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USWNT vs. Canada: Nevertheless, They Persisted

The pitch was sopping wet. Pools of rainwater accumulated on the field, causing the ball to stop rolling before the player was ready. Players had little to no control over the ball, yet the match commissioner wanted the match to be played. Even with all of these setbacks, the USWNT persisted, and are on their way to the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Final.

The First Half

In the first three minutes of the match, one of the referees wanted the game to be delayed and went to the fourth ref to demonstrate the quality of the pitch. Though the ball would not move more than five feet, the commissioner declared the field was usable. This caused many players, such as USWNT captain Lindsey Horan to become infuriated with the referee, but they had to play on.


The only way for players to pass the ball was through long balls, and hoping that a forward was there to score. Naomi Girma was a key defensive player who took no chances in the ball being in US territory and would kick the ball downfield. In the 20th minute, Jaedyn Shaw was able to use the deformities of the pitch to her advantage and score the first goal of the game for the USWNT.



The rest of the first half was horrifying. The players would slip and fall on the ground, and some would stay down for a while or slide for 15 feet. The unpredictable ball movement made for some of the worst play that I have seen in my life. One of the players that made this half bearable was Trinity Rodman. Though the conditions were abysmal, she would still sprint down the field to retrieve the ball and try to create chances.

The Second Half

The second half had a slow start, as the referee’s equipment was malfunctioning because of the rain, and nobody was sure if the game was going to be delayed. The game started, and immediately, Canada had a chance. A controversial uncalled penalty saved the US, as Tierna Davidson stepped on the foot of a Canadian forward in the box. Since no penalty was called, the game played on and Canada did not get a chance to equalize.


A majority of the second half was the goalies practically playing monkey in the middle with the teams. The goalies would leave their lines to get a hold of the ball. Then, all of a sudden, Canada equalized and scored a goal. Regulation time soon ended, and they were set to go into extra time.

Extra Time And Penalty Kicks

At the beginning of extra time, Sophia Smith was subbed on and immediately made her presence known. Though she was not far away from the goal, she scored an absolute screamer and increased the United States’ lead. Just as extra time was about to end, however, Alyssa Naeher was given a yellow card for clobbering a Canadian forward. Canada was awarded a penalty, and they were able to sink the ball into the net. The two teams were now going into penalty kicks.

It was at this time that I started to get flashbacks from the USWNT vs. Sweden game during the World Cup, where the United States lost by a millimeter. However, it was on this night that Alyssa Naeher proved that she is Her! The brick wall prevented three penalty kicks from going in and used her iron leg to sink one past Canada’s goalkeeper. The United States won the thriller and is now going to the Gold Cup final.



Players of The Match

My offensive player of the match has to go to Trinity Rodman. She made this game worth watching, and though many of the players’ spirits were diminished due to the conditions, she played as if there was no rain whatsoever. She was drenched and the refs did not side with her on obvious penalties, but she just kept persisting. 


An honorable mention goes to Sophia Smith, who scored an amazing goal and also made her penalty shot. During the World Cup, she missed her penalty shot and she was devastated. The ball hitting the back of the net must have felt so amazing and she deserves all the praise she has been awarded.



My defensive player of the match goes to Alyssa Naeher. She is one of the most humble people ever and owes up to her mistakes. She is also America’s brick wall and prevented Canada from progressing to the final. An honorable mention goes to Naomi Girma. She would not let Canada touch the ball no matter how hard they tried and had “no nonsense defending”.



Onto The Next!

The USWNT’s next and final game is against Brazil. Brazil is very good at creating chances and there is always a person that is ready to score. Not to mention, their goals are crafty and creative. Due to their high-pressure attack, they were not challenged defensively, and in fact, it seems like Mexico’s chances only failed due to being in the right place at the wrong time, and pure bad luck.


I do think that the USWNT will win the Gold Cup, not only as a fan but from an analytical standpoint as well. Our backline is solid, our goalie is a brick wall, and our midfield and forwards have great communication with each other. Not to mention, our strikers are filled with youth and vigor. If they win this game, they can reinstate their invincible title, and prove to the world that we cannot be defeated!



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