USWNT-Sweden Preview: In current form, shouldn’t be contest

Ray Curren August 11, 2016 388
Will Julie Johnston return after missing two games with hamstring soreness.(Getty Images)

Will Julie Johnston return after missing two games with hamstring soreness.(Getty Images)

The mere name Sweden brings with it a type of respect in women’s soccer that other quarterfinal opponents like China (even with the 1999 World Cup final) don’t quite have at the moment. Sweden – the United States and Brazil being the only two others – is one of only three nations to qualify for every World Cup and Olympics and is certainly no stranger to big games on the international level.

While Sweden’s lifetime record of 5-20-11 (Sweden says it is 6-22-12 all-time) against the USWNT isn’t exactly stellar, it has been competitive enough to remove some of the intimidation factor that might strike another team at this stage. You may remember that last summer Sweden played the U.S. to a 0-0 draw in their last meeting and if it weren’t for a Megan Klingenberg clearance off the line, Sweden might have won, limiting the USWNT to just two shots on goal in the process. At the 2011 World Cup, Sweden beat the U.S. 2-1 to win the group in a contest that wasn’t a fluke, and went on to the semifinals before falling to eventual champion Japan.

Those are all facts and they are undisputed, but they don’t exactly display the reality of the situation facing these two teams Friday afternoon in Brasilia. That group stage match in 2015 might have marked the nadir of the Jill Ellis era, a stagnant effort (Sweden only had one shot on goal, too) from a team that was searching mightily for an identity–an identity it didn’t find until the knockout stages, when it rolled to its first World Cup in 16 years and hasn’t seemed to slow down since.

Sweden, on the other hand, hasn’t found an identity under Pia Sundhage. Although they advanced last summer, Sweden didn’t win a game and was pummeled 4-1 by Germany in the second round. It did find a bit of the old magic in March, allowing only one goal in three matches against Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands (all three 2015 World Cup qualifiers) to win the European Olympic qualifying tournament and grab the last ticket to Brazil.

But, even being kind, they’ve been underwhelming so far in the Olympics, getting by South Africa on a late goal, and suffering the worst loss in the 43-year history of Swedish women’s soccer, 5-1 to host Brazil (and the 1 was a late consolation goal from Lotta Schelin). They held China to a 0-0 draw to advance, but rarely looked confident in that match, either.

Sundhage obviously knows the U.S., its personnel, and its coach, but it’s not like Ellis is going to throw too many surprises at her in either lineup or tactics. And there’s probably little she can do to stop them. Sweden has plenty of experience all over the field, and an opponent that is unlikely to get beat by a lopsided score. As soccer proved Tuesday, strange things can happen when games stay close, and a match like that shows how impressive the U.S. success at the Olympics (and in general) is. But lightning is not likely to strike twice in a row.

THE MATCHUP:

United States vs Sweden:  noon EDT (NBC Sports Network)

As I said, there shouldn’t be many surprises from the U.S. side, with the only question marks being the health of Julie Johnston (I suspect she’ll play) and what wingers to start (likely Mallory Pugh and Tobin Heath). It’s up to Sundhage and Sweden to try to stop them. Sundhage has rolled with a 4-2-3-1 at the Olympics and will likely stay with it, trying to match up with the U.S. head-to-head. With Kosovare Asllani possibly not 100 percent, she might not start. That would mean most of the pressure of trying to stop Pugh, Heath, and whomever else is in a wide position, would fall to Swedish youngsters Jessica Samuelsson, Magdalena Eriksson (outside backs), Fridolina Rolfo, and Sofia Jakobsson (who does have a little more experience). Marta ran wild against them, and there’s no reason to think the U.S. won’t do the same.

Sweden’s strength should be in the middle with Caroline Seger, Lisa Dahlkvist, and Schelin (with Dahlkvist being the youngest of that trio at 29). Sweden will likely try to pack it in and defend in numbers, and Schelin (who could start up top as well) could obviously take advantage of the few opportunities she might get. But how many will there be?

BEST PRIOR OLYMPIC FINISH:

United States – Gold (2012, 2008, 2004, 1996)

Sweden – 4th place (2004)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

United States: Alex Morgan – Morgan has not been poor at the Olympics so far, but she has only one goal (albeit a nice one against New Zealand) and was really taken out of the game by France until the final 30 minutes. Sweden’s defense (which does not have Wendie Renard) should not be as stout, but Nilla Fischer has 146 caps and will certainly come in with a good idea of what she’s up against. Morgan running freely into channels consistently will likely mean a comfortable USWNT victory.

Sweden: Hedvig Lindahl – If you’re going to pull a big upset, you need your goalkeeper to have a great match, and Lindahl is certainly capable. She’s been Sweden’s starter (with a couple of interruptions) since way back in the 2003 World Cup and she would love to have a big moment to add as she nears the end of her career.

UNDER THE RADAR

United States: Julie Johnston – We really don’t know how healthy she is, although we’re pretty sure she’ll be starting on Friday (unless Ellis and the USWNT are playing some mind games, which does happen occasionally). Fortunately for her, Sweden is not blessed with speed all over the field, but as we saw on Tuesday, all it takes is one mistake in the back for things to go wrong in a hurry, so she’ll need to get the rust off quickly.

Sweden: Fridolina Rolfo – Young Rolfo, only 22, has shown a little bit of the attitude that is sorely lacking elsewhere in the Swedish side, and might be the one player (other than Schelin) that may be capable of something spectacular for Sweden, even if she has only 12 caps to her credit and has obviously yet to score in Brazil.

Neutral: Field conditions – The Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha seems to not be at its best, which might be slightly understandable given this will be the ninth game played on it in as many days at the Olympics. What role could it play? Well, it might favor Sweden, who will likely not have too much of the ball in this one, but who knows?

OVERVIEW:

One thing Sweden cannot do is give up an early goal, and the U.S. would desperately love one to calm their nerves. But regardless of what happens in the first 20 minutes, the relentless pressure from the United States should be enough to see them through to the semifinals.

PREDICTION:

United States 2-0

  • Cc W

    I really like Lotta Schelin – but I really want the US to run Pia out of the stadium with a decisive and dominant win. I believe Jill is a smarter and better coach than Pia, and I expect her to have a plan to take it to her. With Pia being fired, the Swedish federation should walk over to Tony Gustavsson and say – Tony, when this is over, we need to talk.

    • mike

      Yes Pia is old school and unfortunately that is not what they need at this point. Totally agree Swedish federation should have a chat to Tony after OG. When the USWNT win the gold medal he has reached his limit with the USWNT. With the Swedes he can be the headcoach

      • Cc W

        Given some of the set pieces – especially against Japan – Tony seems pretty creative.

    • Steglitz49

      I doubt that the SFF can match Tony’s salary.

      The obvious men to ask to take over the NT are either Carl-Magnus “Calle” Barrling, the highly successful head coach of their U19/20 NT, or Lars Lagerbäck.

      Lagerbäck has said he does not want to coach another team but has agreed to assist with Sweden’s men’s WC qualifying. Whether he can be persuaded to get involved with the ladies is a good question. Barrling may prefer to stay the youth coach.

      • Cc W

        But there is a cache to being a head coach – Tony can’t be making that much to miss a head coaching job.

        • Steglitz49

          “Though better number one in Gaul than number two in Rome”, is sound advise, nevertheless taking on Sweden would be a high risk strategy for him because were he to fail, what then? Tony would be wiser to angle fo a college head coach job.

          Sweden has a more than decent cropp of new players but Pia has not used them. She has wasted opportunities left, right and centre and now is tarnished. People are saying that it is easy to coach a crowd with so much talent as the US, forgetting how Pia sorted out the mess of 2007 and rejuvenating the team.

          Euro-17 will not be a walk in the park. 16 teams, like WC-11. Holland are hosts, England, France, Germany and Norway will be there, as probably Denmark, Scotland and Spain. This is not CONCACAF or Oceania.

  • Guest

    My prediction: 2-0 with goals from Morgan and Heath

    • kukiku

      🙂

    • Lorehead

      Well, there was a goal from Morgan.

  • Tom F

    well if Sweden wins, than Steg is the supreme master of the EQ!!! lol
    Sofia Jacobbson might just be the fastest player around. if she gets through the US defense, than watch out!
    But Sweden’s back four doesn’t look very quick, Pia also seems to high line it as well, so any give n go pass not called offside, will cause a break through and definitely be hard for Sweden to stop.
    I wonder if Morgan’s the right choice to start though? as does have problems with off sides calls

    • Steglitz49

      Thank you for your confidence.

      The players they need are in the Alternates plus the injured Jessica Samuelsson.

    • Nicole C.

      Steg has been doubting Sweden since they qualified over Norway/Netherlands.

    • ARED

      If Morgan has problems with offside calls, than what does Lloyd have? ; p

      Against any backline, but especially a slower one, Morgan is the right choice to start. (But I also believe Press is the right choice -ie, playing both).

  • football-women.com
  • Take it easy with the jinxy “shouldn’t be a contest” headlines. This is still the Olympics, anything can happen.

    • Nicole C.

      🙁

  • guest

    starting lineup predictable

    • Guest

      The only real improvement in my opinion is subbing Lloyd for Press or Pugh

      • Guest

        press is going to be punished/the scapegoat for Colombia. Ellis doesn’t like her.

        • greg

          she doesn’t like crystal dunn either. even though she produces every single game. she was cut from WC roster so that old hags could get a medal.

          • Guest

            Dunn didn’t do much of anything against France but I would have tried a Heath Pugh Dunn attacking midfield line.

        • hm

          Perhaps she harbors a secret crush on Heath

    • Frozen Blue

      If she is going to have Pugh pinch in like a forward, why not play another forward instead and I don’t like Heath on the right. Why mess with a good thing and if Pugh can’t play on the right then play Dunn.

      • Guest

        Ellis should play with Pugh in the hole and two forwards if she wants in a 3-5-2. Lloyd on the ball is where attacks go to die. She is only useful on the end of passes.

        • Frozen Blue

          That would work well, Pugh is doing well in the middle but we need to be able to send the ball in from both sides, move Pugh in, move Heath left and get Dunn on the right.

          • Guest

            That’s what I’d do play a 3-5-2 with Dunn and Heath as the wingbacks. The problem is that Krieger would have been the better CB choice for this formation. I think they are stuck this way. Lloyd really needs to start releasing the ball quicker if she is going to stay in the game.

      • CED

        You clearly don’t understand the strategy. They want Pugh to play inside often b/c Kling is designed in the formation/strategy to provide the width. Also, Pugh is a natural #10 If you notice all the great thru balls and set ups are coming from Pugh. Playing Pugh wide is actually not using her optimally, though even from there she leads the team in assists this year. Eventually they will stop catering to lloyd and play the best formation in the next year or 2. They will have Pugh as the #10, Brian as the #8 and find a real #6 to allow Brian to move up.

        • Frozen Blue

          No I get it, I’m saying it’s not working as Kling is not creating on the left. As I say below, Pugh is doing a great job behind the forward but we need width on that side.

          • Guest

            I think both outside backs have been pretty terrible. Kling can’t create by herself she needs a partner.

  • AlexH

    Alas I am going to miss the game for my job….stupid job……in order to provide for my family…….stupid family…… and then after I get off I have to take my daughter to a sporting event…..stupid daughter…….and hope that my plan to stay off the internet all day works so I can see the recording when I get home. Why can’t the world let me focus on the important things!!!!!!!!!!

  • BGH123

    I wonder what would happen if other teams figured out that they can prevent half of the USA’s attack by not letting Tobin Heath sit on the left flank alone and unmarked

  • Ethan

    If this is Lindahl’s current form, then I have to eat some crow. Great saves on the almost own goal and Lloyd’s offside (not correct) shot.

  • BGH123

    has Sweden had one foul called their way?

    • calvester

      Don’t think so. That high boot from Rapinoe before the US goal was a yellow card worthy. Rapinoe is a big gamble for Jill.

  • calvester

    Maybe Rapinoe should stop trying to score an Olympico on the corner kicks.

    • BGH123

      wtf was that shot she just took

    • Frozen Blue

      She shouldn’t be out there!

  • CED

    Yea it should be not contest…LOL..

    • Frozen Blue

      True but maybe if we you know scouted our opponent and implored some strategy we wouldn’t be here.

      • CED

        They are lucky to make extra time. The US goal came on a lucky deflection of a pass off sweden person face. Sweden goal was a perfect counter

  • Gary Diver

    A couple of days ago I stated I would scream if Ellis put Rapinoe in a knock-out game. I am now hoarse from screaming.

    • Steglitz49

      She had no choice. Business is business and the business of the American people is business.

  • Gary Diver

    Is there one more substitute for ET?

    • Steglitz49

      Yes. It is new for this tournament.

  • Bill

    This coach has Tobin playing RB after being dead tired. My goodness

    • Frozen Blue

      Tobin Heath has been criminally misused this game.

    • Guest

      That’s what happens when one of your subs can’t go longer than 30 minutes and the game goes to extra time.

    • CED

      She playing RB b./c they went to all out offensive when they went down. They took out Ohara. The literally had every forward on the roster on in the lineup on the field.

      • Oregon

        US undervalues the role and technique of playMAKERS. Passing and playmaking. Witness the beautiful through ball which gave Sweden their goal.

        And undervalues the off the ball movement key to receive the (well placed) pass.

        –Also too many corners, crosses wasted & heavy long balls.

        • Frode

          Rapinoe’s two mishit corners might have cost the US. My daughter strikes the ball more consistently.

        • Steglitz49

          That was a dream of a pass. Unbelievable but true.

  • calvester

    Got to give the edge to Sweden in the shootout since Hope has barely touched the ball today.

  • CED

    Poor refs save the US…Sweden goal was not off.

    • Frozen Blue

      Really thought Lloyds goal was good too. There was some tugging but I guarantee if Lloyd was pulled down there would have been no call.

      • CED

        Lloyd made a clear foul.

        • rkmid71

          Agree. Looked to me like she just pulled her to the ground to get the free header.

    • thegirlnextdior

      there are soccers gods, they made sure they would fail in the PK shootouts !

  • CED

    US are horrible on PK’s…remember 2011 Wcup,,,advantage Sweden

  • Frozen Blue

    Solos head does not look in it

  • Frozen Blue

    Press is never playing again!

    • calvester

      Don’t forget that Alex Morgan put them in a hole to start.

      • Frozen Blue

        I don’t but you have to put the ball on net at the very least.

        • Steglitz49

          Carli in WC-11 springs to mind. Maybe those two balls will find themselves in outer space beyond the milky way.

        • John

          Carli Lloyd missed a penalty in a WC final by skying it. Should she have been dropped and banished from the NT?

          • Frozen Blue

            But she is not considered clinch like Lloyd is and Press has a more fragile ego so she might end it herself.

          • John

            Anyone can miss a penalty under pressure. Maradona missed plenty for Argentina – even a few in World Cup knockouts.

          • Frode

            Here we will see what sort of captain Lloyd truly is.

          • #1Fan

            a close friend of mine is besties with a very well known player.. I just asked her this and she replied with this

            hear ya, but that’s not happening
            though those in the know would tell you
            that the choice of captains are laughable
            lloyd and sauerbrun
            instead of giving it to actual leaders, they went with what they considered the better players and who were actually the biggest bitches who they didn’t want to piss off by not giving it to them

            Food for thought

          • Guest

            My opinion. All of those types of players need to be weeded out immediately.

          • guest

            so that leaves us with a question. who are the actual leaders of the uswnt? any opinions?

          • Lorehead

            Hell, Lio Messi missed one in the final of the Copa America, and when he retired afterwards, everybody begged him to come back.

            I sort of jumped on her too, but in all seriousness, it makes no sense to drop a player because she missed a PK, or even if she’s awful at PKs. The only situation in which anybody absolutely has to take a PK is a PSO that goes to eleven rounds (which actually happened in my local club’s playoff game last year).

          • Ethan

            Messi and Morgan are probably the highest level strikers with pretty unimpressive penalty kick records. Even reliable takers (like Lampard and Hazard) miss though.

            I really want to know if Morgan’s always gone to the keeper’s right. To get to her level as a world-class striker, that would really surprise me.

          • Guest

            Hazard was like at 90 percent for a while before his awful run of form last year. I think it’s better for him that he doesn’t take them though. With his talent he should be able to score 20-25 without taking a single PK.

          • #1Fan

            Morgan in a sentence with Messi …spelt with an “i” ?

            Sacrilege

            Messy perhaps

          • Steglitz49

            try Müller?

          • Steglitz49

            Miyama never missed as far as I know — at least not in matches that mattered. Her freekicks were equally as lethal.

          • Steglitz49

            Yes.

    • Guest

      Why would they put her at number 5?

  • Lorehead

    HOFCToDi? Do your worst.

    • Steglitz49

      He is loading his guns. Will he go stright for the 20 bore or start with the 12 bores?

      A gross misjudgement by the US management.

  • CED

    US should have never even been in PK’s…Sweden goal in extra time by Schelin was not offsides.

    • WOSO Fan

      I agree. Why does the U.S. get those calls? (Not the first time the US has benefitted from super-crucial bad calls in major events)

      • CED

        They also had a call where they had 2 players off sides and the play was allowed to continue in extra time that lead to a shot wide of goal.

      • Steglitz49

        Because they put pressure on the refs both off and on the pitch. The ref may even have been on pressure from TV and the IOC.

    • Steglitz49

      Correct. Thank you.

    • Frode

      Yes. Schelin was onside by a mile. That was perhaps the worst call of the match.

  • Hans Castorp

    On the plus side Mal can go home and rest. That injury looked nasty.

  • CED

    So much for the USWNT and their profit in FY 2017..It’s all gone..no VT…LOL

    • Bruce

      So much for collective bargaining leverage. I’m sure that will be another thread.

      • Steglitz49

        So much for playing for wealthy clubs in Europe on fat cat contracts.

  • #1Fan

    so can we finally get rid of Lloyd now ?

    • rkmid71

      Yes

      • #1Fan

        Reality strikes. vs organized teams the lack of creativity in the 10 hole REALLY shows . kill Press all you want , but the one reveres ball she played showed more IQ than Lloyd has all tournament. US would be far better with a real #10 and not a hybrid 9/10 that spends the whole game goal hanging or drops deep to try and be the hero .

        its time to put Pugh in the 10 slot

        • CED

          Posted this today and a dozen times. Best us line up in the future is Pugh #10, find a real #6 to move Brian to the #8.

          • Guest

            ……Pugh…….
            ..Brian……….
            ………Lavelle

            or

            ………Pugh…………
            …..Brian…………….
            ……………..Colaprico

          • Guest

            Lavelle and Colaprico are not 6’s

          • #1Fan

            there si na temptation to play a more “creative” 6 vs bunkering teams. Wil work vs m ost BUT vs teams that can counter, you need a real defensive 6 to allow you outside back to get higher.

          • Steglitz49

            Bobby Moore’s shirt.

          • Bruce

            What is Colaprico then?

          • Guest

            More of an 8 in my opinion.

          • Bruce

            I’ve watched every minute she’s played this season. Very good defensively and a hyper-efficient pivot. She’s a 6 before an 8, I think.

          • Guest

            She’s good with the ball from deep position in the midfield. She is not pacy or the ideal size of a destroyer and won’t win many arial duels. I’m not convinced she’d defend as well against France or Brazil who are excellent at countering and have lots of pace

        • rkmid71

          It’s too bad for Press that she missed the PK. Plus didn’t even get it on goal. I actually thought she did very very well before that. And that ball to Morgan was brilliant. And Dunn and Pugh were both awesome. Especially Dunn. She was creating nightmares for the defense. The speed of play with both Pugh and Dunn was much faster.

          • Oregon

            Agree. Anyway. 1000 comments later, 100 calls for Ellis to resign…
            the upshot is no medal. Not even a bronze for “numero uno”.

            A Games they’ll always remember —

          • Silver Frost

            What, no 3d place loser game?

        • Guest

          Pugh was probably by far her most dangerous when she was picking up the ball in the hole. I thought she tapered off a bit wide right. I thought she had a great game though.

          • #1Fan

            because that’s her position !!

            she needs to have other like minded players around her – Brain i#8 – a real defensive stopper @ #6 – my vote is Sonnett . And Flank players who are comfortable interchanging and moving.
            I would put Dunn @ O/B

            Morgan can stay, but Im not the biggest fan of her either.

            this team has the players to be creating TAP INS
            not shooting form 30 yds or relying on luck bounces.

        • John

          Heath should be playing in the Trequartista role behind one or two strikers and given license to roam.

          • #1Fan

            i prefer her wide. more like Robert Pires.. Does not finish like him tho 🙂

          • Guest

            I agree she’s better out wide but she needs players inside she can play off of and combine with otherwise she is mostly a crosser. I’d prefer Pugh and possibly a different CF but it can work with Pugh and Brian. Same goes for Dunn.

        • Observed

          Time to not play Mal with a bum ankle. She’s only 18 for kriste sake. Let her recover.

        • Bruce

          That sounds like a change of heart from you.

          I really like Pugh when she gets the ball in space, but haven’t seen a lot of the attributes I associate with an elite CAM. I am missing something?

          • Guest

            She possesses many of the attributes of an elite CAM. She is very quick can turn with the ball pass through poles and plays one touch combinations with her teammates. The only thing I think she really needs to improve on is her composure in front of goal. In contrast I think she has shown very little creativity out wide. all she really does out there is get end line and cross.

          • #1Fan

            not a change. I hate all the hype, but she is a talented player. To develop more she needs to be asked to do more – not just spring down the wing

          • Bruce

            I love what she does from the flank, with the ball at her feet in space, facing goal. Maybe she’s got the stuff to play the 10, but I’d hate to negate those skills.

            Have you been looking at the NWSL CAMs? I like what I see in DiBernarndo’s ongoing development.

          • #1Fan

            There are many young fast players that can do what she does on the flank. Dunn can give you 80pct of it now. The missing key on this ten is a real 10

          • Bruce

            That may be the missing key in all of US WoSo.

    • Guest

      I am dumbfounded as to why she was on the ball so much in the midfield trying to create. One can only hope. Rapinoe sub came back to bite them big time. Tobin was dead tired after 90.

      • rkmid71

        Why wasn’t Heath taking a PK? And why wasn’t she taking every free kick and corner kick?

        • Guest

          I think she was taking all the dead balls except when Rapinoe was in the game and Lloyd’s shots. I don’t know why she didn’t take a penalty. Morgan and Press’ attempts didn’t inspire much confidence. At least Morgan put hers on frame but she always goes to that post.

          • Guest II

            Let’s remember that Rapinoe sucked in this game. She had to be subbed out, as a sub!

          • Lorehead

            She was playing injured, and did help create our one goal. But bringing her instead of someone healthy was a pretty big mistake. There was a lot of dead weight on Ellis’ World Cup roster, but with 23 players, more rest, and a more forgiving climate, it wasn’t as damaging.

          • Steglitz49

            Creating by fouling is an interesting tactic. With a proper ref it would have been 1-0 in regulation.

          • Lorehead

            Old age and treachery beats youth and exuberance!

        • Lorehead

          I don’t want to make Lloyd out to be the scapegoat here, but it did look like she was about to take them, when Lloyd walked up, argued with her, and ended up taking them herself. If she’d made one of her many shots, without fouling the defender, this game would have been a “convincing” win for the U.S.

    • Bruce

      Yes, we are officially moving on.

  • June

    Jill Ellis got lucky as all win WC. FLAT OUT SUCKS AS COACH

    • CED

      I’ve posted this time and time again. She hasn’t a clue.

  • Frode

    As a USWNT fan, it pains me to have been right:
    – Result of match was not as certain as people thought (anyone watching the the NZ and FRA games should have seen that the US attack is anemic.)
    – Ellis started her usual XI
    – Sundhage parked the bus and counterattacked up the middle
    – It was even at 65′ and Ellis started her substituting (see below)
    – Sundhage played for a tie and the coin-toss of PKs
    – Ellis called on Press when they needed a goal (sadly, she didn’t produce one in the 30 minutes she got, and neither did anyone else)

    As a USWNT fan, it pains to have been wrong:
    – Ellis put Rapinoe in down by a goal and then had to sub her off (wasting a sub).

    A tough day for USWNT, Morgan and Press. But in the long term, this loss will accelerate the USWNT’s evolution toward a better brand of soccer.

  • BGH123

    I am a proud American but I was not even rooting for them when Solo switched her gloves. That is just poor sportsmanship, and if they have to do that to win, they should not win

    • Steglitz49

      Hear hear!

      She tried bad sportsmanship against Saki Kumagai 5 years ago. Fat lot of use it did her then.

      • rkmid71

        I even cringed a bit when when the US scored that goal when it looked like Rapinoe fouled, but wasn’t called. I’d like to see that again. And the US played on with the Swedish player in a heap, leading the disastrous Swedish defensive error capitalized on by Morgan.

        • Steglitz49

          The Swedish headline roughly translated is “Solo could not handle Sweden” and “USA could not handle Sweden”. Great headlines.

          • Oregon

            Don’t think Sweden played any better than they did vs Brazil, who carved open their defense and will do so again. But let them enjoy the moment.

            US, as with Colombia, failed to capitalize on their chances in spite of having attackers in spades.

          • Steglitz49

            Imagine what this team would be like with Lagerbäck!

        • Steglitz49

          Winning at all costs has its price: nobody weeps for you when you lose.

          WoSo can’t afford winning at all costs. That is the sad bit.

    • brdn08

      Unless you’re going to call out Sweden as well. Then your comment is wreaking of hypocrisy.

  • JAMES 18

    Time to get rid of Clueless Jill.

  • Steglitz49

    FIFA must fix the refereeing in WoSo urgently.

    The US equalizer came from a foul. The Swedish 2-1 goal was good and correct. There were some awfully strange offsides not given in the swedish penalty area several times.

    This was one of the worst refereed matches I have watched.

    These important matches must be taken by refs from countries with decent leagues. Not countries with more sheep than football cleats.

    • Frode

      The ARs will cringe when they watch the replays (and they may just find themselves out of a job). Both of Lloyd’s “goals” were arguably onside, and Shelin was onside by a mile.

      • CED

        The disallowed goal by LLoyd was for a foul, not offsides

        • Frode

          Right. Thanks. I saw the replay but thought the ball was set for an offside infraction. Poor AR calls that cancelled each other out then….

          • Steglitz49

            No. Sweden should have won 1-0 in regulation. They should have won 2-1 in extra time.

            The refereeing team must go to the opticians urgently as soon as they open.

          • guest49

            Pia’s plan is clear and effective…feel bad for the US team.

    • Lorehead

      Or maybe the countries with good leagues should start some kind of referee-exchange program for women?

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    What a strange couple of years.

    Last year the team was visibly struggling, losing against teams like Brazil and France in friendlies and small tournaments, tying South Korea in their last game before the WWC, underperforming in group play, and having trouble finding a lineup that consistently worked (aside from the back four and GK). Yet their defense went something like 400 minutes without a goal, they shut out Germany, and they won the final in a walk.

    A year later, the veterans who had exceeded their sell-by date have departed, exciting young players like Pugh, Dunn, and Horan are in the mix, they sweep the She Believes tournament against three of their toughest possible opponents, and appeared to be in much better form going into the Olympics than they were going into the WWC…and they go out in the quarterfinal.

    I don’t consider myself knowledgeable enough to weigh in on the whole “they should play less direct and more possession” debate, but clearly something isn’t working as well as it should have, given the talent and experience available. I’m sure it’ll be tempting to latch onto situational explanations. In particular, I imagine Morgan and Press are going to catch their share of flack and the decision to bring Rapinoe will be debated, but I hope they are at least going to ask the bigger question of how they got to the point where these things mattered in the first place. Rapinoe is just one player, and they shouldn’t have ended up in PKs this early in the competition.

    • Guest

      They have always struggled to open up defenses like this. It’s been the case for the last 4 year. They only difference is that they were able to pull out results in the past.

      • Steglitz49

        In spite with the ref — if you can call her that — as a 12th player.

  • Tommy

    Back to the NWSL. League don’t care about with the other peasants

    • Fred

      Lloyd needs some time off..

      • guest

        Lloyd needs to retire from international football. I’d say this is equal or worse than England losing to Iceland

        • Steglitz49

          Swedes hope that Lars Lagerbäck will offer himself to the distaff side of the Nation as he is for the lads.

      • CED

        LLoyd has been off for most months not playing league games.

        • #1Fan

          Llioyd has been BRUTAL for a while. We all had to shut up because she had the game of her life in the WC Final ( and tbh, i wont say game- I will say she scored 3 goals)

          She contributes almost ZERO to the team apart from scoring and if you removed her, others would grow, She is slow, heavy footed, lacks vision and needs to go .

      • John

        They’ll all need weeks off now…..

    • Doug

      haha so true.. got two weeks rest or do they need more?

  • Steglitz49

    Lisa Dahlqvist has redeemed herself in Swedish eyes. her pass for the 1-0 goal a dream. Then the last nail into the coffin

    • rkmid71

      That pass was perfectly weighted in the perfect spot … a dream as you say. And when Solo was performing her shenanigans, did you see the look on her face? I think she was expecting it and welcoming it. She was smiling. It might have actually calmed her down.

    • guest

      I’d like to see you in a coffin.

  • brdn08

    The US struggled and lost for the same reason the US always sturggles or loses. Bad finishing and no production from set pieces. 20+ shots and 15+ set pieces and they could only find the net once. It’s as simple as that. The only thing that really bothered me was the Pinoe substitution. Other than that with some quality finishing could have just as easily been 5 goals for the US. Morgan, Lloyd, and Broon have to shoulder the blame. To whom much is given, much is required and today none of them delivered and they are supposed to be leading vocally as well as by example.

    • rkmid71

      Could only find the net once, and that was because of a defensive error not because of anything the US really did….other than Morgan being in the right spot at the right time.

      • brdn08

        As you know 95% of soccer is being in the right spot at the right time. The problem was it only happened once in this game.

      • Steglitz49

        The movement started with a foul which the ref let go.

    • #1Fan

      cant agree . they do not do enough from OPEN play.

      • brdn08

        So wait you actually think Sweden outplayed the US in that game? Ridiculous. If a team gets off 20 shots more than one should iend up in the back of the net. If you get 15+ set pieces from the corner and near your opponent’s 18 you have to score at least one.

        • Guest

          I think the case can be made that the US did not create enough high quality chances. Corners and FKs are not quality chances and the US really struggled to create through the middle of the pitch. Sweden had maybe 3 chances and was much more clinical.

        • rkmid71

          As the announcer and analyst rightly pointed out, I think Pia was playing it that way. That’s why they were saying the US needs to get the end line (like Pugh and Dunn started to do). Sweden is strong in the air and physical so can handle set pieces, corners, crosses, etc. But the quickness was killing them. I can see how Brazil put up 5 goals. Playing Lloyd upfront made it easy for Sweden. It was only when they moved Lloyd back and put Dunn in did things really open up.

        • Steglitz49

          Sweden scored two proper goals. The US goal came off first a foul and then an unfortunate bounce off the defenders chest.

          • rkmid71

            The defenders face I believe.

          • Steglitz49

            Boob?

          • #1Fan

            EXACTLY. If you are really saying that for the MILLIONS of dollars spent the game plan is to win from set pieces …then i give up.

          • NYRick

            Yes, you’re right. Lotta goal in OT was legit.

        • #1Fan

          where did i sy they out played the US? They created a defence splitting 1 vs 1 and took it. For all the possession how many CLEAR CUT chances did the US create ?

          • Frozen Blue

            Dunn to Lloyd and Dunn to Pugh come to mind

          • #1Fan

            and lloyd managed to hit it straight at the keeper . get blocked and nearly crawls in . Brutal finishing .

          • brdn08

            Well I think any shot in woso taken inside of the 18 is a clear cut chance because the defending for most leaves lots to be desired. I’d say there were at least 6 good chances missed by the US.

          • #1Fan

            ok so 6 chances on 70 pct possession in 120 mins…AWFUL

    • Calci0

      This is almost like a replay of the AC……

  • komodo

    Pia has this team’s number ,Lol

  • Guest

    *Ellis thinking*

    Hey Christen, I know I have destroyed your confidence by giving you no minutes and playing you out of position, but you are going to go take the fifth and final deciding penalty”

    • Calci0

      I see it as Ellis showing she has the utmost confidence in Press……

      • Guest

        By only playing her in meaningless friendlies and in closing out victories?

    • Frode

      I too was shocked to see Press step up in the #5 spot. Maybe Ellis will explain. I feel bad for Press.

      • CED

        The fact is US is not good at PK’s…Look at the WC 2011..they took horrible Pk’s

  • Tommy

    Christen Press is good player but having her take PK was tragic. Everyone knew she would miss. Not in her DNA.

    • Steglitz49

      Indeed. Poor choice by the management team.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        I get that she was tired, but how do you pick 5 players for PKs and leave Tobin out?

        • Steglitz49

          She had hers saved in WC-11.

        • #1Fan

          Often teh Players volunteer . Several decline to step up

          • Guest

            Wouldn’t have surprised me if she declined. She was completely gassed and I don’t think Press was a bad alternative. I don’t really know how I feel about Morgan on PKs but she did step up. Brian and Horan’s PKs were well taken

      • CED

        Thru history in NWSL where players get to make more than NT, Press is actually better at PK’s than Morgan…Morgan is actually really bad for a #9

        • Steglitz49

          Hedvig Lindahl has said that she knew from experience that Morgan prefers to shoot the way she did, so Hedvig took a chance.

          • Guest

            I knew Morgan was going that way from her PK routines.

    • John

      Press is a very talented player but has a fragile temperament. You can trace that back to her days in Stanford where she admits it.

      • Steglitz49

        Excuses, excuses, excuses.

        • John

          She over analyses the game and her mistakes. A top striker relies as much on instinct and moves on if they make a bad miss.

          • Steglitz49

            She used a picture of Copenhagen once to illustrate a piece about Göteborg.

          • Frode

            One Norwegian city looks like another….

          • Oregon

            Well, she’ll be analyzing for a while now…

      • Lorehead

        Not handling stress very well is not a trait I want in the player attempting a must-win final PK, but I do wish people wouldn’t deride athletes for it as if it were a moral flaw.

  • Bruce

    Sad but the US deserved this result. The Dunn and Rapinoe (WTF?) subs changed the entire personality of the attack and reverted the US back to nothing direct balls after 60 minutes of controlling the ball and creating chances. Nothing has changed.

    • Ethan

      Dunn? She was phenomenal, and her set up play for Lloyd and Pugh was nothing like “direct balls”.

      • Steglitz49

        Correct. Dunn was playing superbly and a real threat to the Swedes.

      • Bruce

        Dunn was phenomenal with her work effort. But with the Rapinoe sub ended up on the front line waiting for over the top balls.

    • John

      Dunn should be starting up front. Offers a huge threat.

      • #1Fan

        Meh. Cannot finish consistently vs the better teams. Outside back for me alll day. Overlapping runs and service.

        • John

          Who on the roster can finish consistently against the big teams? Particularly if Morgan is injured.

          • Steglitz49

            Alex grabbed the qualizer. That must be counted her for merit.

          • John

            Well there is only really Morgan.

          • Steglitz49

            Brian played OK, I thought.

          • Silver Frost

            She scored that one off a cheap play after Rapinoe gutted Aslanni

          • Calci0

            Regardless of how people may think she impacts the teams flow of play, I think Lloyd has made that a non-question.

        • Bruce

          Yes. Love her at right back.

          Even though she came in as part of the front 2, her contribution to the attack originated from pure work effort on the right wing. She put the team on her back for a good 15 minutes, but it was based 100% on effort.

          • #1Fan

            Always is . I LOVE her game. Just not upfront .She will do well vs cans and then struggle vs better teams. She needs space iin front of her.

          • Frozen Blue

            Don’t agree she is in her element on top of the 18 either dishing off passes or turning and shooting.

          • #1Fan

            Not her strength . You want a real hold up type player there. Horan would be better doing that in a #9 position.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily. Acquitted herself with honors.

  • Ethan

    I know Morgan went the same way on her penalty against Harris in that 2012 NWSL game, but the confidence level between that one and this one and the one against Cameron in 2015 is obvious. Her two misses were not struck with conviction while she stroked the one against Harris in with ease. Great goal though, and I thought she played really well in the second half onwards along with the good play on the almost own goal in the first half.

    Great penalties from Brian, Horan, and Lloyd. Unfortunate miss for Press. That one’s going to hurt a little. Phenomenal pass for Morgan in the first extra time period though.

  • Steglitz49

    The old comment of “overpaid and oversexed and over here” seems to apply.

    • Steg World

      You are saying that American women are whores. Troll somewhere else. Of course nobody on the SWE team ever had sex.

  • NYRick

    I’m here to take my medicine.

    Actually, first off, I feel bad for the whole team. That is obviously the worse way to lose. And it was a big pressure spot for you know who and she failed miserably. I’m not quite sure why they essentially had her in the anchor spot for PKs, but that’s what it was and she has to make that there. If anything if you are going to have Press take a PK I would have put her 2nd or 3rd shootout, but it’s now done and over.

    • skybolt

      I think this is the perfect opportunity to end the Morgan vs. Press feud. Too much bad karma thrown at each player. 🙁

      • Reality

        I was never in that feud and I thoroughly agree. Feel bad for the team and for both Morgan and Press. Ellis has to take some real responsibility for her management

        • skybolt

          Yeah, I’m done with that. Both girls deserve better than this. Tough tough game. Ugh, I can’t even bring myself to watch the Germany game. 🙁

          • NYRick

            That’s it for me too. I was really looking forward to a Brazil-US match in front of 42k. I can’t believe it’s over after 4 games. I’m pissed there aren’t two more matches.

          • skybolt

            Ohhh, the agony of defeat!

        • brdn08

          How does anyone feel bad for this team. They weren’t cheated out of this game. They simply didn’t do enough to win. No sympathy, they need to be better.

          • #1Fan

            Totally agree

          • skybolt

            That comes tomorrow, right now I’m too busy feeling sorry for myself and the team!

          • Steglitz49

            Don’t feel sorry for them. They had the ref team as a 12th player.

          • Reality

            I didn’t mention they were cheated out of the game…that was your inference. It is interesting how people react to tragedy. Some have compassion while others become angry and wish to find scapegoats. Since you are on the latter path, I suggest you examine Ellis’s role since IMO she has been guilty of mismanagement of this team from the beginning of her tenure.

          • brdn08

            No such thing as scapegoats the US lost because the US didn’t finish it’s chances and was putrid on set pieces in and around the 18. I’m not angry at the US team for losing they are still miles ahead of their competition and have represented the USA very well. They just didn’t finish well today. My point is simply if you claim you’re the best at something and then you fail to demonstratively show it. I can’t feel sorry for you. I added the cheated part of that post to explain under what circumstances I would feel sorry for this team.

          • Reality

            It isn’t just about finishing well today. I think the team has been on the wrong path for some time under Ellis. She has set the tactics, tone and culture for the team in her enabling of the veterans which has retarded the evolution of the NT. She did inherit this situation to some extent but she has not done enough to move the team forward. We have been stuck in playing mostly a direct game that is dependent on speed, athleticism and stamina. Many of us thought that other teams had caught up with us in these strengths last year during the WC2015 besides being superior to us in technique and team play. We were fortunate that these teams were not quite up to snuff yet. This year has demonstrated that the gap has become even more narrow to the extent that a team like Sweden outlasted us through a PK game and ousted us from the OG. We need new leadership both with the coach and with the team that can truly free the NT from the shackles of the past.

      • Pia

        Yeah, they both choked.

      • Frode

        They looked very dangerous together up top, and then Lloyd (or Ellis) kicked Press out to the wing at the end. My question is if Ellis went to Morgan/Press up top when she desperately needed goals, why isn’t she using the duo to get ahead earlier in the game? We may see some changes in the remainder of 2016.

        • Terry Lash

          That’s my thought, too. Substituting in Rapinoe was nuts (again).

        • NYRick

          Ellis played right into Pia’s hands again. You know coming in that Sweden is playing for a 1-nil match (hoping Lotta can nick one) or a 0-0 match hoping it goes to kicks. With that, put your best offensive team on the pitch the first 30 minutes even (including Press) and see if you can jump on them. If it doesn’t work, sub Press out at the 30 minute mark. And Dunn proved to be the best player on the pitch for them and should have started as well.

          • Terry Lash

            Ellis has to take the major blame for the loss. She is not a top flight coach. Someone new has to come on to prepare for WWC 2019.

          • #1Fan

            no way .. Won WC . she will not be replaced

          • Terry Lash

            You are most likely correct about what will happen. I was expressing my opinion about what should happen.

          • #1Fan

            understood.

          • West_of_the_Cascades

            #JE Out! + #JK Out!! = recipe for better 2018 and 2019

    • brdn08

      To blame Press is letting the rest of the team off the hook, minus Dunn and Pugh who I thought put in good shifts.

      • Bruce

        Dunn was MVP today.
        Ellis was the worst.

    • Calci0

      I have zero issue with her at number 5. Just like one of my favorites,(Baggio) sometimes, you just don’t convert….. But I’m not going to 2nd guess the decision.

      • Steglitz49

        Baggio missed a penalty too — in the WC-94 final as I remember it.

        • Calci0

          That was my point, someone as skilled and gifted as Baggio can sky a FK. And many others have also.

  • CED

    US managed to make history instead of being the 1st to win Wcup and OG back to back, they are 1st Wcup winner not to win any medal in the OG

    • Lorehead

      They’re not actually the first, but it was disappointing, and could hurt the NWSL a lot.

      • CED

        Actually they are the 1st….look it up.

        • Lorehead

          There wasn’t even a tournament in 1992!

          • CED

            They were the 1st that had the opportunity to fail. I know a fangirl apologist and retard like you is still looking for excuses. Please tell us all again how great a coach the idiot Ellis is again. LOL

          • Lorehead

            You’re being an asshole again, but also, I never said that to begin with.

          • CED

            NO your the ass b/c you don;t like the facts. They are the 1st to go from Wcup to nothing in the OG the next year. Go cry fangirl

          • Lorehead

            As I said and you previously conceded, the first was in 1992, when there wasn’t even an Olympic tournament. I admit it’s a pedantic point.

  • RAY CURREN

    I am officially an A-hole.

  • BGH123

    I wonder if it is time to bring in some new faces, or time to actually pay attention to NWSL play

    • Observed

      Dream on. Ellis will be there in WC19, with Carli, Alex, Pinoe, and Press.

      • BGH123

        Congrats to Japan or France, 2019 World Cup Champions!

        • John

          France are probably going to lose some big players over the next three years. Necib is gone. Abily will be over thirty. As will the likes of Thiney, Bussaglia etc.

          • brdn08

            Henry isn’t a lock to be there either.

          • Silver Frost

            Renard too most likely. She’s amazing, but nobody lasts forever. Thiney is on the outs now. I wonder if she retired already.

          • Steglitz49

            Wendie is married or at least has a steady boyfriend so she may well call it a day too.

          • Lorehead

            Your constant speculation that women are going to quit their jobs to become stay-at-home moms is sexist.

          • Steglitz49

            No. It is realistic.

        • Steglitz49

          Stop inhaling!

        • #1Fan

          trust me … the sheer number of quality YOUNG players that the US has coming up . Just need to be brave and give them a chance. All the Pugh hype is an insult to other great players that the US has coming through. Pugh is good.. there are many more .

          • BGH123

            I meant if she brings all of the over 30s to try and send them off with a win.

          • #1Fan

            understood

          • Hans Castorp

            Who do you like? I thought you were mild on Sanchez.

          • #1Fan

            I am mild on HYPE. Sanchez is a good prospect.

          • guest2

            What’s Sanchez’s prefered position?

          • #1Fan

            # 10

            can play wide as well

          • guest2

            More of an inside creative wide player if she is a 10 as well?

          • #1Fan

            ill put it this way can play any of the 3 in 4231
            can play wide roles in 433

          • guest2

            Well I think it’s still good Heath will be 31 at the next WC and Pinoe will be 34. It’s time to start thinking about their replacements. Heath may still be a useful sub though.

          • #1Fan

            im not willing to judge anyone on age… just performance. Im even willing to give them the benefit of the doubt . Lloyd has been bad for some time.

          • guest2

            I wouldn’t write anyone off based off age. My point is more that, once a player hits 30 injuries become more frequent and pace starts to drop off. Neither base their game much on pace anyway but I think the team needs to start looking to develop more wide players instead of just playing forwards there. I don’t really think the outside backs were great in this tournament either.

          • guest

            Doggy i guess,lmfaoooooo!!!!!!1

    • Bruce

      For the most part, it isn’t the personnel. It’s the style.

      The US has the players to RUN just about any other team off the field over 90 minutes, but opted to go all in on long balls and set pieces by the 70th minute.

      • BGH123

        Can this personnel play another style? What role would Lloyd play?

        • Guest

          Bench? Retired? I’d argue Lloyd can’t play any style other than sit in the box and win headers.

        • Bruce

          Lloyd aside, I think you’ve already got the most skilled players in the NWSL on the roster (and alternates).

        • brdn08

          Yes, Lloyd would have to play holding mid. I fear Father Time will be knocking at her door soon.

          • CED

            LLoyd needs to put on the bench, the current system caters to her which forces others to play out of position.

          • #1Fan

            No SIr ..Put out to pasture. Bye Bye. No one can possibly be asked to play on a team with Lloyd looking on from the bench .

          • CED

            Being realistic, the WNT puts nobody out to pasture, you get to leave when you want no matter and make the allocation money. It doesn’t matter really how much your deteriorate…ie…Rampone. They will keep you allocated and hope you get the hint eventually. They actually even invited Rampone to the June camp.

          • #1Fan

            I know Rampone personally. So Im pretty well informed on that stuff. She declined. The current system is so broken , but you cant blame the players for looking after themselves. Financially they have given up a lot to play and now they want to make hay. Reality is the system is terrible and needs changing.

          • Bruce

            wow.

          • Steglitz49

            She is getting married and then she will go for a baby and that will let her out gracefully.

        • BGH123

          I’m also afraid that they won’t ditch the over 30s now because they want them to go out on top

          • rkmid71

            Probably right. There’s always a reason.

      • Guest

        Brazil played a lot of long balls against Sweden in their match. A bunch of their goals were set up by direct passes. Sweden held a higher line in that match than this one but Lloyd just made things to easy for them in the middle of the park.

    • CED

      The before 2019 will get rid of some of the over 30 players who will be pushing 33+ by Wcup…Krieger, LLoyd, Pinoe, etc…

      Find a tru #6 so Brian can play her best spot #8
      Move Pugh to the #10 instead of wide attacking MF
      Find CB’s…Broon will be pushing 34 and Engen is not the heir apparent

      • Guest

        Hopefully Kling will be gone also. Many, many options for heir to Broon. Dahlkemper, Oyster, Kallman, Menges, Skroski, Rocarro, Barnes etc

        • Bruce

          Kling had a poor tournament. No way to sugar coat that.

          I hope Casey Short gets a look soon. She’s completely healthy now and has had a tremendous season in the NWSL.

          • Steglitz49

            Casey made the 1st XI of Toppserien in her last season for Avaldsnes.

          • Guest

            I hope both Short and Gilliland. Hinkle has been good in the league also.

          • Bruce

            I love what Gilliland brings to the attacking half, but Short is a much better defender, I think.

        • CED

          Nobody is leaving…the allocation process purposely prevents new talent from getting looks. Look at the current allocation list. Who is going to lose allocation? Btw, everyone on OG roster is guaranteed allocation the next year under the CBA. Second, 2017 is a first year of a cycle with few games

      • Steglitz49

        Can’t count on the refs forever though.

    • Lorehead

      Dunn and Long were both there thanks to their NWSL play.

      • BGH123

        Long was there because they did not think Mewis was ready and they couldn’t ditch Horan for whatever reason, but her NWSL did make her the person they went to because of these situations.

        • Frozen Blue

          Horan wasn’t ready either.

      • Steglitz49

        Verily and forsooth. Dunn excelled. Long was OK but not more.

        • Terry Lash

          Pugh and Heath (until she was shifted to the back line) were decent, too.

          • Steglitz49

            Agreed.

            Why would Carli not let Tobin take the freekicks?

          • Terry Lash

            Because Lloyd is an egomaniac. It’s all about her, which she incorrectly thinks is the same as being about the team. Heath should have taken the FKs.

  • guest

    HAHAHAHAHAH goodbye America. So long Solo. Press likely won’t make another big tournament, not with her fragile mentality. This US team never once looked like they would win gold.

    • Observed

      Correct. They looked tired and weak.

  • NYRick

    Two very sinking moments and bad karma in the last minute of the 2nd OT:

    1) Press alone with a look at the top of the 18 and she sailed it over the bar top right. If there was ever a moment for her and ever a goal that needed to happen for her in her career, that was it.

    2) Swedish keeper at the end of regulation. When I saw how pumped she was for the shootout (urging the crowd on behind her), I got a very bad feeling. Also, didn’t like Solo switching gloves for that 5th kick. I get the gamesmanship, but sometimes things like that are classless. It worked (stalling) against Sasic simply because Sasic missed the net. With the 5th and final kick to decide, you have to be a pro, step to your mark and take your chances. I hate even when NFL coaches try to ice a game-winning 30-yard FG.

    • Silver Frost

      Swedish keeper at the end of regulation looked amazingly stoked. Solo looked like a sourpuss. Good riddance. I guess her fans will say she had another bad day, to add to the Colombia game. In a big tournament you can’t have a bad day.

      As for Press, I was a big fan in her Sweden days, but she’s had her chances, plenty of them to be the game winner in big games. She keeps blowing it. Time to move on, retire, get a real job, etc.

      • Steglitz49

        HOFCToDi & co is loading his 20 bores. He won’t bother with the 12 bores or the magnum. She has made his day.

    • Bruce

      Did that deflect up off a a defender’s leg? Honestly didn’t see that well.

      • Steglitz49

        Bum?

    • rkmid71

      1) that was more of a half chance and Press knew it. She quickly glanced to her left to check if there was a pass. Nothing was there so she shot. It was near impossible … it needed to be in about 1 foot square in the upper right corner or possibly bent around low and hard.

  • John

    It is now set up for Marta and Brazil to finally win a major tournament. Can they pull it off though.

    • Steglitz49

      Sweden and someone else will stand in their way but the Swedes must be exhausted.

      • Guest

        5-1

  • NYRick

    These 18 girls lost a lot of money today. All around when you finally figure out the damage this loss did, least of which the final weeks of the NWSL. No more juice now with the returning NTers.

    • Silver Frost

      Portland will be loaded, with no excuses coming from absent NTers on a victory tour, rest, media. I hope France loses tonight so Henry can join them

      • Lorehead

        Yeah, I got my tickets for the last three home games hoping that I’d get to see Tobin, Sinc and Allie at least once. So that’s a silver lining.

      • John

        I guarantee some of the USWNT will need a few weeks off to “recover”

        • Silver Frost

          Well, I doubt Houston sees Lloyd or Brian again this year.

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        Are they expected/required to stick around for the rest of the contest since they’re still part of Team USA in general? I thought most Olympians stayed for the full 16 days even if their events are finished early and/or they don’t advance very far. Though maybe it’s different for athletes who are playing in qualifiers outside the main host city.

        • Lorehead

          Since the NWSL is on Olympic break, the only reason not to is Zika.

    • Steglitz49

      The Swedish headlines are “Solo can’t handle Sweden” etc

      • Terry Lash

        This loss is not on Solo.

        • Steglitz49

          Her glove trick was unsportsmanlike and honest people do not like it. The editors make maximum use.

          • Terry Lash

            I agree she makes it easy to criticize her.

          • Lorehead

            You’re complaining about poor sportsmanship, and it’s not about scoring an equalizer while a Swedish player was injured instead of playing the ball out?

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT have introduced winning at all costs to WoSo. The players were continually hassling the crew.

            There was the occasion early in the match when Rolfö was injured which was poor show. The ref should have stopped play too.

          • Lorehead

            They were just the first team to play for real money. As soon as somebody was, that was bound to happen.

          • Steglitz49

            WoSo is slower than BroSo. It has to offer something more in the market place than just women playing soccer. Without that, WoSo is lost.

            If WoSo loses the female, the elegant and generous of spirit, why bother with it?

            Look at how Gymnastics has kept difference between the ladies and men. Male gymnastics is primarily about strength while ladies gymnastics has a big element of elegance to it.

            If WoSo loses sight of that women are not men, then they are lost. In X-country skiing the ladies ski 10, 15 and 30 km while the men ski 15, 30 and 50 km. The relays are 4×5 km and 4 x 10 km. The sprints are shorter for the lasses than the lads.

    • brdn08

      This is what would have me pissed off if I was Crystal Dunn. Her effort was unmatched by anyone on the team even though she was left out last summer. Now the money missed last year really hurts because she will miss it again this year.

  • Hans Castorp

    What’s the story with Horan? Does she have a future or is what we see what we get?

    • Steglitz49

      Does anyone in this team have a future except Dunn possibly?

      • Hans Castorp

        Surely Pugh?

        • Terry Lash

          Yes, definitely Pugh.

        • Frozen Blue

          Most likely but she was way overhyped going into this tournament based off games played against minnows.

      • CED

        Essentially everyone. The vet protection system is always in full effect. The new people this year were virtually all forced by injuries, retirements and pregnancies. The only person left off for actually play from the roster was o’reilly.

        • Steglitz49

          Your point is well taken.

        • Bruce

          Rampone. to be fair

      • FlyingSquirrel42

        JJ and Pugh, Mewis and Sonnett if you’re including alternates. Morgan, O’Hara, and Heath if age isn’t wearing them down too much in a few years.

  • brdn08

    That’s my Hope Solo!!! I love her intensity some will say her comments are in poor taste like they said of Ronaldo but I am a strong believer that those who bunker are cowards. The US was not outplayed today.

    • Frode

      Just out-coached.

    • Silver Frost

      Remember, Solo is the greatest. Yesterday.

      • brdn08

        Love you one day hate you the next. The US lost because our strikers missed not because Solo allowed 5 PK goals.

  • NYRick

    To be fair, Solo now has two massive shootout losses on her resume. I know you can’t blame it on a keeper (and I don’t), but those are instances to further call yourself a clutch player or greatest of all time.

    • guest2

      I can never blame a PSO loss on a keeper. She stopped one. The US should have taken their PK better and finished the game off in the 90 minutes.

      • Bruce

        Or 120. Sweden’s midfield and back line were totally gassed by the 75th minute. Better sub patterns would have run them into the ground.

        • guest2

          Using Rapinoe and then subbing her out is inexcusably bad managing

          • Steglitz49

            Had no choice. Those advert contracts must be honored.

    • guest

      I can’t wait to see the back of Solo. She’s nothing but a giant ego and a big mouth with only a few exceptional games to back up all her talk. The team will be better off without her and her lack of trying in pks.

      • Silver Frost

        I’m laughing out loud now, but I see your point.

      • Lorehead

        You can’t blame her: she had a fine save in the PSO.

        • FlyingSquirrel42

          Yeah, it seems like keepers who manage to stop 1 PK out of 5 are generally thought to have done their jobs. Also, I don’t think it’s really fair for the previous poster to criticize Hope for “lack of trying” – say what you want about her, but apathetic and lazy are two things she isn’t.

          All that said, I think it’s time to start preparing for the post-Hope Solo era. Maybe that means Naeher or Harris, maybe it means somebody younger – ideally I’d say call up at least 4 or 5 different GKs for friendlies (and actually play them!) over the next year or two. And I’m not even saying just cut Hope altogether, just that the starting position should not simply be “hers to lose” from now on.

          Solo has had a fine career however you look at it. If athletes are to be shamed for a few subpar games or for not winning in every major tournament they’ve played, then we might as well just declare that they’re all a bunch of chokers and losers and stop watching sports altogether.

      • Guest

        Naeher :)))))

        • Lorehead

          Who, Alex, will not say in an interview that she would have made those saves?

  • Craigaroo

    not to be forgotten – the Manaus Curse strikes again

    • Steglitz49

      It certainly struck the refereeing team.

  • Guest

    Brazil should have a cakewalk to victory now. Weak Australia back line that Marta will have a field day with, choking French team, incapable German coach leading to discombobulated team, and no real threats from China or Sweden

    • Lorehead

      They won’t even have to face either France or Germany until the final.

    • Silver Frost

      Anything can happen. Today’s US-SWE match proved it. I look for Brazil to choke badly.

      • Craigaroo

        They’re also playing today in Belo Horizonte which hasn’t been getting good crowds, although maybe they’ll turn out for their home team.

    • Craigaroo

      I’m not ruling out Australia

      • Guest

        I think they are the toughest team left for BRA. If they get through today then they will win

        • Steglitz49

          Australia or Brazil or both?

  • Guest

    Still possible to put any USWNT players on the POTY shortlist? IMO Heath, Morgan and possibly Pugh would be on there.

    • Guest

      No way. The award is heavily slanted to the player who preforms the best in these tournaments and none of them have the stats. I’d bet on Marta winning it if she can bring Brazil gold.

      • Guest

        I agree but the shortlist has about 10 players on it.

  • Bruce
  • CED

    Solo showing her lack of class with stupid Twitter comments calling Sweden cowards

    • Guest

      Yeah they were so wrong to employ tactics that caused them to win. What were they thinking

      • CED

        If you can;t beat a tactic why would teams not use it. It’s common knowledge the US has a lot of trouble against well organized defenses. Also, aour CB’s are not that quick, they try to rely on being crafty and tough. So, 1 ball from 30+ yds beat both CB’s in the seam and they weren’t quick enough to make up the ground..

    • Steglitz49

      Que?!

      Before or after the game?

      • CED

        After

    • rkmid71

      I hope this isn’t true.

      • CED

        It’s 100% true….NBCSN showed it on TV. Maybe she tried to erase it by now, but they showed it.

        • guest

          It’s time for Solo to leave.

          • Frode

            July Foudy just called Solo’s comments “classless.”

          • guest

            but no opinion from foudy about the selection fo rapinoe for the olympic roster. shocking.

        • rkmid71

          Any player which makes disparaging comments about their opponent needs to be show the door. There must some clause in the CBA which covers this. JE, Gulati or someone needs to frickn take charge. God knows the captains of the team won’t. I had thought that after the game, the players were shaking hands, etc and all looked respectful. You’ve got to give Sweden their due. I noticed that none of Swedish players were going crazy complaining about bad calls, fouls or anything during the game. Even a couple that could have cost them the game. They had a good game plan, executed well, and stuck with it and trusted it for 120 minutes.

          • CED

            The CBA is available and I don’t remember any clause off the top of my head that would really pertain specifically.

          • rkmid71

            The Uniform Player Agreement that all players sign has a Conduct clause. “Player shall comport and conduct themselves, at all times, in a manner befitting Player’s position as a member of the Team and spokesperson for the Federation and the sport of soccer.” Of course, I suppose this is small potatoes compared to the other Solo incidents. And the most that was ever done is suspension. I’m sure she’ll have a good explanation — hadn’t settled down from the emotions of the game, etc.

          • CED

            That’s so subjective and considering the leniency they have shown with her in the past, I expect nothing to happen.

  • Guest

    Two free kicks near goal, two Carli Lloyd strikes not on goal

  • Calci0

    For those questioning the PK takers. I doubt many of us here know what their conversion rates are during practice. YES I KNOW IT’S PRACTICE. But you have to base decisions off something. And with the competitive nature of this team I venture even PK’s in practice have a lot riding on them..