It will be some time yet before the stench of the last place finish by the U.S. WNT at the SheBelieves Cup is erased, still the team’s Get Well Tour continued through Texas today as the Americans easily dispatched a game but overmatched Russia team by a 5-1 score in Houston, Texas.
Crystal Dunn had another brace, youngsters Rose Lavelle, with her first international goal, and Mallory Pugh, with two assists, impressed again as the U.S. continues to rebuild its confidence following last month’s nightmare performance in the SheBelieves Cup.
Coach Jill Ellis didn’t make too many changes to the starting lineup after Thursday night’s 4-0 win over this same opponent in Dallas. The battle to replace Hope Solo in the net continued with Ashlyn Harris between the pipes after Alyssa Naeher had taken her turn in game one. Ellis widened the goalkeeper search with the second half introduction of Jane Campbell for Harris, even if none of the three had much to do.
Ellis continued today with the 4-4-2 formation after staying loyal to the three back set during the SheBelieves Cup and once again the Americans seemed much more at ease. The opposition was different, of course, but Ellis will have to decide what role, if any, the three back set has with this team going forward.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride)
DEFENDERS (6): 7- Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11- Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), 5- Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 22- Megan Oyster (Boston Breakers), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 7- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 25- Jaelin Howell (Real Colorado), 16- Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/Manchester City), 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign)
FORWARDS (8): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/Olympique Lyonnais), 21-Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), 23- Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 2- Mallory Pugh (UCLA), 8- Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 26- Sophia Smith (Real Colorado), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage