WWC Today: Lloyd says USA must take risks

Carli Lloyd has been a linchpin for the USA at three Women's World Cup and two Olympics, where it owes its third and fourth gold medals to goals she's scored, so she knows what she's talking about when she says the USA hasn't been at its best in Canada. At practice on Wednesday in Ottawa, where the USA faces China in Friday's quarterfinals, she addressed what's wrong and what needs to be done.

"We know that it's not our best," said Lloyd, whose penalty kick clinched the USA's 2-0 win over Colombia in the round of 16. "We know that we're capable of so much more."

The USA has produced three straight shutouts and allowed just one goal in four games, but the emphasis on defense has taken away from the USA's attacking game.

"Yes," Lloyd told reporters, "defensive shape has been strong, but I think in order for us to win this thing, and in order for us to show the world what we’ve got, we’ve got to take some risks at some point.”

Lloyd, who has shared the central midfield responsibilities with Lauren Holiday, said the U.S. team have been sticking to the tactical approach designed by the coaching staff.

"We're doing everything they ask of us," she said.

That includes sitting back more than the USA has done in the past.

"We are a bit deeper defensively,"she said, "so when we win the ball, we're in our defensive end, it's a long way to get to the goal. Different games in different eras, we would defend and press higher up on the field, therefore winning it higher up the field, and we'd just need a couple passes to break through to goal."

The USA has struggled to string passes together and maintain possession in midfield. It will be without its two best playmakers against China -- Megan Rapinoe and Holiday are both suspended -- for a game that will pose a unique tactical challenge. Of all the teams the USA has faced at the Women's World Cup, the Chinese will be the most conservative.

They may just force the USA to do what Lloyd seems to suggest and that's press higher in an effort to get their opponents to come out of their defensive shell.

When the USA and China last played in December at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia in Brazil, the Chinese held the USA to just six shots in a match that ended 1-1.

9 comments about "WWC Today: Lloyd says USA must take risks".
  1. Santiago 1314, June 25, 2015 at 11 a.m.

    @Carli,... Let's Not try to play ABOVE what we Got...Unless we are Behind and are Willing to Throw in O'Reilly...We don't have any Risk Takers

  2. Santiago 1314, June 25, 2015 at 11:15 a.m.

    I'm Leaving out Rapinoe, because she is suspended...She is our Best Risk Taker

  3. beautiful game, June 25, 2015 at 11:27 a.m.

    Let's face it, this team has experience and will, but the tactics and the efficacy have been largely missing. More patience and simplicity of play is hardly evident. "Risk Takers" has nothing to do with soccer, commitment does.

  4. Kevin Leahy, June 25, 2015 at 12:23 p.m.

    The team plays one way with Wambach on the field and another without. The pace on dead balls & play is faster without her. Lloyd said it best. They are doing all that, the staff has asked of them.

  5. Mario Araujo, June 25, 2015 at 12:45 p.m.

    All USA teams play overly defensive boring soccer. That is not what fans want to see. Carli is saying press high and take the game to the opponent. Love it! The trouble with defensive teams is that you get scored on and then you panic to tie or win. Also you are just hoping the other team makes a mistake so you can score. Japan and France has very flashy and appealing styles to the fans. They press high and take control of their destiny. Germany also. But I like the passing of Japan and France which is missing from the USA team.

  6. Santiago 1314, June 25, 2015 at 3:09 p.m.

    @Mario,... Yeah, those 4-3 and 2-1 wins over Holland and Germany, sure were Boring...catch a Replay of the u20 men vs New Zealand & Serbia...The Men's Teams are starting to get exciting... The Women, Going in the WRONG Direction..

  7. John M Cote, June 25, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.

    Heather O'Reilly would definitely be a welcome addition on the pitch. SHe's a fierce, fearless and creative player.

  8. John M Cote, June 25, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.

    Heather O'Reilly would definitely be a welcome addition on the pitch. She's a fierce, fearless and creative player.

  9. Santiago 1314, June 25, 2015 at 4:53 p.m.

    @John M,... Double agree with you... I thnk the problem for O'Reilly is, that she's a Streaky, Flakey, UnPredictable Player...On top of the other Qualities you mentioned...The team is already. CARRYING 2 Players like that... Lloyd and Heath...Both capable of High Levels of Play and Looking like something you DON'T want on the other bottom of your shoe... Usually a Team can only carry One(Like Dempsey on MNT)...We would Opening ourselves up to a Meltdown, if ALL 3 had OFF Nights..

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