July 28, 2012
KEEPING IT CLEAN
USA women's goal: no goals for Colombia
By Michael Lewis
|Megan Rapinoe on getting a shutout vs. Colombia: "That's definitely important to us. It's kind of a bummer we had two goals scored on us."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
GLASGOW -- After surrendering two goals in the 14 minutes in their 4-2 Olympic opening win over France on Wednesday, the U.S. women's goal in their second Group B game on Saturday is simple and to the point: no goals for Colombia.
"We definitely want to keep a clean sheet as a team," midfielder Megan Rapinoe said at the team hotel on Friday. "That's definitely important to us. It's kind of a bummer we had two goals scored on us. That doesn't normally happen. We'll kind of toss that one and hope we get a clean sheet."
U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said that she plans to start 10 of the 11 players were began the France match, minus injured midfielder Shannon Boxx. Carli Lloyd, who came off the bench in her place to score the game-winner, will start for Boxx.
"I want to give other players a chance to play," Sundhage said. "I believe whoever is in the starting lineup that would be our best starting lineup. I would rather, when we take out players, that is resting. So, not resting [starters] we'll take them out because they need a little bit of a breather. The reason why I say that is that the players on the bench are really good."
Heather O'Reilly, a starter on the 2008 Olympic team and 2011 Women's World Cup team, did not see any playing time against the French. So she is hopeful of getting her Olympic feet wet.
"We hope there's a lot of games for us to play," she said. "We know that there's less turnaround than in a World Cup. Two days is not a lot of time. You have one day to reflect on the last game, one day to look totally focused on the next game. Not so much time at all. We genuinely know that this is going to take everyone on this roster."
Lloyd, a native of Delran, N.J. who likes to go forward, will take over Boxx's holding defensive midfielder role. She said she was ready to mix things up, if need be.
"I do. i enjoy it. I'm a Jersey girl and I enjoy crunching," she said. "I was pleased to see the referee was letting some things go in that game. There were a few tackles where I wasn't sure she was going to get the card out for me. That's what it's all about -- tough. I am willing to go in for any battle. I'm willing to fight. I am willing to do to help my teammates on the field."
There's plenty to improve on from the first game.
"Just to sharpen up a little bit," Rapinoe said. "I think our possession can be a lot better. keep the ball on the floor a little bit more. Look for more combinations through the middle."