Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
US Women Missing That 2019 World Cup Magic as Knockout Match Looms
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 9 months ago on
August 1, 2023

Share

The United States is clearly not the dominant team that won the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

The Americans have advanced to the knockout stage at this edition of the tournament, but just barely after a 0-0 draw with Portugal in their final group match. After the final whistle on Tuesday night, Alex Morgan stood expressionless with her hands on her hips.

NEXT MATCH: USA vs. Sweden on Sunday, August 6 at 2 a.m. (Pacific)

It was a look of frustration. If the Americans don’t pick up their play, their run to a third straight World Cup title could soon be over.

With just one win and a pair of draws, the United States fell to second in Group E behind the Netherlands. The Americans now head to Melbourne, Australia, for a Round of 16 match Sunday against Sweden.

Comparisons to 2019

The United States scored just four goals in group play — a sharp contrast to the 18 they scored in the group in 2019. In each of their first six matches four years ago in France, the Americans scored within the opening 12 minutes.

“I think there’s things we can do better for sure, things we could do better from the last couple of games. But I’m not going to dwell on it. It is what it is,” veteran Megan Rapinoe said. “We need to play better and we know that. We need to be a little bit more fluid and I think just a little bit more connected offensively.”

New Players and Injuries

The team has 14 players who are making their first appearance in a World Cup, and for 12 of them, it’s their first big international tournament. Coach Vlatko Andonovski focused on developing young talent after the United States settled for a disappointing bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Andonovski rolled out the same lineup for the first two matches of the group stage against Vietnam and the Netherlands. The starters had never played together before.

Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, who both scored in the 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the World Cup final four years ago in France, had picked up injuries in the run-up to the tournament and their minutes were restricted.

When Lavelle was subbed into the group match against the Dutch last Thursday, she gave the team a second-half spark and served up the corner kick to Lindsey Horan for the goal that pulled the U.S. into a 1-1 draw.

Hoping to boost the attack, Andonovski changed things up against Portugal, starting Lavelle for midfielder Savannah DeMelo and replacing forward Trinity Rodman with Lynn Williams. Still, the scoring issues persisted.

Lavelle picked up her second yellow card in the match against Portugal, meaning she won’t be available to play on Sunday in Melbourne.

Portugal nearly scored in stoppage time, but Ana Capeta’s blast hit the post. A loss to the Portuguese would have sent the Americans home after the group stage for the first time at a World Cup or an Olympics.

Former Forward Carli Lloyd’s Criticism

Following the draw, former U.S. forward Carli Lloyd blasted the team as “uninspiring.”

“Disappointing. They don’t look fit. They’re playing as individuals and the tactics are too predictable,” Lloyd said on the Fox Sports postgame show.

Andonovski was asked afterward about Lloyd’s comments.

“One thing that I want to say is that this team wanted to win this game more than anything else, and they’ve put everything they could in preparation for this tournament and in every game,” Andonovski said. “To question the mentality of this team, to question the willingness to win, to compete, I think it’s insane.”

Absence of Key Players

The United States is also missing Mallory Swanson’s scoring punch and Becky Sauerbrunn’s veteran leadership on the backline. Swanson, the team’s top scorer this year, tore her patella tendon in an exhibition match with Ireland in April. Then Sauerbrunn, the team’s captain, announced in June that she was unable to get over a foot injury in time for the tournament.

The Americans, who have won a record four World Cups, had not needed the third and final group-stage match to clinch a spot in the knockout round since 2007.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

DON'T MISS

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

DON'T MISS

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

DON'T MISS

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

UP NEXT

Parker Wins MLB Debut as Nationals Beat Dodgers on Jackie Robinson Day

UP NEXT

Giants Rally With 3 Runs in 7th to Beat NL-Worst Marlins

UP NEXT

Ken Holtzman, MLB’s Winningest Jewish Pitcher Who Won 3 World Series With A’s, Dies at 78

UP NEXT

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

UP NEXT

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

UP NEXT

Ethiopia’s Lemma Wins, Fresno’s Albertson 7th in Boston Marathon. Kenya’s Obiri Retains Women Title.

UP NEXT

Vegas, US Tour and More Signings: Wrexham Has Plenty of Fun and Work Ahead After Latest Promotion

UP NEXT

NBA Play-in Game Preview: West Games on Tuesday, East Games on Wednesday, Eliminations on Friday

UP NEXT

Ship That Caused Bridge Collapse Had Apparent Electrical Issues While Still Docked, Source Says

UP NEXT

Rosario, Pinto Homer off Snell in His Return to Tropicana Field as Rays Beat Giants

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

1 hour ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

2 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

2 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

2 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

2 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

2 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

2 hours ago

Fresno Fire and Police Ramp up Probe Into Fires at Cemeteries

3 hours ago

New Recruiting Programs Put Army, Air Force on Track to Meet Enlistment Goals. Navy Will Fall Short

3 hours ago

Citing Safety, USC Cancels Speech by Valedictorian Who Has Publicly Supported Palestinians

3 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

California’s chronic inability to build enough housing – particularly for low-income families – has many causes, but a big one is its extrem...

11 mins ago

11 mins ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
34 mins ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
43 mins ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

1 hour ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

2 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

Breaking News /
2 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

2 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

Local Education /
2 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend