The United States women's soccer team has returned to training after playing North Korea to a 2-2 draw on Tuesday at the Women's World Cup in China. VOA's Jim Stevenson has this update on the team's preparations in Chengdu.
The U.S. women had a light practice as rain continued to fall in the Chengdu area. After a physical Group B game with North Korea, players were using the time to rest and recover for a game on Friday against Sweden, the 2003 World Cup runner-up.
U.S. coach Greg Ryan was pleased with the way his team dug in to salvage the opening game draw. He singled out forward Abby Wambach, who played much of the second half with stitches in her head following a brutal on-field collision.
"She is as brave as a lion," he said. "And she leads our team. We were down a goal yesterday. She comes back on the field, [with] blood on her head, blood on her shirt. And just gives everything she has. I think she is really the heart and soul of this team."
Wambach says the team has to work harder when it is suddenly missing a player and is not at full strength.
"It is just part of the game. It is one of those things that happens, unfortunately," she noted. "Playing a man down was hard on our team. We conceded two goals. And that is just something we have to get better at as a team. If we go down a man, we have got to be able to prepare to switch it up quicker and better."
Meanwhile in Group C play in Hongzhou, Australia topped Ghana, 4-1. Norway rallied to beat Canada, 2-1. In Wuhan, Brazil thrashed New Zealand, 5-0. The other Group D match saw host China edge Denmark, 3-2.
The 16-nation tournament concludes September 30 in Shanghai.