Chester, Pa. – The U.S. WNT improved its 2016 record to 11-0-0 with a 3-0 win today over a badly outmatched Colombia side who came out with one intention, to lose by a less lopsided score than they did Wednesday in East Hartford.
Four days ago the U.S. WNT roughed up Colombia 7-0, today Colombia sat deep and frustrated the U.S. at times, although the home team had plenty of chances to make it more.
Oddly, several of those missed opportunities fell to local girl Carli Lloyd who had mentioned on Saturday that she always liked to put on a show for the home crowd.
After finishing without a goal Lloyd didn’t lend much credence to the suggestion that she was pressing for a score, at least not any more than usual. “I’m always pressing for a goal,” Lloyd said after the win above the din of screaming fans. “That’s just the life of a soccer player.”
Lloyd’s words echoed Jill Ellis’ answer when the subject was put to her in the coach’s post game press conference. “I wouldn’t say it matters, Carli can play in front of five people and she is going to want to press for a goal.”
Lloyd didn’t get a goal but the Yanks eventually did knock in three to bring the team’s goal difference to an impressive 41 on the year via a 42-1 combined scoreline over 11 games. And Ellis was happy that two of those goals came from free kicks.
The coach noted that “(Lauren) Holiday, and (Megan) Rapinoe, were our players that had taken set pieces for us.” The coach noted that Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath have assumed those duties and complimented Heath’s work in setting up both of Julie Johnston’s goals today.
“I thought Tobin’s vision today was phenomenal. She saw the spaces, knew J.J. makes that run consistently, so I credit Tobin with the service and J.J. with the bravery and the execution.”
For her part, “J.J.” said, “at the end of the day, it’s all Tobin. Tobin played the set piece right where it needed to be and I was lucky enough to be in the right spot.”
Putting aside Johnston’s modesty, Ellis recognizes the importance of scoring from dead ball situations, which the coach acknowledged, “we haven’t done for a while,” and which she reminds, “is something that’s always been a strength of ours.”
Ellis experimented with Tobin Heath at fullback today and while she did fine against a Colombia side that provided little offensive threat, the skilfull attacker admitted with a smile, “I prefer to be attacking.”
In the end, it wasn’t 7-0 and the goals were a little harder to come by today than they might have been. But the U.S. WNT will take a 10-0 two game aggregate over Colombia as a job well done and move on.
Up next is a June 2 date with Japan in Colorado, followed by three more games with details yet to be finalized. Then it is on the summer Olympics where the U.S. WNT will try to claim a third straight Gold Medal, this one in Brazil, the home of the Beautiful Game.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
COL 0 0 0
USA – Christen Press (Lindsey Horan) 26th minute
USA – Julie Johnston (Tobin Heath) 42
USA – Julie Johnston (Tobin Heath) 79
USA: 21-Alyssa Naeher; 17-Tobin Heath, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 61), 7-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61); 3-Samantha Mewis, 20-Lindsey Horan (23-Allie Long, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (11-Ali Krieger, 73); 12-Christen Press, 16-Crystal Dunn, 2-Mallory Pugh
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Emily Sonnett
Head coach: Jill Ellis
COL: 1-Catalina Perez, 3-Natalia Gaitan, 14-Nataly Arias, 2-Carolina Arbelaez, 9-Orianica Velasquez, 5-Isabella Echeverri, 6-Liana Salazar, 15-Tatiana Ariza (7-Nicole Regnier, 87), 4-Diana Ospina (10-Yorely Rincon, 87), 16-Leicy Santos, 11-Catalina Usme (18-Yisela Cuesta, 90+1)
Subs not used: 12-Paula Forero, 8-Carolina Pineda, 13-Maria Jaramillo, 17-Leidy Asprilla
Head Coach: Fabian Taborda
Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 22 / 3
Shots on Goal: 10 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 7 / 9
Offside: 3 / 0
COL – Liana Salazar (caution) 54th minute
COL – Natalia Gaitan (caution) 77