USWNT Showing Their Potential, Beat Germany 2-0

USWNT

Congratulations to the USWNT, who outplayed the world’s No. 1-ranked team during Women’s World Cup

The United States advanced to the World Cup final on Tuesday with its most impressive performance in recent memory, notching a 2-0 victory over a top-ranked German team that had steamrolled its way to the semifinals.

It took six games, but against Germany, the number one ranked team in the world, the USWNT finally showed how well they can play. They got a very big break from a blown call for their first goal, but the Americans played better throughout the match and deserved their victory.

From the beginning, Germany pressed the USWNT defenders very high up on the pitch, and created a couple of turnovers that led to decent goal scoring chances. But mostly the Americans dealt with the pressure just fine, and its bigger effect was creating a somewhat ragged, open game from end to end. As the half wore on, the USWNT seized control.

The Americans, who looked discordant in the early parts of the tournament, seem to be peaking at the perfect time. They looked harmonious and controlled play against the favored Germans for large stretches of the match at Olympic Stadium.

Carli Lloyd, who had scored in the team’s two previous wins, put her stamp on yet another night, scoring on a penalty kick in the 69th minute and providing the game-killing assist on Kelley O’Hara’s goal 15 minutes later.

The United States will find out its opponent on Wednesday, when Japan plays England in Edmonton.

The United States’ starting lineup contained a few surprises when it was revealed an hour before the game. Coach Jill Ellis, for the first time in this tournament, diverted from the straightforward 4-4-2 formation that she had preferred. She used Alex Morgan as her sole, true forward, and shifted Lloyd up from midfield into more of a withdrawn forward role.

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USWNT wins 2-0 over Colombia

USWNT

The USWNT have a World Cup quarterfinal date with China after they won over Colombia

The USWNT have failed to impress and for the fourth consecutive game, they’ve avoided defeat. While their fans will continue hoping to see more attacking ideas from the USWNT, their 2-0 win over Colombia in the Round of 16 was certainly deserved.

The United States advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Colombia on Monday night in Edmonton. It was a third win in four matches for the Americans, but once again the team will have major concerns about its midfield and attacking play.

In addition, progress came at a high cost. Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday both drew their second yellow cards of the tournament and will be suspended in the quarterfinals, where the U.S. will play China on Friday in Ottawa.

That’s seriously bad news for the U.S. Rapinoe, a wide midfielder, has been the team’s best, most creative attacking player throughout the tournament.
Attacking as a team is something the U.S. simply has not done in this tournament. That was true again Monday night. By now, the pattern is so well worn that the major points could have been predicted before Monday’s game.

Build-up play looked disjointed. The midfield failed to fully connect. The flow of play between lines lacked cohesion. Too often the U.S. relied on long balls lumped up top rather than passing patiently and probing for weaknesses.

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U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Beat Nigeria 1-0, And Advance To Elimination Rounds

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The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team defeated Nigeria 1-0 on Tuesday in its third and final group stage match of FIFA’s Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. women’s soccer lone goal came in the 45th minute from Abby Wambach, who joined the starting lineup again after being relegated to the bench for the start of team’s last match.

The goal marked Wambach’s 14th career goal in the World Cup, tying for second all-time with Brigit Prinz of Germany, per U.S. Soccer. Marta still holds the record with 15 goals, one of which she scored during this year’s tournament. It is Wambach’s 183rd goal overall.

With the win, the U.S. heads into the Round of 16, at the top of their Group D with seven points, which, in addition to Nigeria, included Australia and Sweden. The U.S. beat Australia 3-1 and tied Sweden 0-0.

The 1-0 victory allowed the U.S. to win their group and advance into the elimination round, where they’ll face another group’s third-place team on Monday, followed by a possible matchup against Cameroon or China later next week.

The Americans dominated the match, taking twice as many shots as the Nigerians. Nigeria’s players who also received three yellow cards, including one to defender Sarah Nnodim. It was her second of the tournament, resulting in a red card and ejection.

In the other game in Group D, Australia tied Sweden, taking second place and advancing to face Brazil. Sweden ended in third place, but may still have another match, as four of the six third-place teams will move on. The loss to the U.S. eliminated Nigeria.

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Women’s World Cup – U.S. Women’s Soccer ties Sweden 0-0

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The U.S. Women’s Soccer on Friday, tied Sweden 0-0 in a poor game during Women’s World Cup.

Neither team looked dangerous during Friday’s women’s world cup.  A lot of the issues that the USWNT had in their opening game and warm-up friendlies persisted in this match. But this performance wasn’t all bad, and U.S. fans shouldn’t get down on their chances to win the Women’s World Cup quite yet.

Two games into the World Cup, the USWNT have already played two of the toughest opponents they’ll see in the tournament. It’s unlikely that the Americans run into better teams than Sweden or Australia in their first two knockout stage games, and if they put in repeat performances over their next three matches, they’ll get to the semifinal. It would be disappointing to see the U.S. limp their way to the final four, then bow out when they came up against France or Germany, but that currently looks like a near-worst-case scenario.

There are still a lot of issues that the U.S. needs to work out before they get to that stage, but one might have been solved against Sweden. Becky Sauerbrunn was the only member of the American defense who looked great against Australia, but the entire back four played well against Sweden. The Swedes could have done a bit more to put the USWNT defense under pressure, but the back four’s performance, as a unit, had just as much to do with Sweden’s lack of chances. Julie Johnston, in particular, was significantly improved from the first game and was probably the woman of the match for the United States.

Reunions often come bundled with emotion, enough to fill a whole stadium sometimes. They can bring joy. They can bring wistfulness. Occasionally they can even turn out to be anticlimactic, which was the principal takeaway at Winnipeg Stadium Friday night, where the U.S. women’s soccer team faced its old coach on the biggest stage of their sport.

After a tepid start that had the feeling of two boxers pawing at each other in the center of the ring for a half hour, there was at last a frenzied finish, before things ended with a 0-0 tie in a Group D qualification game in the Women’s World Cup.

At 5 feet 2 inches, left back Meghan Klingenberg is the smallest player on the American women’s national team, but she made probably the probably biggest play on Friday night to preserve a 0-0 tie with Sweden in the World Cup.

In the 77th minute, a looping shot from about 10 yards out by Caroline Seger of Sweden appeared that it would elude goalkeeper Hope Solo and provide the decisive goal in a taut, frantic match.

But Klingenberg stood on the goal line at the right post, jumped and headed the ball off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced downward, but did not cross the line, and the Americans remained atop their group with a win and a draw after two matches.

US Women’s Soccer World Cup Championship

Best Iconic US Women’s Soccer Taken in 1999

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It was arguably the biggest moment in the history of US women’s soccer, and the single most memorable and reproduced image of the celebration. Brandi Chastain had just converted the penalty kick that cemented the 1999 Women’s World Cup for the United States over China.

While the popularity of the team has continued to grow with the help of young crossover stars such as Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, Chastain’s magical moment marks the last time the World Cup was hoisted by Team USA.

The US women’s soccer team are favored to end that streak of futility this year, entering the tournament at about plus-200 to win. Germany, champions in 2003 and 2007, is the second choice at plus-300. Defending champion Japan, France and Brazil are around 7-1, depending on the sports book.

Betting on the Women’s World Cup, which began Saturday with two games, is still a growing market. The best sports gambling sites vary in how much action they expect over the course of the month.

The US women’s  soccer team begins its quest for a third World Cup championship today when the U.S. takes on Australia. It’s the first game for both teams and should be one of the best in the tournament so far. The U.S. is ranked second in the world and Australia is 10th.

Hundreds of rabid U.S. fans from the group American Outlaws and thousands of others wearing red, white and blue are expected to pack the stadium for the Group D opener in Winnipeg, Canada. One of the biggest questions is the health of the US women’s soccer squad. The team has been hobbled by injuries to several key players, including forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Still, the U.S. team is deep and the coaches have tinkered with various starting lineups over the past few games.

Those aren’t the only issues swirling around the team. At a pregame news conference on Sunday, questions surfaced again about star goalkeeper Hope Solo. Solo is widely considered the best goalkeeper in the world and, arguably, of all time. But she has been dogged by brushes with the law, and over the years some teammates have been frustrated by the distractions. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis says she’s standing by Solo despite media reports that surfaced this weekend detailing the goalkeeper’s demeanor during a domestic violence arrest last summer.

“That was a long time ago. We’ve moved on,” Ellis told reporters.

Even if the latest drama in the Solo saga spills onto the field, Australia won’t have much of an upper hand. The Americans have played the Aussies 24 times — and never lost (beating them 22 times and tying twice). One reason for that success is forward Abby Wambach. She has scored the most goals (182) of any woman in international play.

Another player to watch on the US women’s soccer squad is Julie Johnston, who is playing in her first World Cup. At 23, she’s the second-youngest person on the team and has appeared in only nine international games. But as my colleague Shereen Marisol Meraji reported Monday on Morning Edition, Johnston is a player to watch:

“A couple of injuries on the back line of the US women’s soccer team cleared room for Johnston to show off ahead of the tournament. As a defender she scored three goals. She hasn’t always played defense — she was a midfielder and forward at Santa Clara University.

“In an NPR interview, she said ‘I loved being an attacker so much, it wasn’t so much that I didn’t think defending was fun or anything like that. It’s just that growing up, all I knew was attack, attack, attack.’ It’s that drive that her fans can’t get enough of — U.S. team coach Jill Ellis calls her a warrior. And she brings that fire to the defensive line, sometimes going on 60-yard runs up the field.”
The last time the U.S. women’s soccer team won the World Cup was 1999. Many believe that if the U.S. doesn’t win this year, it will be a disappointment. The march to a third victory begins tonight at 7:30 ET. You can watch it on Fox Sports 1.