Commentary

USA-Chile Women's Friendly: Rising South Americans overwhelmed in California

USA-CHILE EXPRESS:
Aug. 31 in Carson, Calif.
USA 3 Chile 0. Goals: Davidson 8, own goal (Guerrero) 31, Press 59.
Att.: 23,544.

Chile, which will be a World Cup debutant in 2019, proved no match for reigning World Cup champion USA, which cruised to a 3-0 win on Friday evening. The USA faces Chile again in San Jose on Tuesday, part of Coach Jill Ellis' team's preparation for the Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament in October.

1. The scoreline hardly reflected the USA's dominance

The Chileans rarely entered the U.S. half while getting out-shot 24-1 Their 6-foot goalkeeper Christiane Endler made some excellent saves, a bad referee's decision, and the lack of goal-line technology denied the USA of two more goals.

Near the end of the first half, Christen Press buried a penalty kick after Tobin Heath was pulled down by the shorts by defender Fernanda Pinilla. A player from each team encroached, which should have required a re-take. But referee Katja Koroleva (recently named to referee at the Under-17 Women's World Cup) simply denied the goal.

In the second half, halftime sub Carli Lloyd blasted a shot off the underside of the crossbar but the officials failed to see that it cleared the goal line before it bounced back into play.

The first-half midfield of Rose Lavelle, Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan played such that the U.S. backline could have watched the game in lawn chairs.

2. Tierna Davidson scores her first goal

Coach Ellis made only one change for the starting lineup of the USA's last outing, a 4-1 win over Brazil Aug. 2 -- Press replacing injured (rib) winger Megan Rapinoe on the front line, which was spearheaded by Alex Morgan and featured the dynamic Heath on the other wing.

For 19-year-old central defender Tierna Davidson, it marked her 11th start for the USA. She had little do in her half of the field, but scored in the eighth minute with a header off Heath's corner kick. The goal was extra sweet for the 19-year-old Stanford junior, who had scored an own goal against Brazil.


Tierna Davidson

The early strike seemed to suck the confidence out of the Chilean team, which had qualified for its first World Cup by finishing runner-up to Brazil on home soil in the 2018 Copa America Femenina. Chile's roster has 13-foreign-based players, including 10 in Spain. Endler joined Paris St. Germain after starring at the University of South Florida and stints with Chelsea and Valencia.

Endler stayed on her line when Davidson headed in the first goal and was again victim to a corner kick on the second goal, when her defender Carla Guerrero knocked Julie Ertz's header over the goal line.

But getting only two goals from 17 corner kicks will have Ellis thinking about varying the delivery.

3. Mallory Pugh is back

Missing in USA action since April because of a knee injury, Mallory Pugh came on at halftime for her first appearance since turning 20. Pugh looked sharp on the right wing, and in the 59th minute set up the third goal. Her sixth assist, to go with 11 goals, in 36 U.S. games was a perfectly delivered low ball across the goal area that Press hammered home after Lloyd barely missed a tap-in on the slide.

Pugh was one of four halftime subs along with Lloyd, McCall Zerboni and Morgan Brian. The changes had no effect on the USA's dominance as the 36-year-old Lloyd threatened constantly while Brian marshaled the midfield adeptly, and delivered a fine through ball to Pugh before she set up Press's goal.

The USA is now unbeaten (10-0-2) in 2018 and stretched its undefeated streak to 20 games.

NOTABLE: The game marked a homecoming for Christen Press, who grew up 20 miles away from the stadium and had more than 70 friends and family in attendance. The occasion was used to honor her 100th cap, which she picked up in June against China. Friday's game marked Press' 104th U.S. appearance.

TRIVIA: The USA has never lost a game in California.

Aug. 31 in Carson, Calif.
USA 3 Chile 0. Goals: Goals: Davidson 8, own goal (Guerrero) 31, Press 59.
USA -- Naeher, Sonnett, Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Dunn (Mewis, 61), Lavelle (Brian, 46), Ertz (Mace, 74), Horan (Zerboni, 46), Press, Morgan (Lloyd, 46), Heath (Pugh, 46).
Chile -- Endler, Leyton, Suez, Guerrero, Pinilla (R.Soto, 46), Lara, Araya (G.Soto, 69), Lopez, Rojas (Zamora, 46), Santibanez (Urrutia, 61), Aedo.
Yellow cards: USA -- Heath 38; Chile -- Urrutia 74, R.Soto 80.
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA),
Att.: 23,544.

Stats USA / Chile
Shots: 24 / 1 
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1 
Saves:  1 / 9 
Corner Kicks: 17 / 1 
Fouls: 10 / 10 
Offside: 2  /  0

8 comments about "USA-Chile Women's Friendly: Rising South Americans overwhelmed in California".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 1, 2018 at 4:15 p.m.

    You have to give Chile credit for trying to play with the USA. They didn't hide in a bunker. The difference in fitness started showing in the first half and was the biggest problem in the second.

    It was a good benchmark test for Chile getting ready for the 2019 finals. 

  2. James Madison, September 2, 2018 at 12:09 a.m.

    And again, no player ratings.  Will the discrimination against the women ever cease?

  3. frank schoon replied, September 2, 2018 at 8:31 a.m.

    James, players ratings??????  This game was a complete joke...did you see the stats. Only in women’s soccer at this level can this still occur. 

  4. uffe gustafsson, September 2, 2018 at 10:10 p.m.

    Oh come on frank.
    some of these south and Central America countries just recently started to acknowledge women’s soccer.
    yes they have ways to go, but look at Spain not long ago they had no women’s national team and now with help of the proffetional clubs they are one of the top teams. Even your country start to take women’s soccer seriously, so be patient.

  5. frank schoon replied, September 2, 2018 at 10:28 p.m.

    Uffe, like I stated only in women’s soccer this occurs and that is because of what you have just mentioned. This is why the US women over the past 25 years has been so successful is not because they  play great soccer but due to lousy competition . As far as women soccer goes in the US it has not improved technically to a higher level. Their game has to do lot more  with athleticism than any subtle technical finesse...

  6. R2 Dad, September 4, 2018 at 1:17 a.m.

    I guess it happened with Bradley year-after-year on the MNT so I guess I'm not surprised the WNT keeps going on with Davidson, despite her poor performances prior (and that doesn't include the Brazil own-goal 4 weeks ago). There are boatloads of skilled ladies who can play right-back--is Davidson really the only one we can find? She's a B-Team player. Maybe the goal buys her some time but her shortcomings are related to getting forward under pressure and offensive goals against weak teams won't change that.

  7. uffe gustafsson, September 4, 2018 at 10:30 p.m.

    Frank did u by any chance watch japan under 20 WC.
    if that’s not excellent soccer.
    there are many good women’s national soccer team and USA is no longer the top team.
    pointing out Chile is like France men’s team playing Albania ,no contest.
    I personally like watching women’s soccer then men’s because it’s no drama with the players.
    they only like to play and no stupid crap.

  8. frank schoon replied, September 5, 2018 at 9:19 a.m.

    Uffe, no I didnt see that game. You probably have better program selection than I have but I will look for it if it's repeated, thanks for letting me know...
    You're right about the Chile game. I don't know why we would play them for we won't learn anything playing them. We should play stiff competition in order to improve ourselves.
    You're right about the drama and stuff.

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