What a fuck of a match. The solution is simple, of course, because I'm not the actual US manager. Play a 4-3-3 with Cox starting at left back, a midfield of Rapinoe-Cheney-O'Reilly (or Cheney-Lindsey-Rapinoe if HAO's still injured), and a front line of Rodriguez-Wambach-Morgan. Done and done. As opposed to one and done, which the US will be against Brazil if Pia insists on sticking with the tried-and-true 4-4-2 built around a dual smart but aging/young but stupid central midfield.
This is shaping up to be the torch-passing World Cup. Germany, England, and the US have watched, distressed, as their long-term marquee stars have shown their age and faded back into the woodwork. Birgit Prinz, Germany's all-time goals leader, now moving slowly and then being unceremoniously benched in the 54th two games ago and left there for the last one. Kelly Smith, England's best player ever, exhibiting a downward effectiveness curve culminating in being pulled in the 63rd in England's last squeaker. Abby Wambach, top scorer by a mile among currently active US players, nagged by a bad Achilles and failing to finish in just about every way imaginable short of a sniper atop the stands picking off the ball on its way to goal (finally managing to be in the right spot for the ball to carom off a defender's head onto Wombat's shoulder and thence into the goal, allowing the US to lose by only one instead of two). Time is relentless and cruel.
Meanwhile, Ali Krieger is my MVP for being far and away the most consistent player on the field for the US. Player most likely to crawl into a hole and never come out? At this point, Kelly O'Hara, poor child. God, what a debut. Fun to watch? Anonma from Equatorial Guinea for flash, Lisa De Vanna for incredible bursts of speed and the delicious suspense of wondering when she's going to finally punch somebody. Easy on the eyes? Krieger wins that all day long.
Two days off for recovery now. Bring on current events, I suppose.