The US Women’s National Team closes out group play on Tuesday with their 11:15 am match against North Korea (on NBC Sports). St Louis native Becky Sauerbrunn has yet to see playing time at the Olympics. Will she get in on Tuesday?
The US WNT has two wins under their belt and lead the group but the team remembers their World Cup 2011 experience when they didn’t close things out properly and ended up facing a tough Brazil team in the first stage of the knockout round. They would like to avoid that experience here and will be focused on winning. The Korean’s still have a chance to move on as a wild card, thus setting up a tough match.
There is another factor in play. Center back Rachel Buehler has been the focus of some negative comments by Brandi Chastain regarding her defensive efforts. That led to the Twitter storm that Hope Solo set off. Sauerbrunn’s favored position is central defense and she has a number of fans, including Ives Galarcep who noted in June
Sundhage may have to think about replacing Buehler with Becky Sauerbrunn, who has been impressive in recent matches.
Will Sundhage give Sauerbrunn her opportunity on Tuesday with a start? Or will she be a substitute so that the Coach doesn’t appear to be bending to media pressure?
For Sauerbrunn fans, I hope you are following her Olympic adventure at Pitchside Report where she has 3 stories to date – Report 1 as the team departed for Great Britain, Report 2 with her FAQ’s, and Report 3 yesterday prior to the game and controversy.
There’s also a Tumblr dedicated to Becky