USWNT shows off its attacking firepower in Cincinnati

The U.S. women's national team put on one of its best performances of the year, showing off the depth and diversity of its attack with five goals in 33 minutes on either side of first half for a 5-0 win over New Zealand before a crowd of 30,596 in Cincinnati.

Alex Morgan came off the bench to score two goals in the second half, the first after just 28 seconds. Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams also scored.

Horan opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a looping header from 16 yards out off a long cross from Sam Mewis. Horan was the provider eight minutes later, splitting the All Whites' defense with a through ball for Mallory Pugh, who broke free of the New Zealand backline and beat goalkeeper Erin Nayler.

To start the second half, Morgan came in from the left side and put away a pass that deflected off a New Zealand defender. Nine minutes later, Williams, another second-half sub, scored on a header off a pass from Kelley O'Hara. Morgan finished off the scoring in the 69th minute with a blast to the near post off a pass from Pugh.

New Zealand could not handle the pace of Pugh and Williams, who had not played for the USA since the spring with an ankle injury. In addition to Morgan, who came on for Megan Rapinoe, and Williams, on for Christen Press, Tobin Heath came off the bench in the second half for Pugh, making her first appearance since March 7 after being sidelined from both the Portland Thorns and USA due to a back injury.

In addition, Crystal Dunn, the USA leading scorer with four goals and one assist in 2017, did not dress, and Carli Lloyd, who has been injured, did not accompany the USA for its September series.

Hometown angle. Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle, who was bothered by a hamstring injury this summer, started but left the game in the 33rd minute as a precaution.

Crowd count. The crowd of 30,596 at Nippert Stadium was the largest the U.S. women have drawn since a crowd of 31,950 in New Orleans for Abby Wambach's farewell game in December 2015.

Sept. 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio
USA 5 New Zealand 0. Goals: Horan 36, Pugh 44, Morgan 46, 69, Williams 55.     
USA -- Naeher; Short, Sauerbrunn (Smith, 46), Dahlkemper, O'Hara; Mewis (Brian, 57), Ertz, Lavelle (Horan, 33); Rapinoe (Morgan, 46), Press (Williams, 46), Pugh (Heath, 72).
New Zealand -- Nayler; Riley, Moore, Stott, Percival (Bott, 86); Yallop (Chance, 58), Bowen, Hassett (Rood, 90+3), Longo (Cleverley, 80); White (Phillips, 76), Wilkinson (Puketapu, 89).
Att.: 30,596.

Next up: The USA will play South Korea on Oct. 19 in New Orleans and on Oct. 22 in Cary, N.C.
16 comments about "USWNT shows off its attacking firepower in Cincinnati".
  1. Melvin Howard, September 20, 2017 at 9:02 a.m.

    This team has an abundance of talent and players, with the exception of one, that are excited to play for their country. This player is the only one that refuses to put hand over heart and sing the national anthem with pride. I know it's a trade-off since she now "stands" for the anthem and it looks like it. Her demeanor as opposed to the other ten women during our anthem is every bit as telling as her taking a knee. She is a good player but not irreplaceable.

  2. Mike Lyons, September 20, 2017 at 9:24 a.m.

    In other words, love it or leave it.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, September 20, 2017 at 1:06 p.m.

    I prefer we leave politics out of our discussion of soccer. But since it has been brought up--the country is not a thing, it is the people and democratic ideas, including free speech. I don't agree with Rapinoe or many others, but I will defend the First Amendment.

  4. Bob Ashpole, September 20, 2017 at 12:57 p.m.

    Everyone played well. These were quality goals too. In particular, Horan's header was excellent, and Morgan's second goal was absolutely unstoppable. It was great to see Tobin Heath get some minutes. It was particularly encouraging to see the speed and control of the match.

  5. John Soares, September 20, 2017 at 1:34 p.m.

    Very entertaining game, good control and speed. With at least 10 of the 23 players in Canada (WC) not available for 2019 WC. It is great to see so many young players show their potential. This team has a bright future, coach is doing well also.............Since you brought it up. The very foundation of this country is freedom of speech, expression and beyond "for everyone" not just when YOU agree, think it's appropriate and correct based on YOUR beliefs, choices and preferances.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, September 20, 2017 at 5:06 p.m.


  7. Ed LaTour replied, September 21, 2017 at 1:31 p.m.

    Can't we leave politics out of the Beautiful Game? There are many places that you can vent, but you shouldn't do it here. Did you serve your country in the military, if not you should read the first amendment to our Constitution and you will learn why we send young kids into battle in order to allow Rapinoe to express her opinion. You are free to say whatever you want but wouldn't it be better if you didn't say it here? Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

  8. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 21, 2017 at 4:53 p.m.

    But as her employer, US Soccer is well within its rights to require players to stand for the national anthem. She abides by the policy now and that should be the end of it.

  9. Kevin Leahy, September 20, 2017 at 5:18 p.m.

    It is nice to see Alex Morgan back in top form. She seems to be moving freely which, was missing for a while.

  10. Karl Schreiber, September 20, 2017 at 5:58 p.m.

    I’d like to hear some expert comments: Coach Ellis should give playing time to the back-up keepers, for obvious reasons. Exhibition games and the like are well-suited. Ellis has ignored this coaching principle since she was given the top coaching job. Why?

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, September 21, 2017 at 1:35 a.m.

    What are the "obvious reasons" and who are the back up keepers? The national team coach does not develop players and players are already supposed to be sharp from getting regular playing time at their clubs. The more relevant question is what keepers are USSF sponsoring in the NWSL. That is where backups are groomed.

  12. E Velazquez, September 20, 2017 at 6:42 p.m.

    This player should not be called again . She is a BAD example for the youth. She is old for soccer and the next wold cup . We have new players who can play better than her with some more acquired experience ie: Ms Pugh, Ms Lavelle, Ms Sanchez etc .
    Another oint to remark : The coach Ms Ellis needs to teach Ms O"hara how to shoot the ball when it comes from a rebound in front of the opposite side; she shoots to the sky every time she has this opportunity. She can learn more from watching the games of the Premier English league and the Spanish La Liga players who control the ball more effectively , any comment?

  13. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 21, 2017 at 4:57 p.m.

    I don't agree with grandstanding players taking a knee but she stands now in accordance with US Soccer's policy. It's now a non-issue. If there are better players than Rapinoe then they should play instead. If not, she should play. Simple as that. Also, a national team coach is not supposed to be teaching players how to shoot. It's a little late for that. O'Hara was a striker most of her career. She knows how to shoot.

  14. Lewie Stevens, September 21, 2017 at 8:22 a.m.

    Saw the game on TV on Friday and took my team to the game on Tuesday expecting a closer match but New Zealand rarely threatened while the U.S. dominated play from beginning to end. We were very impressed by the U.S. team shape and spacing throughout the game. Great for our kids to see the value of constant, meaningful movement and attention paid to details...and the reward of an easy 5-0 victory because of it.

  15. Forever Blue, September 22, 2017 at 2:18 p.m.

    Were they that good or was New Zealand that bad. I will say it was a good high energy game and the best ball movement in the last 3-4 games.

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, September 22, 2017 at 7:01 p.m.

    While New Zealand is not a top ten team, its fullbacks were very good. They weren't getting beat for lack of ability or being slow. They USA had a lot of quality players in 2015 and may have even more depth now. The only concern I have is keeper. No offense to anyone, but we don't have the best keeper in the world right now. Club experience is not the same as international play against top teams, so we will just have to see what develops over the next 2 years.

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