The USA entered the year with questions about the depth of its attack, but the first four games of 2016 -- including the first three in the Concacaf Olympic women's qualifying tournament -- have shown
off the remarkable variety of the U.S. attackers. That was evident on Monday night when Crystal Dunn tied a U.S. national team record with five goals as the USA routed Puerto Rico, 10-0. The
best goal of the night, though, came from outside back Kelley O'Hara, a converted forward.
1. Dunn shows off quickness in the
While Dunn has generally been employed on the wing, where she is starting with the absence of injured Megan Rapinoe, she is incredibly dangerous in the penalty area,
where she uses his quickness to get free and shoot with either foot. Against Puerto Rico, she scored twice with her right foot and three times with her left.
Dunn, who equaled her career
total of international goals in 90 minutes, matched Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux for the
most goals in a game.
With Wambach retired and Rodriguez and Leroux on pregnancy leave, Dunn's scoring touch will be a big part of the U.S. attack in an Olympic year.
five goals against Puerto Rico ...
6th minute:Mallory Pugh breaks down the left wing and feeds Dunn, who eludes her
defenders and slots the ball home wither right foot.
21st minute: Puerto Rico goalkeeper Karly Gustafson fails to clear Jaelene Hinkle's cross, and Christen Press lays it off for
Dunn to score with her left foot.
61st minute: More sloppy play from Puerto Rico allows Alex Morgan to collect the ball and feed Dunn, who scores with her left foot.
82nd minute: From the right
side, Meghan Klingenberg finds Dunn, who scores on a volley.
87th minute: Morgan Brian feeds Dunn, who breaks in and scores her fifth goal.
2. O'Hara still has her scoring touch.
O'Hara was a star forward at
Stanford -- setting school records for goals (26) and points (65) in 2009 when she led the nation in scoring -- but has spent much of her international career on the U.S. backline.
only two goals were the second goal in the 2-0 win over Germany in the 2015 Women's World Cup semifinals -- and a sweet back-heel off a pass from Stephanie McCaffrey to make it 4-0 against
Puerto Rico in the 45th minute.
3. Ellis empties bench with
semifinal berth assured.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis made eight changes from the team that started the first two matches of Olympic qualifying -- 5-0 win over Costa Rica and 1-0 over
Mexico -- and gave Alyssa Naeher, Emily Sonnett, Sam Mewis and McCaffrey their qualifying debuts.
With only 18 spots up for grabs if the USA goes to the Rio Olympics,
that means at least two players taking part in Olympic qualifying won't make the team. One of them will be one of the backup keepers. At the moment, Naeher is in competition with Ashlyn Harris
for the backup spot behind Hope Solo in goal.
TRIVIA. The USA extended its shutout streak to eight consecutive games in Olympic
qualifying, dating back to the final of the 2008 Qualifying tournament when it tied Canada 1-1, winning in penalty kicks, 6-5.
Feb. 15 in
Frisco, Texas USA 10 Puerto Rico 0. Goals: Dunn 6, 21, 61, 85, 87, Lloyd pen. 19, O'Hara 45, own goal 60, Press 60. USA -- Naeher; O'Hara, Sonnett, Krieger, Hinkle;
McCaffrey, Mewis, Lloyd (Morgan, 46), Pugh (Klingenberg, 67); Press (Brian, 74), Dunn. Puerto Rico -- Gustafson; K.Johnson, Foil (Colon, 46), A.Johnson (Carrion, 55); Pagan (Zaragoza
Hernandez, 71), Socarras, Suarez, Mendez; Rivera, Font; Rodriguez. Att.: 7,658.