USWNT vs. France: Your Running Commentary

U.S. Soccer Federation    FranceLogo

The U.S. women's national team is a game away from reaching the final of the Women's World Cup for the first time since winning it all in 1999.

After their breathtaking, come-from-behind victory over Brazil in the quarterfinals, the U.S. women face France in a semifinal match in Moenchengladbach, Germany (12 p.m., ESPN/ESPN3.com/Galavision). The French team has been a revelation in this tournament, defeating Canada and Nigeria in group play before falling to host Germany to finish second in Group A. France defeated England in penalty kicks to reach the semifinal.

U.S. coach Pia Sundhage has made one change to her starting XI, replacing suspended centerback Rachel Buehler with Becky Sauerbrunn, who becomes the first player ever to make her World Cup debut this late in the tournament.

If you will be watching the match, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

This entry was posted in 2011 Women's World Cup, U.S. Women's National Team, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

180 Responses to USWNT vs. France: Your Running Commentary

  1. Shane says:

    Go USA!!

  2. Matt says:

    ESPN3.com link broken for you guys as well?? Anybody have another link to the game?

  3. Shane says:

    Sad to say but if they dont win this and the final, then it will diminish their amazing comeback v. Brazil. They should have beaten Sweden in their group.

  4. Andy says:

    I am. FAIL!

  5. Tony says:

    Can someone who follows WNT tell me why Megan Rapinoe isn’t starting? I’ve watched two WNT games and she seems to be one of the best players.

  6. Chuck Norris says:

    LINKS ANYONE?

  7. PD says:

    She seems to have been really effective off the bench. I’d be really surprised if we don’t see her at some point today.

    Go USA.

  8. RB says:

    Very inconsistent. Of course her cross was the key to Wambach’s big goal and was perfect, and she also had a nice goal against Colombia. However for quite a while, she seemed to be in a competition with Rodriguez to see who could sky the ball over the net or otherwise fail to get shots on frame (or crosses on target).

  9. AL17 says:

    Easy question to answer in regards to Rapinoe, she’s much more effective off the bench with her creativity and leg speed.

    Against this French team we’ll need both her from her off the bench more so than against Brasil. This is a very fast French team that moves the ball well and whose speedy forwards can actually finish.

    We, i.e. USA, have a more experienced backline but not a fast one.

    I hope this game turns out to be everything in terms of entertaining and fun to watch football. I don’t expect the crap we saw from Brasil in regards to diving. I do expect a US win.

  10. shane says:

    When she came on in Brazil match she was very shaky at first. Caused a lot of give-aways until she settled down in extra time. She’ll be the first sub barring an injury sub. But I agree she is a class player in many many ways. Needs to definitely see the pitch in this one

  11. JSmiley says:

    Lauren Chaney won the starting job from Rapinoe right before the tournament started. It was a little controversial to change the lineup but Chaney has played well and Rapinoe has been great off the bench, so they’re staying with it.

  12. PD says:

    both teams are coming off marathon matches, but USA was a (wo)man down… it will be interesting to see what kind of legs these french and American ladies have (no comments please–doing my damnedest to resist myself)

  13. js says:

    Kind of sad to see the place half empty. Looks like Red Bull Arena in the midfield seats.

  14. PD says:

    solo
    sauerbrunn rampone lepeilbet
    kreiger boxx llyod cheyney
    rodriguez wambach

  15. PD says:

    sapowicz
    lepailleur meilleroux geroges bompastor
    soubeyrand necib bussaglia
    abily thiney
    delle

  16. PD says:

    Wambach shot – missed wide 6 min

  17. RB says:

    And there’s Cheney!

  18. Jeremy says:

    Can anyone provide another link besides espn3? It won’t load up for me.

  19. PD says:

    who’s liking whom in Japan v Sweden? I’m rooting for Japan.

  20. Spectra says:

    ESPN3 wont work for me either. Maybe there’s way too many people on it or something. This SUCKS. Illegal Feeds it is.

    GOAL USA

  21. PD says:

    Save Solo – Necib.

  22. Jack says:

    Wow, TEXTBOOK near-post run on that goal. Nice, Cheney.

  23. PD says:

    GOAL USA! Cheyney!

  24. Spectra says:

    A T D H E . F M

  25. Jamie Z. says:

    What a ball from Lloyd!

  26. PD says:

    i mean USA Cheyney!

  27. Joamiq says:

    Is there any athlete in the world who looks more intense in game than Heather O’Reilly?

  28. JSmiley says:

    Heather O’Reilly

  29. Bill W. says:

    CHENEY!!!!!!!

  30. Jack says:

    Sweden beat the US, therefore going for Japan (although I guess there’s something to be said about revenge in the final). Also, Japan’s had a stunner of a tournament.

  31. md says:

    link to espn.go.com works in internet explorer

  32. RB says:

    Hope Solo

  33. Joamiq says:

    linkabstract dot com

  34. Andy in Atlanta says:

    She is an intense woman to say the least… love her to death…

  35. Jeremy says:

    Awesome, thanks man.

  36. francois says:

    Amy Rodriguez just cannot get it together, her touch and decision making has not been good.

  37. Spectra says:

    Hope is one of those women you pray you sister or daughter don’t have to play against. Crap I’m fearful of her too.

  38. RB says:

    Ha — no joke!

  39. Andy in Atlanta says:

    But her pace is a threat… I think she is gonna break loose on one of these…. France is playing a high line…

  40. francois says:

    French player clipped her own heels there, ref bought it though.

  41. kimo says:

    Put in Kai…oh yeah..not on the team :(

  42. RB says:

    Rodriguez appeared to be limping when she got up from the slide…

  43. RB says:

    Wow that Wambach is good…

  44. RB says:

    …as is Solo!

    That was way too close…

  45. France looking dangerous…..the US will need another goal to secure this that’s for sure.

  46. francois says:

    Geez, the French side sure can attack. Our midfield needs to do a better job holding the ball, Carli hasn’t looked great so far.

  47. believerz says:

    Need to take advantage of France’s weak goalkeeper. I like that France is shooting from 40 yards — they can do that all day.

  48. RB says:

    Agreed — too many giveaways…

  49. RB says:

    Reports of Rampone’s demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

  50. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Wonderful ball BOxx and actually that should have been a corner… the GK got her mitts on it right as Wambach made contact.

  51. francois says:

    Definitely, we look very dangerous when we connect our passes and get into the final 3rd.

  52. follower says:

    Who reported her demise? That’s news to me and I’ve been following USWNT since the humble beginnings.

  53. Steve C says:

    Totally agree. She’s like a female version of Robbie Findley. All pace and not much else.

  54. Joamiq says:

    It seems like LePeilbet has spent half this game taking throw ins

  55. RB says:

    It was reported right here by a couple of different posters, I believe, during qualifying. One went to some lengths to even post the US record with and without her (when she was out there for a while) in a rather detailed argument on the point.

    Not that I ever bought it, mind you. :-)

  56. RB says:

    Boxx or Rampone (on that overlapping run and ensuing close chance)?

  57. Joamiq says:

    France is good. US has done a great job absorbing pressure. It’s going to be difficult to make any headway in the possession battle.

  58. beachbum says:

    how Pia manages her 3 subs is key; tired legs might push decisions as the game wears on, but the US women look fine on that front up to this point; see what’s happening at the 60 minute mark

    would love to see Rodriguez get a clean feed through behind the French high line and finish one

  59. marco says:

    Good game. France is much better than Brazil, and may wear out a tired USA mid-field. The game is much more fluid, with players getting up after tackles to play, not complain. Pia needs help in central mid-field, Loyd and Boxx are getting over-run. USA may get another goal as France is out of sorts at the back.

  60. Moochie says:

    France seems faster and more skilled, but the U.S. always seems to find a way to win.

  61. glaing says:

    Loyd needs to be better on the ball. Turned the ball over too much, may have alot to do with tired legs.

  62. CA says:

    I think we need to pull back one of our forwards to help out in the midfield. France is OWNING the midfield right now.

  63. The King of Norway says:

    Sapowicz is a weak keeper; Abby and company will put another one past her at some point. But France looks like it’ll score at some point too. I’d take a 2-1 US win.

  64. They need some fresh legs in the center of the field. But the US is handling the French team well. They French seem a lot tougher than the Brazilians. Good match up. US needs a goal from A-Rod.

  65. baquito alyeska says:

    Finally got it to work. No rhyme or reason.

  66. Joamiq says:

    She’s done some very good things on the ball too though. Some very clever turns and touches. I don’t think there’s really much the US can do to get possession away from France more often.

  67. shane says:

    I wouldnt call France more skilled, maybe more skilled at posssesion when you have 5 in the midfeild. Other types of skill too. France has a very fast player they will bring on in the second half. She cant hit the side of a barn but there’s always that lucky one.

  68. RB says:

    France subs out their top scorer to start the 2nd half?!?

  69. shane says:

    Also, if US would stop booting it forward you would see more possesion from the US.

  70. RB says:

    Just lost it again…

  71. beachbum says:

    need to switch the play to the other side; France commits it’s weakside way in when on the attack

  72. kimo says:

    +1000

    Pia is most certainly a “hoof it down the pitch” northern European coach. This team could be much more attractive and has the players to pull it off.

  73. follower says:

    Boxx and Lloyd are just too slow.

  74. pretty face says:

    Krieger having a massive nightmare so far in second half.

  75. PD says:

    Time of possession thus far: 50% – 50%

  76. Damn…I just felt that coming.

  77. RB says:

    They’re in…

  78. francois says:

    Oh my God, if Carli would have just laired it wide instead taking it on from 30 yes out. And now they equalize.

  79. beachbum says:

    France earned that goal…beautiful switch of the ball, acres of space, and a great ball in

  80. AL says:

    it was bound to happen.

  81. francois says:

    Laid* dumb android.

  82. RB says:

    See if Morgan can up the energy level a bit…

  83. daledaledynamo says:

    DAMNIT! CONNECT PASSES USA!!

  84. pretty face says:

    The US looks exhausted, especially Lloyd and Boxx. Boxx can’t get there and Lloyd is a turnover machine.

  85. Erik says:

    Fire Bob Bradley for teaching the ladies that the only way to pass is with the long ball.

  86. kimo says:

    These are Pia’s tactics. Her formation and player selection have doomed this team to a certain extent. The player pool is full of technically gifted players; however, her mold is much more in the BB mold…defensive posture / very physical / sit on leads. It doesn’t necessarily call for possession oriented players. We’ve been an ugly team for quite some time.

  87. Erik says:

    Kimo, that is the USA mold. Not any one coach or another. Wasn’t it Tiffany Milbrt who quit the team because the USA program didn’t believe in technical ability and passing the ball around?

  88. nam says:

    She’s upping something, that’s for sure.

  89. rob says:

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but did France get the kick-off after scoring a goal? Shouldn’t the US have had possession after the restart?

  90. beachbum says:

    regain composure, belief…it can show in better possession

    too direct. where is the flank play to relieve pressure?

    Krieger limping after strong tackle

  91. beachbum says:

    we kicked it right to them to restart

  92. They need to hold the ball, but France is really bringing it to them. Let’s go Pinoe! I don’t think Morgan has even gotten the ball.

  93. GLAING says:

    This mentality began before Pia. When Abby became a fixture the desire to play more direct became very apparent. April Heinricks was blamed for coaching that way back then.

  94. Justin O says:

    France looking flat out better than the US. Women’s soccer has really changed over the years, yes?

  95. pretty face says:

    Lloyd subbed — it is about time.

  96. Andy in Atlanta says:

    This is going to have to be another gritty one for us to win… France look excellent

  97. pretty face says:

    Yeah, but it only takes one counter attack.

    Morgan just not ready for this level. Her lack of technical skill failed her there.

  98. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Ok, hammer this FK

  99. francois says:

    Oh Alex, should have done so much better.

  100. beachbum says:

    the flanks!!! come on, and look what happened after we switched the play from one side to the other just with the backline passes! tons of space

    GO USA!!!

  101. Route 1 doesn’t make for pretty soccer, but it works. We would have looked brilliant against Brazil if Marta hadn’t jumped with both feet into the air, intentionally upending herself and drawing a red card and bogus PK. The game would likely have been 1-0 at final (or 2-0 after Brazil toca toc’d their whole team upfield and were exposed at the back for a quick Route 1 counter). I like teams like Barcelona too, but there are a lot of ways to skin a cat.

  102. FireBOBNow! says:

    alex morgan has been terrible in this tourney.

    the us is playing like utter crap. they aren’t going to win if they continue to play like this … out again in the semis unless they pick it up.

  103. Joamiq says:

    Holy crap what a shot from Rapinoe!

  104. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Wow, great strike by Rapinoe… SOOOO CLOSE

  105. francois says:

    We look better in these last 5 or 10 minutes.

  106. beachbum says:

    just like that…yes

  107. glaing says:

    Her speed is crucial but it may encourage us to play over the top more. Which we don’t need now.

  108. Dizzo says:

    The US looks tired. This is going to be a real character test to grit out a win.

  109. pretty face says:

    Morgan’s touch fails her again there…….

  110. kimo says:

    I agree. But, there’s no reason to continue this formula.

  111. glaing says:

    Cheney showing well in the CMF

  112. Joamiq says:

    Thiney has been learning from Lenhart. They’re both jackasses. That should be a yellow. Why do players think that’s allowed?

  113. pretty face says:

    France goalie is soooo weak. Too bad we can’t test her more.

  114. pretty face says:

    Darn the really old one is coming out.

  115. beachbum says:

    stay w/ the flank attack, and Abby has one less central defender to beat now

  116. glaing says:

    Thomis is a big worry. Has the touch of Arod though.

  117. Andy in Atlanta says:

    wambach!!!

  118. pretty face says:

    I think Thomis worse than A-rod touch wise.

  119. RB says:

    Sweet!!!

  120. Andy in Atlanta says:

    BEAST!!

  121. beachbum says:

    hello Abby :)))))))

  122. pretty face says:

    Abby is my hero.

  123. francois says:

    ABBBYY!!!!

  124. Joamiq says:

    Man, Abby is such a RIDICULOUS weapon. She’s just unmarkable in the air

  125. Frank says:

    US women play like the US men. Not technical and get outplayed but use their physical advantage and effort to pull out results.

  126. glaing says:

    Game changed with Pia’s changes in the midfield.

  127. pretty face says:

    If you are Sundhage, what sub do you make now? Put in Lori Lindsey and play 3 center mids? Or move back Morgan into midfield?

  128. beachbum says:

    how about Lindsey now for whoever is most tired? we have one more sub, right? did I lose track?

  129. Andy in Atlanta says:

    wow….WELCOME TO THE PARTY ALEX!!

  130. pretty face says:

    OMG – Alex Morgan!!!! I take back all those things about the bad touches.

  131. beachbum says:

    MORGAN with AWESOMENESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSZ

  132. glaing says:

    Alex Morgan!!!!

  133. Joamiq says:

    Nicely done, Morgan! So much for her supposed lack of technical ability

  134. francois says:

    Megan Rapinoe has been amazing in her sub appearance today. Great finish by Alex Morgan :)

  135. RB says:

    Yeah, Morgan’s touch really stunk up the place on that France-killer!

  136. beachbum says:

    YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  137. Morgan! About time my girl scores.

  138. Joamiq says:

    Except the US men really no longer have any physical advantage over other teams – not faster, not fitter, not bigger…

  139. RB says:

    As Grant Wahl (or possibly Steve Davis) put it, the only US “style” seems to be to try to out-athlete everybody.

  140. francois says:

    Psshh Alex is my girl!! Haha

  141. glaing says:

    Heath is usually good with posession.

  142. pretty face says:

    Well she does have a bad touch when posting up. You all have to admit that. She is a typical US player — athletic, fast, not great technically. If the defender is ever as fast as she is, she is in big trouble.

  143. Evan says:

    Whats the score? I can’t live stream from my office

  144. pretty face says:

    And as you all just saw, like Marta and Kelly Smith, she can’t use her right foot very well.

  145. JSmiley says:

    Marta who?

  146. pretty face says:

    3-1 USA, 88th minute.

  147. Andy in Atlanta says:

    3-1 usa

  148. glaing says:

    Thomis=Arod

  149. 3-1…effectiveness is the ultimate measure of effectiveness. Pia’s formula works. For every year Barca wins Euro, there are two seasons where a more direct team wins it.

  150. “Soccer Mamas!”

    -David Letterman, circa 1999-

  151. RB says:

    So glad they didn’t get snake-bit by the situation and the emotions, as seems to have played a role in the men’s exit v Ghana. Should be a tough final but fun to watch, no matter whether it’s Sweden or Japan.

  152. beachbum says:

    Pia gets a lot of credit from me for the Rapino substitution and tactical change she allowed with her ability to expose France’s vulnerable flank thru the midfield

    excellent stuff on the fly. just love it!!!

    GO USA!!!!

  153. us fan says:

    PIa Sundhage knows her stuff. I give the France coach props for going for the win. And Sauerbrunn should replace Buehler forever!

  154. francois says:

    I wouldn’t say not fitter, we’re definitely fitter than almost any other team out there on the Mens side. That’s known to everyone worldwide, every opposing manager says it everytime we play them.

  155. marco says:

    Great game. Congrats to France for playing great football. They are a little weak in the back which cost them the game. USA looked a bit tired physically and mentally, but had enough to prevail. They also had the character to not go into diving and play-acting with the lead (see Brazil).

  156. beachbum says:

    France attacked the center mids defensively by commiting numbers to the ball from the weak side. Cheaney was able to help break that when she slid inside after the Rapino sub, and open up the other side of the field

  157. francois says:

    Well now on to thinking about the final, I would love to play Sweden again. I think our backline has vastly improved since our loss to them in the group stage. I think Japan would be a more difficult final in my eyes due to their possession style of play.

  158. I was really impressed with France. I like that they came out to play and really took it to the US. Great attacking soccer. Their only weakness I would say is in the back. That is what ultimately cost them. The US looked tired in that second half, which is understandable after that Brazil game and France had that extra day of rest. Pia’s subs were spot on. Rapinoe was great when she came in. And of course Alex Morgan, sealing the win.

  159. Brett says:

    It is strange that this felt like a comeback win despite never trailing. France looked a cut above, but it was a tale of defenses and ours was better.

    Morgan could have had a hat trick too, but the one that went in was a beaut. We should be heavy favorites to take the cup now.

  160. Predicto says:

    Yup, Cheney in the middle, Rapinoe for Lloyd, Morgan for Rodriguez – these changes made all the difference. Lloyd didn’t look good as a playmaker – really slow to react. Cheney is slow too, but seems more comfortable in traffic. Rapinoe is slow but creative. I wonder if these changes will carry over to the final.

  161. Joamiq says:

    No, it’s purely rhetoric at this point. The MNT has shown an inability to go a full 90 numerous times over the past year. They often seem to have nothing in the tank in the last 10 minutes. Many of the top dozen or so CONCACAF sides are much fitter than us.

  162. glaing says:

    Would of loved if Morgan chipped the keeper on her last chance also.

  163. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, it felt like we were losing for much of the game, didn’t it?

    Wouldn’t say we’re heavy favorites though. Sweden already beat us, and looked like clearly the better team. And Japan has been playing really well all tournament long. It’s going to be a very difficult final regardless of the opponent.

  164. Brett says:

    Seeing these changes in action makes me wonder if we will approach the next match as 2 matches. One 60 minute match and then another 30 minute match. If we win the first one, great, and then we play a defensive style to finish it. If we don’t, or find ourselves in a draw, we go the other way and go more attacking.

    Either way I don’t expect our strongest 11 to start the match.

  165. Joamiq says:

    Lloyd wasn’t great today, but I’m stunned that everyone apparently missed the fact that she had a half dozen very skilled, clever touches that opened things up for the attack – including the back heel that led to the first goal.

  166. Brett says:

    True, but there is little doubt this team is not the same team that played against Sweden. They have much more going for them.

  167. Brett says:

    …also, the attitude of a team in the final group stage match and their attitude in a cup final couldn’t be more different.

  168. Joamiq says:

    They’re playing better, especially the backline, but Sweden didn’t win that game because the US played poorly. Sweden looked much more skilled.

  169. RB says:

    I saw that. That was a very deft move.

  170. Predicto says:

    Lloyd seems like a tale of two player – yes she had a bunch of neat touches to get around her defender, and she has a big shot. But she was too slow to the 50/50 balls in the mid – and we lost the mid battle. I think we need a quicker and more creative passer in there.

  171. Brett says:

    Having them both on the field wouldn’t hurt.

  172. Joamiq says:

    Yeah, true. She definitely has her weak points. But do we have a better central midfielder?

  173. us fan says:

    Lloyd’s biggest weakness is lack of tactical awareness. If Boxx makes a run, she needs to stay home, yet she wanders all over the field. Also, her shot selection is not very good — why take shots from all other the field with no angle? She doesn’t get many of them on frame either.

    She did have some nice touches and passes today, but at what price? She loses the ball in the middle third too much and that is extremely dangerous.

  174. us fan says:

    Amber Brooks.

  175. Predicto says:

    Something unusual I saw in this match was the USA trying to possess and control the ball in the midfield. I like it! But they seemed to use it to excess, and had some dangerous give-aways in the their third. Also, while the mids knocked it around, they couldn’t move forward and rarely seemed to connect with the strikers.

  176. Joamiq says:

    Maybe in 2015…