US women top China 2-0 before losing Sermanni

The Equalizer Staff April 6, 2014 130

Megan Rapinoe scored in the United States' 2-0 victory over China on Sunday. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer)

Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe scored on each side of halftime in the United States women’s national team’s 2-0 victory over China on Sunday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., but the big news of the day was the firing of head coach Tom Sermanni.

Sermanni has been sacked after just 16 months in charge of the U.S. He accumulated an 18-2-4 record and says he’s “completely blindsided” by the move from U.S. Soccer.

He didn’t even know any decision loomed just hours earlier Sunday as he guided the U.S. to victory.

The Americans are now unbeaten in their last 81 games at home (71-0-10), dating back to Nov. 6, 2004. Sunday’s win was the second straight victory for the U.S. after their 43-game unbeaten streak was snapped as part of a shocking three-game winless skid at the Algarve Cup last month.

Holiday scored 39 minutes into the match after the Americans dominated from the start but failed to finish. She calmly slotted the ball into the lower corner of the goal from 18 yards out after in ricocheted off several defenders inside the box.

Sydney Leroux had a pair of early chances and Christen Press twice missed an empty net from difficult angles in the 25th and 33rd minutes. Carli Lloyd also had a chance to open the scoring for the U.S. in the 32nd minute, but put her shot from 15 yards out over the bar.

[RELATED: Now healthy after blood clots, Stengel gets first look at senior USWNT camp]

Rapinoe entered the game for Holiday in the 67th minute, and 11 minutes later she scored on a dangerous free kick. Rapinoe curled her shot toward the back post and it went untouched through crossing traffic to sneak into the far side netting and extend the United States’ lead to 2-0.

The U.S. and China play again on Thursday in San Diego and the match will air live on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET. The U.S. is now 31-8-12 all-time against China, who were once the Americans’ biggest rivals but haven’t been major players on the world stage in about a decade.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY:

  • guest

    Both teams played better in the second half.

  • Silver Frost

    WNT still not right. Two luck shots, and China with NO offense. Press not getting the job done.

    • canyon

      goodness,what a bad game against a weak china..if it was that japanese u 17 team,the uswnt had lost..press was nothing.that bully girl leroux with her hippo butt better stop playing soccer..perhaps a job like a hippo trainer in a circus,or zoo,would be an excellent job for her..this team with such a dumb coach,and so manny selfish players is now the clown in soccer land.

      • canyons

        hahahahahahahahahahaha

      • ale

        you are a commentator without success and grace with your comments in very bad taste. Although the USWNT this playing a little confusing is still the best team in the world with world class players

        • canyon

          wow..another dreamer..im telling you,they lucky they didnt play against that japanese u 17 team..they would have lost 5-0..

          • guest

            lol yeah ok

    • ale

      if i agree

  • Parker

    The US were flat with little aggression or incisiveness to their final attack. I was curious to see how the 4-3-3 played out, but I don’t think it was a suitable formation. Uncharacteristically terrible finishing from Press, no zip from the wingers, and no forwards finding channels. Full-backs were so-so. Morgan Brian hardly put a foot wrong all game, though. Interesting use of her as a defensive mid. Stale performance overall. The team that played today would be cut open by France or Sweden, and certainly Germany.

    • luke

      Watch her Virginia matches, Morgan Brian can’t “put a foot wrong”, it’s not her style… ;)

      • Parker

        Oh, I’m a huge fan of Morgan Brian. I just expected that she would be a Cheney-alternate on this team for a while, given their style and is similar and their position the same. Speaks even more highly of her that she’s used in a starting lineup in a new position, and that she’s the best player on the pitch on the day.

        • luke

          There was one neat ball exchange with Press in the first half, unfortunately Christen turned away and didn’t pass the ball back to Moe who was quite open just before the box.
          It’s so frustrating, that even technical players like Press don’t want to try combination play with Brian… :-(

          • Davis

            Press also missed a wide open Lloyd in front of goal at one point and instead went for a difficult, off-balance shot that left a lot to be desired. You could see Lloyd throw her hands up in the air and look at Press like, “What are you doing?”. I’ve been very unhappy with the poor decision making exhibited by our forwards lately.

        • VaFan51

          I think Brian and Holiday are close to developing some real chemistry in the midfield and I think their partnership would result in goals for both and a better performance for the team as a whole. I wholeheartedly agree that Moe was the best player on the pitch today.
          On the other hand, I continue to be dumbfounded by our indulgence of Carli Lloyd’s erratic play. Today was one of her all-too-familiar exhibitions of dribbling too long until she is dispossessed and generally acting like playing central midfield at this level has nothing to do with creativity and involving teammates in play. She plays like she’s on a playground somewhere and she’s the strongest, bossiest kid. I am sick of it.
          She is inhibiting the team’s development. Holiday, Brian, and/or Heath would be far better at the driver’s wheel and, as I said, I think a Holiday-Brian tandem would be killer.

          • ale

            If I agree, lloyd today juice a bad game but that is not meant to not provide excellent in another game things although partly got lots of reason, I think that with the arrival of boxx is could play so: holiday boxx and brian in the center of the field I would like to see these three players in the center of field.

          • wosofan

            Yes, there is a childish element to Carli’s play on days like today. I thought at the Algarve, she had turned the corner. But today was reminiscent of so many familiar performances from her. It must really confound coaches. It is actually almost funny, how often she thinks she’s fast enough or skillful enough to win 1 v. 1 battles, but she doesn’t quite have it.

    • evevic

      Agreed with your last sentence. This team looks flat. there’s no rhythm. They’re getting away with this style against weak opponents. Doubt they’ll be able to next year unless they get there act together. TS deserves most of the blame. What progress has the made since he took over? Overall this is not a recipe to win a world cup.

      • guest

        Interestingly, the US was fresh, exciting and dominant last year, and TS was getting effusive praise. What happened?

      • Elaine

        The true test will come in June when we play against France. The way the US looks now, we might lose both games.

      • wosofan

        This was a better performance than the 2 first halves against Russia. I look at it as a step forward. Better than matches last year. Even if the score did not tell, there was better control of the match.

    • nwslfan

      agree agree. team accomplished a different style of play, but good grief, please FINISH your chances. Morgan had virtually flawless decision making for the match. MoeE plays a different style from Boxxy, but she filled the role marvelously, apparently no need to slide tackle. Carlos lost the ball more than appropriate, but this was counterbalanced by her ball winning and hustle I thought Carli had one of her better games. Second half, the vets had a more anticipatory feel to their passes, but no paydays.

      • ale

        If it’s nice to see Brian play there, although china is a team really weak, she must play against France, germany, Brazil to see if remains his work which is very good and amazing. I hope that with the return of boxx she can play more to attack, it would be great to see it next to boxx in the center of the field.

    • guest

      I don’t think your seeing a finished product. I saw many positives in much much better possession but it is a process. They are trying are making there way to being more positive possession oriented instead of so direct and I think you can already see some of that. It will Take a little more time but they are on the right track.

    • canyon

      my advice to uswnt, CANCEL THE MATCH AGAINST FRANCE..YOU WILL BE EATEN ALIVE..

      • guest

        wanna bet?

        • canyon

          do you have permission from your parents for a bet ???????

          • guest

            Do you????????

      • ale

        I think it is the best option, that party seems to be very good to prove that facts are the USWNT, is an important play proof against in #4 of the world and also very good team.

    • guest

      I’d say poor finishing at the international level is becoming quite characteristic of Press, actually.

      • Davis

        Let’s not get too carried away here. Press has had a bit of a bad stretch recently, but for the past year she’s been finishing as well as anyone on the national team.

        • underwhelmed

          Now there’s an example of damning with faint praise.

  • Vladlagg

    It is good to see Holiday back on the team and connecting passes. Morgan Brian was great feeding people the ball, but China was content to sit 8 – 9 people in the back third, so run of play and possession weren’t as telling as they could have been. It would have been nice to see some of those headers connect, or put some of the many chances in. Hopefully we can keep it on the ground like Holiday did on her score next game.

  • luke

    Two news regarding Press:
    bad one – she was bad :)
    good one – her rivals for the USWNT attack spot were even worse.

    I once wrote during Algarve how China has made huge progress – I’m taking that back, they still have looooong way to go to be a good team.

  • wosofan

    There were a few glimpses of “positive possession” in the first half, but also a bit of confusion, hesitancy regarding spacing and movement. On the upside, there was more patience displayed from this team than I’ve ever seen from a US side, and a boatload of good chances. In the second half, the one really nice move was the run Holiday made down the left, and she was found nicely by Klingenberg, and that nearly resulted in a goal.

    Tough day for the forwards. Several missed chances from Press and Leroux, and they aren’t combining well at all. Press played far below her ability. Perhaps selfish at times. (Pinoe selfish too, near the end). Less consistency from Carli Lloyd than in the Algarve — you can tell she wants so badly to make things happen, a bit too much perhaps. Holiday was okay, but it still seems like she’s going at 75% compared to last summer. The standout was Morgan Brian. She’s become the most essential, solid player for this team. I thought Kling and Becky had very good performances also.

    Overall, I like the 4-3-3, much better at controlling the game than the 4-4-2. There just needs to be a lot of learning and improvement with the 4-3-3. It gave the the team a lot of passing options, all over the field, and they just need to find a cutting edge. Just two years ago, a US team never would have controlled the ball this much against an Asian team. They were stifled, dominated.

    • nwslfan

      agree with vastly more patience. I think the team is working hard to change their style. I don’t think the 4-3-3 will work against a higher quality side though.

      • Lorehead

        U.S. Soccer had a video up today in which Tom Sermanni, just before he played a 4-3-3 and got basically nothing from Press or Leroux in a game where his midfield dominated possession, was talking about how a 4-4-2 was better for the players he had because both Leroux and Press were more central strikers.

        • Rdalford

          Yep both Press and Leroux are more comfortable as central strikers and they currently seem incapable/unwilling to work effectively together. Perhaps the 4-3-3 with either Press or Leroux in center flanked by Rapinoe and HAO (or better yet Dunn) might have a better chance of working.
          The 4-3-3 did allow TS to play Holiday, Lloyd and Brian together which seemed to work somewhat or at least to be a work in progress that could work.
          but as the TS video stated 4-4-2 may be better fit for skills.

    • evevic

      They’re also playing against China. A team they have an 80 match unbeaten streak against and a team that’s rebuilding. They always look good against weak teams. They need to do better against teams they will need to beat to win the trophy next year.

  • ale

    USWNT to improved its ball possession quite well and think it’s going on the right track although felt the game took him with little agrecividad, I think that press had a terrible game well below their normal game, kling juice well but for this type of parties I think it was best choice cox, team I liked though in the definition they have to work hard to earn to sweden, germany, France even Japan or Brazil. I liked the game!!

  • ale

    morgan brian is very good

    • Guest

      I wish that she would get a chance to play higher up the pitch.

      • evevic

        I wonder who could make that decision? A great coach perhaps. Carli playing higher up is a burden fro this team going forward. I know in the past she’s scored a few clutch goals but she’s too selfish and predictable. She’s a shoot first player although she not a stricker. She does very little to set up the forwards and her assists total tells the whole story.

        • guest

          Carli can still get forward and shoot on occasion if she’s playing deeper. But she doesn’t need to consistently be in the attacking mid area because she doesn’t combine well and doesn’t look to pass.

    • luke

      She is literally coolest player on USWNT.
      Never nervous, irritated or impatient.
      Composed, analyzing and executing.

      • ale

        If I think very good your observation regarding lloyd, she is selfish and not combine well and even entangled much with the ball inside the area and that distorts the attack. I would like to see that position of lloyd Morgan brian playing I think it would be great to see when you arrive at the shannon boxx team, to give a space more in attack on brian. It would be great to see it as creative there.

      • xanthophobe

        I’m very impressed with Brian’s maturity–both in her game play and off the field. Since the 2012 U-20 WC, she’s really proven herself to be beyond her years.

  • guest

    Press once again failed to deliver in a starting role, this time against a relatively weak Chinese team. Silly me, I thought that if she could get a goal per match coming in with 10-15 minutes as a substitute, she could surely get 3-4 goals easily if she started.

    • ale

      I’m I agree with you, press has accustomed us to a pretty good game and even world-class, scoring many goals, but today failure goals very easy to run.

    • Elaine

      Press blew it again with her chances. When you get subbed out at the 57th mark by TS, you know you had a bad game.

      • evevic

        Agree about Press. The problem is she’s a system type of player playing in the wrong system which suit her game. That’s why she’s so effective for her club but not country. TS needs to figure out how to get her better involved in the offense and she also has a lot of work to do if she wants to play a big role in Canada. She’s important because I thought Wambach was not impressive in this match and it would be naive to think she can duplicate her performance of 2011 and we’re not sure if AM can be the same player she was in 2012 after this injury.

        • guest

          Well, if good ole Steg was here, he’d say that Alex won’t even be in Canada in 2015 because she will retire after getting that nice rock on her finger.

        • Elaine

          Pairing Press with Syd is not a good idea. Syd is not a creative force up there to play balls to Press. You would think that Press would be the one to create chances for Syd but she hardly does. Therefore no production out of either one of them.

          • evevic

            Than why do you think TS keep pairing them together?

          • Elaine

            I have no idea.

          • guest

            Because what else is he going to do? Syd/Abby is the only other viable option right now, and if Tom doesn’t think Abby will be good enough to start in the WC, he’s going to start slowly weaning her. Abby and Press is a worse combo, and Arod is just not good enough to start at the international level. For all the talk about how deep the US was at forward and how there wouldn’t be enough slots for them to all get playing time, they are looking rather impotent now. Funny how removing just one forward threw a wrench in what was perceived to be the US’s strongest position.

          • evevic

            What about Press as a lone stricker if we’re taking about experimentation. And why not Abby/ Syd? I don’t see Abby being phased out of the starting line up until after 2015′s world cup. I’m not seeing anyone being groomed to replaced her sooner.

          • guest

            At this point, the only way Press is going to be productive is if she’s up top alone, unless she can find chemistry with Morgan once she returns. I don’t see Sermanni putting both Abby and Syd on the bench (and possibly even Morgan when she’s back). Syd and Abby is fine, but not as dynamic as Abby/Alex. Both are more bruisers than finesse players.

          • Parker

            I think Morgan is the only one who can be paired with any of the other forwards and be effective. She works best with Wambach, but that may be due to the time they’ve invested in building that partnership. I think she combines with Syd and Press well, though to a lesser extent. Give those some time and see what develops…

          • evevic

            You’re assuming and all US fans are hoping both AM and Abby can duplicate their old form but that’s not guaranteed given AM is coming from injury and Abby will be 4 yrs older than last world cup. We need to focus on the present and get the strickers we have at present playing with chemistry and in top form.

          • guest

            Well, that’s why Tom keeps playing Press and Syd together in hopes that they will eventually gel.

          • evevic

            TS has tried Syd/ Press several times already and they haven’t looked any better why keep beating a dead horse? He should a different experimentation.

          • guest

            Pia tried Arod/Abby 4 years ago and that didn’t work, yet Tom still decided to run out with that combo a couple of times.

          • evevic

            But isn’t that wasting valuable time to improve the squad before the world cup? If you know something isn’t working why keep trying it?

          • guest

            Maybe Tom is running out of ideas. If he’s going to play a 4-4-2, it’s going to be either Abby/Press, Abby/Syd or Syd/Press. Arod is a sub at best. I think he has more or less tried all three, and none of them are great. He probably thinks that Syd/Press has the most potential, so he keeps going with it. The only other way to go is a lone striker with Press or Syd. (That match against Sweden way back in November of 2011 showed that Abby is simply too slow to play up top by herself.) Maybe we’ll see Press up top alone next match. I don’t know. Tom is now starting to look like David Moyes, when he looked like Pep Guardiola just an year ago.

          • evevic

            We can only hope he’ll be more bold. I think Press can do very well as a lone stricker but not Syd. He never looked let Pep to to me. Pep’s always been very bold and a great tactician which TS isn’t.

          • guest

            Press has done well as a lone striker at club level so I don’t see why she couldn’t on the national team. But where does that leave Abby and Syd? And what about Alex when she returns?

          • evevic

            They’ll just have to play more than one style which is to direct anyway in today’s game.

          • JAMES 18

            Looks like they are repelling instead of gelling.

          • guest

            The thing with though is syd has created when paired with abby or alex. I remember several time her sending in beautiful crosses to abby and alex set her up the few times they played together. I honestly don’t know why ts thinks her and press are good together.

          • evevic

            Maybe TS has already decided on Alex/ Wambach pairing for next year barring any injury and he’s letting Press and Sydney fight for the role of super sub next year? One can tell they’re not playing with each other but rather competing against one another for that 3rd stricker spot

          • Elaine

            I think Syd plays well with Alex because they attack with speed so they are on the same page. She plays well with Abby because you know where she will be which is usually in the box. With Press, she roams everywhere. Syd also lack the vision to see the field so she can’t play the ball through quick enough before she gets disposessed. With this pairing, Press should be the playmaker and look for Syd. Press just doesn’t but instead look to strike herself.

          • canyon

            believe me,,i have seen some smart hippo,s but noway is this ugly big hippo butt girl leroux smart..

          • guest

            Your mama is the hippo not syd.

          • lolz

            You just jeally cause you can’t put your little dick inside that nice ass of hers.

          • Elaine

            Let’s leave the name calling out of this. It is not very useful.

          • NYRick

            Elaine I think you are spot on in your assessment here. Even though it would perhaps curtail her style and true strength (putting the ball in the net), I think Press should just go into these starts that she gets and I think “provider” first and foremost. Especially with Syd. I’m not the biggest Syd fan but I still think she is an amazing athlete who can do damage and blow up any game too. But Press needs to over compensate Syd right now. Go out of her way to look for her, and make a special pass etc. She will look very good in the process. Everyone knows she can score. I think Tom is looking for a teammate. Someone who can adapt, someone to bring some chemistry with all her intelligence and skill set.

            And if that doesn’t work…she and Syd should go out and get rip roaring drunk together, have a few laughs and maybe just say to each other, “We can make this work. Let’s stop the petty nonsense. We both are making the roster for this team without blinking an eye. We are both going to be on this team for a long time, let’s make it happen.”

        • ale

          I think that abby is still world-class but I think canada will have to work very hard to get to be very important part of the team since it will be 35 years old and is not equal to tener30 years.

    • guest

      Press doesn’t know how to play in a system where she isn’t the only striker.

      • guest

        ding ding ding

      • ale

        If and I think abby better entered the game to press, made very good pivots and well control the ball, press had a bad game hopefully it will improve. Although the perishing 4-3-3 system much complicated to press.

  • NYRick

    A great night for any member of the anti-Press clan. Bravo, rejoice…she was terrible. I’m not going to disagree with you that she is flubbing her big chance with the NT on the surface. Her two misses were almost comical in their ineptitude, and can we at least say she may be “pressing” when she starts on the NT. Can’t blame the pairing with Syd etc., she has to score with those type of chances. That’s all on her, and I’m sure she is beating herself up over it.

    However, let me just throw a little rain on your parade if I may regarding Press. For one, strikers and big goal scorers are a funny breed. They are streaky and she seems to be no different. Even in Sweden. Would it surprise anyone if she scored about 4-5 goals in her next two starts? Unless she has been inflicted with the dreaded Fernando Torres ailment, I expect her to find the net often in the future, and I think she will still play a big role for this team moving forward.

    Secondly, and much to the chagrin of some on here (and here is the one we all may be misreading) Sermanni likes her. He does. I didn’t think so initially, but now I’m truly starting to believe it and he thinks she is the real deal who will produce down the road. I think he looks at these games a little differently regarding her play. A coach wants to see chances at the very least, and when she is out there they seem to be plentiful. She will score again. It’s what she does, you’ll see. Also, I saw not only the blown chances (eh, also two by Syd as well that nobody ever seems to care about), but a ton of possession and dominance. I really like the way the team played. The scoreline certainly didn’t reflect the play.

    Some other quick thoughts:
    1. Moe Brian was outstanding. Girl has to play. So poised and confident and look out when she really gets caps and confidence out there.

    2. Ali Krieger is just outstanding. So solid every time I see her play. The back line with Brunn, Engen and Krieger is a keeper. Kling played well too, and whether the 4th back is KO, Kling, Dunn or Rampone, I have no worries back there.

    3. I so wish Syd would look up just once when she has numbers. Just not a very intuitive player. Does it all on athleticism. So reminds me of Man Utd.’s Danny Welbeck. All the talent in the world, but it drives you crazy.

    4. They still won, and looked dominant. I saw big progress tonight and I really liked experimenting with the 4-3-3. I still think that can work.

    • Evevic

      I like Press’s talent and I believe she’s a great stricker. She’s putting too much pressure on herself to win the third stricker spot. Unfortunately I don’t her unseating AM or Abby for a starting job. She needs to get her nerves under control if she wants a big role next summer. Also as already mentioned, she’s at her best being the lone stricker and that’s not the favored formation of the US team.

      • NYRick

        4-4-2, 4-3-3 or lone striker up top, she has to score on those two gimmees tonight. She hasn’t built enough collateral with this team to start earning a rep as a bad finisher on the NT.

        I do think she is probably most effective as a lone striker based on her style of play, and Syd is absolutely the worst partner for her. Even Abby would be a better pairing because Abby would cause some chaos and attention in the box, and Press likes to roam around and bury the scraps.

    • guest

      It seems that she has been inflicted with something much closer to home: the Arod ailment. In fact, it looks like all the strikers are suffering from it.

      • NYRick

        LOL. Have to admit, it is hard to watch as a fan of hers. It seems everything that hits her foot when in Sweden finds the back of the net. Even though she has scored at a good rate for the NT, she easily could have so many more.

        Hey in life, you only get so many chances. This is the big stage and if it didn’t happen for her, than it’s all on her. Can’t blame Sermanni, he is giving her every opportunity right now.

        • guest

          As long as Morgan is injured, Press will keep getting significant playing time. I think Tom is transitioning Abby to the bench. He gave the important starts to Press and Syd at the Algarve, and he even kept Abby on the bench in a home game, something he never did last year. But Press needs to capitalize now. She needs to show Tom that she deserves to start. If she doesn’t, Morgan will come back and start making Abby look good again and Christen will find herself as the fourth string striker all over again. The next match again China, and more importantly, the two matches against France will be crucial for her.

          • foxglove

            She doesn’t have to show Tom anything. Look at A-rod. What has she done? And how many years has she been around?

          • guest

            Well, Pia really loved her some Arod, no question about that. She’s still a contracted player I believe so Tom is kind of obliged to bring her in.

        • guest

          Well, the positive thing for Press is that all the other forwards are playing like crap as well, so as bad as Press has been, I’d argue that she has still been the best forward. Which is really quite sad when you think about it.

    • luke

      I like Press, but tell me one thing: between all US strikers, all Morgans, Lerouxes, Wambachs, Horans and Hagens – who’d you think is most likely to combinate with Morgan Brian in rare occassions Moe is going forward?
      Your answer has to be “Press”!
      And today she received great pass from her, turned away and striked poorly from difficult position, having Brian completely free 5y away. One pass back and it’d be beautiful goal combination.
      Pinoe doesn’t want to combinate with Brian, Lloyd doesn’t want to combinate with Brian, defenders don’t wan’t to combinate with Brian, now the most technical US striker Press? Depressing! :-/

      • NYRick

        I agree with you. I think Press should look for Moe more than she does. They both have a keen understanding of the game, and I envision some nice one-two exchanges breaking down the typical defense the US encounters now (either park the bus or always have 5 back). You need intelligence and patience, and you’re right. Press should team more with Brian in this area. This is also on Sermanni as well. But let’s give it some caps together too. I think we all forget what fixtures so many of these players on this team are (many with 100+ caps together). Chemistry doesn’t happen overnight. Even Lebron and Wade needed a year together before they really clicked.

        • luke

          I hope you’re right.
          These two could do magic attacking if they want to, I truly believe it…

      • Why Always Me

        Really? I would think Alex would be the most likely to combine with Moe. Girl is one of the most unselfish strikers I’ve ever seen.

        • luke

          Yu know what? The moment I sent my comment, I wanted to correct it. :)
          You’re right, Alex Morgan might not be best technician on USWNT, but daaaamn, she loves to pass the ball and she doesn’t “need” to be selfish fighting for starting that spot…
          That willingness may be even the most important factor here.

          I’d love to see her dancing with Moe!

      • martiunka

        Ha, this play was so nice until Press decided to shoot instead of passing it back to Brian. The only player combining really well with Moe was Holiday. I’d like to see her more play with Alex Morgan too. Thought of new coach coming in scares me though. We’ll see what he/she will do with her. I’m really worried that USWNT will be back to old tactics…

  • 5BorosDick

    So how much longer does TS have to pretend Press is an international level striker that a team can count on. The window to blame minutes, starting/subbing, partners, formation, lunar phase, whatever is closing. If it’s about giving players a fair a chance then Press sits and Hagen, Horan, and heck Stengal deserve their runs. Strikers need to finish-end of story.

    • NYRick

      So you’ve come to this conclusion after just 3 starts at forward? Still has 12 goals in 20 caps, not a strike rate I would consider bad for any forward. Also, isn’t this the same team that has given ARod 108 caps at forward?

      • morSOC

        Not all ARod’s caps were at forward. Many came at left mid. You don’t have to like a player, but let’s not ignore facts when stating an opinion. Pia recognized ARod was not contributing at forward and changed her role.

        • NYRick

          I don’t think many came at mid. You are going to have to come back to me with numbers on that. I would bet that less than 10 of the 108 were at mid. And it has nothing to do with me liking her or not. I don’t dislike her, I just think the other forward choices are better.

          • guest

            I’d say 15-20 at most were at mid. She played striker all the way until 2012.

    • foxglove

      Are you going to apply the same standard to Leroux? I don’t recall her scoring either. They’re both struggling but for some reason Press is getting all the blame. Press does score for her club in bunches, so I don’t see any reason why she can’t do the same for the NT.

  • JAMES 18

    Damn, another stinker by CP.

  • JAMES 18

    Amazing how Abby looks much better resting her Achilles tendonitis on the bench when Syd and CP struggle to develop chemistry.

    • NYRick

      The big winner in all the forward strife is really Alex. Her legend grows with each ice pack placed on top of her left foot.

      • JAMES 18

        What’s wrong with CP RICK? Is the 2 strikers- system throwing her off?

        • NYRick

          It’s all on her. She has to score with the chances she has gotten in these games and I’m sure she knows it.

          Whatever your profession, when the opportunity presents itself you must capitalize. That pertains to whether you just got a promotion at work or even were promoted to the main fry man at McDonalds during the lunch shift. It’s showtime, and the light either goes on for you, or it doesn’t.

          I will say that to Alex Morgan’s credit, when she finally got her chance as a starter (and she waited far too long for it) she delivered. At the end of the day, it’s always on the player. And right now Press is doing herself no favors.

          • JAMES 18

            Alex Morgan has that killer instinct ,I don’t see that in CP.

          • guest

            I do. Even Alex had her droughts. CP will be fine.

          • NYRick

            It’s a fair point. However, don’t paint CP to be this timid little lamb. She didn’t get to be CP by not having set high standards for herself. She could be just pressing, adjusting to the limelight a bit and a variety of new styles of play.

            My wish for a long time is an Alex-Press pairing when it matters next summer. I still think that can be special. Whether it ever happens or becomes special remains to be seen.

    • ForeverLOST108

      Because she really made a case for herself also in her 35+ minutes of play.

      • guest

        She didn’t seem like she was flopping that much today. That’s an improvement for her.

      • JAMES 18

        No, because SYD and CP stunk the joint up .If they had torched the Chinese whatever ABBY did in the 35mins would have been irrelevant.

    • Lorehead

      Wait until she gets named player-coach! (I think I’m joking.)

      • JAMES 18

        LOL, I don’t even want to think about that.

  • ForeverLOST108

    I really like the pairing of Sauerbrunn and Engen together and tonight just further solidified that. Their passing ability from the back is so refreshing to see. I loved how quickly they moved the ball around today.

    • guest

      They should definitely be the centerback pairing going forward.

    • NYRick

      The back 4 is really growing into the strongest unit on the team. Plus, the development of Moe Brian tonight really convinces me that this is going to be a very good team. One that will give Germany and whoever all they want at the WC. As for the forwards, they will score. All are too good and the team is transitioning to not only different players, but a faster, ball on the ground style of play.

      • Evevic

        Sorry Rick they played a weak China team. I would withhold these accolades until I see how they fair against France.

  • Kat

    Anyone else see this tweet? Sermanni fired? https://twitter.com/ussoccer_wnt/status/452992503868710912

    • guest

      wow

      • Kat

        My reaction as well. I’m curious to see what the rationale is. I don’t think the team has been playing well as of right now, but I wouldn’t think that would be a sufficient reason to yank the guy. After all, Pia’s team almost didn’t qualify the world cup and Alex Morgan is injured. Timing actually made me wonder if something happened off the field. However, there’s no evidence of that, so I certainly don’t want to impugn the man’s character or anything without any justification other than odd timing.

        • guest

          Has to be something internal. If they didn’t like the Algarve result, why didn’t they fire him then? Unless they were waiting until they had a replacement.

          • Kat

            If it was strictly soccer related, I would argue that it would make sense not to fire him right after Algarve. Give him a chance to right the ship, call in the players he wants to call in, put his likely WC qualifying 11 on the field (minus injured players), and put up a good result. He didn’t do that. A 23-1 shot advantage and only a 2-0 victory against a middling team is not something to write home about. Especially because it was only 1-0 until the ~78th minute and this team has shown a significant vulnerability to the counterattack.

          • foxglove

            A victory over China and he’s out the door?? Doesn’t seem plausible. China’s a good team, they parked the bus, give them credit.

          • Lorehead

            The timing suggests that he had one last chance (but on the other hand, U.S. Soccer had its video up about “the new-look USWNT” already). If they didn’t want to disrupt the team right before a match, the logical times to pull the trigger would have been either right after Algarve, or after the second match against China, either of which would have given the new coach a month to prepare.

            Doing it now and not in four days suggests that something happened behind the scenes recently.

    • Guest

      And the plot thickens…

    • Elaine

      Wow. I guess we weren’t wrong in what we’re seeing with our USWNT. USSoccer sees it the same way.

    • foxglove

      Let’s be honest, the only reason they are struggling right now is because Alex is away. Other than that they are playing par for the course, although that 5-3 loss to Denmark was kind of shocking…total defensive breakdown. If he has been dismissed, I would be sorry because they are making improvement, showing patience, working the ball through the middle and I’d like to see that continue.

  • Why Always Me

    The complaints about Lloyd have me tilting my head in confusion. I’ve made it clear that I’m not her biggest fan, but she should’ve had two assists at the very least, had Press been finishing better. She wasn’t quite as dominant in the second half but in the first half she had multiple incisive through balls that were very, very impressive.

    Also, I’m not quite sure how Moe would get to play higher up on the pitch. So far she’s been the most effective at DM — why would you change that, when both Lloyd and Holiday are very effective AM? And I know there were some suggestions for Boxx to play holding mid, but I find myself vehemently opposed to playing a 38-year-old just to get Moe higher up the pitch, when there are other options that are just as effective. I would love to see Holiday-Heath-Moe all on the field at the same time, that could be a lot of fun.

    Finally, Tom’s substitution of Holiday for Rapinoe had me scratching my head. Rapinoe is a flat out winger, so I don’t understand why she’d sub for a central middie. Some of Rapinoe’s best chances came from out wide, it’s were she excels. Tommy, you said you wanted to stop experimenting, do us a favor and put your money where your mouth is.

  • cpl

    I smell a player revolt. #USWNT— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) April 7, 2014