[USA-JAPAN WOMEN]Abby Wambach scored one goal -- the 118th career goal and first since Nov. 8, 2010 -- and set up Amy Rodriguez for the second goal eight minutes later to lead the USA to a 2-0 win over Japan in a friendly played Saturday in Columbus, Ohio.
The win was costly, however. Sub Lindsay Tarpley, a veteran of two Olympic Games and the 2007 Women’s World Cup team, suffered an ACL tear in her right knee and will miss the 2011 Women’s World Cup.
Tarpley tore the ACL in the same knee at the end of the 2009 WPS season while playing with the Chicago Red Stars.
“Obviously, I’m extremely disappointed, but I believe that things happen for a reason and I know that I’ll grow and learn from this,” said Tarpley. “I had a long road back to recovery after my last surgery and one of my main goals was to get myself healthy and competing at a level that would give me the opportunity to make this World Cup team. I have had the fortunate pleasure to be on a lot of great teams but making this roster probably gave me the most satisfaction of any team I have been on. I proved to myself that I could do it.”
Japan controlled play early, but the game changed when Wambach soared high in the air to head right back Ali Krieger's free kick home.
“If you look at the first 25 minutes, I don’t think it was good soccer from our side,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “They kept possession and so forth. But we stayed composed and we came back and the fact that we picked up the rhythm a little bit makes me happy. You don’t have to play beautiful soccer for 90 minutes but you need to be smart enough to find a way to play such good soccer so you can win the game. I think that we did that in the second half and partly late in the first half.”
Hope Solo made her first start in goal since recovering from major shoulder surgery last September and made three saves to earn her 51st career shutout.
The second match of the two-game series against Japan will take place at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., on Wednesday (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET).
May 14 in Columbus, Ohio
USA 2 Japan 0.Goals: Wambach 29, Rodriguez 37.
USA --Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Buehler, Cox, O’Reilly (Tarpley, 46; Morgan, 76), Boxx (Lindsey, 64), Lloyd, Rapinoe (Heath, 46), Rodriguez (Cheney, 64), Wambach
Japan --Kaihori, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima, Kinga, Sakaguchi (Utsugi, 67), Ando (Iwabuchi, 61), Miyama, Sawa, Ohno (Nakajima, 67), Nagasato (Takase, 67)
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA).