of date, update your files

      • Germany’s flank was exposed by France. But for some HORRIBLE finishing, France should have won. I think we can play it wide to whomever Ellis puts on the wings and they will be able to get crosses off. Hopefully Wombauch or Morgan can finish them. IMO, the Germans will be gassed, so we need to take the match to them.

Leave a Comment