Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Golden start for U.S. women
by Mike Woitalla, July 26th, 2012 3:46AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  olympics, women's national team

MOST COMMENTED

Whether the U.S. women win their third straight Olympic gold medal or not, how they began their campaign is already cause for celebration.

Starting with the stats: Coach Pia Sundhage’s team scored four goals and were called for only eight fouls. You’ll have to search far and wide to find a soccer team posting numbers like that. And how often do we see a 4-2 scoreline?

For all its attributes, soccer suffers from a serious problem: the rarity of goals. Watching high-level games means you’ll see the ball hit the net once every 35 minutes or so. It was even worse at the last men’s World Cup, which delivered a 2.26 goals per game average in 2010.

The last Women’s World Cup finished with 2.69 goals per game (down from 3.47 in 2007). The 2008 women’s Olympic tournament average was 2.53 (down from 2.75 in 2004).

France went up 2-0 within 15 minutes. Sadly, in the low-scoring sport of soccer a two-goal lead is considered nearly insurmountable. But not on Wednesday when the U.S. women took advantage of a rare opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the spotlight.

With no other sports in action -- the Olympic Opening Ceremonies aren’t till Friday -- any highlights from the U.S. women were sure to get plenty of replay and Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe and Co., provided them.

So refreshing was the sense that getting scored on didn’t seem to bother the U.S. team. They have, I think, an attitude that giving up goals isn’t a disaster because they can respond with more goals of their own. It’s a sense I get from the body language of Coach Sundhage, who never conveys panic or frustration.

"You can't look at only the first minutes or the last minutes, it's the whole game," Sundhage said. "If you look at the whole game, I'm really proud of the team. Scoring four goals, and goals that were fantastic, that's one way to prove that you are ready."

Those comments are a glaring contrast to what we get from most coaches after a high-scoring game who’ll offer the concession that it might have been fun for the fans -- but we’ll make damn sure it doesn’t happen again.

It will be a long time after these Olympic Games that so many Americans will be watching U.S. women play soccer. If Sundhage’s team keeps up this high-scoring, lively soccer, they’ll be eager for the next time.



3 comments
  1. Virginia Stone
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
    We are eagerly anticipate seeing Our ball slam into the opponent's goal, BUT, without Rapinoe's brilliant playing the game to me would lose much intensity. She is sensational.
  1. James Madison
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
    Lots of goals, yes, but lots of too sloppy play at the same time. And what the hell were the women doing in the last 10-15 minutes: (a) getting caught with too many too far forward and exposing themselves to fast breaks and (b) failing at the end to take short CKs and run and hide the ball in the corners.
  1. Thomas Hosier
    commented on: July 27, 2012 at 8:46 a.m.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the USA's Ladies match against France. Totally agree with Virigina Stone ... Rapinoe was brilliant!

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Farewell, Hope Solo    
I have admired Hope Solo for many reasons. I've sent YouTube clips of Solo's highlights to ...
Struggles of MLS Cup finalists are to be expected for smaller-market teams    
Portland and Columbus defied the odds -- and economic reality -- by reaching the MLS championship ...
Olympic women's soccer: Our winners & losers    
Olympic women's soccer left the taste of what might have been. A USA-Brazil semifinal at Maracana ...
'Cagey' Swedes deserve some credit    
The USA women fell short of the semifinals of a major tournament for the first time ...
'Worst MLS signing' Lampard is tearing it up    
A great run of form earned New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard Player of the ...
Assessing the middle third -- of the MLS season    
Coaches and executives often speak of dividing a season - much as they do of the ...
Schmid departure starts to clear Sounders' deck for Lagerwey    
Eighteen months after joining the Sounders as president of soccer and general manager, Garth Lagerwey is ...
Toronto FC must rebound after embarrassing defeat for crucial home stand    
After an eight-game road trip to open the season, Toronto FC is in a playoff spot ...
Quakes need to build on stunning victory    
Every struggling team looks for a spark, a turning point, a shift of fortune that transforms ...
MLS Midseason Awards: Villa and the other Kamara are among the leaders    
The six major categories of awards presented each season by MLS run the gamut of experience, ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives