Slow Starts Will Not Win the U.S. Women’s National Team a World Cup


The rust at the beginning of the Untied States opening game against Australia is to be expected, between the training and friendlies these players have not seen much serious play-time for a few months so we can cut them a bit of slack when the opening few minutes were not as sharp as they should be.

That being said, the way to win the 2015 Women’s World Cup is not with slow starts, so the USWNT have a lot of work to do before the knockout rounds.

Abby Wambach missed a couple of headers last night, which was very uncharacteristic of her, but to be expected as Wambach decided not to play club soccer last season and instead focus on the World Cup. Alex Morgan also got limited playing time as she is coming off an injury and needs to be careful about playing a full 90 minutes on turf, both of these essential USWNT players not being at 100% definitely contributes to slow starts but luckily Megan Rapinoe took care of it last night.

Thanks to two Rapinoe goals and one from newcomer Christen Press, the United States are currently top of Group D with 3 points. Sweden and Nigeria drew yesterday and Australia sits in last, giving the US a definite advantage when it comes to Friday’s game against Sweden.

The former U.S. head coach, Pia Sundhage is currently the head coach of Sweden and will know how to coach her team around a lethargic USWNT because if there is anything to be said about Sweden’s World Cup Team this summer it’s that these women are eager for a trophy.

Head Coach Jill Ellis spoke about the start, “We were a little bit nervous, to be honest. The important thing is we grow. The second half is something we can grow upon.”

Yes, the second half is something to grow upon but will that be enough to get through the rest of this tournament? No. Slow starts will do the United States no favors as the competition gets more difficult, better teams await and the punishments will be more severe the closer to the trophy these women get.

Caitlin O'Connell

A Senior Writer and Orlando City Correspondent for 90 Minutes Strong, Caitlin has years of experience as a soccer journalist. She was the Managing Editor at World Soccer Talk and was the Events Assistant at the Boca Raton Bowl.

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