[CANADA-USA]Alex Morgan staked the USA to a two-goal lead, but her clinical finishing was overshadowed by teammate Sydney Leroux's reaction after her goal in stoppage time capped the USA's 3-0 win over Canada in the rematch of their epic 2012 Olympic semifinal match. The Canadian-born Leroux, who was booed after entering the game late in the second half by the sell-out crowd at Toronto's BMO Field, grabbed the U.S. Soccer crest on her jersey after the goal and pointed it in the direction of the Canadian fans.
Leroux was born in Vancouver to a Canadian mother and American father, former pro baseball player Ray Chadwick. At the age of 14, she played for Canada in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup it hosted and lost to the USA in the final, but she switched to play for the USA in 2008 when she and Morgan led it to the Under-20 World Cup title.
Leroux would be a star on the Canadian national team -- "Imagine her playing in front of Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi," says Canada coach John Herdman -- but she's role player for the USA, usually used like she was on Sunday as a late sub.
She blew past Canadian keeper Erin McLeod to score her 17th international goal -- 16 of which have come off the bench -- and then received a yellow card for her emotional celebration.
Sinclair told Toronto reporters the gesture was “probably, not the classiest of moves" and something she would have probably not done herself. Leroux thought all the fuss about her switching national teams was overblown.
“Come on,” Leroux said. “How many U.S.-born players does Canada have? I thought I dealt with it well.”
(Canada's lineup included Lauren Sesselmann, who was born in in Marshfield, Wisc. Chelsea Stewart, who played with Leroux at UCLA, was born and raised in Colorado. Canada called up former U.S. U-20 defender Rachel Quonfor the USA match but she has yet to be cleared by FIFA to play so she couldn't play.)
None would be a difference-maker for the USA, though, like Leroux would be for Canada, which managed just two shots on Sunday.
“But she’s not," said Herdman, "so I think we just have to let it go, eh? We’ll let her enjoy her time in the U.S., and just respect her as a player.”
Leroux was the star when the USA won the 2008 Under-20 World Cup, but Morgan has gone on to be a bigger star at the senior level. Morgan's header in the 123rd minute decided the 2012 Olympic semifinal, but it was patented pace that was too much for the Canadian backline on Sunday.
The Portland Thorns FC striker powered past defender Emily Zurrer and slotted her shot just inside the far post from 15 yards out in the 70th minute. Less than three minutes later, Morgan took a pass from Tobin Heath and scored from almost exactly the spot on the left side to almost same spot just inside the far post to make it 2-0.
June 2 in Toronto
Canada 0 USA 3.Goals: Morgan 70, 72, Leroux 90+3.
USA --Barnhart; Krieger, Rampone, Engen, Dunn (Mewis, 63); O’Reilly, Lloyd, Cheney, Heath (Leroux, 74); Morgan (Press, 83), Wambach.
Canada --McLeod; Buchanan, Moscato, Sesselmann, Wilkinson, Zurrer (Wu, 78), Matheson, Schmidt (Kyle, 68), Scott, Sinclair, Tancredi (Cameron, 61)
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (Mexico).