The Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup match between the United States Women’s National Team and the Women’s National Team of Brazil had some questionable refereeing. For USA fans, the biggest potentially blown call is when Alex Morgan had a disallowed goal in the 68th minute, off of a free kick.
(Note: I’ll have an in-depth review/analysis of the two matches, sometime next week.)
The United States Women’s National Team, finished the Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup earlier than expected, today, as their match against Brazil was moved up four hours. In the first match, versus host Japan, Alex Morgan scored a second-half equalizer in a 1:1 draw. Against an unorganized and less-than-full-strength Brazil, the USA won rather easily, with a 3:0 score, with all goals by Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx, and substitute Amy Rodriguez all coming on set pieces.
The United States Women’s National Team will play Brazil in the USA’s second match of the Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup on April 3rd, in Japan. The last time these two teams met was just eight months ago, in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Since that match, Brazil has changed its head coach, changed its captain, and changed its federation’s president. The one thing that has not changed is Brazil’s reliance on a three-back formation. Continue reading “USWNT: Brazil, Since Last We Met…”
At the 2012 Algarve Cup, the USWNT won its first two matches, then lost to Japan 0:1, in the final group match. In its placement match, the USA defeated Sweden 4:0, with Alex Morgan getting her first international hat trick.
(No real analysis this time, this is mostly just bookmarking of links and notes.) Continue reading “USWNT: 2012 Algarve Cup Recap (Catch-Up)”
At this year’s Algarve Cup, Alex Morgan led the USWNT in playing time, as she was on the pitch for all but 13 minutes over 4 matches. Sydney Leroux had just 51 minutes of playing time, while defender Whitney Engen did not play at all. Eleven players had at least 180 minutes (equivalent of 2 full matches) of playing time while three more had at least 135 minutes (equivalent of 1.5 full matches).
Continue reading “USWNT: 2012 Algarve Cup Playing Time”
AP sports writer, Joseph White Jr., had an article out yesterday where we learned that USWNT head coach Pia Sundhage has named Abby Wambach as co-captain of the team (espn.com). Apparently, Christie Rampone will remain in her position as full captain, with Wambach taking an unspecified role that will be subordinate to the team’s last remaining 99’er. This move can also be viewed as part of a succession plan for the captaincy, as Rampone announced last September that she will retire sometime after the Olympics (USSoccer.com), with Wambach the most likely candidate to be captain in 2013.
Also, the article is worth a read as it provides some excellent insights into the relationship between Sundhage and Wambach.
FIFA.com has posted a short interview article with USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo. I found this excerpt noteworthy:
“Our training camp last December was a key point for me. Fifteen months after my operation [in September 2010] I began with my preparations for the Olympic Games. I’m learning to use my shoulder in a different way. No more drugs, less pain. My movements are different now. It’s about getting to know my body again in the hope of being in a stronger position heading into the Olympics than I was for the World Cup.”
Just something to keep in mind when evaluating and comparing her performance.
USWNT coach Pia Sundhage has named 23 players who will travel to Portugal for a training camp prior to the Algarve Cup. 21 players will be named for the Cup roster. Notable additions to the usual regulars are Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg, Both earned their first two (and only) caps last year. (Engen at the 2011 Algarve Cup, Klingenberg at China’s Four Nations Tournament).
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach
Barring injuries, I expect Harris and Klingenberg to be the two players who will be left out of the final Cup roster.