Monday, July 18, 2011
USA loss in WWC final
For a large part of the final the USA played their best soccer of the tournament. They controlled play, they limited Japan's shots, and overall looked like the better team. There were two things they didn't do and it led to their downfall. During their first half dominance they were unable to to put away any of their 12 shots. The far greater problem was their composure with the lead. The USA constantly showed grit and determination throughout the tournament. They always played their best when the score was tied or the US was behind. What they didn't do was ice games. Forgotten in the Brazil game was the fact that the US led 1-0. Against France they led 1-0 early on but were then dominated for large portions of the game and only played their best once France had tied the game. This problem cropped up again and the USA did not do a good job of killing the final minutes of regulation or the second overtime. The women had a great run but when facing a team that had the same grit the US had shown throughout the tournament it came down to composure. Between now and the Olympics next year the team must develop a center mid-fielder who can calm things down, create for others, and possess the ball the way no starter showed they could this world cup.