The U.S. women’s national team notched a World Cup-opening 3-1 win over Australia on Monday to climb to the top of Group D, but the victory wasn’t enough to earn the respect of the Australia Women’s Soccer website.
The site, which is sponsored by Football Federation Australia, posted a scathing review of U.S. Soccer in its recap called "Australia v USA: 4 things we learnt."
1: The USA, well, they just aren’t that good
The US certainly like to talk a good game. The reality is they play a fairly rudimentary, bog-standard 4-4-2, were short of ideas going forward and outmanoeuvred tactically. ‘Play it long and look for the head of Wambach’ seems the default game-plan for a team stuck in the past.
World football has moved, in case Jill Ellis hasn’t noticed. US were outplayed by a better, smarter footballing side – who were also without two certain starters in Polkinghorne and keeper Williams – before the Aussies ran out of gas.
US relied on the individual brilliance of Megan Rapinoe to win them this game. And Hope Solo in the US goal saved the Americans on numerous occasions in front of a vocal ‘home’ crowd in Canada. If it wasn’t for this world-class keeper, this could’ve been a different result.
No one is going to dispute that the Americans' World Cup opener was not their best effort. The players even said as much during the postgame press conferences.
But to say they were outplayed would be incorrect.
The first half was a little dicey, but in the second half, the U.S. dominated. Say what you want about the U.S. women’s style of play — many people have during the past four years — but it was enough to get the job done.
Australia is a skilled squad, but it’s young and was bested by a more experienced, fitter side. All the talent in the world isn’t going to make up for being fatigued in the 65th minute.
Sure, Australia has to find some way to put a good face on a 3-1 defeat, but calling out the United States on a website sponsored by the Australian Football Federation is just poor form and sour grapes.