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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

USA Women efficient in Portugal

The rematch of the match that left the United States Women's National team wondering who they were following their 2-0 loss to France last month has played out very well for the US Women today. Both teams playing a bit differently with the USA opening things up int he midfield and the French playing a bit more compact.... advantage, USA.

Throughout the first half of play, the US have not had to defend as much space, they have been successful going 2v2 with the FFF center backs, and they have won the aerial battle which have given the USA a 2-0 halftime lead.

USA, center back Julie Johnston in her 8th start for the national team gets her first international goal in the 7th minute from the foot of Lauren Holiday off a restart whipped into the top of the 6.   Johnson is playing like a veteran and just may earn that starting role at center back once the World Cup gets here in 87 days.

Veteran, captain Christie Rampone has been out with injuries.

Christen Press adds to the USA lead at the end of the first half with an incredible dynamic run out of the midfield beating 3 French opponents and then calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net.  The work of Alex Morgan and Amy Rodriguez up top have created the space for Press to exploit which leaves the French down 2 goals.

Head coach Jill Ellis, may have found her back line as Megan Klingenberg and Ali Krieger have been solid dealing with the dynamic French attackers.  Both with high soccer intelligence, they are athletic, and physical.  Becky Sauerbrunn and of course, Johnston have been the anchor in the heart of the line.

Don't forget the return of goalkeeper, Hope Solo, who was not in goal for the USA when they dropped their foist match of 2015 to France.  Solo has had an impressive return making the saves she is suppose to make, keeping her team in each match.  The confidence of the team in front of her is at a high due to her demanding presence.

The French could never gain the rhythm they had back in February; they had to cover a lot of area today and credit Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian for their efficiency on both sides of the ball in the center of midfield, making it very difficult for France to gain any type of significant possession.

Despite Marie Laure Delie earning a penalty on an unnecessary foul in the box by Klingenberg to cut the USA lead in half, Solo was up to the task, stoning Amandine Henry on her attempt on the PK.

France entered the match beating the world's best teams in the United States, Brazil, Germany, and Japan but not today, the USA are champions for the 10th time in Portugal at the Algarve Cup with their 2-0 win over France.  The #2 (USA) and #3 (FFF) teams in the world squared off and the US is now 15-1-2 all-time against France.

Here is how the USA got to the Final... CLICK HERE
Julie Johnson Goal 7' (1st International Goal)... CLICK HERE
Christen Press Goal 41'... CLICK HERE