The USA overcame an early deficit to hammer Switzerland, 5-1, before 23,400 fans at Minneapolis' U.S. Bank Stadium and improve its record to 20-0-2 in 2016.
Carli Lloyd scored
twice, while Christen Press, Crystal Dunn and Kealia Ohai added goals. Ohai's goal (set up by Dunn, her former North Carolina and U.S. U-20 teammate) came 48 seconds after she
entered the game, breaking the record for quickest goal in a debut set just four days ago by fellow newcomer Lynn Williams, who scored 49 seconds into her first game against Switzerland in
The Chicago Red Stars' Casey Short and Stanford junior
Andi Sullivan both made their second consecutive starts to earn their second caps. Six of the 11 uncapped players Coach Jill Ellis brought in for the series earned their first
To put the new caps in perspective, all these new players are in their 20's. Ohai for instance is 24. (Lloyd turned 34 last summer.) It is very difficult for women to get a shot at the WNT. This difficulty is a reflection of the depth of the pool, not a reflection of the coaching. The 352 system puts an extra midfielder on the field, which allows Ellis to use and see more attacking players. The system is fun to watch too.
Short did absolutely nothing, nor did Brian and Mewis. Ditto Williams (except for one nice cross). LLoyd (like her predecessor Wambach) is inept at all phases of the game except putting the ball in the net, and leadership. Rest of the lineup showed excellent speed (O'Hara surprisingly fast) and soccer skills, if they would only learn to stay onside. Once Pugh replaces Brian, this team will be tough to beat. It looks to me like Alice Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, and Julie Johnston are not necessary for the team.
I've never been particularly impressed with Alex Morgan, but continue to think that Rapinoe is one of the best players on the team.
Carl: You note O'Hara's speed, but overlook her terrible cross to an UNMARKED Williams, which should have been an easy goal if wasn't 3-4 yards past the far post. You say Lloyd is horrible at everything, but beyond her scoring prowess, which is UNMATCHED, she played VERY well yesterday. It is impossible for Lloyd to suck at every facet of the game yet be the world's most prolific scorer. Numbers PROVE she's the best scorer and, as such, your assessment of her is necessarily inaccurate. Morgan Brian? Not only is she going NOWHERE, but Pugh will never replace her; they play different positions - Pugh is either a striker or a #10. You're claims about Morgan, Rapinoe and JJ have no factual basis. The two friendlies showed only two things conclusively; Sullivan will be a starter in 2019 and Williams, with her strength on the ball, pace and athleticism has a very bright future. You cant' learn speed or true athletic strength; but you can always become a more precise shooter, which is the sole knock on the still green 23 old Williams. She, along with Pugh and Dunn, are the brightest future stars of the USWNT! (still too early to tell on Ohai).
Carl, you are thinking too small. A team is 23 players. The WNT pool ought to be twice that number. At this stage in the cycle Ellis is looking at pool and thinking about what the team will look and play like 2-3 years from now. Lloyd is a good example. She seems to get better as she ages, but will she still have the ability and desire to play in 2019? Hope for the best; plan for the worst.
Mitch: If O'Hara's cross to Williams had been on the laces or Williams' right boot, Williams probably would have air-mailed it into the parking lot.
Sadly, haters are never objective and won't even admit they are haters. Williams be a mainstay of USWNT in the years ahead. Williams, Pugh and Dunn are the future.
Carl, while you praised O'Hare for her speed, you failed to mention that she constantly defends on the wrong shoulder. The goal scored is a result of her being on the outside shoulder allowing the attacker to get of an easy shot. Rarely is she Ball-side / goal-side. But what do you expect when you take a forward (in college) and ask her to play in the back, or out wide where she has much greater defensive responsibilities for the National Team. Bob - you mention bringing more player into the pool, or enlarging the pool of 23, the CBA does not allow it. US Soccer doesn't want to have to pay more players to be in the pool.
FTLOPG, I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I distinguish between team and pool. A team is typically 23 players, 20 field players and 3 keepers. The "pool" generally refers to the players that the coach is looking at and considering for selection to the team of 23.