Punchless USWNT falls into bad habits in stunning loss to Mexico

The hits maintain coming for the U.S. Ladies’s Nationwide Workforce.

After a tough 12 months, the USWNT lastly regarded prefer it was getting back on its feet with dominant 5-0 and 4-0 wins over the Dominican Republic and Argentina, respectively, to kick off the Gold Cup.

However a stunning 2-0 loss to Mexico on Monday in Carson, Calif., has rattled that confidence and the hope the USWNT has turned a nook after its struggles within the 2023 World Cup.

As soon as once more, the issue that plagued the U.S. all through 2023 is on the forefront: scoring. Towards Mexico, the U.S. even struggled to get high quality pictures on purpose, ending with 9 pictures and two on course in comparison with 13 pictures with 4 on course for its opponent.

Worse, although, the one a part of its sport the USWNT has trusted — good protection — failed. Monday’s match featured sudden errors as Mexico performed up-tempo and relentlessly in opposition to the USWNT, which could not sustain.

The USWNT is in a generational shift, with veteran gamers similar to Megan Rapinoe and Julie Ertz retiring, and others, similar to Alex Morgan, having their roles change. Incoming coach Emma Hayes and interim coach Twila Kilgore are bringing extra younger gamers onto the roster. On Monday, nevertheless, the U.S. went with a comparatively veteran lineup, which can have been a mistake.

Veteran defenders Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper and Crystal Dunn struggled in opposition to Mexico’s fast-paced play, with Emily Fox doing her finest to carry issues down on the facet. A missed clearance from Sauerbrunn and an ill-advised strategy from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher — two of essentially the most constant gamers on the workforce — led to Mexico’s first purpose within the thirty eighth minute.

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