Excerpts from the Experts
Below are excerpts from articles written by soccer experts on the game last night. You learn more about each author by going to the link at the bottom of their remarks.
USWNT v Australia: U.S. Off to a Good Start with a 3-1 Victory
Areas to improve upon for the U.S.:
- Communication in team defending- Australia’s early chances along with its goal could have been prevented by better communication to apply pressure, get into passing lanes and snuff out attempts on goal.
- Movement in the final third- there was not a lot of movement on and off the ball until late in the match when Australia seemed to fade. Against a better opponent, this needs to improve and at a greater pace.
- Midfield play- not enough dictating of play via spraying effective passes to put players in scoring opportunities or retaining possession and moving to get the ball back. U.S. gave up possession far too often.
- Passion- the competitive fire necessary to put an inferior opponent away (or at least compete with greater intensity) early was lacking. This must improve to overcome stronger opponents.
Next match prediction: Bolstered by its depth, the U.S. will continue to improve one match at a time. Playing against former coach Pia Sundhage’s Sweden, U.S. will improve upon tonight’s performance and win 2-0.
Australians Give US a Good Run
The Australian side gave the US a good run, as they have in past attempts, but fell short of walking away with a key win. The US started out slow, and very impatient. The keeper, Solo, had to make a number of saves in the first half. Add to that, with little build-up in possession from the back, the US looked like they were trying to get things arranged, but couldn’t quite find the right path. While in the second half, the team picked up the pace and the play became crisper, with energy brought from the bench. The build-up from the back improved, to mark the first game a 3-1 victory. With steady keeper play, the team got the jitters out, moving onward to the next step. Possibly, with Morgan’s injury – only coming on late in the game – the team must find a way to keep things moving in a positive direction into the next challenge.
USA Survives Early Jitters, Takes Control in Win Over Australia
Two brilliant saves by US Goalkeeper Hope Solo kept the game tied until the US could finally settle in and dictate the tempo. They did so by calming their nerves and taking it to Australia for the final 15 minutes of the 1st half and entire 2nd half. A dominating performance the rest of the game resulted in a comfortable 3-1 victory. Key learning points regarding the 3 US goals: The first goal confirmed the importance of shooting the ball from distance. Once you have an opening, strike the ball with the intent to get it on target. Shots resulting in rebounds, or in this case, deflections can lead to great scoring opportunities….don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to strike the ball if within distance.
Women’s World Cup Nutrition Tip
Here’s a couple of insights from Food Guide for Women’s Soccer. You might assume players simply ‘chow down’ before playing, but not so, according to U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez, “When we have an evening game, I eat a big breakfast, a lighter lunch, and then I make sure I don’t go too crazy with food before the game. It’s difficult to work out really hard on a full stomach.”