TOKYO (AFP) – Kristen Press is showing restraint during these Olympics, by design.
The United States women’s football team advanced to the quarter-finals in Japan. But the generally ruthless Americans took a different approach after losing exceptionally to Sweden in the opener.
The United States advanced to second in their group for the quarter-finals thanks to a goalless draw against Australia. After that, the players said it was part of the plan to sit down and prepare for the round of 16.
In other words, they are playing the long game.
The Americans will face the Netherlands in Yokohama on Friday, their opponents for the 2019 World Cup final in France.
The press, one of the team’s most dangerous assets in recent times, has admitted the reality of playing league football.
“This tournament is really tough with the number of matches you have to play without a certain number of days between the other tournaments. And I think with that there has to be a tactical shift in the way we handle it. “At the end of the day, when the team is at their best, we don’t give in and we fight. . And even in the game against Australia, we could have been more on the clock and missed some chances and we could have thought about that very differently.
The reporter has scored six goals and five assists so far this year, including one in Team USA’s 6-1 win over New Zealand in the group stage.
The United States, battling for their fifth gold at these Olympics, lost 3-0 in Sweden’s opener after 44 straight games unbeaten. The Americans have been closed for two games in Japan – the last time they didn’t score in a game was in 2017.
“We expect to see a different American team as the stakes rise,” Press said.
“I think you’ve seen us use different tactics in the group stage in the last three games. We are now in the knockout stage and I think it will be very different. “” I think the team is really hungry. The group stage made us feel that we had more to offer.
It helps that the United States have already beaten the Netherlands, both for the World Cup title and in a friendly last November. The two scorers were 2-0.
“I think the Dutch have a very clear style of play and are loyal to it. And I think when they won the European Championship and reached the World Cup final it was new to them, ”the press said.“ The biggest difference is that they’ve been on top since then. years now and it looks a little different, they’re a little more experienced. “
Press, who made their national team debut in 2013, has scored 65 goals in 152 games. Among Stanford notables who won the MAC Hermann Cup as the country’s top college football player as a senior, Press has played for clubs in Sweden and for stints in the National Women’s Football League.
She played with Manchester United in the Women’s Premier League last season, joining a number of players who have traveled overseas as the coronavirus limited opportunities to play in the United States.
This is the second Olympic Games for the press. The first game ended in disappointment when the United States beat Sweden in the quarter-finals in 2016.
She doesn’t expect the same fate on Friday.
“I think we know what kind of team we are. And as a crime, we know what kind of offense we are. We have a way of playing. We have a way of scoring goals. It’s been a success for years, ”she says. noted. Our job is to be on the pitch tomorrow and to be this team and not to think about the last game or the group stage at all because we have a great chance. “
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