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USWNT Begins World Cup Quest vs. Australia


Abby Wambach (Photo by Catalina Fragoso - DoubleGSports)

Abby Wambach (Photo by Catalina Fragoso – DoubleGSports)

All of the FIFA scandals and artificial turf complaints can take a back seat now that the World Cup is underway.

With two days in the books, the attention now shifts to team USA and group D where the US will be an interested spectator as Sweden takes on Nigeria, before it takes the field tonight against a tough opponent in Australia.

Australia, known affectionately as “The Matildas”, enjoyed success at the last World Cup of 2011 reaching the quarterfinals after coming out of Group D with wins over Equatorial Guinea and Norway.

They are the Asia region runners up falling to defending World Cup champion Japan 1-0 in the final after a 2-1 victory over the same South Korea side that held the US at Red Bull Arena in the US’s last match.

Captained by Lisa Da Vanna who may make her 100th national team cap tonight, and Clare Polkinghorne, the Aussies are a formidable opponent for the USA’s opening match.

Caitlin Foord competed as a 16 year old at World Cup 2011 and started 2 of the 3 group matches and the quarterfinal in a myriad of positions around the pitch.  For her efforts she was awarded the “Best Young Player” award for the tournament.

She now brings 28 international caps and is someone to watch tonight as the US attempts to get off to a solid start in this World Cup.

So it is obvious that the United States will have its hands full with Australia.

However, the USWNT fancies itself as a tournament favorite and should it truly be a championship contender, the USA need to establish itself from the start.

Sweden figures to win its game against Nigeria which puts all the pressure squarely on the USA to keep pace.

With the second fixture for the USA being Sweden, the USA could find itself buried before its third fixture against Nigeria.

In short, a US win would put the team  in great shape to advance or win the group but a draw at the very least is an absolute must.


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