The United States Women's National Team cruised to victory at the 2013 Algarve Cup—beating Germany 2-0 thanks to a brace from star Alex Morgan.
Nobody was surprised at the result in the slightest.
After all, the USWNT had come into the prestigious women's football tournament as the heavy favorites to emerge triumphant. They had narrowly lost in the semifinals last year courtesy of a late Japanese goal, but had since won the 2012 London Olympics tournament. They established their status as the top dog in women's international football in the process.
With a crushing victory here, the United States once again confirmed themselves to be the best in the world—like the FIFA rankings attest to.
Yet having watched the win, one must wonder whether the USWNT is now monopolizing women's international football to some extent. They did, after all, completely dominate their opponents in this one and probably should have finished with four or five goals to their name in this game.
It wasn't like the United States were incredibly brilliant or ruthless either. They allowed Germany far too much space with the ball and weren't clinical with their attack. Morgan's opening goal of the game was perhaps a rare highlight in that regard.
Due to Germany's poor play and cohesion this was a relatively comfortable victory for the United States—much like it had been all tournament for them.
The European powerhouse—ranked as the second-best team in world football, mind you—simply had no answers to whatever the USWNT threw at them here. Germany, from the moment Morgan scored her opening goal, were never going to emerge victorious from the final.
What the final showed, and what the entire 2013 Algarve Cup showed, was that the United States is head-and-shoulders clear of the rest of the field in international women's football. They are the team to catch and there is nobody else close to them at the moment.
The talent gap between the top two sides in world football, as shown in this tournament, is huge. It could well make for a U.S. hegemony for some time to come.
U.S. Soccer WNT @ussoccer_wnt
Check that: 41 goals now for Morgan. One of just 12 U.S. women to score 40 or more int'l goals. #40 and #41 come in her 63rd career game.3/13/2013, 5:41:50 PM
Having said that, it must be recognized that some countries did bring seriously weakened squads, with plenty of youngsters given the chance to shine. Yet if that was the case, watching the "future" of German football running around against the "future" of American football showed the same thing.
There is a talent gap in international women's football between the United States and the rest of the world, and it doesn't look like it's going away.
It isn't necessarily a bad thing, for it could well create a spectacular atmosphere amongst other nations trying to catch the U.S., as well as the Americans continuing to try to prove they are the best.
When it comes to international tournaments that are already struggling to gather any real interest or spectators, perhaps it won't be such a good thing after all.
Time will surely tell.
What do you make of the United States' dominance at the Algarve Cup?
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