Women's Soccer Head Coach Michael Moynihan gives his thoughts on the U.S./Ghana match-up.
Going into the World Cup we knew the defense was going to be suspect, and this proved to be our downfall. It just amazes me that teams were not able to exploit it even more. The early game blunders and the soft nature of many of the goals conceded was quite alarming. I don't understand how we can look so good at times and struggle so mightily at other times. Both goals conceded to Ghana were far too easy for them. Good strikes, but they came out of nothing and could have been dealt with.
You have to give the players and coaches a lot of credit for developing a battling, never say die mentality. We showed some fantastic flashes and the team provided a lot of excitement for all of us in the United States. When you look at the Ghana game, we created a lot of chances. Probably more than anyone else they faced. That says a lot about the potential we have. Unfortunately, we lacked the maturity to take advantage of the opportunities. I thought Dempsey and Bradley were the two players that really stood out for us. Howard and Donovan shone in spurts as well. Other than that though, we were very inconsistent. Altidore created problem for the opposition but there was not much as far as an end product. His technique and tactical awareness often let him down. I liked Edu, but I don't think we saw enough of him.
We have a lot to look forward though I think. Many of the players will be back for the next World Cup and we have some very interesting young talent that will be added to the mix as well. If we can solve our defensive problem, I think we could be a very exciting side. While this year's team provided a lot of excitement and cause for optimism in American soccer, it still leaves me wanting more, even expecting more. I guess that is a good thing. I know when I've coached a good side and our season comes to an end, I just can't wait to get started again. I'm eager to get back at it and take the next steps in our development. That's how I feel about the US team now. I'm excited to see them again. I'm excited to see them take the next steps in developing maturity on an international level. I just wish there were more opportunities for them to do this.