The second match of the SheBelieves Cup took place today as the two top teams in the world faced in their first match of the 2017 tournament today. The US ranked number one in FIFA standings saw their number two ranked competitors once again. With the US taking the Championship title after winning last year's SheBelieves Cup against Germany in the final match, the two teams met at the pitch.
Coming into the game
The USWNT hasn't played together since November, which impacted their play a season their roster has had many changes and additions from Jill Ellis.
The German team, who came in second in this tournament last year, gained a new coach. Steffi Jones, who is a former 2003 World Cup Champion, took on the role of being the new head coach as she replaced Silvia Neid.
With both teams undergoing these changes and adjustments of roster positions, coaching staff, and the months of not playing as a team, it definitely impacted their playing level on the field.
In the first half of the match, both teams came out strong to not only represent their country, but to start out the tournament with a solid standing. Possession of the ball was pretty even between the two countries as the ball moved back and forth from both ends of the field.
The Germans did come out and alarmed the US even in the beginning of the match as they took a strong shot on goal as early as in the sixth minute.
During the intense play, the US started with a 3-4-1-2 formation as US captain Carli Lloyd was the only midfielder up with the forwards. In fighting for the ball, the US were too bunched up at times, which left for an opportunity for Germany to make their attack.
At the end of the half, the match was still scoreless.
With the anticipation for a shot to reach the back of the net, the US kept attacking the German goal. US forward Christen Press made a run down the field and took the shot at the middle of the eighteen yard line, which hit the cross bar and fellow forward Lynn Williams came for the rebound with a solid goal leading the US 1-0.
In the 74th minute, Williams attempted to make a cross to Press, which I also blocked by a German defender and role of her own legs. Press takes a shot from this rebound that is then blocked by goalkeeper Almuth Schult.
Looking ahead for SheBelieves Cup
This match was a letdown for many spectators early on as not much action from the top two competitive teams took place as hoped for. The first match of the tournament consisted of France coming out on top with a 2-1 victory against England. The US will face England on Saturday as Germany then takes on France.
This victory for the US is an opportunity to re- evaluate their plays and passes to gain improvement for the matches to come.