Uzbekistan, which fell 9-1 to the USA on Saturday after conceding its first goal 26 minutes in, made it even easier for the Americans on Tuesday by gifting an own goal 24 seconds after kickoff. Catarina Macario scored her first of two goals in the 12th minute with a free kick that ranked among the best U.S. strikes in this 9-0 win to be admired regardless of the opponent.
USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
Aubrey Kingsbury celebrated her debut but wasn't given an opportunity to demonstrate her abilities in goal against a team that failed to get a shot.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Aubrey Kingsbury (Washington Spirit) 1/0 (30)
Outside backs Sofia Huerta and Emily Fox contributed to the USA's waves of wing attacks and Fox was fouled for the free kick that gave the USA a 2-0 lead. Debutant Naomi Girma was flawless whenever on the ball but was untested defensively and stayed deep while her backline companions moved forward. Her central defense partner, Alana Cook, did get involved in the attack but headed wide when Ashley Sanchez delivered a good cross.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 12/0 (29)
6 Alana Cook (OL Reign) 9/0 (25)
6 Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave) 1/0 (21)
7 Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 13/0 (23)
Rose Lavelle's dynamic play started early when she flew down the wing and delivered the pass that Kamila Zaripova pinged into her own goal. Lavelle got full credit for the USA's fourth goal when she cleverly finished with a delicate chip off the rebound of her first attempt, which went straight to the keeper. Lavelle's second goal -- from 16 yards after dribbling through midfield -- made it 5-0 and ranked among the best of the evening. Lavelle also set the plate for Mallory Pugh's goal. Ashley Sanchez's nifty midfield move helped create the seventh goal and she scored with an arching shot to make it 9-0 with what may or may not have been a mis-kick. Andi Sullivan, who played a more supporting as the wide midfielders attacked constantly, cleanly stole the ball during a rare Uzbekistan counterattack.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
8 Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 71/20 (26)
6 Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 27/3 (26)
7 Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 7/2 (23)
Catarina Macario's low free kick from 20 yards that made it 2-0 went in off the inside post. Her second goal, the USA's sixth goal, demonstrated her ability to shrug off close-marking and shoot on the turn. Macario assisted on the goal by Mallory Pugh, who took a smart touch to prep her finish on the USA's third goal. Pugh assisted on Lavelle's second goal and Macario set up a couple of prime chances that her teammates squandered. Sophia Smith, coming off a hat trick, stayed off the scoresheet by shooting weakly on one chance and wide on another.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 15/4 (21)
8 Catarina Macario (Lyon, FRA) 17/8 (22)
7 Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 72/23 (23)
Trinity Rodman whiffed on her first chance from close range and headed straight to the keeper with plenty of net to aim for on her second opportunity to net her first U.S. goal. Once her nerves settled, she made it 7-0 in with low 14-yard shot into the corner. In the 80th minute, Rodman managed to hit the crossbar from three yards after fine service from Midge Purce, but Rodman's header after Kristie Mewis' free kick helped set up Purce's goal from close range that made it 8-0. Mewis mis-timed a header in front of the goal. With cumbersome touches and a poor strike, Kelly O'Hara wasted a prime chance in the 77th minute.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) 3/1 (19)
5 Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 37/5 (31)
4 Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit) 153/2 (33)
6 Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave) 80/0 (28)
5 Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) 8/4 (26)
7 Midge Purce (Gotham FC) 14/3 (26)
TRIVIA: The starting lineup averaged 24.98 years of age, making it the youngest starting 11 for the USA since January 30, 2007, when a starting lineup averaging 24.6 years of age took the field against China in 2-0 win that was captained by Kate Markgraf, who now serves as the U.S. women's national team general manager.
April 12 in Chester, Pa.
USA 9 Uzbekistan 0. Goals: own goal (Zaripova) 1, Macario 12, 45+2, Pugh 14, Lavelle 25, 27, Rodman 71, Purce 84, Sanchez 90..
USA -- Kingsbury; Huerta, Cook (Dahlkemper, 60), Girma, Fox (O'Hara, 60); Lavelle (K.Mewis, 46), Sullivan, Sanchez; Smith (Purce, 68), Macario (Hatch, 68), Pugh (Rodman, 46).
Uzbekistan -- Uzganova (Tilovova, 46); Zaripova, Tojiddinova (Panjieva, 37), Nabieva (Irisboeva, 37); Kuchkarova (Zarbieva, 37), Kamoltoeva, Turdalieva, Khusniddinova (Kudratova, 46); Vokhidova (Norboeva, 79), Khabibullaeva, Ablyakimova.
Yellow Card: USA -- none. Uzbekistan -- Zaripova 62, Kamoltoeva 84. Red cards: none.
Referee: Natalie Simon (USA).
Shots on target: 15/0
Corner Kicks: 13/0
Marcario was very impressive. So were Pugh, Sanchez and Lavelle. The starting FBs helped their case for inclusion. Morgan should be worried about both Marcario and Hatch.
Clearly the US depth is looking very good.
Just a quick word about Uzbekistan. They are currently ranked 48th. In CONCACAF we only have 4 teams that are ranked above 50. So in every CONCACAF competition the US will face teams ranked lower than Uzekistan. The country's team represent the best players in its pool. Our thoughts should be how we can help them raise the women's game in their country, not treat them as "unworthy" of respect. That is the last thing they need more of. I cannot begin to appreciate the hurdles women in some countries must face just to attend a soccer match, much less participate in one.
Bob, I didn't watch either game althought I did watch this morning the extended highlights of last nights game on Youtube. First of all , I think they should fire the coach for inviting teams like this to come and play us. Oh, yeah, the girls all look like Peles out there scoring the goals. Good grief ,this game is a joke.
What gets me is the enthusiasm displayed by our women after each goal, when you consider the extreme poor level of competition....like kicking a dead dog out there. I as a player would have asked the coach to take me out me out after the third goal, meaning , mentally, I couldn't get into this mentally anymore....
Frank, the players are not just competing to win a match, they are--more important to their careers--are competing for a spot on the qualification roster. One of the things that the coach explicitly tells the players that he wants to see is 100% effort, no let down, regardless of score. So enthusiasm is watched. The players are celebrating not because of the lopsided goal, but because scoring a goal raises the worth of everyone involved in the eyes of the coach. The other factor is that these players are unusually young and some were on their first cap. Since the defense sees no challenges, the backs press even harder to score (FBs during run of play and CBs on corners). It is tough on opponents but that is a typical story for friendlies involving a nation where competition for roster slots is strong.
In competitions the US is relentless against even the weakest teams because they want to maximize their goal differential, a potential tie breaker. They fight for the top spot in the group, not getting out of the group like the men's objective. Yes it isn't pretty, but I would have thought you appreciated what was going on and would not have disapproved.
At least they Looked Like Soccer Players versus some of the Teams we Face in CONcacaCrApF...
With all the FIFA Window now being taken up by EURO Qualifiers et. al.. We are going to Struggle to get Good Competition for the Women... Stick with Canada... Maybe Austrailia... Japan ... Korea... Mexico(??? Good Money Draw at least)
Frank, I was specifically looking at the passing technique of the Uzbek players. It appeared to me that Uzbek did not train striking technique like the instep drive. Knowing Japan I suspect that their entire development focus is on short combination passing and defending against that type of attack. Playing the US must have been a great shock to most of the players. In prior comments elsewhere I mentioned tactical coaching failures. Now I think the coach was doing the best she could under the circumstances. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are in the US.
Bob, "The players are celebrating not because of the lopsided goal, but because scoring a goal raises the worth of everyone involved in the eyes of the coach." I have no idea that scoring a goal against this joke of a team should raise one's worth...If that's the case we have a pretty sorry team....
First of all as a coach I would never look at who scored against this type team since beating this team is a given, self-explanatory, a no issue. I would much rather study what our players did wrong, what they do off the ball, the support giving, their technical qualifications making their passes or decision making an aid to continuity of their play at any moment. I would study the mistakes they make out there for these same mistakes against a strong team could be a disaster. But the problem is we don't discuss the mistakes and those aspects which are sort of hidden by how we overpower this weak team....
Bob, I appreciate your sentiments (and thanks for putting Ubekistan in context), and the vast difference between the teams may represent the vast gap between the best women's team in the world (maybe to 10 or top 20?) and everyone else. I think you are right to point out the difficulties many women face playing soccer around the world.
As for the scheduling, I get that opponents are hard to find, and a top 50 team isn't crazy to schedule, but I can't imagine the reason for scheduling them twice in a row.
It would have been better after the first game (which demonstrated the vast gap) to simply have the US squad split into two evenly matched squads, and played. I think that would be a game worth televising...
Bob, the players you mentioned you were impressed with having shown great potential against an inferior opponent, again. I wonder how they would fare against the better teams. Beating a team 9-1 and 9-0 doesn't help either team. Why don't we invite those weak teams to training camp and help them grow not beat them down. No way you can evaluate the players against teams like this. They are better off playing under 15 boys teams to get some competition. Oh yes, didn't fare very well there in the past.
Denny when I was coaching older adults I could tell how good a player was and what the highest level that they had played by watching them for a couple minutes, regardless of who the opponent was. I don't judge players by results. Initially I look at their technique, movements, vision and decision making. None of that depends on the level of opposition. Even at the international level, Marcario's free kick goal was great execution and the level of opponent was not a factor.
Take positioning for instance. Facing in particular. That is something easy to observe that shouldn't vary with level of opponent.
this IS a training team/experience.
And it is a very a valuable experience
If these young/new players were up against a powerful team and never got a chance to connect passes and finish plays
What would be the benefit of that
As " training" experience these were very good games
The coach does not choose the competition
John, playing against LOUSY competition is not a learning experience. These young new players have moved up a level and now they need to learn by playing against better competition. If they are much better than the competition their facing...what can you learn from that ,except lousy soccer.
At Ajax you move up young players to the first team because they have graduated from the 'lower' level and now they will be helped along by the more experienced players to teach and guide them playing against better competition. You don't learn by going down levels that they themselves have graduated from earlier...
I mostly agree with you Frank. Rather than no opportunity, I think the problem is one of a possible negative impact--developing bad habits. I suspect that Vlatko's first objective was to require the team to play quality soccer against this team. In other words not play down to their level. Which actually is a common failing of even the best US teams and good lesson to learn.
Once again I think this is something that as a coach you take for granted, which like breathing air while you coach, you don't mention. I don't think you realize just how vastly different your views are from the conventional. You don't normally rub elbows with the conventional. :)
Well USWNT had to get real games in to get paid so this is best they could get. A top 50 team on men's side would provide some competition to #1 team but on womens side just not there.
Having said all of that ......there is not much you can glean from this other than checks will be cashed (on US side) and hopefully noone was injured.
Long term however, I still see USWNT having more and more issues as good competition will be tougher to find and players development and coaches ability to evaluate them will suffer.