Iran shuts out noise at World Cup but United States looms – ESPN
The United States plays in the Women’s Gold Cup in January
World Cup qualifying has its share of upsets but no one expected America on the world stage to play with the quiet of the back seat. The USWNT has a young and talented squad but has been inconsistent during the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle, struggling with injuries, not finding a rhythm and missing out on vital points.
In a perfect world, the team’s first-choice starters — Alex Morgan, Alex Morgan, Morgan Brian, and Christen Press — would all be in Russia. Not only does the U.S. now play without them, it also loses Morgan Brian to injury in a crucial match with Ireland. The USWNT still has a few players with international experience such as Crystal Dunn (England), Morgan Brian, Morgan Brian, Morgan Brian, Morgan Brian, Morgan Brian, Morgan Brian, and Morgan Brian. There is a strong contingent of young players, such as Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, and Carli Lloyd. But it appears the coach, Jill Ellis, will bring in some proven players who have played together for more than a year before moving on.
Ellis, the former USA defender, did not get one of her top players, Ali Krieger, from the German powerhouse. The U.S. Soccer board chose the Dutch as the host of the World Cup qualifying tournament, even at the expense of the US-Mexico rivalry. Ellis has called the United States to have a “sugar, cream, and chocolate” game, a strategy that rarely works, but the U.S. has the skill and athleticism to pull it off.
The USWNT is still getting her act together. In two previous matches, it scored two goals, but the Irish were able to steal one and tie the game. The team is still trying to find its legs and find the rhythm of play. We will see if Ellis can continue to build and mold her squad into a contender for the 2018 tournament.