Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Time for U.S. women to shine
by Ridge Mahoney, September 21st, 2007 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup

MOST COMMENTED

So far at the Women's World Cup, the USA has been more bruising than brilliant, but it might use the quarterfinal against England to refine its game a bit. England has reached its first quarterfinal by beating Argentina and tying Japan and Germany, and while it and Australia can be considered the weakest teams to reach this stage, there's been enough uncertainty in the U.S. game to gauge the English chances at something more than nil when they meet on Saturday (8 am ET, ESPN & TeleFutura). Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney previews the USA-England clash and the other three quarterfinals. ...

The Americans conceded two bad goals to North Korea while Abby Wambach had stitches sewn into a scalp wound, yet the loss of a forward for 10 minutes shouldn't trigger defensive chaos.

Sweden's pressure troubled the USA early before the Americans rode two lethal finishes from Wambach to win, 2-0. Nigeria conceded a deflected goal in the first minute and never did the U.S. get the second goal it should have scored although it held on to win and take first place in Group B.

Heather O'Reilly (North Korea) and Lori Chalupny (Nigeria) have scored goals in addition to Wambach's three, but attacking impetus from the midfield has been sporadic. Kristine Lilly served a nice ball from the left flank for Wambach to slam home the second goal against Sweden and a mis-cleared Lilly cross led to the equalizer against North Korea, and that effective wide play will be essential in the knockout rounds.

England has its own main threat, striker Kelly Smith, a 12-year veteran of the English team at age 28 who attended college in the U.S. and played in the defunct WUSA for Philadelphia. O'Reilly played with Smith, Rachel Yankey and Rachel Unitt for the New Jersey Wildcats club team.

Smith scored both English goals in the 2-2 tie with Japan and netted twice more in a 6-1 demolition of Argentina.

"Kelly Smith is a real key attacking player for them but they have some other very good individuals as well," said U.S. coach Greg Ryan.

England midfielder Fara Williams is suspended for the quarterfinal and her absence should enable the U.S. to dominate midfield, where both Sweden and North Korea wielded control at times in the first round.

"I think she has played very well in this World Cup, in the game against Germany she was fantastic," said Ryan of Williams. "England represent a real challenge to us. They attack well, they defend well and they're good on their set pieces. There's not a lot of chinks in the armor."

GERMANY vs. NORTH KOREA
Saturday, 5 a.m., ESPN2, Galavision

The quick, aggressive North Koreans don't have the experience or polish of 2003 world champion Germany, yet they've shown the same confidence and zeal at the World Cup with which they overran their opposition in the Asian qualifiers. Birgit Prinz, Kerstin Garefrekes and Kerstin Stegemann are among many veterans of the 2003 team and their poise may be sorely tested.

NORWAY vs. CHINA
Sunday, 5 a.m., ESPN2, Galavision

The host recovered after being blasted, 4-0, by Brazil in the second group game to advance by beating New Zealand, 2-0. Yet it scraped past Denmark, 3-2, in the opener and Norway is better than Denmark.

China fell at this stage as host back in the 1991 inaugural world championship, 1-0, to Sweden. If it can ride the crowd's frenzy it can prevail against a most resilient opponent but it may lack the nerve the Norwegians always seem to have. They began the tournament by rallying from a 1-0 deficit with goals by Ragnhild Gulbrandsen and Ane Stangeland Horpestad to beat Canada, 2-1, and rebounded to thrash Ghana, 7-2, after surrendering a late equalizer in a 1-1 tie with Australia.

BRAZIL vs. AUSTRALIA
Sunday, 8 a.m., ESPN, Univision
.
The winner of this game plays the USA-England survivor and the delineation between favorite and underdog is just as clear. Marta, Cristiane, Pretinha, et al have dazzled, though only in stoppage time did they dispatch Denmark, 1-0, in the group finale.
Australia stunned Canada with a stoppage-time equalizer for the 2-2 tie that edged the Aussies, again like the English, into their first quarterfinal after they'd scored in the 83rd minute (Lisa de Vanna) to tie Norway.
They drew North Korea, 0-0, in the Asian qualifiers and slugged out that tie with Norway in the group phase, so they can be hard to subdue. Even for Brazil? We shall see.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Sampdoria coach Sinisa Mihajlovic    
"Let's be clear. I didn't take his neck, I took his shirt, pushed his chest and ...
Johnson hits Gladbach winner; no stopping Tijuana    
Fabian Johnson scored his first goal since moving to third-place Borussia Moenchengladbach in its 2-0 victory ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
Preseason play wrapped up Saturday with the Houston Dynamo (Carolina Challenge Cup), New York Red Bulls ...
MLS: Projected opening day lineups    
MLS is slated to start its 20th season on Friday when the defending champion LA Galaxy ...
Gallardo shines as U.S. U-17s rout Cuba     
Joe Gallardo, who suffered a broken shinbone last August, scored a hat trick as the USA ...
Garber: 'Nobody's looking for a work stoppage'    
Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber ...
What They're Saying: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
MLS issues record fine to owner Dell Loy Hansen    
One MLS owner, Real Salt Salt's Dell Loy Hansen, has not been shy about expressing his ...
id2 tour kicks off Monday in Argentina    
The id2 National Selection will kick off its tour of Argentina with the first of four ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives