USWNT vs. Sweden: Your Running Commentary

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The U.S. women's national team has already cemented its place in the FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals, but a win or a draw is still needed in its final group game on Wednesday (2:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN3.com) if the team is to avoid an encounter with Marta-led Brazil in the first knockout round.

Its opponent in the final group game, Sweden, is also looking to avoid that fate. The two teams are tied on points, but the United States has a better goal differential, so the Swedes, who defeated the U.S. women in the Four Nations Tournament in January, need a victory to top Group C.

Forward Abby Wambach (Achilles, sitting on a yellow card) is in the U.S. starting lineup, but right winger Heather O'Reilly (groin) has been left out of the starting XI in favor of Megan Rapinoe, who came off the bench to score against Colombia.

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

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124 Responses to USWNT vs. Sweden: Your Running Commentary

  1. Seriously says:

    Man I’m glad I checked SBI just now or I would have forgotten today was Wednesday. Thanks!

  2. born in da' usa says:

    Wow, Wambach is the anti-Prinz. Why on earth would Pia not sit Wambach? Is Wambach in control of the team or something? She has a bum achilles, a yellow card and has scored 1 goal all year. I wonder what it would take to sit her on the bench?

    It is very easy to defend against Wambach. Just let her shoot and she’ll certainly miss the goal!

  3. I’m surprised that Wambach is not sitting. I was hoping to see Alex Morgan start alongside Rodriguez. I just want to see what those two can do together. They are both fast and Morgan really has a nose for goal. I guess they don’t want to face Brazil in the next round. I predict 3-1 USA wins this.

  4. TimN says:

    I agree that playing Wambach could prove a mistake, mainly from the standpoint of possibly picking up a second yellow. There are other line-ups that Sundhage could utilize against Sweden. However, I have to disagree with “born in da’ usa” in his/her assessment of Wambach. Yes, she has been off lately, but she very nearly had a goal against Colombia if not for an amazing save by their keeper. I think any day of the week the U.S. wants Wambach in the line-up. Her height and physicality make her very difficult to defend. Playing the odds, she won’t keep missing.

  5. Colin says:

    Great save by Hope Solo. USA backline needs to figure itself out.

  6. Chuck Norris says:

    link

  7. RK says:

    Less pressure for Wambach to score today than in an elimination game.

  8. born in da' usa says:

    Think back to the 2008 Olympics which the USA won. Wambach wasn’t there. The US doesn’t rely on the long ball and keeps better possession in the final third without her on the field.

    Silvia Neid sat Prinz because she wasn’t producing. The Spanish side sat Fernando Torres. And the US has a David Villa in Alex Morgan. Why not play her or start Cheney, a true target forward who can keep possession with A-Rod who has the speed.

    In addition, I’d sit Buehler and play Sauerbrunn.

  9. chris says:

    The bornstein of the uswnt

  10. bobster says:

    That was a questionable penalty.

  11. Andrew says:

    my thoughts exactly

  12. Shark says:

    Questionable PK call….looks like the foul occurred outside the box….puts Sweden up 1-0….awkward defending by LePeilbet gets her a yellow card to boot….first goal given up by the USA in this competiton thus far….

  13. bobster says:

    Come on Cheney!

  14. kimo says:

    +1

    I agree 100%. And…that’s why I thought it important to select Kai as the “super sub” option…physical and speedy…a great asset to have when attacking tired players.

  15. Seriously says:

    Same here. She is Sweden’s best player. Passes to them gives them free goals when no tackle was needed at all and can’t do anything right. Lepeilbet sucks.

  16. Jon says:

    I love Cheney!

  17. bobster says:

    Shannon Boxx is looking a bit lead legged out there.

  18. Seriously says:

    Oh! ARod!

  19. Seriously says:

    Our Defense sucks.

  20. bobster says:

    Great shot by Amy LePeilbet!!!

  21. Jacob ATL says:

    Our defense is in shambles because they’re having to cover EVERYTHING. Shannon Boxx hasn’t left the center circle yet.

  22. Drew says:

    She is way past bornstein. I am thinking more like burns or agoos.

  23. Shark says:

    Sweden with a deflected goal off of a free kick goes up 2-0 in minute 32….the USA with no luck at all thus far….ouch….

  24. chris says:

    Haha that girl blows. Can’t watch it

  25. Jamie Z. says:

    Ugh. LePeilbet and Buehler are a disaster.

    But if it weren’t for wasted chances up front, we could still be even or ahead.

  26. Predicto says:

    Agree 100%

  27. Seriously says:

    lePeilbet is easily our worst player. It is like watching the Men play and seeing one player absoloutley ruin a decent side.

  28. Bjorn Steen says:

    Hmm. Never seen that before.

  29. L says:

    Is Bob Bradley coaching, I swear I think it’s him coaching this team were losing, that’s all the US seems to do these days except the women (sometimes…….)

  30. Predicto says:

    Composure and control needed now.

  31. chris says:

    Wambach and Boxx need to sit. Wambach really has no business starting. Alex Morgan absolutely deserves a shot. I don’t know what to say about our defense today, except that we have very limited options off the bench.

  32. Jacob ATL says:

    We should have a goal by now. Plain and simple

  33. WK says:

    So a 2nd place finish seems likely at this point. Brazil are whooping Guinea in their game-who do we face in the quarterfinal then?

  34. Dave says:

    brazil

  35. Predicto says:

    Brazil.

  36. jonk says:

    Brazil ceased whooping Eq Guinea a while ago. If the US lose this game they play Brazil.

  37. Seriously says:

    Rapinoe isn’t much better. I don’t know what our bench options look like but I would remove those two. We can only finish second with a loss so might as well get those two out even if the backups aren’t better.

  38. Jamie Z. says:

    Brazil and Australia both won. 1st place in our group play Australia, 2nd place play Brazil.

  39. L says:

    Are the men rubbing off on the women?

  40. Predicto says:

    I think the USA comes back in the 2nd half. They’ve won all the 50/50 balls & had a ton of looks and chances. If they regain composure, stop the direct passes, control the ball through the mids, and stop mistakes – they’ll come back to tie or win.

  41. KC says:

    that does not sound right….

  42. Colin says:

    Is Shannon Boxx having her Claudio Reyna “maybe I shouldn’t be starting anymore” moment? She’s looked a step slow this whole tournament.

  43. AcidBurn says:

    Is Sweden coached by Bob Bradley? Losing 2-0 leads is his specialty.

  44. inside info says:

    Actually the men are taking all of the funding for their development while the women’s national team programs are getting screwed. That is really what’s happening. US Soccer has set up the women for a long downward spiral.

  45. CRewl says:

    If the US scores more goals than Sweden then they will win the game.

  46. Starla says:

    Can’t believe Hope Solo didn’t get a card at the penalty.

  47. CA says:

    It’s been a much closer game then the score suggests. We’ve had at least 3 SOLID chances and some “ok” possession, and Sweden’s two goals were not from the run of play. I think a tie is not impossible.

  48. philmatt24 says:

    Do you mean the moment when Reyna’s MCL tore as he tried to defend against Ghana’s first goal in the 2006 World Cup?

  49. The Dream says:

    Looks like the US will be playing the team in yellow next game.

  50. L says:

    If we play Brazil next round…… Jesus. This is Gulati’s fault he’s bad luck ….. and stupid…..

  51. L says:

    Thanks men for being losers, taking all the money from the hardworking women to produce nothing… shame on them!

  52. alabama futbol says:

    yellow and green, yes. Australia awaits because we’re about to come back. 2-2 final, book it.

  53. Jon says:

    O my gosh fire pia!!!!

  54. Starla says:

    Full zone defense on set pieces. Beautiful

  55. Chicago_blue says:

    Why did she replace Rodriguez of all people? Pia giving up?

  56. TimN says:

    The Morgan substitution was a good move, though I might have pulled off Wambach instead of Rodriguez. I might have also brought in Heather Mitts to help solidify the back line and bring in some experience. We’ll see how it shakes out.

    The U.S. really needs to salavage a draw here. Brazil in the quarters would be pretty tough…not that they can’t beat them, but I think they’d rather play Australia any day.

  57. Paula says:

    Once in a while, it would be nice to get out of group play without seeing this score line against the US.

  58. Aaron in StL says:

    Hah I wonder if Borny really knows/believes that he is just awful… or if he lies to himself.

    Like Rico Clark in S. Africa 2010… he knew at point he was sucking it up. You could see it in his face. He pretty much had the ‘sorry for blowing it’ look the entire time he was on the field.

  59. Seriously says:

    All we are doing is trying long range shots. No attempt to work it inside more even when there are options. The decision making is terrible.

  60. Jamie Z. says:

    You’re just trying to get our most attractive players on the pitch at the same time.

  61. Duck says:

    They want to keep the defense honest at a range rather than allow them to bunker. We have the ability to get a quick goal like this, and then play more “beautifully” for the equalizer.

  62. beachbum says:

    sub out Boxx; looks gassed and hasn’t provided the linkage at all. Rapinoe’s lack of last ball quality has been a big difference in this game so far.

    just takes one to change things tho

  63. Jamie Z. says:

    Cox in for LePeilbet a good move.

  64. beachbum says:

    another break possibility for the US diffused by our own player, Boxx. I’ll stop pointing out her sub par perfromance so far

  65. beachbum says:

    here we go now!!!!!!!

  66. Jamie Z. says:

    Vintage Wambach!

  67. The Dream says:

    Eat it!

  68. Jacob ATL says:

    LEGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  69. philmatt24 says:

    Should’ve started that way (also should’ve started with Morgan in for Wambach). But hey, hindsight is 20/20, and I’m sitting at work watching the gamecast rather than being the coach of the team so…

  70. AcidBurn says:

    Game on!

  71. g-loff says:

    The ESPN gamecast is stuck at 51′, I take it the US scored? Details?

  72. Shark says:

    Looks like your wrong…:) Wambach goal..;) Don’t apply for the coaching job either…:)

  73. Jacob ATL says:

    Abby Wambach’s shoulder on a corner in the 67th.

  74. philmatt24 says:

    link to fifa.com

    for once, FIFA is doing something better than ESPN…

  75. Jamie Z. says:

    Cheney has a knack for getting into exactly the right position to miss chances.

  76. The Dream says:

    Wambach header off the corner.

  77. g-loff says:

    Thanks

  78. The Dream says:

    Take 10 chances, get one. Let’s hope.

  79. The Dream says:

    O Hara for Rapinoe

  80. RK says:

    US outshooting Sweden 21-6…wow…

  81. Seriously says:

    Well we finally got both Rapinoe and LePeilbet off the field and we are on the front foot only down one. Just need better decisions and finishing.

  82. beachbum says:

    would love to see Shannon make the play here down the stretch to tie it up.

  83. Seriously says:

    Shannon Box is not playing well either. Nothing she has done has been good. She just missed an opportunity to slip someone in on goal by trying to drop it over the backline instead of playing on the ground.

  84. Seriously says:

    This Jap ref is killin it though.

  85. bobster says:

    Ohara looks lost out there.

  86. Brit says:

    Darke and Foudy are sounding so pessimistic… All we need is one more goal

  87. Jeremy says:

    will a 2-2 draw with the group for us?

  88. Jamie Z. says:

    OH, COME ON!!!

  89. The Dream says:

    O Hara misses a sitter wide.

  90. The Dream says:

    Yes, a draw wins the group.

  91. Becks says:

    Terrible sub. Ohara has been awful. So has Wombach btw

  92. Predicto says:

    USA looks good – they had many looks and coulda won it. However, they lose composure too easily & try to make it up all in one play. Way too many direct balls.

  93. Chicago_blue says:

    The finishing on this team is utterly atrocious. Amazing really. And it has been like that all year…

  94. beachbum says:

    well, that was goal

  95. The Dream says:

    Yeah, they don’t deserve to win this game.

  96. philmatt24 says:

    Well, I didn’t see the goal (heard it was a “blind shoulder goal”), but good for Wambach. She still missed several dozen chances in the past two games. Maybe this one gets her going, though…

  97. Predicto says:

    Now, gotta perform vs Brazil……

  98. beachbum says:

    can we see Morgan start now please? Pia’s saved her legs, she’s ready to go, and Rodriguez has not been.

    thoughts?

  99. Tim F. says:

    Does the US play Brazil now in an elimination game?

  100. AcidBurn says:

    Sorry, good teams don’t blow 2-0 halftime leads.

  101. Jacob ATL says:

    #BringOnBrazil

  102. The Dream says:

    Yessir

  103. Joamiq says:

    This USWNT is just not that good

  104. Dune king says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!

  105. Joamiq says:

    She looked class. Definitely should see more time.

  106. Jeremy says:

    playing brasil now might be a better option than having germany in the semifinal (which would have been the case I believe, assuming we won and beat Aus).

  107. The US dominated that second half. It is a shame they didn’t get at least a point from this game. Although Brazil looks tough, I think these ladies will regroup and send Marta and Brazil packing. Credit to Sweeden though, they defended will and fouled when they needed to. I still think that PK call was outside the box. GO USA!

  108. beachbum says:

    Rapinoe and Boxx must do better. whether linking up or final balls.

    Hope Abby’s healthy; worried about all the minutes she’s already played. we’ve got some pace issues in the backline, too

  109. chris says:

    Haha good one considering a mens team even with bornstein starting would win this world cup.

  110. wc says:

    yeah, we play brazil. which is terrible news. will be bad for women’s soccer either way. if brazil loses, the most exciting women’s soccer team in the world is out, and if usa loses, we’re not exactly mustering attention for the league.

  111. Benjamin says:

    That was an extremely underwhelming performance. The two central midfielders were really bad; they lacked any kind of creativity in the final third and resorted to launching awful long distant shots. The defense was pretty disorganized. Just a really lethargic performance. There should be multiple changes before the Brazil. Also, I hate the empty bucket formation in the men’s game, and this proved that it does not look much better in the women’s game. Total lack of creativity by both the players and coaching staff.

  112. syght says:

    Yeah, Le Pelbeit was no good, Boxx was slow and couldn’t make the right linking passes, Rapinoe also with some real sloppy passing in the final third. I was hoping Morgan would come in for Wambach, but Wambach did get us that first goal. Sloppy defending, too much route 1 passing over the top and no composure in the final third. Girls better bring it against Brazil.

  113. fanatico says:

    The best 4 teams in the tournament are Germany, Brasil, US and Sweden. I think whoever wins the US vs. Brazil game will have an easy ride to the Final.

  114. irishapple21 says:

    It’s hard to come back when a player gifts two goals to your opponent. Sweden really aren’t that great of a team, but USA played like garbage. I seriously doubt that they have a chance in hell against Brazil.

  115. TimN says:

    Was at the office and had to follow it on FIFA gamecast, but couldn’t see the video. Sounds like we missed several good chances. Looks like we outshot Sweden handily. Finishing will have to improve against Brazil, because if Marta gets a good chance, she surely will finish it.

    One thing I will say is that I was not particularly impressed by Brazil against Norway, at least in the first half. They are VERY dependent on pushing the ball high to Marta, and don’t develop a lot of play out of their midfield. This seems strange, as they certainly have the players with the individual skill to do so.

    A win today would have been nice, as Australia would have been a weaker opponent with which to begin the knockout stages. However, the winner of Sweden/Australia will likely face Germany, so that’s not necessarily an easy path either. If the U.S. can get past Brazil, they will face the winner of England/France. I would give the edge there to France. From here, it gets very interesting…

  116. Seriously says:

    Amen +1

  117. fanatico says:

    I don’t think she did much actually. But I am female so am not concentrating on her looks!

  118. fanatico says:

    The league is dead anyway. Puma has pulled out for next season. There are only 6 teams left. And SUM Marketing / US Soccer won’t provide assistance to prop it up like they did for MLS at the beginning.

    Our women should head overseas to Germany or Sweden for professional opportunities. The best ones should skip the NCAA system as it is hindering their development. Why not have a Bradenton type Academy for women so they can bypass the NCAA and play regular first team soccer in a good overseas league?

  119. Jamie Z. says:

    I think she looked sharp, like she could provide a spark. Pia Sundhage definitely seems to think she’s a fewer minutes/greater impact sort of player, so I understand her role within the team and don’t disagree with it.

    I think the main problem is our defense and defensive midfield, and particularly that left side — Krieger on the right has quietly been one of our most consistent players this World Cup — with LePeilbet (who is NOT a left back) and Buehler just getting schooled on a regular basis. I would, for one, like to see Lindsey start the next match in place of Boxx to hold things down in defensive midfield and provide some cover for our centerbacks, who are constantly being caught flat. I for one did like the combination of Cox and Rampinoe on the left, at least in comparison to the LePeilbet/Cheney tandem, which just leaves acres of space on the opposition right wing. It’s not a long term solution, for sure, but we clearly can’t trot out that same lineup against Brazil or it’ll be a short tournament for us.

    And geez, finishing. I don’t know what this team can do about finishing.

  120. Jamie Z. says:

    Thanks for your contribution!

  121. Jamie Z. says:

    Well, I imagine for one because a college education provides these girls with resources that a stint in the unstable world of womens’ soccer cannot, like the prospect of a career and financial stability. It’s not like these girls go pro and “make it” like the top men do. So they go to college.

  122. Joamiq says:

    1. “I am female so am not concentrating on her looks” – so the implication is that if you are female, you therefore cannot be concentrating on another woman’s looks? I know some females – some members of this team, actually – who might take issue with that sentence.

    2. On the other hand, being a male does not make a soccer fan incapable of assessing a female soccer player’s performance.

    3. I thought she showed good skill and creativity. Rodriguez hasn’t been getting it done, and Morgan might fit within the flow of the offense better.

    4. Fanatico is masculine. If you’re female, you might be looking for fanatica.

  123. Joamiq says:

    Uh, you’re welcome?

    I guess I should have elaborated. I meant this in response to the notion that was being expressed on TV at the time that this team would necessarily respond in a big way to this loss. They’ve done nothing, not just in this World Cup but for some time now, to make me think they’re capable of making a statement against Brazil. Especially not with this total lack of finishing. They look 2nd tier, not elite. I’m hoping I’m wrong, but I don’t see Brazil losing.