World Cup over for USWNT, Messi plays in Leagues Cup tonight: The Starting Lineup, Aug 6
1- I've never seen a tournament elimination come down to that slim of a margin. Alyssa Naeher nearly made the best save of all-time in a penalty shootout after getting to the initial shot and almost keeping the deflection out. However, she wasn't able to do that and missed opportunities doomed the USWNT in their Round of 16 match against Sweden this morning.
2- Ultimately, the USWNT did not convert their big chances at a high enough clip to win their group or advance today. They only scored three goals against Vietnam, which seemed like a missed opportunity after the Dutch demolition of them. US attackers failed to convert on 8 of 10 big chances against Vietnam, they failed to score after Lindsey Horan's header in the draw with the Netherlands, and they couldn't beat Zećira Mušovic today. The Swedish goalkeeper finished the day with 11 saves, quite a few of them were outstanding.
3- Even thought I felt like the criticisms of lineups and substitution patterns was way overblown, Vlatko Andonovski's time as manager of the USWNT is likely done. The standard is winning major tournaments and Andonovski finished fourth at the last Olympics and didn't get to the quarterfinals at the World Cup. The next hire is obviously important, but...
4- The most important thing is to create a playing identity for the USWNT. They don't have one, they never have. It's always come down to talent, power, pace, stamina, work ethic, mentality, etc. That's not enough anymore. Quite a few teams can compete with the USWNT physically and quite a few can outplay them with the ball or with their tactical approach. This is not purely a job for the next USWNT manager, this includes the entire women's program through the youth teams and beyond.
5- South Africa gave the Netherlands all they could handle last night, but ultimately the Dutch were too strong and advanced with a 2-0 win. South Africa's players will be welcomed home as heroes this week for their World Cup exploits, but they need a domestic pro league in order to reach their full potential. (Reuters)
6- England's midfielder Keira Walsh has returned to full training, and manager Sarina Wiegman said she could be back with the Lionesses against Nigeria on Monday. (ESPN)
7- One match in the Leagues Cup tonight, and it will have just a few eyeballs on it. Inter Miami travels to Frisco to face FC Dallas. It will be Lionel Messi's first road match with Miami. Kickoff will be just after 8:30pm Eastern time.
8- Henry Martín could miss the rest of the Leagues Cup for Club América as his injury is worse than originally thought. (AS)
9- Rangers' hopes of wrestling the Scottish Premiership title off rivals Celtic got off to the worst possible start as they were shocked by Kilmarnock on opening day. (BBC)
10- On this day in 1988, Guns N' Roses' debut album Appetite for Destruction went to #1 on the US charts. The album is the all-time best selling debut album after passing the self-titled record from Boston.
11- On this day in 1968, the Atlanta Chiefs defeated the Boston Beacons at Fenway Park 2-1 in a North American Soccer League match. Kaizer Motaung and Freddie Mwila scored the goals for the Chiefs.