Tag Archives: Lauren Cheney

USWNT Right Now: Four Thoughts

By Shannon Hovan

1. ALEX MORGAN

Who said Alex Morgan wasn’t a 90-minute player? Head Coach Pia Sundhage did, as recently as the friendly against Sweden back in November.

During the post-game press conference, Sundhage said the reason why Morgan was so good was because she came off of the bench. She continued by saying, “she has a small role and she plays it well. She understands it and respects it.” This quote of course accounts not just for the game against Sweden, where Morgan came in late in the second half and whose laser of a shot deflected, setting up teammate Tobin Heath with an opportunity to tap in the game-tying goal in the 81st minute. Sundhage is also referring to the number of game-changing performances Alex Morgan has had off of the bench from late 2010 through 2011, most notably the two goals and one assist she posted in five appearances at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Germany, and the game-winning goal that qualified the US for a spot in the World Cup initially back in the Fall of 2010. Her ability to perform and perform well against the world’s best and in the most high-pressure situations is not debatable.

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A Moment of Brilliance: U.S. Women make the world stand still

By Kevin Koczwara

Abby Wambach never gave up. Neither did her teammates, the rest of the United States Women’s National Team. It seemed like fate was teasing and tormenting the USWNT and handing its skilled opponent, Brazil, all the breaks. But that didn’t stop Wambach or her teammates. Even when things looked dire, when Rachel Buehler was sent off with a straight red card and the Brazilians got two cracks at the ensuing penalty kick, the Yanks never gave in to fate.

The American spirit that the U.S. prides itself on, never left the side, and coach Pia Sundhage — a Swede — got a three course meal of American spirit, and it overwhelmed her. It ultimately helped the U.S. prevail despite being down 2-1 in in extra time with the whistle pursed between the refs lips, ready to blow.

“Getting the red card and going down in extra time is tough. It’s a tough hill to climb,” said Wambach afterwards. “But this team is willing to put their hearts on the line. This team is willing to do whatever it takes to win, and I think it showed tonight.”

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Flashbacks to '99: What the USWNT and Women's World Cup means

By Melissa Turtinen

In our swimsuits, we crowded around a small television at a teammate’s house as we watched the United State’s Women’s National Team make history. The TV was strategically placed so the sun wouldn’t cause a glare and so we could see every play. We’d jump in the pool to stay cool and listen for updates from our teammates as we ran from the pool’s edge to the picnic table where TV sat.

It was July 10, 1999 and the final game of the Women’s World Cup was going into extra time against China. The score was 0-0. The entire 12 and Under Classic 1 soccer team I played on gathered around the TV. No goals – the game was headed for penalties. On the fifth kick, Brandi Chastain scored the game-winning goal for the US and proceeded to rip off her shirt – we instantly idolized her as we prepared for our own version of the World Cup just a few days later.

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