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Is benching Alex Morgan a completely crazy idea?

The Cooligans preview the USWNT’s critical matchup against Portugal.

The USWNT closes out group play at 3 a.m. ET on Tuesday against Portugal in a game where the team NEEDS a result.

Alexis says if the U.S. loses to Portugal it would be the biggest catastrophe in the World Cup. When considering knockout round scenarios, Christian points out that the U.S. also has to keep in mind its goal differential compared to the Netherlands, against whom the USWNT played to a draw last week. The USWNT has a two-goal buffer, but Christian says you have to figure that the Netherlands will go all out against Vietnam, which has yet to score a goal in the tournament.

Focusing on the USWNT matchup against Portugal, the Cooligans talk about some of the criticism Vlatko Andonovski has been taking on, not only from comedians with podcasts but from players as well. Christian points out the interesting wrinkle that a number of active USWNT players have their own podcasts and are opining on the fact Vlatko made no subs. He says there is an interesting balance of the players wanting to be critical and share their opinion while at the same time still wanting to make the team.

They also talked about Vlatko noting he was drowning out the noise. One thing Christian said he hated about the press conference was when he noted that Rose Lavelle really made a difference when she came into the game.

“BRO, so you know that substitutes can make a difference, right?” he asked, laughing. And Alexis chimed in to remind Vlatko that Rose is not the only one on the bench. Alexis compared it to fighting someone and them asking you afterward why you didn’t use your right hand because you could have rocked them with that.

Speaking of the lineup, the guys take a look at the lineup and get around to Charlie Davies’ suggestion that Alex Morgan should actually be BENCHED.

Christian, shockingly, doesn’t think Charlie’s suggestion was that crazy. Alexis wants to know if Christian would tell Alex Morgan that she is not starting in this game and how thick of a bullet-proof glass would he want to be behind while he did it. Christian said it is not the decision he would make, but he didn’t think it was crazy to make the suggestion. If Davies was the eccentric coach of the team and wanted to mix things up, he would be able to see why he would want to try something else based on the performances.

Alexis points out, however, that isn’t it smarter to start Morgan and then, if they’re up big, to sit her down in the second half? Alexis says that you would hope that if Alex Morgan is in the USWNT is playing at its best as she is part of the team’s best 11. Christian agrees that it is smarter, but he doesn’t think it’s stupid to not start her. Alexis is adamant that it is, in fact, stupid. Alexis says on the scale of smart (1) to stupid (100) this is somewhere in the 80s. Christian says he thinks it is somewhere in the low 60s, to which Alexis reminds him that Morgan is ONE OF THE CO-CAPTAINS! Christian says, hey don’t argue with me, argue with Charlie.

Meanwhile, don’t fret, the World Cup may feel like slipping through our fingers, but there is still plenty more to come and The Cooligans will be there to talk about it all!

Want to hear more from the Cooligans? Check out the full episode, which includes expanded thoughts on the Women’s World Cup!


Should the USWNT be more afraid of Japan or Spain?

  • Many fans were expecting Japan vs. Spain to be one of the best matches of the Women’s World Cup group stage, but no one could have predicted how it would turn out! Christian and Alexis break down Japan’s 4-0 drubbing of La Roja and ask if the result should change the betting odds for the rest of the tournament. We also debate which of these two sides will pose a bigger threat to the USWNT before previewing their must-win clash with Portugal.

Watch more below!


Be sure to check out every episode of The Cooligans on their official YouTube channel and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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