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Alex Morgan: USWNT must be ‘more decisive’ against Netherlands

Alex Morgan takes a penalty kick during the USWNT's group-stage match against Vietnam on July 22. (Carmen Mandato/USSF/Getty Images )

Alex Morgan wants to see the U.S. women’s national team be a little more locked in during its next World Cup game against the Netherlands at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday.

In the team’s 3-0 win over Vietnam, the USWNT had “glimpses” of potential, the veteran striker said. But players “weren’t always clicking on the field.”

“I feel like some of the plays that we had were a little forced or rushed,” she said during Tuesday’s news conference. “So I think it’s having a little more patience, switching a little bit more, having our movements be a little more synchronized. And so I think we’re looking to apply that for this next game and moving forward.”

Following the team’s World Cup-opening win against Vietnam, head coach Vlatko Andonovski cited nerves as one of the reasons that the team missed several good looks. He also noted that he was encouraged by the play of several USWNT stars, including World Cup newcomer Sophia Smith.

“I’m sure the nerves had something to do with it,” he said. “I’m not worried about it. We’re actually very encouraged by the style of football we displayed today.

“It’s the first time this XI have been on the field together. We had numerous opportunities and connections and I felt we needed to be a little bit better with final shot. Unfortunately we didn’t capitalize on all the great opportunities that we created. That is something we are certainly going to focus on in the lead-up to the next game, but the first one is in the books and the focus immediately shifts towards game two.”

As Morgan noted Tuesday, the first round of matches proved “difficult” for most teams — with the exception of Germany and Brazil, the only teams to score four goals or more.

“There haven’t been many games where teams are able to break through easily against opponents,” Morgan said, noting that the team “knew that would be the case” with Vietnam.

“But we were trying to be patient,” she continued. “I feel like at times we could have just stood on the ball a little more and kind of been a little more decisive with our play. So I think that’s something we could apply to the next game.”