Schelin, Sweden end US’ 43-game unbeaten run

Jeff Kassouf March 7, 2014 464

Tom Sermanni suffered his first defeat in 21 games as U.S. coach. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Sweden ended the United States’ 43-game unbeaten streak on Friday, defeating the Americans 1-0 in group play at the 2014 Algarve Cup.

Sweden proved efficient in the 24th minute when Lotta Schelin pounced on her team’s best attack of the match to that point. Sofia Jakobsson blocked Ali Krieger’s clearance and settled it for a cross to Schelin, who beat Rampone to the spot and sent a glancing header past Hope Solo.

The goal stood up as the only one of the match, ending the United States women’s unbeaten run that stretched back to the 2012 Algarve Cup, when the Americans lost to Japan in group play on March 5, 2012. Pia Sundhage, the current coach of Sweden, was the U.S. coach when that streak began.

With the loss, the U.S. has been ruled out of contention for the championship match on Wednesday. They will play Denmark on Monday, hoping to qualify for the third-place match. The Americans have won the Algarve Cup nine previous times. Tom Sermanni went unbeaten in his first 20 matches as U.S. coach before Friday’s loss.

Nilla Fischer led a brilliant defensive performance by the Swedes, who frustrated the United States throughout the day.

The United States’ best opportunity of the first half came in the 16th minute, when Amy Rodriguez earned a penalty kick after being tackled by Charlotte Rohlin in the box. Abby Wambach stepped up for the penalty kick, but her short, one-step approach was saved by Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Pushing for an equalizer in the final minutes, the U.S. had chances. Lindahl twice saved 1-v-1 opportunities in the final 10 minutes, first denying Kristie Mewis with a kick save in the 82nd minute and then coming out to stuff Sarah Hagen’s would-be equalizer.

Mewis entered the game in the 67th minute — at the same time as her sister, Sam — and the siblings became the first to play on the field together for the U.S. since Lorrie and Ronnie Fair did so in 1997. Friday marked Sam Mewis’ and Hagen’s debut for the senior national team.

Germany 1, China 0

The world’s No. 2 team narrowly edged China 1-0 on Friday to book a spot in Wednesday’s final. Anja Mittag broke the surprising deadlock in the 84th minute on a long-range effort.

Japan 1, Denmark 0

Mana Iwabuchi’s strike in the 44th minute stood up as the winner, giving Japan a chance at the final with a win on Monday against Sweden.

Iceland 2, Norway 1

North Korea 2, Austria 0

Russia 3, Portugal 1

REVISIT FULL RECAP OF DAY 1 SCORES

  • en_observation

    jumping the gun maybe, but i’d replace wambach with hagen going forward. abby’s time has passed, big time.

    • Jigsawwill

      Stick a fork in her shes done.

      • David R

        Such Abby-haters on this website! Despite being paired with (the returned after being gone for > year since having a child) Rodriguez instead of Alex Morgan, she still had more shots on goal than Leroux/Press did when Abby sat on the bench.

        Why is anyone particularly surprised that the first time the US plays Sweden since Pia returned to coach her own national team, they are narrowly defeated? SHE trained ALL of them (except Morgan Brian) for YEARS, and knows EXACTLY was needed to be done to trip them up! (and trip they did – the Swedes were VERY physical, it’s a wonder no one was injured!)

        • Steglitz49

          In the WC-11 final Japan collected a yellow and a red card. Oddly enough the same ref in the OG final was more restrictive with her cards. The Japanese miscreants were Aya Miyama — she of venerated freekick fame — and Azusa Iwashimizu.

          Odd how the USNT can’t cope when the opposition stands firm and don’t meekly roll over saying after you, ma’am.

          • wosofan

            Related question — why are Japan not deemed a physical team? They seem to be a VERY physical team — clutching, grabbing, tripping from the side, and behind. I think the reason is that they seldom are reckless and stupid in their physical contact (compare to Canada, players like Tancredi or Sesselman). Japan seldom foul late or in a way that might cause injury, but they commit a lot of physical contact during a match, and a lot of it goes unnoticed by the ref.

          • Steglitz49

            A very fair set of points. I do not know the answer, though it was a US bearhug in the penalty area that went unpunished in the Olympic final.

            It could be that the Japanese are smaller and lighter (almost 4″ shorter and at least 15 lb lighter on av) and always smile and rarely, if ever, dispute the ref’s decision, however bizarre.

        • guest

          Maybe it’s because Alex Morgan made Abby look against good opponents the last 2 years and she only can score now against tomato can opponents. It’s sad but time has caught up with her.

        • Don B.

          Actually, this is the second time we’ve played them since Pia returned to Sweden. We played them to a 1 – 1 tie last year in the Algarve, and the lessons we should have learned then about Pia’s strategy of being very physical against us seem to have been forgotten. The starting of Abby and ARod must have brought a big smile from Pia, knowing how ineffective that pairing was under her for a couple of years.

          • NYRick

            Don good to hear from you. Team misses Alex.

          • Don B.

            Hey friend. I agree.

        • NYRick

          More shots? What match did you watch today? Seriously.

          It’s OK to be an Abby supporter, nothing wrong with that. But truth is, any of the other forwards (Syd, Press and Hagen, maybe even ARod too) when paired with Alex will look better. It proves the point that Alex made and revitalized her career, not the other way around by a long shot.

          As for playing Sweden, the right strategy is to play completely opposite of the Sundhage way that she expects the team to play. That’s why she is successful against the US (last year 1-1 at Algarve too). Starting Abby, HAO, Pinoe, Carli and ARod is a gift from heaven to Pia. If this tournament doesn’t mean much, and it really shouldn’t, way not change it up with our young guns. Play the match through M. Brian. Let Pinoe watch, especially after her Japan performance. Play two young guns up top (Hagen and Press), and bring Abby in the second half.

          Honestly, just pretty bad coaching and strategy. But don’t worry, everything will be just fine for Abby when Alex gets back to save her…again.

        • luke

          What shots?
          Was I watching the same match? :))

    • Calci0

      Not going to happen….

      • en_observation

        then it’s going to be a sad prinz situation in 2015. sermanni looked pretty foolish today.

        • Calci0

          Eh, I’ve long looked to see what Hagen could do, even Horan for that matter. But it’s highly unlikely that Wambach is put out of the mix. Maybe she doesn’t start has much as she used to?!?

          • en_observation

            i’ve thought that too, but if sermanni’s smart, he’ll ask himself what he’s saving abby for? hagen comes in with the size and skill like wambach, but she can actually run and tackle. i know what you’re saying though.

          • wosofan

            This will be tricky in a World Cup tournament format. You can imagine that she sits during a group stage match, and in the other group stage matches, she plays 70 or 80 minutes. But then you get to the knock-out stages, and let’s assume she hasn’t been effective (but the team has still been winning). What will Sermanni do at that point???

            This is why I hope all the questions are answered before the World Cup tournament begins. We cannot go into the 2015 WC like Germany and Prinz went into 2011 WC. It is very hard to bench an sputtering icon and legend right in the middle of a huge tournament. Much easier to establish players’ roles clearly, before the tournament begins. How Sermanni does this, and establishes all the roles and pecking order before the WC tournament, will be the huge thing to watch.

    • MT

      Yes, you are jumping the gun. 10 minutes of Hagen will not unseat the decorated veteran and world’s reigning goal champion. Try again.

      • wosofan

        This is very true. Fans should not expect a drastic change for Abby’s role on the team. More practically speaking, Hagen has to play for Bayern through the spring/early summer, and so I don’t think she’ll even be available for any friendly matches until June against France. No way Abby’s role on this team is re-arranged overnight, and I think Sermanni will try every strategy possible to try to have her be the focal point of the offense in 2015. He will beat the horse until it dies (that’s an expression, not literal statement).

  • Jigsawwill

    Time to kick back and enjoy the eruption of emotions that are coming.

    http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1f7a1NFMa1r8yzsr.gif

    • Calci0

      I see about 500 posts on this one. If a Japan tie gets over 400, what’s this game going to do?

      • guest

        <100 on topic?

  • guest

    Before everyone on this board starts messing there pants, I think this is a good thing. They are not invincible, and if they want to win the world cup they have to be faced with there weaknesses and work through them. It’s the only way, as painful as it might be to watch.

    • Jigsawwill

      That’s a losers mentality. You don’t need to lose to know that you can lose.

      • guest

        Sometimes you do need to lose. Sometimes you need to be smacked in the face with your weakness and faults, acknowledge it, deal with it, get back up and move on.

        • Terry Lash

          I agree. Further, often too much emphasis is placed on winning these kinds of matches by US supporters. There is a lot to learn from this loss, including things advocated on this site often. Wambach displayed for all to see the deficiencies many here have been pointing out. This gives Sermanni the basis for reducing her role in the future.

          • Greg

            Agree 100%. I didn’t watch this game so I can’t say what all the conclusions will necessarily be- but, it sounds like the attack got much more fluid without Wambach. That’s something I’ve noticed over the last year or so- she’s good, but things flow much more naturally (and quickly) when she’s off the field- here’s hoping Sermanni sees that too.

      • kernel_thai

        Winning a WC isnt about winning every game it about winning 7 in a row in Canada.

        • Steglitz49

          Strictly speaking, no. In WC-11 the US lost their group game against Sweden 1-2 while Japan lost to England 0-2. The rest is herstory as they say.

          You can’t screw up in the knock-out stage but in the group games you get a second bite at the cherry or even a third, like Canada in OG-12.

    • VaFan51

      I think the most significant result of this is to put to rest the A-Rod experiment. Yes, Abby had a bad day (for her), but it’s a bit early for last rites. But, as painful as it is to say, A-Rod just has not produced since well before the 2011 WWC. Maybe she will up her game playing for KC in the NWSL, but she has shown very little internationally for years.
      Who should our 5 WWC forwards be? My take: Morgan, Leroux, Press, Wambach, Hagen.
      If there’s any justice in the world, Hagen gets a real shot, especially since Abby is our only current target forward and she is not going to be able to play 90 minutes very often, nor should we rely on that. We need a second big forward and Hagen will only keep improving.

      • Calci0

        Depending on form for all of them. I still think Horan might have a shot, so don’t count her out.

        • VaFan51

          I deliberately left out Horan because of her U-20 committment, since I assume that’s ironclad. Otherwise, she definitely belongs in the mix, certainly well above A-Rod.

          • Calci0

            Shouldn’t she be freed up after this summer?

      • guest

        Agreed. Abby-Arod didn’t work with Pia and it won’t work now. Perhaps tommy just wanted to see for himself? He sure has now. Abby has to transition to sub role in this team. She still has a place in it but it is not as a starter. If tommy doesn’t see that, we have a serious problem.

      • FCKCEvans

        I acknowledge that Arod is in question but can we please see her with someone besides Wambach. They don’t work, but she may work with Press/LeRoux/Hagen.

        • clioamare007

          Right! I am not ready to write Arod off. She assisted others when she could. She is faster than Wambach. I am so over Wambach right now.

        • Calci0

          Hagen – Arod could work….

          • J

            You’re kidding right? No and No.. Hagen deserves her shot but she isn’t going to get it this go round

          • Calci0

            I’m talking about the AC. But who’s to say she won’t be starting at WC15?!? “This go round” she is no youngster (in the USWNT mindset), and Horan is looking for PT too. So if not now, when?!?

        • guest

          So let’s pretend Morgan isn’t even on the team? Yeah okay sure that isn’t going to happen especially after today.

        • Elaine

          Arod and Abby are yesterday’s news. Current and future news are Alex, Press, Syd, and Hagen. TS must see this or we are doomed.

          • Steglitz49

            Not sure about Press after the Japan game. I would have preferred for TS to keep Christen as a starter, maybe paired her with Sarah Hagen.

          • Pressured

            There is also the Ellis, UCLA issue. Why are two Mewis’ playing and Tymrak sent to play with the under 23’s? If Rapinoe was struggling, I’d have Tymrak and Heath at 2 and 3 behind Rapinoe. The AM’s should include Brian and Tymrak. Please watch some film and see Tymrak drive the ball, with the ball right at her feet.

          • Elaine

            I was also bummed about Tymrak not chosen for the Algarve but instead got demoted to the U23s. If the US plays Sweden again, leave HAO, Abby, and Arod on the bench. I might even try a 4-3-3. Let’s see if Fischer can handle 3 of them on offense.

        • NYRick

          ARod is still a nice player for the NWSL, but she is way behind the other forwards on this team. Not just Alex, Press and Syd. But I think Hagen and Horan too.

          • FCKCEvans

            Interesting that several of you know this with absolute certainty. I’m not saying you are incorrect, but I just want Arod to get a chance with someone other than Wambach. Anyone else, please!

          • guest

            What does Arod bring that those three don’t?

          • FCKCEvans

            I’m not arguing with y’all I just want her to get a chance with someone other than Wambach. Morgan, LeRoux, and Press are superior. I’m just not positive 100% that Wambach (in current form), Hagen, and Horan obviously better than Arod. I just want to see them more before I can decide. I think Arod offers a little more versatility than some of the previous forwards because she plays good defense.

            All i’m saying is i’d like to see Arod in other combinations before making a final decision on her.

          • curious

            A Rod does offer versatility that Wambach, Morgan, Hagen and possibly Horan do not. Haven’t seen the game yet, but how is it A Rod drew a penalty if she posed no threat.

          • Guest

            The penalty call was a bad call and she does not offer more versatility than Morgan or Horan

          • curious

            Morgan or Horan ever play wide midfield at the international level? All penalty calls are disputed.

          • FCKCEvans

            All opinions can be disputed as well. No need to be dismissive when someone doesn’t agree whole-heartily with yours.

          • Guest

            Alex played all the way back on defense in Germany last year in the Algarve. She was all over the field and Has Arod every played wide effectively? Let me help you no. So she is not versatile like you say. The call was bad but keep your blinders on.

          • Guest

            against not in

          • FCKCEvans

            Congrats, one example, Alex, who no one on here would debate Arod is better than. I was referring to those other bubble forwards: Hagen/Horan/Wambach (in current form). Not relevant. Fantastic attempt of being a know-it-all though. All I said is I want to see some of these borderline forwards more before making final decisions.

            Anyway congrats for turning a comment section of an Equalizer article into a “Ashley is always right and no one can even question it” forum. Know- it-alls with no tolerance of other opinions are what give this site a bad name.

          • Guest

            Sorry I hurt your feelings with facts..Do you want a tissue?

          • FCKCEvans

            You never offered fact…just your opinion, nice try though. I’m done with this thread, that has your worthless opinion on it entirely too much.

          • James

            Isn’t what the comment section is for to have an opinion?
            Relax FCKC. When you post it’s the same just an opinion.

          • FCKCEvans

            Right I made an ass of myself on this thread. I can accept that. At least I didn’t switch my name to “guest” though.

          • Guest

            Oh so it’s okay for you to put your opinion out there but when other’s disagree with you it’s worthless? How about looking at the player’s statistics if you want fact. Arod has not been effective since before 2008. Pia has tried her out wide and so has Tom a bit one game against Russia to no avail. She hasn’t shown anything to justify keeping her on the roster no matter how angry you get that fact won’t change

          • wosofan

            When Morgan loses her scoring touch at age 32 or so, and if someone conservative like Pia is in charge of the WNT, and this coach doesn’t care about developing young talent, then I bet Morgan gets a few starts at outside midfield. Horan isn’t that fast, but shows versatility in the variety of ways she scores goals professionally and for the youth national teams — has ARod ever scored a goal with her head, or on a free kick?

          • Steglitz49

            Alex will have retired long before she is 32. She will bow out after WC-15 though, depending on, she might be persuaded to carry on through OG-16 but I would not count on it.

          • guest

            This is so ridiculous. She’s NOT gonna retire after the world cup. Without soccer, all of her fame/money/etc. disappears. As soon as someone does something big in the WC/OG, they’re gonna be raking in the cash not Morgan. She is too competitive to quit while she can still play.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex Morgan has already earned more than all other women soccer players together. She does not need to get out of bed again. Alex can look forward to lucrative TV contracts. Her fame will echo long down the halls of time.

            Granted, Alex probably has not earned as much as Lindsey Vonn has or Mikaela Shiffrin is likely to, but the history of sport is full of stars who fighting fit walked away from the gig. Not everyone is like Ole Einar or Marit.

            Alex keeps getting injured. That more than anything will help her decide. What profits it a young lady — but for a life in chronic pain?

          • Herminator

            Only alpine skiing geeks in the US know who Mikaela Shiffrin is. That’s about 3 people.

          • Steglitz49

            You may well be right but you would also be surprised at how much money Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso have pulled in, and Mikaela has reached the top younger than them. Sit back and watch the greenbacks roll in (unless Mikaela gets injured, obviously).

          • Sounders

            ARod really has speed only, the other players are much more dynamic. If you are going to say “versatility” you’ve picked the wrong player. Wambach should make the team ahead of ARod because she poses a scoring threat unlike any player in the world.

          • wosofan

            The Swedish defender stopped her progress toward goal. ARod did not know what to do once stopped. She failed to shield the ball, and the Swedish player made a good tackle. That’s all I saw.

          • luke

            …and ref made a bad call.

          • Steglitz49

            A baby. Did you see the picture of Aya Miyama tickling Steph Cox’s babe under the chin after the match, with a couple of other players standing around and smiling.

            That’s what the Algarve is all about — and maybe women’s soccer, come to think of it.

          • wosofan

            She will get her chance to show Vlatko what she has, in just a couple of weeks. And again, I’m a FCKC fan, really truly, and I’m predicting she has 1 or maybe 2 goals this season. Henderson only played half the season last year, but improved and helped the team play well (even if she did not score until the playoffs). I’d take Henderson in her form during August last year over ARod now. I’d even give ARod the whole season to get fit and comfortable, and I just do not see the ability there. (Side note: even if Vlatko did not favor Kristie Mewis, he should’ve gotten more value in return than ARod).

          • FCKCEvans

            Very well, I know we’ve discussed Arod in depth previously. Thanks for presenting your opinion in a non-dismissive/condascending manner. I like Henderson a lot as well and hope she has a break-out season.

          • Steglitz49

            Melissa Henderson is 26. She has a great future behind her.

          • SauerbrunnFan

            great prediction :)

  • SoCal Chase

    Ive just about had it with Wambach. The only games she’s able to score against NOW are teams that lack aggressive defense,like Russia and South Korea. It’s honestly,maybe not time to pass the torch on yet, but accept that her role on this team is goin to change moving close to 2015, just as Rampones is.

    On the bright side, we limited Sweden to having hardly any shots and got to see some first timers on the field.
    Very unlucky. Score could have been 3-1 had USA stepped it up.

    • Lorehead

      Wambach scored last year against Brazil, Australia, and Germany.

  • Ashley

    Wambach screwing up a pk (proving once again that she is consistently ineffective) and poorly timed subs – they were done far, far too late – were the main things that cost the US the game. The End.
    When is Alex back?

    • Jigsawwill

      Did anyone really think she was going to make that? I knew she would miss for some reason.

      • guest

        She’s been missing every other PK recently. The US needs to find a new penalty taker. Maybe Cheney?

        • kernel_thai

          Krieger

        • how’s that work?

          Can you fly someone in just to take a penalty?

    • Davis

      Sermanni is always too slow to sub. That’s my biggest complaint with him. He’s said before in an interview that he dislikes disrupting the rhythm of games with substitutes, but in this case his starting line up clearly wasn’t effective. Changes needed to be made in the midfield and front line much earlier than they were.

      • Calci0

        I think he still, just wanted to see what he could get out of the two and results were secondary?!?

        • NYRick

          I would buy that thinking against Denmark and Russia, but not a top 5 team.

          • Calci0

            Well his hands were tied with Leroux out. We all know Morgan is out. Hagen was sitting on zero caps for the senior team. Horan was with the U-20’s. I guess he could have gone with Wambach – Press?!? Maybe he wanted a fresh press for Denmark?!? But I think he is finding the answers to some of his questions.

          • NYRick

            I actually would have gone Press-Hagen to start, and sub out Hagen at around 55 minutes with Abby to the end. By then, Fisher might have been tired and not able to easily handle Abby to the finish. Also, if you wanted to give ARod 10-15 minutes depending on the scoreline, she could have come on for Press. If HAO, Pinoe and Carli can go two games in essentially two days, so can a 25-year old Press, who seems to be in good fitness. Never have seen her run the pitch better.

          • D23

            Don’t know about that. I think Fisher is the best CB in the world right now.

          • NYRick

            Agree with you on Fisher. She is flat out great. But Sweden got extremely lucky the last 15 minutes of that match, even with Fisher.

          • Calci0

            I hear you and understand what you are saying. But I think TS really wants to give the fwds a fair shake, to truly see what he has. And thus you kinda knew Wambach and Arod would stat. Having never capped for the senior team, TS may not have felt comfortable putting Hagen in. Though I agree, given his options, Hagen and Press would have been an intriguing pair to start.

          • NYRick

            Good points. But he seemed to play the match as if he didn’t care about the result. So where was the risk in starting Hagen? Even for a half. She would surely bring a lot of energy and not harm the team. At least I don’t think. She certainly added something in the final 10 minutes. Plus, her size and ability to run would have caused Sweden much more problems.

          • Reality

            Perhaps Hagen and Press can start against Denmark…

          • Silver Frost

            Wrong. Wambach/Leroux.

          • Calci0

            Maybe Hagen/Leroux. And Wambach/Press for the last game.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear. If he did not want to repeat Syd-Christen he should have gone with Christen-Hagen or Christen-ARod.

          • Pressured

            There is also the attacking midfield issue, which IMHO, would be better off with Tymrak and Brian. I.e., Where Attacking = Dribbling and Passing, not Lobbing.

      • curious

        Didn’t he sub 2 at halftime? Are you questioning the timing or the personnel/position?

        • Davis

          He subbed one at halftime, and it was a defender (O’Hara in for Kling). Not the move that needed to be made. Nobody else was subbed in until nearly the 70th minute.

  • guest

    Has newsouth finished masturbating yet?

  • Reality

    The chickens came home to roost for Semanni in his insistence on relying on Wambach for not only in this game but for the past year. Hopefully, he will finally realize that it is time for him to put her into a secondary role.

    In point of fact, this is also a clear message that a reliance on the Sundhage strategy that was devised for Wambach needs to be discarded also. It is ironic that Sundhage showed the solution to undermining her own strategy. Good ball handling, excellent dynamic possession, high pressure up the field and swarming defense by Sweden can also be done by other teams like Germany who will certainly take a cue from this performance.

    The good news from the past 2 games is that the younger generation shows real promise not only for their greater skills and technique but also because they fundamentally change the strategy and style of the NT. Hagen, Mewis and Press really changed the complexion of the last 20″ and the outcome could have been much different if they had started.

    Hopefully, what this will produce is a turning point in the U.S. program where Sermanni will turn toward the future and commit the NT to it’s young talent . There really is no other choice if we hope to win in the WC2015.

    • Terry Lash

      Hear, hear! Exactly on point.

    • Silver Frost

      This is how Wambachio plays in cool weather. Sluggish. Imagine 90+ for 90mins.

      • Reality

        The NT has always been known for its endurance and stamina. I don’t think she meets that criteria any more.

        • NYRick

          That’s a really great point. But I still think Abby could be very effective as a 20 minute end of game player. The US really turns up the heat in nearly every match in final 20 minutes. And with that, they draw a lot of free kicks and corner kicks. Abby still has a role, but it has to be a role in the best interests of the team, not in her WC quest “the one thing I never won” interest.

          • Reality

            She could maximize her chances for the WC win by reducing her role.

          • NYRick

            She could, but will she? If healthy, she starts in all the important matches, if not every one, at WC15. This is a given. The thinking will be that when paired again with Alex, the magic will return, she’s a big game player, our big star etc.

            And US soccer will want her in the starring role. It makes for better theater than to start Syd. Or even Press.

            Most importantly, TS needs to stop playing the attack through Pinoe. This could be more their downfall than anything they do or start with the forwards. And has been said on here many times, a good team knows how to defend against HAO and her one move down the right side. She can run wild against the likes of Russia, but top 5 teams will blanket that. That takes nothing away from her effort and work ethic but it’s been seen and will be defended. And Pinoe is just on another planet right now. TS has tough decisions to make. Will he make them this year?

          • Reality

            Pinoe’s and O’Hara’s style conform to the Sundhage strategy designed for Wambach. Habits are hard to break. The key is to get Wambach out and re-program them if possible. If not there are always Tymrak, B. Morgan, and Heath who can accommodate a more varied approach that would support the likes of Press, Morgan, Leroux and Hagen.

          • NYRick

            You’re right. But they are not going to do that. The re-programming is a funny way of looking at it though, but the one central negative is that the team always wins playing the Sundhage way for the past 3 years. Maybe a wake-up call, still 15 months out from the WC is what was needed. I actually think today is a positive and it also gets the weight of that stupid winning streak off their backs. Don’t be surprised if France doesn’t thump them as well this summer. The WC qualifiers are a walk in the park for them.

          • Reality

            Wouldn’t you like to be proved wrong? I think the evidence is accumulating beyond a pretence of ignorance by anyone that Wambach as a starter is detrimental to the NT. This will continue to be obvious even against tomato cans as each game is played. Wambach can attend all the games to come which will still bring out her fans in flocks. She does not have to start or play 90″ for them to turn out. In fact, they would probably be coming in greater numbers once it became clear that she is winding down her career. I think there will be a different approach to the lineup for the future by Sermanni.

          • wosofan

            Yes, this match today is ultimately a huge positive for the USWNT. Anyone who sees it as a negative, cannot see the larger picture. It would sure help the team further if Abby is paired with Alex against France in June — i.e., no excuses for Abby — and she struggles again.

            As for Rapinoe, it is a huge, huge blessing that she has the Reign and Laura Harvey and that whole NWSL season to play for. Get her away from the WNT for a while and hopefully allow her to breathe and have fun again. Her body language is really telling right now. She may be having some personal, off the field difficulties, that’s my guess.

            O’Reilly does a lot right and shows a lot of hustle, as always, but she’s not a highly skilled player and her decision-making is suspect. At this time, though, hard to remove her from the picture. Her successor (almost a carbon copy) is Kaelia Ohai, who at present does not possess technical skills yet to play at this level, and needs a couple of NWSL seasons, in my opinion.

          • Steglitz49

            Who is “B Morgan”? Do you mean Paige Brian or one of theother 5 pretend Morgans?

          • Reality

            Slight dyslexia there…Morgan B.

          • Pressured

            I agree. Direct over the top play has its role at the end of a match when your down one goal or tied.

      • David R

        Given that she played for 123 minutes in that game against the Canadians? She’s still one of the best strikers in the world!

      • wosofan

        Yes, Sermanni needs to think about what Abby will look like if she’s playing in July heat, on fake turf — 6 or so matches over a 3-week period. Could get ugly. She may sit out a group stage match, but a quarterfinal match could last 120 minutes, so Tom should consider the realities here.

  • Jigsawwill

    I’m calling it now! Press and Morgan will start first match of WC15.

    • guest

      And Leroux is the sub. Not going to happen, but Hagen should be the fourth forward. Leave Abby at home. Hagen can do everything Wambach can do. Plus she can actually run.

      • sydon

        And why cant Syd come off the bench in certain games?

        • Calci0

          She was out with an illness today.

      • Guest

        Why not. I think Alex and Press would be the more productive pair. Syd’s goal against Japan was a fluke and I’ll give her good hustle but I still don’t believe she is a full 90 minute player.

        • Calci0

          No her goal was good heads up play, and quick movement. In Morgans absence, she has scored when the team needed it. See the 2nd NZ game, see Canada, see Japan. One of the main jobs of a fwd is to score, and against the toughest teams (they’ve played recently) she’s found a way to do that. Odd that she is getting penalized for it?!? And you’re right, she isn’t just a 90 min player, she’ll go 90+ and still hustle like it’s the 1st minute!

          • kernel_thai

            Ill give u the NZ goal. She gets no credit for the other two. The Canada goal was a tap even after Sauerbrunn and Press boke down the defense. The Japan goal was basically an own goal. Leroux get props for hustling but thats its.

          • john

            I have to disagree with you on this. Finishing is a unique skill and the mentality of it is what makes those who can special. How many times have you seen players have the ball delivered on a platter and fail to score. As others here have noted upper 90 from 35 yards out or a slow roller that barely crosses the line they all count and in soccer w/ its lower score lines are precious indeed. That said I’m not sure Leroux would be a starter f/ me either, but I think you downplay the significance of finishing.

          • Steglitz49

            They all count. Ask Aya Miyama or Erina.

          • Guest

            I agree..

          • Calci0

            Well the scoreline credits Leroux for the Goal, but thanks for your opinion……………..

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Guest

            She a one dimensional poacher. See all the games you just listed as refernce

          • Calci0

            I’ve seen her score from a variety of ways, and her assist to Press last year shows she can make special plays to others. But believe what you will, video shows a different viewpoint though…… Odd that someone who’s excelled at just about all levels gets downgraded the way she does?!? She could have taken the easy route and played with Canada, but she took the harder route, and is knocking on the door to start for one of the best teams in the world. But if you listen to some, she only got here because she is one-dimensional. Odd professional coaches don’t seem to view her that way?!?

        • Steglitz49

          Syd scored, Christen did not. That must count for something at the pearly gates.

          Maybe Syd will be bridesmaid at Erina’s wedding?

          • Guest

            So what? Other than the one hustle play she played very average.

          • Steglitz49

            Syd scores. Lotta Schelin scores. Anja Mittag scores. Aya Miyama scores. Others don’t. Not a good idea in such competitive sides as the US.

    • ROOTchino

      I really hope it happens, but we first have to actually see them play up top together once. If the two can put away their past differences and form a partnership they could easily be one of the most deadly duo’s in US History. I don’t see it happening with Alex and Syd, their playing styles don’t compliment each other, it’s too one dimensional.

      • c01

        I do agree that Alex and Press should start but I disagree with Syd and Alex could not coexist. They had been partnering since they were teenagers and had actually produce.

        • Calci0

          Yeh, people try to ignore the facts, and claim it was too long ago. But the 2008 U-20 WC shows what Morgan and Leroux can do together.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Listen to Calci0 because she speaks wisdom.

        • Steglitz49

          On the basis of that which you have seen with your own eyes and witnessed, would you really start Christen ahead of Syd?

      • NYRick

        You think they have past differences? I’ve bought this up a number of times and got laughed at for it. I think there is a very real rivalry between the two from their early SoCal days to the Pac-10. If the two of them and Syd can form a great friendship and partnership they would all benefit and all get minutes and stardom.

        • guest

          Is there enough room for three though?

          • NYRick

            That may well be the problem. I think there is. But it has to be a collective agreement. They are the 3 most talented forwards of the same age range that have ever been in the program together at once. Take advantage of that.

          • Steglitz49

            No.

        • guest

          Give it time. Morgan and Leroux are like besties now when they didn’t seem that close at first. Maybe Press will join the party, though she does seem a bit anti-establishment while Morgan and Leroux are typical mainstream.

          • Sounders

            Leroux and Morgan seemed to get along fine playing for Sounders Women year before last…

  • gerd karl

    hagen start the game against sweden and the usa won 3-1
    sermanni is a bad trainer

  • luke

    Funny thing is that Sweden was not that good at all imo.
    I can’t recall them exchanging 4 passes in a row in this match. Solid defensively (#23 showed the world how to stop HAO), but offensively their midfield was average at most. They tend to panick quite often and kick the poor ball in every direction available. The other forward #11 is two classes below Asslani and Lotta. Great performance from swedish goalkeeper!

    Abby Wambach is slow, flopping, screaming shadow of herself. She is even losing headers now. Arod was even decent today.
    Ali Krieger great like always, Press and Carli Lloyd were the best players – these three were only active, fighting, running and creating offensively. Rampone is losing duels 1 on 1 – the end of the world or just the biology?

    And again – Pinoe STILL doesn’t want to pass the ball to Morgan Brian, anybody know why???

    • guest

      Krieger didn’t look good on the goal. More Rampone’s fault though. Looks like Sauerbrunn and Engen will be the starters moving forward.

      • guest

        Sadly Krieger has been known to serve a pretty ball to the opposition at both the club and country level. Not sure that costs her the job though. Unfortunately goals are hard to get back.

        • ctsmith73

          Today is on her. Not 2011, though.

    • german imposter

      your grasp of American dialect English has magically improved…. who is this for real?

    • en_observation

      sweden really didn’t look that great, but the US were a mess. i agree that abby is a shadow of herself. pia eyes must have popped out of her head when she saw arod and abby starting. even she gave that experiment up!

    • c01

      Agree to All especially to Pinoe not wanting to pass the ball to Moe. Is she threatened that Moe will eventually replace her?? Well in the form that she is showing in the last two game she should hope that Tom actually have a short term memory.

      Congratulations to Hagen and Sam pretty good game for 1st cappers.

      Alex comeback soon and bring Tymrak and Lauren with you.

      • NYRick

        Speaking of Tymrak, still don’t understand why she isn’t here, and instead with the U23 team. Who knows if it could have made a difference, but she is a player I would have like to have seen. Especially against Japan.

        • guest

          Maybe she’s getting more playing time with the u23s.

          • NYRick

            She should be getting Mewis minutes RIGHT NOW with the big team.

          • guest

            I don’t disagree there, but Tom loves his Mewii. Even got a double dose today.

          • Pressured

            Google UCLA, Mewis, Jill Ellis.

          • Calci0

            Getting experience and PT goes along way!

        • guest

          Tymrak can’t come too many days to a camp without getting a uswnt contract. She was with the team for almost 3 weeks already this year. Same for Julie Johnston

  • ForeverLOST108

    All I have to say is that we still have over a year before the World Cup and we’re already seeing players like Wambach and Rampone show their age. It really is time for them to hand over the reigns.

    • guest

      I believe Rampone is well aware of her limitations, and will be okay with Engen and Sauerbrunn starting. She is a good leader and is good to keep on the team. Wambach, on the other hand, still thinks this is 2004 or something. She is easily behind Morgan, Press and Leroux, and probably behind Hagen as well. But she’s still going to clamor for starts. She’s not brining anything positive to the team anymore.

      • NYRick

        I agree with what you’re saying. But truth is, Abby is probably going to score 2 or 3 goals in the consolation 4th game against a tomato can and all will be just fine. You’ll see.

        • kernel_thai

          I think the make or break for Wambach is France…she will be in the middle of the league season by then so there will be no excuses. Meanwhile, TS has to continue to give the others player time not just cameos.

          • NYRick

            And she’ll probably do something like score 2 goals against France and all will be thrown out of whack again in TS’s mind. She has a role, but that role is now 20 minutes. Just too much talent at the forward spot to waste on this team.

      • guest

        I disagree. I think she brings many positive things to the team. Her experience, her leadership are all valuable. The issue for me is not wether she should be on the team but in what capacity. In my opinion she has a role on this team and it is as a sub. She has to transition into that or there will be a serious problem.

        • guest

          But is she willing to transition to a smaller role? She hasn’t shown she is willing the way Rampone has.

          • guest

            Perhaps she needs a bit more time to really accept it? guess we will know soon enough won’t we.

          • NYRick

            She will never accept it. Some players are just like that. Also, she got her stardom, her true stardom, very late in her career. Plus, the FIFA POY voting the last two years has also confused and clouded her judgment. Not going to happen. Sermanni has a major problem on his hands.

          • wosofan

            Yes, I actually think it will be difficult. I think she was totally on board with the “Team A” and “Team B” concept, where Abby gets to rest during one of the weaker group stage matches at the WC. However, I think if he makes her a true “Team B” player, and thus, “just a possible late sub” in a knock-out phase match, that will not go down easily. I don’t pretend to know her apart from her public persona, but if you can read her face and her eyes as she has been subbed-off recently — wow, it looks like she is really angry. And I would probably be angry also if I were her. Look at Rampone — she is upset, a she just admitted in ESPNW. The difference thus far is that Rampone says she is going embrace her changed role and still work to get better and help the team.

          • NYRick

            I agree with everything you are saying here. Like I said, the last 2-3 years is when her stardom truly emerged in the eyes of the American public. She became a first name star. That’s not easy to do in the US. With that, her transition to a lesser role will not be graceful and it may lead to a Prinz WC11 thing for this team. I’m of the opinion that no player should ever be bigger than the team.

            If Derek Jeter can walk away from the Yankees this year (and really I can tell you from the NY market) there is and will be no bigger thing in sports. If you thought the Rivera send off last year was big, it will be child’s play compared to Jeter. With that, Abby can certainly leave the US team. Mia did, and Mia was better and really bigger than her during her tenure.

          • wosofan

            She’s not backing away from this, so we should stop imagining it. Also, she’d get a bigger farewell in late 2015 after WC success, than she would in 2014, so she’s shooting for 2015. Imagine the crowds at the Victory Tour, if it were to happen, and if it doubled as the Farewell Abby Tour. No way she steps away now.

          • Reality

            You make a good point of how difficult it must be for Wambach at this point in her career to let go. To have finally arrived at the summit, it will be hard for her to acknowledge that she is on the down slope. On the other hand, since she possesses all the records save the WC, it would behoove her to carefully consider the advantages of departing at the top. That is often the best time for a champion athlete to move on as their memory will always be enshrined. However, if she lingers with her declining ability and damages the NT chances and development, her record will be diminished. Best for her to begin the process of admission and graceful step back as Rampone is doing and as Hamm did before her. She will achieve greater respect and praise for it.

          • Steglitz49

            It is the coach’s job to explain the facts of life and, if needed, to lay down the law.

        • en_observation

          i would say experience and leadership are more important if you’re a defensive player like rampone. if abby can’t run or put the ball in the net then what good is that experience?

          • NYRick

            Excellent point. And one I don’t think I’ve ever heard made regarding this argument.

          • en_observation

            it’s not like abby is able to really teach press or morgan or even leroux…..they’re a different type of player with different skill sets than wambach. granted she may have made it easier for morgan and leroux to transition to the NT, but she def wasn’t teaching morgan to make those runs or make incisive goals like those against canada last year. those iare ntrinsic skills that really can’t be taught. hagen on the other hand could be a wambach protege, but honestly her little cameo today shows that she may already be there. then again, it was only what 10 mins? hopefully she gets more minutes in the future.

          • guest

            If anything, Morgan revitalized Wambach’s career.

          • NYRick

            THIS.

          • en_observation

            exactly i was thinking the same thing. wow did morgan make wambach look good for that year of their partnership.

          • Elaine

            Wambach herself acknowledges this fact. Thing is is she hoping that the return of Alex will re-revitalize her once again? I honestly don’t even know. Abby is just not fit enough anymore to do much damage. And what you’ll see is Alex running to get to balls meant for Abby and slowing down her own game just to wait for Abby to get to her spot.

          • guest

            Abby can count to six.

          • wosofan

            this is clever. props for this comment. To be fair, she may have a role as a substitute, and I wouldn’t remove her from the team before the WC. The big thing is whether she shows leadership and a team-first attitude if her role changes on this team. She is on record already saying that she is willing to do anything for the team on its quest for the WC, except that “when it comes to the 90 minutes” in the big matches, she is going to be difficult to put on the bench. So, if she sticks to that attitude, it may get ugly.

          • D23

            There was a moment out there today it looked like she had lost the plot.

          • en_observation

            exactly. i’m not abby-bashing, but i really think she didn’t know what to do.

  • smallbatches

    Quick Observations..
    Sweden played a physical match bullying US more than any team I have ever seen. Pia obviously behind that.

    Abby ..truly she is only effective on set pieces anymore. Huge liability in the flow of the game

    ARod…why is she on the NT? She can’t finish never could

    Pinoe…nothing working for her, Can’t connect passes, CK serves terrible, dribbles into traffic, dispossed

    Carli and HAO are tireless but they are not skill players. They are opportunists. We need more skill players there.

    I think Holiday was missed. We were just running around out there. No possession in the first half. Late second half we brought lots of pressure but everything was over the top.

    Krieger played a good game. Same with Becky. I like Klingenberg. Poised when she is pressured.

    I am starting to wonder about Tom Sermanni. This team seems to be going backward. He needs to stop shuffling his line up everygame and needs to make some tough decisions (cough abby).

    Mewis sisters looked good.

    Press doesn’t get enough minutes. We need this game and Sermanni plays Arod to the 70th minute. Inexcusable

    • john

      Did we REALLY need this game? It’s spring 2014 at the Algarve Cup and there are 13 players not on the London roster in Portugal. The US is facing a strong field w/ opportunity to see how players handle different situations. I’m bummed that the streak ended, but I also really intrigued by what is (apparently) being revealed.

    • Sebastian

      Bullying – sounds like Sweden were giving you “wedgies”. I gather that US plays too many games against lower ranked teams, because this game wasn’t bad physically in any sense. And I guess you don’t mean it as that too. :D Today the US came up short, as simple as that.

      The last time I saw Sweden against US, it was in Sweden (Halmstad), and they were just better/faster, and won deservedly so. Don’t remember a Swedish supporter saying anything else, then the fact that the US was the better team.

      • Steglitz49

        When the US lose it is always the other side playing physical, even with the Nadeshiko who are ca 10 cm shorter and weigh 7-8 kg less on average. (To be fair, in the WC-11 final Japan picked up a yellow and a red card, so one can see why Americans think this way.)

        Excuses, excuses, excuses …

  • guest

    How did O’Hara look for 45 minutes? Good to read about her getting minutes!

    • guest

      I thought she looked good. LB is still her spot to lose imo.

      • Lou

        I agree. I thought she played well.

  • NYRick

    Sometimes you have to take a giant step back to take two giant steps forward. This match will turn out to be an immense positive for this team going forward for a variety of reasons.

    Also, the ARod experiment needs to stop. I know Steg will chime in about the return from pregancy. Yes, it’s a nice thing, but when you watch a player like Hagen getting shut out (until today) out of US camps and rosters because of it you know something is amiss. Not going to get into Abby. As you can see, even the English broadcasters give the “preseason, rounding into shape” excuse for her. Also, correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t the Abby-Arod combo a major fail even when both were more in their prime? Pia had to enjoy that lineup.

    BTW, Sweden played aggressively and well, but there were some serious fouls from their defenders not called. Especially in and around the box in the second half. The Arod PK takedown was obviously a terrible call, and it forced the ref to swallow her whistle on real fouls. And how many actual shots did Sweden have? I can’t recall one other scoring chance other than the goal?

    And…if someone can adequately explain to me Pinoe and how she warranted another start, let alone 70 more mindless minutes today? Do we not have other players to take a free kick or corner kick once in awhile too?

    • guest

      For Pinoe taking all the set pieces, Holiday isn’t there and she’s the only other player who consistently takes corners and such.

      • NYRick

        Wouldn’t mind seeing Morgan Brian taking a few then.

        • guest

          This team is so hierarchical that she may be too young and new to take them. Ridiculous, but not surprising.

        • c01

          They should really try Morgan Brian if Lauren is not with them. Brian also need to touch the ball to create and that’s not going to happen if Pinoe refuse to pass it to her.

          US team has no Baby horse this time to save them again the Swedes unlike last year.

          • NYRick

            With Brian, who I thought played well, I just don’t get Pinoe never passing her the ball. She is standing there open and Pinoe insists on dribbling through 2-3 defenders. Brian has the skill set to make things happen. I don’t give a toss that’s she’s 21. Play the match through her. Why can’t TS see the obvious. Also, can’t blame one player it’s a team sport, but Pinoe has killed them in these two matches.

          • guest

            Abby killed them today more than Pinoe did. Pinoe has been crap both matches, but she was better today than against Japan.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe it says more about Japan than Pinoe?

          • wosofan

            No. And no. This is a trend of inconsistency and poor decision-making: Canada (bad), Japan (really bad), Sweden (bad). (Russia doesn’t count because they can’t play).

          • Steglitz49

            You could turn it around and look at them from another angle. Japan world #3, Sweden #6,Canada #7 and Russia a lot further down the rankings.

            The better the team, the less impressive her play, which translated means that the teams can cope with her in proportion to their own quality and merit.

          • Steglitz49

            Ms Brian, please. Brian is a man’s name (as in “The life of Brian”).

          • just sayin

            her friends call her Moe…

          • Steglitz49

            Whatever floats her boat.

          • Steglitz49

            Maybe if Moe Brian is made too look good, someone else in the current midfield loses out. It takes not just vision but self-confidence to distribute the ball. Some have it; others don’t.

          • Steglitz49

            Please, seeing that Brian is a bloke’s name, could we call her Ms Brian and please could we drop the “baby horse” moniker because Alex does not like it.

            Does anyone know what Aya Miyama’s nick-name is? Giant Teddy? The teddybear with the sweet paw? The sheep-slayer? Any ideas?

          • mind your own

            You write about honoring Alex’s wishes, but do you have any knowledge about how Brian feels about her name? It’s like your comments about players using their married names like it’s any of your business.

          • Steglitz49

            You can refer to the young lady in the formal manner of Ms Brian, like they do at Wimbledon, or you can use her full name of Morgan Brian or you can use her nickname Moe, with or without the Brian. What you can’t do is simply call her Morgan, though that is her name, because, unfortunately for her, Morgan is already occupied.

          • luke

            Occupied by whom? 2015WWC tv commentator? ;)

          • Steglitz49

            Alex will be in Brazil commentating the World Cup. What she does in 2015 will depend on how fit and whole she is, but with Alex on the field Morgan belongs to her. Think Sugar Ray.

          • NYRick

            Alex is also a bloke’s name. Do we call her Ms. Morgan?

          • just needed another comment

            Hear, hear!

          • Steglitz49

            Sasha is the male diminutive of Alexander.

          • Steglitz49

            Alexandra, the name of queens.

            The male diminutive of Alexander is Sasha.

          • guest

            You do realize that Brian is her LAST NAME, who gives a crap that it’s a “bloke’s name” it’s her name.
            You’re so frickin annoying jeez.

          • Steglitz49

            OK.

          • Pressured

            LOL.

        • kernel_thai

          I believe the pecking order in Rapinoe, Holiday, O’Reilly, Cox. I saw Tymrak taking some for the U23s.

          • Steglitz49

            Steph Cox, HAO & Lauren Holiday are all married, and Pinoe is in a long-term relationship (have not heard that she is married). High time to find yourself a partner, Erika!

          • wosofan

            suspicions among folks who religiously follow the players’ social media — I don’t, I just read chat boards like this one — is that Pinoe is newly single. But don’t say I told you this. And Tymrak apparently has a boyfriend.

          • Steglitz49

            Is he tall, dark and handsome? Or short, fat and balding? An investment banker or a dentist?

    • Silver Frost

      This Swedish team got blasted by France just a month ago 3-0. And we can’t even get a PK.

    • kernel_thai

      With A-Rod it’s also about needs….there r three #1 type forward ahead of her and all r younger than her. On the other side u have one target type forward who is 33. It makes absolutely no sense not to be giving PT to the two younger target type forwards.

      • NYRick

        Your points are well taken. Just want to ask your opinion on this: can two #1 type forwards work, instead of the #1 type and target type we hear about. I think as it pertains to the US team, that’s because of Abby. She is a unique talent and one that will not be replicated in the future, and that goes beyond size and strength. Yet we hear the continual, “we need another target forward.” If you have two fabulous what you’d call #1 types on the pitch, aren’t they essentially both targets? I know all about holding the ball up etc. too. That should more be the role of a solid midfield anyway.

        I say this because I think our best starting forward option is Alex-Syd or Alex-Press. Hagen should be on the roster and getting minutes and experience, but I don’t foresee she or Horan as the starter, even in a year or so. I just think the other girls are better. And most importantly, a coach plays to his/her strengths and talent available, not the textbook blueprint of the way things should be or have worked in the past. What works in the past is usually due to a variety of reasons, mostly the talent available. Thoughts?

    • Steglitz49

      In the WC-11 final, Aya Miyama — she of the venerated freekick — picked up a yellow card while Azusa Iwashimizu picked up a red one. How come the USNT has trouble with teams with players who stand firm like lions and don’t just roll over like pussycats?

    • Lorehead

      I agree. When the U.S. hadn’t lost in two years, they could argue that what they were doing was working. Also, the loyalty Tom Sermanni has shown to the veterans and the moms on the team is commendable in a context where they have nothing else to fall back on, but after this Algarve Cup, it’s gone far enough and we should see some changes in the lineup.

  • guest

    This team misses Alex Morgan. A lot.

    • Calci0

      There are alot of players out, that could have made an impact today.

      • Guest

        Like who other than Lauren and Alex and maybe Syd but she’s still untested against Sweden? Give me a break

        • Steglitz49

          Christen Press?

          • Guest

            She did well and should have started but I was referring to the claim about players being out as an excuse.

          • Steglitz49

            I also contend that Christen should have started, either with ARod or Sarah Hagen. TS must give Christen serious playing time. Playing Abby was a total waste of time. Bizarre.

          • Calci0

            No excuse, I simply mentioned some of the missing players could have changed the outcome of the game. You see how much just subbing out the starting forwards changed the complexion of the game.

          • guest

            Because Press made such a huge difference against Japan?

          • Steglitz49

            I would have started Christen against Sweden together with ARod (and brought Sarah Hagen on at half-time). TS needs to be sure about Ms Press. As it is it seems that TS already has made up his mind. After all, his predecessor did not use her.

        • Calci0

          You, yourself said “Like who” and then preceded to name 3 players. Dunn is another. When you consider there are only 10 spots on the field. 4 players is alot.

  • cpl

    Great win fo Swden. Japan Sweden are very very good teams that don’t get a lot of credit.

  • MARMALADE

    USWNT Will Not, i repeat , Will Not Win the 2015 WC.

    • guest

      As long as Wambach and Arod aren’t starting, I’d say they are a pretty decent chance to lift the trophy in 2015.

      • guest

        I doubt A-rod makes the wc roster. In fact, i would bet good money on it.

        • Steglitz49

          What do you do with your bad money?

    • Calci0

      Whoa, let’s not go to crazy over the FIRST LOSS IN FORTY THREE GAMES!!!!!!!!

      • MARMALADE

        Yea,against mostly tomato cans and B-Teams of the top teams

        • Calci0

          Last I checked they are the runner up in the last WC (and it took PK’s). And the reigning Olympic Champs. Won the last AC. But for some reason they now have no shot to win the WC?!?

          • MARMALADE

            Will not win =/= doesn’t have a shot.

          • Calci0

            Being in the final of the last to major tourney’s, I think they can pull it off. Do you think this lineup today is the same one we’ll see next summer?!?

          • MARMALADE

            My prediction is not based on todays game,just a premonition.

          • guest

            didn’t the uswnt beat japan like 4-0 right before the last wc and everyone gave them like a 2 percent chance of winning? We are a year and a tad out. This will not be the starting lineup for uswnt. Keep shining that crystal ball.

          • MARMALADE

            I repeat, my prediction is not based on today’s game.Its all in the Crystal Ball :-))

      • Steglitz49

        Why not? The Armada was invincible, after all, was it not?

    • hysteria

      that’s quite a crystal ball you have.

      • MARMALADE

        Oh yes it is.You will find out soon enough.

        • Sydonia

          What else do see in your dreams?

          • MARMALADE

            Don’t worry about it,that’s for me to know and you to find out. :-))

          • Steglitz49

            Aya Miyama will play for Sky Blue, perhaps?

    • Steglitz49

      Winston Churchill had a ginger cat named Marmalade. When he willed Chartwell to the nation (the National Trust strictly speaking), Churchill made it a condition, that there must always be a ginger cat in residence and it should be called Marmalade. I think they are on Marmalde V now.

      • please stop

        knowledge is knowing obscure British history facts. wisdom is knowing when to share them. maturity is not desperately needing to post.

        • Steglitz49

          Meouw!

          • please stop

            Proving my point?

          • Steglitz49

            Prp.

    • Calci0

      Who will, who is so head and shoulders better than the USWNT that the US doesn’t even have a shot.

      • Steglitz49

        S/he must mean the Faeroe Islands.

  • guest

    Abby Wambach? If you’re not going to bow out gracefully, can you at least go down fighting? She brought zero energy to the feld. How many times was she offsides? Is this who the youth on the squad is to look up to as a role model and shining example of what it takes
    to earn and keep a spot?

  • nwslfan

    sounds like SWE got a kick in the pants from the loss to France. now USA got a kick in the pants. Great time for a reality check and removal of the pressure of a loss off our plate. I closed my eyes and knew Abby would go lower right corner, bc that is her preferred PK. Haven’t seen her go top shelf on a PK in forever- there is no unpredictability. Look forward to seeing the youngsters in the third game.

    • NYRick

      In the future PKs, if Abby is on the pitch with either Syd, Alex or Press. One of those 3 should take the PK. It’s time to transition in that regard too. Actually, Carli would probably step up to take it though. But that nonsense has to stop. Put the responsibility in the hands of the 3 young stars in the future. It is part of their growing process.

      • guest

        None of them have taken a PK in a competitive match for the national team. If Abby isn’t taking them, it probably goes to Lloyd or Holiday.

        • NYRick

          Don’t care. It’s time one of them took a PK. Even in a big match. I have full confidence in any of the 3 burying a PK when it matters. Also, is there anyone more clutch than Alex on this team? I’d be very comfortable with that.

          • JAMES 18

            I think KRIEGS is an excellent PK taker.Her PK against Brazil in the 2011 WC Quarterfinals was a beauty.

          • guest

            I wouldn’t mind Krieger taking it. Defenders don’t overthink it.

          • ForeverLOST108

            Rapinoe also had a great PK.

          • ThornyTimbers

            I can’t believe people would rather have Wambach’s right foot v Alex’s left foot taking a PK in the big games. But, I think Lloyd would have been better choice for today’s game

          • guest

            And if Morgan missed a PK, she would be so pissed she would be even more determined to score.

          • Guest

            Press and Morgan are very good at Pks as they took the majority for the teams in college competition. They should be taking them at this point not sure about Syd haven’t seen her take one.

          • Boston Red

            Like Carli did at the WWC in 2011?

          • NYRick

            I think you misread. I want Carli not to take a PK as well. She put hers in the 4th row in the WC final. But if you go back and watch that whole PK sequence, the most nervous PK surprisingly was taken by Heath. You would think with her bag of tricks she would be confident and fine. But she looks downright terrified before taking it. And it was a real weak effort.

          • Steglitz49

            The goalie, Ms Kaihori, was playing out of her skin that night.

        • J

          So what? I’ve seen them take PK’s in Club matches and at the college level in important games and all 3 are good. It’s time for Abby and Carli to stop taking the PKs.. Holiday is very good as well.

      • nwslfan

        agree for whoever has demonstrated proficiency in PKs. I dunno who decides PK in the game or if the coaches decide before the game. I wish PK stats were revealed.

      • wosofan

        Lauren Holiday all day. Syd Leroux, you’re joking, right?

  • cpl

    Respect to damallsvenken. Nwsl got work to do.

    • Calci0

      The goal scorer plays in France.

      • D23

        True. But they bossed the midfield. Also have to acknowledge their star CB plays in Germany. Why is it US players shouldn’t be playing in Europe again?

        • JAMES 18

          USSOCCER.

        • guest

          Why? because us soccer just funded an entire league for them.

        • Calci0

          let’s calm down with the reactions to this loss. Unless you feel as if this starting lineup will be the same one in the WC. And let’s let the NWSL have 2 seasons, before we bag on it….

          • D23

            Fair enough. And fair enough to you too “guest”. I just think that this could be, longer term, short sighted. There is a lot for some players to learn by playing in Europe. My personal opinion is that that option is being overly discouraged. Forget about the money, forget about all that. The US can’t replicate that kind of soccer experience and technical focus now or in the immediate future. You can see the differences when you watch some of these players who have spent time in Europe and their game has really prospered. And with increased technical depth across more and more teams the US will need to develop to stay ahead also. Why not let European clubs pay for that.

          • Calci0

            Japan is keeping alot of their players in Japan, or loaning them out to the NWSL. So I think it has more meaning than you give it. Week in, week out I think the challenges posed in the NWSL will give the players more competition. Look at some of the disparity between the top and bottom teams in Germany, France, and Sweden.

          • D23

            It’s not just the depth of competition – a point you rightly acknowledge. It’s the style of play and the technical focus. Some players, not all, will benefit from being exposed to that. Japan is loaning its players out across a number of leagues in Europe and the US, and that’s smart. You get exposure to different types of soccer and to players you will be playing against at the international level.

          • Calci0

            Well to be fair, Hagen is in Germany, Horan in France. Rapinoe “was” in France, Press is in Sweden along with 2 other teammates. And the NWSL is still young. I think the Reign are a prime example of a team that “could” bring some of the European flavor to the NWSL, with Harvey bringing the Arsenal tactics to the US.

          • D23

            Yes. That’s kind of my point. I hope the existence of the league doesn’t discourage this entirely. Pinoe is back. The Swedish trio are all returning (and we know one didn’t really want to yet). I can’t say any of these players are not better off for the experience.

          • Calci0

            Yeh, different experiences help you see the game differently. Since the seasons are at different times, maybe more US players will play abroad. Lauren Barnes went down under (yes I know she isn’t a USWNT regular).

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Steglitz49

            Yuki Ogimi plays for Chelsea and Saki Kumagai for Lyon, while Shibonu Ohno and Yukari Kinga have just joined Arsenal ….

          • Calci0

            The key is; I said alot, not all ;-)

          • Steglitz49

            Your point about the NWSL is on the money. The NWSL will soon establish itself as the league to play in, not least if they can up the salaries. Someone should seduce Aya Miyama to come and play in the US again.

            The glamor will be winning the Champions League (and maybe do a Treble) but the NWSL will be the league.

          • Guenther Netzer-Kant

            Mana Iwabuchi who scored against Denmark plays in Hoffenheim and Kozue Ando for Frankfurt

          • Calci0

            The key is, I said alot, not all ;-)

          • Guest

            Really? Because Rapinoe looked like crap out there the last two games and I like Kling but she was replaced by KO for a reason today.. Press and Heath I’ll give you but Engen was always top notch

          • guest

            the reason is kling is just coming back from an injury

      • Steglitz49

        There is no money in Swedish ladies soccer — except funny money.

    • Jigsawwill

      Nwsl hasn’t even started yet. Players aren’t even match fit really.

      • Calci0

        It’s wild, how people are reacting to this game….

        • guest

          imagine if they had lost to canada? this board would have melted.

          • NYRick

            For me, losing to Pia is a worse loss than Canada. Canada is not that good. Sweden is a top 5 team and now just put something in the US heads to think about.

          • Calci0

            True, but how many impact players missed out on an opportunity to play in this game.

          • Steglitz49

            Strictly speaking Sweden is ranked #6. France has gone past them into #5. Canada are #7. Seeing that the US can’t play itself, Sweden is a top 5 team not counting the US but Canada is not too much worse than Sweden and France.

          • Steglitz49

            Think outside the box, NYRick. In skiing,Norway do not mind who wins as long as Norway does not lose to Sweden, and vice versa for Sweden.

            Trust me, the USNT losing to Canada would be worse than to the Faeroe Islands.

          • Steglitz49

            Verily and forsooth. Cracked from top to bottom.

          • J.

            i’d rather them lose to sweden over and over again than lose to canada and feed Herdmans ego.

          • guest

            yupppppppppppp

    • Steglitz49

      The match result is front news in all Swedish media. They either lead with Sweden snapping the US’s unbeaten streak or with the goalie saving the day. Lots of pictures.

  • LOL

    ALGARVE is not looking too good for the USWNT now is it? LOL

    • Calci0

      It would take a Japan Loss to Denmark, for the US to get through.

  • Reality

    FYI…China has held Germany to a scoreless tie at the half.

    • NYRick

      That’s like Crystal Palace holding Chelsea scoreless at the half. You know that match is ending 3-nil for Germany at the very least.

      • Reality

        I’ll keep you posted…

      • guest

        Well, if China can play some “19th century football” they have a chance at a draw.

    • gerd karl

      germany hold all in his hands

      but usa lost against sweden, sermanni is not a good trainer
      hagen start the game than win the usa 3-1

  • cpl

    Usa humble pie . well done to sweden.

  • NYRick

    Slightly off topic: what’s with Hagen’s hair? Strange elevated tie thing going there.

    • guest

      does it matter?

      • NYRick

        Of course not.

    • guest

      It’s funky. I like it.

    • Steglitz49

      Nothing is off topic in The Equalizer forum apart from the obvious topics. Those we can rely on Sepp Blatter taking care of, I presume.

      Go for broke, NYRick. Ijust got slapped down for musing about marmalde-colored cats. Hairstyle is more than OK.

  • TN

    Well, at the very least, a lot of people on here got what they wanted, for the US to lose in Algarve, and pass it off as because they wanted the US to do better in the future (not because just so they can say they’re right….).

    • Steglitz49

      You sound like Richard Nixon. Are you related by any chance?

  • AlexH

    If any Equalizer editors are reading this…..How about a proper match report with starting lineups, subs, shots, cards, etc.

    • Greg

      To be fair, this article was published within minutes of the game ending, before that information was readily available.

  • VaFan51

    Feel free to file this under “Overreaction,” but…
    I feel like there is a strange on-pitch dynamic with the USWNT right now — several of the veterans look nearly frantic out there, while most of the newbies appear relatively calm and composed.
    This seems most true with Rapinoe, who has played like she is a rookie desperate to catch the coach’s eye. After hearing so much about how playing in France has made her a more technical player, this seems doubly odd.

    • NYRick

      I’m starting to maybe see what the Lyon coach saw with Pinoe.

      I’ve said this for awhile now, this attack needs to be run through Brian. But with that, a player like Pinoe can not be on the pitch with her. It won’t work. Holiday or Tymrak is the better offensive mate for Brian, and make Carli play the DM.

      • VaFan51

        I was so excited about possibilities of a midfield with Pinoe, Holiday, Brian, Tymrak, Heath — I thought they could possess the ball for hours and create all sorts of assists for the forwards. It hasn’t worked out this way. I remain convinced that the latter four could play keepaway from the opposition for long stretches, no problem, and I hope to see that later this year.
        Seriously, the sooner we hand the keys to the offense to Holiday and/or Brian, the better.

        • Steglitz49

          Heath? Tobin and Aya are probably sharing a Kirin or two comparing notes about freekicking and break-dancing.

          Would you not want Tobin on the pitch in the 82nd minute when you are down 0-1 … ? Maybe not.

        • john

          Speaking of Tymrak I’m pondering her minutes at La Manga. Was Swanson not impressed or was she seen as a known quantity?

          • wosofan

            She started and played 90 mins. in one match, and got major minutes in two other matches, I believe. The goal for that tournament is playing time for everyone. I don’t think she got disfavored by the coach. This was much better for her than brief cameos (or maybe nothing) at the Algarve.

        • Pressured

          This!

    • Elaine

      Pinoe’s french experience has done her wrong. She is not the same player. Her confidence is shot, perhaps by Lyon’s coach. Let’s hope Harvey up in Seattle can turn that around for Pinoe’s sake.

      • guest

        She’s suffering from delusions grandeur.

        • Steglitz49

          When do you expect the paralysis to manifest itself?

          • wosofan

            The symptoms became apparent last month against Canada, and the symptoms have worsened in the Algarve.

          • Steglitz49

            Something she picked up in France? They are a louche crowd over there.

          • guest

            Give it a couple of months.

      • Don B.

        I’m not sure that’s completely true. After returning to the NWSL last year, she was on fire and playing very well.

        Her main problem has always been, in my opinion, her dedication to getting herself in playing condition (training) and consistency. I’ve seen her play with vision and purpose, and yet in the very next game she can be in her own little world with no awareness of what is going on around her. She can, for example, find Morgan thirty yards downfield with a perfectly fed ball, and then turn around and completely miss spotting a wide open teammate in the box and dribbling away from the run of play that everyone else has set up.

        What I notice most about her, however, is how gassed she can be after a half of work.

        • Elaine

          Hi Don. It’s been awhile.
          Something happened to Pinoe in her second time back at Lyon, after the NWSL season. Not sure exactly what conspired over there, but she decided to take her option and return back to the states. But I did see a video of her announcement and she was practically holding back tears. Doesn’t sound like someone who had a good experience. Subsequently her first game after returning was against Canada this year, in which she played without confidence. And then came the Algarve….

          • Don B.

            Hello to you as well. I stop by quite often to read up, and I always look forward to what you have to say.

            Thanks for the refreshing my memory on Pinoe. That had slipped my mind, and it may very well have had a negative effect on her. Perhaps her coach was a little too honest with her? There were plenty of rumors floating about that she didn’t take practices seriously, but those have never been substantiated. Wasn’t there also a little tough love shown to her by sending her down to a lower level team for a bit?

            Regarding the current level of her play, I can cut her a tiny bit of slack (not much because she’s supposed to be a professional and should be able to leave it in the locker room for 90 minutes) due to what I understand is the ending of a long standing personal relationship.

    • Steglitz49

      Winning the World Cup is the greatest prize in soccer, male or female. It is the only thing that matters, the only thing that counts, the only thing worth fighting for and dying for.

      A number of the USNT stalwarts face the real possibility of not being in the 23 player roster for WC-15. Even if you are in, you still have to win the blessed thing, not a foregone conclusion, but if you are not one of the 23 elect you for sure have no chance of immortality — and none of the lolly from the Victory tour. For whom the bell tolls … and all that.

    • wosofan

      Well, this statement is generally accurate about the older v. younger, composed v. nervous. It is not true of Krieger’s performance today, who I though showed urgency but still made a lot of good plays. The players who lacked composure where HAO, Pinoe, and Rampone. Carli was just getting effing pissed at the whole situation. The composed players were Brian, Klingenberg, Press, Hagen. K. Mewis showed the proper urgency, not nerves. Abby didn’t really have any kind of influence on the match, so she looked absent, not nervous. I though ARod looked scared, so as to not lose the ball whenever it came her way. Not a bad instinct for a player in her situation/abilities, but also not a very effective instinct for an offensive player. O’Hara just isn’t confident or played-in yet, she was just playing safe, within herself at the moment.

  • SBFan

    Abby is entitled to earn her ‘way off’ the team or lose her place as a starter given her past record with the team. Tom I believe recognizes this and she will get her playing time so her declining abilities will speak for themselves for all watching. Once that is established more playing time will be given to all except Morgan who is a lock as the other starter barring injury. Over the next year we will see who performs well enough to be the other forward starter and who earns the primary substitute role. Arod will also be given her shot – her rep is she doesn’t finish and maybe being paired with Abby in the past hurt her and she has again been paired with Abby – so put her out there with Syd or Press and see what happens. Same with the midfielders such as Pino who lately is not showing much. Same also with Rampone – given her age can she hold up and anchor the defense or not. Once Tom sorts all that out this year in the early friendlies I think you will see him focus on his starters and primary subs to put a jelled team together – most likely starting this fall. Comment – I thought O’Hara played well for her first time back.

    • AlexH

      You are absolutely right that Alex Morgan is the lock up top and the stats for the past couple of years justify that. I think Tom is should pick from the remaining striker candidates the one that actually complements Alex Morgan the best.

      • not going to happen

        A lock? We have it on authority she will be starting her broadcasting career this summer than riding off into the sunset wearing body paint.

        • NYRick

          LOL. Nice one.

        • Steglitz49

          Lotta and Seeger were expert commentators on Swedish TV during Euro-12, so Alex is a shoe-in for WC-14.

        • AlexH

          Nice. Well I hope I get to see her in uniform for the foreseeable future but I if not seeing her in body paint beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear!

    • wosofan

      Yes, I agree — Abby will get plenty of playing opportunities during the next year. And that could get confusing for Sermanni, because if they play South Korea again on 4 days’ rest, she may erupt for a hat-trick. Or, when they play the Dominican Republic in the WC qualifiers, she’ll get some goals. It may be really hard for him to sort this all out, given that there are so few genuine tests. A further complication is how much Hagen will be available for USWNT duty. Presumably she plays for Bayern through all of 2014 (with only the summer months off)/ And Horan is committed to the U20s and to PSG. So there are not direct competitors to Abby, unless Tom just plays Leroux in her place.

  • Reality

    FYI…Germany very fortunate to win 1-0 on goal in 84″ by Mittag. China played very well and the NT should watch the replay for educational purposes.

    • luke

      Wow! I’m so impressed by their progress!
      Do you remember China from 2012-13 vs US (0:2, 0:4, 1:4, 0:5)?
      That team does not exist anymore.

      They were super solid vs Germany, you almost could not see physical advantage in the run of play, smaller Chinese girls were fighting with great success in the middle, closing spaces brilliantly, passing accurately, not panicking, close to the end German women were quite frustrated…
      I’d even say I liked Chinese midfield better than Swedish one.

      • Reality

        Don’t forget the Chinese goal keeper…a very cool customer who besides Mittag might have been the player of the game.

        • luke

          Fantastic performance! Top world level in todays game imo.
          And great physical conditions.

    • Steglitz49

      Japan were very lucky to draw 1-1 in the 82nd minute and Sweden to win 1-0. Napoleon liked to have generals, who were lucky. Lucky Luciano, and all that.

      • Reality

        Watch the replay…btw, is this sudden flurry of postings correctly termed a Stegblitz or perhaps a Stegkrieg or even a Stegblitzkrieg?

        • Steglitz49

          Stegblitz will do fine. The others are a bit too militaristic, not least on a day that we learn that France is selling weapons to Russia.

          • Reality

            What would Napoleon say? Of course, he left weapons in Russia…but…

          • Steglitz49

            He left a whole army behind dead in the snow — check the famous graph. The Germans forgot about General Winter 130 years on but at least they had the convenience of the French collaborating with them …

  • gerd karl

    yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, germany beat china with 1-0
    so wird es gemacht.

    • xman22702

      The last time USA played China they won 5-0. Sooo yeahhhh…

      • gerd karl

        the win in a tournament is important and not in a friendly game. yeah

  • StoneRoller

    Streaks must come to an end. I’ll take Japan to win it this year. China has impressed…making a return to being a top team by 2015?

    • luke

      If they continue developing their game like this, it may happen!

  • FLwino

    Probably worth noting that, in order to make the bronze medal match, the USWNT need the defensive-minded Swedes, who only need to draw Japan to make the championship, to beat the World #3 Japan outright. Somehow I doubt that is going to happen.

    • TN

      The Swedes just beat the World #1 team, so I do think it’s possible to beat Japan.

      • FLwino

        Didn’t mean to imply it wasn’t possible, just that I don’t expect it. Specifically that, with them only needing a draw, I expect them to sit back tight in front of their goal like they did once they got the one goal lead and not push forward hardly at all and definitely not with significant numbers.

    • NYRick

      Bronze medal at Algarve is as good as dog piss. Who cares about that. What’s important is to play some of the young players and try some new things. Of the remaining 180 minutes at forward for the 2 matches, Press, Syd and Hagen get 160 of those. Let Carli and HAO sit the final two matches or give HAO 10 minute cameos the last two to get her 200 caps. But let’s see Killion and Sam Mewis now too. Nothing to play for in this tournament anymore. That’s over.

      • wosofan

        good point — the matches now are even more meaningless. The real value of the Final was to be able to get a huge match against germany on neutral ground. Minor correction, though — Killion has been left off the 23-player tournament roster, and can’t play.

      • Steglitz49

        The Algarve cup grew out of Sweden’s winter training camps. In the early tournaments the teams all stayed in the same hotel-complex. It is that spirit that should prevail in the Algarve, like Aya Miyama tickling Steph Cox’s babe under the chin.

        Women’s soccer can do without the winning-at-all-costs attitude in the Algarve. It is a time to let down your hair and enjoy life in all its fulness, to jump in the pool in your new bikini at the end of the day without a photographer in sight. The soccer should be experimental, not judgmental.

        • luke

          no photographer -> no interest -> no money

          • Steglitz49

            The stands at the Algarve are full of Swedish and German pensioners (snow-birds). They shout slogans not heard since the ’54 and ’58 world cups, which must be confusing to the players (“Which century are we playing in?!”).

            The games are broadcast live by Eurosport and can be found through many and various links.

            There are some sweet photos from this years Algarve cup. It should, as NYRick types, be a time for experimenting and trying new things and new players. After all, it is only the 4th time Japan play in Algarve and about the 10th time Germany are there. (The US has played in almost all cups.)

          • luke

            So you’d like woso to be more romantic-like?
            They should accentuate bonding, friendship, maternity, etc. at the expense of competition?
            You think it’s the right direction of development?

  • ForeverLOST108

    Hasn’t Sermanni been emphasizing the fullbacks really getting into the attack? I honestly have yet to see it this tournament. I don’t know if it’s because of the quality of competition but I’ve been disappointed with the offensive contributions of the fullbacks. I do think that is what has caused some of the issues with Rapinoe and HAO’s game. Without the fullbacks pushing up and overlapping to give them options, they are a bit more constrained with their available outlets.

    • guest

      His best two fullbacks offensively, Dunn and O’Hara, are either injured or just coming back from injury.

      • ForeverLOST108

        I realize that they aren’t available. But I’ve such much better offensively from Krieger, Cox, and Klingenberg than I have this tournament and I think that has been part of the issue with the US attack.

        • guest

          Huh, I thought Krieger was doing pretty well to help the attack. She had a few well placed crosses into the box in this match and vs Japan that none of the forwards managed to finish. From what I’ve seen of Klingenberg with Tyreso, she does well but wasn’t given much opportunity to show it this match. Cox has been pretty disappointing all around though.

          • D23

            Agreed. In the first half Krieger put a beautiful ball in front of Wambach with the keeper on the other side of the goal that I believe any other forward would have gotten to.

        • EbaJ

          If we are depending on fullbacks pushing forward to win we are in deep trouble. Krieger is world class and plays with a sense of urgency. She was forward plenty. Pia knows HAO’s moves and Pinoe seems lost. We had a ton of opportunities and could not convert.

  • cpl

    usa leaking goals against better opposition . no surprise . saw rampone slowing down (rampone , cox & buehler backline squad since wc07) i want to thank them for their services. but usa backline needs new blood. bring in mewis dunn ohara rocarro full time. sauerbrunn and kreiger mainstay. also i wouldnt mind usa playing compact defensively once in a while , they can learn from japan.

    • D23

      Not sure I would describe it as leaking goals. The defence have conceded one goal from general play in two games against Japan and Sweden. If you asked me before the tournament if I could take that I would have. They can’t be perfect all the time. Defences get beaten on occasion. The issue is the inability to score. Against Japan I thought it was pretty much just poor finishing. Today though was concerning because the midfielders and forwards were not generating chances or dictating the play.

      • EbaJ

        D23 you hit the nail on the head. Our issue isn’t defense it is scoring ourselves.

        • Guest

          We have the same problem as we did this time last cycle. Only we have way better forwards to pick from now. Tom just needs to pull the trigger on the roster so the midfield can learn to link up.

  • J.

    Alex Morgan is such a key player for this team. These past 2 games there just wasn’t any spark in the offense. The other forwards have been underwhelming.

    • New south

      Sweden handled her last yr, would have done it again today. Press, etc need wambach min.

      • J.

        She still scored. Press still hasn’t scored in this tournament. And if Alex had Press minutes in this game she still would have found a way. She’s done it in the past.

        • Reality

          Not one or the other but both together would be the best.

          • J.

            Alex Morgan should be the first choice forward from now on. Partner her up with whoever just make sure she’s there.I’m not one of her rabid fans but the forwards have been so underwhelming.

          • Reality

            The challenge faced by the NT will not be solved by one savior. While Morgan’s return will be welcomed, the whole team needs to rejuvenate itself with younger blood and better strategy. Synergy will be important among the players which it is all the more important to give the new players the necessary time to integrate together as a team that will be more formidable than the current edition.

          • Steglitz49

            Whom would you cut and whom would you putout to grass?

            No justification needed and no replacements named. Simply, who go to the wall?

          • Reality

            It would be a reconfiguration of the current roster with more time given to the youth since it is a bit late to bring entirely new talent into the game.

            I’d give this 4-4-2 starting lineup some serious playing time…

            Solo
            Krieger / Engen / Sauerbrunn / Dunn
            Tymrak / Brooks / Brian / Heath
            Press / Morgan

            I would use Leroux and Hagen to substitute at forward as appropriate with Wambach making guest appearances.

            In the mid-field, Lloyd, Rapinoe, and O’ Reilly would be available if they can show evidence of adjustment to a more varied offense. S. Mewis needs development but I would retain her. I would also like to see Killion get a look to replace one of the vets.

            O’Hara, Klingenberg, and Rampone can substitute as needed. Roccaro should also be given a shot as Rampone fades out.

            That would be 5 new starters not counting Engen or Heath who have been more substitutes in the past. They are mostly in the mid-field as they are the key to developing a multi-dimensional attack to support Morgan and Press’s complementary skills.

          • luke

            Nice line-up, Brian and Heath are feisty customers, can play defense, I like it.

          • NYRick

            Man would I love to see your lineup for 10 straight games.

          • Reality

            One can dream…

          • NYRick

            As you have said many times, it’s a system change that’s needed. The old argument: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’ve won the last couple OGs and finished second at the WC.”

            All true. But the parts that made it happen have aged and the rest of the world has improved the women’s game from the aspect of not only technical, but athleticism, stamina and training. I was waiting for Sweden to wilt to the US stamina the final 10 minutes (and they almost did), but even those advantages that were big ones for the US in the past have now narrowed.

            TS has 15 months. Plenty of time to get it right. But he needs tremendous courage.

          • Reality

            He also needs the necessary justification from events on the field and they are slowly but surely accumulating…it is really a race against time.

          • NYRick

            I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you about Alex being top choice forward. But all I’ll say is that she wins sitting at home right now with every Algarve match. She doesn’t have to worry about a bad game or windy conditions or Pinoe going off on a weird tangent right now. Or the team simply not clicking. It’s a great situation for her, because she looks like the savior by default.

            Once again, I’m with you with she as probably first choice. But paired with Press or Syd is the way for this team to move forward and away from the Sundhage system once and for all. Pia is not winning any WCs with that Sweden team either. Lotta is getting older and they barely had 2-3 shots on goal the entire match (one was a beautiful header goal by Lotta to her credit).

      • James

        Morgan still managed a goal so what’s your point? handled would have been to have kept her scoreless.

  • ROOTchino

    SOLO
    KRIEGER | ENGEN | BROON | DUNN
    TYMRAK | BROOKS | BRIAN |
    MORGAN | PRESS | LEROUX

    I know this will get hate, but let’s just rip the band-aid off… Everyone else, take a seat. Stop screwing with the line-ups. Stop trying to incorporate a few newbies at a time into an aging roster stuck in the old system. Let’s just fill it with impressionable Young guns. Don’t expect magic overnight, but let them get good with the new system, mesh and we will have a solid lineup for several WC’s to come.

    • Guest

      Your bench? Since you are starting much of the typical bench. Who would you keep?

      • ROOTchino

        I think that would be the tougher question.. it’s easy to cherry pick the ones who have shown potential. Many players we might assume would be a like for like replacement would not be a fit if they don’t work well with a new system. Adapt or go home.

    • guest

      I’m not convinced with Brooks yet. That midfield also needs more muscle.

      • Steglitz49

        Ms Brooks is the muscle. I would select Amber for the next match.

        • guest

          The front three are going to have to drop back or else a 3 man midfield is going to get outrun by a 4-2-3-1.

          • Steglitz49

            Fair point. I would drop Ms Press (use her as a substitute if needed) and bring in another midfielder, preferably a bruising defensive one.

          • NYRick

            Gee, you would “drop” Press. What a surprise. The main point ROOT is making is to take advantage of the 3 turks, not lose one for a bruising midfielder.

            Let’s face it. Now even after seeing Japan and Sweden, Hope has 2 to 3 tough saves a match, IF THAT. We have a really solid back 4 with Krieger, Brunn, Engen and KO/Dunn when healthy. Stop with these 1-0, 2-1 games. We don’t have to play that way. That was your friend Pia’s system. New talent means a different system. Play to your strength. Every coach adjusts to the talent he or she has, not a rigid system.

          • newsouth

            TS has possibly blown it. He has less than 16 months or so to gel his forwards, wasted all of 2013 on Wambach. Now, he has a mess. His young forwards are familiar with each other in game situations and some of the mid-fielder, esp in the japan game, don’t know how to play the ball to press like vero and marta because of her limited playing time over the last 15 mins. If they crash and burn in the WC, so be it! Every game from this point to the WC should be some combination of morgan, sydney and press with wambach and someone else getting the garbage minutes.

          • Steglitz49

            Reality has boring tendency to intrude. Soccer is a low scoring game unless you play tomato-can teams.

            TS error (crime would be hyperbole) was not to start Christen again. He should not have started Abby and instead let Christen play in her place.

            A three-ladies midfield against Japan or Sweden would have ended in tears. As it was, the teams cancelled each other out, though the Swedes were under the cosh the last 10-15 mins.

            So far in the Algarve, the US has scored one single goal, memorable for the wrong reasons. That goal was scored by Sydney Leroux and without it the US would have lost two matches, not just one.

            There is nothing you can do against Miyama when her freekicking is on song. That was the ladies’ Alberto Carlos goal.

            Yet, Hope got a hand to it! Well done Hope. I hope {groan, groan} that Aya and Hope gets prizes at that knnes-up in Zurich for that goal.

          • ROOTchino

            Just trying to think outside the box here.. US has always been one of the most offensive teams in the world but we play a “safe” 4-4-2 for fear of getting burned. I think we should play to our strengths and go for broke. We have some of the best conditioned athletes in the world, we won’t get outrun. Let their backline burn themselves out trying to mark Syd,Press and Alex. Who cares if we give up 1-2 goals if we are scoring 4-5, put Hope to work.

        • xman22702

          What is mso great about Amber Brooks? Tbh, she’s just average. Against Brazil, she just fouled or passed laterally and/or back.

          • ForeverLOST108

            If she’s a Dmid and playing in her very first game (against Brazil of all teams), do you expect her to do much else? What else did you want her to do?

          • Steglitz49

            ForeverLost108’s point is well taken. We can turn Amber around an look at her from another angle. It is called the beautiful game but a fair amount of fouling goes on. For example, in the WC-11 final, not only was Azusa Iwashimizu sent off, Aya Miyama picked up a yellow card also, and Aya has been sent off in other matches as well.

            In short, I would give Ms Brooks plenty of playing time, not least against strong teams.

    • J.

      Just keep Alex Morgan healthy.

    • john

      Not sure Brooks and Tymrak are real high in the pecking order right now. Traditionally this is the coming out party for young talent against stronger competition and neither one was brought in. I realize this is your choice for the lineup, but I think those two need real positive club seasons to get firmly in the mix.

    • xman22702

      Replace Brooks with Lloyd and Tymrak with HAO, then sub Tymrak in the 75th ish.

      • Steglitz49

        Back to the future past? When shall we renew the NT? After they have had their hip-replacements and hearing aids?

    • D23

      There is no way I am not taking Cheney. I thought today they really missed her. There was no play for the US controlled through the centre of midfield which I thought got dominated by Sweden. Linking to the forwards was terrible (in part because neither of them dropped back to help). Pinoe is getting isolated and turning the ball over, in part, because there is no CM showing to her. She doesn’t get pushed around physically which is what I thought happened to Brian today (who is still young I know). Carli does not have the technique to switch the play nearly as well because she receives standing still and when under pressure looks to shield the ball and cuts down the angle she can play out. There was often so much space on the other side of the field but the US could not get the ball there. That was one of the poorest performances in terms of playing possession football I have seen from the US in a while and I think Cheney’s absence is a big part of the reason.

      • Steglitz49

        Cheney = Mrs Holiday. To be fair, Root did not include her under her married name either. Maybe a Freudian slip?

        • D23

          It’s also her nickname. In the video produced when she officially changed the name on her jersey she said everyone still calls her Cheney. So I am too.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. How very odd.

    • newsouth

      he could have done this in 2013 when nothing mattered, except for wambach’s record and the win streak.

  • luke

    2 months ago Pinoe was one my favourite players.
    After I’ve witnessed saw how she’s treating Morgan Brian on the field I’m beginning to lose my sympathy. She doesn’t have to love or even like Moe, but she should trust her and act like a teammate.
    Pass the ball Pinoe, pass the ball! She will give it back to you in better position. She is taught, trained and very skilled at that. It’ll profit you!
    As talented as Pinoe is, you’d expect she can recognize another smart and technical player on her own team and cooperate. They could be such a great tandem… :-|

  • J.

    Stats from today:
    Stats Summary: USA / SWE
    Shots: 12 / 4
    Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
    Saves: 2 / 6
    Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
    Fouls: 9 / 14
    Offside: 6 / 5

    • Steglitz49

      You forgot the penalty — and the goal. How could you forget the goal? Taking lessons from that video-compiler?

  • wosofan

    The only downside from the entire match was the fact that we miss out on the chance to face Germany. Apart from that missed learning opportunity, there are a LOT of positives that will result from this match. The real tragedy for the USWNT’s evolution would have been something like a late own-goal by Sweden, or a choke by Sweden’s goalkeeper. (Alternatively, if Alex Morgan had been playing, it would have been bad for the team’s development to have Morgan score in the 89th minute).

    Look at the upsides: today has hopefully given Sermanni a fair and full (and final) assessment of ARod. Maybe this has caused a re-assessment of Wambach’s role on the team. Also, it is unlikely that Brian gets tarred with this mess, and certainly Press and Hagen and the Mewises earned their keep.

    We always knew change was going to be hard. Pundits, including Kassouf, always said “Sermanni will need to make some big decisions on veterans.” Now we’re getting closer and closer to some changes. The team, including the coaches, needed a full serving of humble pie. And they got it, both because they are a much better team than Sweden, and because Pia was the one who stuck it to them.

    Anyway, guessing on Sunday we see Naeher, Engen, Kling, both Mewises, Hagen, Press, and Cox, all start. Maybe RVH also.

    • J.

      Sydney Leroux has earned her keep more than Press and Hagen.

      • wosofan

        No argument, I was just referring to those who played today.

    • Steglitz49

      “RVH” = ? RVH, like in GBH?

  • AlexH

    For those of us that could not see the game could somebody shout out the names of the players that made the roster / field and give a description of who did what and how well?

  • alex mahn

    The Game of Germans today was not so good but China has played very defensive. The Girls have played too little about the Wings and too much in the Middle. The average of our team today was 23.9 years, this team has a great Future. The No1 Team in the world is currently Germany.

    • Guest

      It is currently Japan as reigning WC champs. That’s how it usually is thought. The last big world comp was Olympics which the US won which is secondary in the cycle. But Germany likes to call Germany number one here. I don’t think they are allowed to post without dropping it in. It’s an extra required form field.

  • luke

    Under the radar fact of the day:
    Lotta Schelin finally delivered for Sweden vs top team.

    • Guest

      If you look through the history books Lotta has a good record of scoring on us. In fact before Japan came into the scene the last few years as our nemesis it was Sweden who frequently was a team that gave us trouble with losses or ties. They’ve had some wobbly years, but have always matched up well to us.

  • Guest

    Link for the game anyone?

  • Sebastian

    This was a nice game. Over 90 minutes, the US was clearly the better team, and probably should have gone away with a tie at least.

    People that call for Sermanni’s head are obviously not in tune with the game. Yes, the US is the dominant nation in womens soccer, but come on, you can’t win all the time. The game of soccer isn’t won by default just because you appear on the pitch dressed for it. Ask Barcelona, how they felt after ruling the world of soccer for so long. Yes, they didn’t have as distinguished “CV” as the US WNT, but the men’s soccer IS more competitive, don’t you agree?

    People that say that Sweden played too physical, clearly don’t watch soccer. Perhaps US supporters are more used to the fact that players from Costa Rica, New Zeeland and so on, are the ones laying face down on the pitch. Sweden, and the rest of Scandinavia has always played a physical game. This can’t come as an surprise. Swedes aren’t as technical as the french, so they don’t try to be. I think some US players today, were caught of guard by the physical play, but a clean game of the Swedes. But be serious, you play against Canada all the time, and Canada is pretty similar to Sweden in terms of physical play. Does Sweden cause free-kicks? Of course they do. But Swedes doesn’t go into duels with the intent to hurt. Wambach seemed to do so when she tackled Rohlin in frustration in the first half. I guess that was frustration talking.

    US lost one game, and many people here think it’s the end of the world. LOL, think how the rest of the world feels, when facing the US. You didn’t get to win today, but honestly. The US have so many great players according to me, that you could probably field 3 complete lineups, and all three lineups, would be an contender for the gold in 2015.

    Yes, some players have had some crappy games of late, like Wambach and Pinoe, but come on…the WC is still almost 1,5 years away. Anybody that think that this loss means anything in regards of the 2015 WC, is surely panicking without any cause. If this game would have been a month before the WC, I would have been wondering, but now?

  • snishy

    Wow! I didn’t watch the game, but it seems to have brought out the worst in our team. Seems like the biggest talking point is Abby and her continuing poor form issues. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and why Tom isn’t dealing with this glaringly large problem. Perhaps it is because he is afraid that he will lose the locker room if he has “the talk” with her. Despite her on the field performances, she is a very popular person on this team and it seems like most people still like playing with her. If he dishes out the truth to Abby, she won’t be happy and that negativity could affect the whole team. Don’t take my word for it though; this is just my theory on one of the many reasons for why nothing has been done to remedy this hot button issue. Change of topic here. Based off of other comments, it seems like Morgan Brian has a contagious illness that will infect the next person that passes the ball to her.

    • en_observation

      i hear ya but if he’s going to have the “talk” with abby, it better be now and not during the world cup. now that would a disaster

      • wosofan

        Great point. The key for Sermanni is to clearly establish roles and the pecking order well before the World Cup. Everyone has to “buy in” well before the tournament.

        Also, snishy makes a great point — she seems to be very popular on this team, and that makes it harder for the coach. If she was one detached superstar, Sermanni’s job would be easier.

    • newsouth

      I’m glad you posted this because if he had been a Press fan, he/she would have got blasted! If you know sports and fading stars, there is definitely something for him to be concerned with if he tells her straight up she’s a sub when she thinks she will lead the team to glory in 2015.

  • wosofan

    Strange that US Soccer hasn’t posted any post-match reactions. It is hardly the end of the world that they lost. Anyway, I’m dying to know if there were any big post-match meetings — either formal or informal — and what was said. I guess we’ll have to wait for the tell-all book from one of the players. Another strange thing: we so often see first caps awarded during blowout home victories (or at least, wins in the Algarve), so this must be quite a different experience for Sam Mewis and Hagen. I sill hope/expect that someone raised a glass for them at the team dinner tonight.

    • Steglitz49

      First they have to edit out the goal and the missed penalty. That takes time.

  • BCAD

    did o’hara play well. didnt see the game

  • Lorehead

    Congratulations to Sweden on doing what no one else could for two years. We’ll have to step up our game at the World Cup.

  • Philly Joe

    What strikes me about this team is their not really a team at all. Just a bunch of very talented individuals kind of doing their own thing looking like someone rounding up a herd of cats. Pia’s weakness as coach was she always played the same players and her strength was she always played the same players. She but the thing is by doing that she developed a team. I think it’s great TS has brought in new talent but if he doesn’t know his best eleven by now he needs to find another job. This loss is not a surprise these poor ladies need to know where they stand so teamwork can have a chance to develop. Without playing as a real team they no chance come 2015 WC.

  • guest 11
  • init2winit

    The women’s game is a barely even the game of soccer. The game the men play, actually applies individual skill, athleticism, principles, and tactics. It is actually a beautiful game to watch because of the combination play and individual skill when needing to improvise. Younger players may be prized over older veterans, especially when their contribution of attacking and defending are on the decline. If you don’t have the work rate or mentality to show you deserve to play, then there’s someone else who does. If Abby, or any player for that matter, isn’t working hard for the US, then bench them. I don’t see this as the only problem of who’s injured, who’s working on a goal record, or who’s the starting XI. The problem is the US still plays an old school style of soccer while other countries are evolving their game. The results against those teams show we can barely make a dent. International players are individually becoming more technical and tactical while TS is spending time finding the right combo of players. Why isn’t US Soccer on the bandwagon of player development?
    I don’t see the US winning any major accomplishment until the philosophy of HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED is put into effect. He can “mix and match” players for every game, but it DOESN’T CHANGE that the US is still playing outdated soccer. Newsflash to US Soccer: find a coach who demands a style of soccer that resembles how the men play (ehem…that’s why they call it the beautiful game).

    • luke

      The game the men play, actually applies flopping, faking injuries, time-stealing, headbutting and biting opponents, spitting on opponents and karate-kicking fans in the stands as well.

      It is actually not always a beautiful game to watch.

      • FootbALLorNothing

        #1 FIFA Men’s World Rankings: Spain
        #1 FIFA Women’s World Rankings: USA

        I’m pretty sure if the USA and Spain played in a match, Spain would win. As much as I support women, men are still better at football.

        • Calci0

          Pretty sure that wasn’t the jist of his post. Alot of the ugly things you see in the men’s game aren’t present in the womens. And that’s the point he was getting at.

          • Steglitz49

            The risk is that they will creep in, not least with the win-at-all-costs attitude. Certainly with more money.

        • Steglitz49

          In biathlon (skishooting) the ladies ski slightly shorter distances than the men but they shoot the same number of shots at the same targets. The ladies are better shots than the men because they get the same penalty, which is more severe on the lasses than the men. By shooting better they improve their outcomes.

          It is self-evident that a men’s soccer team will beat a ladies’ team but that does not take away the level of skill, just the physicality. The freekick by Aya Miyama is a fine example.

          An obvious difference between the ladies and the men is that the lasses generally can’t hit hard, fast full-length angled cross-field passes. Thus, it takes them longer to switch the play from one flank to the other because they need to go via another player. We can look forward to women training up their leg muscles.

          The US may well play an outdated soccer but TS’s predecessor took the US to all three of the major finals in a 5 year period. Not bad for an outdate style. Your point seems to be that the new style is the wrong style.

        • luke

          I’m pretty sure if Brazil Men’s Volleyball Team and Russia Women’s Volleyball Team played in a match, Brazil men would win. Does it mean that “women’s volleyball is a barely even the game of volleyball”?
          I’m pretty sure if Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams played in a match, Rafa would win. Does it mean that “women’s tennis is a barely even the game of tennis”??
          I’m pretty sure if top male chessmaster and top female chessmaster played in a match, man would win.
          Does it mean that “women’s CHESS is a barely even the
          game of CHESS”???

  • init2winit

    Gulati & Co. should’ve found themselves a coach of modern times to take the American squad into the future not the reverse.

  • FootbALLorNothing

    Fact:

    1) Abby is not getting younger. She has already had her time.

    2) The way the US plays is a stereotypical 4-4-2 style, get [boot] the ball up to the forwards. The only other target player the US has with enough size to hold the ball is [5'11"] Sarah Hagen. Look at the opportunities the US had once she came on.

    3) It would be a waste to put Alex as the target forward. She is a quick, clinical finisher with both feet. Putting her on left forward would give her enough time and space to beat her opponent and get a shot or cross off. She would much rather be on the left and dribble to the outside to shoot with her left than dribble to the inside [where it is congested] to shoot with her right [which I believe is not her "natural foot".]. On the other hand, putting her on the right would be a mistake because she would have to dribble to the inside to shoot with her strong foot [left] where it is congested; or she would dribble outside where there is more space to shoot [one of her best attributes] but would have to shoot with her weaker foot [right]. Last time when she was one of the target forwards against Germany she was completely ineffective. They man-handled her the whole game and it clearly worked for the Germans: she did absolutely nothing that game. She didn’t have the time or space to do what she does best in that game [or any other game where she is a target forward]. So, it only makes sense to play her on left forward.

    4) So far we have Hagen on center striker and Morgan on left forward, which leaves us with someone to fill the right forward/winger position. There is Press, O’Reilly, and probably some other people I can’t think of at the moment. You also have Tymrak who would most likely be best on the left [as Alex's sub] who seems to like to dribble inside. I honestly don’t even want to include Rapinoe. She doesn’t even look like she wants to be there. Leroux…it seems all she can do is throw her body around. I mean look at her goal against Japan. That is all I ever really see her doing. Yes, she has had some nice goals but those were against some incredibly weak teams. I’m talking about players that can actually do something against legitimate teams like Canada, Germany, Japan, etc. when the team they are playing against is at the top of their game.

    5) We [clearly] have a lot of offensive players. Why not play a 4-3-3? Like I said: Morgan on left forward, Hagen center, [insert player here] on the right. We need to stop relying only on the forwards and [maybe] some of the midfielders [on a good day] to score all the goals. The WHOLE TEAM needs to attack AND defend TOGETHER all at once. We have the athletic ability to do that.

    • Calci0

      “Leroux…it seems all she can do is throw her body around. I mean look at her goal against Japan. That is all I ever really see her doing. Yes, she has had some nice goals but those were against some incredibly weak teams. I’m talking about players that can actually do something against legitimate teams like Canada, Germany, Japan, etc.”

      She scored in the quarterfinals of the Olympics. That’s a bigger goal than any of the other lower capped fwds. You mentioned Canada. She scored against them last year with minimal minutes on the field. And found a way to be in the right spot to score again this year. And just so it works for your opinion, you discount her goal against one of the best teams in the world….. And her goal against NZ last year, not to mention the wrongly disallowed second goal that would have won it. But yeh, all she does is “throw her body around”…..

      • newsouth

        minus the #2 guardian falling asleep, how do sydney look in the game?

        • Calci0

          If you are talking about the Japan, game. She obviously could have played better. She had a handful of chances, and didn’t put another one away. But her self volley to herself; shot off the post, shows how dangerous and creative she can be. Far from just “throwing her body around”.

      • FootbALLorNothing

        There are some things I agree with you on. However…

        1) Her goal against Canada was a gift from God. Much of the credit has to go to Press and Sauerbrunn for creating something out of nothing. She was AT MOST 3 yards away from the goal. All she had to do was just tap it in.

        2) Both her goals against NZ [in London] and Canada [last year] were from breakaways. Anyone that is decent at football/soccer should be able to put those away.

        3) Her goal against NZ last year was actually a good goal. But please, where in the world was New Zealand’s defense? Did the US forget to tell NZ they had a match in Ohio that day? I doubt she would be able to get away with things like that against powerhouse teams who are at the top of their game and hungry for a World Cup title.

        My point is that many of our players are offensive ones. We can’t take the whole player-pool so of course we’ll have to narrow it down to a 23-[wo]man roster. We would’ve lost against Japan [a few days ago] if she wouldn’t have [literally] thrown herself at the ball. We need players that can come through with a goal and MAKE something happen when the game is at a deadlock, not ones who WAIT for something to happen.

        • Calci0

          1. How many times against Sweden, had someone been on the other side of one of those bouncing balls would that have changed the outcome of the game. You can’t say that anybody/everybody, would have put themselves in the position to poke that ball into the back of the net. There were similar opportunities against Sweden, the US just didn’t have anyone on the other end. I say thumbs up for being in the right spot when needed.

          2. She made the run, she MADE it happen. And you can’t teach speed (that was pure top flight acceleration, that allowed her to get passed the defender, not to mention fending off the defender that was attempting to hold her up, also the ball control and placement needed to beat the keeper). And if you’ve watched enough football, you know even 1v1’s aren’t as easy as you are making it sound. And I’d classify them as legit though-balls. How many times did the US get burned with off-sides against Sweden. It pays to know when to make the run.

          3. You could say “where was the defense” on many spectacular plays, that’s why they are spectacular.

          So to answer your point. Leroux didn’t break the record for goals scored by a sub in 2012 because she just “waits” for something to happen. She didn’t win the U-20 WC along with AM because she waited for things to happen. She isn’t the all time leading scorer for the U-20 team because she “waits” for things to happen. She wasn’t 2nd in NWSL goals because she can’t “MAKE” things happen. It almost sounds like you are alluding to her not even making the roster?!?

          And as per your criteria, the only players you can put up top are Morgan and Wambach, as Press, Hagen, Horan don’t qualify: “I’m talking about players that can actually do something against legitimate teams like Canada, Germany, Japan, etc. when the team they are playing against is at the top of their game.” oddly enough Leroux has an Olympics goal. 2 against Canada, One against Japan, Two against Brazil. Provided a cross that lead to a Morgan goal against Germany. Maybe not the best resume, but I’d say it’s enough to warrant continued PT…….

    • Steglitz49

      Your points are well taken but 4-3-3 is a risky pattern against strong fast teams like Germany, Japan and Norway. We do not know yet which teams will qualify for WC-15 (except Canada as hosts) but there will be 8 European teams and not 5 as in WC-11 or 3 as in the Olympics.

      An attack with Alex and Sarah up front will be plenty strong. Syd could come in for either of those two, though Lindsey Horan would be a direct replacement for Sarah.

      You could try 3-5-2 or 4-1-3-2 (a sort of “sweeper” or “libero” configuration).