Saturday, September 22, 2007

US v England Running Blog

Anthems play. "My Country 'Tis of Thee"

Coach Greg Ryan has gone into a defensive stance for this game, which I completely disagree with. England simply doesn't have the fitness of the U.S. The team needs to run them ragged from the start.

I nearly choked on my early morning Pillsbury pastry. Did JP just say that England could have easily won their draw versus Germany?

Huh. I'd say that game was England in a defensive shell the entire game, but that's just me.

So far, the U.S. playing so far back is letting England possess the ball a heck of a lot. Sure, they're in their own half, but I don't like the U.S. conceding so much control. The pace of the game is also very slow so far.

5 - England certainly don't seem intimidated. They're pushing the play into the U.S. side more.

8 - Nice build up by U.S., but England clear. White is keeping the backline organized and calm.

10 -The U.S. look tired. So much for my thoughts of a fitness advantage.

12 - Rachel Brown does well to pluck the ball out of traffic before any U.S. players can beat her there.

13 - See, I blame Ryan partly for the U.S. team being tired. He hasn't subbed enough, in my opinion. That wears players down to log so many minutes.

14 - Kelly Smith just beat three U.S. players, but Kate Markgraf knocks the ball off Smith for a corner kick.

18 - England nearly through along on goal, but only a weak shot gets off.

18 - FK for England, then more possession. The U.S. just isn't creating much. This could have been a great match for Carli Lloyd to break out in.

21 - Chalupny lost the ball in a bad spot there, and England counter well. Jill Scott nearly gets on the end of the pass.

27 - Shot for England. It doesn't bother Solo much, but it shows that England is working the attack well.

29 - Two corners mark the best attacks for the U.S. in a while.

31 - England is hustling to second balls faster than the U.S. They get a corner out of it. The U.S. is on their heels. They're definitely not in the agressive, confident stance of England.

33 - Over the top to Wambach - hopefully the U.S. has a plan B for something else as well. Corner for the U.S., but it is cleared.

36 - This might be where the U.S. is weakest - game mentality. They're not used to game pressure anymore. It's easier to get cozy in residency, but playing for a club team teaches players how to deal with important, must-win games. The U.S. is missing that sharpness.

38 - Faye White down with injury.

43 - Lilly with a shot on frame. It's better from her.

44 - If either team scores before the half, it makes a big difference.

45 - Late corner goes to England instead. Yikes. Cleared, but England recovers to create another chance. The U.S. is playing so much defense here.

Halftime The U.S. is taking it's sweet time about getting into gear. It could really cost them.

Yikes - 48 - Corner for the U.S.

Goal! Abby Wambach

57 - Goal! Shannon Boxx

60- Goal! Kristine Lilly

The big guns for the U.S. have gotten on the board. It looks like another 3-0 game that was closer than the score.

FK for England from close in. Solo stops the shot, then the U.S. clears.

74 - The U.S. firmly in control now.

78 - Another chance for the U.S. Nice build up.

80 - Solo stops shot from way outside.

82 - Carli Lloyd in for Boxx. I'd like to see Carli uncork a shot from distance - something to spark her this tournament. She is too good to play so meekly.

86 - Kai is in the match. If you watch the U.S. Nike commercials, you probably think Kai is a big star for the U.S. She's got talent, but she has played only a few minutes.

88 - Smith with a chance, over the top.

90 - England with a few late looks at goal, but Solo is solid and the whole U.S. team hangs on.


Nice win for the U.S. It was a far more comfortable one than was expected after the first half.

1 comment:

JT (Chicago) said...

England & the USA played an even (for the most part) first half but England succumbed to a well executed set piece with a powerful Wambach header, an aggressive return to form moment from Boxx, and a miscue.

Funny how it took that third goal to put the USA in a position to knock the ball around and show what kind of soccer they can play. I know that Coach Ryan doesn't want to play the short passing game but the team sure looks more dangerous when playing that way.

Rampone had a big effort and the USA will need to see a full strength Shannon Boxx to continue this run. The aggressive tackle and pile driving shot may give her that spark to let her be herself.
They'll need her at that level to win this WWC.

England will have to forget the result and remember the performance. Asante is a real force on the backline, tho I'm not sure how much longer Captain White will be able to play. They are that close to becoming an elite team but need to develop a decisive finisher so Kelly Smith can go back to being the creative force. For all of Alucko's pace, I'm not sure that she will develop into the finisher. Does Michael Owen have a healthy sister?