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Stars and Subs: USWNT, Sweden advance

Each match day during remaining during the Women’s World Cup, The Equalizer will bring you the feature “Stars and Subs,” highlighting the highs and lows of the day. The Three Stars will highlight players, coaches teams and anyone or anything else that went well on the day. The Three Subs are players, coaches or the like who had bad days and could have used a figurative substitution. We may even throw in some extra thoughts just for fun.

Here is Saturday’s “Stars and Subs” –

STARS:

  1. Lori Lindsey – The central midfielder was spectacular for the United States on Saturday. She held the ball and distributed with incredible accuracy. She was one of the best players on the pitch in her first Women’s World Cup match (and she is 31-years-old).
  2. Heather O’Reilly – She provided great service on the right flank and scored the U.S.’ first goal; an absolute screamer into the upper 90. Her speed alone is deadly and there are few left backs in the world that can deal with it.
  3. Lisa Dahlkvist – If it weren’t for her absolute bail-out goal, Group C would be a lot more uncertain right now and Sweden could be far worse off. Dahlkvist’s goal really saved Sweden from an otherwise average performance turning out what would have been a very poo result.

SUBS:

  1. Forwards, Sweden and the U.S. – What a dreadful day for finishing. Lotta Schelin could not hit the side of a barn on Saturday for Sweden and Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez followed suit for the United States. There were four goals scored on the day and there should have been double that.
  2. Yoreli Rincón – The 17-year-old Colombian forward entered this tournament wanting to become the next Marta in the next two years. She did not even start the match on Saturday. Now it would be unfair to be hard on a player that young. However, her declaration to the world brought self-made hype and was completely unnecessary.
  3. North Korea defense – Jong Pok-Sim and Ri Un-Hyang made some dreadful mistakes in the back that gave Sweden too many chances (we are talking ball going under your foot on traps sort of mistakes – really basic). If Sweden could finish this game could have gotten out of hand. But on the bright side, North Korea is the youngest team in the competition and can learn from this experience.

FREE KICKS:

Pia Sundhage deserves honorable mention as a star for her great tactical moves. And credit to Megan Rapinoe for a great game off the bench.

Kerstin Castro was a bright spot for Colombia up top.

After 14 games in this Women’s World Cup, there still has not been a red card issued or a penalty kick awarded.

Hope Solo’s shutout streak is at a historic 478 minutes.

The U.S. had two of the best goal celebrations I have seen in a while. First the entire team saluted the pro-U.S. crowd of 25,475 composed of many U.S. military troops stationed close to the stadium in Sinsheim. Then Megan Rapinoe hijacked a microphone and sang “Born in the USA.” See for yourself below:

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