What’s Going on with USWNT? A Post-Colombia Primer

http://bloguin.com/32flags/fifa/uswnt-wins-2-0-over-colombia-in-womens-world-cup.html

By MC Bousquette
USWNT Beat Writer

Monday’s victory doesn’t taste too sweet for the USWNT.

Over the past day, there have been a myriad of explanations and mountains of commentary about why the US victory over Colombia should not be treated as a success. And it’s not unwarranted; the way in which the USWNT won the match reflected anything but American dominance.

Overall, Monday was ugly. Simple as that.

Can you make sense of all the spin for me?
Sure. The last 36-hours have been a virtual tornado of opinion, controversy, and vaguely confusing heat maps. So, I’ve boiled it down to a handful of need-to-know points to catch you up.

1. The US offense is virtually absent. The US scored only one non-penalty goal against a side playing their third-choice goalkeeper with only ten players on the field. The second-string Colombian goalkeeper was ejected from the match with a red card, tackling Alex Morgan on her way to goal. The US then struggled to score against the third choice Colombian keeper, as Morgan managed the single non-penalty goal against her and the other nine Colombian players. The successful penalty shot came from Carli Lloyd, who took the chance after Megan Rapinoe was fouled.

In short, this has not inspired confidence in the US side’s offensive abilities.

2. Abby Wambach missed a penalty kick. The struggling Wambach, who Coach Jill Ellis is still starting despite Wambach’s visible lack of fitness and many missed opportunities, defeated herself by taking a penalty kick with her left foot. Against a third-string keeper. There’s basically no spin to be put on the basic facts surrounding this stunning miss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQJxVTTnYPA

3. After accruing their second yellow cards of the tournament, Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday will miss the match against China. Rapinoe and Holiday’s coming absences have prompted mountains of speculation surrounding Coach Jill Ellis’ unknown formation and lineup choices against China on Friday. The pair are responsible for creating a combined 18 chances throughout the tournament – just one fewer than the entire remainder of the team combined.

4. Speaking of yellow cards, Abby Wambach claimed officials targeted Holiday and Rapinoe – on the record. She accused the referees after the match saying, “It seemed like she was purposefully giving those yellows to the players she knew were sitting on yellows. I don’t know if it was just a psychological thing. Who knows?” Wambach walked back her comments Tuesday night, telling Fox Sports, “I’m not in the referee’s head, and that’s something that I definitely take ownership of and apologize for, because I don’t know what the referee is thinking. She is doing the very best job she can.”

Discussion is now focused on whether Wambach will be fined, or even suspended, for her comments.

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