Olympic Day 3 Preview: Will Rapinoe play?

Jennifer Gordon August 9, 2016 494
Will Tuesday finally be the day Megan Rapinoe sees the field again? (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Will Tuesday finally be the day Megan Rapinoe sees the field again? (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

One last round of games remain before four teams pack their bags and depart Brazil empty-handed. Here’s a quick look at today’s games and some of the storylines to follow.

Group E

In Group E, the match to watch will be Sweden vs China. Both come into the match with 3 points and a chance to advance to the knockout round. Sweden, of course, will look to respond after a 5-1 dismantling at the hands of host Brazil Saturday. Due to that result, Sweden must win to finish second in the group.

Sweden has struggled to generate scoring opportunities in the tournament, so an early goal would do wonders for the team’s confidence. For China, on the other hand, a draw would punch their ticket to the next stage of the tournament. Will the Steel Roses play conservatively and look to prevent Sweden from scoring rather than push for a goal themselves?

{MORE: Every quarterfinal possibility no matter how unlikely}

Elsewhere in Group E, Brazil will take on South Africa. So far in the tournament, the hosts have treated their compatriots to some exciting, attacking, technical soccer. In truth, the last game of the group stage should be the least challenging for Brazil as South Africa is all but eliminated from the tournament.

Strategically, how will Brazil approach the match? Which key players will Vadao rest in preparation of the quarterfinals? For South Africa, the goal Brazil allowed late against Sweden shows that the hosts are still prone to lapses in concentration defensively. Can South Africa capitalize on one of these mistakes and leave Brazil with a goal to their name?

Group F

The Aussies were tipped to contend for a medal but so far in the tournament have failed to live up to the expectations borne of their breakout performance in Canada. While they got out to a fast start against Germany, they failed to sustain it. Tuesday, look for the Matildas to take out their frustration on Zimbabwe, who is clearly outclassed in this tournament. Australia should win this one handily and stand a good chance of erasing their negative goal differential.

Perhaps the most talked about game on deck Tuesday, Germany vs. Canada appears full of intrigue. When John Herdman ordered Kadeisha Buchanan to take a second yellow on Saturday forcing her to sit out the last group stage match, it became painfully obvious that Canada fancied finishing behind Germany in the group.

Herdman’s master plan to line up an easier quarterfinal opponent for his team hit a snag when Germany battled to a draw against Australia. Now Canada must lose to Germany to get the second spot in the group. Does that change how Herdman approaches the game? Also, with Buchanan’s suspension, Canada will be on their third different center back pairing in three matches. That’s certainly less than ideal.

Group G

The game with real implications as far as standings are concerned is obviously the New Zealand vs. France match. France, given their talent and FIFA World ranking, will go into the match as heavy favorites, but the affair won’t be easy for the European side. Although New Zealand has only scored once so far, they’ve proven difficult to score against. New Zealand get a boost tomorrow as the poorly awarded red card given to Abby Erceg was rescinded and she’s available to play. France, despite ending up on the wrong side of the ledger Saturday, showcased their ability to play make through the middle.

{MORE: Anson Dorrance on another USWNT win over France}

The intrigue in the other game of this group Tuesday, United States vs. Colombia, will stem from the personnel decisions that the respective coaches make. Colombia, who are virtually eliminated, appear likely to clear the bench Tuesday. Fabian Taborda stated in his press conference that many of his players, including Lady Andrade, who briefly played for the Western New York Flash, were exhausted. Will he give his depth a chance against the best side in the world and let them gain valuable experience?

For the Americans, it’s clear that a few players are carrying knocks. Notably, Julie Johnston and Mal Pugh are, according to head coach Jill Ellis, available for this match. But with the match in the harsh conditions and the given short turnaround between games, it seems likely that the team plays it safe and holds those two out. No matter what eleven Ellis places on the field, the defending champions should have no trouble against Colombia, who have yet to score in the tournament.

The other player to watch is Megan Rapinoe. Is she ready to play? If she is, even a 10 or 15 minute run out against Colombia could go a long way in getting the midfielder ready to contribute in the knockout stages when her game-changing ability could be sorely needed. If Rapinoe is absent from the field entirely, it could signal that the 31-year-old is not as far along in the recovery process as previously thought.

  • guest

    I think I heard enough of Rapinoes “game changing ability”, for like a life time.

  • Reality

    Now that the USWNT has scraped by France, Ellis will possibly give Press some
    minutes playing out of position against Columbia. Even if by some miraculous circumstance, she was given permission to play forward, Lloyd will still be on the
    pitch getting the maximum amount of time in her pursuit to become the greatest
    women’s soccer player ever. Glory hound that she is, whatever position she is
    assigned, Lloyd will be neglecting her other responsibilities and hanging around
    the goal like a vulture ready to poach a goal in her selfish quest.

    It is truly a tragedy for the NT that Lloyd has been given such a free hand by Ellis to focus solely on scoring while neglecting and indeed disturbing the team’s
    equilibrium and potential. We could be doing much better in our team play without her since her presence on the pitch inhibits and restricts our run of play, mid-field coherence, and effective possession and passing. Other players end up covering for Lloyd since she is always helicoptering around the goal. Some may say, “But look at all the important goals she scores”. I say it is at the expense of the whole team which could be truly dominant instead of just getting by in depending upon the failures of our opposition.

    • Tim

      Everyone just assuming she will play subs. I’m not sure she will. Christen Press is not going play in the knock out rounds, why does it matter?

      • Reality

        Because we cannot and should not depend upon the “charity” of other teams. Please pay attention to my full comment.

      • kernel_thai

        Also, in the 90s today in Manaus. Even if Coach E had zero regard for Press (but that spot already belongs to HAO), how many starters do u really want to expose to hot, muggy conditions in a meaningless match?

    • Steglitz49

      As long as they keep winning, why bother to change?

      The obvious strategy against Colombia is to rest as many players as possible. Play Naeher in gaol and rest 6 key field-players and let the other make up the numbers for the 10.

      Thus a combo of Christen Annemarie with Lindsey might be just the ticket.

      • newsouth

        seriously, the swedes should deport you for beling an american fanboy

        • Steglitz49

          You know nothing about me a proud citizen of CT, where I supported the female Huskies, and NJ. Family in NY and Boston and elsewhere.

          Marta speaks excellent swedish and is interviewed in her second language.

          Mazeltov or l’chaim! England expects and all that.

      • Constant Weeder

        Usually it’s Solo that people want in gaol.

        • Steglitz49

          Justice means that the just are just.

    • I could see Press starting for Alex today. I think Jill may want to rest Alex for Friday and she did kind of take a little knock at the end of the France game. If Press doesn’t start today, the US truly has a problem and it doesn’t relate to talent.

      • NYRick

        Not going to happen. Not in a million years. Both Morgan and Lloyd will start.

        • Let me hope, Rick!

          • NYRick

            You are free to hope. :–)

          • Honestly, I can fathom why Christen wouldn’t get the start. There would be no good excuse.

          • NYRick

            Look, contrary to some of things I’ve said in anger following the France game, I’m an American sports fan. I certainly want them to win gold. And speaking of which, was there anything better in sports than last night when Lilly King (one of my new favorite athletes) basically put it to that finger waving Russian girl? That was epic and getting it done. And then Phelps stare down was classic with that clown. It was saying, “I’m Michael freakin Phelps, are you effin kidding me?”

            But back to this team. You know, it isn’t the best thing for them to win with Carli in the starring role again. It retards the program and ensures she is the focal point for 4+ years. With that, I’m checking out of supporting or watching this team anymore.

          • Watching Lilly King win last night was the most pumped up I have been so far watching these Olympic games. So happy for her. And Phelps is so fun to watch even after all these years.

            If anything, this game should be a good opportunity to let Alex and Press get more time together. It’s basically a “practice game” – let Old Lloyd get a breather. (I know, I know)

      • kernel_thai

        U could see Morgan and Lloyd each play a half. Coach E has done that in the past

        • Yea if Lloyd starts I could see that. I don’t see Lloyd not starting, basically.

        • Ethan

          Yeah, Puerto Rico in Olympic qualifying.

      • Reality

        The NT has truly had a problem for a while in the manner in which they have treated Press.

    • NYRick

      Lloyd has her Golden Boot to pursue here, don’t minimize that. It’s very real. I say Press gets no more than 30 minutes today. She’ll come in at the 60th minute mark (probably for someone like Horan or Long who will start). And then Ellis will shuffle her somewhere on the flank.

      • Reality

        I always expect the worst from Ellis in her mismanagement of Press and she never disappoints me.

    • NYRick

      I’ve followed this team pretty closely since WC11. Never in my wildest dreams could have ever imagined a more self-centered, “all about her” player than what Abby became the last 2-3 years. Who knew that Lloyd could possibly eclipse her 10 fold now. It is astounding really. And when I joked the past year about Ellis having to wash Lloyd’s car for life for the WC final, I was only kidding. But now it seems I was very much on base with that thought.

      • Reality

        Ellis has created her own Frankenstein in Lloyd over whom she has lost control…not that she had much in the first place. Her establishment of the VRP (Veteran’s Retention Program) for the WC2015 set the standard for her coddling of them. Attrition has taken some, but now Lloyd, Rapinoe and Solo are the new privileged class. Both Lloyd and Solo say that they wish to play in WC2019 and I’m sure that Rapinoe will also soon declare thus continuing to block younger players in their prime from achieving their potential. Ellis, despite her protestations to the contrary, has done little to change the entitlement culture of the NT. Any changes that have occurred have been forced upon her by injury or retirement and she still continues to play variations of Abby/Carli ball.

        • NYRick

          Not winning gold here essentially ends Carli ball. It also puts a major crimp in both Solo and Pinoe’s power base. This gold in Rio is all about Carli’s legacy for her. She is driven and understands that and has the right stooge to foster it for her any way she can.

          Brazil, Germany or France or even Canada could stop it and save the USWNT from itself. Because anything short of gold, Carli is done.

        • Tania

          Rapinoe’s already been very clear that she’d like to play one last cycle (WWC 2019, possibly Olympics 2020) and she didn’t want to do anything stupid in terms of this injury as a result.

          • Reality

            There ya go…the VRP is fully functional.

  • newsouth

    press is so deep on the bench her fanboys have to search for brasil photo ops to insure she is actually there. : (

    • NYRick

      If this girl doesn’t START this match today, I don’t want to see her smiling any more the rest of this tournament. It’s getting weird. She can’t possibly be this happy about things if she is any type of competitor. I get that it’s her nature, but just put on a game face for the week and show you are not thrilled sitting. Maybe that’s the reason she can’t break through on this team. She makes it too easy for this coaching staff. Remember the infamous line Pia had about Carli, “So delicate.” That is a coach who knows that a player needs coddling and attention. With Press, Ellis knows, she needs none.

      Total conjecture on my part I understand, but some things are telling.

      • Rick.. no.. going to far again. are you implying since she’s a sub she can’t be happy around the team, who are some of her closets people in life, while doing a stadium walk thru at the Olympics? reel it in.

        • NYRick

          Not what I’m saying. And this specific picture per say is not being singled out. I get your point though. As I’ve said, everyone is their own person and there is certainly no shame being on this team. In fact it’s quite an honor and obviously hard to do with the massive competition you must endure your whole competitive life if that is your goal.

          I think as we’ve both said, if she’s good with it, then OK. But I think it’s the polar opposite with then also being a top elite competitive athlete (which she is). And that’s what makes no sense to me. She is obviously not stupid, and she fully has to understand (even from her NWSL status) that she is in fact one of the top American players today and maybe one of the top strikers in the world too. That can certainly be argued. If her role is super sub, than that means she enters matches to make an impact. Not 9 minutes or 1 minute. That’s ridiculous, and that’s a slight.

          I’m sure she’ll remain on this team, but she has been on it for 4 years (has a WC medal, will probably get a gold medal here) so isn’t it time to move on from a situation that is only going to digress moving forward? There is no shame leaving a bad situation for yourself. It’s done everyday in society in work or personal scenarios. But you are right, who am I to judge?

          • Honestly though, (without knowing her personally) it really seems like her confidence is way up from last year at this time. And it’s not a bad situation at all. She’s one of the top players in this country (or the world) and gets to do what she loves as a job. Things in sports change constantly and suddenly, never know when she will be called upon. And I think she is good with that. I would gladly be a sub on the worlds best women’s soccer team and win medals and make a really good living for a 27 year old.

            What gets me most about you and this topic though is that you think Press should leave the team cause you think it makes her look bad to be a sub, but you wouldn’t say the same for someone like Engen, Naeher, Harris, etc.

          • NYRick

            In fairness, Naeher and Harris are both basically screwed by Solo. They aren’t going to have any role with her around other than for each to alternate making teams and getting medals. Comparing Engen’s situation with Press is very different. Press has a fanbase and is a known commodity and in fairness a star and Engen is a backup defender. Even Brunn doesn’t get the full credit she deserves and she is a starter.

            So she (looking bad as a sub) is not what it’s about. She is being slighted again, especially after the WC where she basically didn’t play the last 3-4 matches. She basically needs several major injuries to the players Ellis has in front of her. And I respectfully disagree with your opinion that “she hasn’t grabbed the bull by the horns with her opportunities” on this NT. I mean she scores a goal for every two caps, never (rarely for a few minutes at a time plays forward) and is played out of position continually since she’s been on the team to accommodate Morgan, Abby and now heaven forbid, Lloyd.

            It’s about one thing with Lloyd and Morgan scoring the goals: 90 minutes at forward. Seriously, do you honestly think Press wouldn’t score in 90 minutes at forward with this team on a consistent basis. She may do it differently, but it is unfathomable to think otherwise. Also, how many goals was Lloyd scoring exactly when one Abby Wambach was on this team? Coaching and the roles made for players changes the dynamic of everything. Press is a prolific scorer and would continue to be with the proper role on this team.

          • No, I do think Press would be just as successful. My point wasn’t to say I disagree with you about the general statement of Press needs more minutes. I am just trying to reign you in a bit cause you go off the deep end pretty quickly with Press theories. The Engen argument is not really a good one. Press has a bigger fan base but that shouldn’t determine whether she is more deserving of playing time than someone like an Engen, who because you aren’t a mega-fan of, doesn’t bother you that she doesn’t get to play. With JJ’s play, one could easily make an argument that Engen should be given a chance to be the starter, but you don’t raise hell about it on ever thread because she isn’t a “fan favorite” – that’s really the point I am making.

          • NYRick

            Press is the only “so-called fan favorite” who is shafted in this program? Name someone else. Popularity and fanbase is a very huge calling card to have on this team. What sponsors does Engen have anyway? It’s not the same thing. I’m not crying for Press to make more money or anything like that because she probably does well and will continue to do well. She is a very marketable commodity. But she is losing a ton due to the way Ellis uses her on the NT. That’s a very real thing that any agent or accountant can decipher some numbers for you. Who gave a toss about Lloyd before the WC final? No one. She now has major sponsors.

            As for the successful thing, first let me say that I respect your opinion. You are a very good fan/commentator and I know that you personally like Press and appreciate her talent. But with that, I know there are no comparable stats to give you because in relation to Morgan/Lloyd/Abby in place of her we are always going to be comparing apples to oranges. And it isn’t fair to diminish what those 3 accomplished. To their credit, they have all performed to varying degrees of success over their time on the team. But…to think Press at forward for 90 playing the same minutes as Alex or Lloyd wouldn’t allow for similar numbers, who knows maybe better, is not being fair to her track record as a player or her unique talent.

          • NYRick

            Let me add one thing: think Tobin under Pia and Tobin under Ellis. See a difference? A big one in fact? Tobin was misused by Pia and the system she employed: Abby-ball. Tobin always was a supreme talent, but now she can get by a player and then make a pass instead of in the past trying to get by 2-3 players and looking up and still seeing Abby way down the pitch looking for a long cross. Also, Tobin no longer worries about minutes, spot starts etc. She has been given the reigns. She had a pretty sketchy and disappointing past with this team before the past year and she’s been on the team for a good near ten years. She was an enigma. Now Ellis changed the equation for her. It goes through her. Coaching. Confidence. Belief by the coaches. It’s everything. Press has never gotten that from Jill.

          • We agree. That is the tough thing about support this team full of top level players. It’s hard to argue in favor of one when it in turn makes you kind of argue against another, when all are really deserving to some degree. I think the main thing we all want to see is Press given the same amount of opportunities, and Carli Lloyd is a road block in that. That is why I think Jill needs to find a way to get all 3 of them into the starting line-up together, consistently. It’s just about who your willing to sacrifice for it. Maybe that depends on the opponent.

            I listened to the Mixxed Zone podcast this morning and Richard Farley made a great point. You either have a hierarchy system with which you choose your starting XI or you have a “who fits best against this opponent to make the best team” system. And clearly US Soccer operates on a hierarchy system, even when it doesn’t always put the best players out on the pitch to deal with the opponent at hand. This is my complaint. I am not saying Press must be a 100% starter every game. But in games where it would be a better option, why don’t we get that?

          • NYRick

            Yes I agree very much with that. Look, Morgan, Abby, Lloyd, Pinoe, Dunn etc. To say that they are all not great players and very talented is silly. But the hierarchy scenario you lay out is very true. Match the talent to the opponent. For instance, how do you not have Horan in place of Long against France simply to have her on the pitch to contend with Renard on set pieces? That’s insanity. Especially after the way she was abusing Long (not her fault, she simply doesn’t have the size or skill set for that role). But that is bad coaching. Against France, you get Press in that match to see if she can help you nick another goal or even before at 0-0. To think you are always going to beat France 1-nil is crazy strategy. They dodged a bullet. Don’t count on that again if they play them in the knockout round.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            ‘Press is the only “so-called fan favorite” who is shafted in this program? Name someone else.’

            Well, Harris and Naeher have their share of fans at least among people who follow NWSL and WoSo outside of the USWNT in general. Their situations are somewhat similar to Press’s, in that they don’t really get much of an opportunity to play their way further up the depth chart, but it’s not as if Hope has been playing *badly* in important games. I agree that Press is underutilized, but as with the keepers, Alex, Tobin, and Pugh have been performing well enough that Ellis doesn’t have a clear reason to bounce one of them from the starting XI in favor of Press. (I’m assuming that we’re talking about Press as a striker or a right winger/midfielder here.)

            And a year ago, I think, the answer to your question would have been simple: Crystal Dunn. She isn’t a marquee player like Alex or Hope, but she was well-known enough to inspire a months-long collective exclamation of “why the hell isn’t Crystal Dunn on this team?!” across the fanbase last summer.

          • And I will add to this thought.. You know I think Press is great and world class, but she hasn’t exactly grabbed any of her opportunities by the horns and forced Jill into a positon where she can’t not start her. It’s tough being on this team in every position. Alex and Carli do score when it counts, you can’t deny that, even if it may drive me crazy that Carli gets the tap ins after her teammates do all the work.

  • I’ll wager a guess at the starting XI because why not:

    ………Press………
    Heath….Lloyd…..Dunn
    …….Horan……Long…………
    Kling…Sauerbrunn….Engen…..KO
    ……………Solo…………………

    Brian, Krieger and Rapinoe get sub minutes in the second half.

    • Bill

      I honestly believe Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd have contract saying they have play in every game.

    • guest

      Assuming everyone is healthy I’d rest Heath and bring her on as a sub with Rapinoe.

      • I would like that as well, but I think Jill likes to keep Heath in the zone and Heath is one of the fittest on the team, so I could see her playing at least 45-60 minutes.

    • guest

      Assuming JJ and Pugh are healthy, I’d go with

      …………….Press…………….
      Pugh…….Lloyd………Dunn
      ……..Long………Horan…….
      Kling…..JJ…..Engen…..AK
      …………….Naeher………….

    • kernel_thai

      I would start

      O’Hara…..Morgan……Dunn
      ………..Press…….Horan
      ……………….Brian
      Kling…Sauerbrunn….Engen…..Krieger
      ……………Naeher…………………

      Sub Long for Brian at half
      Rapinoe for Morgan at 60
      Id use the third sub on either Johnston or Pugh depending which felt the best.

      • haha woah gettin wild. I like that a lot. which means it would never happen. When making my line-ups, I try and stay close to what I think Jill would actually consider, whether it’s my preferred line-up or not.

        • I will add, I love KO, she’s my favorite player, but if she got a run out as a forward ahead of Press, I would be pissed.

          • kernel_thai

            Press gets 90 in Lloyds spot which is the butter zone for her. KO is just in so they dont have to push Pugh til the games count.

          • I wish but no on that.

        • kernel_thai

          Id dont think it’s off the charts. Lloyd seems to just stand out there and the ball pings off her into the goal whereas Morgan could actually use 60 minutes in an offense after getting no service against France. Heath is huge part of what Coach E is doing and I like to have her fresh with no knocks or cards going into the knockout rounds. I dont want to push Pugh in a meaningless game and O’Hara is capable of playing that spot. Split time beween Long & Brian seems sensible and low risk. Horan and Press both need an extended run at this point if they r going to be factors. Playing Naeher not only gets her feet wet but disappoints 42,000 fans who have been practicing their Zika chant all week.

          • No issues with the personnel you selected. I would just switch Press and KO. KO can play left (or right) midfield and Press up top.

          • rkmid71

            I like your plan. Pugh is our nuclear weapon. Bring her out fresh and start her every game in the knockout round and let her loose. I don’t think her ego demands that she play in a meaningless Colombia game. We want her against the likes of Germany, Brazil, a France rematch. However, if JE thinks Pugh needs some minutes in order to be at her best later on — in that case, I think I would start her and bring someone else on at half. Let her play when the game is 0-0. Let others play in garbage time.

          • Bruce

            Correction: 4,200 fans.

          • The game is sold out according to media at 42k.. so we will see how many show. But should be a decent crowd to chant ZIKA the whole time.

          • Bruce

            I’m struggling to believe that after drawing under 10k in B.H. Brazil is drawing about half of that in the largest market.

          • I know, I was surprised too. That is what they said on Saturday though. And – i think they drew around 15k in Belo.

          • kernel_thai

            The crowd is because Brazil is playing the second match at Manaus

          • Ohh that’s right. Forgot about France/NZ being at a different location this game.

          • kernel_thai

            Id be surprised to see a big crowd for US/Colombia portion considering the heat but the Colombian border is close if they care about the women. I would think the crowd will wander in during the first match and wander out as the Brazil match gets out of hand.

          • Bruce

            I think the crowd with be 99.9% Brazilian. No one is going to road-trip through FARC-controlled territory even if a truce has been signed.

            Default directions from Bogota to Manaus…

          • kernel_thai

            And they will come late and leave early. Thing is though if ur out in the jungle and the Olympics comes to visit, u might as well go see it.

          • AlexH

            They could take a plane you know.

          • Bruce

            Worked/lived in Latin America for 15 years. Ain’t gonna happen.

          • AlexH

            The game starts after sunset so it won’t be that hot and it’s not like the people of Manaus aren’t used to it. I think it will depend on the ticket prices. If seats are priced so that locals can afford it I think their will be a good crowd. If not, crickets…

      • NYRick

        Sit KO, put Press where you have her, and put Long where you have Press and it would be interesting up front for sure.

        Too creative for a buffoon like coach as Ellis. She is scared shite-less to shake the apple cart in an essentially meaningless game. Plus, she has to deal with Carli who would give her a bigger stare down than Phelps.

        • NYRick

          I meant Brian where you have Press and Long where you have Brian.

        • kernel_thai

          KO is a machine. I dont think she has broken a sweat yet. I dont like Press wide. She belongs in either Morgans or Lloyds spot. Since I think Horan can play the #8 and Press the #10, Lloyd can sit next to her best bud and reminisce about being relevant. I need to flip them on the diagram I guess.

          • Yea that is why I would play KO too. She is just so fit, it won’t effect her the way it might others. I’d take the rest for a few others over her.

          • kernel_thai

            I like giving Heath the day off because she has been expending so much energy Manaus may kill her.

          • We may see that. Heath is right up there with KO on fitness too though. Who knows!

          • kernel_thai

            KO and Kling also didnt get forward much against France so they didnt get the usual run out. Against Columbia Kling wont have to defend much so I think she’ll be fine.

          • Frode

            I agree. Press helps this team most when she is central, either as striker or #10. She’s adequate on the wing, but it’s not her best position. I would love to see Horan and Press centrally behind Morgan with Dunn/Pugh and Heath on the wings. Devastating attack.

          • kernel_thai

            And it opens Morgan up to a play making role. She can play around 18 and look to connect on Press making runs

    • Bruce

      ———————————“I’m open” ————-
      ———————————- / ———————-
      ———————– Lloyd (10) ———————–
      ————————————————————
      ————————————————————
      ————————————————————
      ————————————————————
      —— Tobin ———— Morgan ———— Pugh ——
      ————————————————————
      ———– Horan (8) ——————————–
      ———————— Long (6) ————————
      ————————————————————
      —- Kling —— Broom —— JJ —— Squirrel —-
      ————————————————————
      ————————– Solo ————————–
      ————————————————————

    • Ethan

      I know I’m biased, but I really don’t think you want Morgan to have zero minutes in the match right before the knockout rounds. There are situations where too much rest doesn’t benefit players.

      • Yea possibly. But we want her fresh and healthy going into the knockout rounds too. Tough call. Maybe give her 30 minutes at the end of the game to get a goal, keeps her legs fresh and her confidence up. (not that she has any reason for her confidence to not be high)

      • NYRick

        That’s why I don’t see Solo sitting. In fact, I’m certain she’ll play. In the men’s WC and Euros, top goalies never sit throughout the whole tournament, even in the final group game when their position in sewn up.

        I agree with giving Morgan a run today, but no more than 25 or 30 minutes. Lloyd will play the whole match somewhere sadly. Probably starting out at forward and shifting to the midfield. It’s pathetic. That’s not being a captain or a leader. And she’ll probably score a couple of goals too today. I’m praying for some sports karma to inject itself with her this next week.

        • Frode

          I’d be surprised if Lloyd starts or even shifts to a striker position. If she does, then it will be fair to accuse her of putting herself before the team. It will also mean the Ellis is acquiescing to her star player’s demands. But again, I would be surprised…

          • Well you shouldn’t be that surprised, it happens every game.

  • Guest1

    She will give Dunn and Engen a rest. That will be her change. Come on people it’s Jill.

  • NYRick

    I think we are all forgetting a second here about Rapinoe. If there was ever a match to test her, this is it. Definitely include her in any starting lineup. You can count on that. She’ll play 60 today.

    • No way she starts. Not fit enough. She’ll get 20 minutes at the end to start her “working back into form”

      • NYRick

        Two words. Jill Ellis.

        • Eh yea, but the Jill thing to do is give Pinoe 30 minutes at the end at someone else’s expense, so she can start in the final, at someone else’s expense.

          • NYRick

            Probably right. Forgot about that. I was thinking 60 to build her fitness for the knockout match starts.

          • bayern7

            Who would you take over a fit pinoe, excluding heath because we all know she will and should start on one of the flanks if healthy.

          • Easily, Heath and Pugh on the flanks

          • bayern7

            I’d take a fit Pinoe over Pugh any day, imo she provides better and more varried service both in run of play and set pieces, has a much better shot than pugh, brings years more experience especially against the caliber of teams coming in the finals, and isn’t as sophisticated as pinoe…not yet. Ill give pugh the advantage in being able to take on and beat players with speed but thats about it.

          • Guest

            Pugh is a central attacking midfielder not a wing. She is use to playing in the hold not facing up and playing on the chalk.

          • Guest

            hole*

          • Not on Carli Lloyd’s team, she’s not.

          • rkmid71

            Can you imagine if Pugh actually became the breakout star of this tournament? It still could happen. Then there would be Pugh and Morgan for her to cope with. I think Lloyd would explode.

          • I would love it. And then Carli would have to think of a new kind of shade to throw rather than just the “I don’t do swimsuit shoots”. What has Pugh done that Carli could use against her?

          • bayern7

            Well she hasn’t really played in the middle of the field for the full national team and if you’ve watched her play at all in the last 6 months most of what she does is take players on, beat them with speed, or just meg them, and whip service into the 18 she’s not a hold up player or whatever it is you tried to say.

          • Yea old Pinoe was for sure. She is such an unknown right now though, I would start Pugh over her.

          • bayern7

            I would give pinoe the start today today just to get her going again but yeah of course looking at who’s been there the past how ever many games this year Pugh looks a better option.

          • guest

            rapinoe hasn’t played in a game in nine months after an achl tear. she’s not 100% healthy, not 100% fit and not 100% in-form.

          • AlexH

            I would take a young Abby and a female Ronaldo. Unfortunately, like a fit Pinoe, such players are not available today.

          • bayern7

            Just because she hasn’t played a game in a long time doesn’t speak to her fitness, I’m sure when she plays there’ll be some dust to brush off but she’s been practicing and scrimmaging with the team for a while now so Id say she can go 30 to 45 minutes comfortably and who knows she might play like we haven’t seen her play in a long time considering she’s been off the pitch for so long and its the olympics i wouldn’t be surprised to see her whipping around out there causing all kinds of problems in the box.

          • “she’s been practicing and scrimmaging with the team for a while now” – actually not really at all.. last week was the first time she’d been able to participate in full training. She was back but then hurt her quad or calf or whatever. And even it takes a long time, to get back up to 90 full fitness. Like 6 games – long time, to compete at Olympic finals levels/pace.

          • bayern7

            Just because you pull a calf doesn’t mean your fitness goes back to zero again (heath pulled a calf or hammy in july if i remember correctly), and I never said i expect her to play 90 minutes even by the end of the tournament. She was back in fitness level training with the wnt and on her own for a while in june and the end of july and now into august. I said 30 minutes, 45 max, nothing about full 90 fitness.

          • Gotcha, I misunderstood cause your original point said “fully fit” which I guess I just equate to being full 90 fit.

          • mms

            I think when Pinoe was named to the roster, the thought was to treat her like Alex Morgan in the WC. Slowly build her minutes during the tournament and hope that she is truly an asset to the team by the final. However, Pinoe was coming back from a very different injury and setbacks have made made integrating her impossible. At this point, she’s eating a roster spot that the U.S. cannot afford to waste. She needs to play or be replaced. I can’t help worrying that she knows she can’t go, but she knows her #RapinoeBrand is promoted by her association with the USWNT. I hope I’m wrong. I hope she plays today and hope the results are great.

          • kernel_thai

            It’s more a financial question than one of brand. No matter how crass it sounds, if the US woman win this tournament it is a big payday but only for the 18 players on the roster. Considering it’s CBA time maybe the USSF is willing compensate a player who didnt play a minute and got replaced by an alternate after match two but maybe not and even if they do it probably comes out of the same pool of money.

        • newsouth

          they act like pinoe dragging her feet around the field will make a difference. they can go 9 vs 11 and cream colombia. your are probably 95% accurate she will start. i just don’t matter in this game.

    • kernel_thai

      The question is is Rapinoe really available? Ud think if Rapinoe is available for a long run on Tuesday she was available for a cameo last Saturday. Yet, the perfect situation to get Pinoe’s feet wet came and went. Who better to use as that 90th minute sub then a veteran who is a good ball handler and pressure tested. That she didnt think Rapinoe could give 3 minutes seeing out the France match makes me wonder if we’ll see her at all.

      • AlexH

        The perfect situation is that Pinoe and Jill admit that somebody else needs to be on the roster and that Pinoe walks on the field, theatrically crumples into a heep and then the USA avails itself of the liberal player replacement rules and put a fit player on the roster.

        • Bruce

          If Herdman can ask Buchanan to take an intentional yellow, certainly Ellis can ask Pinoe to re-injure herself.

          • AlexH

            He did that? Brilliant! I can’t understand why coaches don’t do that more often. The YC accumulation rules are idiotic and I have always thought that getting key players suspended for a meaningless end of pool play game was a tactic that somebody should try.

          • kernel_thai

            It was only brilliant because Germany came back and got the tie against the Aussies. If Australia wins that match which was well after Buchanan took one for the team, Herdman finds himself needing a draw against Germany to avoid the GD lottery for third place and a date with the US.

          • AlexH

            OK. I didn’t see the game so I can’t comment on the execution. I always envisioned the intentional yellow occurring in stoppage time during a dead ball. If the required points are in hand, the intended recipient just stands there with the ball and does nothing until she gets a yellow for time wasting. If more than 1 player needs a yellow then the 1st recipient just walks away and the second recipient wastes time until she gets a yellow. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

          • kernel_thai

            It was on a dead ball. She refused to give the player the required 10 yards.

          • AlexH

            But was it in stoppage time with the points in hand for advancement. That is the key. It is only a good strategy when you know that the points are in hand? As I said, I don’t know enough to comment on the execution but I think, in theory, getting a second card and serving the suspension in a meaningless 3rd match is a good idea.

          • Steglitz49

            You can never count the Germans out. They never give up.

        • kernel_thai

          If Ellis is happy with where Johnston and Pugh r I dont think she does anything. No matter how stupid it sounds I think Coach E is happier having Rapinoe who she cant play than HAO who she wont play. Now if she wasnt sure about Johnston, I could see her bring in Sonnett for Rainoe to give her more options at CB.

          • Huh, good point. Can’t play vs. won’t play.. gives her an excuse.

          • kernel_thai

            I dont know about needing an excuse but Rapinoe has been out since December…how much has she used HAO over that time?

          • Steglitz49

            “Don’t cry for me, Pinoe …”?

          • Steglitz49

            Dario Fo rules OK.

    • Bruce

      Test her for what? If she does well in limited action against a weak opponent that is “resting” starters, what does that prove? At this point, there is no conceivable scenario in which she gets meaningful minutes in the tournament.

      As harsh as it sounds, the only positive to come from Pinoe playing would be that it might prompt a justified call to Mewis or HAO based on being ruled medically unfit to play.

    • mms

      I’d love to see this for many reasons. If she still isn’t ready to go, I think you need to replace her with HAO now. Ellis certainly can’t risk trying her out for the first time in the knock-out rounds. It’s now or never. I would love to see her go 60, though I find it unlikely. At this point do I expect game-changing brilliance from Rapinoe? No. She hasn’t played since October 25th of last year. Hopefully, she has the capacity to save our other wingers from burning out during the tournament. This is a role that HAO could have easily filled, but the intrigue of Rapinoe was too great for Ellis.
      The U.S. central midfield has struggled to control the first 2 games. There is great pressure on all the wide players to maintain possession and build the offense. With such a small roster, they need minutes from all players in order to stay strong for the duration. Rapinoe needs to take minutes today so others can rest.

      • To be honest, if we do see Rapinoe get replaced with an alternate (we won’t) – it’s going to be Mewis who comes in, not HAO. Which would be beneficial, if we happen to see France again. Mewis’ height and defense could be a big help on Renard. But either way, I know we won’t see a change, unless a brand new in-game injury is sustained. That would be Jill admitting she was wrong.

        • Steglitz49

          Why be honest? Not everyone in the OG are, so why you?

        • kernel_thai

          Her in house option for Renard is Horan. Horan is the kind of physical player u need to mark Renard on set pieces and likely has some PSG experience doing just that.

          • Agreed, Renard can still out jump her I’m sure, but she will put a body on her, unlike Long did.

  • AlexH

    Jill absolutely must start Rapino to rest one of her outside mids. It’s already a week into the tournament so if Rapino is really ready to go she has to go now. Even though it is JIll I can’t imagine her putting in a player who hasn’t played a competitive second in over 6 months into a knockout game.

    • kernel_thai

      Dunn has the lowest mileage but she also has a card to consider. Id rest Heath and take my chances with Dunn not getting suspended. Coach E likely starts Pugh and Heath in the quarterfinal regardless.

      Also she can use Dunn at forward where it is much harder to get a card.

      • AlexH

        My guess is that she plays Dunn and reminds her not to get a card. Personally I think the US is going to hang back and just wait for Columbia to make a mistake to grab a lead and if that doesn’t happen settle for a draw. I will be very disappointed if this game isn’t a snooze.

        • kernel_thai

          As I added to my post, she can hide Dunn at center forward. Playing at the top of defense it would take an effort to get a card. And of course no slide tackles rule in place.

          • AlexH

            Hmmm, hadn’t thought of that. It sounds like a pretty good idea. Jill could then put Press out on the flank and give somebody a rest.

          • kernel_thai

            Or put Press in Lloyds spot

          • rkmid71

            Dunn was awesome at CF in the April 6 Colombia game. The best performance offensively from the USWNT I’ve seen. I vote KT to be the new assistant coach — whispering in JE’s ear. And mockmook to be lead scout for new players.

  • AlexH

    Press also needs to start this game as Morgan is clearly the starter and could probably use a solid week of recovery before the knockouts.

  • Tom

    The straight male fans favorite black girl err mean tan girl in their eyes will play tonight. Christen tomato can Press.

    • guest

      are you a gay woman posting as a man? give it a rest

      • Guest

        or a straight man who hangs out on the lchat

      • Guest

        “Tomasina”

      • Steglitz49

        “the Merry Widow”?

    • Guest2

      Why do Americans call her tan?

      • Steglitz49

        “passe blanc” is the time-honored term

      • AlexH

        Well she looks tan, and given that she is a spokeswoman for, you know, a sun-tan lotion it sort of makes sense.

        • HOFCToDi

          youtube.com/watch?v=YF4BxonqKnc

          • Gary Diver

            At least the girls are not promoting Virginia Slims. We have made progress over the years.

        • Geez

          Her father is black and so is she. Not tan on her.

          • Steglitz49

            Who are you describing? The President of the USA?

          • Frode

            Hmmm. Does having a black parent make someone black? What about a grandparent, or great grandparent? What does Ms. Press have to say about her ethnic/genetic identity? I’m catching a whiff of racism here.

          • guest

            i thought her father was latino who himself had a black father? this all get’s very confusing.

    • HOFCToDi

      Colombia without Yoreli Rincon and Daniela Montoya has reverted back to “tomato can” status.

  • anonymous

    I am 90% certain that NYRick/Reality doesn’t want Press to start because he/they will have nothing to come on here and write lengthy screeds about if she does. if press keeps sitting, they can keep posting.

    • anon

      I think Ellis is afraid to give Press minutes at the end of a big game for fear that she will score and stir the pot as Alex did coming off the bench last cycle, where she made it impossible not to play her going forward. It explains the garbage time subbing in.

      • AlexH

        Yes because the last thing a coach would ever want is a forward that is so productive that she must see the field. And the last thing that the USSF would want is a super hot superstar to market. Give it a rest. Press gets sub minutes because Jill thinks Alex is better. It goes no farther than that.

        • Steglitz49

          Alex is better. Only Marta is even better.

          • saghj

            lol. whatever you say dude.

          • Steglitz49

            I do.

        • bayern7

          Couldn’t agree more and i don’t know why everyone thinks Press is so much better. Press is a great shooter and can move well with the ball but Morgan is a proven scorer in big games, she’s faster, more physical, much bigger ariel threat, great finisher from all kinds of angles with different parts of the body, makes great runs when given good service, and you can see she has an agressive and fearless nature in the 18. Clearly a more typical target striker than press. I think she’d be great in a withdrawn central forward role though…if only lloyd wasn’t entrenched there.

          • rkmid71

            You didn’t even mention what makes Morgan the best we have — her willingness and ability to pass for goals. I don’t think of her as a target striker though perhaps more so than Press. I just wish that was reciprocated more by the players around her.

          • bayern7

            I agree but i didn’t mention it because i think they’re both good at making space and passing and seeing as they’re both strikers i was comparing them in the context of their main role on the field. But yeah i agree she’s a good facilitator for her position.

          • SpiritFan00

            My problem with Morgan is that she is dependent on great service from her teammates against a high (and ideally slower) defensive line. France sat deep with a speedy backline, making Morgan much less effective.

            But mostly agreed — I would love to see both of them on the field at the same time. I don’t see it as Alex vs. Press. I see it as Carli Lloyd vs. every other played who would connect play better than her in the withdrawn FW/high MF position (Press, Pugh, Brian, etc.)

          • Guest

            On the other hand, France is probably the only team that will cause Morgan those difficulties. No other back line has the Pace and quality of the French save the US themselves.

          • bayern7

            Well thats just it, both can run at and by players on the counter and score but a striker needs good service to score goals in the 18 when the defense sits deep whether thats morgan or press and the us wasn’t creating much of it so i see that as more of a team issue. And i do think lloyd is a great player and she deserves to be on the field (too much quality not to be imo) but i also think its a huge waste of the kind of talent and potential press has as a central foward considering she’s one of if not the best pure finisher with the ball at her feet in the world right now and considering all of lloyds talents not just her offensive ones would be better utilized a little farther back from goal.

          • Guest

            Lloyd is all end product with little other quality to speak of. If any other player had been given a chance to provide goals at her position and was able I would sit Lloyd without thinking twice.

          • bayern7

            I don’t know…it seems like a lot of people hate on her because she poaches in the 18 but i think she’s still one of the most versatile, dangerous, and clutch midfielders in the world.

          • Clutch, yes. Dangerous, sure. Versatile, No.

          • Guest

            Dangerous and clutch I agree with but she is the furthest thing from versatile. She is only capable of playing in one area of the pitch and even there does little more than score goals and play an occasional good through ball.

          • bayern7

            I think in the last couple years she’s been expected by ellis and the staff to play as much more of an attacker but going back to 2012 and earlier she was pretty good at pressing players in the us’s defensive half and starting the us attack by either making good passes or exploiting space. She’s also shown some flair on the ball every now and then and seems to be a pretty competent ball handler to me.

          • Guest

            It’s not 2012 anymore. She is 4 years older and the game is much tighter with much more organized defenses. I don’t think she, or most of the US team for that matter, has much flair if any. Lloyd is not a player you expect to open up a defense with creativity and flair. She’s a bull who runs over her opponents.

          • Even when she doesn’t have the ball. Too slow and bad at tackling for my taste. Has a nose for goal though, can’t deny that.

          • Guest

            She was completely absent from those few counter-attacking chances the US had against France which is inexplicable considering where she plays in the formation.

          • bayern7

            Im not saying she’s on tobin heaths level with the ball but she can be craftier than most, and the idea that she isn’t one of the most talented midfielders in the world like many of the people on here try to insinuate is laughable.

    • guest

      If press starts and begins scoring goals, we will gut the content of three megaposters. Reality, Rick, and House of Crap to Die, and some others as well

      • rkmid71

        What if Press scored 6 goals and broke the USWNT record for most goals scored by an individual in a match and took over the tournament lead for Golden Boot. Can you imagine? We would hear about tomato cans, etc, etc.– and doubtful Press would play again. The only thing that will set Press free is having a smoking game (or back to back smoking games) against a top team in the knockout rounds. But she won’t get that chance unless fate intervenes.

        • Steglitz49

          Many goals against Colombia will not help the Swedes, the nation she owes her WC to. Turnips of the World: Unite!

        • kernel_thai

          What if Press started scoring and gave defenses like France a second player they need to guard in the box? : )

      • Steglitz49

        She might not score as in the Algarve a couple of years ago.

      • anon

        he’ll just keep posting her 2014 friendly stats

        • Guest

          And her goals/assists tally from her 9 minutes off the bench against Iceland in 2013

      • Kevin

        HOFCopyAndPaste will find something irrelevant to copy and paste… he always does.

  • guest

    Jill will start worse passers to make Christen look bad .. NYRICK

  • Gary Diver

    “Olympic Day 3 Preview: Will Rapinoe play?”

    If not now, when?

    Does Jill Ellis have any common sense? This is not Megan Rapinoe’s problem, it is Jill Ellis’ problem.

    This seems very simple to me. Rapinoe has not played any competitive soccer in nearly 9 months and if she is not ready for Colombia, it would be INSANE for Ellis to later put her into a close knock-out game.

    Rapinoe is definitely not match ready, and if Rapinoe cannot play against Colombia, it is essential for Ellis to replace her immediately. There is no way anybody can defend an Ellis decision to keep Rapinoe on the roster if Rapinoe cannot actually contribute to her team.

    • HOFCToDi

      For the conspiracy theorists, Megan Rapinoe cut a deal with the USSF. Megan Rapinoe is named to the 18 player Rio Olympics roster and Megan Rapinoe does not sue the USSF for the wretched Hawaiian practice field.

      • Gary Diver

        I assume this is a joke.

        • Steglitz49

          Don’t.

          • HOFCToDi

            youtube.com/watch?v=C6cxNR9ML8k

          • Steglitz49

            and I thought you had found a video in embarrassing circumstances

          • Frode

            Don’t even jest about conspiracy theories on this board. It’s like farting on a hornets nest: kinda funny at first, but…

        • AlexH

          It’s a conspiracy theory which is a joke by it’s very nature. I give it points for originality though. I’ve heard far worse.

          • Steglitz49

            There is a risk of too many heteros in the USWNT in spite of both ARod and Syd not being there.

      • Steglitz49

        I thought it was Hope who called attention to the desperate state of that pitch?

        • Gary Diver

          And I thought Rapinoe’s injury did not occur on the pitch, but on a practice area.

      • kernel_thai

        He he. Three words … Tin Foil Hat.

      • anon

        her injury had nothing to do with the practice field. in addition, there isn’t much evidence that turf leads to more ACL injuries.. numbers don’t back it up last time i checked

        • Gary Diver

          Agree with your points, but USSF did agree with USWNT that the field was totally unacceptable to play on safely.

        • HOFCToDi

          Rapinoe injury reignites turf, player safety debate for USWNT

          foxsports.com/soccer/story/megan-rapinoe-uswnt-proclaim-outrage-field-conditions-stadium-training-grounds-hawaii-120515

        • HOFCToDi

          Megan Rapinoe tears ACL in Hawaii

          starsandstripesfc.com/2015/12/5/9854368/megan-rapinoe-tears-acl-hawaii-uswnt

      • Tania

        I’ve pondered that, too. But it doesn’t make sense. She couldn’t sue if she ever wants any involvement in soccer again, and they know it. Once you sue, you get labelled a troublemaker & people drop you like a hot potato, as the saying goes. She’d lose sponsors, she’d lose her spot on the team… she’d be blacklisted. It’s too risky.

  • Gary Diver

    Two Big Games and the Others

    Big Two:
    1. Germany versus Canada 3:00 ET
    2. USWNT versus Colombia 6:00 ET

    Others:
    1. France versus New Zealand 6:00 ET
    2. China versus Sweden 9:00 ET

    What strategies will be adapted by Silvia Neid and John Herdman? What can these coaches do to promote the probability of their teams making it through to the SFs?

    Is Sweden really as bad as they seem in their first two games?

    • Steglitz49

      Why on earth is US v Colombia a Big game? It is an irrelevant game.

      China v Sweden is critiical because if Sweden wins, Sweden go through. In a sense France v NZ is also critical provided that France score 6 or more goals.

      • Gary Diver

        “Big” in the sense of being of interest to people on this site. I assume almost everybody here will want to watch it. In terms of the outcome of this tournament, you are correct about it being irrelevant.

        • saghj

          meh. I’m going to check out the starting line up and watch if Rapinoe and Press are starting out of curiosity. Otherwise, zzzZZZZzzzZz

          • Gary Diver

            You may be right, The most interesting thing about the USWNT/Colombia game may be the match roster.

      • MurderOnZidanesFloor

        Or if New Zealand get a result it really changes things.

        • Steglitz49

          That makes France v NZ a big game, does it not?

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Yes, I was agreeing and adding to your point.

            Germany vs Canada also matters but will probably be boring as anything.

  • Guest

    Allie Long, Golden Daughter of Suffolk County, is definitely starting. That is all I know for sure.

    • Gary Diver

      “Golden Daughter of Suffolk County”

      I like that:)

      • Steglitz49

        A golden Suffolk Punch?

    • guest

      Broon, Solo, Kling start every match no matter what. Haven’t you learned anything.

      • AlexH

        Kling could probably use a rest today as well. Seems like a good game to give AK a full 90. And yes, I know it won’t happen.

        • HOFCToDi

          twitter.com/alikrieger/status/763069222851317760

  • guest

    Who will the US face in the quarters? What are the possibilities? I need someone to root for today. Could it be Sweden or Australia? They gave the US trouble last year.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      US will play China if China loses by less than New Zealand.

      US will play Sweden if China and Sweden draw, with New Zealand losing.

      US will play Australia if New Zealand draw/win, or if China lose by more than they do.

      All this assumes nothing weird happens like Zimbabwe beating Australia or the US losing to Colombia.

      • guest

        It sounds like we’ll get Sweden, which will be an interesting match up, as always. Thanks, bro.

        • Steglitz49

          Sweden is going home to an early bath, surely. Pity Sarah Sjöström and Emma Johansson can’t play soccer?

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            I don’t think the U.S. has beaten Sweden since Pia became their coach – IIRC, they’ve had one Algarve tie, one WWC tie, and one Algarve loss.

          • Guest

            That was with the US playing a very different starting XI.

          • Steglitz49

            They lost to Dennerby’s Sweden in WC-11 but it was a group game like the one inWC-15 that was a draw. Make of that what you will but the US are big favorites.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Oh, I agree, and I’m not even saying that Pia was necessarily the deciding factor. In Algarve ’13 I think Sweden’s one goal was a long-distance chip over Ashlyn Harris’s head, and WWC ’15 had at least one very odd substitution where A-Rod came in for the U.S. and then shifted to midfield after about ten minutes. I didn’t see Algarve ’14 but that was of course a notoriously bad tournament for the U.S. As always, correlation is not causation.

          • Steglitz49

            WC-15 is famous for Klings header that saved a goal. Get out of gaol, you might say.

  • Gary Diver

    Four Months and Three Days

    It has been only 4 months and 3 days since Allie Long had her break-out USWNT performance against . . . Colombia in East Hartfield, CT.

  • Guest

    I know they won’t want to risk it but I’m kind of hoping Germany play for a draw so Herdman gets France.

    • I would love that.

    • Gary Diver

      The outcome of the Germany/Canada match is completely up to Silvia Neid. If she wants to play France in QF she can because Herdman definitely does not. It is not the players who will determine the outcome of this match, it is the coaches.

      • Steglitz49

        Sweden’s Emma Johansson took a silver and Sarah Sjöström not only won but set a new world record. A pity their WoSo look so inept.

  • HOFCToDi

    Half-time
    CAN 1 GER 1

    rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-f-fb-6

    • Gary Diver

      Germany’s B team against Canada’s B team, but Germany has a better B team. Hard to know what the coaches told their players.

      Canadian commentators discussion the “conspiracy theory” that Canada wants Germany to beat them so they won’t have to play France in QF. The ex-Canadian player color commentator claimed that not playing to win is not in a player’s DNA. But the sam commentator admits that Buchanan’s yellow card looked contrived. Her take? It makes sense tactically for Herdman to have Buchanan take a second yellow card against Zimbabwe, but is goes against the Olympics spirit by trying to manipulate the system.

      • Steglitz49

        The US lives by the principle that coming second is what we call losing. A corollary of that is winning at all costs. Sometimes the price is too high.

  • HOFCToDi

    Full-time
    CAN 2 GER 1

    rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-f-fb-6

  • Reality

    Canada 2 Germany 1…So much for Herdman Conspiracy theories…

    • Guest

      Well unless France chokes again I think they lose in a comfortable game for France. France probably have the best defense in the world.

      • Reality

        Canada has something to prove and I wouldn’t underestimate their ardor.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          They’ve been great so far this tournament. Worked harder than anyone. Grinding out results against Germany without having key players and against Australia with only 10 players on the pitch!

          • AlexH

            But can they keep it up? Grinding out results can become a grind after a while.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            They looked over the moon when the whistle went. Can’t imagine these games have hurt their belief or confidence.

          • AlexH

            I was thinking about their legs. I don’t know much about the Canadians. I hope they are fit and deep though because if they are in fact winning by working harder it will catch up to them.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Sinclair, Beckie and Buchanan didn’t play a single minute today, Matheson and Lawrence barely featured either, so lots of well rested key players. Tancredi looked shattered by the end, so I doubt she’ll be playing much in the next round, but otherwise they should be fine.

          • AlexH

            Good to hear. I am one USA fan that hopes our neighbors to the north advance deep into the tournament. Nothing like a good cross border rivalry to make the next 3 years interesting.

          • Guest

            I have serious doubts about their chances to beat France. France were dominant in set pieces if their first two games and are better at every position compared to Canada. I think Canada’s only chance is to win via PSO

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            You are right that set pieces will be a problem area. The US who hardly ever concede on set pieces struggled with big Wendie, and Labbe doesn’t look comfortable claiming crosses at all.

          • Bruce

            Expect a brutally physical game from Herdman’s side. With the exception of Belanger, Canada has plenty of yellows to burn. I’m not convinced that this French squad has the mental toughness to come back if they’re punched in the face.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Guess we’ll get a preview when they play NZ today. Hoping Amber Hearn shows France how to take a chance in a big game.

          • Guest

            France were the most physical I’ve ever seen them against the US. Canada won’t be able to bully them like they have other teams.

          • Reality

            Canada might be the most motivated team…too bad France hasn’t shown that level of desire yet.

  • Gary Diver

    Canada Beats Germany 2-1

    So Germany has the same group record as Australia and Canada should play France in QF.

    Canadian press is pronouncing this victory as a “statement of historic importance” because Canada women beats Germany’s women for the first time in 13 attempts. (Not sure of the significance of Canada’s win since it was a battle of B teams and Germany didn’t seem to have fire in their game.

    Melissa Tancredi scored both goals for Canada.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      If you’d have told me before the tournament 34 year old Tancredi will score 2 against Zimbabwe I’d have laughed at you, her doing it against Germany is surreal.

      • Guest

        Great game from her but I think Germany’s defense has been shaky all year. Australia could have easily put a couple more on them with sharper play. Their lack of pace coupled with their insistence on holding a high line is something almost all top 10 teams can exploit.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          Yeah, the defence is getting worse by the day. Schult doesn’t help matters either. How she is goalkeeper in the No 2 ranked international side and the 2nd best club side in Europe I’ll never know.

          • x

            I remember a lot of complaining about how old Angerer was last year and how she should’ve just retired and let a younger GK take her place. Now she’s retired we see how badly she’s missed.

          • Ethan

            How Bouhaddi, Lindahl, and Bardsley have consistently started for their nations over the last several years is something that I’ve never really understood. You’re not alone.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            I can’t speak for the others but Bardsley is by far England’s best option. Nobody else comes close to getting the starting spot over her.

          • Ethan

            I hope you don’t take too much offense, but that’s a pretty scary indication of England’s goalkeeping situation. I will admit that I don’t regularly watch Bardsley, but I’ve seen her make way too many basic mistakes in the time that I have watched her play.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Scary or not, its very much the situation. Telford had a great year about 3 years ago but has struggled for form and fitness since. Chamberlain has never impressed me at all, couldn’t even take Byrne’s place at Arsenal a year ago. Rachel Laws looked promising in her season at Liverpool, but never kicked on after that. Becky Spencer sits on Chelsea’s bench watching Lindahl most weeks. Hopefully Earps, Baggaley, Brooks or Durack will come good in the next few years, else replacing Bardsley is going to be a nightmare.

            Goalkeeping certainly seems to be the area that the US is furthest ahead of everyone else right now. Who is even the best goalkeeper in Europe? Bouhaddi? Lindahl? I’ve seen Dutch keeper van Veenandaal pull off some world class saves for Arsenal, but she’s also far too prone to basic errors. Can’t say I’d pick any of them over Harris, let alone Solo or Naeher.

          • Ethan

            Thanks for the info. Maybe Lindahl plays a lot better and more consistently for Chelsea. I will say that she played pretty well against the US in the World Cup.

            Yeah, I can’t think of a goalkeeper I’d take over any of the US top three, especially when they’re in form.

    • Steglitz49

      Well done Melissa! Those months playing in Sweden paid off.

  • MurderOnZidanesFloor

    Australia were a couple of goals against Zimbabwe away from finishing 2nd. Could have led to a Germany vs USA quarter final. Not that Germany look anything like the side their number 2 ranking would suggest.

    • Kevin

      I was watching both games at the same time. It was a nail-biter for sure.

      AUS was winning 6-0 in the 66′. If they won 7-0, Germany would have been the 3-seed.

      Then they gave up a late goal to ZWE in the 83′ to make the score 6-1, meaning if AUS scored another goal and won 7-1,GER and AUS would have been tied with every tie-breaker and they would have had to draw lots for seeding.

      So if AUS would have scored just 1 goal in the last 29′ (which includes the 5 minutes added) the USA might have been playing GER in the quarterfinals.

      • Gary Diver

        “So if AUS would have scored just 1 goal in the last 29′ (which includes the 5 minutes added) the USA might have been playing GER in the quarterfinals.’

        Nobody saw that on the horizon.

        • Steglitz49

          The US should breath a sigh of relief. In that scenario, if they beat Germany they would have no gas left for Brazil.

          • Gary Diver

            Spot on:)

    • another guest

      Australia … Could not X 3 … could not score against 10 man Canada, could not hold a 2-0 lead vs Germany, and could not get another goal (or 2 once they game up late goal) against Zimbabwe

      • Kevin

        They still had a chance for the #2 seed with only one more goal for a 7-1 win. It would have went to a coin flip to determine who was the #2 seed.

        • Steglitz49

          But they didn’t.

          Also shows how uneven the groups are. If Zimbabwe had been in the group of Brazil, China, Sweden instead of South-Africa ….

          • Kevin

            I was torn. I was wanting to see GER knocked down to 3rd (moreso because I was rooting for AUS), but I knew it also meant there’s a chance they’d be playing against the USA in the QF.

  • Kevin
    • Reality

      Lloyd is in the lineup.

      • Kevin

        Duh

        • Reality

          You can be sure Lloyd will be playing forward regardless of who is designated for that position

    • AlexH

      Ok Megan time to prove us all wrong and your coach right! Here’s hoping that I eat a large helping of crow this evening……but I doubt it.

      • guest

        even if rapinoe scores three goals today, that doesn’t change the fact that her olympic roster selection was an unearned GIFT.

    • Ok shocked on Rapinoe. I will be the first to admit I was wrong. We’ll see how long she goes. And YES Press.

    • Bruce

      A massively different lineup tells us that Ellis resigned just to get through the game, not to learn anything.

      • AlexH

        We will learn how fit Rapinoe is. That is worth something. I for one would settle for no injuries or yellows and a early flight out of Manaus.

        • Bruce

          I don’t see the scenario where she get’s meaningful minutes in the tournament. There just isn’t enough time to integrate her back into the team.

        • So what (or who) gives if this is Rapinoe’s entry back into the starting XI for the rest of the tourney? Pugh to the bench as a late game sub and Dunn done with minutes? Or other way around?

          • Kevin

            Unless she kills it, I can’t see her in anything other than a backup role. I’m not expecting much from her… she has to be rusty. Not a knock on her, just the facts about recovering from an ACL injury.

          • Bruce

            I think it’s safe to say she’s delivered on your expectations

          • Kevin

            What’s funny is some people on a Facebook group I’m in think Rapinoe had a great game.

          • Guest

            I’d say. No one had a great game.

          • Kevin

            I thought Dunn played pretty well tonight, but yeah, not a great game overall.

      • Frode

        Entering the knock-out stage is a little late to learn something new about your team (that’s what Ellis was forced to do in the WC, and I’m certain she still has nightmares about it). She’s trusting her backup players, resting key starters and (finally) assessing Rapinoe’s match readiness. It’s now or never.
        _
        I also wonder what Pugh’s status is to risk a second yellow by Dunn. Perhaps Pugh is almost ready, so if Dunn is disqualified, Pugh will be able to step in.

        • Bruce

          Not complaining. Really in agreement that at this stage all the decisions have already been made. We are making much too much on whether and how Pinoe plays.

          • It’s what we do here. Make too much of way too much.

    • Ok and just realized after my second look at this it’ll be KO at LB, Kriegs at RB, Press and Lloyd up top, and JJ and Pugh must not be healthy still.

      • Guest

        No point in playing Pugh, JJ, Heath, Morgan or Kling in Manaus. It’s even better that Rapinoe is able to start.

        • I agree. More surprised on Pugh than JJ I guess. But you are right. Those are the changes I figured would happen. KO can handle the heat so I figured she’d be the OB that stayed in. And the others have fewer minutes logged so far.

        • Tania

          Rapinoe won’t play a full 90; someone’s going to have to go in for her. They do have options, though… Much as it scares me, Kling could go in & KO could play left wing, if you don’t want to play Heath or Pugh. Actually you could also sub Morgan for Pinoe, then move Press over to her spot.

          The versatility this team re: being able to put many players in multiple spots is truly is a blessing, especially in this case.

      • x

        I’m glad she decided to sit JJ/Pugh. This game barely means anything and I’d rather they have some extra rest coming off injury than get exposed to Colombia’s dirty tricks.

        I wish Pinoe could get her first game action against a cleaner team, but I’m glad she’s getting some minutes tonight in group play.

    • Frode

      God, I hope this is not a 4-4-2 with Lloyd up top with the striker (even though that’s how it will look during much of the game). Nominally, this should be a 4-2-3-1 with Lloyd in her usual position with either Press or Dunn up top (or in-game switching). Against Colombia, either would work well.

      • Guest

        That’s pretty much been the formation for the first 2 games. Lloyd goes where she wants, does little to help build up play or stretch defenses but pops up for a goal inside the 18. Lloyd is no CAM.

      • Or at least a 4-4-2 with Press and Dunn up top, instead of Lloyd. But I bet it will line up as

        ……Dunn……..
        Rapinoe…LLoyd…Press..
        ….Horan..Brian….
        KO…Brunn…Engen…Krieg

        Because Jill is obsessed with Press not being the target forward.

        • Frode

          If Colombia bunkers (they really don’t have a reason to), then Press should be deployed centrally.

          • Press should always be deployed centrally.

          • Bruce

            Yes. CF, withdrawn forward or CAM.

          • Frode

            Ideally, yes. But she is versatile enough to play on the wings, which is important when a squad of 16 field players includes a 17-year-old winger who’s never played in a major tournament and a thirty-something-year-old winger who hasn’t played a match in 9 months.

          • Sure she can make due on the wing. But in this game, with this lineup, no way should anyone but Christen Press be the target forward.

          • Steglitz49

            Christen Annemarie will do the needful. She knows Nelson’s signal.

          • Frode

            That assumes the attack utilizes a target forward, which it often doesn’t. A lot of the attacks come from wingers pinching in and outside backs lashing in crosses to the likes of Morgan and Lloyd. That being said, if Horan and Press are central, look for a lot of passes to Press’s feet, and look for the wingers and CAM to score a mess of goals.

        • Reality

          It is interesting how Ellis has consistently denied Press playing in her natural position of CF regardless of opponent or circumstance. Naturally, if she gets the slightest opportunity, it is against tomato cans where even when she scores hat tricks, it is dismissed. If you aren’t given the opportunity to prove yourself then ergo you can’t prove yourself.

        • Bruce

          Does anybody really believe that Lloyd will fulfill her midfield responsibilities against a weak squad when she could choose to hang out in front of goal and pad her stats instead?

          • Reality

            Lloyd would never do that…she is a team player.

          • Behind the crest ep 2 Lloyd quote “I AM HERE, as we all are, TO WIN THE GOLD MEDAL” – never about the team.

          • anon

            she gave an interview where she was asked about different players and kind of said nice things and then brought it back to herself. and then someone asked her about press and she completely ignored the question and talked about herself.

          • She was probably “who is christen press”

          • Steglitz49

            The US just won the team gold in the gymnastics. It was expected but the quality of the US team is truly amazing.

            Russia took silver and China bronze with Japan just behind.

            What some of those young ladies do under intense pressure is little short of amazing. It is truly a team performance and the girls support one another. Marvelous!

          • Super happy for the US Gymnastics team. Can’t wait to watch on extreme tape delayed prime time tonight. Yay west coast.

          • Steglitz49

            It is worth watching the whole shebang. If those lasses started playing soccer …

          • I’m glad we don’t have to deal with the “If American’s best athletes played soccer” argument on the women’s side. Because our best athletes are already playing soccer I guess. Now the team playing other sports would be fun. Probably still dominate a lot of them.

          • Steglitz49

            Imagine the bicycle kicks and headers we would see ,,,

          • If they could reach them without a spring propelled field.

          • Steglitz49

            Spoilsport. Why bring reality into it? It is only a game.

          • anon

            what? no. no they aren’t, not necessarily. a lot of girls don’t like soccer. and compared to a sport like gymnastics its apples and oranges comparison.

          • Guest

            Yep. I hated teh team sport culture in my hometown (extremely competitive and i was a shy kid even though I was a pretty good athlete. Switched over to tennis since the seasons overlapped.

          • alexis

            Soccer definitely tends to attract extroverts. Elite level Gymnastics is very much a solo sport until you get to college, since many of them don’t really compete for high school squads. But very few people have the physical abilities or motivation to do gymnastics, it is like having a full time job on top of school as a youth.

          • Bruce

            spoiler

          • Steglitz49

            No. It was the obvious event to watch.

          • rkmid71

            No

          • AlexH

            There is nothing wrong with hanging out in front of goal and padding your stats so long as it is done successfully. Its’ when players neglect their duties and don’t score goals when bad things start happening.

          • Bruce

            This team fails to evolve and highly beatable precisely because she breaks the midfield.

    • Steglitz49

      Ought to have let the reserve goalie play. Resting players good.

      • Frode

        Starting keepers are rarely rested during major tournaments, save for injury or unexpectedly poor form. More than any position, keepers must maintain confidence. Swapping keepers mid-tournament can have surprising and sometimes disastrous results, something the USWNT has experienced.

        • Steglitz49

          These days there are not the yawning differences between men’s NTs as there still are among the ladies.

        • Ethan

          Well, this performance did nothing to help Solo’s confidence.

      • Ethan

        Well Steglitz49, the US probably wouldn’t have conceded with Naeher in goal today. Then again, Solo makes those saves most of the time with the NT.

  • Miami66

    Well Canada’s reward for winning the group? Likely France, or USA if Colombia pull a major upset. Meanwhile Germany face China or Sweden… Sometimes I think the knockout round should go based on performance, ie: 3rd place team with lowest GD plays top rated 1st place team, etc.

    • AlexH

      Here is my crazy idea. The first place teams get to pick who they want. The pool winner with the best GD picks first, the second best picks second etc… That way there is no shenanigans.

      • Guest

        How do you chose which first place group winner gets to pick first second or third. I like the spirit of the idea though? I guess you can use tiebreakers to rank the first place group teams but that is still unfair given the random draws and teams that play 10 behind the ball for 90.

        • AlexH

          It wouldn’t be 100% fair of course. As you and “x” pointed out a lot would hinge on the initial draw BUT it would ensure that a first place team like Canada would not be punished by having to play France in the QFs which would provide a lot of incentive to win the group.

          • Guest

            Well the real reason France is playing Canada is because the Olympic comittee gifted Brazil a No. 1 seed. France and the US are the two best teams in the world by some distance in my opinion and should never have been in the same group.

          • Paul Klee

            Tournament hosts a least in recent history get seeded as A1(in this case E1). Brazil could have just as easily be in a group with France and Canada. It’s only a 12 team tournament their are bound to be good teams playing each other early.

          • Kevin

            Brazil certainly got the softest group by far.

          • Steglitz49

            They could have gotten Zimbabwe instead of South-Africa.

          • Does that make any difference? RSA scored zero goals.

          • Steglitz49

            Work it out for yourself.

          • I don’t care to. It’s almost game time.

          • Kevin

            What’s the difference? They didn’t have any top teams worth a crap in their group. Pretty easy 9 points for them, which means +/- is irrelevant.

          • Steglitz49

            The group would have been softer with Zimbabwe in it. It probably would have been softer with either Colombia or NZ too.

          • Kevin

            So you’re saying it would go from…
            …being the softest group
            To…
            …being the softest group

          • Steglitz49

            As the painter types — it is the tradition in soccer to let the host be the #1 seed. No need to break with tradition.

            They could have put the three UEFA teams in one pod and made Australia or China the 3rd top-seeded nation.

          • Guest

            I’m all for breaking tradition in this case and quite a few others. Brazil do not deserve their seeding or their extremely weak Group.

          • Gary Diver

            So if the Olympics were being held in Papua New Guinea as the U20 WC this November, Papua New Guinea should be the no. 1 seed?

          • Steglitz49

            Traditionally, yes.

          • Gary Diver

            Yikes! Maybe the tradition should change.

          • Steglitz49

            Why? It is a lot of work and effort to organize a major tournament.

            In WC-15 not only did FIFA smooth the path for the hosts but also for the US. Such smoothing is unusual even unheard of. The main NT to benefit was Japan but it helped the US also for sure.

          • Kevin

            Let’s make UAE the #1 seed in the 2022 WC.

          • Steglitz49

            They could be offered it but are always free to decline the offer.

          • Kevin

            …and why would they?

          • x

            I’m sure Qatar would be thrilled with that…

      • x

        Best GD in the Olympics basically goes to the winner whose 4th team is weakest, though. Here that’s Zimbabwe because COL and RSA are much better teams from the 4th pot.

      • Bruce

        That would lead to even more dubious performances in the group stage.

        • AlexH

          Why? Teams with a shot at winning the group would be highly incentivized for doing so an teams on the bubble would play hard to advance. About the only dubious thing would be that better teams would seek to run up the score but I would rather have that than teams tanking their games.

          • Bruce

            With no seeding, there is zero incentive for 2nd / 3rd group qualifiers to perform. That guarantees tanking at a much higher rate than what we see today.

          • AlexH

            Except that 2nd /3rd group qualifiers are not usually guaranteed to advance without a result in their final game.

  • anonymous

    So did Germany try to lose today, or did they try to win and goat beat by Melissa Tancredi? Because.. lolut

    • Gary Diver

      Everybody will have to make up their own mind whether Germany came to play.

      I watched the game, but it was hard to make sense of it. Germany outplayed Canada in terms of procession and ball movement, but they did not have any sense of urgency or any sense of game importance.

      Did they play to lose? Hard to believe that. Did they play for a draw? Maybe or maybe not, but it is clear that they played intense soccer only sporadically.

    • MurderOnZidanesFloor

      Germany played a comparatively closer to full strength side than Canada. Maroszan and Mittag both started. Only really Popp and Maier who have been long term starters missing.

      • Steglitz49

        Däbritz?

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          Dabritz did not play. But then she doesn’t play a lot of big games for Germany, she is in and out the side.

          • Steglitz49

            That is why they are not hacking it. Däbritz, Bremer and Petermann ought to be playing unless they are injured. I assume that Däbritz was rested. The other two are not in the squad, I think.

          • MurderOnZidanesFloor

            Agreed. They need to find some centre backs as well.

          • Steglitz49

            Neid started by winning WC-07. After that downhill. The lady taking over has no serious coaching experience. Seems like a B-farce.

      • guest

        Dabritz is starter quality and there is the Laudehr injury too

      • Gary Diver

        I thought the commentator said German’s game roster had 5 “new players”.

        The bigger point is that Germany’s B team isn’t that much weaker than their A team.

        • MurderOnZidanesFloor

          As compared to what? The previous game?

    • Miami66

      They tried to win…they knew AUS would score a lot, so they couldn’t risk finishing 3rd and getting USA. Plus Canada didn’t even have Sinclair. I think Germany just aren’t that great right now.

      • Gary Diver

        Everybody should take a deep breath. We will see teams playing a different level of game during the knock-out phase. Group play quality often does not transfer to knock-out phase quality.

  • Reality

    “The USA will start in a 4-3-3 formation, featuring Christen Press at striker with Megan Rapinoe and Crystal Dunn on the wings, Carli Lloyd and Lindsey Horan patrolling center midfield with Morgan Brian as holding midfielder. Ali Krieger is starting at right back, Kelley O’Hara at left back with Whitney Engen and Becky Sauerbrunn in the middle. Hope Solo is in goal for her third consecutive match. Lloyd will captain the USA.”

    http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2016/08/09/21/29/160809-wnt-lineup-notes-usa-concludes-2016-olympics-group-g-play-vs-colombia

    • Gary Diver

      Christen Press supporters have forever wanted this opportunity for her. Eyes will be on her and Megan Rapinoe.

  • Gary Diver

    Off-Topic Alert: If you haven’t OD on sports, you should watch the women’s team gymnastics final tonight. You’ve got to see the human body can do in order to believe it. You will be rewarded:)

    • anonymous

      Gym is always a treat. Interesting to see Japan increasing the profile of their womens program.

  • Guest

    All eyes on Christen Press

  • anon

    Tobin Heath is the Straw that Stirs the Drink.

    • CED

      Wrong.

      • anon

        oh right, I forgot, it’s pugh…

  • guest

    Rapinoe was decent for about….. 10 minutes. No matter what Ellis says it’s pretty clear that Rapinoe is not anywhere close to 90 minutes fit.

    • CED

      She’s not fit beyond 10 minutes. Poor turnovers started to come soon, corner kicks were poor, bad foul that was not needed lead to free kick and Solo’s clown show error.

    • guest

      Dunn aside that was looking like a rec league clown show for a bit . Colombia will be gassed in about 15 minutes and Press, Pugh and Dunn will start pummeling them. Yawn.

      • mockmook

        You were saying…

        • Guest

          I’m disappointed with the US. Colombia were not a very good team yet the US couldn’t get much going in the attacking third and wasted chances. I’m not blaming the tie on them though. Both goals were an embarrassing piece of goal keeping. Solo talked about wanting to play in 2019 but I think she should consider retirement shortly after Rio.

  • HOFCToDi

    Half-time
    USA 1 COL 1

    rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-5

    Half-time
    FRA 1 NZL 0

    rio2016.com/en/football-womens-first-round-group-g-fb-6

    • Gary Diver

      Watching the game on CBC without commentary – that is interesting.

      Notes:

      1. Colombia keeper is absolutely terrible with goal kicks.

      2. Rapinoe looks look for about 15 minutes, then looked spent. Interesting to see what Ellis does now.

      3. Rapinoe is supposed to be a corner kick specialist. Some kicks looked good and some looked awful.

      4. USWNT should have scored at least one goal in first 15 minutes.

      5. Megan Rapinoe’s foul that led to free kick goal was awful.

      6. Hope Solo’s botch-up was one of the worst I’ve ever seen – simply god awful. Reminds me of one made by Japanese keeper during WC15.

      7. Colombia seems to be playing kind of dirty.

  • CED

    Keep laughing at Markgraf trying to make excuses for Solo’s howler

  • CED

    The goal highlighted the WNT inability to play out of pressure, The goal came from Colombia pressing the 1st time in the game. US is incapable of playing out of pressure most of the time. Lead to inability to clear out and a free ball picked up by Colombia and a bad foul by rapinoe. The goal was howler by Solo, but the sequence started with the above.

    • Gary Diver

      Wasn’t it a very bad foul by Rapinoe?

      • Bruce

        A generally sloppy sequence by the back line followed by a bad foul.

  • anonymous

    I still can’t believe Ellis brought Pinoe. What an absolute circus. I don’t think OReilly is the solution but think of all the players out there that never get chances.

    • guest

      ellis should offer her resignation after the olympics for this shameful decision

  • CED

    Second howler goal by Solo

  • Ando91881

    Surprised that Jill Ellis brought in Alex Morgan at the half to take back the center forward position from Press. It was like a slap in the face to Press after missing her one chance in the 1st half to put away a shot off of her chest on a breakaway. Press is only allowed to miss one of those before losing the center forward position. Ms. Morgan is allowed to miss a few of them and keep her position.

    • Andrew Alberico

      Christen played the entire game. Is it always necessary to trash one player in favor of another? Players move all over the field as the game goes on. They are not rooted to one spot. Position be damned.

      • Ando91881

        Well, as of now Alex Morgan has 1 goal in 215 minutes of play and Christen Press has zero goals in 102 minutes of play.

        • Guest

          Both have been underwhelming in there appearance in my opinion. Press was decent today but her decision making in front of goal needs to be better.

    • Bruce

      it was 95 degrees out there and press worked her butt off for well over a half. no way she could’ve / should’be played up top the whole time.

      • Guest

        Wings have to work just as if not harder. I’m not sure it was a positive change moving Dunn under Morgan either. Not a great performance overall

        • Bruce

          I looked up in the second half in they had switched to a straight 4-4-2 with Dunn and Morgan up front. From that point out that looks terrible. It was much better when Press was running the 10

          • Frode

            I agree. Press did an excellent job at #10 finding spaces with the ball, several great passes to Lloyd and to Morgan. The combination of Press and Morgan (stacked) was too short-lived. The team struggled to mount a cohesive attack when Morgan and Dunn were paired up top and Press moved to the wing. Long coming on for Brian also changed the flavor of the attack.

            Biggest problem still is the inability of the backs and holding midfielder to connect with central midfielders/#10. Engen, Sauerbrunn, Long and to a lesser extent, Brian, seem to be afraid to make those passes through the middle. And I don’t think it was for lack of movement off the ball. Horan, Press, and even Lloyd were popping back into those passing channels all evening.
            _
            Rapinoe was playing on a half-second tape delay (I felt bad for her)
            _
            Solo has to forget about this game and move on (she probably already has).

          • Frode

            Also, Press did an outstanding job at striker, smart movement aided by great passing from teammates (including Lloyd). Press was finding all sorts of space behind the defense. Unfortunately, neither Morgan nor Dunn benefited from very good service, it seemed.

          • nwslfan

            I thought Press was pretty good in the 10.

      • Ando91881

        The fourth game is early in the day on Friday, so it is basically 2 and a half days between games. Will Morgan start that game after only 45 minutes of rest today?

      • nwslfan

        You run way more in midfield tho

  • Guest

    Gosh, solo eating some humble pie. Happy for COL tbh.

    • Guest

      Naeher would have saved those

      • saghj

        Naeher should totally find the nbc cameras abd go on a post-game rant.

  • NYRick

    Goodness. Two absolute howlers by Solo. She seemed fine with it in the postgame.

    • Guest

      Where did you hear post game interviews? I have not been able to find any anywhere

      • NYRick

        On my cable TV(NY) Optimum. I originally was watched on my computer by then realized that my cable is putting it on several channels with lesser events on about about 3 channels. I hunted around and found it on channel 212 in NY/NJ area if you are looking.

        They interviewed Solo on the field a few minutes after the game.

        • Guest

          Ah I was watching there also. Must have turned off right before that happened

    • Guest

      I’m guessing she lost focus on all 3 FKs which were Colombia’s only shot the entire game. Still a pretty meh game for the US overall.

      • NYRick

        Did you see the 3rd free kick. Clean top crossbar from a good 35-40 yards. Hope had it covered I think but what a strike. By the same girl who scored the two goals. Outside of that, I don’t recall a shot on goal or a corner kick by Colombia.

      • Guest

        There should be a rule that the back 4 cannot pass amongst themselves more than 4 times in a row. Watching Brunn and Engen have a pass on the field for 10 straight minutes was making me insane.

    • dw

      Dunno. I think the last goal is borderline unstoppable.

      • NYRick

        No way! First off, she mis-timed her jump on the punch of the ball for a clean miss. Second, poor footwork and positioning by her, she had a clean look at the shot and third, how about catching it clean?

        No, that one was on her. And if it happened in a gold medal game or even a knockout match, it would be talked about for a long time if they ended up losing. It happened in the 90th minute for crying out loud. Also, just a dumb foul by KO leading up to it.

        • dw

          She’s where she’s supposed to be, in the near half of the goal. I think the ball is still above the crossbar going over her hand and doesn’t get under the height of the crossbar until it gets to the far half of the goal.
          I’ll make you a deal though. We both watch it 5 more times and report back.

          • NYRick

            Well then this Colombian girl is freakin Thierry Henry then.

            OK, I will watch it again and report back too.

          • dw

            I’ve watched it 5 more times on nbcolympics.com. I rest my case. Unstoppable.

          • NYRick

            Ok I just watched it again…twice. It does look a lot more wicked on the repeated looks. Helluva strike by that girl. Total world class. But…I still think Hope’s positioning was a bit off. I’m not a keeper, maybe you know better but I still think she should have gotten a punch on that. But tougher save than it originally looked for sure. Not a howler.

            Actually, the “other” free kick that hit the top crossbar was magnificent. That would have been WoSo goal of the year if it went in.

          • dw

            Oh, and since she didn’t use her hand, I wouldn’t call that goal Henry-esque.

  • NYRick

    One gripe: Yes I’m happy Press played/started and got 90. But…I don’t understand why Jill moved Press to the flank in the second half and had Morgan and Dunn up top. Dunn is a better flank player and Press’s game is much more effective in the center of the pitch.

    • anonymous

      Morgan was underwhelming and an unnecessary addition. Press should have put that one chance away but she’ll be scapegoated for this I’m sure. Why she can’t get 90 in the forward position I will never understand.

      • Ethan

        Well, how can you not be underwhelming when your center backs spend so much time just passing the ball back and forth between each other. When Morgan actually received the ball, I thought she did okay, and her control on Press and Dunn’s passes were good. If Morgan had passed to Pugh instead of shooting in that situation, she would have been scapegoated big time; same applies to other forwards/midfielders.

        • Guest

          Morgan was much better getting wide and getting herself open in this match compared to the France match. I thought she tried to force her runs into the channels against France who gave her little space. The CB issue is more of an ongoing thing which I think stems from under-hit passes by every back line player and poor movement up front and in the center of the park. Lately Tobin has been doing a lot of the work to advance the ball by dropping to pick it up and then dribbling but she got a deserved rest tonight. Still little excuse for only scoring 2 goals against a team who was very unorganized and poor defensively.

          • Bruce

            Has everything to do with her (Alex) having space to move up front. When she came on with Press playing the role of CAM, she had plenty of space to operate.

            When Dunn moved to center and the US played 2 up front, all of that was lost. Same as 90% of the time Carli plays “midfield”.

          • Guest

            Press definitely helped a lot but Morgan did herself well by getting out wide instead of always trying to get in behind. Had she done that in the last game Tobin wouldn’t have had to hold and force some balls into very tight passing lanes.

      • anonymous

        I didn’t watch the full game but it’s hard to make judgments on her because she just doesn’t play enough to know. I don’t feel comfortable saying she has a confidence issue, because she doesn’t (1) play enough to know that or (2) play enough to increase her confidence.

        • Guest

          I thought she played well with what little she had to work with. other than that one glaringly bad decision but it happens to everyone.

          • Ethan

            Press also had that one-on-one chance in the first half that she could have controlled better with her chest, but I agree that she played quite well.

          • NYRick

            Seriously, how great would it be for a Morgan-Press combo to have a real big game together in the gold medal game (hopefully they get that far)? Pugh is a superstar and will have her many moments, but I think going into the next cycle, Morgan-Press can derive so much confidence together if they both were all-world in gold medal match. Of course, that would imply that Press would play serious minutes in that match.

    • Ando91881

      It is almost as if Morgan was thrown in there at halftime to get some TV ratings, knowing that at about 7 p.m. people on the east coast would be at home in front of the TV. Hey, there is a chance we may have heard of that Alex Morgan girl! But we have no idea who this Press chick is. Better switch to a different station!

    • Ethan

      I thought Press played fairly well, and she had two very good passes for Lloyd on Dunn’s goal and for Morgan early in the second half. However, I have no idea why she played that pass to Pugh when Pugh was obviously off.

    • Bruce

      Could have been that Press was out of gas.

      • NYRick

        Maybe but I doubt it. What you are saying then is that any forward would have been gassed playing in that position for the full 90?

        • Bruce

          She was active and worked back to play the 10 more than Lloyd in the first half, and then ran the fulll midfield for the beginning of the second half. Remember it was over 90 degrees with high humidity. People are human

  • NYRick

    5 Quick thoughts from the match:

    1. Pinoe’s first cross into the box was excellent, but she looked gassed pretty early on. It will be interesting to see how they go with her in the knockout.

    2. How can you not like Pugh? Some hard touches but what a talent. Loved the finish on her goal. Great determination.

    3. Pugh to Press to Pugh. What the heck happened? Christen has to take that shot right there. I can’t even fault Pugh for going offsides.

    4. Can I Monday morning quarterback and say Naeher should have started? As I’ve said in the France match threads, I think Hope’s game was being a little overblown, and this performance can best be described as awful. Not a big confidence builder when the knockout games will usually be low scoring with one goal beating you.

    5. US completely took their foot off the gas by the 65th minute. I guess playing in that climate had to effect them a bit, but I really hate when a good part of the match stays centered at midfield with KO, Engen, Krieger getting most of the touches back and forth to each other. The US team should have gone for it a bit more.

    Bonus: There was a point where when I saw on the pitch together: Morgan, Press, Pugh, Dunn, Horan and Brian and was extremely happy. Of course we need Tobin somewhere in the mix, but I think that can be magical with minutes together.

    • Ethan

      Agree with everything.

      2) Great composure and control on that goal. Didn’t get overly excited there at all. Her setup for Press was also very good.
      3) No idea what Press was thinking there. My only real gripe with her game today.
      4) I think you and I may have been the only ones not overtly praising Solo for her performance against France. I see some people not blaming Solo for the second goal, but I don’t see how you can’t. She completely missed her punch, and any free kick that goes directly in from there without a goalkeeping error has to be out of this world. Usme did well, but her free kick was far from spectacular. I do have to say that Rapinoe and O’Hara didn’t cover themselves in glory in giving away those free kicks.

      • NYRick

        4) The second goal was a howler too and really poor keeping. Also, amazingly, the other free kick (the third one) was a rocket that struck the post clean from 35 yards out. Is the book on Solo to aim high?

        As I’ve said with the so-called Renard save on one of her headers, Hope missed it clean and than it grazed her fingertips off the post before going out.

        • Ethan

          Well, I actually thought Solo had Usme’s best free kick covered. I think aiming high is the only way to have a chance at scoring on free kicks from way out and from a tight angle. I can’t imagine it’s Solo specific because she’s the best at those saves when she’s on form.

          • Cc W

            Hope may have misjudged it – but it was a beautiful goal. I think that it may have gone in even if Hope had been in a better spot. Easy to blame Hope, but it isn’t fair to Usme who hit 2 really good shots!

          • Guest

            A shot from that angle should never end up in the back of your net. Hope misjudged the flight path of the ball and missed it in the air. That goal is 100% on her just like the first was.

          • Ethan

            Agree to disagree. That’s cleanly punched out if Hope judged it correctly, and while it was a good shot, it was a shot that many people expect a goalkeeper to judge properly.

    • Frode

      Actually, you should fault Pugh for being in a offside position, just as Press should be faulted for making a forward pass to her. In a two vs. keeper scenario, the passing player should check up to remain in an onside position. This allows the passing player to receive a back pass (and tap the ball in, usually) or put in a rebound off the post. Instead, Pugh kept charging forward, and Press incorrectly laid a forward pass to her. You’re right though, Press should have blasted that one near post. She was being very unselfish in this game, perhaps too unselfish. Damned if you do …

      • NYRick

        I agree in part to what you are saying and you are technically correct. You have obviously played the game. However, I’ve got to lay more blame on Press for that. Pugh led her in perfectly for a clean one touch strike off the pass. And you can tell by Pugh’s reaction back to Press after the return pass smiling but as if to say WTF.

        • Frode

          I agree. Poor decision by player of Press’s experience. She’ll want that one back. Hopefully, whoever is the team’s technical director will also point out to Pugh what she could have done better (smarter). She could be a legend.

        • Guest

          Poor decision from both players. If executed properly Pugh should be dribbling the ball into the goal. Press had the right idea but I agree she is mostly at fault for the wasted chance.

          • NYRick

            I actually think Pugh released the ball at the right time to Press with the idea that a sniper like Press could one time it stride. The mistake is more on Press, maybe being a little too unselfish.

          • Guest

            Goal keeper out of the play has a much high % chance of resulting in a goal. Press’ shot can still be saved and is no gimme. Pugh should always be expecting the ball until the whistle blows the play dead.

          • Reality

            I think that if Pugh and Press played together more often, that they would be a dynamic pair. Don’t forget that Press made a spectacular assist for Pugh’s first goal with the NT.

            Considering that Press seldom plays CF and seldom gets 90″, she played very well on both offense and defense. She was probably the most effective player overall for the NT in this match. She made some excellent passes, dispossessed the ball a few times from Columbia and was able to penetrate their defense well.

          • NYRick

            Definitely good game for Press. I know you and I are bias, but if I’m Ellis, then I find a way to get Press minutes during the knockout games. She is definitely dangerous at all times and always gives you a chance out there. And yes, Pugh and Press together have chemistry. They just need minutes together too.

            And believe it or not, I think Carli was not bad with Press at forward in the first half. The play from Press to Carli that resulted in the Dunn goal was a fabulous entry pass from CP.

          • Reality

            Press managed to cope with Lloyd’s constant attempts to be the CF. Lloyd played her usual mediocre game except that this time she didn’t score and…astonishlingly…Ellis removed her for the second half. One can only hope that this will be a more frequent occurrence.

          • NYRick

            I think Friday, Jill goes with the same lineup she did against France. Here’s what I would try though: 4-2-3-1

            Morgan
            Pugh-Press-Dunn
            Heath-Brian
            Kling-JJ-Brunn-KO
            Hope

            I’m of course expecting Carli to start and I think Pinoe will start too as well.

          • Guest

            Naeher for Hope. Heath for Dunn. Horan for Heath

          • NYRick

            I’m on board with that.

          • Reality

            I like that lineup! However, I lack confidence in Ellis to do it.

          • NYRick

            It’s a lineup that should get you at least 2 goals against anyone. Then you just have to hope that Hope had her Wheaties that morning or at worse, properly used her 80-something cans of mosquito repellent for the match.

          • Reality

            It is often remarked that Solo is cool under pressure, but one can’t help but wonder if the crowd has gotten under her skin.

          • Breakers fan

            I’d go with Naeher in the next match. Odds of it happening are about a million to one but it’d be a gutsy move and one not without legitimate basis.

          • Breakers fan

            Press did a lot of good things in the game but I think she just plain choked on that one play – the pass from Pugh. You could call it unselfish but I know she’s smart enough to know, as you said, that the play at that point is hers to make. She needs to get back that killer instinct for scoring she’s had through most of her life. The calm to just put her head down and do what needs to be done. Glad she did other good things. Move on, forget about that play.

      • Ethan

        I suppose, but I don’t think Pugh charged forward. I thought that was just her momentum and her effort to avoid being tackled carrying her forward.

    • guest

      maybe ellis will use rapinoe as a 10 minute sub at the beginning of the game.

  • NYRick

    I think one real highlight reel play that just missed was the long Press perfect pass to Morgan who stopped it one touch and shot just high top right from the top of the box. Good technique by Alex by just struck the ball too hard and clean. That was a helluva goal if it happens.

    • Frode

      That was beautiful soccer. Doesn’t matter if resulted in a goal or not.

    • Guest

      Not more beautiful than the 1345 passes between Engen and Brunn

      • NYRick

        I do think they missed Kling in this match a bit. Kling does push the ball forward from the back. Even KO was hesitant to go forward too much and Krieger is not known for her offense.

        But yes the 1,345 passes were annoying. Especially winning 2-1. I mean go for it. Outside of the free kicks, Colombia didn’t have a clean run of play scoring chance.

        • Guest

          It was agonizing. All four of them were just abysmal to watch. Try something! Colombia was leaving so much more space in the midfield than France was. Get the ball to Horan or Press or Pugh.

          • NYRick

            It’s like they took the air out of the ball at the 65th minute. I also don’t think the Morgan-Dunn forward combo was effective. I have always said that Dunn is terrific coming in more from the flank and then into the box.

            I mean you have Press, Morgan, Dunn, Brian, Horan and Pugh on the pitch and you are playing keep away in a 2-1 game that was not in any real danger. Even a tie won the group for them.

          • FlyingSquirrel42

            Yeah, I thought they should have tried harder for a third goal. Sitting on a lead of one, especially when you’ve just seen first-hand that fluke goals can indeed happen, doesn’t seem like the best idea until it gets pretty close to the end. I half-expected to see Heath on the field before the game was over, but I guess they thought giving Brian a rest was more important, hence Long coming in as the third sub.

      • Andrew Alberico

        Hey, that is funny! But sadly, it is also way too true. Our forwards need more help from the midfield and backline.

  • Cc W

    Solo blew the first one and misplayed the second, but credit to Usme who scored 2 excellent goals. This team historically has rallied after bad games, and hasn’t played great so far. So, here it goes, they ether get it together or they will be beat. It wasn’t well played by the US, they came from behind and relaxed. If they don’t fix their set piece defense, they are in trouble. That said, I fully expect them to get it together.

  • Guest

    Dunn was lucky not to get another yellow on that high kick

    • x

      +1. thought she was pretty good today but also lucky to avoid QF disqualification

      • Breakers fan

        “Pretty” good? Star of the game. Pugh in 2nd place. Without Dunn we lose that game. (The great hustle to be at goal, her quickness getting to the ball, the technical kick with the outside of her foot for the goal. I venture to say that no one else on the team could/would have made that play; and then beating her defender endline and the subsequent excellent cross which Pugh then finished) I continue to be amazed at how little recognition, overall, she gets for her play. If Ellis hasn’t been shown that Crystal should be on the field, well, she’s kinda dumb, or obstinate, or cowardly, take your pick.

        • Guest

          I thought Dunn played pretty well but I wouldn’t say that the US lose without her. The US still have Pugh and Heath who didn’t play today. Klingenberg and JJ also didn’t play and an argument can be made that the game isn’t close if Naeher plays instead of Solo. Overall I thought the whole attack was poor and disjointed. Lots of individual efforts and very little cohesion.

          • Breakers fan

            I was referring to the players that did play and what they did while on the field. The speculation you are making is of course available and you may be right but it’s easy to say “what if” to things that didn’t happen. I’m speaking to Ellis’s actual decisions about who was to be on the field.

            Dunn’s play at goal was a *great* one. No “pretty well” about it. And her cross that got to Pugh was also excellent and crucial, though if could also be said that others that made top-notch lead, possible-assist passes did the same thing.

          • Guest

            My comment was an opinion on her play for the entire game. I never made the claim that she wasn’t excellent on both goals. I think she was for the record. Those are 2 or 3 great plays in a 90 minute performance that I thought was pretty good. It’s not like I thought anyone out played her on the US team. I didn’t think anyone played that well, but that isn’t the same thing as having a great game overall. I thought she had a couple of great high points, but most of the rest of her game was average.

            The only reason for my comment about what could have been was to respond to your statement of “Without Dunn we lose that game”. I disagree with the statement on the premise that it is also highly speculative. I don’t think any player on the team is irreplaceable no matter what they do in any single match.

          • Breakers fan

            We disagree in describing or giving an overall evaluation of her game and how it related to the fortunes of the USWNT team in that game.That’s ok – we’re all just dispensing opinions. About “losing the game without her” my point was that if she didn’t make that goal play or that pass to Pugh I think, concretely, not abstractly, in that game we would have lost, everything else happening as it did. Not theoretically, but actually what happened.
            As a point of curiosity can you give me some examples of USWNT players who have had complete, continuous “great games” just so I can know what one looks like?

          • Guest

            I don’t think anyone really plays complete games and that isn’t really how I am judging Dunn. She doesn’t need to be perfect to have a great game for me. The last game that I thought was very good from the attackers was the first Colombia friendly on April 6th. Dunn, Heath and Pugh all played very well in that game, Much better than they played in this game in my opinion.

            I still see the if Dunn doesn’t do this in this game they lose as a speculative statement. No one knows how the match would have turned out if Dunn hadn’t scored or set up Dunn. For all we know someone else could have stepped up.

          • Guest

            *set up Pugh

          • Breakers fan

            I don’t think we’re really THAT far apart about Dunn. I can tell you appreciate her as well. I just give her more credit than you do for being absolutely vital in getting us a tie in the Colombia game, as it was actually played.

    • NYRick

      Yes did you see the look on her face right after it happened? She knew. Big letoff there for her.

  • NYRick

    Finally too…the one play I’ve been screaming for off a corner! Pinoe to Press on the top right of the box for a shot. CP off with the shot but a great look. They should do that more. I really think many corners are wasted by hitting into the keeper’s hands and missing on the height and pace needed.

    • Guest

      The short ones are also wasted. You are going against Colombia who is known to be poor at man marking. Get the ball in the box!

  • Guest

    My QF lineup

    Heath……..Morgan………Pugh
    ………………Press………………..
    ………..Brian…….Long………….
    KO……..JJ………..BS………..AK
    ……………..Naeher……………….

    Could easily be persuaded to put in Horan.

    • NYRick

      I like Horan for Long in your lineup. I think she is a weapon on set pieces in the box and really has the best header on the team. Also, I think I would go with Kling over AK too. Ali is a solid defender usually but also I think tends to stagnate the offense. She loves the back pass to Brunn.

      Hope-Naeher?? Personally, I think Naeher is outstanding and any international team in the world can get to the top of the medal stand with her, least of which this US team. But Hope would never be held out of a knockout match with this team anymore. If you think she went off about the Scurry deal in 04, she would go ape shite now over something like that.

    • calvester

      Horan was easily the slowest player on the pitch, and always looked a full step behind where she should be to receive a pass. Other than her header on goal, she was a non-factor. I much prefer the Long and Brian combination.

  • Guest

    I thought Press was arguably the most effective player out there today but she is discounted because she didn’t score. Pugh looks unpolished and messy, but she scored.

    • NYRick

      I was listening to Hulces post game analysis and per usual, she mentioned every forward-midfield name including Pinoe for the QF match except Press. I mean did she not watch the same match? Press is always an afterthought to the lineup if that for all these commentators.

    • Ethan

      Maybe she did look unpolished and messy, but she was easily the best US player in the second half for me. Plus, there was nothing messy about how cool she was on her goal, and she set up Press perfectly after drawing the last defender in.

      Press was pretty good, but she’ll want that breakaway in the first half back (off of Engen’s pass) and her 1-vs-1 chance in the second half. Great pass for Lloyd on Dunn’s goal though.

      • NYRick

        Agree with all. And I would like to see Press put away a few of these chances. She absolutely needs to more than any player on the roster. It would ensure her minutes in the big games. Also with the short ball off the corner from Pinoe, she hit that too high or that’s a goal, and she had another shot blocked inside the 18 after it deflected to her off Dunn. Carli was open to her immediate left for a goal, but she took the shot.

        • Ethan

          A goal from that short corner with so many players in the box would have impressed me quite a bit; so, I don’t fault Press in any way on that one. If you’re talking about the deflected shot right near the end of the half, Press definitely could have taken a quicker shot there, which wouldn’t have given time for the defender to get a block in.

          • NYRick

            Yep that’s the one. She took too long to unload on that. She had the whole right short side.

            Also, this may be a thing I notice with Press but if you watch on both US goals (Dunn more tenacious than Press on the first one and Pugh more tenacious than Press on the second one). In both instances, they could have been Press goals.

        • Gary Diver

          Press lets opportunities like the 38 minute breakaway slip through her fingers. Honestly, she looked like she was terrified to run into the keeper.

          • Steglitz49

            She needs to put it away.