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Horan gets untracked as USA edges Brazil
by Paul Kennedy, August 9th, 2014 12:56AM

TAGS:  canada, college women, under-20 women's world cup


[UNDER-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] The USA recovered from a 2-0 loss to Germany to beat Brazil, 1-0, in its second game at the Under-20 Women's World Cup in Edmonton. Star Lindsey Horan ended the USA's 172-minute scoring drought at the tournament with the winner late in the game.

Friday's Results:
Canada 3 Finland 2
North Korea 3 Ghana 0
USA 1 Brazil 0
Germany 5 China 5

Summer Green broke in from the right side and fed Horan in the middle. The young Paris St. Germain star, who had missed a ton of chances in the first two games, hit the winner with a low strike past Brazil goalkeeper Leticia for her 21st goal at the U-20 level.

The Brazilians had the edge in possession and a slight edge in shots (14-13). Its best chance came in the 16th minute when U.S. JC star Carol had her header cleared off the line by Duke's Christina Gibbons, making her first start of the tournament.

The USA had lost 16-year-old Mallory Pugh after a heavy challenge by Djeni later in the first half forced her to leave the game with an ankle injury.

"I am very proud of the players staying disciplined and sticking to the way we wanted to defend," said U.S. coach Michelle French. "We knew that it was vitally important to get three points and I am very happy. We did well and I am proud of the team. But we have a lot more still to improve on ahead of the China game.

The Americans will advance to the quarterfinals with a win or tie against China in Moncton on Tuesday. Germany and China played to a 5-5 tie in Friday's first game in Edmonton. The Germans led four times but could hold on for the win.

-- Host Canada was on the verge of elimination after trailing Finland 2-0 after 21 minutes, but it came back with three second-half goals by U.S. collegians Janine Beckie (Texas Tech), Valerie Sanderson (Memphis) and Nichelle Prince (Ohio State) to win 3-2. North Korea won its second game with a 3-0 win over Ghana.

Aug. 8 in Edmonton
USA 1 Canada 0. Goal: Horan 82.
USA -- Rowland; Amack, Roccaro, Naughton, Gibbons; Lavelle, Sullivan, Pugh (Racioppi, 37); Purce (Hill, 82), Horan, Doniak (Green, 66).
Brazil -- Leticia, Julia, Leticia Santos, Nagela, Andressa, Djeni, Byanca (Nene 60), Carol (Duda 80), Gabi, Patricia (Rafaela 73), Camila.
Att.: 10,025.

  1. R2 Dad
    commented on: August 9, 2014 at 1:11 a.m.
    Practically unwatchable, that match vs Brazil. The US was set up very defensively, refused to press the ball. They've got 4 centerbacks across the back line, all kick-and-run-y types. Terrible touches across the board. Win or lose, our team played terribly. Where is the skillful play? I'm sure our kids can play better than that, but this looks just like our women's teams from the 90's. Where is the progress?

  1. Karl Schreiber
    commented on: August 9, 2014 at 12:12 p.m.
    Agree. I had a similar comment after USA v. GER. USSF must review with a high degree of urgency the U20 program and other programs but specifically THIS current U20 team and help our passionate young players perform like a U.S. Women's Soccer Team.

  1. Richard T. Lynch
    commented on: August 9, 2014 at 1:01 p.m.
    Agree also. They should thank their lucky stars for Summer Green. She changed the game and was responsible for the goal. She made plays against Germany too. Wonder why she's not starting.

  1. G O
    commented on: August 11, 2014 at 4:26 a.m.
    So it is the same old tired strategy of focus on physicality over 90 minutes versus actual confidence of on the ball skills. It is always easier to coach and recruit for the former. But the game is about aesthetics, not brute strength. No one ever remembers or thinks much of the physically strong players. We remember the Martas because they show a skill and ability that is fun, appealing, wonderful to watch and something to marvel at. Tall ones that can just motor about, throw elbows when needed, do borderline fouls, and do endless headballs to nowhere inspire for naught. All of them have been playing since age 7 or 8. Maybe age 9 at the latest. And this is all the skill one can then view?

  1. Didi P
    commented on: August 12, 2014 at 1:04 a.m.
    It is good US won. But the technical deficiency of US players is so glaring that it is painful to watch them play. We are talking about simple things as trap an easy ball under no pressure (how many times they controlled it straight out of bound?) or pass the ball to her teammate 10 yards away (at least half of the time it went to the other team). The kicking form of their weak foot is so ugly and amateurish that it is really comical. Well, the good thing is that they are all super fast and physical. Unfortunately they are not soccer players. If US continues to select, develop and encourage this kind of players, it will become second tier women soccer country in no time.

  1. Bruce Gowan
    commented on: August 12, 2014 at 1:45 p.m.
    I watched both the Germany game and the Brazil game and I am disgusted with the performance of the US team. My first reaction is that the selection favored tall players who may be fast but they are not quick. My second observation is that everything the team did was very mechanical and did not fit the tactical situation. Sending the ball forward into pressure and sending crosses when there were no runners is not creative soccer. I can only imagine that the low pressure defensive system of play was based on the coaching decision that the team could not play a more free flowing game.

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