Seattle Sounders Shaping Success of US Olympic Campaign


By Kara McDermott
Coach Pia Sundhage called up four Seattle Sounders women for her limited squad in London, and the decision is certainly paying off the jovial Swede.

Megan Rapinoe has had the greatest impact on the current success of the US squad. She didn’t tally any for herself in the comeback win against France, but was instrumental in the turnaround, assisting on the first goal that turned the tide on the French momentum. She then assisted the winning goal by Carli Lloyd and set the play for the final knockout.

Against Colombia she took one for herself by finishing the first goal in the 33rd minute. However, she was back to her old ways when she gave a through ball to Lloyd late in the match to give the US a three goal differential on the game.

She has been utilizing her space to great effect, and so far she has not found a defense that can shut down her side. Teams have been collapsing inward to protect the center, playing into the US’ desire and ability to maximize the full width of the field.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have been the most notable Sounders in London.
(c) Angela Isac |

Alex Morgan, has been feeling the effects of earning a starting position as she has been a target of chippy defenders.

However, on the open field, her speed has been unmatched.

This is her first major tournament as a starter, and is taking advantage of being relatively new on the world stage. She scored the tying goal against France and then finished them off late in the game with another.

She also assisted Rapinoe against Colombia and Abby Wambach against North Korea.

It is this partnership that seems to be the most successful experiment for the Americans of recent years. Wambach’s experience, drive and solid presence anchors the offense while Morgan is skillful at getting behind the defense and making creative and dangerous runs.

After the early test in the first fifteen minutes of the tournament, goalkeeper Hope Solo has had little to do but punch the clock and answer the phones every now and then. The nine shots from France (three on goal), was her toughest workout. Against Colombia, she had only to contend with one shot on goal out of a total eight and was even more removed against North Korea, who placed none of their three shots on goal.

She is credited with an assist on Morgan’s first goal against France – a long punt that caught the French on their heels and was picked off by Morgan.

But her biggest contribution to the tournament seemed to be in creating another Olympic controversy around the US team after she took to Twitter to condemn NBC announcer Brandi Chastain. The storyline deserves little more than an eye roll at this point, particularly considering the excitement that awaits some very interesting quarterfinal pairings.

Sydney Leroux has had little time on the field so far, coming in as relief late against France and Colombia.

The US next plays against New Zealand in the quarterfinals on Friday at 8:30 a.m. PST.


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