Written By Dylan Manfre
JERUSALEM — USA women’s soccer Open Division head coach Jeff Katz does have some previous Maccabi experience. Now he can add a shutout win in the 21st Maccabiah to his resume.
USA defeated Brazil getting its first victory of the Maccabiah, 3-0 at Bayit VeGan field in front of a mix of Brazil and USA fans.
Midfielder Rachel Dallet, a senior at the University of Wisconsin, netted goals in the seventh and 46th minutes. Forward Taylor Cohen, an alumna of Washington University. St. Louis, had the second goal of the match; a header assisted by Shayna Salis.
“Coming into the first game blind, We didn’t know what they were going to do,” Head Coach Jeff Katz said. “We expected Brazil to be a hard physical team which is why it was important to keep the ball moving.”
Communicating the passing lanes was key to facilitating the early goals and keeping the ball in Brazil’s territory for the majority of the first half. Dallet rated it a seven out of 10.
“We’ve only played with each other for a week now which is crazy to bring that all together in a week,” Dallet said. “I think we work really well together and everyone is on the same page.”
Dallet’s early goal in the second half was the result of a formation change from Brazil which played into the hands of the United States.
“Just after half a couple of us said ‘Are they switching to a 4-3-3 (formation)? That wouldn’t be good — for them,’” Katz said. “That’s why you saw Rachel immediately be able to cut inside and unleash that shot.”
He viewed it as a “fun challenge” because it helped keep the U.S. loose and ready to combat what Brazil threw at them.
The U.S. has a few days off of live game action before its contest against Argentina on July 18 at Bayit VeGan field and it will use the downtime to work on communicating and locking down its strategy.