earned a starting spot on the 2015 U.S. Women's World Cup championship team in the back, but her true calling is in midfield, where she has emerged this year as a huge force for the
She went almost down to the artificial turf at the Mercedes Benz Superdome to
reach for Megan Rapinoe
's corner kick that she put past keeper Kang Gaae
for the opening goal in the 24th minute, her fourth of the year, in a 3-1 win for the USA over South Korea in New
The USA has been looking for a dominating player in the defensive midfielder role since the retirement of Shannon Boxx
and Lauren Holiday
. Ertz gives the USA an
imposing presence but is also an excellent distributor.
Ertz, who is in her fourth NWSL season with the Chicago Red Stars after playing in midfield at Santa Clara, was also involved in
the buildup on the second U.S. goal scored by Alex Morgan
A Han Chaerin
goal just before halftime gave South Korea life, but
Rapinoe put the game away early in
the second half when she scored from the penalty spot after being taken down in the box. Pugh injury.
Teenage star Mallory
had to leave the game at the end of the first half with a hamstring injury. Crowd count.
The crowd of 9,371 was the
smallest home crowd for the USA since February 2016. Oct. 19 in New Orleans USA 3 South Korea 1.
Goals: Ertz 24,
Morgan 40, Rapinoe pen. 52; Han 45+5. USA --
Naeher; O'Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Short (Huerta, 63); Ertz, Sullivan (Horan, 46), Mewis (Lloyd, 77); Pugh (Williams, 45 +1), Morgan
(Press, 63), Rapinoe (Dunn, 63) South Korea --
Kang, Shin (Ji Sunmi 45+3), Jang, Park Chorong (Lee Eunmi 83), Lee Mina (Lee Sodam 46), Cho, Choe (Jeon Gaeul 46), Kim Hyeyeong (Jang Chang
52), Han, Ji Soyun, Yoo (Son 63). Att.: