SheBelieves Cup: USWNT victorious with room for improvement

USWNT, SheBelieves Cup (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
USWNT, SheBelieves Cup (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

With their 6-0 victory over Argentina on Wednesday night, the USWNT lifted the SheBelieves Cup trophy for the fourth time. Beyond that, they became the first country to win the cup in back-to-back years.

The USWNT was so dominant they forced Argentina to start stalling the game in the 70th minute for fear of being completely obliterated. With this in mind, it’s hard to believe I’m about to critique the USWNT’s play in the final third, but with the Olympics around the corner and a gold medal to claim, I expect more.

There are plenty of excuses that can be made for the players including the fact that those playing for the NWSL are only just kicking off preseason and are not yet in mid or post-season form. There are also plenty of positives to take away from the game including Christen Press’s 60th international goal and Alex Morgan’s first goal back as a mother.

The USWNT won the SheBelieves Cup, but they weren’t at their best.

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But as painful as it would have been from a pure human compassion standpoint to see Argentina lose by an even greater margin, the USWNT should have been lighting up the scoreboard with double digits given the number of goal-scoring opportunities they were presented with.

The USWNT will always create goal-scoring opportunities in every game. They’re too talented not to. But Wednesday night, their passing in the final third was often careless and their finishing attempts (the goals aside) were sloppy.

It got to the point where players were laughing as they skyed the ball over the net as though they knew another chance was coming so it didn’t matter. They may get away with that against Argentina, but the Olympics will demand more from them and they know that.

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The team should absolutely be celebrating. Despite having a less than inspiring start to the tournament they still managed to beat Canada and Brazil who are always up for a fight, and even at their worst, the team is a force to be reckoned with. But they know they’ll create chances and they know they’re that good…and that might just be their Achilles heel.