Good, but not great, and that is okay since the primary goal of getting a result was achieved. Chalk it up to first-match nerves, perhaps a bit of pressure at being one of the top seeds at "home" and to a fast start by Australia, USA struggled to find its rhythm until just after taking the lead in the 61st minute.
Areas to improve upon for the U.S.:
Communication in team defending- Australia's early chances along with its goal could have been prevented by better communication to apply pressure, get into passing lanes and snuff out attempts on goal.
Movement in the final third- there was not a lot of movement on and off the ball until late in the match when Australia seemed to fade. Against a better opponent, this needs to improve and at a greater pace.
Midfield play- not enough dictating of play via spraying effective passes to put players in scoring opportunities or retaining possession and moving to get the ball back. U.S. gave up possession far too often.
Passion- the competitive fire necessary to put an inferior opponent away (or at least compete with greater intensity) early was lacking. This must improve to overcome stronger opponents.
Next match prediction: Bolstered by its depth, the U.S. will continue to improve one match at a time. Playing against former coach Pia Sundhage's Sweden, U.S. will improve upon tonight's performance and win 2-0.
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