USWNT / Women's World Cup

Women’s World Cup: USWNT 3-1 Australia

Megan Rapinoe scored twice, and Hope Solo made a number of outstanding saves, as the US defeated Australia in their first match of the Women’s World Cup. Rapinoe scored a goal in each half, and Christen Press netted her first World Cup goal as the US battled through a nervy affair to win 3-1.

Australia was on the front foot to start the match and forced a good save from Hope Solo in just the 4th minute. But Rapinoe would score her first of the match against the run of play in the 12th minute. Winning the ball back in the attacking half, the midfielder did well to create space for herself to shoot from 20 yards. The shot took a wicked deflection of a defender’s knee and curved into the far corner of the net.

Australia would look to strike back straight away and forced Solo into another strong stop, this time denying Samantha Kerr’s full volley from 10 yards out.

The Aussies would get their equalizer in the 27th minute. A well worked move on the top of the box saw the ball played through Laura Alleway and then to Lisa De Vanna, who buried her open shot into the right corner from 12 yards out.

The Americans would come out much stronger to start the second half and took the lead in the 61st minute. Sydney Leroux did well to latch onto a long Rapinoe pass into the left corner. The striker got her head head up to serve from the endline and put in a perfect pull-back cross to Press 12 yards from goal. Press composed to side-foot a finish into the far right corner to restore the Americans’ lead.

Rapinoe grabbed her second goal of the match in the 78th minute. The goal began when Carli Lloyd broke up an Aussie attack just inside the US half, with the ball falling to Rapinoe. The winger raced 60 yards with the ball up the left flank before taking the shot on herself from 15 yards. Her low shot was placed perfectly and found the side netting at the far post.

While the second half was much stronger than the first, the US will have to improve to compete with the Germany’s and France’s of the tournament. They next take on Sweden on Friday at 8 pm (Fox, NBC Universo, Fos Soccer 2Go, NBC Universo Now, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra, SirusXM FC).

Three Thoughts

Hope Solo was outstanding

For all of the off field distractions, Hope Solo the goalkeeper might just be the best ever to play in the women’s game. With the US team under siege to start the match, Solo produced a number of fine saves. She powered away a half volley, saved a full volley from a close range, as well as providing a strong presence in her box. She tracked crosses, called off defenders, and was very smart with her distribution all match. In a tournament where the goalkeeping position has looked the weakest for many teams, the Americans can count theirs as a strong point.

What to make of Megan Rapinoe?

She scored twice and had a hand in the other USA goal. But outside of those plays and a few quality services from set plays, the winger had a very uneven game. She routinely took one or two extra touches on the ball when it was played into her. She ignored Meghan Klingenberg on a number of occasions as the left back covered a ton of ground trying to overlap down the touchline. But despite the extra touches and a handful of misplayed passes, Rapinoe was still very involved in the Americans’ best moves of the match. If she can increase the speed of play, particularly in the final third, the US attack could step another level — a level they might have to step up to if they reach the latter stages of the tournament.

What sucks more, the turf or those neon socks?

A World Cup on turf blows as much as we all thought it would, with the field temperatures well over 110 degrees at a number of the matches so far. The balls are bouncing unevenly on the turf, and the slide tackles look extremely painful. It may be too early to tell if any of the injuries suffered are a direct result of the turf, but even if they aren’t, you can see that a serious injury is a possibility that looms over every match. Make no mistake, that every game of a world championship is being played on a artificial surface is disappointing.

And that USA kit? No. Those socks? Definitely not. Maybe I’m a purist, but that Aussie kit looked a hell of a lot classier than the travesty being sported by the US.

USA
1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Kriger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 23-Christen Press (17-Tobin Heath, 68), 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (14-Morgan Brian, 86); 2-Sydney Leroux (13-Alex Morgan, 79), 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 16-Lori Chalupny, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

Australia
18-Melissa Barbieri; 6-Servet Uzunlar, 5-Laura Alleway (3-Ashleigh Sykes, 83), 7-Stephanie Catley, 9-Caitlin Foord; 10-Emily Van Egmond, 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 19-Katrina Gorry (14-Alanna Kennedy, 81); 11-Lisa De Vanna (capt.), 23-Michelle Heyman (17-Kyah Simon, 69), 20-Samantha Kerr
Subs not used: 1-Lydia Williams, 2-Larissa Crummer, 4-Clare Polkinghorne, 12-Leena Khamis, 13-Tameka Butt, 15-Teresa Polias, 16-Hayley Raso, 21-Mackenzie Arnold, 22-Nicola Bolger
Head coach: Alen Stajcic

Scoring Summary
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach) – 12th minute
AUS – Lisa De Vanna (Michelle Heyman) – 27
USA – Christen Press (Sydney Leroux) – 61
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Carli Lloyd) – 78

Disciplimary Summary
USA – Lauren Holiday (caution) – 56
USA – Rapinoe (caution) – 64

Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 11 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 0 / 3
Fouls: 15 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1

Officials
Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Luciana Mascarana (URU)
Assistant Referee 2: Loreto Toloza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Gladys Lengwe (ZAM)

Competition: 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Group D
Venue: Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada
Attendance: 31,148
Weather: 73 degrees; Cloudy

23 Comments

  1. That Leroux plays a rogue game out there.

    • alicat215 says:

      the kids love her and the teens love her for multiple reasons! I think the idea was to have her run on to flicks from Wambach……they didn’t use each other at all last night.

  2. I would make the same complaint made for Rapinoe for more then half of the team.
    .
    Too many touches on the ball. Rarely saw a 1- and 2-touch give and go to move out of tight spaces. It happened a little more often after Heath came in and then a lot more after the third goal to kill the game but it was there all game and often lead to a turnover when not played. Share the ball.

    • alicat215 says:

      I thought the same thing about Rapinoe….great engine, but pass the damn ball. She was doing that in the send off series too….launching shots from 30 out with teammates wide open.

  3. No question the turf sucks but the socks are close. Rapinoe was tough to watch. US dead set on playing the game up her side.
    .
    Going to need to be much better. Today Le Bleu will show the way.
    .
    Really quite a boring style of play. Slow. Cross. Cross. Cross.
    .
    Hopefully Morgan will be a full time player shortly.

    • alicat215 says:

      Zie Germans my friend…….Zie Fatherland runs the football world at the moment…

    • alicat215 says:

      very predictable from the US….long ball into Wambach…the two Aussie CB’s just camped out on her and ate her up……..no effect on the match. I don’t think I saw Leroux and Wambach combo once…..not even once! Not one passed ball to each other…….

      • Insert “Union” for US and “Aristeguieta” or “Casey” for Wambach and that’s pretty much the way I feel about the Union offense.
        .
        Dead right though. That’s gonna be their downfall, overly dependent on cross and pray to Wambach or for Morgan to get back to full match as she’s the only forward I’ve seen who is able to play off Abby

      • Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

        That’s the sad thing for me. They don’t need to be overly dependent on Wambach. They just choose to be, or perhaps more accurately, she chooses that they be. They have technical skill in this team, but as long as they are told to belt the ball into the box instead of picking out the beautiful, lung-busting runs Klingenberg was making up the left flank, for example, the style of the team will stay static. Sadly, that’s a discussion for the next tournament because this is Abby’s team, she’s essentially a player-head coach.

      • All thanks to Abby Wambach but I was certainly hoping she was going to retire.
        .
        Btw the union reference in the post above is spot on- chuckled to myself a few times at the exact thought- ‘my this looks like our club.’

      • alicat215 says:

        The rest of the world is learning to play football…..our ladies are still relying on them being better athletes….it will and already has….bit them in the ass. We have success when we get at other teams flanks on the ladies side…..making combos and using their pace in 1v1’s down the flanks. The Aussies came out 4-3-3 and tried to play…..our women play Stoke football!

  4. I thought Julie Johnston had a very solid game. I was a little nervous at first and wondering why Rampone wasn’t starting the first game, but Johnston got better and better as the game went on.
    .
    Ali Krieger . . . not so much. She was owned by Kerr, but Press didn’t do too much to help her in the first half. I was calling for them to put in O’Reilly at the half . . . but of course Press ended up scoring so another reason while I’ll never be a coach
    .
    With the new yellow card rule in place, late in the game Friday I’d have Rapinoe take a yellow so she would sit out the final group game. Her yellow was ridiculous in the first place so I’d feel that would be completely justified way to circumvent the harsh rule.
    .
    Geiger rating on this one was a 2. Ref was horrible. I would give her a one but I have to reserve the lowest possible score for Baldomero Toledo for the San Jose/Dallas game . . . I don’t think you’ll ever see a refing performance worse than that.

    • Agree with the yellow card situation, but I wouldn’t do it unless we’re up a few goals on Sweden. It could come back to haunt us if we still need to pull out a win against Nigeria in game 3 and she’s not available.

    • alicat215 says:

      Dude, I was laughing the whole FCD/San Jose match………..its bordering on the absurd……. how can you take a league seriously with officiating like that?

  5. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

    Loved what Tobin Heath brought to this game. Someone needed to throw her hands up and say, “whoa. slow it down”. Heath was great in that respect and the US kept the ball moving between their feet when she came on.
    .
    Three cheers for that Aussie kit. It was very nice.

    • alicat215 says:

      I still can’t get over the kit our ladies are in……..looks like the NZ kit…….bad call by Nike. Cool for a club team, doesn’t look right for our WMNT. I’m glad the men didn’t adopt that kit too. I like the Japanese kit with the neon pink where the red should be……..cool kit. That whole kit was to sell the boots that they are all wearing……the socks match the boots Nike made…….and have nothing to do with the Red, White, and Blue.

  6. Eli Pearlman-Storch says:

    Friday’s team selection is going to be fascinating. Nigeria tore Sweden’s slow back four apart, and the US has more technically sound players with similar pace. If Morgan can go, getting her paired up with Leroux to run at the Swedish backline seems like a no-brainer and if she can’t, Rodriguez can do the job as well. Hopefully that is why Wambach ran the full 90 against Australia, because she needed the fitness and they knew they’d be resting her after what they had seen earlier in the day.
    .
    If she starts against Sweden, it will simply reinforce what we all think we know about how this team is run.

  7. I hear Switzerland came out of nowhere and played some fantastic game against the World Champion. Nigeria also seem to have gotten their act together and were somehow able to score 3 goals and tie the match against powerhouse Sweden. Some real interesting games; should be an awesome tournament!

    • alicat215 says:

      Swiss came right at the them…no fear. Looked a lot more cohesive than the Japanese did last night. A lot of commentators were calling them the “dark horse”. The Japanese were hoofing the ball like our ladies were, I was surprised that they went that route. One thing it says is that two of the favorites….really didn’t look all that great last night…..they will both probably get better….

  8. alicat215 says:

    The scary thing is….we can play that bad, and still get a result. Usually good teams are able to do that…………so, thats my silver lining to last night!

  9. alicat215 says:

    I would like to applaud on how classy the Aussie’s are being on their official website. I have never heard a team say they are a better footballing nation when they loose 3-1….but you guys managed to find a way! You stay classy down in OZ! Waaaaah!

  10. – Swiss, particularly Bachmann looked dangerous
    – liked Johnston as the match progressed
    – disliked Holliday as the match progressed
    – I thought Rapinoe was very effective on each possession after the first half. Gotta give your talent some room to err.
    – I remember Krieger being much faster.

    Fun tournament so far but really selective officiating yesterday

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