On Saturday, the USWNT played in their first of a two game series against Japan. The USWNT came out on top 2-0, and showed evident progress after April's match-up against England. Seems like that training camp helped the group focus on some weknesses, as the USWNT were more effective in dealing with pressure from the opposing players, were not as stretched, and were able to establish an attacking rhythm.
Game Summary- The game went well for the United States. They not only outshot their opponents, but had a higher percentage of their shots on goal, in comparison with the Japanese. The first goal in the match came off a set piece. Ali Krieger sent the ball into the 18, where Wambach in one graceful, fluid movement, rose to the ball just feet from the GK, wound up, and snapped forward, making contact with the ball which soared into the net shortly after. A perfect execution and a beautiful header marked the USA's first of the match, and Abby's first since November. Only a little bit later, Wambach had a run towards goal, and she cut a ground cross to A-rod who put it home, however, it could have just as easily not gone in, as it hit the post, and crossed the line thanks to the backspin on the ball. Although I thought that this game would end 4-0 now that the game was in our hands, it stayed at that score for the remainder of the match. The USA could easily have walked away with 5 or 6 goals in that match however. Wambach, along with a few other players, had chances on goal that were squandered away. However, they got 2 and got the win.
Injury Whammy Strikes- I hoped that the Injury curse would leave the United States and eveyone else alone, but it looks like the WNT just couldn't avoid it. It loomed over Columbus Crew Stadium Saturday night, and landed on someone who has had terrible luck to begin with. Tarpley, a player who many people were happy to see finally return to the WNT, and especially in time for World Cup, entered the game in the 2nd half. After she went up for a ball and landed hard on her right foot, she limped off the pitch and left on crutches. The news everyone was hoping not to hear was delivered. After having her first game back in a while, and after suffering an ACL tear and making her comeback, Tarpley would be missing the World Cup due to an injury, having been named to the WWC roster only 5 days earlier, and playing the first of 3 friendlies before leaving for Germany with the rest of the team. Some things are just really messed up. Its also been reported that Mitts, who suffered a hamstring injury in February and recovered to make the world cup roster, may not make it because of complications/a possible injury. I wonder who they'll get to replace Tarp, and possibly Mitts. Wishing the speediest recovery to Tarpley, and to Mitts if she is in fact injured.
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