The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) is facing a significant crossroads after their deeply disappointing performance in the recent World Cup. Former soccer star and now analyst, Taylor Twellman, believes that if the team doesn’t make changes, they risk being left behind by the rest of the world. Twellman didn’t hold back in his critique of the team’s performance, particularly their shocking loss to Sweden in Melbourne, Australia, and their overall display throughout the tournament. The 43-year-old emphasized that the team was completely outperformed in technical and tactical aspects, which was evident to all who watched.
Twellman argues that the USWNT’s inability to score a goal in 238 minutes is an inexplicable failure for the number one nation in the world. This World Cup serves as a watershed moment for the team. The USWNT, known for their dominance in women’s soccer, was looking to make history by winning three consecutive World Cups. However, they fell short of this achievement after beating Vietnam but only managing to tie both Portugal and the Netherlands. These lackluster performances meant the team just scraped into the knockout round of 16, where they ultimately lost to Sweden on penalty kicks.
To address these issues, Twellman believes that a comprehensive evaluation of the entire system is necessary. The United States Federation on the women’s side must assess player development, collegiate soccer programs, and the professional leagues. Twellman questions whether the current development pathways are effective in producing technically skilled players or if the focus is solely on physical attributes like size and speed. He argues that this approach is no longer sufficient in an evolving global landscape and needs to change.
Twellman highlights that this World Cup has exposed the failure of the United States women to develop adequately. He suggests that the current generation did not uphold the winning mentality, prioritizing other factors over victory. This criticism aligns with U.S. soccer legend Carli Lloyd’s recent comments that the team was too quick to celebrate despite underwhelming performances. The World Cup provided evidence supporting Lloyd’s opinion, according to Twellman.
While the focus is on the World Cup, Twellman also shared his insights on Lionel Messi’s performance with Inter Miami. As Apple’s top soccer analyst, he acknowledges Messi’s incredible skills but points out that Inter Miami is currently the worst team in the Major League Soccer regular season. Despite this, Twellman believes that with Messi in the team, they have the potential to reach the final. However, he cautions that the semifinals and finals will be challenging if they progress past the quarterfinals.
The U.S. Women’s National Team faces a critical moment following their disappointing World Cup performance. Changes are necessary across the entire system, from player development to the collegiate and professional levels. The team must prioritize technical skills rather than relying solely on physical attributes. Additionally, the winning mentality that has characterized the USWNT’s success needs to be reinstated. To regain their dominance in women’s soccer, the team must take a hard look at their shortcomings and learn from this World Cup experience. Only through introspection and adaptability can the USWNT reclaim their position at the forefront of women’s soccer on the global stage.