USWNT vs. Nigeria
Date: June 16th, 2015
Location: BC Place, Vancouver, Canada
Time: 5pm PT/ 8pm ET
TV: FOX (the big one)
A dour draw against a stingy Sweden still left the United States women’s national team in pole position after two group matches in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Tonight they’ll take on group basement dwellers Nigeria to book a spot in the knockout rounds.
Former coach Pia Sundhage had the Lady Nats number last Friday, but the hope is that Nigeria’s desperation for three points will leave them exposed at the back and we can capitalize on an open game. The USWNT hasn’t been great at finishing chances (or creating many for that matter). According to Paul Carr of ESPN, the USWNT has been shut out five times in its last 13 games, after being shut out five times in its previous 176 games.
“I though this was supposed to be a ‘hype’ article?”
It is! The thing is that this team is loaded with weapons just waiting to unload. We haven’t seen the best from this squad and tonight we’re (hopefully) going to see an offensive attack that should be a sign of things to come in the knockout stages.
The defense for this side has been nothing short of spectacular. They’ll be tested today by Nigeria’s speedy attackers. Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Klingenburg, and Johnson have been absolutely lights-out and Solo on point.
The offensive, with Morgan returning from injury and clearly not 90 minutes ready, needs to find that spark. Christen Press, Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, and Abby Wambach… just re-read that list and tell me that there isn’t a flood of goals ready to come out of them.
Tonight’s the night.
Full USWNT Roster:
Goalkeepers: Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers) and Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC).
Defenders: Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) and Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City).
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City) and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC).
Forwards: Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City) and Abby Wambach (unattached).
No matter the challenge… it’s the World Cup Final or bust.