Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mini - blog U.S. Norway

I'm working on an article as I watch this match, so my updates won't be as detailed.
Greg Ryan talks about how proud he is of the team coming together (behind him) and uniting (against Solo).
What I think is both ironic and a little cruel is how ESPN is pimping their special Hope Solo feature at halftime. It's obviously going to be about Solo's desire to play well for her father, who passed away. After ESPN's Foudy railled that she wouldn't want Solo in goal if she was a player, that wish has been granted in spades - Solo has been banished completely. It seems calloused to still be cashing in on the controversy by running a special feature on Solo and her dad. She's not playing - why do a piece on how she longed to dedicate her play at the World Cup to her father?

3 - Kristine Lilly with a shot just over the bar. Course, the U.S. started pretty well against Brazil, too, with an early Lilly shot.

6 - Foudy talking about how she hung out with the U.S. team before the match. Ryan spoke of wanting the team to show more composure.

8 - Aly Wagner is in this match. Let's see what a playmaker can do. Marian Dalmy is also in on defense for the injured Kate Markgraf.

11 - Lori Chalupny with a shot. It's high. The U.S. looks less intimidated against Norway.

15 - Foudy is being much less vocal about Ryan's goalkeeping decision - JP brings it up and Foudy declines to comment. Now they're replaying Solo's comments. (and pimping the feature on her dead dad again - this is kind of gross). Foudy keeps quiet again.

16 - Abby down in the box. No call.

17 - Foudy has an opinion again! She thinks Abby deserved the call. Oh, wait, here goes Foudy on "the situation". She says she disagrees with Ryan's decision to switch goalkeepers, but that Solo should not have "gone after" a teammate. She says everyone is speaking negatively of Solo now, instead of criticizing Ryan. Well, Foudy is at least.
Hope apparently told Foudy that she feels shame and regret. Apparently, that's not enough for the team, seeing as they didn't even want her around.

24 - The better of the possession belongs to Norway now. But the U.S. and their direct style don't need much of the ball to be effective.

27 - Corner kick to the U.S. but Wambach can't head it on goal.

28 - Yellow card to Chalupny. Apparently the big announcement for the day is that Bri Scurry wants to remain on the team for the Olympics. Looks like Solo is off the team, so why not?

30 - GOAL US! It wasn't pretty, but it went in. Off a corner kick, Chalupny took an outside shot. Wambach looked like she was trying to get out of the way and she ended up redirecting the shot into the goal.

42 - Oooh, it looked like Norway scored, but it turns out to be offsides. Rightly so, Foudy mentions that Scurry missed her punch out on the would-be goal.

44 - Foudy is saying again that Solo's comments attacked Scurry - JP seems to take a broader view, saying that Solo was probably referring to not living in the past, but Foudy insists it was Scurry-specific. The U.S. nearly scores again, but Nordby makes a good save.

46 - Tina Ellertson is in for Christie Rampone. Foudy reports that the team was united and upset by Solo's comments and decided the team needed to clearly signal that those things should never have been said.

47 - GOAL - U.S. scores again - another scrappy goal in front of the net, off a corner kick. The ball drops down and Wambach pokes it in. She's now only behind Marta in overall goals scored.

51 - S. Gulbrandsen shoots from distance - Scurry stops it.

57 - GOAL Chalupny scores. I guess U.S. fans shouldn't complain, because this is three they've hung on Norway, but this was another semi-lucky deflection scenario.

59 - GOAL O'Reilly scores after Lindsey Tarpley, in as a sub, does the grunt work of the shot and follow, but HAO tucks in the final rebound.

63 - GOAL Gulbrandsen scores a header off a corner. That's been Scurry's weak spot in the past - she has a good air game, not a great one.

89 - Kai comes on for Kristine Lilly. Lilly gives the captain's armband to Scurry.

90 - Tarp nearly gets a goal. I don't know about you, but my feed just switched to the European audio. It was a nice change, actually.

Fulltime. The U.S. wins. Norway had some injured players, but yes, they really did look flat. None of the U.S. goals were stunners, though. The best goal of the game was actually Norway's lone strike.
Hopefully the final will be a better match.


ninjapizza said...

Anyone else notice that on the second goal, Abby starts running to celebrate with Lopez (who took the corner, got an assist) and then runs directly away?

Yeah, they look unified.

Anonymous said...

Ryan is totally class during all this controvesy? Is JP Dellacamera on something?

Norway just looks either not interested or undertalented. Whatever the US better not get too excited about playing better in a 3rd place game. Its easier to play better when their's not much else to play for.

Joan said...

It's funny the difference between the way Norway played when down four goals and the way the US played in the same position on Thursday. The final difference is that Norway won't have anything to be ashamed of.

JT (Chicago) said...

United ... against Solo.

Here's another angle that was brought up by a friend last night. Sure, we know that most of the players stuck together because they themselves fear being exiled if they say anything else or go against the party line.

Could it also be that some are also thinking about a day when they are coaching and they need/want to haul out that "unwritten rule" talk?

Just goes to show what pawns players are and how much the "shut up and play" ethos is still a part of team sports.

Anonymous said...

I have a back-handed compliment for the entire team and their coach. They sure seemed to be able to deal with their loss without too much disappointment. The only one that wasn't really able to accept the outcome was Solo. If the US team gets beat by anyone 4-0 something is terribly wrong and it starts at the top. The US fans were short-changed and only Solo is willing to admit that. I can't wait until the "mean girls" clique is gone from the game completely, but I think they will be around commenting for decades. The only hero in the bunch is also the quietest, Hamm. More Solo, Less Ryan.


Hank said...

AC I just read your article on ESPN... I agree with you that Foudy has it all wrong. I'd like to think if she had been benched in the semis of the world cup she might have had a different opinion, but somehow I doubt it. Foudy (who still thinks that her team was better than this one) represents the old guard, and she'll toe the line for as long as she lives.

It was so obvious to me that Solo would be benched, especially after Ryan's comments about goalkeeper depth. But the point of the matter is that Ryan blew it. And he needs to own up to it.

Anonymous said...

Wow...the armband to Scurry....was that meant to remind Solo of Bri's status with the old guard?

I thought Wambach was the other leader?

And Wambach would like to think she would like to forgive Solo?

And Ryan would like to keep his job?

But finally the team broke out of Ryan's chokehold and played the game the way they know how to play it, and looked good (not great) for the first time in the tournament. That is what we expected against North Korea, not the finals.

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