USWNT Confident Heading Into Round of 16Knockout Stages – also known as the Round of 16 – await the USWNT
by Katherine Rupp | Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Before heading into the US Women’s National Team game against Nigeria, it was almost a free-for-all. Who would start? When would the substitutes come in? Would there be much of an attacking force than previous games? Much like the Men’s National Team games, there seems to be some cohesion of attacking forces but the end product isn’t there. However, in the game against Nigeria for the US Women, the play was better and more concise with more precise passing and smarter link-up play.
Although a lot can be said about Abby Wambach, with her starting, on the bench, or coming in as a substitute, but she certainly isn’t done with her career as a women’s professional soccer player on a club team or for the National team. With Wambach scoring in the Nigeria match of the Women’s World Cup, the United States is prime for a matchup with a third place finisher in Group F – more than likely Colombia or our cousins across the pond – England.
The USWNT, with their most recent win, look prized to continue on their formidable climb to reach the pinnacle of the Women’s World Cup final, even if they do have a few summits to cross first before the apex.
With Alex Morgan back, and quite possibly a fix in the midfield with Lauren Holiday and Carli Lloyd in the middle with Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe on the wings, and the tandem of Morgan and Wambach as forwards, the US team certainly looks like they could continue further than they could from the first and second matches of the tournament, when it was a bit nervy for US fans and pundits. However, with Sydney Leroux coming off the bench for Morgan (or maybe even vice versa), many of the opposing teams won’t have the speed, tenacity, or skill to match the US offensive power.
But now with the Round of 16 coming up for the Lady Yanks, there very well might be some tough opponents (not like the Group Stage was a cake walk by any means) and with the US wanting to win the World Cup, it does still need to step up its game.
The women’s team for the US is very focused, goal-oriented, and passionate about winning the World Cup, and though it’s quite possible they could, the accuracy and skill and growth of other teams from even the past four years has been tremendous and not lacking confidence in any way.
With that said, the USWNT has a certain air about them. Although it may not be an air of abundant confidence (though it certainly could be), the USWNT has a certain spring in its step coming into the next later stage of the World Cup. If the women can keep the momentum going, don’t count out the world’s number two-ranked team for women’s national teams…the US women and supporters certainly aren’t.