“The second 45, again, you saw the difference between a team at it’s peak, very mature and battle hardened against our team, in the very early stages of its preparation.” 


Truer words were never spoken.  6-2 isn't the true differential between the US Women's National Team and Australia but it did highlight a number of things.  Here are our five thoughts.

First the good, oh there is plenty of time for what went wrong.

Lisa De Vanna

Lisa De Vanna is back!  While she was an important part of the World Cup squad last year, it's fair to say she wasn't at her dynamic, goalscoring best.  Against the US, the best team in the world, she carved up their defence time and again.

We can wax lyrical about her, and we did in our Game One report, but the brillance of performances in this two game series is best summed by a spectator at the stadium; "Wow, I've never seen Solo completely beaten twice by the same player."

Kinda brought a smile to our face.

The kids are alright

There were many reasons for this series against the United States; playing a class outfit, finding out where Australia is in the scheme of things three years out from the next World Cup, an excuse for Ann to stalk, err follow, the Matildas...again.  However, arguably the most important was to see the quality of the youth. And for a good 105 minutes of 180, the kids showed that not only can they hold their own, they can win their position. 

Brianna Davey in goals, Caitlin Foord at right fullback, Teigen Allen in defensive midfield and, at left fullback, Steph Catley was a revelation.  Most encouraging were the performances of Foord and Allen because they are not stagnating as can happen with players brought in early. 

Sarah Walsh

You can not overestimate how much Sarah Walsh will be missed from the Matildas set up.  Funny, irreverrent, sweet, nurturing, dedicated, professional...Walsh is all that and much more.

A goal has never been more celebrated by Matildas fans (and a few Americans, you know who you are), and as befitting of Walshy, her celebration earned her a yellow card! The esteem she is held in by other teams was evidenced in the ovation she received by the US in being substituted. 

In keeping with the measure of the person, Walsh has quickly passed on the famous #9 (worn by Alicia Ferguson and Julie Murray just to name a few) to Caitlin Foord. We are sure Caitlin will do the number proud.  

We will miss you Walshy!

Interview with Sarah Walsh

Okay, now the bad (you can look away now if you want)

Sermanni said post match that “We’ve got to take one step away from the actual match results and look at the overall benefits received from this tour.” Well this is what we've learnt.

Concentrate, Concentrate and...wait for it...Concentrate

Two goals were conceded from set pieces. Two defendable goals.  Yes, Megan Rapinoe's whipping, dipping crosses are superb (damn her) but Shannon Boxx (on the corner) and Sydney Leroux (from the free kick) should not be getting those free headers with defenders in the area.  

Some-one is not tracking and that is a question of organisation and concentration. Being switched on. Remaining alert to the danger.  You can maybe get away with it against lower ranked teams but the top teams will punish you and last night they did.  It's a rough way to learn a lesson but better it's in a friendly than the quarter finals of a World Cup. 

Fitness and Strength

The scary thought is that last night is not even the level of fitness and strength required to win a World Cup or gold medal.  The USA are weeks off their peak but they were still head and shoulders above in terms of strength, conditioning and match fitness.

The sharp drop in the second halves also demonstrated just how important games, quality games, are. It's no coincedence Lisa De Vanna was our best player. She has being playing virtually non-stop since the World Cup and heads back to play on Saturday in Sweden!

Coming into that match the USA had played between 20-25 matches this year. Australia's total? Four,  Yep, four matches.  That's just not going to cut and, to be brutally honest, to get that many games in the lead up to the Asian Cup and World Cup will do a huge diservice to the calibre of players Australia have.