The USWNT and Coach Pia Sundhage are settled in China (Qinhuangdao to be exact) training and doing a little touring, as you can see.
The WNT Blog is proving to be a very entertaining source of information for USWNT aficionados. Check it out. It’s often updated these days, as the team settles in and gets ready for their 8/6/08 opening game against Norway.
Here’s Grant Wahl’s take on this team and its chances … and some interesting, brief reflections by a couple of players on the team’s evolution. This is the first place where I’ve read, so clearly stated, how they felt about the old Greg Ryan “boom ball” style of play. Speaking of Greg Ryan … nah, forget it.
From the USSF site, here is a recent interview with USWNT coach Pia Sundhage. Her comments on losing Abby Wambach a few days before the USA left for China:
“As you know, she is a great player. It’s like Brazil losing Marta or Germany losing (Birgit) Prinz. However, when I started here in December we talked about the team. And I’ve said it many times in many different ways, it’s not about one player or one coach, it’s about the team. So the way we’ve prepared for the Olympics, it’s a little bit easier to adjust. We will adjust the attack because Abby is not here and of course she is a great presence, but I think the team has to respond. We are well prepared even though we don’t have Abby Wambach. There is a great spirit in this team and everyone is looking forward to the games.
“I think everyone will step up a little bit, that counts for the players and coaching staff. It would be foolish just to move on and not recognize she’s gone. But at the same time, we can’t put too much emphasis on Abby Wambach, even though she is a star. We will put the emphasis on the team.”
Well said, Pia!