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#pounditThursday, December 7, 2023

Soccer analyst identifies video that shows where USWNT went wrong

USWNT dancing

The United States women’s soccer team was eliminated from the FIFA World Cup early Sunday against Sweden on penalty kicks. The Round of 16 loss sealed the USWNT’s worst-ever World Cup campaign, and left many questioning where the team went wrong.

Former ESPN and current Apple soccer analyst Taylor Twellman had at least one idea. He pointed to a video of Megan Rapinoe and several teammates casually dancing prior to last week’s group stage draw against Portugal, giving off the impression that the game itself was not being taken seriously. Twellman said the video served as “bulletin board material” for any opponent, hinting that it pointed to a mentality issue within the team.

Twellman is hardly the only one to suggest that this sort of thing was an issue. Team USA looked underwhelming during the group stage, drawing against The Netherlands and Portugal and only narrowly avoiding elimination in the latter game. Despite the on-field struggles, players seemed to shrug them off and even danced and smiled after the 0-0 draw with Portugal. Carli Lloyd, a former national team star turned FOX Sports analyst, was sharply critical of that attitude, saying opponents could “see the arrogance” in Team USA and did not fear them anymore.

The USWNT came into the tournament with much fanfare, having won the last two World Cups and were heavy favorites to make it three in a row. Some felt that they bought into their own hype too much, and Twellman seems to agree with that.


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