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USWNT’s Draw Concerns: Carli Lloyd Sounds Off, Coach Andonovski Defends the Team



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The highly anticipated Group E matchup between the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) and the Netherlands took place during the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand today. The game ended in a 1-1 draw, breaking the USWNT’s 13-match World Cup winning streak. However, before the final whistle, a two-time World Cup champion and New Jersey native, Carli Lloyd, voiced her concerns about her former team’s first-half performance.

Carli Lloyd, known for her Jersey bluntness, didn’t hold back when analyzing the USWNT’s display in the first half. Speaking to USA Today, she questioned the “heart” of her former team and criticized their lack of urgency during the match against the Netherlands. The 41-year-old veteran expressed her disappointment, stating, “They look flat… I’m questioning their heart… I want to see more fight, more urgency.”

The USWNT had shown their potential in their opening match against Vietnam, securing a convincing 3-0 victory. However, against the Dutch, they appeared to lack the same intensity and aggression. Lloyd implored her former teammates to exhibit more fight and urgency on the field, especially in the face of a formidable opponent like the Netherlands. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a high-pressing game and delivering a better response to the challenges posed by their opponents.

Despite their lackluster start, the USWNT responded in the second half, thanks to a goal from midfielder Lindsey Horan. The 29-year-old captain headed the ball into the net following a heated moment with her French club teammate, Danielle van de Donk, who played for the Netherlands. The two players engaged in a fiery exchange after a tough tackle, showcasing the competitive nature of the match.

The draw against the Netherlands served as a warning sign for the USWNT. While securing a point isn’t the worst outcome, it highlighted the need for improvement and consistency in their performance. As one of the favorites in the tournament, the USWNT faces high expectations and pressure to advance deep into the competition. They cannot afford any more lackluster performances in the coming weeks.

In the aftermath of the match, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski addressed Lloyd’s critique and defended his team’s performance. He spoke about the team’s dominance and control of the game, stating, “We dominated the game. We controlled the game. I can’t remember if they had more than one shot in the whole half, or the whole game — I don’t remember more than three shots.” Andonovski praised the team’s defensive efforts, pointing out that they limited the Dutch to a few scoring opportunities throughout the match.

With the group stage nearing its end, the USWNT must regroup and bring their A-game in their final group stage match against Portugal. The competition is fierce, and other teams are closely observing their every move. Coach Andonovski’s tactical decisions will be crucial as the team aims to secure their place in the knockout rounds.

The Women’s World Cup continues to captivate soccer fans worldwide, and the USWNT remains a formidable force. However, Carli Lloyd’s candid assessment serves as a call to action for her former team. To achieve their World Cup aspirations, the USWNT must address their shortcomings, showcase their true potential, and maintain their fighting spirit on the field. As they prepare to face Portugal, the USWNT must rise to the occasion and prove that they have what it takes to be back-to-back world champions.

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