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Strong defense, toothless attack forces USWNT to settle for 0-0 tie vs. Sweden


Photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports


While much of the pregame focus was turned toward former coach Pia Sundhage’s comments on Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo, it was a much less heralded member of the U.S. Women’s National Team that earned her side a point.

USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg provided a late goal-line clearance, as the USWNT settled for a point in a scoreless draw against Sundhage’s Sweden in the team’s second group stage game.

Despite seeing the U.S. earn it’s fair share of looks in the second half, Sweden provided the best opportunity and was only stopped by a timely clearance from Klingenberg in the 77th minute.

Positioned on the backpost, the USWNT defender cleared away a shot destined for goal with a header off the crossbar, keeping the scoreline level and earning the USWNT a well-deserved draw.

The clearance was one of several outstanding plays by the U.S. defense, with Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn helping shut down Sweden’s attack.

The performance of the U.S. attack wasn’t quite up to the same level, with chances few and far between for the Americans.

The USWNT’s best chances came following the introduction of Abby Wambach in the 67th minute, lending further credence to Sunhage’s super-sub comments earlier in the week.

Just five minutes after her introduction, Wambach provided the U.S. with the team’s best look of the afternoon, powering a header that forced a save from Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl. Just moments later, Carli Lloyd got a similar chance, heading wide from close ranger on a well-placed Megan Rapinoe corner.

Much like the team’s opening contest against Australia, the U.S. Women’s National Team struggled in the opening moments, as Sweden earned a series of corners that would prove to be less than fruitful. As the game wore on, however, the U.S. eased into the game, ending the first half with a flurry of set pieces that failed to yield much of a chance.

While the midfield and attack sputtered, the USWNT defense proved to be the star of the show, leaving goalkeeper Hope Solo relatively untested aside from a backpost cross that was cleared away by Ali Krieger early in the first half.

Throughout the contest, the U.S. was continuously anchored by the duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston, both of whom were a frequent thorn in Sweden’s attacking play. Johnston in particular proved to be the rock of the U.S. time and time again, leading the way as the U.S. limited the Sweden attack to even less than they could put together on the evening.

With the draw, the USWNT remains atop Group D with four points, while Sweden sits third with two. The U.S. rounds out group play against Friday losers Nigeria on June 16, while Sweden looks to keep tournament hopes alive in a matchup with Australia that same day.


  1. 1) IMHO, there is a an internal chemistry issue on the USWNT that carries over onto the pitch. It seems like there are certain players who seldom get a touch, even when they’re wide open. At other times, our players will go for glory rather than pass to someone who has a better chance. The team just doesn’t seem unified the way they were under Pia. This may be the legacy of the veteran’s undermining of Tom Sermanni. It’s as if certain players have decided how they are going to go forward, whether the coach likes it or not. I may be wrong, but the team just seems disjointed.

    2) As much as I love Rapinoe, she is part of the problem. The Swedes are not a bunkering team, they get forward on offense. But, by the time the US works the ball through the midfield, our forwards are surrounded by defenders. At times, when the ball gets to Rapinoe, the attack stalls. It’s as if she doesn’t trust the other players with the ball. She takes too long to read the field. She also has a tendency to skip the simple pass in favor of the spectacular. Sometimes it works, as it did against Australia. But sometimes the better option is the higher percentage give and go.

    3) Forwards can’t score unless they get the ball. By the the time they do get the ball, they are surrounded by defenders. It’s really hard to be creative and score when you have to defend your own possession of the ball when double teamed. The USWNT offense is too stale and predictable. I’m not sure the coach has the power to change it. (See item 1).

    The USWNT has the talent and ability to win the whole thing, but they need to sort out their internal issues inside that bubble that they keep talking about.

    Just my opinion.

  2. I read all comments and found then on point, whether I agreed or disagreed. IMHO the only real concern the USWNT has is central midfield. They have been terrible and have no business playing, past exploits should not outweigh the complete lack of talent shown by Holliday and Lloyd. I lost count of the number of errant passes Lloyd made against Sweden and only started counting because I noticed the lack of passing quality against Australia. If Coach Ellis stays with those two then I do not see a third WC championship for the USWNT. I hope I’m wrong but all fans get to have an opinion. Thanks SBI for giving us a forum to express them.

  3. It is killing me watching this team be so mismanaged. The real issue here is the same one it’s been for a long time…our coach is clueless. She starts the wrong players then sticks with them. One would think that with Lloyd and Holiday stinking the place up, she would make a change. She won’t, she’s too much of a bone head to modify anything.

    Heath saved our butt in game one. Her reward… no minutes in game two. The total ineffective play of everybody not on the back line causes Rapinoe to try and make things happen…too much. Somebody has to step up. Sweden doubled and tripled here ASAP and took her out of the game. End of our attack. Leroux is useless unless there is a fast break…there was none yesterday. The most promising forward was AROD. Al least she didnt turn the ball over. Abby should retire. She is missing headers she used to score now and I hate it when she tries to dribble. She needs to stop trying to bring the ball up and just head the ball. Thats all she has left.

    • I agree. This game was screaming for Tobin Heath’s skills on the ball. I think she should have started in the place of Morgan Brien who gave us very little. Having Heath on one flank and Rapinoe on the other would have balanced the field more. Rapinoe, clearly our best player now, was being double and triple teamed as soon as she received a ball. Sweden tilted their defense to her side with no concern for leaving the right flank undermanned. Things got a little better when ARod came in though.

      Another thought, I kept seeing Rapinoe and the rest of the team trying to play crosses into the box for Leroux and Press but against a taller stronger Swedish back line that’s not the best strategy, unless you have an inform Wambach to target. It’s like the game plan was to cross the ball in to Abby but Abby wasn’t on the field.

      Clearly, Leroux and Press are not going to win aerial battles which is a huge problem unless Abby can find her form back. If Morgan is not fit and Abby is out of form this team needs to learn to unlock defenses on the ground which is a style they are not used to. Back to Heath, if we are forced to play balls on the ground Heath has to be in the game since she excels at this.

      We’ll still beat most teams since most won’t be as physical and organized as Sweden but I think we could struggle against teams like Germany, Norway and Japan. We really need to win this group to avoid any of those match ups till the semifinals.

      • Every other team in the tournament will struggle against Germany, Norway, Japan, and Sweden. And you can add France to the list, too. People have unrealistic expectations. This is not the time of Mia Hamm any more. Having watched the women’s game since the early days, the improvement in play is probably close to 200%. The rest of the world has caught up to the US and some countries have better technical skill. The US may win the WC, but they also may not, nor should we expect anything different. The US has won exactly one WC before (and that was when it was played in the US), even when it was a lot more dominant. It is no longer dominant, but is a very good team with a lot of other good to very good teams in the tournament.

      • Just for the record, the USWNT also won the inaugural Women’s World Cup in China in 1991 I believe.

        No one knew about it..

        That is why they have 2 stars on their jersey.

      • I tend to forget about this one because, to my knowledge, it wasn’t televised in the US, not even the final. As I remember, it was about 6 inches of one column in my newspaper (a daily in a city of 1 million) when they won. The next one was won by Norway as I recall. Also, it should be noted that in the final in 1999, China really outplayed the US and the US was lucky that it went to penalty kicks and Chastain won it. My error does not take away from my point, IMO.

      • Gary Page,

        Your error does not take away from your point but when you claim to know the team so well forgetting one of their World Cup wins, no matter how obscure, is pardon me, a big oversight.

  4. Well, as usual, posters here are running around like their hair is on fire. OMG, the sky is falling. While the US didn’t play well, let’s put things in context. At the end of the first two games, in the Group of DEATH, after the US has played its two toughest opponents, the standings in Group C are as follows. US has 4 points, Australia is at 3 points, Sweden is at 2 points, and Nigeria at 1 point. Maybe people have forgotten, but Sweden is ranked #5 in the world and has an excellent coach who just happens to have coached the US for 5 years. You think maybe she could figure out how to stifle the US? Well, duh. Perhaps people here did not notice, but Germany, the #1 ranked team, was just tied by Norway and is also at 4 points. If Sweden doesn’t beat Australia, they may not make the knockout round. Who is in bigger trouble–the US or Sweden? It’s the World Cup, it’s tough. Women teams have improved greatly and there are not very many easy games. Finally, I would like to point out that it’s not how you start, but how you finish. In 1994, Italy lost its first game to mighty Ireland and finished third in its group with 4 points. Despite that, they went all the way to the final where they lost on penalty kicks to Brazil. Yes, the US didn’t play as well as they could have, but maybe Sweden had something to do with that. It’s certainly too early to panic.

    • +1 Apparently, many suspect we are supposed to obliterate every other team in women’s soccer because that’s our right, and we were here first(ish). Today we played a tough draw against a very good team (with a great coach who has the goods on us). And we got a result that was strategically in-line with our goals, much moreso than Sweden’s. Where is the disaster here?

      If a person wants to watch scarcely-challenged American dominance, I invite them to watch Olympic basketball, and wash it down with some Tom Clancy novels.

      We may not win anything in this tournament. Or we may lift the World Cup. And guess what? That’s exactly what it will feel like when the men’s senior gets to this level. No guaranteed trophies. No guaranteed advancement from the group stage (just ask Spain).

    • Gary, I like your VERY positive viewpoint about the US WC efforts but if you want to be the best in the world then you have to be measured by a higher standard. Ja, Deutschland had a difficult time with Norway and their coach seemed to be really satisfied with their TIE result. However they were more technical in their passing than the US. But they also lacked some speed in their play like the US did in both of their first two games. Also too many of the German attacks were long range and over the top similar to the US style. Sooo, neither the US or Germany may end-up winning it all this year because they may not have IMPROVED enough/sufficiently from the last world cup.

    • Gary Page,

      You are over reacting to the negativitity. The USMNT may well win the Cup but not if they continue to look like they did vs. Sweden.

      • I am being realistic. Most other posters aren’t. One writes that Leroux is useless, but Canada would love to have her. Many examples like that where people completely discount the opponent and the ability of opposition teams and players and trash US players and/or coaches. See my post below.

      • hey, certainly room to critique what we’re seeing and discuss ideas on what is happening and adjustment possibilities. that’s the fun of this board imo

      • And that’s not the type of discussion I object to. I do that, too. It’s the extreme views which are illogical and unrealistic that I find to be boring, uninformed, and a waste of time. Also, it’s only a game; it’s not like we’re talking about war and peace.

  5. Midfielders have terrible ball skills. Their first touch way too long and their passes aren’t accurate. No service for the forwards and no cover for the defenders. Jill Ellis better find a solution or we are going home sooner rather than later.

  6. Snoozer of a game if you ask me.
    Not very sharp in the final third and way too many overpowered shots directed into the box.
    Good thing Klingenberg saved their bacon.
    My hope is that they get better as the tournament progresses, but as of now they are simply not playing well enough to raise the trophy.

  7. The U.S. look like a team without any ideas going forward, and absolutely no steady presence in the centre of the pitch. With the exception of Megan Rapinoe, they look completely stale in attack, and there doesn’t appear to be a spark to be found off the bench, but rather several of the old guard who are even less likely to trouble the opposition with inventiveness and energy. I have a strong feeling this team is going to be found out in the knockout rounds against livelier opposition. The U.S. women look like Spain in the last men’s World Cup or the Italian team that trotted out an ageing squad a couple cycles ago. I think Jill Ellis had time to revamp the squad and freshen our approach, but chose instead to stick with a tired group and outdated philosophy while the rest of the world continues to catch up to us.

    That said, Julie Johnston was totally clutch all match.

  8. Anyone out there besides me who thinks it’s time to bench Rapinoe? She had a horrible game, way too many giveaways, forced passes, squandered possessions. She seems to think she can dribble out of any jam but is constantly stripped of the ball, and when she did get out wide on occasion she’d take one too many touches allowing the Swedes to block her crosses…

    Time to start Tobin Heath who is far betterat maintaining ball possession and distributing to the forwards. And, is Alex Morgan in Jill Ellis’s doghouse for some reason?

    • Is Heath capable of being the kind of this team’s Lee Nguyen, which is what Rapinoe is when she is on?

      I haven’t seen that.

      This team is a donut.

      Strong defense, lots of scary forwards, a big hole in the middle.

      • It seemed our central midfield struggles to create meaningful possession. For about 20 minutes I counted completions to estimate their efficiency. It was slightly under 50%. That is not good. However, it’s actually worse. A significant number or errant passes occurred in the absence of any real pressure.

      • What left me turning in circles was that Pia Sundhage had called Carly Lloyd out…basically said: “she’s mentally soft”…and then rather than take it as a challenge, Lloyd went and aggressively proved Sundhage right and folded like a cheap suit.

        I literally have never, ever seen anyone at the level Lloyd’s at – and with the ability she’s got – fold mentally like that. Sundhage pulled a Mourinho and got right into her head…and Holy Mother, did Lloyd ever go for it.

        How on Earth did somebody as squishy-soft as that get into the World Cup as a starter before anyone noticed how weak her mentality was? I could almost hear Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones howling in rage off-camera. Say what you want about those two, “squishy soft” or “mentally weak” are not two words you often associate with American center mids.

        I wasn’t really thrilled with any of the others, either, except for our defenders. Backline gals, take a bow, especially Jill Johnston. The rest of ya…I think a couple of judicious Klinsmann-type cuts would have done that group a world of good. I see a heap of volunteers, right now.

        If the ladies aren’t careful, they’re going to get smash-and-grabbed by Nigeria and go out of group. I was not…enamored with the mentality I was seeing from our All-World Gals, whatever.

      • Agree across the board. Mid-field was a non-entity offensively. Positive attacks came from the wings— sending it wide to the other side. Don’t know the personnel, who can replace Lloyd and Holiday???

      • Something else Sundhage did that was masterful. She said that if she were coach Wambach 2wouldn’t start any more. So, Ellis didn’t start Wambach and Sweden clogged the middle, pinched their outside players in and basically invited the US to bring the ball down the flanks and put in crosses. The US played as if Wambach were in the game when they should have kept the ball on the ground with quick passes. The master out coached her former assistant.

      • tip of the cap to Pia. said this in the game thread. I owuldn’t dump on Lloyd as much as you did but she got worked by Pia pretty good. we’ll see what her response is vs. Nigeria…now or never

      • +1. Yeah I had always thought Lloyd was amongst our stronger performers psychologically historically, but there’s no denying that something pushed her off her game.

        Whether it was Pia’s comments or simply a one-off bad performances I cant say, but I’m definitely looking to see a response. I have a hard time believing we can win this tournament without a bigger showing from her….

    • I think Rapinoe’s final ball often lets her down, but she’s the only player in the U.S. attack that seems capable of creating anything going forward. I like Tobin Heath, but I don’t think she alone is the solution; I think the team has far bigger problems to deal with. Even without Abby on the pitch, they were far too direct tonight. Combination play was slow and labored and the team seems to deliberately avoid playing through the midfield.

      Alex Morgan is coming back from an injury and doesn’t appear to be match fit. I think the plan has been to ease her in gradually.

    • I like her, she’s fearless, but that’s also her problem to me as she holds the ball too long too often going for the incredible play, and the opponents play her that way.

      when she switches the ball and links with others she’s excellent and her dribble attack all the more effective imo, when it gets stuck on her foot it’s all or nothing with her move, which is fine because she plays that role but the team is better when she moves the ball, my opinion

      • The USWNT have no serious alternative to Rapinoe, especially at this late date.

        95% off the teams they face can be beaten by the sheer physical dominance of the US. The problem is the other 5% are in this tournament.

      • again, I love Rapinoe and am suggesting some tweaks to her game to combat the tactics from opponents in the first 2 games. not suggesting benching or whatever. if you’ve read my other posts you can see where I think the main issuse rest…not with Rapinoe BUT she can help the team by playing a little differently I think, and when she did the things I’m talking about the US looked dangerous vs. Sweden, still missing the final ball tho

      • Where u been dude…

        Yea there is something seriously lacking in the midfield, but it’s not Rapinoe. If anything, she has held the ball an extra touch like Bum said, but the CM pairing is just absent, ( Its almost like Pinoe is hesitant to square the ball to them ) – and the right wing spot seems like an empty space… whatever player selection (except Heath’ s sub) is not helping matters.. and the forward pairings just aren’t working together either.

        I will say I was wrong about Johnston, I thought without Rampone they’d be unorganized… but she was a beast today.

        There’s a lot of talent on that bench… Ellis needs to get the right mix in there- because we’re better than this

      • agree with all of this

        in midfield, it’s the extra player the other teams put in there imo, 3 v 2, which opens up the flanks for attack BUT on the right nobody can serve a quality ball that’s been tried yet…Brian, Press (she gets stuck inside so no width), Rodriguez, Leroux, etc. all have tried and struggled. why not a real winger like O’Reilly to make teams pay for ceding the flanks?

        anyway, I get Rapinoe’s role and her courage in taking it on, and love her for it, but just think she’s best when moving the ball through the midfield with her teammates instead of allowing the opponent to stack up against her and her side of the field, which is what both teams so far have done against us. Just look at her early switching balls that created almost every decent attack the US had vs. Sweden….the problem? Krieger or one of the above were asked to serve that final ball in, and they are simply not those players. Maybe they’ll change that all of the sudden

        totally agree on Johnston, surprised me too. thougt Rampone was going to emerge but Johnston has been the sh!t

    • Totally agree with you on Rapinoe. She’s like everything that has always been wrong about US soccer and its culture. She’s individually talented but a terrible team player. Holds the ball too long, never makes easy simple passes, and loses possession most times she touches the ball. The USWNT can never develop a passing rhythm with her on the field. Yes she can score goals on occasion – but it’s at the cost of team cohesion. Team cohesion could win us the trophy, Megan Rapinoe alone cannot.

      • Who? When Rapinoe is the only one who looks capable of generating goals for us?

        I agree in a sense she does appear to have decided that she is Allen Iverson, and that the team ain’t scoring without her creating things (turnovers be damned!)

        But that’s the job we’ve seemingly asked her to do. She’s there to force the issue. Try things. Play crosses. Run at people. Nothing different from any wide attacker at any level/gender.

        If we want to ask questions about why we are losing the battle in midfield, I’m not sure she’s the one we should be looking at.

      • Ummm….. M????
        What the hell are you talking about.
        Rapinoe is what’s lacking in the US Soccer culture? Too much individual talent but not a team player? HUH??
        The US lacks players with courage and creativity to run at defenders
        She delivers more service in the attack than any other player on that team
        She uses both feet, she’s one player who if she’s not attacking switches the ball well, and she’s definitely a team player.

        She may have held the ball a few times these last two games, but I’d submit the issue is Lloyd and Holiday are nowhere to be found, the choices at forward have no rhythm together and aren’t making themselves available-talent be dammed- it’s all wrong..

        You been watching her play the last 4 years or just these two games…

      • re. Lloyd and Holiday, I’ll submit it’s Ellis’ tactics too in combo with that and no threat on the right side going forward which has allowed opponents to overload the middle and Rapinoe when she gets the ball. that’s why if she can move it quicker others mnay have the space they currently don’t. and Lloyd and Holiday need to be better. Holiday had a real stinker in game 1, and Lloyd had one yesterday

      • 100% agreed…

        In one of the games, the announcer said something like Pinoe looks hesitant to square the ball to Holliday…

        Not panicking yet, but something just ain’t right with those two in central midfield-either Holliday or Lloyd I don’t know.. just doesn’t look right

    • What in the world are you talking about? You want to bench the player who has been the team’s best attacking player? You know she singlehandedly won the first game for the USWNT, right? She was also the only delivering dangerous balls into the box last night.

      Inserting Heath into the lineup isn’t a bad idea but not at the expense of Rapinoe. You couldn’t be further off in your analysis of her play.

      And no, Morgan isn’t in the doghouse. She’s returning from a knee injury that had kept her out for months. She has to work her way back to full fitness.

    • Do you mean the Rapinoe who scored twice against Australia? Do you mean the Rapinoe who was maybe the most outstanding US player in the last WC? That Rapinoe? I remember around January, 2014 there were a bunch of people on this website who said Clint Dempsey was washed up. Some said he shouldn’t even be on the 2014 WC roster. Many more said he shouldn’t start. Then all he did was score 2 goals and around 14 goals for Seattle in an abbreviated season. Players don’t go from very good to bad quickly unless they have had a serious injury. In fact, if they are very good, as they age they tend to go from very good to pretty good, they don’t become bad players.

    • …not sure if you are being sarcastic, if no, I agree with you. The folks who are saying she is the best player on the field is blind, or don’t understand football!

      She holds the ball too long, which causes the defense to calapse on her, leading to turnovers and counters. Lloyd and Holiday are having to hold their runs, because they don’t know what she will do with the ball, same can be said for the forward line.

      There is little of no movement in the attacking zone when she has the ball, because no one knows what she will do with the ball … passing doesn’t seem to be an option for her.
      The worst thing that could have happened for this team was the 2nd goal she scored against Australia.

      WE will not win the WC with the midfield playing as they are now, and they shouldn’t be figuring out playing style and formation at the finals. It looks like the players don’t understand their roles, or their roles are not clearly defined… down to piss poor coaching, IMHO.

      • BAD coaching.

        I see a bunch of girls all trying to be The Star and secure endorsement deals…and it hasn’t been reigned in, and Jill Ellis assuredly hasn’t taken control of this bunch. There’s just no plan, just a bunch of disconnected girls all playing their own game. And they’ve been curiously passive, a lot of times playing in two conservative banks of four and not even pressing, instead of taking the game to the opposition. In soccer, you need to be as aggressive as the game allows…and against Sweden, an obviously inferior side, it says something that by a bunch our biggest standout was our center back, Jill Johnston. WHY is a center back that involved and that integral to the game? It tells you you’re obviously not playing on the front foot. It honestly seems like the team plays like passive crap for about 40 minutes…and starts playing better only when they say “to heck with this” and start disregarding Ellis and going for it and taking chances.

        I really haven’t liked Kristen Press much. I hate her attitude, the eye-rolling, the softness. She’s a slick player at times but she is just nowhere near the killer Alex Morgan is…at least when Morgan is healthy. And when you need Press to make a play or even a good touch she just…misses it. Over and over again. And then rolls her eyes and waves her arms around. I wouldn’t play her again.

        Lloyd and Holiday seem paralyzed. Lloyd at her best is an aggressive tackler who can drive and loose rockets from distance but she isn’t even trying to do that right now. Holiday’s a negative passer and while she’s good on the ball, for such a conservative player she has an inexplicable amount of inexcusable turnovers…and she repeatedly kills attacks by being slow on the trigger even when it’s on.

        Sydney Leroux just plain looks frustrated. She isn’t getting fed when she makes runs up the channels – I think she might have touched the ball 3-4 times in the first half. Which is inexplicable. When the strength of your team is allegedly your forwards, how on Earth is it you’re not finding ways to get your best healthy forward into the game? She ended up dropping off deep in the second half and basically ended up digging balls out of the midfield.

        Personally, if it was me, I’d switch to a 4-5-1, let Lloyd and Holiday play center defensive mids – since that’s what they seem to do anyhow – and put somebody more creative, who can make positive dribbles and positive forward passes – into the 10 spot. (That #14 they were playing at right wing might serve…she’s a lightweight and did nothing as a winger, but I Iiked her when she actually got on the ball and she did seem to connect passes well.) Then I’d put Tobin Heath in at right wing and let her drive like Rapinoe is doing on the left…and I’d put Sydney Leroux alone up top, since she’s the only player we’ve got who can seemingly both hold up the ball and make runs into space. If our forwards won’t cooperate, BENCH THEM and just play one.

        Press needs to sit. Wambach is WAY OFF and needs to sit. Alex Morgan should probably come off the bench as Leroux’s replacement up top until she’s healthy enough to start, then switch the two later on in the tournament. But Tobin Heath and Rapinoe are by a bunch our best engines – along with the overlapping runs by our outside backs, who have been quietly been very good at getting themselves forward – and if we can’t get anything positive done in the middle of the park, at least we can clog it up and get numbers in there. But this 4-4-2 is just not working because our forward combos are not cooperating (at all!) and because Lloyd and Holiday have been so bad at center mid. And leaving Tobin Heath on the bench and playing four different players at right wing like it’s that catch-all position in rec ball is just not getting it done either.

        Ellis has been nothing short of inept so far. If she doesn’t make some tough choices, this team literally could go out against Nigeria, and the first time we bump into Germany, France, Japan, or even Switzerland, from what I saw, we’re out. Those Red Cross girls are leggy and athletic and they get after you.

    • +1 Unfortunately, it seems right now that Rapinoe IS that attacking muscle. I don’t know how much longer she can even be patient with her teammates. Watching Wambach make an utter comedy show of that picture-perfect cross she dealt against Australia was borderline depressing.

      The “good news” here is that a solid CB pairing is a big, big deal in the elite women’s competitions. And it appears we have one. We’ll always be “in with a chance” as long as this is there. And our attacking fortunes can change quickly (…. can’t they?)

    • With Lloyd and Holiday stuggling to have any effect on the attack, I would love to see the mf move to a diamond with Rapinoe at the point. Probably not a move that would be made mid-tournament but would seem to provide more attacking opportunities than bringing three diff Fwd off the bench and rotating the ones who already have minutes on their legs into the midfield.

  9. While it’s kind of a disappointing result, if they beat Nigeria, they win the group. If they draw with Nigeria, they are certain to go through. Even a loss to Nigeria could get them to the next stage as a third place team, depending on other results.


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