Consistent with their play in the build-up to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, the United States women have looked respectable, but have started slow North Korea, as expected, have been no pushovers, holding strong in defense and forcing the U.S. defense and Hope Solo into some work. The game has been a back and forth affair with neither team keeping possession or creating clear cut chances so far, and the score is 0-0 at halftime as a result.
Pia Sundhage's decision to start a true striker, Lauren Cheney on the left side of midfield instead of Megan Rapinoe has had its successes and drawbacks. Cheney has been able to get a couple of good shots off, but she's not the tricky, technical winger that Rapinoe is. With Rapinoe in the lineup, there's a good chance that the United States would be doing a better job of getting crosses into the box for Abby Wambach to get onto.
Set piece delivery has been substandard as well, an area that Rapinoe would certainly help. One player that has struggled for the United States is Amy Rodriguez, and it might be a good idea to bring Rapinoe in for Rodriguez, moving Cheney up top.