You know it’s full swing of summer, when you have your international tournaments going. Right now, we got four going on, Women’s World Cup, Copa America, Gold Cup, and Euro u21 Finals, all kicking off right now. This is the most abundant summer I can remember in awhile.
Womens World Cup-
USA are looking dominant, but with already three world cups, nobody expected anything less coming into France in 2019. Jill Ellis and Her Ladies are off to a flying start, including a 13-0 win over Thailand, followed up with a solid 3-0 performance over Chile. Fine tuning for the knockout rounds is needed, as anything short of the Championship at this point, seems like a failure.
France made a statement from the opening match, and have looked one of the better teams to take home the World Cup. Wendie Renard scored 2 goals in the opener off corners, and let it be known to the world who she was. The Defender from Lyon has bossed every match, even the own goal she put in, was a strikers touch at the far post. Credit where credit is due. Le Sommer has been clinical up top, and just what this French team needed. Goals in back to back matches, she’ll be looking to carry that momentum into the knockout rounds.
The Italians are having the time of their lives. After having 2 wins in 2, and the possibility of placing top of the group that some would say they shouldn’t, incredible. Cristiana Girelli, hat trick hero. Playing Marta and Brazil in the last knockout match should set the expectations going forward. A win would set them up at the top of the group, where as a loss could see them third, depending on how Australia fair in their match.
Spain have advanced into the knockout rounds for their first time, after winning their first match this tournament too. Jenni Hermoso is an absolute baller for Spain, and has been their best player this far. She’s been everywhere, including dropping deep and finding her teammates in just about every aspect she can. The Spaniard way is throughly on display for this team. Dominant in possession, and great touches on the ball in tight spaces. Mapi León has been one of the better passers out of the back for Spain, and if Spain play the US in the next round, that will be crucial in breaking down that high press.
Argentina got off to a very rough start, getting a beating from Colombia in their opener. Franco Armani is considered the best goalkeeper in Argentina, obviously, and it’s hard for me to agree with that. Sergio Romero is a solid goalkeeper, and doesn’t get a Call up. Gerónimo Rulli is a fantastic young keeper for Real Sociedad, and didn’t get a call up. Agustín Marchesín is probably the best goalkeeper on this squad, and he might not got a match. Solid performances consistently for América in Mexico, as pointed out by Christian in “Inside The Area” podcast, this mans fantastic. He needs to be between the sticks. Armani has a few dodgy moments in him, a match. Especially with his distribution out of the back. Step 1 with Argentina, goalkeeping change.
Messi is not getting his service from midfield, and it’s going to be the end of this team. Lo Celso was underwhelming in his performance, but was caught out of position a lot. Something that came from his partnership with Guido. The dynamics weren’t correct, but Paredes was incredible for Argentina. The Number 5 was every where. Passes were precise and he lead the match with passes in 56. Lo Celso and Paredes works, and just need a third. Di Maria was out of sorts, and probably won’t see a full 90’ this Copa. How Dybala didn’t get any minutes, or is yet to receive any minutes, is totally beyond me. Free Dybala. Argentina have Paraguay in their next match, and Miguel Almirón isn’t a forgiving player on the counter. Argentina could catch themselves in a tough match again, and will need the bench to bail them out. Scaloni will have some tough decisions to make, if they want to bring this home to Argentina.
Brazil simply are a better team without Neymar. They are more fluid and they have more of a link to them. Coutinho is a different player for Brazil and it’s obvious he’s hurting at Barcelona. Not emotionally maybe, but in their playing style. Richarlison and Neres are constant threats going forward, and they keep the pitch stretched for Coutinho so slide underneath. Something Neymar and Willian tend to take away from as wingers, due to always wanting to cut inside, and this allows Coutinho to be a free bird. It’s beautiful. Big Match Bobby Firmino is an outstanding link up player for the three, and he will get the goals going forward. With Casemiro and Fernandinho sitting behind the attack, or Allan to come off the bench and help. You need some extra passing, Paquetá and Arthur got you covered. Brazil is set from top to bottom, and are considerably better without their best player on the pitch. The Match Up against Venezuela will test just how well they can rotate this squad.
José Paolo Guerrero
Peru are always a team to watch, for this exact reason. One fo my favorite players to watch, especially when they play for their country. A man that truly sacrifices it all on the pitch, and shouldn’t be given the title as striker, but as warrior. Peru are always a fun team to watch, as passion is what drives them. The fans, the culture, the players, I can’t say enough, but it’s one of my favorite teams to watch. Peru are a solid sleeper team, with Jefferson Farfán and Guerrero, they could make an upset in the knockout rounds if they progress. Guerrero can do it, and Peru can too. My sleeper team to possibly win Copa.
USMNT need to not compete with Mexico, every time they put up a decent score. I know it’s inevitable with comparison, but Mexico is farther ahead than you are. You have to live with the results as they come, and if you lose to Guyana, no comparison in the world can save your ass.