Thursday, July 7, 2011

US Women Fall to Sweden

Last night the US National Women's Soccer Team was literally out-muscled on the pitch by a physical Swedish side that sucessfully took the American women out of their passing game, leading to a 1 - 2 loss for the Americans.  The physicality of the Swedes kept the American's from playing the passing style of attacking that they have adopted under coach Pia Sundhage, leading the American women to revert to the long-ball-over-the-midfield style that Coach Sundhage has tried to change.  It didn't work.

As reported on Fox Sports,

"Needing only a tie to win its group and the chance for a quarter-final matchup with a far less frightening Australian team, the Americans played a sloppy and disorganized first half and gave a disciplined Swedish side a lead it would not relinquish.  Sweden notched its two first-half goals on a penalty kick and a deflected free kick, giving the Swedes a 2-0 lead at halftime.

American striker Abby Wambach deflected in a corner kick with her shoulder in the 66th minute to halve the lead, but the US comeback ended there. 

Wednesday's loss sends the US to Dresden Sunday for the match against Brazil, which features the five-time world player of the year, Marta."  Widely acknowledged as the best female player in the world at the moment, Marta and her teamates also carry  the weight of Brazil's tremendous legacy of football succes into the match.  It will be a dangerous match for the American women, but despite this Coach Sunhage has publicly stated, "We're going to play in the final."  It was an incredibly bold statement for Pia Sundhage to make, but if the US gets past Brazil and makes it to the final, she will look like a football prophetess.
Let's hope the prophecy comes true.