October 26, 2014
By Charles Cuttone
U.S. dominates, but defense sees little action
CHESTER, Pa.---After posting four straight shutouts, U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo was awarded the Golden Glove of the COCNACAF Women's Championship emblematic of the tournament's top goalkeeper.
|In four games in goal during the CONCACAF Women's Championship, Hope Solo was rarely tested.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Only problem, in 360 minutes of action, Solo made one save. That was in the tournament's opening game, a 1-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago. With opponents bunkering down behind the ball, the U.S. faced little pressure in its next four games, one of which had Ashlyn Harris in goal, and did not allow a shot on goal in its remaining matches.
Solo knows that's not necessarily the best preparation for what lies ahead.
" I'm not going to say itís the best thing for us, coming into a world cup year, because we need to be tested," Solo said Sunday night after the U.S. dominated Costa Rica 6-0.
"We need to know where our defense stands, we need to see where the holes are, we need to see how we can improve our defense and without playing great teams, that's kind of hard to do," said Solo.
"A lot of the teams that we playing in this tournament didnít even push our lines, they kind of dropped everybody back into their half. We are proud to not give up any goals, but at the same time we want to be tested. We needed to be tested. I do believe Costa Rica was the second best team in the tournament, so it was great to have the two best teams in the final."
The U.S. was certainly not tested Sunday. Abby Wambach scored four goals, three of them on headers, and Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux added one each.
The Americans will get a six week break before coming together for another camp that will begin the preparation for next year's World Cup. The scheduled matches will surely start to show the team, which has not won a World Cup since 1999 what they are made of.
"Every game from here on out is important as we gear up for the World Cup," said Solo. "We are playing great teams. I think that's what (U.S. coach) Jill (Ellis) does so great with our team-- Not just games to give us confidence, she's scheduling Brazil, she's scheduling that we are going to England and playing France and England. We're playing the best teams before we step inside the World Cup. I think in the past we haven't always done that because we wanted confidence, but now we're going to see where we stand before going to the World Cup."