Got any good “U.S. Soccer makes most of Leap Day” headlines that haven’t already been used?
Before the USMNT U-23’s defeated Mexico 2-0 and Clint Dempsey lifted the senior team to a historic 1-0 win over Italy, the USWNT kicked off the program’s winning ways. The side continued its scintillating form with a 5-0 win over Denmark in the opening day of the 2012 Algarve Cup (highlights).
Kevin has a first-person account in the post below, and also beamed over some video.
The USWNT’s woman of the hour, Alex Morgan, greets the press:
And Pia Sundhage dishes on the team’s huge victory:
Two notes: Forget rising star, Alex Morgan is a bona fide supernova. The 22 year-old collected her third brace in as many games and has now scored eight goals in her last six matches. Fortunately, a spread in the SI Swimsuit Edition doesn’t appear to come with a Madden-like curse.
Also, as commenter Joshua pointed out below, Denmark are no slouches. The Danes lead their group in Euro 2013 qualifying by five points and have yet to concede a goal. The 5-0 stomping is their heaviest defeat in tournament play since the 2006 Algarve Cup.
The day’s other results weren’t as lopsided. In fact, all five were decided by one-goal margins.
As Kevin also touched upon, Germany defeated Iceland 1-0 with an Anja Mittag goal (highlights). Mittag’s former teammate Antonia Göransson helped Sweden edge past China 1-0. According to this article, China failed to kick start its attack until the match was all but over. The former international powerhouses are seemingly trying to replicate Japan’s possession-heavy style of play.
Speaking of which, the reigning world champions suffered a scare in the first match of the day. The Nadeshiko needed to overcome a one-goal deficit against Norway and did so, winning 2-1 (highlights).
In the Group C matches, Wales found the game winning goal in added time to defeat hosts Portugal 1-0. Hungary needed exactly 90 minutes fewer to find its goal. They beat Ireland, yup, 1-0.
There’ll be another generous helping of women’s football tomorrow with day two of the Cyprus Cup.
England vanquished Finland 3-1 on Monday and will look to make it two-for-two against Switzerland. France will also hope to prolong its win streak when Les Bleues meet the Finns.
Canada mauled Scotland 5-1 in its first match of the tournament. Big Red will face Italy on Thursday, who tasted defeat against the Netherlands two days prior. Scotland will try its luck against the Oranje. Lastly, Northern Ireland will try to rebound against South Korea while New Zealand – 2-0 winners against Northern Ireland in the first game – faces South Africa.
The U.S. U-23’s will close out the Four Nations tournament in Spain against Norway on Thursday. Randy Waldrum’s side will look to recover from its loss against England on Tuesday.