With South Africa kicking off the second round of group play, Milwaukee women's soccer head coach Michael Moynihan offers his thoughts on the tournament so far.
So far the Cup is off to a very conservative start. It seems many of the teams are playing the first game simply not to lose. Some of the lower ranked teams however, have defended admirably. The only convincing win so far has been Germany over the Australians, but I wasn't impressed with Australia. We'll learn more about the German team as we go along. I'm still eager to see Spain. 1 more day! South Korea was also impressive in their debut.
South Africa's goal was a fantastic way to get things started. An unbelievable goal. Heinze's goal for Argentina was also a thing of beauty. The Ivory Coast has an impressive line-up and looks to be the strongest African team (hopefully they'll survive the most difficult bracket), but Ghana was well organized defensively and you still can't count out the hosts.
The most impressive player so far has been Messi. He didn't score but provided a lot of excitement and created a number of chances. Looking forward to seeing Xavi though. No one can dominate the midfield like he can.
One of the highlights for me has been the commentary/coverage. Bringing in people that have played the game and coached at high levels outside of the US has been a massive improvement. The only bad spot so far was the goal Mexico had disallowed. The commentators missed that entirely, not understanding a simple off-side call. The commentary outside of that has been refreshing. Awesome to see the US vs. England game scored about the same as the NBA finals in domestic coverage. Of course there are still media people with blinders on that just don't get soccer and probably never will, but it's nice to see that everyone else is "getting it." The passion on display throughout the coverage is inspiring.
Friday's game vs. Slovenia is going to be tough. We have to be efficient with our chances to earn the result. I can't wait to see it!