After the devastation of the 2003 Women's World Cup, we were forced to evaluate just why we lost to Germany in the semifinals. Clearly, the header by Garefrekes was a low percentage goal, and the two penalty kicks in the second half not called by the Canadian referee made it difficult for us to succeed on that day. Having said that, we created enough chances to succeed but didn't. With the collapse of the WUSA as a daily training ground for our players, U.S. Soccer put the team into a residency program. This investment in our player and team development allowed us to put our future into our hands (and feet). Below are two lists: "things we did well" and "things to improve upon" from our analysis of the USA's performances in the Women's World Cup '03.
Any sports psychologist will tell you that you are more likely to make greater improvement in areas of strength than areas of weakness. Hence, we spent a great deal of time during residency working on BOTH and especially the areas we felt could contribute to great attacking success in the Olympics. And what soccer player wouldn't enjoy working on predominantly "attacking" themes? From these lists, the coaching staff outlined areas of focus in training throughout the year. Simultaneously, the players created goals they would like to focus on in training (process goals) that would be measured (outcome goals) during games. As a result, we had a myopic focus on the areas we could control so that the margin isn't so thin. What follows are our 2004 Goals and Results, as established and recorded during games by the players or after games by the staff.
Ten Measurable Goals