Ellen White

AP Photo / David Vincent

PST’s Women’s World Cup Best XI

2 Comments

The Women’s World Cup concluded its best run yet with the United States women’s national team’s 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands on Sunday, the fourth title and second-successive World Cup for the ladies of the red, white, and blue.

There will be temptations from some to give the USWNT approximately 11 out of 11 spots on a Best XI, but let’s face it: The best team didn’t often have its best game during its unbeaten run through France.

[ MORE: What we learned about the USMNT this summer ]

Some are no-doubters: Having this team without Julie Ertz or Kelley O’Hara would be criminal. But there are a lot of tough decisions here.

Should a quarterfinalist get a player on the XI, given that France lost to the champions in a brutal draw? How many USWNT players should make it? Alex Morgan did all her statistical damage in one match, but did so much that doesn’t show up on the score sheet. And how do we pick three center backs when the best defenders were out wide?

Ultimately, we’re playing a right back out of position because we can, because Julie Ertz is going to clean up a lot of messes, and because this team will never take the field: It’s a post on the Information Superhighway.

Sari van Veenendaal (Netherlands)

O’Hara (USWNT) — Wendie Renard (France) — Lucy Bronze (England)

Kosovare Asllani (Sweden) — Ertz (USWNT) — Rose Lavelle (USWNT) — Sherida Spitse (Netherlands)

Megan Rapinoe (USWNT) — Alex Morgan (USWNT) — Ellen White (England)

This was tough. Who was our most egregious omission?

Sweden holds off England comeback to claim third place (video)

AP Photo/Claude Paris
Leave a comment

After suffering heartbreak at the hands of the Netherlands in the semifinals, Sweden finished their run at the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a 2-1 victory over England in the third-place game in Nice, France, on Saturday.

[ PREVIEW: USWNT faces Netherlands in World Cup final ]

Sweden jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before England appeared to realize they were facing an opponent who very badly wanted to finish third. By that time, Sweden had hunkered down and it was too late.

Kosovare Asllani opened the scoring in the 11th minute after Alex Greenwood failed to clear the ball in the box and touched it to no one near the penalty spot. Asllani hit her shot hard and low, with just enough pace to power through the outstretched hands of Carly Telford.

Sofia Jakobsson doubled the Swedes’ lead barely 10 minutes later, and this was the moment it became crystal clear that England were not yet up to full speed. Stina Blackstenius played simple ball to Jakobsson in acres of space down the left side of England’s penalty area. No one made an attempt to close her down, so she waltzed into the box before unleashing a screamer toward the far post.

[ PREVIEW: Brazil v. Peru, Copa America’s unlikely final ]

Once England awoke, they were quickly back in the game. Fran Kirby scored a spectacular solo goal in the 31st minute, weaving in and out and back in to set up an effortless finish, to cut the Three Lionesses’ deficit in half.

The comeback appeared complete just five minutes later, when Ellen White put the ball in the back of the net for the seventh eighth time, only to have her goal wiped off the board for the second time in as many games. She was deemed to have gained an advantage by touching the ball with her forearm during the build-up.

Nilla Fischer saved the day for Sweden with a last-gasp goal-line clearance in the 90th minute. Lucy Bronze had a look from close range, but Fischer put her body — and her head — on the line to preserve her side’s lead and help Sweden over the finish line.

Late penalty save helps USWNT to fifth Women’s World Cup Final

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
3 Comments

Alyssa Naeher stopped Steph Houghton’s 83rd minute penalty kick, which was awarded by VAR, and the United States women’s national team reached its fifth Women’s World Cup Final with a 2-1 defeat of England on Tuesday in Lyon.

Christen Press and Alex Morgan gave the Americans leads in the match, but only an Ellen White equalizer arrived in the semifinal.

Ellen White scored England’s goal and Millie Bright saw her second yellow card just after Houghton’s butchered penalty attempt to send the Lionesses down to 10 players.

[ MORE: Player ratings | 3 things ]

Press made a surprise start in place of Megan Rapinoe and scored the game-opening goal for the Yanks, before White nabbed her tournament-leading sixth for England.

Lavelle has been outstanding in the early stages for the United States.

Press is the one who started the scoring, however, getting on the end of a looping cross from O’Hara and popping a header home for 1-0 in the 10th minute.

England drew level when Beth Mead’s cross beat the outstretched leg of O’Hara and White ran behind Abby Dahlkemper to snap the ball past Naeher with the outside of her foot. Game on.

Becky Sauerbrunn redirected a long English drive wide for a corner in the 28th minute, and the Yanks retook the lead moments later.

A diagonal ball from Abby Dahlkemper was well-controlled by Press on the touch line, who fed Horan. The former PSG star spotted Morgan, whose surgical run was matched by her header for 2-1.

Morgan celebrated by sipping a mock cup of tea. How very appropriate, Kermit, British, or both.

It wasn’t long after that that Naeher had to make a flying two-handed save at the back post. What a start.

Horan picked up a yellow card early in the second half, making it two awarded on the day after Millie Bright was shown a first-half caution.

Naeher made an in-tight save as England beganits fight for an equalizer.

A turnover deep in English territory allowed Press to drive at the Lionesses’ goal, but she failed to spot two teammates and instead unleashed a wild shot.

White then appeared to bring England level again, with White running between the American center backs to slot a low drive past Naeher for 2-2 with 22 minutes to play… but offside.

Demi Stokes looked to have sent England level for real, but something happened as her perfect pass got to White and saw the tournament’s leading scorer whiff on her effort to make it 2-2. VAR checked to see if Becky Sauerbrunn interfered with White, and she most certainly caught the striker’s leg.

But Houghton’s penalty kick was poor, and Naeher corralled the bounding low ball to preserve the win.

Morgan, Press give USWNT 2-1 halftime lead over England (video)

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
Leave a comment

Christen Press made a surprise start in place of Megan Rapinoe and scored the game-opening goal for the Yanks, before Ellen White nabbed her tournament-leading sixth for England.

Rose Lavelle has been outstanding in the early stages for the United States.

Press is the one who started the scoring, however, getting on the end of a looping cross from O’Hara and popping a header home for 1-0 in the 10th minute.

[ WATCH: England v. USWNT live on NBCSN ]

England drew level when Beth Mead’s cross beat the outstretched leg of O’Hara and White ran behind Abby Dahlkemper to snap the ball past Naeher with the outside of her foot. Game on.

Becky Sauerbrunn redirected a long English drive wide for a corner in the 28th minute, and the Yanks retook the lead moments later.

A diagonal ball from Abby Dahlkemper was well-controlled by Press on the touch line, who fed Horan. The former PSG star spotted Morgan, whose surgical run was matched by her header for 2-1.

Morgan celebrated by sipping a mock cup of tea. How very appropriate, Kermit, British, or both.

It wasn’t long after that that Naeher had to make a flying two-handed save at the back post. What a start.

USWNT, England set for World Cup semi showdown

Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
6 Comments

Planning ahead or arrogance? That’s the question being overblown asked of the United States women’s national team following England coach Phil Neville‘s revelation that USWNT operations people were given a tour of England’s team hotel.

As the “home team,” England has the better of the lodging for the semifinal, and the USWNT hopes to be taking its place for Sunday’s Final against either the Netherlands or Sweden.

[ MORE: Will Ellis change XI? ]

So is showing up early presumptuous or just proper preparation?

“I just thought, ‘What are they doing?'” Neville said of the Americans. “It’s not etiquette, really. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”

What he will allow is what both teams provide, and that’s excellent team soccer. Tuesday’s match has the chance to be a wide-open entertaining match as two tough back lines hope to defy some of the best attackers in the world.

England has only allowed one goal in the tournament, a late concession in its 2-1 tournament-opening defeat of Scotland. That means the Lionesses count shutouts of Norway and Japan on their resume, and that’s pretty impressive.

Meanwhile the U.S. is coming off some tepid offensive performances, at least by their standards. The Yanks passed at just 64 percent in the 2-1 defeat of France, and their 2-1 defeat of Spain came courtesy of a pair of penalty kicks.

Fortunately for Jill Ellis’ crew, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was much better in the latter of the 2-1 wins. The 31-year-old was mostly untested and shaky in the run-up to France, but outstanding in holding onto the lead.

England has become a force on the international scene, and is in its second-straight World Cup semifinal. They won the SheBelievesCup, and finished in the semifinals at EURO 2017.

Ellen White has been a handful for teams, scoring five times in four matches. She also scored the lone goal in a 1-0 defeat of the USMNT at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

There’s every reason to believe it’ll be a beauty at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday. You’ll be able to stream it live on Telemundo Deportes.