By 90Min
June 25, 2019

Orlando Pride defender & former United States Under-20 international Morgan Reid will be a columnist for 90min during the Women's World Cup in France, as Jill Ellis' Stars and Stripes look to retain their World Cup crown this summer.


Well that was a lot tougher than we'd have hoped.

But the most important thing is winning. And that's exactly what we did against Spain, despite abandoning, on occasions, some of our key principles.

We shied away from our strategy of the first three games and went a lot more direct than we'd have wanted.

Our strength is sticking to our plan and what we're really good at - sharp passes, moving the ball quickly and using our technical ability. But when you're getting closed down, pressed high up the field and put under the pump physically, you have to adapt sometimes.

You can't blame Spain for wanting to knock us off our game. They needed to disrupt our rhythm and one way of doing that is being aggressive. 

Alex Morgan, Kelley O'Hara and a couple of the other girls took some real big hits, and that meant that we took more of a direct approach. In doing so, we weren't able to find those pockets of space - like we normally do - and were hit on the counter as a result.

Crucially, though, we kept our cool and refocused on what we needed to do. When you make a team run by keeping hold of possession, you eventually wear them out and that opens up space between the lines, as well as behind the defence.


Some comments after the game have suggested we're vulnerable at the back. I disagree. Yes, we didn't play our natural game for periods of the first half but that can happen when you're put under pressure.

We made a mistake that led to a goal, but we mustn't forget that we've dominated play in our opening three games - it takes time to adapt to new situations, regardless of how much preparation you put in during training.

FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

We adjusted, got back into our stride and settled things down, enjoying spells good possession at times. Playing between the lines and keeping things simple is what we're good at, and it was pleasing to see how the girls reacted from that early blip.

One thing I do know - the girls will watch it back, learn from where we went wrong and ensure that it doesn't happen again in future matches.

In a weird sort of way, this test was just what we needed. Not every game is going to be pretty and your strength and determination is bound to be tested at some point. But we gritted our teeth, got through it and can look forward to a quarter-final tie with France.


Players don't know whether to celebrate now and it's somewhat spoiling the occasion - we want passionate, impulsive reactions, rather than everybody standing around waiting.


Team selection wise, I think Lindsey Horan will come back into consideration for a starting role. Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis did a fantastic job in midfield, so it'll be a tough call for Jill Ellis to make - but Lindsey's qualities are obvious and there's every chance she'll be brought back into the team.

Everyone else is locked in for their spot, though I'm confident we'll see more of Carli Lloyd from the bench. Alex was a little isolated at times against Spain, and we've all seen what Carli can bring to the team. 


Her experience will be crucial from here and I think Jill will look to count on it a little more than she has so far.

The clash itself against France is a huge, huge game. Two powerhouse sides of this competition going head-to-head is exciting to see, and the game will feel more like the final itself - rather than a quarter-final.


Both teams will want to rise to the occasion and put on one hell of a spectacle for the amazing support out there - and I'm confident we'll deliver.

I would bank on England getting through to the semis, with tough games now coming thick and fast. The girls I know thrive on this kind of pressure, though, and they'll be pumped to take on these challenges.

To advance, the girls will need to go back to playing those quick defence splitting passes, getting Megan (Rapinoe), Kelley and Alex on the ball a bit more and building our confidence early on. If we do that, we'll hopefully put France under a bit of pressure and get some anxiety going in their game.

If we do that, things will open up for us to patiently unlock the door. We have big game players perfect for this kind of game, and we should have no fear heading into it.


You can't blame Spain for wanting to knock us off our game. They needed to disrupt our rhythm and one way of doing that is being aggressive.


In terms of France, I see no standout players to be worried about - but a cohesive, well-drilled unit who obviously have a lot of class. Similar to us, they embody characteristics that resemble more of a family, given their togetherness and understanding of one another. It's going to be tough, no doubt about it.

My real hope is that it's a good game that doesn't leave everybody talking about VAR. Decision after decision is being referred, and I understand that we're trying to get the right calls being made.

FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages

But four minute delays, referees second guessing themselves and generally disrupting the flow of the game isn't how soccer was meant to be played. Players don't know whether to celebrate now and it's somewhat spoiling the occasion - we want passionate, impulsive reactions, rather than everybody standing around waiting.

Let's hope that when the final whistle goes, we're talking about how good the soccer was, rather than the technology.

You May Like

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)