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USA aims to avoid lowest finish ever
by Ridge Mahoney, July 7th, 2011 5:27PM

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


[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Unless the USA can beat Brazil in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals Saturday, it will fail to finish in the top three of a major competition for the first time. Dating back to the first world championship in 1991, it has never finished lower than third.

With five combined titles, the USA ranks first, followed by Germany and Norway, which each have two. Here’s a look at how the USA has fared in the nine competitions – Olympic soccer tournaments and Women's World Cups – staged in the last two decades:

2008 Olympic Games China Champion
Beat Brazil, 1-0 (OT), in the gold-medal match

Women’s World Cup China Third
Lost to Brazil, 4-0, in semis; beat Norway, 4-1, in third-place match

2004 Olympic Games Greece Champion
Beat Brazil, 2-1 (OT), in the gold-medal match

2003 Women’s World Cup USA Third
Lost to Germany, 3-0 in semis; beat Canada, 3-1, in third-place match

2000 Olympic Games Australia Second
Lost to Norway, 3-2 (OT), in the gold-medal match

1999 Women’s World Cup USA Champion
Beat China on penalties (0-0, 5-4) in the final.

1996 Olympic Games USA Champion
Beat China, 2-1, in the gold-medal match

1995 Women’s World Cup Sweden Third
Lost to Norway, 1-0, in semis; beat China, 2-1, in third-place match

1991 Women’s World Cup China Champion
Beat Norway, 2-1, in the final

(Note: Women’s soccer was not played at the Olympics prior to 1996.)

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 8, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
    IMHO, the USWNT should beat Brazil only if they perform to their potential and play smart simple soccer...otherwise, it's lights out.Prediction: US wins 2-1.
  1. James Froehlich
    commented on: July 8, 2011 at 10:50 p.m.
    Sorry guys -- skill over size and "plowing through" -- Brazil 2 US 0
  1. David Huff
    commented on: July 9, 2011 at 11:55 a.m.
    @James, a likely outcome, our national team program con no longer just rely upon size and physicality, skills need to be upgraded and emphasized as the rest of the world joins the women's game. Grow or perish.
  1. Tong Lee
    commented on: July 9, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
    I believe the USWNT will beat Brazil if they play more on the sides utilizing more of the right/left wing players. When you play on the forward wings, you're usually on a one-to-one player basis. They need to utilize their wings more and cross the ball towards the center when approaching their opponents’ side. If they keep putting the ball mostly in the middle, then that's where the problem is because that's where most of the players are going to be. When you have a lot of players clustered toward the middle, it could be anyone's ball. Also, the integrity of the USWNT is much stronger than Brazil. The US plays as a cohesive team, not as individuals. That’s where their strength is. Brazil is a very talented team but the team depends too much on just a few players. If US scores first, Brazil’s integrity will collapse because their team integrity is not as strong. I think the USWNT will win. My prediction would be 1-0, with overtime.

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