USWNT: Nigeria vs. USA
USA wants to win to be at the top of the group and have less travel and more rest days for the knockout stage.
The goalie (Solo) and back 4 (Sauerbrunn, Krieger, Johnston, Klingenberg) and 3 of the 4 midfield (Lloyd, Holiday, Rapinoe) remains the same in the line-up.
However, the fluidity has been the filling of the 4th midfielder and the 2 up at the top.
In Game 1: Press (M), Leroux (F), Wambach (F)
In Game 2: Brian (M), Leroux (F), Press (F)
In Game 3: Heath (M), Morgan (F), Wambach (F).
Is this an indication of the depth of the team?
Or more evidence that Team USA is having trouble and Coach Ellis is trying to find the right combination to get the offense going.
In the "eyeball" test of this novice soccer watcher, Australia missed some opportunities early and could have won. But in the end, you got to get the ball in the net and they didn't while the US did in the second half.
Against Sweden, the USA offense just didn't seem to generate too many real threats; hence, the final of 0-0.
Key questions tonight:
Is Morgan fully fit? She didn't log that many minutes in game 1 or 2 coming on as a sub. Will she be subbed out at the half?
Is Wambach fully fit? She is getting up there in years and hasn't really had much of an impact on the game.
Will the USA be able to put together some offense based on possession? Will take goals off the long ball and counter-attacks but can they put it in the net off of possession while the defense is packed in?
Will they be able to force corners and perhaps score off a set-piece?
Who will be the subs, especially if the game is tied or the US is down? Am guessing Morgan and Wambach are likely to be subbed off if it appears they don't have enough in the tank. I would figure Leroux and Press would be sent in. Who do you send in if you need a third attacking forward? Rodriguez? O'Hara? UPDATE: Episode #1 of Behind the Crest (USWNT 2015 World Cup)