No surprise: the U.S. women's national team beat Finland 4-1 today in Guangzhou.Again, the match report suggests that the entire team contributed to the barrage of shots - 19 to the 4 the Finns managed to produce - and goals: two by Lindsey Tarpley and one each by Lauren Cheney and Portland's own Angie Woznuk. Abby Wambach, clearly instructed to change her play from the "target man" style favored by Greg Ryan, assisted on both of Tarpley's goals! Another bright spot - again - for the U.S. was Heather O'Reilly, whose hard work on the right outside midfield won many of the U.S. 16 corner kicks.
So it's down to 90 minutes against China on Sunday. Great work, good soccer (from the game report, anyway) from the U.S. gals, and a promising start to Coach Sundhage's tenure in the USWNT job.Only one problematic note. The match report comments that: "In the second half Finland gave the U.S. a scare, cutting the lead in half in the 54th minute on a rare foray into the USA’s defensive third. The ball ended up at the feet of Essi Sainio just inside the penalty box at the right of the arc, and her spinning shot squirted through U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry’s hands and into the net, giving Finland its first goal against the USA since 1999 and only its second-ever score in 13 all-time meetings."
Keep in mind: the Finns had only four shots on Scurry, only three on goal, and of the three one went in. Through her hands - a cardinal sin for a keeper.
I'm trying to stay objective in the Scurry-Solo issue. But it looks less like a contest and more like a script. The veteran grimly hanging on, the rookie showing increasing poise and skill. I feel for Scurry - she was a great keeper - but the results look more and more telling. Soon...if not now, then, soon...it will be time for her to go.