USA vs. Sweden: Live Commentary

Goal nabber Lotta Schelin drives the offensive bus for Sweden...


The US line-up vs. Sweden: Solo; Krieger, Buehler, Rampone (c), LePeilbet; Rapinoe, Boxx, Lloyd, Cheney; Rodriguez, Wambach

O’Reilly gets to rest her groin while Wambach makes the cut.


The ladies are nearly set to kickoff today against the Blågult (“The Blueyellow”) of Sweden at the Women’s World Cup Stadium in Wolfsburg, finishing up play in the dead ly Group of Bedoya.

Kickoff set for 2:45 ET on ESPN and

A win and the US avoid a likely match-up with Brazil in the quarterfinals, always good this time of year.

And this is also for bragging right for USWNT coach Pia Sundhage, she of the 146 caps and 71 goals for her native Sweden. Should be interesting.


32 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 11:41 AM

    A little surprising to see Wambach get the start. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if she only plays one half and then makes way for Alex Morgan.


  2. Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 11:53 AM

    US is looking good so far, but Sweden looks capable of scoring just as quick.


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/06 at 12:17 PM

    I think you’re right on Wambach. I think the backline looks a little messy and really is missing some cover in front of it, no?


    • Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 12:22 PM

      Yeah, Shannon Boxx has been invisible so far. I think part of the back line’s struggles has been Sweden just outplaying them and doing a great job of targeting its weaknesses (Amy LePeilbet and Rachel Buehler as of now)


  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/06 at 12:20 PM

    Wow, unfortunate there.


  5. Posted by justin on 2011/07/06 at 12:31 PM

    usa looks out of control and just blasting shots from long range.


  6. Posted by justin on 2011/07/06 at 12:33 PM

    it’s hard to say what should change at half and come in with a sub: mid, defense, forward…. everywhere could use some help right now


    • Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 12:34 PM

      Which is surprising, because this lineup didn’t seem particularly weak coming into the game.


  7. Posted by chris on 2011/07/06 at 12:38 PM

    Tough game to watch. I don’t think Wambaugh is an asset to the team, at least as a starter, at this point in her career. Alex Morgan deserves the start up top. Boxx has been slow and invisible. The first half of this match has perfectly illustrated why Heather O’Reilly’s speed and willingness to attack is invaluable; the team is lethargic without her. If our next match is against Brasil. you can be sure their speed and skill up front will be too much for our back line.


  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/06 at 12:41 PM

    I think you’re seeing the US against a better who is aware of how to expose their weaknesses.

    O’Reilly would help but more about playing a better team.


  9. Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 1:03 PM

    The threat of playing Brazil keeps looming larger and larger as the game progresses. Not loving it.


  10. Posted by justin on 2011/07/06 at 1:05 PM

    rapinoe played much better as an inverted winger last game cutting in and attacking the defense. I’m waiting for her and cheney to switch sides. Morgan isn’t working because sweden isn’t pushing up like they were in the first half. They don’t need to and because of that they’ve canceled out her speed


    • Posted by justin on 2011/07/06 at 1:07 PM

      if i see one more long range 30+ yard shot i’m going to run my forehead into the television


  11. Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 1:08 PM

    I’d like to see Sundhage throw Cheney up top, but she’s usually hesitant to put a third striker up, saying that both Wambach and Morgan play better in a 4-4-2.


  12. Posted by justin on 2011/07/06 at 1:09 PM

    boom baby!


  13. Posted by Kenny on 2011/07/06 at 1:09 PM



  14. Posted by Maura Gladys on 2011/07/06 at 1:10 PM

    Now, let’s start seeing the goals in bunches…Although, I’ll settle for just one more to tie it up haha


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/06 at 1:19 PM

      Nice to see Wambach get the goal, though her work in the 1st two games merited as many plaudits without the scoring.


  15. Posted by Paula on 2011/07/06 at 1:30 PM

    Sad that the only smack talk I can think of involves Ingmar Bergman movies.


  16. Posted by sfshwebb on 2011/07/06 at 1:32 PM

    Morgan offers a lot more then Amy Rodriguez. She’s won a bunch of balls in the air to set up Wambach. O’Hara was an awful substitution as Rapinoe was playing great and O’Hara has given the ball away a lot.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/06 at 1:58 PM

      Agreed — a ton of value that Wambach offers that goes unseen or uncommented on.

      Alex Morgan made the 2nd half possible but only because Wambach is dangerous in the middle of the pitch and must be accounted for too.


  17. The U.S encountered a sweden team that brought a different style of play that the usa aren’t use to expecting from them. The usa defense was flat footed like the english team and was vastly exposed by it. If not for the 12th played being the lines woman this would ahve been easily a 4-1 game. We are still playing what i consider a west german style of football. Our style of play is very forward and not very predictable but lately we are playing like the england men with wanting to rely on set pieces alot for our goals and the US finishing is sucking very hard incredibly hard. You know a team is frustrated when the majority of the shots are from 30 yards out.


  18. If Cheney had finished one of her two great chances in the first half, and/or Amy Rod. scores on that wide open chance late in the first, who knows. The USWNT isn’t finishing chances right now. Those goals would have covered a lot of defensive mistakes. That being said, the better team today won.

    In my limited estimation, we are as athletically superior as we used to be. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s we were just flat out better athletically, and skill. The World is better, but I think we had a great group of ladies who could run and play.


    • The problem isn’t our athleticism that is in question but our technical ability because for a vast majority of the game the pace was dictated by sweden and had us chasing the ball squandering energy and switching the point of attack from central to either side of the park if need be. The chances that were wasted and they were wasted should be finished as best as possible especially the one by ohara and the other by amy should have not been wasted like that. That’s why i said our style of play is similar to the english team. The world is catching up athletically but many countries are proving to be technically superior to the usa. If you watched the Germany vs France game, one can see that germany has evolved into team that is technical/physical/aggresive and moves off the ball when they don’t have it


      • Posted by gary on 2011/07/06 at 5:33 PM

        That is my point. In the past we had superior athletes who also had some technical skills. But Buehler, the left back, boxx, even rapinoe are very limited athletically. Rapinoe is agile but not fast enough to be on the wing for this team.


  19. Posted by kaya on 2011/07/06 at 11:07 PM

    I really felt like Abby was a big problem, to be honest. Sure, she’s a constant threat and opens up space for others in that respect, but I saw her walking around a lot and simply not looking like herself. Cheney was way more of a threat, though missed a few howlers. Not that she was given very much of a good chance, but I don’t see how Morgan brings more for this scenario than Rodriguez. What we needed was someone with creativity and distribution and mostly got a lot of poor, long balls.
    I felt the US was quite unlucky and well able to win this game, but far from dominating, they just didn’t bring a good game.


    • Posted by douglas on 2011/07/07 at 12:16 AM

      Thank you for saying that. I feel like I’d be blaspheming to say we would play better without Abby starting…..oh wait I just did. Why is Pia afraid of bringing her in as a sub when defenses are tired. She would dominate for those 15/20 minutes. You’re so right, shes just not looking like Abby of old. Our style of late isn’t conducive to sending long balls to Abby up top all the time. I would love to see Cheney up top with Rodriguez or a Morgan ARod combo would be fun to watch. Cheney has definitely deserved her starting spot. I thought Pia was crazy taking Rapinoe off as a starter, but i get it.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/07 at 12:20 AM

      I completely disagree here. I think Wambach is just not a superstar anymore. You really get nothing out of her when she’s a sub because she’s not that type of player.

      She consistently occupies one or more players in the back. I think the bigger issue is the midfield finding her.


      • Posted by Douglas on 2011/07/07 at 12:48 AM

        I guess we won’t know because she’s never come off the bench. Any forward we put out there is going to occupy a player(s). I agree that the mid didn’t find her but that can be partly due to her not getting open, right? She is a great player no question but I’m just not seeing it now and I think in the World Cup, now matters. I hope she (and you) prove me wrong in a big way against Brazil.


      • Posted by kaya on 2011/07/07 at 10:29 AM

        For whatever the reason is, she’s certainly not the same since her injury. I felt like the opposing teams just haven’t had much trouble in neutralizing her and I don’t think Brazil with Aline will be different. Now your point on how different the defense of the opposition would be with a Wambach-less offense on our side is unknowable if you don’t try.
        I definitely have a soccer style I prefer, so I know I’m biased, but I’m also for whatever works. Hoofing the ball to Abby used to be very effective and just isn’t so much anymore, so It’s frustrating to watch.


  20. Posted by Bob Bradley on 2011/07/08 at 2:31 PM

    There’s a Lotta Schelin in my pants right now


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