Red Stars Confidential

USWNT 1 - China 1

Yesterday the US Women's National team tied China 1-1.  Here are some facts and random observations that I took from the game:

  • Yesterday's game against China was the USWNT's last friendly match before World Cup Qualifiers start
  • China hasn't qualified for the World Cup since 1999
  • Christie Rampone wore the captain's armband for the US.  She's played in 218 international matches for US Soccer and has the 5th most all time caps at 35 years old.  Not only that, but she just had a baby earlier in the year. 
  • Chicago Red Stars' player Megan Rapinoe started in the match.  Sadly, she wasn't sporting her funky new lost-boys-esque ponytail.  She didn't score a goal in this game against China, but she did score a goal against them in their 2-1 victory against them on Saturday, October 2nd, and she also scored in the game previous to that.

Rapinoe always rollin' with her own flare and style -- here she's rockin' that ponytail

  • This was the first time in history that the four starting defenders (Heather Mitts, Amy LePeilbet,  Rampone, Rachel Buehler) for the US had ever played together (at the same time).
  • The US possessed good movement for a good portion of the game; however, they had several moments of disconnect with careless, poorly executed passes and runs that were not timed properly.  While I do feel that the team looked sloppy from time to time, I am sure with time they will become a more cohesive unit and chemistry will fully develop.  
  • Even though Amy Rodriquez wasn't able to net a goal for the US, she's a player I continuously grow more and more excited to watch her.  Some A-Rod facts:  In 2009 she scored 1 goal with the Boston Breakers.  In 2010 she scored for goals while playing with the Philadelphia Independence.  
  • To say the least, I wasn't pleased with Carli Lloyds play in Chicago.  I was however excited to see how active she was in the second half of the game yesterday especially after coming off of a broken ankle.  
  • Alex Morgan subbed into the mach for Rodriguez in the 71st minute of play.  She ended up scoring the lone goal for the USWNT  in the 83rd minute of play. It was her first ever international goal.  Morgan is only a senior in college at the University of California.  I cannot wait to see more of her in the upcoming years and hopefully the upcoming World Cup.  
  • Morgan's goal could not be mentioned without mentioning the tenacious handwork that came from the efforts of Abby Wambach.  I won't lie, at times, I get annoyed (for the lack of a better word) watching Abby.  I understand that she scores countless goals for the US, but I have never been a fan of players that dominate players because of their size.  I guess it's time for me to stop and look at  other finer qualities Wambach possesses and stop being such a hater. 
  • After the US scored the tying goal Coach Sundhage made a bold move and switched from a 2-4-4 formation to a 3-4-3 formation.   As they say, go big or go home! 
  • One last bit of info, Kristine Lilly was my hero when i was 14 years old and now that I'm 30, I can say that she's still my hero to this day.  How much booty can one player kick? Why don't we ask Lil. 

There's something to be said about that last 15 minutes. If you look at Yael Averbuch and Alex Morgan, they came in and changed the game quite a bit. We changed the formation a little bit at the same time. I'm very happy about the lessons we learned today. -Coach Pia Sundhage



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