Monday, March 10, 2014

USA Women's Soccer Hits a Losing Streak

For the first time since 2001, the United States Women's Soccer team has lost back-to-back games. They also finished last in their group at the Algarve Cup following a draw with Japan and then losses to both Sweden and Denmark. Their loss to Denmark saw them give up 5 goals, the first time ever the squad has given up more than 4 goals in a game. I believe this is also the first time the US both finished last in a group and failed to win a single group stage match in any tournament. The Algarve Cup is a yearly tournament held in Portugal bringing together 8 of the world's top teams along with 4 teams who are up and comers.

We're a year away from the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, so in a way this makes that even more exciting. USA went from being the unbeatable force to now being on their heels, with an aura of vulnerability surrounding them. However when it comes to sports, there's nothing like a little adversity to give you that kick in the ass you may need. No doubt USA will use this as further motivation to rally around in the lead up to the Women's World Cup. This isn't the first time they have faced some. They famously lost to Mexico in 2011 Women's World Cup qualification, and needed to beat Italy in a playoff to qualify for the 2011 tournament. They did, and went on to the World Cup final for the first time since winning it in 1999, but lost to Japan in penalty kicks.

One thing to note is they were without star forward Alex Morgan for the tournament, and did some experimenting with the lineup, as Abby Wambach didn't enter the game against Denmark until the final minutes. The lineup was tinkered with through the 3 matches, so two losses is nothing to get too worried about.

Japan won the group and will face Germany for the 2014 Algarve Cup Championship.

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