Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World 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
On-and-off Americans overmatch Colombia
by Ridge Mahoney, July 28th, 2012 5:24PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  african nations cup, americans abroad

MOST COMMENTED

The USA women posted their second straight victory Saturday in the Olympic Games soccer tournament by beating Colombia, 3-0, with goals by Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd. Here are a few observations about the win ...

LINEUP CHANGES. USA coach Pia Sundhage retained most of her starters from the 4-2 comeback win against France on Wednesday, but she did deploy Heather Mitts at right back in place of Amy LePeilbet, and gave Heather O’Reilly a start in place of Tobin Heath. Lloyd, who entered the France game as a first-half substitute when Shannon Boxx was injured, retained her place ...

O’Reilly took her normal position at right midfield, which moved Rapinoe to the left side in a 4-1-3-2 formation with Lloyd as the holding mid behind a line of Rapinoe, Lauren Cheney, and O’Reilly. Alex Morgan, scorer of two goals against France, again started up top with Wambach. Boxx was on the bench but didn’t play, as again Sundhage used Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux as late subs.

O’Reilly’s busyness unhinged the Colombian defense on numerous occasions but her decisions of whether to pass or take another touch when she got behind the Colombian back line could have been more effective. Mitts played a solid game as the American back four smothered Colombia’s technically sound but physically limited attackers. Lloyd anchored the middle, formed a strong pairing with Cheney link the front and back lines, and got forward late to score in her second straight game.

Rapinoe, who scored the first goal and set up the third, escaped punishment for persistent infringement after felling Colombians several times with rough tackles. Sundhage replaced her in the 81st minute, and the Americans completed the game without taking a caution.

PRESSURE AND PRECISION. The Americans missed connections repeatedly in the attacking third for much of the first half, yet relied on their superior fitness to press Colombia into mistakes. A turnover won by Morgan created the opportunity for Rapinoe’s opening goal in the 33rd minute. Morgan won the ball about 35 yards out and slipped it square to Rapinoe, who cut the ball inside from the left flank and curled a shot over keeper Sandra Sepulveda.

Colombia mustered little offense but held the score at 1-0 until the 74th minute, when the Americans scored the first of two goals within three minutes.  A sharp passing sequence freed Heath, who had replaced O’Reilly in the 67th minute, to play a perfect through ball for Wambach. She barreled between two defenders to slide a shot past Sepulveda inside the far post for her 140th international goal -- and U.S. record sixth Olympic goal.

The USA sliced open the middle of Colombia’s defense again in the 77th minute when another slick passing sequence produced Rapinoe’s ball for Lloyd, who came from midfield unmarked to hit a first-timer past Sepulveda.

TOUGH TEST. The Colombians displayed some grit as well as technique but were overmatched physically. Not just Wambach but Morgan and other U.S. players won duels in the air, and crunching tackles handed out by Mitts and the other defenders blunted forward Carmen Rodallega (whose cousin Hugo has played for the men’s national team). Center backs Kelis Peduzine and Nataly Arias needed a few seconds on several occasions to recover from collisions or hard sprints.

Wambach left the match (replaced by Leroux in the 78th minute) with a black eye under her right eye, the result of a punch by Lady Andrade late in the first half. Morgan seemed to labor through the final minutes but finished the game. For the second straight game, the Americans’ ability to play at a brisk pace for long periods yielded space and time as their opponents fatigued.

The Americans play their final group match Tuesday against North Korea, which after beating Colombia, 2-0, in its first game fell to France, 5-0.

Besides backup goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, only defender Becky Sauerbrunn has yet to play in this tournament.



2 comments
  1. Virginia Stone
    commented on: July 28, 2012 at 7:49 p.m.
    Once more Megan Rapinoe proves her excellent presence on the field!

  1. Stuart d. Warner
    commented on: July 28, 2012 at 10:56 p.m.
    I thought Tobin Heath made a huge difference when she entered the game--not only the through ball to AW, but also she began the sequence that led to CL's goal.


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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Downsizing works for the Red Bulls    
It only seems like only yesterday that the New York Red Bulls fired Mike Petke, prompting ...
The Omar Factor    
Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez got his first start since the World Cup in a 2-0 defeat ...
Forward thinking jumbles USA puzzle    
Goals by Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo illustrate the range of choices and decisions being faced ...
Experience counts for a lot, but youth will decide Women's World Cup    
Change comes slowly in women's soccer. Jill Ellis was no Jurgen Klinsmann in picking her 23-player ...
Agudelo's journey takes him back to the national team    
The youngest player ever to score for the USA is hoping the friendly against Mexico Wednesday ...
MLS gets its wish, and it's ugly -- parity    
So, let's have a show of hands. Who says their favorite MLS team is playing well? ...
Projecting Klinsmann's USA roster for Mexico game    
The next friendly for the USA is against its bitterest rival and with a roster announcement ...
Philadelphia's troubles extend far beyond who's in goal    
A sputtering attack and susceptibility on set plays have dragged the Union into last place.
Making a Strong case for soccer    
As lead soccer announcer for Fox Sports, John Strong has quickly moved onto the national stage ...
Jeff Plush on the NWSL: women's league plays long ball    
It might not sound like much but the National Women's Soccer League, which begins its third ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives