The US Women’s national team went unbeaten and scored an unconscionable 18 goals in its three CONCACAF Women’s Championship matches over the past seven days, and are now 90 minutes from qualifying for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The semifinals are Sunday against the runners-up in Group B, which will be decided Thursday.
That being said, I have a few leftover thoughts about the Americans’ performances, as well as another interesting thing while watching the Group A matches:
Dominant? Yes. That’s crystal clear. Clinical? Not so much.
I’ll be honest when I say that the last 270-plus minutes of football were enjoyable to watch. Refreshing, even. Lunenburg, Mass. High School boys’ soccer coach Andy Christensen wrote to me on Sunday evening: “These women play amazing football; why can’t our men’s program be so effective?” He went on to comment about how well the US women move off the ball, and that he hoped his Blue Knights — and again, I stress it, the boys’ team — were watching how to move off the ball. Simply put, the US Women — the world’s No. 1 team, according to the FIFA rankings — were totally and thoroughly dominant, from the first kick of the ball against Mexico last Thursday night to the full-time whistle against Trinidad & Tobago Wednesday.
However, let’s ask this question: were the Americans as clinical as they should have been in the final third?