It’s beginning to be a recurring theme for the USWNT and The World Cup. They play a scrappy game, and somehow they always end up coming away with the win. This game was the definition of sloppy and floppy. Although the women got the job done, the attack for the U.S. was lacking once again.
Throughout the first half, it looked like upstart Colombia could provide the first upset of the World Cup and take out the USWNT. Although play on both sides was sloppy, Colombia forced several turnovers that almost put them on top.
The scoreline remained 0-0 at the half.
In the 47th minute, it looked as if the tide could be turning for the U.S. as they received a PK and were now playing against 10 players. After Colombia’s Perez took Alex Morgan down in the box, Abby Wambach stepped up and…. Missed. This should be surprising, but after the way Wambach has played this World Cup it really isn’t surprising that she missed. Though the score was still 0-0, the damage was pretty much done for Colombia who were now down a player.
In the 54th minute, Alex Morgan took matters into her own hands as she scored the first goal of the night. Morgan looked as though she was going to cross the ball through the box to Wambach, but at the last second the ball deflected off the Colombian keeper and found the back of the net. It was a sigh of relief for the USWNT and the fans, but the job wasn’t done… Yet.
The U.S. held onto a 1-0 lead until the 67th minute when Megan Rapinoe drew another foul in the box that set up a Penalty Kick. Instead of Wambach stepping up, Carli Lloyd made the decision to step up and take the PK. As Lloyd took the shot she buried it, along with Colombia’s chances of advancing, in the back of the net.
Here are a couple of my thoughts on the game.
- Abby Wambach had an unimpressive game, again, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s not the turf that’s making her play the way she is. Wambach has always been a driving force for the USWNT, but this year she’s been lackluster with missed goals and offside calls.
- Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday both earned their second yellow cards of the tournament, which means they’ll miss Friday’s game. This is a HUGE blow since both of these players have been vital to the team this year. With their absence, Press and Leroux are going to have to step up, along with Wambach and Morgan.
- The U.S. defense is one of the main reasons they have advanced this far. The back line is unreal. Julie Johnston is a beast, so is Hope Solo but we all knew that.
- Coach Ellis needs to change the starting lineup. Starting Holiday as a center midfielder when she’s an attacking midfielder is a waste of talent. virSame thing goes for Lloyd. Holiday and Lloyd are two players who play their best when they are attacking the box, not when they are back in the midfield.
- The whole team needs to stop relying on balls played in to Wambach. That’s the play of the past. Wambach isn’t the player she once was, and that’s understandable. But it’s time for the US to move on and try a different route. Alex Morgan is arguably one of the best attacking players at the World Cup, but the only time she’s had to show this off was against Colombia on a fluke play. Keeping the ball on the ground and outworking opponents is the next step the US needs to take in order to stay in this World Cup.
The USWNT’s next game is Friday, June 26th at 7:30pm against China.