Connect with us

Soccer

USWNT concedes flaws after historic loss – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on


Mexico celebrates a goal vs USWNT


Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The United States women’s national team’s 2-0 loss to Mexico on Monday marked only the second time in 43 meetings that El Tri managed a victory over its rival to the north. It was a thorough performance from Mexico, who dominated the U.S. from start to finish to prevail as the surprise winners of Group A at the Concacaf W Gold Cup.

The Americans are still through to the quarterfinals, but the loss was a reminder of just how much work is left to be done after the low point that was the 2023 World Cup. No observer, neutral or partisan, could argue that Mexico was not the vastly superior team on Monday. El Tri boss Pedro Lopez got the tactics right and his players executed with a relentless hunger that the U.S. could not answer.

“At the end of the day, we were outbattled and it’s unacceptable,” U.S. midfielder Sam Coffey told CBS Sports after the game. “There’s no excuse that we can make for ourselves. We now have to stay together as a group and learn from it and move on. But at the end of the day, Mexico deserved to win and we have to take that to heart, and I know that this group will.”

Lizbeth Ovalle struck an iconic chip to open the scoring in the 38th minute. The goal came off a direct play up the spine of the U.S. defense, with one big ball over the top following a Mexico goal kick. U.S. interim coach Twila Kilgore lamented the team’s lapses on the set play.

“I think [a] game is about moments,” Kilgore said. “And if we look at those moments where if you take the goal for example, it’s a microcosm for the game because a team from a defensive goal kick for us which is something that we generally pride ourselves on and we didn’t win the first ball, didn’t win the second ball, and then didn’t execute.”

The last and only previous time the U.S. lost to Mexico was at World Cup qualifying in November 2010, when Morgan was in her first year of representing the senior national team. The loss forced the U.S. into a global playoff with Italy, where the top-ranked Americans prevailed over two legs — with Morgan scoring a crucial goal in the first leg in Italy — to become the 16th and final team to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.

“Concacaf is not what it was 14 years ago when we had our last loss to Mexico,” Morgan said.


Want even more women’s sports coverage?

Subscribers to The Equalizer save 50% on their subscription to our partner publication, The IX. This newsletter has experts covering the latest news in women’s soccer, tennis, basketball, golf, hockey and gymnastics. Each sport has its own day, which means you’ll receive The IX in your inbox six days a week.


Several problems that plagued the U.S. at the 2023 World Cup reappeared on Monday, from individual players’ inability to solve pressure to a lack of answers off the bench. Kilgore made a pair of changes at halftime, swapping Alex Morgan in for Sophia Smith at the No. 9 position and bringing on Emily Sonnett in place of Lynn Williams as part of a system tweak. The changes did little to shift the momentum, which Kilgore conceded in reference to a slow first 20 minutes of the second half.

“We just didn’t play nearly our best,” Morgan said afterward.

A second-half stoppage time golazo from Mayra Pelayo — who grew up in Southern California, not far from the site of Monday’s game, and played college soccer at Florida and got a passing look in the U.S. youth system — punctuated the victory for Mexico.

Mexico set the tempo from the opening minutes, pressing the U.S. defense into mistakes high up the field and winning second balls in midfield. Kilgore said they expected Mexico “jumping out from their shape” based on their scouting, but the U.S. had no answer.

“I think there was a good game plan,” Kilgore said. “I think they had a great — a good — game plan. I think we had a good game plan and simply they just executed there’s better than ours. And part of that does have to do with intensity that generally can be measured by things like tempo with the ball, but also defensive things like winning first tackles and winning second balls.”





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

North Carolina Courage’s Brianna Pinto embracing new role in 2024 – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By


Gotham FC's Delanie Sheehan battles for a ball with North Carolina Courage's Brianna Pinto


Photo Copyright Rob Kinnan for USA TODAY Sports

CARY, N.C. — When the North Carolina Courage lined up for their opening match of the 2024 National Women’s Soccer League season, an interesting name filled the central striker’s role at kickoff: Brianna Pinto.

The 23-year-old had previously been a midfielder while a member of the Courage, albeit a versatile player who had been used in both defensive and attacking roles. But with North Carolina’s leading scorer from 2023 Kerolin sidelined with a torn ACL for the time being, as well as head coach Sean Nahas having a surplus of midfielders and a track history of playing players in various roles on the field, Pinto got the call as the No. 9, a move that paid immediate dividends.

Pinto drew a penalty to open the scoring in the season opener, a 5-1 romp over the Houston Dash, and notched her second start of the season back at WakeMed Soccer Park on March 30, with her first goal of 2024 in a gritty 1-0 win over Gotham FC.

“I think just being in a new role is obviously a learning moment. But I love playing the No. 9 just because I’m close to goal and there’s nothing more special than getting to score,” Pinto told reporters in the postgame press conference after the win over Gotham.

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long

Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

Star in the making – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By


Emeri Adames stands with her arms folded and a massive smile on her face. She is posing in front of gold drapery in the Reign's dark blue home kit with gold accents.


Photo Copyright Jane Gershovich for Seattle Reign FC

SEATTLE — As calendars turned to December, Emeri Adames was graduating high school and preparing for life playing college soccer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The Dallas, Texas, native was not planning on going pro. She had committed to a Tarheels program that is consistently one of the best in the nation as one of the nation’s top recruits.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Seattle Reign came calling. Discussions began in late December and an invite to preseason soon followed. Adames still wasn’t set on going pro but, time training with the Reign changed everything.

“It was definitely a really hard decision. I have so much respect for UNC coaches, and I have such a good connection with them still, I talked to them. But it was just mainly this team,” Adames told The Equalizer.

It has been Adames’ goal ever since she was young to go pro but she didn’t think it would happen so soon.

“It wasn’t like I was just trying to go pro just to go pro,” Adames said. “I found my place and I found a great team that would support me and the staff that really wanted me to grow as a player and I saw their visions for me. And so I talked to my family and we had a lot of conversations and that’s what led me to this decision.”

The Reign were just as excited to sign Adames as she was to join the team. Speaking after Adames’ NWSL debut, in the regular season opener, head coach Laura Harvey admitted that “honestly, within two days [of preseason] I was like ‘we need to sign this kid, she is special.’”

Harvey was almost gleeful talking about Adames, forewarning media “You wait, this kid’s unbelievable.”

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long

Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

What to keep and what to change from the SheBelieves Cup – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By


The USWNT celebrates winning the SheBelieves Cup


Photo Copyright The Columbus Dispatch

On Tuesday night, the United States won its seventh SheBelieves Cup in nine years. This victory was secured in thrilling fashion – a full-time draw led to penalty kicks and featured goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher not only saving shots but also burying one of her own. But, as the post-match excitement died down, fans and followers immediately honed in on the predictable follow-up question to an international tournament: what could this mean for the Olympics? 

In short, a lot! This tournament saw some predictably solid play from Olympic roster shoo-ins like Lindsay Horan, whose abilities to consistently generate plays, draw fouls, and score goals looked as reliable as ever. Mallory Swanson returned from injury to the international stage for the first time in a year and has never looked faster or more eager for a goal. And joining her up front were Jaedyn Shaw and Sophia Smith, who more than earned their keep with goals throughout the tournament. 

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long

Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending