The U.S. WNT World Cup Victory Tour rolled into Detroit and right over Haiti Thursday night, beating a game but overmatched opponent 5-0 led by a hattrick from Carli Lloyd.
World Cup hero Lloyd opened the scoring in the game’s sixth minute, and added a pk to make it 3-0 in the 37th minute, her second coming just four minutes after Christen Press had given the home team a 2-0 lead.
Press was fouled for the penalty, but Crystal Dunn, the lone non World Cup winner on the U.S. team in Detroit, was Lloyd’s chief co-conspirator versus Haiti.
Dunn, who very nearly made the World Cup team as a fullback, was sent out as a wide midfielder by coach Jill Ellis last night and picked up two first half assists, before capping her night with a late goal.
Dunn may have missed out on the World Cup, but it is evident that the NWSL MVP in waiting will not miss out on selection going forward, she is simply too good.
Haiti had five players on coach Shek Borkowski’s WPSL powerhouse FC Indiana. The Polish born coach said prior to this game that Haiti couldn’t win this match, but he took the game to build his young squad with the U20 CONCACAF tournament coming up.
Jill Ellis was faced with the tricky task of building towards next summer’s Rio Olympics, while also giving the Detroit crowd the chance to see and say goodbye to some of their heroes.
Ellis stated her intent by starting Dunn, and sending out an side that featured blistering pace with attacking players all over the field. Kelley O’Hara started at fullback over World Cup regular Ali Krieger. O’Hara made a splash last summer in Canada as a winger, scoring in the semifinal against Germany.
Krieger played the second half, but this positional battle could be fought all the way Brazil.
Ellis will have to find a replacement for midfielder Lauren Holiday, no small task, and the coach gave a look to Tobin Heath against Haiti, with Morgan Brian a good bet to start in one central spot.
The second half saw Ellis make several changes starting in goal with Ashlyn Harris spelling Hope Solo. The controversial Solo is likely to remain the U.S. number one through Rio, but Ellis knows that at some point a new starter will have to emerge.
Lloyd completed her hat trick on a setup from Holiday and Dunn got her much deserved first ever senior international goal with Heather O’Reilly picking up the helper.
The Americans thoroughly dominated this match, stringing passes together and playing at tremendous pace. The U.S. finishing should have been sharper against this young Haiti team, and it might have been but for several fine saves from keeper Edny Limage.
Haiti stepped in as a late replacement for Australia to keep the Victory Tour on track with the two teams set to meet again in Birmingham, Alabama Sunday afternoon.
Ellis finished the game by inserting defensive stalwart Becky Sauerbrunn in the central midfield. The move got long time captain Christie Rampone on the field, giving the Detroit crowd a last(?) chance to see the 40 year old in action.
The move also signalled that Ellis has Rio in her sights and the battle for places is officially on.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 3 2 5
HAI 0 0 0 USA – Carli Lloyd (Crystal Dunn) 6th minute
USA – Christen Press (Crystal Dunn) 33
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick) 37
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lauren Holiday) 69
USA – Crystal Dunn (Heather O’Reilly) 90+3
USA: 1-Hope Solo (18-Ashlyn Harris, 46); 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Ali Krieger, 46), 19-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 25-Crystal Dunn, 14-Morgan Brian (12-Lauren Holiday, 46), 17-Tobin Heath (3-Christie Rampone, 63), 23-Christen Press (9-Heather O’Reilly, 63), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 13-Alex Morgan (20-Abby Wambach, 63)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Lori Chalupny, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
HAI: 12-Edny Limage (capt.) (1- Jonie Gabriel, 87); 2-Soveline Beaubrun, 4-Clorene Rateau, 6-Kimberly Boulos, 7-Roselord Borgella, 8-Sherly Jeudy (5-Sabine Chandler, 46), 9-Nerilia Mondesir, 10-Betcheba Louis (3-Jennifer Limage, 82), 13-Zila Lafleur (18-Kensia Destinvil, 86), 17-Yvrose Gervil, 20-Phisline Michel (16-Darline Radamaker, 46)
Subs Not Used: 19-Bencia Erleus, 21-Emeline Charles
Head coach: Shek Borkowski
Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 36 / 1
Shots on Goal: 13 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 2 / 9
Offside: 5 / 0
HAI – Kimberly Boulos (caution) 85th minute