USWNT vs. France score, takeaways: USA loses to World Cup hosts 3-1 in friendly
It wasn't a great performance but it's hardly concerning
The United States women's national team lost its first game of 2019 on Saturday, falling 3-1 at World Cup host France in Le Havre. Fielding a team that was close to full strength, Jill Ellis' team was outclassed for a good portion of the game and just couldn't get into a rhythm when it came to creating in attack. Mallory Pugh scored the lone goal for the Americans when the score was already 3-0. Here's what to know:
No need to worry based on one result
Look, it's a friendly. The result means so little. The men's national team beat Germany before the 2014 World Cup, and that didn't mean they were the best thing since sliced bread. It's a friendly on the road without Julie Ertz, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe -- who you can argue are the three most important important players for the team this summer. It wasn't a great showing, but without a full squad you can't be too conclusive. This team is the reigning world champ and ranked No. 1 in the world for a reason.
There was no stopping France's second goal
You have to give credit to France. They were efficient, with nine of their 14 shots going on frame. And the second goal, which came from Kadidiatou Diani, was outstanding. Look at this finish:
The 23-year-old PSG star has the potential to be one of the world's best, and goals like that are why.
The U.S. may get its shot at revenge in World Cup semis
With France being in Group A this summer at the 2019 Women's World Cup and the U.S. in Group F, both are expected to win their groups comfortably. France has No. 13 Norway, No. 14 North Korea and No. 39 Nigeria, and it's hard to see how this team doesn't finish first, especially at home.
The U.S. has No. 9 Sweden, No. 29 Thailand and No. 38 Chile, with the Swedes being the only potential threat. Remember, Sweden knocked the U.S. out of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. But, the expectations is still for the U.S. to win. If France and USA both win their groups, they would be on the same side of the knockout stage bracket, meaning they couldn't meet in the final. They would potentially meet in the semifinals if they make it there, in what would be the matchup of the tournament -- the hosts against the champs, and a rematch from Saturday.
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