The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

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The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:45 pm

On paper you kind of think ho-hum (we've taken them 3x already this year), but after watching Japan just dismantle Sweden... Eeek! Only allowing 3 shots the entire game too. At times it seemed like Japan had 12 players on the field, there just always seemed to be an open player showing squarely to the ball. Nothing complex, just posession ball, slowly rocking the defense (And goalkeeper to sleep).

Style wise, the final very much reflects the Champs League United vs Barca finale in the power vs. technical ability dynamic. It will be a very intriguing 90 mins of soccer, one in which Pia's tactics/subs/formation could very well determine the outcome just because of how consistent and mistake-free Japan has been playing with as of late. On paper you'd think Abby could dominate on crosses and whatnot, but Germany and now the Swedes (Both massively taller sides) have been unable to capitalize. You keep hearing that Japan's weakness is GK, but haha, you have to actually get an attempt to test that out...

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by fan from afar on Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:01 pm

I agree with all that. I am not at all confident about this game. However, our defense will be much better than Sweden's, and the game could be 0-0. Japan is quicker and much better at possession than we are. I expect we will not get many opportunities and will need to take advantage of those we get.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:47 am

Yesss, Megan gets the start wide left!! Cheney will play kind of a recessed forward in the place of A-Rod. I'm still worried how Boxx/Lloyd will handle the quick passing Japanese mids, but at least we have our top 2 creative players in the game from the start....

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by fan from afar on Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:39 am

I like having two genuine outside mids in the game. We lose some speed Cheney for A-rod, but we probably gain it all back with Meghan for Cheney, and A-rod really has been less than whelming. We gain better defense on the outside with Meghan, important with Lepelbic in back of her, and probably also better defense up front. Maybe look for Morgan early if the lack of speed up front becomes too much of a problem, except Cheney really needs to be in the game. Maybe she moves back to attacking mid as before if Morgan comes in. I like the idea of putting Morgan in later in the game to bring fresh speed against tiring legs.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:42 am

Megan already won accolades this week.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/story/_/page/nextlevel/megan-rapinoe-samsung-level-player-week

She beat out Derek Jeter and his 3,000 th hit home run.

Not too shabby.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:42 pm

14-6 in shots. Really lots of dangerous ones, but only one on frame for each team.

USA has 56#--44% possession edge.

Not exactly what I expected.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:58 pm

Welp, I kind of suspected Boxx and Lloyd might be the downfall in the game, but didn't think it would be like that. Too bad. All those early misses turned out to be fatal...

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:01 pm

If you had no rooting interest (actually even if you were a USA fan) you would have to say that was an entertaining match and a fitting end to the tournament.

Very refreshing to see a tournament where the players get on with the game instead of playing games with each other and the referee.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:02 pm

DaTruRochin wrote:Welp, I kind of suspected Boxx and Lloyd might be the downfall in the game, but didn't think it would be like that. Too bad. All those early misses turned out to be fatal...
If you were a Timbers fan you'd be able to take heartbreaking losses in stride. I just shrugged and said, "What can you do? So what if we suck?" Razz

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:09 pm

DaTruRochin wrote:Welp, I kind of suspected Boxx and Lloyd might be the downfall in the game, but didn't think it would be like that. Too bad. All those early misses turned out to be fatal...

I sat in front of the tv and thought. "Lloyd will put one over the bar"

No idea how Tobin Heath got on the list.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:
No idea how Tobin Heath got on the list.

Apparently her inspiring attacking runs when they just needed to hold onto the ball and kill the clock showed confidence? I mean clearly I'm biased, but leaving Rapinoe in there to hold on to the ball might have ended up winning the game. Sigh. C'est la vie!

But yeah, Lloyd spent the whole game kicking Aussie Rules Football style goals over the bar, I was just waiting for the dudes to come out and do the little double pointing signal after each sailing miss...

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:30 pm

Not a good weekend for PK's.

Last night I saw Carlos Tevez miss one for Argentina and the are out of the Copa America.


Today Brasil missed 4 spot kicks in a row as Paraguay knocked them out.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:40 pm

Purplegeezer wrote:Not a good weekend for PK's.

Last night I saw Carlos Tevez miss one for Argentina and the are out of the Copa America.


Today Brasil missed 4 spot kicks in a row as Paraguay knocked them out.

Where are the Pooh Jeter "we love free throws" style PK takers?

On an semi-related note, don't look up Jay Mariotti's take on women's soccer. Just don't do it unless you want the sudden urge to throw missiles at a defamed scumbag sports writer. (And I'm talking almond filled pokie missiles, the ones that do the real damage)

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Don't need to look him up.

Just as I don't need to see what Jim Rome has to say.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:52 pm

This match reaffirms my disliking of PKs... especially after that heartbreaking loss to Washington. Let them play, cause soccer still isn't nearly as long as cricket.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:31 pm

Nothing but pride for former Pilots Rapinoe and Cox after US falls to Japan in World Cup
ANNE M. PETERSON  AP Sports Writer
First Posted: July 17, 2011 - 6:47 pm
Last Updated: July 17, 2011 -


PORTLAND, Ore. — Japan's victory over the United States in the Women's World Cup final on Sunday certainly didn't dampen the pride that the University of Portland has for the women's national team, and particularly former Pilots Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Cox.

Cox and Rapinoe were both on the Pilots team that won the NCAA championship in 2005.

About 100 people, including young women participating in a soccer camp, joined the Pilots on campus to watch the match, while another booster viewing party was held at a pub in southeast Portland.

Tension marked the back-and-fourth match, which ended with heavy sighs when Japan won on penalty kicks. But then there was appreciative applause among many gathered.

"Even though they lost, I'm so proud of the United States, and I'm so proud of Megan and Stephanie," said Portland senior midfielder Danielle Foxhoven.

Alex Morgan's goal off a feed from Rapinoe in the second half put the cheering Pilots on their feet. But the jitters of the scoreless first half returned when Aya Miyama scored the equalizer in the 81st minute.

Abby Wambach's header in extra time won applause but fans were deflated again by Homare Sawa's goal to tie it. Some decried the decision when Rapinoe was pulled from the match with 6 minutes left in OT.

When it was over, one fan proclaimed, "Shouldn't have taken out Rapinoe!"

Rapinoe, a native Californian with bleached blond hair, drew particular attention for her breakout performance in the World Cup matches.

"Megan had such a huge impact on this team, and she has such a personality about her that I think that it makes the chemistry of the U.S. team really good. You could see it on television," Foxhoven said.

Portland proclaimed itself Soccer City, USA, back in the mid-1970s when it embraced the Portland Timbers' early success in the North American Soccer League. The city's support of the game has grown throughout the years with the Pilots' success, and now with the Timbers' leap to Major League Soccer.

One of the Timbers' early players, Clive Charles, took to the city and became coach of the Portland Pilots' men's and women's teams. The University of Portland is a Catholic university of some 3,500 students.

Under Charles, the Portland Pilots won the NCAA women's soccer championship in 2002. Charles died a year later after a bout with cancer, his legacy extending beyond Portland. Former U.S. national team players Tiffeny Milbrett, Shannon MacMillan and Kasey Keller were among those he coached.

The Pilots won their second title in 2005 under current coach Garrett Smith.

Rapinoe, a former West Coast Conference Player of the Year, had 30 goals and 28 assists during her time with the Pilots, despite several injuries and commitments to the national team. Cox, a defender who played on the U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing, was a three-time All-American.

"It's kind of amazing, I think that UP has a reputation of not only brining in the best players, but also continuing to develop them, turning them into great people as well as great soccer players," Foxhoven said. "Seeing them (Rapinoe and Cox) and knowing I know them, I think it's the same for the whole of Portland. It feels like a bond to the team."

The Pilots were also represented in the 2011 Women's World Cup by former player Christine Sinclair and Sophie Schmidt, members of the Canadian national team.

"Just to have four Pilots there, for a school of this size, representing our student body, it's awesome," coach Smith said. "It just shows that great people do come out of the University of Portland. Steph and Megan, Sophie and Christine are great representatives.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by DaTruRochin on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:33 pm

Here's an article about the US having to "catch up" with the rest of the world in regard to playing a more technical brand of soccer: http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/6782891/women-world-cup-us-women-improve-left-behind

I know this is a Beating a Dead Horse situation, but I can think of quite a few technically gifted players that have graced the bluff that somehow didn't make it on to the national stage for one reason or another. I'm not sure it's really a matter of drastically changing how our women's program develops, more changing the attributes the coaches/scouts look for when assembling the national teams.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:53 pm

No question we have to get more technical. I see two issues.

The people who are supposed to be developing a more technical outlook for the WNT are April and Jill. Those two wouldn't know technical players if they kicked them in the groin. April is credited with keeping those players DTR is talking about off the team.

There is nothing wrong with being faster, stronger, and fitter than the rest of the world. We just have to add the more technical game that Rapinoe, Cheney( that hurt a little) and Oreilly can play if they put their minds to it.

Ok, three.

We aren't behind anyone. We got beat in a shootout in the finals, just like we beat china in 1999. we are the only national program that has medalled in every world cup and every Olympics. Even after the loss, we are still ranked # 1 in the world.

Germany has issues of falling behind. They didn't win a knockout game in 1991, and they didn't do it this year at home in front of their own fans when they were prohibitive favorites. They don't have Prinz anymore and they won't have Angerer in 2015. The new players didn't perform as well as our young players did.

Brasil, France, Sweden,England, and every other other team in the world would kill for our record, even in this cup.

Women's soccer is getting harder. There are no more 10-0 games, but to say we have been passed by anyone is paranoid fiction. Hasn't happened. No real signs it will.


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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Harry Redknapp on Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:17 pm

Any time you rely upon a pair in central midfield like Boxx and Lloyd you are limited in the quality of the game you will play. I understand why Pia wanted to play Cheney, but leaving Rapinoe out was a big mistake.

And I know it's heresy to say this given the heroic goals scored in Germany but I think they are a better team with Morgan and ARod together up front or Cheney and Morgan. Wambach is good in the air, not great but good, but the rest of her game is pedestrian.

Christine Sinclair would have scored 200 goals in that number of games.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:50 pm

Did you know that Carly Lloyd had the highest pass completion percentage in the final?
She was 68/84 (81%). Homare Sowa hit 74.9%,

She also had the most touches of anyone in the game. (136)

Shocked me too.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Harry Redknapp on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:08 am

Those are good numbers. There were several times where she made excellent strong runs into or close the penalty area but then appeared to lack the ability to make the critical pass.

Those are good stats. Not sure what Boxx's numbers are. I don't like the two of them together. Would love to have seen a Woznuk-like player alongside one of them.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by A_Fan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:10 am

Those numbers for Lloyd are amazing to me because it seemed to me all she was doing most of the game was dribbling down the middle of the field and taking ill advised shots.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by Geezaldinho on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:29 am

A_Fan wrote:Those numbers for Lloyd are amazing to me because it seemed to me all she was doing most of the game was dribbling down the middle of the field and taking ill advised shots.

The ill advised Australian rules football tries are the ones we remember. I know they drive me nuts because it is simple mechanics you learn at age seven. It's like she never heard " toe down, knee over the ball."

That's why I think stats like that are important. They separate what happened from what you remember.


I sat with a guy during the brazil game and he was railing about we don't have players that can play consistently like Marta. I pointed out that Marta was making more mistakes than anyone, she was just trying stuff so outrageous that if she succeeded everyone would remember.

Her off sides (and only) goal in the run of play is a case in point. Kicking the ball over your head onto the crossbar off the far post and in isn't high percentage soccer even when she does it.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by A_Fan on Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:57 pm

I was stunned when she did the exact same thing in the shoot out. Practice makes perfect I guess.

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Re: The Final: US vs. Japan Sunday, 11 AM PST

Post by fan from afar on Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:01 pm

That was maybe the worst penalty kick miss I have ever seen

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