2011 FIFA Women's World Cup: 4 Overrated Storylines at the Tournament

Neri Stein@neristeinFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2011

SHANGHAI, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 30:  The German team celebrate victory on the podium after winning the Women's World Cup 2007 Final match between Brazil and Germany at the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium September 30, 2007 in Shanghai, China.(Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
Feng Li/Getty Images

The Women's World Cup is like any other tournament or sporting event. We go in with certain expectations that will undoubtedly fall short.

The best player or team doesn't perform as well as they normally do and are usurped by the smaller teams who are riding a wave of good form and luck.  

This summer's World Cup in Germany in no different. This time, however, it's been teams that have disappointed more so than individuals.  

Here are four players, teams or factors that, so far, have been a bit overrated. 

1. Germany

Can it be? Germany, the favorites, overrated? Given their performance in the first two matches, yes.

The two-time defending champions and hosts have won their first two games by just a combined 3-1 and are now in real danger of finishing second in Group A.

Captain Birgit Prinz, the three-time World Player of the Year, the World Cup's all-time leading scorer with 14 goals in five World Cups, with her 128 international goals, has been particularly underwhelming.

So much so that she's been substituted early in the second half of each of Germany's games and could lose her starting spot for the deciding third game against France on Tuesday.

As a whole, Germany's backline has looked rocky, and the finishing has not been solid. The Germans aren't in total crisis yet, but they're playing it awfully close.

2. Canada, minus Christine Sinclair

Canada will be heading home after the group stages this summer after losing both of its opening group matches by a scoreline of 6-1.

This after they qualified thanks to winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup last year without conceding a goal. 

Christine Sinclair was the one spark in an overall flat display by the Canadians. The defense especially was not convincing, and the 4-0 thrashing by France actually flattered the Canadians. 

3. Hope Solo's shoulder injury

The US goalkeeper had major shoulder surgery on her right shoulder nine months ago, and everyone was wondering how it would affect her. Solo herself said she didn't have as much reach as she'd have liked before the US's first game against North Korea.

That was a load of crap.

Solo didn't need to make any diving stops against North Korea, but she looked just fine in her saves, particularly those from close range.

She made just one difficult save against Colombia Saturday in which she dove to her right to block a shot from Orianica Velasquez that was likely going wide anyway.

It was a good test for Solo, and she looked just fine. Solo said herself after the game she felt great and that she was peaking at just the right time.

4. Abby Wambach's goal drought

US forward Abby Wambach has scored just one goal this calendar year, and on another day, she would've had at least four against Colombia. 

Without Wambach's scoring touch, the US have still scored five goals in its first two games, from five different players no less. 

Wambach assisted on Lauren Cheney's goal against North Korea, Team USA's first of the tournament. 

Abby has gotten in good positions and looks hungry for a goal; she just hasn't had any luck. But all that matters to the US and Abby is that the team is winning. 

Zero goals in six games and a World Cup winner's medal would suit Abby just fine.

For all of your news and updates on the road to the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, stay tuned to Bleacher Report.


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