U.S. World Cup worries grow, draw with Saudis in last tuneup before opening
U.S. World Cup qualifying hopes took a major hit in one of the most unpredictable World Cup qualifying series in recent memory.
The U.S. women were eliminated from contention after a 7-0 loss to Denmark in a match in which they allowed 10 goals. The U.S. men had just one shot on goal and didn’t score in a 3-0 loss to England.
“We had a young program and a young group coming into camp,” U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis said on Wednesday. “I think there are some pieces there that need to be addressed.”
The U.S. opens the World Cup on July 13 at Seattle against Iceland. The U.S. men begin a three-match series with Panama on July 17.
Ellis, who has just three years to turn her roster into a contender, got off to a rocky start, starting a pair of friendlies on the road with a loss and a draw. They were followed by two home matches in which the U.S. women scored just six goals and allowed four, including one from the U.S. men, in a 2-0 loss to Sweden, and a 1-0 loss to Switzerland.
The U.S. men began their season with a 1-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago, and followed that with a 1-0 loss to Panama.
Ellis addressed the team in her first news conference since the loss to Denmark on Wednesday and said the U.S. was a “long ways away” from qualifying for the World Cup.
“It’s going to be a long way away,” she said. “We’re going to have a hard time making progress through this group of players. It’s going to be a challenge.”
The women’s national team head coach spoke about