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Archive for October 18, 2018

Oct. 18, 2018 — The real work

Last night, the United States women’s national soccer team stamped its superiority over the CONCACAF nations by winning the championship final of this continent’s FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier, 2-0 over Canada.

It is a team which has been completely and utterly re-formed after the triumph of four years ago in Vancouver, one which saw the retirement of many of its stars, but the continuation of the starpower of attackers Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd.

I think there is going to be a lot to be said for the technical ability of players such as Kelley O’Hara and Tobin Heath, the defensive prowess of Julie Ertz and Becky Sauerbrunn, and how well (or poorly) Alyssa Naeher plays in the goal.

But I think the key three players in the side are going to be Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, and Rose Lavelle. A lot are going to be asked of these three, and I think they are going to have to take the pressure off the aging superstars of the national side.

As good as the U.S. side in the CONCACAF Championship was, I wonder what kind of fine-tuning is going to happen with three added roster spots — and which veteran or veterans might have seen their last minutes in an American kit.