U.S. Women’s Soccer: Are you worried about getting eliminated in the round of 16?

U.S. World Cup worries grow, draw with Saudis in last tuneup before final

Sunday

Sep 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

By Mark SloaneSports Writer

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. women’s national soccer team entered this World Cup with the least experience among the finalists. It’s been a big year for the U.S. women, at least on the pitch. The U.S. has gone through a lot of ups and downs this year, not only with injuries and suspensions but also on the international stage. It was hardly a perfect 12 months for the national team, but the U.S. came up with a strong 1-0 victory over Thailand on Sunday, a result that sent the U.S. through to the knockout round, where it will meet either France or Germany in the round of 16.Before the two games in the U.S.’s last tuneup before the tournament, we asked a couple of questions to the U.S. women. We posed some questions, including, “Are you concerned about getting eliminated in the round of 16, or not?” The answers came in waves. Some of them were positive, like “It’s exciting, but I’m not worried, because we have the right group of players” and “We’re in a very strong position, but it’s still going to be an obstacle to our goal.” Other answers were about more tangible concerns, though. Like the concern that the women will be nervous and uncomfortable playing against a powerful Brazil team that also went through a training camp without its center-back-player-of-the-year. Or the worry that if the U.S. women lose the opening game — which it would if the U.S. loses to a team like France or Germany — it will be easy for the women to get swept up in the euphoria and then not have enough time to grieve before the game against Germany or France. Or even the concern that the U.S. women won’t be able to finish any better that the USA’s best performance at the World Cup, a 0-0 draw with Thailand. “We need to be better than that to get to where we want to

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