Saturday, April 24, 2004

U.S. 5, Brazil 1 (Women's Soccer)

Mia Hamm proved she is still one of the world's top players today with one goal and three assists. Mia showed she can beat Brazil in nearly every aspect of the game. She can set up goals with free kicks, she can dribble past defenders along the wing, she can place a one-touch pass at a teammate's feet in the penalty box, and she can score goals.

Abby Wambach played only the first half but scored two goals and could easily have had a hat trick if she had played the rest of the game. She may be the most dangerous U.S. player in the air.

For me, the surprise of the game was Christie Rampone, who had an outstanding game for the U.S. on defense. She looked rock-solid and turned back attack after attack by Brazil.

Brazil's players made many good individual runs, but seemed unable to connect on the last pass to set up a scoring chance. Oddly, Brazil kept trying the long ball and high crosses all day long without success. Their only goal was set up by a bad clearance by the U.S. defense.

Kristin Luckenbill came in as a substitute goalkeeper in the second half, her first appearance for the U.S. National Team, but was not called on to do much because the ball was so often at the other end of the field.

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