What Lessons Does America Still Need to Learn To Win?
This may be the questions everyone is asking this morning as we all suffer from the draw hangover. According to Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer’s Head Coach of the Women’s National Team, there were valuable lessons in the second #SHEBELIEVES match against England.
It Was an Action Packed Match with no Yellow or Red Cards.
Yesterday, our U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) earned their second straight #SHEBELIEVES Cup draw. Why? With this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France, our country’s performance is deserving of scrutiny.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis said they have definite areas to improve, and it the details. The measure between a win and a loss can be the difference between recognizing the importance of these details.
“We have got to shore things up,” said Ill. “The margin for error is very very small.”
USA opened the scoring in the second #SHEBELIEVES match with Megan Rapinoe finding the back of the next in the 33rd minute and it was a beautiful goal showing off American prowess on the field. The goal was off a delayed cross sent by Kelley O’Hara. According to U.S. Soccer, “Rapinoe controlled the ball with her chest as she moved forward and then struck a powerful half-volley inside the left post to open the scoring. The show was hit with such pace that England goalkeeper Karen Bardsely did not even make a move for the ball.”
The USWNT lead was only temporary, and worse, it was our fault.
Adrianna Franch, who was making her debut as our country’s goalkeeper (and Portland Thorns FC) with Alyssa Naeher out due to a minor injury, handled a long back pass from Mallory Pugh … and the referee awarded an indirect free kick inside the penalty area. which Steph Houghton converted with ease.
Soon after the second half began, Nikita Parris scored, sending the ball just inside the far post.
The excitement continued as Tobin Heath scored her first goal of 2019 and 26th of her career in her 145th international appearance. It was in the 67th minute and it tied up the game. Unfortunately, there were no more goals to be scored.
As reported by U.S. Soccer, “The USA out-shot England 20-6 and had six corner kicks to England’s one.” Worse, England scored on two of its three shots on goal. The USA had slighlymore posession – 54% to 46% ball possession – but it what the players do with the ball that counts more.
“It’s just frustrating,” said Megan Rapinoe.
The victory escaped the Americans, who now look towards their final match in the competition when they take on Brazil in Tampa, Florida, on March 5 (8 p.m. ET; FS1) at Raymond James Stadium.
Hopefully, the USA will wrap up the 2019 SheBelieves Cup with a win. Ellis was the first to remind everyone that we must have confidence and be positive. We agree.
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