Tokyo Olympics SF: USWNT vs Canada, August 2, pre/pbp/post

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by lil_one, Jul 30, 2021.

  1. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We'll meet a very familiar opponent in the the 2021 Olympic semifinal: Canada. The semifinal will be played on Monday, August 2 at 4 am ET (5 pm local) at Kashima Stadium. It will be broadcast live on Telemundo and USA (as originally announced, but the channel can be subject to change).

    The teams will choose an 18-player game day roster from their 22-player rosters.

    The US is 51-3-7 all time against Canada. The most recent meeting between the teams was at this year's SheBelieves Cup when the US won 1-0. The two teams have also met in an Olympic semifinal before; you may remember that match in Manchester in 2012? (If not, you definitely need to go watch it!)

    Also I'm thankful that BOTH teams are coming into this game having played 120 minutes in the previous match.
     
    jnielsen, kolabear, kennytt and 4 others repped this.
  2. NCChiFan

    NCChiFan Member

    NC Courage
    United States
    Feb 19, 2021
    Damn it, 4 am crap again... No mercy for the wicked amongst us.
     
  3. Bob Lamm

    Bob Lamm Member

    Mar 7, 2016
    New York City
    So I'm now guessing that for the semifinal game against Canada--and presumably for the gold medal game if the U.S. beats Canada--Lavelle, Morgan, Press, and Rapinoe will come off the bench. Partly for the same reason as they did today: so in case the score is tied after 120 minutes those four will take another round of penalty kicks.
     
    kolabear and JanBalk repped this.
  4. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In a semifinal or final, I would like to see a starting line-up that's not already based on us going to PK's. Let's win it in regular time.
     
    Semblance17 and edcrocker repped this.
  5. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    According to Vlatko’s statement, having his preferred PK takers in the lineup at the end of the game was one of the things they considered when deciding on the starting lineup. There were other considerations too, unique to this particular game:
    upload_2021-7-30_22-3-23.png
    So the decisions are based on many factors, one of which has to do with potential PK takers. In my opinion, that is as it should be.

    I believe giving consideration to this thought process reveals that our thinking here on BS (and I am including myself in that) is relatively shallow compared to that of people who are true experts.
     
  6. Bob Lamm

    Bob Lamm Member

    Mar 7, 2016
    New York City
    You certainly don't have to answer this question, but I'm wondering if you have any type of insurance. Health insurance, accident insurance, home insurance, life insurance, whatever. Of course Vlatko and all U.S. fans would like to see our team win two more games in regular time and definitely never face the dangers of a shootout. But I view his handling of players against the Netherlands as insurance--and it proved crucial.
     
    edcrocker repped this.
  7. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Shootin' from the hip here — I don't see much reason to take Vlatko's explanations at face value. I think he gives a great deal of thought into giving answers that journalists and others think reveal what he's thinking, but they're not what he's really thinking. They don't add up. They only make sense when you look at them one way, the way he presents them. For example, explaining these subs in terms of PKs. PKs may explain who he chose to sub in, but they don't explain when he made them. 60th minute? PKs, if they happen, aren't happening for another 60 minutes.

    I guess some of us are going to have to start cataloging some of the prime examples of Vlatko misleading the press or concealing his true thoughts. Maybe there's a FIRE VLATKO NOW thread which would serve as a handy place to post them :)
     
  8. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member+

    Jun 9, 2004
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Nat'l Team:
    Sweden
    It kind of does. He didn't start them because he didn't think they could last 120 min and he needed them in the PK. So subing them in after 60 min indicate that he was convinced they could last 60 min.

    And the Men's Eruos indicate that while you don't want your PK takers to be too tired you don not want them fresh from the bench either.
     
    jnielsen, West Ender and kolabear repped this.
  9. Andy Zilis

    Andy Zilis Member+

    Mar 9, 2005
    Rochelle, IL
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    At this point, I think it makes it hard for Canada to prepare for. You don't know if he's going to decide to do the same thing again or think he can win it in regulation with the preferred starters. Or even if he had some preferred starters on the bench for the quarterfinal. The fact that the starting lineup against the Netherlands actually played quite well (probably better than when the subs came in) gives me more confidence in Andonovski's player selection than I'd had previously.
     
    West Ender and kolabear repped this.
  10. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It wasn't just that he subbed in his penalty kick takers. That's nothing new; teams do it all the time. That's the point I'm making; it's not a criticism of Vlatko (although I do have my criticisms). He started with a lineup that could press high on the Netherlands and create opportunities, which they did successfully. He knew Rapinoe wasn't going to be able to do that, but she needed to be around for the penalties. However, I don't think the sole reason for Morgan in for Lloyd was penalties. Lloyd can, for sure, take one, and can also come up big in big moments. But, she can also press more relentlessly than Morgan and thus needed to start and tire out the defense. Other players needed rest: notably Press and Lavelle who had played a lot of minutes in the group stage. If anything, I think he subbed Rapinoe in too early. She looked tired before we even got to penalties.

    I want a lineup to start that can win the game in 90 minutes. (And sidenote: I think almost any line-up of this 22 we put out there is capable of beating Canada if we play up to the USWNT standard.) I think Vlatko's going to do that; I never said differently. The difference in how you say that is a difference in mindset. I don't mind saving a penalty kick specialist, like Rapinoe, especially when the specialist doesn't have the legs to last 120. But, I'd rather start players who are best for that game, like Lavelle, who can make a difference in the game (fully acknowledging that she needed the rest in the last game) than say that you're saving one of our best in-form players for the penalties from the get-go. That's just too conservative, for my taste.
     
    edcrocker and kolabear repped this.
  11. RevsRule

    RevsRule Member+

    NE Revs, LAFC
    Jun 9, 1999
    N. Eastern, Mass
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree. She was gassed and after not that many minutes. If Vlatko starts Rapinoe against Canada I'll be shocked. Also, Morgan is useless. She has lost her speed and that was her biggest asset
     
    jackiesdad and kennytt repped this.
  12. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Against Canada, can the US afford to rest Dunn?
    Or do we expect her to play 6 straight matches in a row?
    I think Canada gives the US the chance to rest her.
     
    West Ender repped this.
  13. Disapproving Hippo

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 17, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There is this notion going on that the rest of the football world is finally catching up to America and the sole reason for that is Rapinoe, Morgan, heath, Press, O'hara to name a few are fundamentally the reason. They just cannot keep up anymore.
     
    jackiesdad repped this.
  14. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think it is worth re-reading the entire Andonovski statement about what goes into making lineup decisions. There are a lot of factors. He does not indicate that any one factor is decisive. Regardless of what one thinks about his opaqueness (good word for it, Kolabear?) as to why he made decisions in any particular game, I think the factors he described give a pretty good picture of the type of thinking that goes into the decisions. (His public statements, of course, should be opaque, as he does not want opposing coaches to be able to predict what he will do in the future.)

    Something worthy of consideration, referred to somewhat in his statement, is that one is making decisions with the rest of the entire tournament in mind. It is true that you must advance from the upcoming game, but if you also must win the entire tournament, you cannot necessarily go all in the for the next game if it has too many negative implications for the balance of the tournament. Rather, you have to take some risks in the next game. (Thus the suggestion from an earlier poster about possibly getting Dunn some rest against Canada.)

    In this context, each decision about when to insert a player (starter or sub and when to sub) may involve many considerations. It is a complex risk-benefit analysis involving multiple factors and there is no risk-free decision. One of the shortcomings I see in the discussion here is the oversimplification of what the decision-making factors and process should be. Of course, oversimplifying here is a freedom we posters have. It is not a freedom that the coaches have, if they want to last.
     
    jackdoggy and West Ender repped this.
  15. Crazyhorse

    Crazyhorse Member

    Dec 29, 2007
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Any chance Casey Krueger gets some burn against Canada? I have always thought Dunn is a natural elite attacker and if she was playing up top Krueger could slide into her defensive role.
     
  16. jackdoggy

    jackdoggy Member+

    May 16, 2014
    Big D
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    jnielsen and West Ender repped this.
  17. Dfwsoccer01

    Dfwsoccer01 Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Plano, TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    The reality is that you should be able to field a team with literally any combination of players on this roster (in their corresponding positions, obviously) and win…. as long as they perform and finish. However, from what I’ve seen in this tournament, nobody can finish and everyone seems off-beat. I’m used to seeing this team have crisp passes and continuous movement off the ball, and everything looks slow motion and half-a$$ thus far.

    The U.S. HAS GOT to get the first goal in this game. I have a feeling it would energize the team for possibly the rest of the tournament….
     
    jnielsen repped this.
  18. edcrocker

    edcrocker Member+

    May 11, 1999
    Here is the line-up I’d like to see Vlatko Andonovski start against Canada on Monday:

    --------------------------------------Naeher--------------------------------------


    O’Hara---------------Dahlkemper-----------Sauerbrunn--------------Dunn


    -----------------------------------------Ertz---------------------------------------


    ------------------Mewis-------------------------------------Horan----------------


    Williams-------------------------Press (or Lloyd)---------------------------Heath


    Bench:
    1. Adrianna Franch
    2. Tierna Davidson
    3. Emily Sonnett
    4. Rose Lavelle
    5. Megan Rapinoe
    6. Carli Lloyd
    7. Alex Morgan


    1. Center-Back


    Whether Andonovski should start Abby Dahlkemper or Tierna Davidson at center-back (next to Becky Sauerbrunn) is a difficult decision. Davidson played well in her 10 minutes (at left back) against Sweden, well at center-back against New Zealand and well at center-back next to Sauerbrunn against Australia. In the latter match, the US shut down Sam Kerr. Moreover, Davidson has plenty of caps. She has 37. Here’s a link:

    https://www.ussoccer.com/players/d/tierna-davidson

    Davidson also played 90 minutes (all or most at left back) against Chile in the 2019 Women’s World Cup. So, Monday’s game against Canada would not be her first rodeo.

    Moreover, Dahlkemper struggled against Sweden, made a mistake that led to a goal against New Zealand and, against Holland, may not have marked Vivienne Meidema as well as she should have on Miedema’s goals. On Miedema’s first goal, Dahlkemper wasn’t as close to Miedema as she should have been before Miedema made her turn. Dahlkemper should have been right behind her. On the second goal, Miedema beat Dahlkemper laterally and got her shot off. Here is a link to highlights from the match:



    The first goal sequence starts at minute :24. The second starts at minute 2:01.

    In addition, Dahlkemper played 120 minutes on Friday versus Holland—only three days before the US’s match with Canada—and Davidson didn’t dress for the match. So, Davidson likely would be fresher for the Canada match than Dahlkemper.

    However, Dahlkemper and Sauerbrunn have great experience playing together, and Dahlkemper has 74 caps. In addition, Davidson is only 22 years old and has played only one full season and parts of two others in the NWSL. Here’s a link:

    https://us.women.soccerway.com/players/tierna-davidson/506775/

    And the only times I’ve focused on Davidson’s play is this Olympics tournament. So, although I’m very tempted to start her, I don’t think I’ve seen her play enough for me to be comfortable doing so. So, I’d start Dahlkemper. But Davidson’s freshness for this match is important. And Andonovski knows her game much better than I do. Perhaps with the knowledge he has, he should start Davidson. But I’m more comfortable going with Dahlkemper.


    2. Lynn Williams


    Against Holland, Lynn Williams made a huge positive contribution. She had a goal and an assist, and also held and passed the ball well. In addition, her speed may have caused Hollands’ backline to drop deeper, which may have opened up space for other players. In addition, the best soccer the US has played this tournament was the first half against Holland, when Williams, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath were on the field together. So, I definitely think Williams should start against Canada.


    3. Tobin Heath

    Tobin Heath was outstanding at left wing against Holland. Her passing and ball-control helped hold the team together and advance the play. She also did a good job of dropping into midfield, including moving centrally, to find the ball, which helped her dictate the play.

    In fact, Andonovski should not have taken out Heath as soon as he did. I would have left her in at least until the intermission between the two extra time periods or until there was about 7 minutes left in extra time. She was playing very well when she was taken out. Moreover, although it was important to get Megan Rapinoe into the game to take a penalty kick, Andonovski could have done so later. Prior to his putting in Rapinoe, he had used only one of the three regulation time substitution windows available to him. So, he had two substitution windows left in regulation time to put in Rapinoe for Heath. He also could have waited until (1) the end of regulation, (2) the intermission between the two extra time periods or (3) the additional substitution window that teams are afforded in extra time.

    It’s important to note that if a substitution is made at halftime of regulation, at the end of regulation or in the intermission between the two extra time periods, such a substitution does not count as one of the four substitution windows (three in regulation and one in extra time) that teams are allowed to use to make their four or five substitutions. See the temporary amendment to Rule 3.2:

    https://www.theifab.com/laws/latest/the-players/#number-of-players

    If, against Canada, Heath is playing in the second half the way she was at the time that Andonovski took her out against Holland, then Andonovski should keep her in until he has to get Rapinoe in in order for the latter not to be cold to take a penalty. But the US also should try to win before penalty kicks. Penalty kicks are an arbitrary way to decide games, especially for a team as good as the US. The US is a better soccer team than all or most of their opponents. They should try to win the game by playing soccer rather than by shooting (and saving) penalties.

    At the same time, Andonovski made a good decision to be as prepared for penalties as he was. It’s important to try to win the game according to the rules, assuming the rules are not outrageously unfair. And although penalties are a poor way to decide games, they are at least not an outrageously unfair way of doing so. It’s not as if the two teams draw straws to decide the outcome. So, he was right to make sure that the team was as prepared for them as possible. It could be the difference between an Olympic gold and no medal at all.


    4. Center Forward

    This one is hard. There are three reasonable options to start: Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Alex Morgan. They all have strengths and weaknesses. Lloyd has not seemed particularly goal-dangerous this tournament. I get the sense that her body is making it hard for her to score at this level. But, of the three options, she is the best presser and energizer.

    Christen Press is the fastest of the three and the second-best presser of the three. But she sometimes fluffs her scoring opportunities.

    Morgan is the least good presser of the three, but she might be the most poised in front of goal.

    Moreover, especially now that teams are (fortunately) allowed five substitutes, the US center forward who starts against Canada probably shouldn’t be the US center forward who finishes the game. Our three center forwards are playing comparably, and it’s very important for us to get fresh legs into the match in the second half (and/or extra time) in order for us to take advantage of our depth.

    In addition, if Lloyd does not start and the US needs a goal at the end of regulation or in extra time, I would be reluctant to put her in, because she hasn’t been that goal-dangerous this tournament. I would want someone in that I think would have a better chance of scoring.

    So, how would I rank the three in terms of who should start and presumably stay in until at least the second half? Morgan would be my third choice. She has not been a particularly good presser, and that is such an important part of the US’s game, as we saw against New Zealand and the first half against Holland. I also would plan to bring her in in the second half when other players are tired, which would accentuate her already noteworthy ability to score.

    But would I start Lloyd or Press? I vacillate. The best the US has played in this tournament was in the first half against Holland, when Lloyd was in. And she’s a good presser. However, Press is also a solid presser, and I think she’s more goal-dangerous.

    One factor is that the game is going to start at 5:00 pm Tokyo time. And the weather report calls for 84-degree heat and high humidity. Here:

    https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/japan/tokyo/hourly

    With the humidity, it is supposed to feel like 93 degrees. Also, importantly, when the game starts, the hot sun may be beating down on the players, which makes it hard to run. So, Lloyd may just be sapped of energy. However, there is a 41% chance of precipitation, and precipitation would make it less difficult for Lloyd to run. In addition, maybe Lloyd should start and Press should come in for her at the 50th minute. Andonovski could even bring Press in for Lloyd at halftime, so that he would not have to use a substitution window to get Press into the game for Lloyd.

    I would talk to Lloyd and Press and see how each one feels about the idea of starting. I can’t decide now. On the one hand, Press seems more capable of scoring. And I don’t want the US to lose this game on penalty kicks. So, I want Press to have as much opportunity to score as possible. Also, Press is a good presser, so the team is unlikely to play passively with her on the field. On the other hand, the team played well in the first half against Holland, when Lloyd was in there, and she’s the best presser of the three. And starting her doesn’t mean that she would have to finish the match. So, I would want to think about it more.


    5. The Bench


    If Rapinoe, Morgan and Lloyd do not start, I think all three should be on the bench. This is partly because of their experience, what they mean to the team emotionally and for their ability to take penalty kicks. I think Davidson also should be there because she looks to be an excellent defender who can play well both at center-back and at left back. So, someone whom I would normally have on the gameday roster would not be able to dress, for the bench is limited to 7 players. I think that it should be either Emily Sonnett or Kristie Mewis.

    The advantage of not dressing Sonnett is that if Kelley O’Hara were to get injured, Andonovski could put Tierna Davidson in at left back and move Crystal Dunn to right back. At least in theory, this would not be hard for Dunn, as she is an outstanding left back and is right-footed; and being right-footed usually makes it easier for a player to play well at right back than at left back.

    However, putting Davidson in at left back and moving Dunn from left back to right back might be a lot of change for the team. Would it throw the team off? Moreover, Dunn has been so good at left back that I don’t know if I would want to move her from there over to the right side, where she may not have experience. So, in order to have cover at right back, I may have Sonnett on the gameday roster.

    Moreover, Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath both can play well at attacking center-mid. And Lloyd can play there in a pinch. So, perhaps Kristie Mewis should not dress.

    However, I don’t have a sense of how Dunn would play at right back. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her play there. I also don’t know how such a change would affect the team. Moreover, Andonovski might have a better idea of this than I do. So, he might recognize that it would be reasonable to have Kristie Mewis on the gameday roster instead of Sonnett.


    6. Giving up Penalties Kicks and Being Offside


    Against Holland, on the play that led to Lieke Martens’ penalty kick, Kelley O’Hara should not have clattered into Lineth Beerensteyn. In women’s professional soccer, penalty kicks are converted about 73% of the time (in men’s it’s about 75%). And Beerensteyn was not in that dangerous of a position. Abby Dahlkemper had her covered. So, there was a much better chance that if O’Hara fouled Beerensteyn that Holland would score on a penalty kick than that they would score if O’Hara did not touch Beerensteyn and instead let the play unfold.

    The US should be mindful of this in the future. It’s important that they not lose a game on a foul in the box when, if they hadn’t committed the foul, the other team probably wouldn’t have scored, or when the probability of the player’s scoring from the run of play is lower than her team’s scoring from the penalty spot.

    Finally, on offside, they just have to be more aware. And the US players (for instance, Press and Morgan) are fast enough that they don’t have to be offside to still get to the ball and score. So, be patient with your runs and watch the second-to-last defender to make sure you are not ahead of her when the ball is played.
     
  19. Dfwsoccer01

    Dfwsoccer01 Member

    Jun 23, 2014
    Plano, TX
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Agree with a lot of the above. 2 things to add:

    IMO Rose needs to be in this game. This team doesn’t have a lot of creativity at this point, and that’s what she brings. We need to make an offensive presence in this game, and she helps facilitate that.

    When looking back on the last 6 months of finishing and goal scoring, really the one player that pops up to me is Press. Yes, she has her shortcomings, but prior to this tournament, I believe she was playing at a very high level for the National Team. I think we give her the start somewhere on the pitch.
     
  20. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    edcrocker, very good once again.

    One thing on Heath being taken out earlier against the Netherlands than you would have preferred: Perhaps it had something to do with where she is in her post-injury fitness process and wanting to have her play longer minutes in upcoming games. Beyond that, I am wondering about how Horan is faring as she played the full 120 against the Netherlands. It seems to me the roster planning must take that into consideration, with her likely needing some relief either by not starting or starting and later being subbed for.

    I do not see moving Dunn from left to right. Her combining with players on the left is one of her best features and she has done that also at the club level (for both North Carolina and Portland) where she plays in the midfield with an emphasis toward the left. I think it would be too disruptive for the rest of the team. In addition, like Horan, Dunn played the full 120 against the Netherlands and likely will need some relief. This is where Davidson is a key player. If OHara needs relief, Sonnett is the likely candidate, with the benefit of her that she also can play central defender (although that would make me nervous).

    Something we do not know is if any players have suffered some knocks that make them doubtful. I have wondered if this is the case with Davidson -- I sure hope not.
     
    edcrocker and kolabear repped this.
  21. code1390

    code1390 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hopefully this one will have fewer officiating issues than the 2012 game as the referee has plenty of experience in the Ukrainian first division. I figure if you can handle Eastern European men's football then USA/Canada should be a walk in the park.
     
    West Ender and kolabear repped this.
  22. kolabear

    kolabear Member+

    Nov 10, 2006
    los angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Have you posted the referee assignment in this forum yet? Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine)
    I love it when Monzul issues a yellow card. She gives the offender a look as if to say, "You thief"
     
    West Ender repped this.
  23. jackiesdad

    jackiesdad Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    It's even worse that the men's Gold Cup finals are on at 9 PM EST tonight. If that game doesn't go to Extra Time, that still means an 11 PM final whistle. And then, a 4 AM kickoff tomorrow morning???? Not much sleep for soccer fans tonight. I'm hoping to get a big nap this afternoon.
     
    Lloyd Heilbrunn, kolabear and NCChiFan repped this.
  24. fire123

    fire123 Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    I think anyone of our 21 field players are still better than most of the Canadian.
    I think we should rest Horan and Lavelle. Let Ertz and the Mewis sisters start then see what happens before making changes in the 2nd half. If we are up by 2, also rest Ertz.
    Up front, putting any 3 and sub in any 3 and we will do fine.
    In the back, I 'll rest both Dunn, O'Hara or at least one of them and a center back.
     
  25. Disapproving Hippo

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 17, 2021
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I honestly think the midfielders should just take over scoring. None of the "top" forwards have had any positive contributions and I don't think they will just magically flip a switch at this point.
     
    kolabear and Klingo3034 repped this.

Share This Page