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The US Women's soccer team almost loses to the Netherlands. Haha.

Hey, guys! You suck. You don't care for me being an American, so I'll return the favor. Too embarrassed to stand and look mildly interested at the playing of our national anthem? No problem. I hope you guys get your ass kicked at the World Cup.


You don't care are being an American, we don't care about you.


Actually, that's not entirely fair. 40% of the starters didn't act repulsed when the Star Spangled Banner played. How about they stay and the others can get thrown off the team to play for someone else?


BTW: If you don't get a win at your next match, you'll be eliminated in the group round of the World Cup for the first time in history. Don't choke. I'll not be rooting for you...haha.


The U.S. Women’s Scoring Attack Is Stalled. It Needs More Rose Lavelle.

The speedy midfielder could help the Americans get better shots in the World Cup—something they desperately need to three-peat as champions



Rose Lavelle came off the bench and sparked the U.S. team in a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands.

By Rachel Bachman, WSJ


July 30, 2023 8:00 am ET


AUCKLAND, New Zealand—For more than a half of its game against a clinically precise Netherlands team, the U.S. women’s soccer team staggered. The Americans fell behind 1-0 as the Dutch midfield controlled play.


Then midfielder Rose Lavelle came on at halftime for the U.S. Within 11 minutes, she helped reignite the U.S. attack and lofted a perfect corner kick to Lindsey Horan, who headed it home for the equalizer. The Americans escaped with a 1-1 draw and a lesson: If it is going to three-peat as World Cup champions, the U.S. badly needs Lavelle’s spark.


The question is: How much spark does Lavelle—who is returning from injury during this tournament—have to give?


Lavelle’s rare ability to speed with the ball into open space and find teammates could be a crucial ingredient going forward. The U.S. might need an even larger contribution from her against Portugal in its third and final group-stage match (3 a.m. ET on Aug. 1)—when it will be important not just to win, but to score enough to win a goal-differential tiebreaker with the Dutch and advance to the knockout round in first place.


“We’ve got such a core of attacking prowess on our team,” said Jill Ellis, the former two-time World Cup champion U.S. coach who’s now president of San Diego Wave FC. “You’ve got to activate the forwards, and Rose can do that.”


The U.S. women’s soccer team is entering its first World Cup with a contract to pool and share any prize money they win with the U.S. men’s team. It’s a significant step toward pay equity, but some players say it isn’t enough.


Against the Netherlands, Lavelle won possession of the ball seven times in the second half, more than any other U.S. player except defender Naomi Girma, according to Stats Perform. Lavelle also attempted seven crosses in the second half—including the corner kick to Horan—more than any other U.S. player over the entire game.


Lavelle’s minutes have gradually ramped up as she’s gained fitness following a knee injury. Against Vietnam she entered in the game’s 61st minute. After the Netherlands match, U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said she might play 90 minutes in the next.


Lavelle, a 28-year-old Cincinnati native, announced herself to the international world with two moments in the 2019 World Cup.


Early in the U.S. team’s semifinal against England, Lavelle hurried the ball toward the right corner, coming face-to-face with England defender Millie Bright. In a flash, Lavelle poked the ball through Bright’s legs, dashed past her and rocketed a point-blank shot—saved only because goalkeeper Carly Telford was in position to stop it.



In the 2019 final against the Netherlands, the U.S. was nursing a 1-0 lead when Lavelle broke free with the ball and charged up the middle before netting an insurance goal and the World Cup for the U.S.


“I always say I would’ve expected a moment like that to feel like I’m different or it changed me,” Lavelle said before the Netherlands match at this World Cup. “But I don’t really feel like it did. I feel like it was a goal and it was fun. But I feel like I’m still just me.”


Lavelle grew up so enthralled with soccer that she dressed as Mia Hamm for a third-grade book report. She went on to star at Cincinnati’s all-girls Mount Notre Dame High School and at Wisconsin, where her coach said she would often wander past an otherwise empty field and find Lavelle alone, a ball at her feet.


At Wisconsin, Lavelle drew the attention of Ellis, then the U.S. women’s coach. But every time Ellis inquired about Lavelle, she was hurt or injured or unavailable.


One day in late 2016, Ellis called Wisconsin coach Paula Wilkins, who called Lavelle into the room and put her on the phone. From what Ellis could tell, Lavelle hadn’t fully committed to strength training and nutrition—the things elite players did to keep their bodies ready.


“‘This is rubber-hit-the-road time,’” Ellis recalled saying to her. “‘You’ve got to commit.’” Ellis also made a pledge: “‘If you do, I’m going to bring you in.’” It was the assurance and direction that Lavelle needed.


Lavelle realized she had to eat more to fuel her relentless style of play, which included miles of running without the ball. At the U20 Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2014, Lavelle had cranked out triple the workload metrics that team officials anticipated, Wilkins said. Lavelle also did Pilates and added more strength training to try to gird her body.


“She committed,” Ellis said. “Brought her into camp, and she was frickin’ amazing. World-class.”


In 2017, the now-defunct team the Boston Breakers picked Lavelle No.1 in the National Women’s Soccer League draft—the first Badger to be selected first in any respective sport’s professional league.


Even though Lavelle has been dogged by injuries, she makes a big impact in the time she is on the field. In 2019, Lavelle was named one of the best 11 players in the league despite playing in just six of 24 games because of injury and U.S. women’s national team duties.


“I think what Rose allows you to do is, when you’re playing 11 versus 11, suddenly she beats a defender, now you’ve got a 2-v-1,” Ellis said. “She suddenly creates a numbers-up situation….


“It’s no different in basketball. You’ve got a 2-v-1 and a break, you’re better off.”


At the World Cup, the U.S. might need all of Lavelle’s skills—but mostly her facilitating spark. To secure first place in the group, it likely needs to beat Portugal and score enough goals to maintain its goal differential advantage as the Netherlands plays Vietnam, the lowest-ranked member of Group E.


Write to Rachel Bachman at Rachel.Bachman@wsj.com


US needs a win in next match to ensure they avoid elimination in group play for the 1st time in World Cup history

By Jenna Fryer

Associated Press

•Published: Jul 31, 2023 at 9:28 am


AUCKLAND, New Zealand — The United States arrived at the Women’s World Cup as the favorites to win an unprecedented third consecutive title. But after an underwhelming draw against the Netherlands, there’s a real chance the Americans can be eliminated in group play for the first time in tournament history.


The U.S. plays Portugal in the third and final match of Group E play, and if Portugal pulls off an upset Tuesday at Eden Park in Auckland, the Americans could be in big trouble.


The United States needs to either win or draw against Portugal, one of eight teams playing in its first World Cup, to ensure the Americans continue to play in this tournament.


“I think we feel like we have to win everything all the time,” said American star Megan Rapinoe. “That’s the expectation for ourselves. That’s the expectation playing for U.S. national team. It’s just kind of like, ‘Why would you come into the World Cup if you don’t think that you should win it, and if you don’t think that you can win it?’”


The United States sits atop the group after a 3-0 victory over Vietnam in the tournament opener, and a 1-1 draw with the Netherlands last Thursday in Wellington. The Dutch are tied with the U.S. on points, but the Americans have the tie-breaker on goals scored.


Portugal lost to the Dutch in its opener but then beat Vietnam 2-0. So if the Portuguese beat the United States, they’ll move on, and the Americans would then need Vietnam to beat the Dutch in Dunedin — while keeping their advantage on goal differential — to advance.


U.S. team sings their national anthem ahead of play in the World Cup against the Netherlands in Wellington, New Zealand, on July 27, 2023.

U.S. team sings their national anthem ahead of play in the World Cup against the Netherlands in Wellington, New Zealand, on July 27, 2023. (John Cowpland/AP)

“One thing is for sure, that we have a job to do and that’s first and foremost to take care of our game, so our main focus right now it our performance, our team, and Portugal,” said U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski. “What happens on the other side is something we can’t control. We have to stay focused on the things we can control.”


Portugal could use a swarming defense to try to prevent the United States from scoring the way Vietnam — unsuccessfully — played the Americans in the opener.


Portugal defender Ana Borges said her team will be prepared.


“This is the stage where we want to be. It’s against these teams that we want to play because we’re going to learn and grow from them,” Borges said. “Not saying anything about the other team, but if we weren’t prepared for this challenge, we wouldn’t be playing football.”


England is in very good shape headed into its Group D finale against China, needing only a draw Tuesday night in Adelaide, Australia to win the group and advance to the round of 16.


Even a loss would be OK and push England through as group winners so long as Denmark doesn’t beat Haiti. If Denmark won and England lost, the group winner would be decided by FIFA tiebreakers.


England edged out a 1-0 victory over Haiti to open the tournament, then beat Denmark by the same score.


China lost 1-0 to Denmark in the opener but rebounded with a 1-0 win over Haiti and is now trying to keep its streak intact of advancing out of group play in all eight of its World Cup appearances.


It will be a tough task: China can advance to the round of 16 if the Chinese beat England. But if Denmark beats Haiti, coupled with a China win, then FIFA tiebreakers would come into a play. A loss would mean China’s only chance at advancing would be if Haiti beat Denmark.


England and China meet for just the fifth time, but first since a 2-1 China victory in 2015.


England has scored in each of its last 15 matches at the Women’s World Cup for a tally of 25 goals since 2015. A goal against China would make England the first team to score in 16 consecutive matches in the tournament.


China is looking to win consecutive World Cup games for the first time since 1999.


The Netherlands want to win every match in the Women’s World Cup but none more so than Tuesday’s game against Vietnam.


At stake: avoiding Sweden in the knockout round.


The Dutch, the tournament runner-up in 2019, need only a win or a draw in the Group E match played in Dunedin, New Zealand. And even a loss would be OK so long as the United States beats Portugal in a game being played simultaneously.


But the Netherlands has mapped out the tournament and wants no part of Sweden anytime soon.


“The first aim is always to win and get to the last 16 and then after that if we can score goals we will, of course,” said Dutch coach Andries Jonker. “But looking at our colleagues from the U.S. and Portugal, we’ve noticed it’s not all that easy. We’ve never shown any kind of arrogance, but if we get chances to score goals we will. We would prefer to play against the number two in this group and not Sweden.”


The Netherlands are tied with the United States for the top spot in the group after playing to a 1-1 draw against the Americans and a 1-0 win over Portugal.


Vietnam has already been eliminated from its first Women’s World Cup following losses to the United States and Portugal. Vietnam has lost its last five internationals by a combined score of 18-1.


“The Netherlands tries to have as many goals as possible, and I have to say we are at a low level,” said Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung. “If we compare with Asia, we’re still at a low level. So if we compare with the world, we are still quite behind. It is a success for us already. In the past two matches we have tried our best. Great effort already.”


Haiti-Denmark

First-time Women’s World Cup participant Haiti would like to stick around a bit longer but needs a miracle against in the Group D finale against Denmark to have any shot to advance.


Haiti needs to beat Denmark in the Tuesday match played in Perth, Australia, and hope England beats China. If both those things happen, Haiti’s only chance would still come down to FIFA’s tiebreaker system.


It’s very long odds for Haiti, which has played better in this tournament than its 0-2 record shows. Haiti held both England and China to one goal each in the first two matches.


Haiti is on a six-game losing streak headed into what is probably its final game of this tournament.


Denmark, meanwhile, is trying to advance to the group stage for the first time since 1995. Denmark was a 1-0 winner over China to start the tournament, then lost 1-0 to England and heads into the game tied for second in the group with China with three points each.


A win over Haiti pushes Denmark through to the next round so long as England doesn’t lose to China. That scenario would put tiebreakers into play.


The Danes, in the tournament for the first time since 2007, can also get through with a draw, but again, only if England beats China.


Denmark has won five of its last seven international matches.



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