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Two and Two: USA Women’s National Team – Canada Women’s National Team

Hope Solo - Photo by Thad Bell for Thad Bell Photography

USWNT GK Hope Solo putting the ball back into play. Photo taken by Thad Bell Photography

It has been a couple months since the Women's World Cup finished up with Japan defeating the USA in Penalty Kicks and a match up that a lot of North American fans would of liked to of seen was USA vs Canada. Well the soccer gods have smiled upon us and put these two teams up against each other for a two game series, the first of which was played Saturday September 17th at the newly opened LIVESTRONG Sporting Park which is were Sporting Kansas City plays all their home games. It is the newest state of the art soccer specific stadium and besides the pitch condition, which is being worked on, cannot be beaten in quality. This isn't a post about the stadium though and is a post about my recap of the US Women's National Team's 1-1 draw with Canada's Women's National Team

- Did pretty good for starting to use a new system. USA has decided to kind of switch up their system and try to play a more an even more attacking type system and force the other teams to have to play more defense. For the most part I think it worked pretty well and they forced Canada to make an error early on in the game that awarded the USA with a penalty kick that Abby Wambach took and made it look super easy. Most of the first half I would say was pretty much dominated by the USA with a couple great shots, but just kept missing by probably mere inches.

- Seemed to let Canada push just a little too much. I don't really think that it was letting Canada push, but it seems more like they might of had a very good counter-attack which is what a lot of teams thrive on and don't focus as much on just attacking. Regardless this could of also been an issue with just starting to learn a new system. Which in its self seems to be abnormal especially since the USA still have the same head coach in Pia that coached the team to the Women's World Cup. The only thing I can think of is that she is trying to stay well ahead of the curve and keep the rest on the countries on their toes, and not let them figure out USA. Seems like a very smart idea. Guess we will see how well it is executed in the upcoming months and year.

- Knew the USA team was good and would have to push back. I think I can honestly say that Canada was really into this game. They didn't seem to push forward as much as most attacking teams, but tried their hardest to make the pushes they did have good ones, and even good enough to get one past Hope Solo before the end of the first half. Second half is a different story, but it pretty much the same story for the USA in the second half in which was pretty uneventful and lot a lot of action from either side.

- Made some potentially bad plays, but USA couldn't capitalize. USA really probably should of won this game based off of Canada's errors in judgements or just not being completely ready to be back playing soccer, but got lucky to keep USA to scoring just one goal and that was from a PK early in the game when the USA were putting on a ton of pressure, and forced Canada to make a costly mistake. Canada made quite a few mistakes, but again the USA just couldn't seem to capitalize on them. If it wasn't for Alex Morgan seeming to shot it straight at the goal keeper the game again could of been even worse, because I don't want to say it was the Canada keeper fault. The two that played seemed primed and ready, but I don't think that anybody told Canada's defense that they were going to play a game until right before the game.

Well I guess we will see what adjustments will be made when these two teams square off again in just a couple days in Portland in their soccer specific stadium of Jeld-Wen Field, which from what I've seen looks like a great stadium as well, and shouldn't have the pitch problems. I should hopefully be able to get a review up about that game as well.

I normally try to keep these Two and Two post shorter, but I figured a little extra detail couldn't hurt for this game, with it being a little more special.

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