2015 WWC Group D: United States 3 – 1 Australia

10 Jun

The match kicked off on Monday, June 8 at Investors Group Field (Winnipeg Stadium), Winnipeg.

Line ups

United States:
Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Klingenberg, Lloyd, Rapinoe (Brian, 87th), Press (Heath, 68th), Holiday, Leroux (Morgan, 79th), Wambach

Australia:

Barbieri, Uzunlar, Alleway (Sykes, 83rd), Catley, Kellond-Knight, Gorry (Kennedy, 80th), Van Egmond, Foord, De Vanna, Heyman (Simon, 69th), Kerr.

Attendance: 31,148

Well, it wasn’t pretty but it got the job done for the United States who find themselves on the top of their group. If you had only watched the first half of the match, you might be surprised. However, cliché as it is, it was indeed a game of two halves.

The first half saw a lot of sloppy play and shocking ball watching by the back line. Hope Solo earned her stripes in the first half alone with some amazing saves. Once again she proves to be at the top of her game when she’s under pressure. My earlier post mentioned her off the field issues and this game showed once again that when the waters around her are choppy, she shines.

The first half clearly showed that there was quite a bit of work to do. The backline was shaky at best with some glaring errors, including some egregious ball watching. The commentators I watched had quite a bit to say about Abby Wambach, both in her decision to not play any league matches in the build up to the World Cup and if she was “rusty” and fully fit. They also questioned the US strategy of constantly serving the ball up front to Wambach. However, in the 12th minute, she was credited with an assist on Megan Rapinoe’s opening goal. While I can’t comment on her fitness level, having an assist within the first 15 minutes while being “rusty” ain’t too shabby, no?

Australia has some very strong people on their team. Samantha Kerr was a thorn in the defense’s side throughout the first half and keeper Melissa Barbieri is a veteran of 4 World Cups. Lisa DeVanna is and has always been a warrior. So it was no surprise to me to see her score in the 27th minute.

The second half was a different story completely and it highlighted the United States’ physical conditioning and strength. Time after time, we see the second half bend in the direction of the USWNT due to their opponent’s lack of conditioning. They are able to weather the storms and pick up the pace when their opponents are tired. This game was another example of just that.

Fifteen minutes into the half, Christen Press scored on her WWC debut. (She is 8th USWNT player to do so)

And Megan Rapinoe completed her brace in the 78th minute with an assist from Carli Lloyd.

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Here are some highlights for you:

There’s plenty of room for improvement here but it’s also a well worn statement that a sign of a good team is to win when not playing well. This here is a good team. But they have two good teams to face before group play ends.

One issue that the US have already and will become more of an issue throughout the Cup is the very stringent yellow card rules. Cards accumulate until the semi finals and only two of them will result in a suspension. Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press both earned yellow in this match so it will be something to watch.

Speaking of something to watch — team websites should be on everyone’s radar… Well, at least the Australian website. I got this Tweet this afternoon and Lozil sent me a similar one later on.

While I may agree that there is room for improvement, I’m not sure I can agree to the comment that “The US – well, they just aren’t that good.” Apparently only Rapinoe and Solo earn any kudos in their books – and that’s fine. I agree that they were the best ones on the pitch. But two out of eleven being “brilliant” and “world class”, I dunno…seems pretty okay to me.

-ForzaSusan

2 Responses to “2015 WWC Group D: United States 3 – 1 Australia”

  1. Katie Ann June 11, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    It was a bit nerve-wracking to watch, at first, but then my attention was (predictably, seeing as I’m a sprinter) taken up by how fast some of these ladies can run- Lisa de Vanna and Sydney Leroux, especially! They’re impressive.

    • headbandsandheartbreak June 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      Shigs and I were shrieking at how fast Lisa de Vanna took off at one point. We were yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” That woman has some wheels on her, as does Sydney.

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