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Just how good is this U.S. women's team?

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 5/31/2015 by Martin Rogers, USA TODAY Sports

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HARRISON, N.J. — Hope Solo spent most of Saturday afternoon strolling around her penalty box at Red Bull Arena or standing just outside it, hands planted on her hips.

Sometimes the nearest player to her on either team was 150 feet away. She had so little to occupy her time that she should have stashed a pencil in her goalkeeping gloves and a crossword book in her sock.

And so lies the conundrum facing the United States women's national team little more than a week from its opening game of the FIFA World Cup. Despite only managing an uninspiring 0-0 tie against 18th-ranked South Korea, the U.S. team is too good for its own good, and thus we don't know how good the Americans really are.

Even during one of their most sluggish and disjointed performances in recent memory the Americans were never threatened and had so much of the possession that when the Koreans did get the ball they didn't seem to know what to do with it.

That lack of a challenge is an ongoing problem for the U.S. In this, its final warm-up game ahead of the tournament, and last week's 5-1 demolition of Mexico, the defense has seen so little action it is impossible to determine its readiness for the event in Canada or its prospects of stifling the best teams on the planet.

South Korea couldn't hold on to the ball, couldn't compete physically and sat back in deep numbers. Up in Canada, in what the U.S. and coach Jill Ellis hope will be a month-long journey and a strong run at the team's first World Cup title since its iconic 1999 triumph, it'll be different.

A handful of teams including Germany, Brazil, France, Japan, the hosts and the USA's Group D opponent Sweden won't offer the same kind of luxuries. As those hungry and much-improved foes await, Ellis' backline is untested under pressure, and Solo has received neither a stain on her jersey nor an effective antidote for her boredom.

They haven't felt what it is like to be challenged for sustained periods, or to face teams who break with speed and numbers. They haven't dealt with corner kicks and free-kicks in dangerous areas. It has all been too easy.

Solo made a pair of saves, but one of them, where she tipped a floating cross over the bar, would probably have gone high anyway. Still, you sensed she probably wanted to give herself something to do.

The issue of weak competition is a direct by-product of the relative lack of depth in the women's game, especially in this region. Warm-up games against other contenders make no sense, but neither do contests like these. A solid European opponent or two might have been a compromise, especially given that Sweden is the strongest contender to match the U.S. for supremacy in Group D.

Norway, Italy or Denmark would likely have forced the Americans to play in a different manner and at least to some extent, on the back foot in periods.

Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe the toughness of training camp has taken some of the sting out of the Americans' legs, which can be remedied by lighter sessions leading into the first game against Australia in Winnipeg on June 8.

Maybe it was just an off day. Maybe, and this is perhaps the most likely, it was a struggle to get motivated for a contest against an outmatched opponent with nothing on the line.

The World Cup is very much up for grabs and the team will head north next week seeking and expecting a charge towards the title. How likely that is remains to be seen — and Sunday brought us no nearer to an answer.

Follow Martin Rogers on Twitter @mrogersUSAT.

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