It was all too easy for the USWNT Thursday night in Jacksonville, Florida in a facile 4-1 win over Mexico, a match that served primarily to highlight the vast drop in quality between the Americans CONCACAF opposition and the tougher foes the defending World Cup champions can expect to face next year in France 2019.
The Americans came out of the blocks quickly at EverBank Field pressuring Mexico into an early mistake that led to a U.S. goal in the sixth minute. 19-year-old center back Tierna Davidson, still playing for Stanford University, started the play when she intercepted an errant pass and quickly found Alex Morgan. Morgan’s through ball to Megan Rapinoe was centered to Mallory Pugh for the easy tap-in and the Americans were on their way.
Despite U.S. domination, Mexico kept the score to 1-0 at the half but there was no holding the home team on the resumption. Alex Morgan kicked off the rout when she earned and then converted a penalty kick in the 51st minute. Morgan added another just two minutes later to claim seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal-scoring list. Tonight’s goals were numbers nine and 10 for Morgan in her last 12 national team games.
Coach Jill Ellis continued the Crystal Dunn at left back experiment while continuing to slot Davidson in alongside Abby Dahlkemper at center back in place of team co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn who made her long-awaited return in the 77th minute in place of Mal Pugh.
These two sides meet again Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium, in Houston, Texas.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 3 4
DEN 0 1 1
USA – Mallory Pugh (Megan Rapinoe) 6th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (penalty kick) 51
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsey Horan) 53
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan) 54
MEX – Katie Johnson (Ariana Calderón) 64
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Emily Sonnett, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 17-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 3-Andi Sullivan (10-Carli Lloyd, 53), 6-Morgan Brian (20-Allie Long, 71), 9-Lindsey Horan; 11-Mallory Pugh (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 77), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (22-Ashley Hatch, 80), 15-Megan Rapinoe (21-Savannah McCaskill, 71)
Substitutes: 18-Jane Campbell, 25-Hailie Mace
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 1-Bianca Henninger; 2-Kenti Robles, 13-Annia Mejía (23-Christina Murillo, 57), 3-Bianca Sierra, 5-Mónica Flores (22-Greta Espinoza, 46); 7-Cristina Ferral (8-Ariana Calderón, 46), 6-Karla Nieto (4-Vanessa Flores, 78), 19-Katie Johnson (21-Renae Cuéllar,76); 11-Mónica Ocampo (capt.) (17-María Sánchez, 76), 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Kiana Palacios
Substitutes: 9-Anisa Guajardo, 12-Cecilia Santiago,14-Jocelyn Orejel, 16-Marcela Valera
Head coach: Roberto Medina
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 20 / 9
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 10
Offside: 4 / 0