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.
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
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
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