The United States takes on South Korea at 7pm E.T. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
USA Starters: 18-Barnhart; 3-Rampone, 19-Buehler (C), 4-Sauerbrunn, 8-Mewis; 9-O’Reilly, 10-Lloyd, 12-Cheney, 17-Heath; 2-Leroux, 13-Morgan
1-Solo, 6-Dunn, 11-Krieger, 14-Engen, 16-Averbuch, 20-Wambach, 25-Brian.
Rachel Buehler is honored for her 100th cap and will wear the captain’s armband for tonight’s match.
3 – GOAL -Sydney Leroux gets free in the box and her cross deflects off the South Korean goalkeeper as Tobin Heath runs in front of the keeper. The ball falls to Kristie Mewis, who finishes it into an empty net for her first national team goal in front of a hometown crowd.
7 – GOAL – Tobin Heath sends a one-time pass off a throw in to Lauren Cheney who turns and fires a low shot to the near post.
13 – Interesting lineup we have here, seeing Rampone on the outside for the first time in a little while (that I can remember at least). Mewis is usually a midfielder, but gets the nod at left back. Morgan and Leroux will start up top after combining for all three goals against Canada. Abby Wambach will start on the bench tonight but is just three goals off of tying Mia Hamm (#ChasingMia).
21 – Rampone getting into the attack often early on in this one. Definitely one to keep an eye on as the match progresses.
22 – O’Reilly’s diagonal run to the left flank sets up Morgan to take a crack on goal but her shot sails over the net.
24 – Korea getting a little bit of time in the attacking third but can’t get a shot off before the USA regains possession.
26 – GOAL – Cho Sohyun caps off a nice build up to bring South Korea back in this one. It was their first shot on goal (Sohyun had one goal wide earlier).
31 – You can tell whenever Morgan is even possibly going to get near the ball. The shrieks from the crowd double in volume.
38 – You are not going to beat Nicole Barnhart from that range.
41 – Heath’s shot is deflected out for a corner kick, and Leroux’s header is cleared off the line on the ensuing kick.
USA – 2
South Korea – 1
The US started so strong, scoring twice in the first ten minutes and it looked like they’d be off to the races before South Korea settled down and spent some time in the attacking third, getting a goal back in the 26th minute. We’ll see what halftime changes Tom Sermanni makes, but we can expect to see Abby Wambach and Hope Solo in this match.
Abby Wambach will come on for Sydney Leroux and Hope Solo will see her first action since having wrist surgery in March, coming on for Nicole Barnhart.
Second half is underway!
ATTENDANCE: 13,035 at Gillette Stadium
50 – Korea has been attacking early in the second half in search of the equalizer
50 – Morgan chases a header back to the Korea ‘keeper, almost knocking the ball away.
52 – Wambach’s bid for goal 156 is denied as she JUST puts her shot over the bar.
56 – Wambach again! Her header off a corner kick is cleared off the line as it was dropping in.
57 – GOAL – Carli Lloyd collected a pass with plenty of space in front of her and ripped a low, hard shot into the lower left corner from 32 yards out. Lloyd is playing in a defensive midfield position. Korea can’t afford to give Lloyd that kind of space.
60 – Expect the subs to begin coming. Sermanni has been very liberal with his bench in friendlies since taking over in February.
61 – Wambach looking to get through but is just offside as Morgan tries to play her through.
63 – The US is looking to combine the way they started this match. Korea’s attack has tapered off in the last 15 minutes of the match.
65 – O’Hara missing from match day line up due to suffering a “slight injury” in practice yesterday.
66 – Wambach goes up for the header and the South Korean keeper drops it but it is cleared before it can become dangerous.
70 – SUBS (USA): Krieger on for Buehler, Averbuch on for Lloyd. Looks like Krieger will go back to right back and Rampone will slide into the center.
73 – I am not a fan of the camera angle facing towards just one goal. Much prefer the normal angle.
76 – Morgan needs to take that shot versus trying to pass it off – ChasingMia or not.
77 – SUB (USA): Morgan Brian gets her first cap, coming on for Lauren Cheney.
77 – Abby tries to get a toe poke past the South Korean keeper but the keeper manages to corral the ball in.
78 – Eventually something’s gotta give for Wambach right? Right?
83 – Solo makes her first save since early in the second half on Kim Sanguen. Little pace on the shot but the ball definitely looked like it moved if Solo’s positioning is any indication.
89 – Heather O’Reilly nails a shot off the crossbar, the rebound bounces around in the box past Morgan and is cleared.
91 – Alex Morgan is pulled down in the box to earn a penalty kick. No question on who’s taking this one…
(Looked like a PK to me)
GOAL! 156. Two goals away from Mia Hamm’s 158. #ChasingMia. Wambach buries the PK just inside the right post.
And that’s going to do it in Foxborough. Final score: USA 4, South Korea 1.
POST GAME THOUGHTS/NOTES:
- #ChasingMia – Wambach has tried to talk less about this, but it seems obvious that it’s still on her teammates’ minds. There were several occasions where you could see that her teammates, particularly Alex Morgan, were trying extra hard to get her the ball. Morgan seemed to have an off night and looked to be trying a little too hard to get the ball to Wambach’s feet (or head) on opportunities.
- Creating Space: Both Carli Lloyd and Lauren Cheney’s goals were a product of both players being able to create space (Cheney) or being given too much space by South Korea (Lloyd).
- Hometown girl: Kristie Mewis hails from Hanson, MA and was able to spend much of the week of training visiting family and friends in between training. The 22-year-old midfielder (or, well, in the case of tonight, defender) made her third start and sixth appearance in front of her hometown fans. Mewis spent four years at Boston College and currently plays for FC Kansas City.
- NWSL Impact: Kristie Mewis and Lauren Cheney had first half tallies while Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach added second half strikes. First half: FC Kansas City, Second half: Western New York Flash.
- First Caps: Tom Sermanni has already shown that he’s willing to give young players a chance to make an impact. University of Virginia midfielder Morgan Brian became the latest young player to earn a full national team cap. She is the seventh player that Sermanni has capped since he took over as head coach in February (Christen Press, Julie Johnston, Mewis, Crystal Dunn, Lindsay Horan and Ashlyn Harris are the others).
- Missing in Action: Only 18 players were able to suit up for the match tonight – Press, Kelley O’Hara, Jillian Loyden, Megan Rapinoe and Meghan Klingenberg did not suit up. Press, Klingenberg and Rapinoe all arrived within the past day or two from Sweden and France respectively. O’Hara picked up a “slight injury” during training yesterday but should see some time on Thursday at Red Bull Arena.