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
Golden start for U.S. women
by Mike Woitalla, July 26th, 2012 3:46AM

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
MLS clubs face different challenges in Concacaf Champions League    
MLS is well positioned to qualify a region-high four teams for the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals ...
New deal rewards perseverance of Olsen and his players    
Just in time for the postseason push, D.C, United head coach Ben Olsen has signed a ...
Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson runs full-court press well    
If you get the idea Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson knows what he's doing running the full-court ...
Losing skid reveals Rapids' flaws    
Injuries, sophomore slumps and a rookie head coach will be the primary causes cited if the ...
Soccer America Q&A: Falcons' Jim Smith on MLS Atlanta    
Former Columbus Crew president/general manager Jim Smith is playing a major role in the launch of ...
Changes under Cassar are taking hold for Real Salt Lake    
Real Salt Lake prides itself on continuity, yet for the past two seasons it has flourished ...
Three takeaways from Czech Republic-USA    
Alejandro Bedoya's goal and Nick Rimando's saves enabled the USA to kick off its post-2014 World ...
USA-Czech Republic Player Ratings    
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's experimental squad -- he fielded only two 2014 World Cup regulars (Fabian Johnson ...
Toronto FC upheaval is all too familiar    
It's official: Toronto FC has overtaken Chivas USA as the most dysfunctional team in MLS.
FIFA's Putin problem    
How is it that the latest issue of GQ ranks FIFA president Sepp Blatter as No. ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives