I'd say this isnt sad at all, but a learning opportunity. France is by far the best team in the world right now, they were tough out of luck vs Germany in the WWC or could have made the final. England is a quality well-coached, young team who we actually outplayed aside from the 90th minute goal. It sucks losing, but coming in tied for 3th out of 4 good teams isn't a crying shame.
Before the She Believes we played in the Algarve Cup every year like the rest of the world. She Believes was created to play in fan attended stadiums as Algarve was played to literally empty stadiums. And we didn't always win Algarve either, so no surprise we don't always win this. 2014 we finished 7th place out of 12 and rebounded to win the WWC in 2015.
This 3 back line seems to be an experiment (and I'll say a failed experiment) but something that we can learn from when legitimate hardware is on the line, like in 2 years. So this is a perfect time to watch how our experiment works in a tournament style setting against the best teams in the world, not against friendlies against Mexico or non-competitive teams. By the way, these were technically friendlies.
So this best 4 teams unofficial tourney was very important to see how our young players or something radical will pan out. Tactically I could have told Ellis that with two slow center backs, Long and Sauerbrunn, in a back 3 wouldn't work, so your point there is true, but we wouldn't have learned that playing against Portugal or Mexico USA would have won those, so we tried it here.
They needed a quicker Kling or Krieger, maybe Johnston on the wings to cover, but Johnston screwed up that England goal, so she wasn't getting the start. Basically we need Allie Long to get faster or Julie Johnston to get smarter for anything resembling a back 3 to work...or just go back to a standard back line, but the faster Long and smarter Johnston still needs to evolve. I still have faith in Ellis. She's more clever than you make her out to be.
they lost the game to England, but they outplayed them greatly throughout the match. England got a somewhat lucky goal in the 90th minute to win the match. The cup is fine, a good way to bring in top competition at one top. The rest of the world is getting better and catching up and we were playing a lot of players with little or in some cases, no, international experience. I think you are over-reacting a bit.
but add the Olympics to it (and the very bizarre substitutions and starting 11 selections there) and you start to have a very compelling case that Jill Ellis kind of sucks.