The U.S. Women’s National Team’s run through the SheBelieves Cup ended in a major disappointment.
After losing against England in the second match of the tournament, the U.S. lost to France, 3-0, on Tuesday at RFK Stadium in the final match of the SheBelieves Cup.
The USWNT went down early when Alyssa Naeher took down Eugenie Le Sommer with a slide tackle in the penalty area. Camille Abily converted the penalty, giving the French a 1-0 lead after just eight minutes.
France scored again just one minute later, as Tobin Heath’s misplaced pass near the French penalty area found Wendie Renard, who made a long pass to Le Sommer, who outran Allie Long to double France’s lead.
The visitors put the final nail in the coffin in the second half with a third goal in the 63rd minute. Eve Perisset found Abily alone in front of goal, who finished easily.
Coupled with Germany’s victory over England earlier in the day, Tuesday’s loss left the USWNT in last place of the four-team tournament. France finished as SheBelieves Cup champions.
Woman of the Match
Eugenie Le Sommer was crucial in France taking the early lead and establishing their dominance over the U.S. Making crucial runs in the final third, she wreaked havoc on a USWNT defense that was very sloppy, leading her team to an earned victory over the reigning world champions.
Moment of the Match
France’s second goal was the perfect characterization of the messy match the USWNT played, while also demonstrating the French team’s skill. Once Renard found Heath’s misplaced pass, she picked out the perfect long pass, finding Le Sommer, close to the U.S.’ penalty area. Le Sommer easily outran Long, and with Becky Sauerbrunn slipping in the box thanks to the rain-soaked pitch, she was able to finish simply.
Match to Forget
The defensive trio of Casey Short, Long, and Sauerbrunn were seemingly missed against England, but they, along with goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, were very disorganized against France. The French threatened to score all night, making the USWNT spend more time defending than attacking. It may perhaps be an off game for the defensive unit, but clearly, the new three-in-the-back formation still has some kinks to work out.
Guess they thought Tuesday was day without women day
There was no experiment here. There was no forethought here. There was no preparation here. This was total soccer, totally the kickball kind I see the girls in High School play. IT was turn and run. How often did I see the attacker turn their back to the ball and just run down field. How often did the midfielders just try to dribble upfield thru a packed defense, turning right into their defense. Such basic soccer is a no brainer, butwas nonexistant. The international game now is NOT COLLEGE, where you can overpower most of your opponenets. I bet the European women watch their men play and emulate and learn. I am afraid the USA women just watch each other, and learn nothing. There are NO lessons to be learned during play. Coach Ellis seems to be a Klinsman clone. (Lets try this and see what happens baloney)
Long and Short have no business playing in a three back. Not enough awareness and defensive savvy to pull that off. I understand Ellis is testing some bubble players, but that was not going to work, especially against a team with France’s attacking creativity and speed…not even close…a shredfest. We looked so slow in the midfield. Heath dallied on the ball so long, Lloyd looked really slow. Just a poor mix of players with no continuity…The line up was almost too weak to even get a proper assessment. An embarrassing grand failed experiment.
France was by far the better team. Really looked like they wanted to own the game, while the US was slower and complacent. Look out for them in 2019.
For the USA, we have two years to address a million issues with USSF, NWSL, youth development.. all I will say is this mini-tournament proved how quickly the European teams are out pacing the US in women’s soccer.
The European’s had a few more advantages this time over last. Last year, they came from 30-40 degree weather to hot humid weather in the Southeast, and wilted towards the end of the matches.
This year, they were right at home with the Cold and Rain. It was the U. S. who appeared to be uncomfortable. Also, the French were told that if they repeated last year’s performance with no
goals, that their roster for 2019 would be SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT from who would be on the field now. AND the French definitely played like it. While I like the idea of the U. S. playing some reserves against top teams to see how they would do, putting them in, in a Championship match, is not the right place. If I were the U. S. coach, I would attempt to set up a 3-match Can-Am Series with the Canadians (who beat France in the Olympics) and then both teams could play reserves and see who showed out the best. However, to try questionable experiments with 3 of the other 4 best teams in the world, sets you up for EXTREME embarrassment, especially at home. All in all, the results of this years She Believes Cup did not serve as a PLUS for USA Soccer, and you can believe that!!!
And so begins the end of our dominance. It took the European countries about 10 days of serious effort to surpass our inferior youth and college system. Well done.
While the European’s were prepared, this time the U. S. was not!!! Maybe the U. S. season starts later than the Europeans. If that’s the case, you don’t want to schedule a tournament like this with 3 of the top 5 teams in the world before you’re properly conditioned. Like the TV announcer said, the U.S. isn’t showing me anything. I know that the U.S. had a training camp before the tournament, but it didn’t appear like they had played together much. And their passing was atrocious. It may be that coach Ellis needs to focus more on basics during the training camps and not assume that the players club teams are covering that or that they are somehow able to pick up where they left off at the end of last season. While I was impressed with coach Ellis while she was at UCLA, I am less so since she has taken over the USWNT. Maybe I am expecting too much. However, it appears to me that the players are not tuned in on the same frequency, and at times appear to be attempting to disprove the concept of synergy!!!
She didn’t believe, apparently.
The defense was shambolic, especially Allie Long who was exposed on all three goals. Goal one: Long steps to the runner and then gets beaten by the through pass down the middle. Goal two: Long simply gets outpaced by the goalscorer on the long pass over the top. Goal three: Long sits so deep that she keeps the winger onsides, then instead of continuing playing she puts up her hand for an offsides call and allows Abily to ghost past her to put in the cross.
But don’t take my word for it. It’s all in the highlights.
Verdict: it may be time to end the Long experiment as the centerback in a three woman backline.
Lyle: Your post took the words right out of my mouth. The only thing not mentioned was that besides Allie Long’s Defensive “Hat Trick” she should have been been identified for a 4th when
she took down Eugenie Le Sommer in the penalty area late in the game, but the official waved
it off, probably feeling sorry for the U. S. If that had been in the World Cup, it would have been
called for sure. Allie lacks speed, quickness, agility, and sense of positioning on the field. She
has been able to get her head on the ball and score a few goals against weak teams. But to think of her on the back line, would give any USWNT fan nightmares. She should never have been
put on the roster for the Olympics in lieu of Samantha Mewis, and after allowing the Swedish forward to blow by her, for the goal which would take the U. S. out of the Olympics, you would have thought that the U. S. coaches would have seen the light. However, there remains this fascination with her from the U. S. coaches. Everyone I talk with seems to think that there has to be something else going on other than what is taking place out on the field. Last night at the Sports Bar where I was watching the match, every time Allie would appear on the TV screen, the fans would all begin to throw crinkled up napkins at the screen and boo. It was just too much to take. And to put some
frosting on the cake, after the U. S. began to make some substitutions late in the match with their 1st string, who stayed on the field right until the end?? Yeah Allie. Don’t get me wrong here. She may be a VERY nice person. But she simply lacks the skill sets necessary to play National Level
Soccer in the U. S. You can take any of the top 10 College teams in the U. S., and Allie would be
no better than 5th or 6th top player on the team. Now you consider that every other player on the USWNT was the star of their College Team, and you get the idea of where she stands. O.K.
enough on Allie.
I was also disappointed with Jill Ellis putting such a WEAK back line on for a Championship Match against France, whom she knew had something to prove here after last year. The U. S. had 4 giveaways in the first 2 minutes deep in their own end of the field. Its fortunate that the score wasn’t worse than it was. The last time the USWNT looked that bad was as the Algave Cup a few years back with Jill’s predecessor. And we all know what happened to him. So Jill better take note. The fans are beginning to get impatient.
Remember, the difference between the USMNT and the USWNT is the women actually win* stuff