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USWNT loses to Canada at Olympics, Atlanta United pursues Gonzalo Pineda, and more: Freedom Kicks for 8/3/2021

It was a tough, and strange, day for the USWNT in Japan

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USA v Canada: Women’s Football Semifinal - Olympics: Day 10 Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Good morning! I’ll try to move through what we’ve got to talk about quickly, which is to say I’ll try to not get bogged down in the USWNT news. Let’s get right into it:

Crew’s Artur out 10-12 weeks after sports hernia surgery | Massive Report
D.C. United won’t be seeing Artur tomorrow, as the Columbus Crew midfielder is officially out after sports hernia surgery.

Audi Field will be playing host to an El Salvador friendly against Venezuela later this month:

Report: Atlanta United requests permission to interview Sounders assistant Gonzalo Pineda for head coach job | Dirty South Soccer
The big MLS news yesterday saw Atlanta apparently approach Seattle about the possibility of having a chat with Gonzalo Pineda. It is interesting to see the Atlanta reaction feature a lot of “I don’t know, Seattle’s kinda boring” after two disastrous big-name international hires, but what do I know?

Atlanta United wants to interview Gonzalo Pineda for head coaching job, report says | Sounder at Heart
More on this news from the Seattle perspective.

VAR and heartbreak: the USWNT are out of the Gold medal match | All for XI
The USWNT will have to settle for bronze at best from the Tokyo Olympics after being shocked by Canada in a 1-0 loss. It’s only the fourth time in 62 meetings that Canada has beaten the U.S., and it happened despite Canada getting just one shot on goal in the entire game (which only came from a penalty kick that resulted from a VAR review from a play that initially looked innocuous).

It was a brutal loss, but it was also a really poor game of soccer all around. The nightmarish Olympic schedule is getting to the teams for sure, and the USWNT only gets today and tomorrow before they return to action in the bronze medal game on Thursday against Australia.

What’s gone wrong for the USWNT at the Olympics | The Athletic
More on the odd nature of this game, including a breakdown of the U.S. cycling through defensive structures in vain. It’s always a weird one when you play badly, but also dominate the game.

One key moment for both teams came when Alyssa Naeher injured her knee after a bad landing. It’s not that AD Franch had anything to do with the goal Canada conceded (Jessie Fleming’s penalty kick was top-tier), but rather the long delay while Naeher received treatment. Canada went from being in deep trouble to able to see the half out comfortably, effectively using the stoppage as a time-out.

In a way, this tough knee injury is actually good news, because initially, Naeher seemed to be checked out for an ACL tear. Hyperextension and bone bruise is a better outcome for her, but it’ll still mean she’s out for a while

USMNT Gold Cup triumph brings vindication for Gregg Berhalter |
Let’s finish with a look at this from Charles Boehm, which is about how Gregg Berhalter has focused on making sure the USMNT is consistently solid no matter what. With a jam-packed calendar this year, focusing on making sure the team doesn’t have slumps is proving to be a smart move.

Alright that’s all I’ve got. Let’s have fun out there!