WorldCupNOW: USWNT looking for offensive spark - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

WorldCupNOW: USWNT looking for offensive spark

(PHOTO: Flickr/ Ole Olson) (PHOTO: Flickr/ Ole Olson)
FOX19 -

By: Rachel Ecklar

The 2015 Women's World Cup has been very exciting so far! However, Friday's USA versus Sweden match left a lot to be desired.

What should have been a win by the United States ended in a tie. The decision to not start Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan was very dangerous. Although the United didn't necessarily need to win the game, the coaching decision to not start possibly the Americans two most lethal weapons stuttered the offense. To be fair, Morgan has been battling a nagging knee injury and coach Jillian Ellis was most likely not wanting to start either of them to keep their legs fresh for the knock out rounds.

But without Wambach or Morgan up top, the team relied on midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, to create plays. Sweden started marking Rapinoe tightly, which ended in sloppy offensive sets.

Time for the bright spot. The defense Friday night was fantastic! The backline kept the ball out of the box and when Sweden found itself a scoring chance, a defender was there to interrupt. Sweden was only able to put one shot on goal. That one attempt stopped the hearts countrywide. My game-saving stop of the night was Klingenberg's head ball that ricocheted off the cross bar; what a save!

Up next is Nigeria on Tuesday. With a win, the U.S. will finish first in group play. The only way the Americans could possibly not advance to the knockout round is a loss by two or more goals. You can watch the game right here on FOX19 NOW. Coverage of the match begins at 7:00 p.m.

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