Photo of the day: Tobin Heath

Tobin Heath

Six Star Pro Nutrition/Instagram

 

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Quote of the day: Jill Ellis

“I think for them, it’s an opportunity to see something different and experience something different. … It’s a great opportunity for them to experience high-level teams, or slightly different things…. I think is going to benefit us in the long run.”

– Jill Ellis, on the American stars who’ve gone overseas to play

carli jill

Carli Lloyd and Jill Ellis

 

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5 more things you might not know about USA vs. England

USWNT vs. England, SheBelieves Cup, Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.

English teammates celebrate the game-winning goal by Ellen White (right). (Elsa/Getty Images)

Blame it on the weather. Why not?

On a damp, bitterly cold night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., the U.S. women lost 1-0 to England on Saturday (March 4), in the second leg of the SheBelieves Cup.

ellen

A joyous Ellen White after scoring against the United States in the 89th minute.

Neither offense was sharp. (Frozen toes can do that to footballers.)

For the most part, the Americans moved the ball well, except where it counted most: in the final third. They failed repeatedly to complete the last pass or to finish when scoring opportunities presented themselves. They took 14 shots, and only two were on goal.

The back line of Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn (all three played all 90 minutes) for the most part stifled the English attack — that is, until Ellen White slipped through in the 89th minute to cherry-pick the rebound off a shot by Lucy Bronze that hit the crossbar.

In the tournament’s other game Saturday, France and Germany played to a scoreless draw. I guess we can blame that on the weather, too.

The SheBelieves Cup concludes Tuesday (March 7), when England plays Germany and the United States plays France at RFK Stadium in Washington. Team USA’s game, at 6 pm CT, is on FS1.

Unless I’m wrong — and that’s possible — everyone but Germany still has a chance to win this thing.

standings

Women’s Soccer United

Here are five oddities, curiosities, or (possibly) interesting facts about the USA-England game and its participants:

1.

At kickoff (5 p.m. ET), it was 29 degrees in Harrison, with wind gusts of up to 33 mph. With the wind chill, it felt like 15. Once the sun went down, the cold got worse; by 7 p.m., it was 24 degrees, and the wind chill made it feel like 8.

2.

The loss was the Americans’ first on home soil since Dec. 16, 2015, when China beat them 1-0 in New Orleans. And, as Graham Hays notes on ESPNW, on that night the U.S. team “was less interested in playing China than in trying to get Abby Wambach a goal in her final appearance.”

Before that, Team USA had a 104-game unbeaten streak at home, stretching back to Nov. 6, 2004.

3.

With an eye toward the 2019 World Cup, Jill Ellis continues to experiment with different lineups and to audition young players. Only four starters were also in the starting lineup against Germany three days earlier.

4.

One of the new starters was Rose Lavelle, the All-American midfielder from Wisconsin. The 21-year-old earned her first cap, played all 90 minutes, and would have scored in the 19th minute if not for a gritty save by England’s goalkeeper, Siobhan Chamberlain.

Rose Lavelle and Karen Carney of England, March 4, 2017. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

Rose Lavelle and Karen Carney of England. (Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

Playing mostly on the left flank — she’s normally an attacking center mid, but that’s Carli Lloyd’s position — Lavelle found her way around or through England’s back line time and again. She played with calm and intelligence.

“She was fantastic,” Jill Ellis said.

Lavelle was the first player chosen (by the Boston Breakers) in this year’s National Women’s Soccer League draft.

5.

Eight members of the English national team — and six of Saturday’s starters — play for Manchester City, the club that has signed Carli Lloyd.

 

EARLIER:

5 things you might not know about USA vs. England 

5 things you might not know about the SheBelieves Cup

5 more things you might not know about the SheBelieves Cup

Please click HERE to follow @finishersblog on Twitter.

5 things you might not know about USA vs. England

allie

Allie Long heads the ball in front of Germany’s Lena Petermann in the opening round of the  SheBelieves Cup on March 1 in Chester, Pa. The United States won 1-0. (Matt Slocum/AP)

The U.S. women play England on Saturday (March 4) in the second leg of the SheBelieves Cup. The match is on Fox at 4 p.m. CT.

In the four-team tournament, the United States and France each have three points, by virtue of first-round wins over Germany and England, respectively.

standings

Women’s Soccer United

The SheBelieves Cup concludes on Tuesday (March 7), when Team USA will face France.

Here are five oddities, curiosities, or (possibly) interesting facts about the USA-England game and its participants:
 
 

1.

Longtime USWNT captain Christie Rampone will be honored in a pregame ceremony. Rampone, the second most-capped player in international women’s soccer (behind the great Kristine Lilly), announced her retirement not long ago.

The game is at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., 60 miles from Point Pleasant, the Jersey Shore town where Rampone grew up.

christie

Christie Rampone. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)


 

2.

The last time these two teams met was in the first match of the inaugural SheBelieves Cup a year ago. The Americans won 1-0 on a magnificent goal by Crystal Dunn; they  went on to take the tournament title.

 

3.

England is ranked No. 5 in the world; the United States, of course, is No. 1.
 

4.

Crystal Dunn could encounter several of her club teammates in the game. The young American signed this year with Chelsea, one of a handful of U.S. stars now playing for European clubs.

crystal

Crystal Dunn and Isabel Kerschowski of Germany, March 1, 2017. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)


 

5.

This will be the first U.S. women’s match on network TV since the 2015 World Cup final, which also aired on Fox. More than 26 million viewers watched the United States defeat Japan in that World Cup final — the most-watched U.S. soccer game ever, men’s or women’s.
 
 

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