Brain Dump: The USWNT got the crepe kicked out of it by France :(

  • No surprise. This is a US team that barely beat TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. They lost to Brazil in December. They can't settle on a formation or a style. They are beset by injuries and the continuing saga of Hope Solo. The World Cup is four months away and they are still tinkering with EVERYTHING. They were lucky only to lose 2-0. Easily could have been 5-0. 
  • France is legit. They've always had the skill, lacked the belief. Now, on the heels of beating the top-ranked Germans, they butt-handle the Americans. I never really feared France because they would always panic and do something stupid as hell in the clutch -- tennis fans understand this particular strain of French DNA -- but this team is solid. 
  • But. Are you peaking too early there, France? Just a thought.
  • "Captain" Abby. In what world is taking the armband late the game from a player who is STILL IN THE GAME, stepping on the field and DIVING to draw a penalty considered leadership? That may work in the men's game. It has no business in the women's game. Thank god she missed the PK. I don't need that crap karma hanging over this team in June. Also, just go away please.
  • Formation flop. 4-3-3? 4-4-2? Doesn't matter. This team can't execute on either. They finally seem to go back to 4-4-2ish and sending longballs to Alex and Press but the midfield can hold and the defenders are too busy getting burned to generate anything out of the back. Morgan's finishing will get better, Press needed to do a little better. 
  • Ashlyn Harris was fine. No one stops that shot-cross on the second goal. But I'm not really spending much energy on the goalie situation. Hell would freeze flying pigs before US Soccer holds Hope Solo out of the WWC.
  • Holiday has been terrible. Holiday drops back into a defensive midfielder and what the HELL is Carli doing anywhere other than the middle? It's like Jill Ellis is going out of her way to ensure every member of this team plays on one leg. Holiday was a central forward at UCLA (WHERE SHE WAS COACHED BY ELLIS) and plays a forward role for FCKC. She does. not. defend. And again: these experiments should not be happening four months out of the World Cup. This is a personnel issue. Holiday and Lloyd would both love that central attacking midfield position (and Carli could probably do ok in a defensive mid but didn't give her that either). There can only be one. AND YET, neither is being allowed to play there. Want an effective midfielder out wide? HELLO! Heather O'Reilly. 
  • Pass. You know that thing in tennis where a break means nothing unless you consolidate? Yeah, well a pass means nothing unless it's completed. And the US can't complete passes. Or hold the ball. Or not panic in the midfield. Or in the back.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn can't do it all herself. And she may need to. That back line is shambolic. She was the best US player today.
  • Where's Morgan Brian at? Yeah. Still looking. Bro, she's a goal scorer and you makin' her inexperienced self play defense? Stop tokin.
  • Back to the bench. Sorry, Lori Chalupny and Megan Klingenberg. That was embarrassing. Some of this is on Ellis too. No reason in the world to leave Chalupny out there after the first half. Krieger, O'Hara, and Dunn are a great defensive talent pool that needs to be tapped immediately (Krieger) or should have been tapped a year ago (O'Hara and Dunn). But no. Let's line up two of your slowest defenders against, arguably, the fastest woman in football in Thomis.
  • I'm not worried about the forwards. Morgan, Press, and Leroux can straight up wreak havoc on any defense. But they can't do that if the midfield can't get them the ball. So...OMG WE'RE F'D. 
  • Group life: I already see Lisa DeVanna burning us for three goals in Winnipeg. 
  • Alex Morgan deserves to win the World Cup. And it's entirely possible she never will. AUUUUGH team sports are the WORST.
  • RIP Tom. Sermanni was fired for way better play than this. The US just got shut-out in back-to-back games for the first time in 13 years. Bring back DeCicco! Just kidding. I'm so drunk right now.
  • I should probably add that as a sports fan, I lean towards the suicidally negative.