SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 20, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team won its sixth straight game and stayed unbeaten this year with a 4-0 victory Sunday against Australia in front of 19,109 festive fans at the Alamodome.
Lauren Holiday and Carli Lloyd scored the game’s first two goals before 15 minutes were gone. After the break, the USA’s all-time leading goal scoring leader Abby Wambach tallied her 162nd before 57th-minute substitute Christen Press scored her seventh goal in just 10 U.S. WNT games in second-half stoppage time.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had five saves as she recorded her 67th shutout and first clean sheet of 2013. She is now just four behind all-time leader Briana Scurry who had 71 shutouts from 1994-2008.
The USA earned its seventh shutout this year and has out-scored its past three opponents by a 16-0 margin.
The U.S. next heads to San Francisco for the start of a two-game set against New Zealand on Sunday, Oct. 27, at Candlestick Park (kickoff at 3:30 p.m. PT). The two teams will then travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the second leg on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Columbus Crew Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET). Both games will be streamed live on ussoccer.com. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
For the first time in his tenure, U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni
went up against an Australia side that he coached during two different stints over an 11-year span. In 24 all-time meetings, the USA has never lost to Australia (22-0-2; 12-0-1 at home) and that streak was never in jeopardy.
The USA’s first two tallies both came off superb volleys. In the sixth minute, 2013 National Women’s Soccer League Defender of the Year Becky Sauerbrunn took the free kick from near the right sideline. Australia headed the ball high into the air, but not far enough out of their defensive zone. The ball fell to Holiday, the 2013 NWSL MVP, and she made perfect contact from just inside the penalty box. Holiday’s strike clipped and Australian defender and took a deflection into the right side of the net for the opening goal. It marked Holiday’s first goal since she changed the name on the back of her jersey following her marriage earlier this year and was the 21st for the former Lauren Cheney.
In the 14th minute, the U.S. added to its lead when North Carolina senior Crystal Dunn pressed the attack up the right side. The ball found forward Alex Morgan, who slipped a pass on the ground across the top of the penalty area. An Australian defender partially deflected the pass, but it bounced twice perfectly to Lloyd who sizzled a left-footed shot into the right side of the net for the 2-0 lead.
With the goal, Lloyd tied National Soccer Hall of Famer Julie Foudy (45 goals from 1988-2004) for ninth place on the USA’s all-time scoring list. She also tied Foudy for the most goals ever scored by a player who played exclusively midfield during her WNT career.
Wambach’s lone score came atypically with the outside of her right foot. The goal came after the U.S. broke down Australia’s defense with a series of swift passes and the ball came to Lloyd who chipped a cross with great feel that landed right in the path of Wambach at the left post. Wambach reached the pass before Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams could rush off her line to disrupt, and the USA’s 5-foot-11 forward redirected the ball with the outside of her right foot, rolling her shot into the lower right corner for a 3-0 lead in the 56th minute.
Press, who arrived into U.S. training camp just two days ago after finishing her season in Sweden where she was the league’s leading scorer, got into the scoring act with just seconds left in the match. Heather O’Reilly tore down the left side and rolled a cross into the penalty box that Morgan astutely dummied. The ball skipped through perfectly to Press who found the upper right corner with the outside of her right foot to complete the scoring.
Australia did have its chances, almost all through speedy forward Lisa De Vanna, who was a serious threat in the first 45 minutes. Solo turned away four shots in the first half, with three of them coming off the foot of the Sky Blue FC striker. De Vanna had a breakaway in the second minute and her left-footed shot deflected off of Solo’s glove, clipped the crossbar and went out of play. Solo also made a diving save to her left against De Vanna in the 20th minute and a quick reaction save with her left foot in the 27th minute.
The USA moves to 11-0-2 in 2013, with the draws coming against European champion Germany and Sweden.
The USA is riding a 36-game unbeaten streak since its last loss, which came to Japan (1-0) on March 5, 2012, at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Over those 36 games, the U.S. has scored 121 goals while allowing 26 in 30 wins and five ties.
The USA is also riding a 74-game home unbeaten streak. Those 74 games have included just nine ties and 65 wins. The last loss for the USA on home soil came on Nov. 6, 2004, a 3-1 setback to Denmark in Philadelphia. It was one of just two losses the USA has suffered when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
The match marked the 103rd win for the USA when Wambach scores a goal as the U.S. is now 103-2-8 when she finds the net at least once.
U.S. captain Christie Rampone did not suit up for the match as she is in the final stages of recovering from minor knee surgery.
U.S. right back Crystal Dunn made her sixth start and eighth overall appearance, all coming this year.
Wambach, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux started together for the first time, with Wambach and Morgan up front in a 4-4-2 formation.
Becky Sauerbrunn and Whitney Engen started together in the center of the defense for just the second time. The first time was on March 8 during a 5-0 win against China PR at the Algarve Cup, a match in which Engen scored.
Meghan Klingenberg, who started at left back, earned her fifth cap.
With her 159th appearance, Carli Lloyd moved into sole possession of 15th place all-time ahead of Cindy Parlow (158 games from 1996-2004).
With her assist to Christen Press, Heather O’Reilly now has 46 career assists and is now one behind seventh-place Carin Gabarra (47 assists from 1987-96).
Lloyd, O’Reilly and Hope Solo have each started in 133 games, tied for 14th place all-time.
Rachel Buehler and Press replaced Engen and Leroux, respectively, in the 57th minute after the USA took a 3-0 lead on Wambach’s goal.
Virginia junior Morgan Brian entered the match for Lauren Holiday in the 64th minute. Brian earned her third National Team cap.
Brian’s top-ranked Virginia squad defeated Dunn’s North Carolina side 2-0 while the U.S.-Australia game was in progress. Both players left immediately after the match to re-join their college teams.
The USA out-shot Australia 22-9 for the match.
Referee Kari Seitz, the most accomplished official in U.S. Soccer history having worked four FIFA Women’s World Cups, two Olympics Games and a FIFA youth World Cup, officiated the last match of her career and will now retire to become a referee instructor.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Australia
Date: Oct. 20, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. CT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 2 4
AUS 0 0 0
USA – Lauren Holiday 6th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd 14
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 56
USA – Christen Press (Heather O’Reilly) 90+1
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Crystal Dunn, 14-Whitney Engen (16-Rachel Buehler, 57), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday (25-Morgan Brian, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (23-Christen Press, 57); 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 7-Yael Averbuch, 11-Ali Krieger, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 19-Stephanie Cox
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
AUS: 18-Lydia Williams; 16-Stephanie Catley, 4-Clare Polkinghorne; 5-Laura Alleway (14-Alanna Kennedy, 76), 2-Teigen Allen; 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 19-Katrina Gorry, 13-Tameka Butt; 11-Lisa De Vanna, 12-Kate Gill (capt.) (17-Kyah Simon, 76) (22-Emily Gielnik, 79), 23-Michelle Heyman (20-Samantha Kerr, 28)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Brianna Davey, 3-Kim Carroll, 15-Heather Garriock, 7-Teresa Polias, 10-Emily Van Egmond
Head coach: Hesterine de Reus
Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 22 / 9
Shots on Goal: 13 / 5
Saves: 5 / 9
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 9
Offside: 5 / 7
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Veronica Perez (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match:
Share your opinion and see what other fans are saying on Facebook
Photos courtesy of FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns FC, Boston Breakers, Seattle Reign FC.