USA women concede five goals for first time in loss to Denmark – The Guardian

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

On Friday the USA women’s national team’s 43-game unbeaten streak ended with a 1-0 defeat to Sweden. That blip became a mini-crisis when USA lost 5-3 to Denmark.

The result is the first time the reigning Olympic champions have lost consecutive games since 2001 and the first time ever the US has conceded five goals.

The Americans were 3-0 down by halftime against a team that had lost both its opening games in Portugal’s annual Algarve Cup.

Although USA showed more fight in the second half, Denmark held on to win. Denmark had goals from Katrine Veje and two from Nadia Nadim in the first half and Johanna Rasmussen and Karoline Nielsen in the second. Christen Press, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe scored for the USA in the second half rally.

In the tournament opener last Wednesday goalkeeper Hope Solo
allowed an uncharacteristic long-range goal against world champions Japan in a 1-1 draw. On Friday Lotta Schelin scored the only goal in a 1-0 defeat by Sweden, the USA’s first defeat for two years.

USA’s biggest previous defeat was 4-0 to Brazil in 2007.

The USWNT are in a rebuilding process ahead of next year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada. Tom Sermanni was made head
coach at the beginning of last year after Pia Sundhage, who led the team to two
Olympic gold medals and a World Cup final, returned
home to manage Sweden.

The Algarve Cup is the only tournament the USA will see until World Cup qualifying for the Concacaf region in October and lack of regular, stiff competition has been cited as a problem for the team.

On Wednesday, the USA will play for the right to finish either ninth or eleventh in a tournament they have won three out of the last four years.

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