The USA improved to 7-0-1 on its post-Women's World Cup Victory Tour with a 2-0 win over China in front of 19,066 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium, a record crowd to watch a women's game in
Arizona. Crystal Dunn and Christen Press scored as they underscored the competition for spots on next year's team that is expected to seek to defend its Olympic title in Rio de
Dunn put the USA ahead in the 39th minute when he blasted
a left-footed shot from the right side for her fourth goal of the year. Press added a late goal two minutes after she entered the game when she picked up a rebound at the top of the area, cut the ball
back to beat her defender and fired a left-footed shot into the far corner from 19 yards.
Lindsey Horan and Dunn again started in midfield. Neither player made the roster for the
2015 Women's World Cup. One or more starting spots in midfield will be up for grabs next summer. Lauren Holiday has retired, and Megan Rapinoe suffered a knee injury that put her Olympic
hopes in doubt.
Press' goal gives her 10 for the year, second on the national team behind Carli Lloyd's 18 goals. She also scored a second-half hat trick in the 6-0 win over
Trinidad & Tobago in San Antonio, showing she has regained the form that eluded her in Canada. Her winning goal against Australia in the opener was her lone goal at the Women's World Cup and she
finished the tournament on the bench.
With Abby Wambach's retirement after Wednesday's game against China in New Orleans, Press should take on the role of the first forward off the
bench, assuming Coach Jill Ellis sticks with Alex Morgan as the lone forward.
Also off the bench, NWSL rookies Stephanie McCaffrey and Jaelene Hinkle
and University of Virginia senior Emily Sonnett all earned their third caps. The left-footed Hinkle could battle Kelley O'Hara for a spot as a reserve outside back on the Olympic.
Olympic regulations allow men's and women's teams to take only 18 players, down from 23 for the World Cup. The U.S. women will begin with a winter camp in January and Olympic qualifying in
Dec. 13 in
Glendale, Arizona USA 2 China 0. Goals: Dunn 39, Press 81. USA -- Naeher; Krieger (Hinkle, 46), Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Klingenberg; Dunn (O'Reilly, 46), Horan
(Sonnett, 79), Brian, Heath (McCaffrey, 79); Lloyd (Wambach, 79), Morgan (Press, 79). China -- Zhao Lina; Liu Shanshan, Zhao Rong, Li Dongna, Xue; Wang Shanshan, Wang Shuang (Li Ying,
71), Lei (Han, 46), Gu (Xu Yanlu, 79), Yang (Ren, 71); Tan. Referee: Cardella Samuels (Jamaica). Att.: 19,066