ToN: Australia beats USA for first time in 28 games

The USA's 27-game unbeaten record against Australia -- the longest against any opponent in program history -- ended when the Matildas shocked the host USA, 1-0, in their first match at the Tournament of Nations.

Tameka Butt scored the only goal in the 67th minute, taking advantage of the U.S. defense's failure to clear a ball in the area, but the Australian star was Houston Dash keeper Lydia Williams, who made three saves in the second half. The two best came in the 64th minute when Williams pushed away Carli Lloyd's 20-yard shot headed into the upper right corner of the goal and in the 84th minute when she stopped Christen Press from close range.

The USA entered the game with an all-time record of 25-0-2 against Australia. Coach Jill Ellis started just three players -- Becky Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe and Press -- who played when the USA and Australia last met in their game at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

North Carolina Courage defender Taylor Smith earned her first cap for the USA as Ellis continued the process of giving different players opportunities.

"I think we came out on the unfortunate side," said Ellis. "Congratulations to Australia, but I’m obviously disappointed with the result.”

July 27 in Seattle
USA 0 Australia 1. Goal: Butt 67.
USA -- Naeher; Smith (O'Hara, 76), Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper, Short; Pugh (Dunn, 58), Long (Brian, 77), Mewis, Rapinoe; Horan (Lloyd, 64), Press (Morgan, 64).
Australia -- Williams; Catley, Kennedy, Carpenter; Kellond-Knight, Foord (Gielnik, 81), Van Egmond, Butt (Logarzo, 73), Gorry; De Vanna (Raso, 53), Kerr (Ibini, 90+2).
Att.: 15,748.
16 comments about "ToN: Australia beats USA for first time in 28 games".
  1. E Velazquez, July 28, 2017 at 8:20 a.m.

    PLEASE lets wake up. Ms Ellis is not a good coach. She can not improve our team; the last world cup was won by the players and not by the coach. She has done nothing to remember on the development of new players. Rapinoe, Press , Morgan are technically poor and nearly old. We need younger players and a coach with experience and mental strength . Any ideas?

  2. Michael Saunders replied, July 28, 2017 at 12:27 p.m.

    Yes it is time for a wake up call by the Federation. Her obdurate ways fails the litmus test of a field manager and a development program director. The parallels to Klinsmann are much more alike than one realizes. Youth in and by itself will not win games. Transitioning experience with youth facilitating the growth of the newbies is what is required. This is the change we now see with Arena. Ellis on the other hand has not learned that lesson; just look at the disjointed and lack of chemistry one has seen so often this past year, punctuated by the debacle yesterday. Let's also not forget that the US fared poorly in the U-20s & U-17s last year.....directed by two former assistants of Ms. Ellis. She changed their role after that debacle; but she refuses to see that she is not making the game "fun" for her players. That is tantamount to a recipe for failure. Two years before the 2019 WC in France. Time is now to make that change.

  3. R2 Dad replied, July 29, 2017 at 11:17 a.m.

    Small detail, Rapinoe is one of our most technical players. She is getting long in the tooth--hope we get a similar player that's 10 years younger for that position on the left.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 29, 2017 at 2:18 p.m.

    Yeah she won the world cup but by all means fire her over losing some meaningless friendlies. Makes sense.

  5. Ric Fonseca, July 28, 2017 at 2:57 p.m.

    OMG! Yes the team lost, but to put the entire and complete blame on Coach Ellis, is IMHO shortsighted, AND the JK comparison is questionable. Tell ya what amigos, how about you two guys submit your resume to the Federation? Or better yet, bring back that coach from North Naroline, jeez, what his name, oh yeah Anson Dorrance. Heck, he can recruit more college players for the WNT, then have them transfer to UNC, etc. There's all kinds of "subtle ways" to ID players, scholastic, academies, and oh yes, Mexican American or Latin American young ladies before they get snatched up by Mex, ES, Hon, etc. Anyhow, just some thoughts!

  6. Ric Fonseca, July 28, 2017 at 2:58 p.m.

    Woops there, meant to say Univ of North Carolina...

  7. David Huff, July 28, 2017 at 4:24 p.m.

    Jill Ellis has needed to go for quite some time but will the USSF do anything about it?

  8. John Soares, July 28, 2017 at 5:54 p.m.

    It was a poor game, but it' on the players. Beyond the back four... most of the time, everyone seemed happy just to be there. Leadership at mid and forward was lacking. Yes Press was there AND she is good, but experience does not always equal leadership on the field. We saw the difference when Carli came in. True Jill could have started a better mix and then sub as necessary. However she has actually done an excellent job bringing in/trying out new players. She does not under ANY circumstances deserve to be compared to JK. Criticism is one thing, the ultimate insult is going too far.

  9. R2 Dad replied, July 29, 2017 at 11:42 a.m.

    Yes, the attackers didn't take their chances, so the result could have been a W but then we wouldn't be talking about them right now. Ellis made personnel/formation changes during the last world cup that resulted in victory and she earned that. Since then she has been bringing along new blood, which has been needed. But soccer never stands still and the single, direct strategy we play is not going to work well against a more possession-oriented team like japan/france/spain. Japan was the first/best but were an anomaly and so small in stature US Soccer could accept our continued reliance on the long ball (and Abby's forehead). But now France has risen and Spain is rising and they are only going to get better over time. We lost to Japan in the final--easy to rationalize away. But to start losing in the quarters in tournaments should raise more than alarm bells: March 7, 2017 WNT vs France 0-3 L, March 4, 2017 WNT vs England 0-1 L, August 12, 2016 WNT vs Sweden 1-1 D 3-4 PKs. Sunil is going to have to wade into this discussion of what our style of play should be like, not JUST results as a measure of progress (way before he will have to with the USMNT). If there is one template we should avoid is whatever the English men's team had been doing the past 50 years (NB ironically the past 6 months have seen more progress in England that literally the past 50 on their mens side, proving change IS possible even in such a hide-bound organization as the English FA).

  10. Allan Lindh, July 29, 2017 at 12:20 p.m.

    The US players showed a lack of "enthusiasm" until the last few minutes. The fact that they are midseason with their teams probably played a part. The US league is highly competitive, and involves a great deal of travel. I believe they all (almost all?) played right through the previous weekend. You can only get up so far, so often for a match, and this ersatz tournament counts for nothing. The main thing the USWNT lacks is membership in UEFA -- the Europeans are getting better because in part the UEFA women's championship is getting much better. Too bad the England-France match on Sunday is not on TV, altho ESPN is streaming the match. Should be a duzy.

  11. Allan Lindh replied, July 29, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

    And the article and comments skip the major lack -- nothing happening in midfield. Lack of a real #10 hampers the USWNT as it has for a decade. If they had Abily they would win everything. Only player who showed much interest in midfield was Rapinoe on the wing, until Lloyd came in, she is the only one showing much enthusiasm about driving the bus in the middle.

  12. R2 Dad replied, July 29, 2017 at 6:28 p.m.

    Agreed, Allan. But the #10 question is an example of chicken and egg. We don't use a possession-based 10 in a 4-4-2, so don't really need one. Then can't really "find" one. So don't really use one--like a world-class 10 is just going to drop in our laps but so far, hasn't. If we ask our keepers to play out of the back, and our back line to play the ball on the ground, we will need a 10. So far, the USWNT still doesn't play that way, but maybe that's a rabbit Ellis can pull out of the hat over the next 2 years. The world cup in 2019 looks like it's Frances to lose.

  13. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, July 30, 2017 at 5:33 p.m.

    France? Have you watched them at all in Euro 2017? This year is purely for experimenting for the USWNT. Results are meaningless.

  14. R2 Dad replied, July 30, 2017 at 7:51 p.m.

    FPGN, that's what everyone said about Les Bleus before 1998 as well. FIFA has them 3rd: . They've been 3rd the past 4 years, spanked us in March 3-0. It's only a matter of time before their women match the men. The French men are ranked 9th(with a star on their shirts), ours are 35th. But sure, results are meaningless.

  15. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, August 1, 2017 at 3:56 p.m.

    Results for the USWNT are absolutely meaningless this year, including that game against France when they played an experimental three at the back. Probably won't see that at the world cup but 2017 is about experimenting. Meanwhile, France had some very meaningful games this year at the Euros where they barely made it out of the group stage before losing in the QF. Above, you panic about the USWNT going out in the Olympics QF but literally the week after France does the same you say they are the greatest team in this universe. LOL.

  16. Greg Clader, August 1, 2017 at 1:02 p.m.

    Coach Ellis is not the one to lead the team into the future. Having said that, I do not know who would be a better choice for the position. Are there coaches out there who know how to train the team to use width and depth effectively? Who prioritize technical quality and playing with the "head up" when off the ball? Using movement and pace that is related to where the ball is and where the opponent is? How about combination play that involves more than 2 players? You can see glimpses of this, but nothing more. Of course, that is because it is not very important to Ellis or most of the coaches within the USSF.
    The era of being atop women's soccer is coming to a close. We won the last WC playing the same DIRECT style of soccer as we've always played. Relying on speed and strength we out scored our WC opponents on aggregate, 14-2. I think those results belie the philosophical error the US has to soccer. I anticipate that the results of the 2019 WC will do better in revealing the need for change, and I'm not just referring to Coach Ellis.

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