Post by Admin on Jul 21, 2021 2:28:14 GMT
USA ROSTER NOTES
Carli Lloyd has the most Olympic appearances coming into the tournament with 16 and the most Olympic goals with eight. Tobin Heath has made 12 Olympic appearances. The USWNT record for most Olympic appearances is 22, held by Christie Pearce Rampone. Lloyd is currently tied for second in Olympic appearances with Julie Foudy, Kate Markgraf, Kristine Lilly, Joy Fawcett and Hope Solo. Heath’s 12 caps are tied for 12th all-time in USWNT Olympic history.
The 18-player roster named on June 23 averages 113 international caps per player and has a combined total of 77 Olympic appearances and 17 Olympic goals, courtesy of Lloyd (8), Alex Morgan (5), Megan Rapinoe (3) and Crystal Dunn (1). By comparison, at the time of roster announcement for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, the squad averaged 80 caps per player while the 2016 Olympic roster averaged 77 caps per player heading into the Send-Off matches with a total of 53 combined Olympic caps. Once the alternates were made full members of the roster, the average cap number drops to 92 per player.
The average age of the 22 players on the Olympic Team roster is just under 30 years of age.
So far this year, 12 players have scored the USA’s 37 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Samantha Mewis (5), Christen Press (5), Alex Morgan (3), Lindsey Horan (3), Carli Lloyd (3), Kristie Mewis (2), Tobin Heath (2), Margaret Purce (2), Lynn Williams (2), Rose Lavelle and Catarina Macario.
Thirteen different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (6), Lindsey Horan (4), Christen Press (4), Samantha Mewis (3), Rose Lavelle (2), Megan Rapinoe (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Alex Morgan (2), Crystal Dunn (2), Ali Krieger, Emily Sonnett, Casey Krueger and Tierna Davidson.
Overall, 16 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 37 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
Rapinoe (7 goals, 2 assist), Press (5 goals, 4 assists) and Lloyd (3 goals, 6 assists) lead the way with nine goal contributions while and Samantha Mewis (5 goals, 3 assists) has been involved in eight.
Post by Admin on Jul 21, 2021 20:20:47 GMT
USWNT loses for the first time in TWO YEARS! How Sweden caused the shock | Tokyo Olympics 2020
Fernando Palomo joins Toni Collins on SportsCenter to discuss the USWNT's shock 3-0 loss to Sweden on the Olympic Games.
0:01 Toni Collins outlines the history of the USWNT and Sweden rivalry and the incredible run of results the team have been on.
0:42 Fernando Palomo explains why he thinks the USWNT lost.
1:40 What are the consequences of the loss for the USWNT?
2:30 Palomo says the US need to rely on the old guard to guide them through the rest of the tournament.
Post by Admin on Jul 21, 2021 22:46:22 GMT
Stina Blackstenius scored a pair of goals and Sweden once again stunned the United States at the Olympics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday in the women’s soccer tournament.
The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world and the favorites to win gold in Tokyo, were riding a 44-match unbeaten streak heading into the match.
But Sweden, ranked No. 5, has been the U.S. team’s nemesis of sorts in recent years. The Swedes bounced the Americans from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in the quarterfinals, the earliest U.S. Olympic exit ever.
Then in April, Sweden played the United States to a 1-1 draw in Stockholm, which snapped a winning streak dating back to January 2019, when the Americans lost to France in the run-up to the World Cup.
Blackstenius’ header into the far corner off a cross from Sofia Jakobsson in the 26th minute gave Sweden the first-half lead.
Post by Admin on Jul 22, 2021 5:21:01 GMT
USWNT loses 3-0 to Sweden: A sign of things to come at 2020 Tokyo Olympics? | ESPN FC
The United States women's national team's pursuit of history at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics took a stunning blow right away, as Sweden ended the Americans' 44-match unbeaten streak with a 3-0 victory. USWNT defender Ali Krieger joins Dan Thomas on ESPN FC to break down what went wrong and whether Vlatko Andonovski's side can still become the first team to win gold after winning the previous FIFA World Cup.
0:00 Megan Rapinoe's post-match comments.
2:00 How the USWNT got overrun in the midfield.
2:45 Alex Morgan's reaction to the loss.
3:59 Sweden's recent history of success against the United States.
5:42 Morgan subbed off for Carli Lloyd at halftime.
6:24 Was Rapinoe brought on too late?
7:14 Will Andonovski make significant changes against New Zealand?
8:00 Why the USWNT is still the overwhelming favorite to win gold in Tokyo.
Post by Admin on Jul 22, 2021 6:04:42 GMT
New coach in his first big tournament
The broadcasters were clamoring for it and you were probably shouting the same thing at your screens: “Can the U.S. hold the ball? Can anyone keep it?” It was the viewer’s natural reaction to what was occurring in the game: The USA rushing forward in attack, promptly coughing it up, and Sweden coming right back down their throats the other way. The pattern repeated itself over and over again. It may have been productive for Sweden, but it was stretching the USA apart and the Americans desperately needed to stop the cycle.
Granted, it was head coach Vlatko Andonovski’s first appearance in a major tournament. Perhaps he was reluctant to change up some things only 15-20 minutes into that first game in response to some adversity. Still, it was fascinating that none of the players felt the need to try to bring calm to the game, manage the situation and give the team a chance to settle down. As the minutes went by, it was as if the USA was growing increasingly impatient, running at Sweden faster, launching more long balls and taking more risks in the attack.
One of the themes of the lead-up to the Olympics was Andonovski’s experiments: his implementation of in-game tactical tweaks and system changes to challenge his players to adapt to situations on the fly. The U.S. players and coaching staff faced one of those situations in the first half against Sweden, and we didn’t see any visible adjustment that helped to change the dynamic or slow Sweden’s momentum.
Sam Mewis was consistently one of the top three performers for the USA during the lead-up to the Olympics. Even when she wasn’t starring, she always did enough on the field to make her irreplaceable. But the first adjustment that Andonovski opted to make down 1-0 to Sweden was taking her and Alex Morgan out at halftime. Neither had a great first half, but Mewis has had those barren spells before and eventually breaks out of them.
The thinking was probably that keeping Lindsey Horan’s creativity in midfield was necessary since the U.S. was playing from behind. But Mewis contributes to the attack in other ways with her work rate, her runs and her ability to combine. It would’ve been interesting to see what she could’ve done during what was a better second half for the USA.
Obviously, the team missed Ertz
The reason the USA was better in the second half was the long-awaited insertion of Julie Ertz into the match at midfield. We witnessed just how much of a game-changer she can be in her return from the injury layoff. Sweden's knifing attacks through the midfield dissipated — fewer instances of the waves upon waves of attacks from the first half — and Ertz’s quality aided the midfield’s buildup play. And that’s not necessarily a criticism of her replacement Horan, who complements Ertz well, but doesn’t play the position in the same way.
Sweden boxed up Horan to start the match and overwhelmed her and the U.S. midfield with numbers in that first half. It begs this question: If Ertz was fit enough to play for a full half, was she fit enough to start the game and perhaps go for 60-70 minutes? Andonovski will be quizzed about her plenty in the days to come, especially in light of the next two matches taking on even greater importance after the Sweden loss.
Too many players had off games
Better put: There were players who had games where the bad plays outnumbered the good ones. Crystal Dunn had too many giveaways and Abby Dahlkemper had defensive lapses; to be fair, they were put under constant pressure by the hard-charging and often hard-pressing Swedes, and they were rarely comfortable.
In attack, Tobin Heath did not make an impact, Alex Morgan didn’t make a good play on the one header chance she had, and Christen Press seemed to be on an island for long stretches of the first half, with her involvement picking up in the second half with the improved U.S. play.
Given that Olympic soccer coaches have to select an 18-player matchday roster from the 22 available players, it makes for interesting debate who makes the 18 and who sits out these games. Midfielder Catarina Macario was one of those players who didn’t make the cut for the USA squad against Sweden, and her exclusion was surprising.
Entering the match, it was not unfathomable to see Sweden taking the lead in the game. It’s the No. 5-ranked team in the world and the Swedes already did it during April’s exhibition against the USA. Macario’s playmaking, 1-on-1 skills and her ability to break lines are special enough to have deserved a spot on the roster in that eventuality. In hindsight, she would’ve made for an interesting option, but instead it was Kristie Mewis (Sam’s sister) who was selected ahead of her. For the rest of these Olympics, it’s Macario vs. Mewis for the back-up midfielder spot on the bench. The other will likely be the odd player out.
USWNT needs better competition
The narrative is already making the rounds about this being the “wakeup call” that the USWNT needed to bring it down from the lofty heights of a 44-match unbeaten streak. And while there is truth to that, it's not because of any superiority complexes that might have developed over time.
It’s more that the USWNT needed to remember what it was like to play against an elite opponent. It hasn’t played FIFA-ranked top 5 teams all that often outside official competition and as we saw with Sweden, those teams present entirely different problems to solve. Since the end of the 2019 World Cup, the USA has played a grand total of two of them in friendly matches (including Sweden in April, a 1-1 road draw), and the COVID-19 pandemic surely played no small role in that.
Post-pandemic, it’s clear that the American women’s team needs to get back to more frequent matches against the Euro powers — No. 2 Germany, No. 3 France, No. 4 Netherlands, No. 5 Sweden, No. 6 England. They only played those teams three times since that July 2019 World Cup final. If soccer playing is also problem-solving on the field, the American players need to face the problem teams more often.