USWNT Has Shaky Start But Showcases Flashes of Brilliance

Not the best start for the USWNT showcases some bad and good spots to improve upon
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, June 10, 2015

US Soccer Federation (USSF)

The game, although it may not have gone exactly to plan, is nearly what the scriptwriters would’ve written. The Canada Women’s National Team opens up the 2015 World Cup in its own country with a penalty kick goal from Christine Sinclair, and the Canadians win 1-0. However, the neighbors to the south – the US Women’s National Team – also won its first team, but not exactly how it was expected to do so.

The USWNT, even with a handful of send-offs games before the World Cup (similar to the Men’s when they played teams like Turkey), still looked a bit rusty, and with a pre-World Cup camp.

And with the first USWNT group game finished and eyes on Sweden and Nigeria, the Lady Yanks need to put the pedal to the medal and act like the winners that they want to be. A few points came to light with the women’s playing their first game in this 2015 edition of the Women’s World Cup.

Although quite a few people would be adamantly opposed, it looks like one of the most well-known soccer players in the U.S. – and quite possibly the world – may need to start coming on as a substitute. Abby Wambach, though she’s been formidable in previous World Cups and is still a force with which to be reckoned, was not nearly as impactful as soccer fans thought she would. Additionally, Megan Rapinoe is certainly looking like she’s come into her own on this team and is one to watch for the US this tournament.

On the other hand, the often in turmoil and very controversial keeper, Hope Solo, was one of the few women who kept the Yanks in the game. Solo, as mentioned, has been a subject of controversy because of domestic violence complaints and also was involved in a drunk driving incident with her husband. Although it’s important to highlight the gravity of Solo’s charges, she also has been one of the mainstays of the USWNT for years and is an asset to the team with her on-field professionalism. If Solo continues to play how she had against the USWNT win of 3-1 against Australia, then the US is in good hands.

And with the narrative coming into the World Cup of having a decently strong defense and a firm midfield and a shaky offense, it seems as if that’s been switched end over end with the defense looking a bit suspect, and – when in solid possession of the ball and playing its own way – a decent looking offense.

With some firepower off the bench available, until coach Jill Ellis switches up the starting lineup, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath, and Morgan Brian can be catalysts into the US attack for future games.

The Women’s World Cup is a tricky thing. Although the US women have the Finals – and lifting the World Cup – always in sight, the rest of the worlds’ women’s teams have progressed tremendously since Japan hoisted the cup in Germany in 2011, and it will be a hard fought road to get to Vancouver. If the USWNT can be smart about its possession game as well as controlling the tempo of the match, the Yanks may just go as far they we’d like them to go. And with the amount of American supporters that have traveled to the neighbors to the North, any and all stadiums will be filled with red, white, and blue, in support of the Americans.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.