US Women's National Team

LIVE BLOG: USA vs. South Korea (June 20)

The USA will take on South Korea at 7:30pm E.T. and will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.

Check back here around 7:00pm for lineups for Team USA!

The two teams played to a 4-1 result in favor of the United States on June 15 at Gillette Stadium.  Kristie Mewis, Lauren Cheney, Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach (pk) all scored for the United States and Hope Solo saw her first minutes with the US team since having wrist surgery in March.

LINEUP:

USA Starters: 1-Solo; 6-Dunn, 3-Rampone (c), 14-Engen, 22-Klingenberg; 9-O’Reilly, 10-Lloyd, 12-Cheney, 15-Rapinoe; 13-Morgan, 20-Wambach.

2-Leroux, 4-Sauerbrunn, 5-O’Hara, 16-Averbuch, 17-Heath, 21-Loyden, 23-Press

Notes:

Solo, Dunn, Engen, Klingenberg, Rapinoe & Wambach all make starts in place of Barnhart, Mewis, Buehler, Heath, & Leroux

Incredibly young back line in Dunn, Engen, and Klingenberg, who between the three of them have 16 caps.

All six NJ products are a part of this roster – Rampone, O’Reilly and Lloyd in the starting lineup and Averbuch, Heath and Loyden on the bench.

PRE-GAME:

Abby discussing the record and talking about playing with Mia and Alex and about wanting to win a World Cup.

FIRST HALF:

Introductions have been done, national anthems played…kickoff is coming up next!

5 – Corner kick coming up – first chance for Abby Wambach…

6 – Long cross from O’Reilly is brought down by Morgan who is looking for Wambach but the South Korean keeper is out to grab it.

Well South Korea has kept the US scoreless longer than they did on Saturday.

The play-by-play of Wambach jumping for a header is a little much here guys.

11 -GOAL – Cheney chips a pass in for Wambach who holds off her defender and slots it into the back of the net.  157. (#ChasingMia)

12 – South Korea lets Wambach in on a breakaway but her shot is kick saved.  Right now, it’s looking like this record may be broken tonight.

16 – Good run Dunn on the right flank (not very good defending from the South Korean defender on Dunn).  Morgan should’ve been looping her run just a tad more than that.

(Side note:  Watching this game with my dad is quite amusing.  He’s been yelping at the TV every few minutes).

19 – GOAL – History’s being made here folks.  Classic Wambach.  Cheney spins around her defender and sends a chip in for Wambach who puts a diving header lower right.  158.

24 – O’Reilly with a left-footed shot wide of goal.  USA is just going for it in this first half.

#ChasingMia has been changed to #CaughtMia 🙂

This is fun @AbbyWambach! Get it done and enjoy your moment. We are watching with anticipation . – @MiaHamm

30 – GOAL – HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE (and South Korea tried to steal the ball)!

(Yes, I will try to get an actual description up of that goal in just a minute).

So now that they’ve done a replay…that goal was typical Abby Wambach.  Rapinoe to Wambach on the corner kick, Abby powers a header to the back of the net before the South Korean keeper could even react and then the insanity – rightfully so – ensues.

Amongst the flood of congratulatory tweets, another one from Mia herself:

Congratulations @AbbyWambach. So proud of you, my friend. You are a warrior and true champion. Enjoy this.

41 – Memorable first half to say the least.

42 – South Korea has been trying to build some form of attack over the last 5-10 minutes or so.

South Korea has been caught offside close to half a dozen times.  Timing of the runs, the space between the USA’s midfielders and backline, or some combination of both?

45+ – GOAL – 160.  Morgan and Wambach play a give-and-go and Morgan beats her defender to flick a cross to Wambach who buries it into an empty net.

So basically, Abby Wambach 4, South Korea 0.

HALFTIME:

Overall, this has been an exciting half of soccer.  Partially because of this record being broken tonight and partially because of how electric the team is looking.  You can tell that a weight was lifted off of Abby as well as the rest of the team.

And because of the fact that I like looking for these little connections:

Goal # 157  & 158 – Abby from Lauren Cheney – Cheney was the player who replaced Wambach on the 2008 Olympic team after Wambach suffered a broken leg against Brazil in the final send-off match.  She also had the assist on Abby’s 100th goal in Rochester almost a year to the day following the injury

Goal #159 – Abby from Megan Rapinoe – Who could forget the header heard around the world?  I mean, yeah…we aren’t in the 122nd minute of the World Cup quarterfinals but it’s still just a tad dramatic.

Goal #160 – Abby from Alex Morgan – Morgan has been under Abby’s wing similar to how Abby was with Mia.

SECOND HALF:

USA SUB:  Loyden  on for Solo

46 – Morgan going for a goal of her own and her left footed shot hits the outside of the net.

48 – USA SUB:  Sauerbrunn on for Rampone

49 – USA SUB:  Leroux on for Morgan

Interesting to see these two subs just into the second half.  Why not make them at the half?

52 – USA SUB: O’Hara on for Klingenberg

Side note:  As someone who was in the medical field in terms of a college major, I’m not entirely sure why a trainer wasn’t called to look at the South Korea who got knocked in the head by her goalkeeper and maybe Wambach as well.

54 – These corners seem to just be almost gifting another goal to the United States.

Rapinoe has indeed been asked back to Lyon – we won’t be surprised to see her over there after the NWSL season is over.

56 – Leroux slots a pass back from Cheney who blasts a shot wide of the goal

58 – USA SUB:  Christen Press is coming on for Abby Wambach who leaves to raucous applause and cheers.

That sign that said “#Chasing Mia” with chasing crossed out and “PASSED” written above it was pretty awesome

62 – US trying to keep scoring but South Korea has seen a little bit more of the possession this half (relatively speaking to the first half).  Building an attack but it’s cleared out.

64 – GOAL – Rapinoe turns back out wide to a wide-open Kelley O’Hara and she puts a left-footed cross into the box where Lauren Cheney finishes on a header from six yards out.

The US isn’t stopping now either – they’re still going for more.

67 – Rapinoe sends a looping ball over to Press who was streaking down the middle 1v1 with her defender but Press nails her shot over the net.  She needed to get that off her foot much sooner than that.  She might have had one if she’d taken the shot off her left foot.

71 – USA SUB:  Averbuch on for Cheney

75 – Averbuch with a cracking shot that the goalkeeper collects (she looked a tiny bit surprised to have gotten the ball)

78 – Press with another chance but puts it wide.

So if you’re South Korea, you really don’t want to let Rapinoe touch the ball.  She’s killing all of them.

80 – Jungmi is down after a collision with Sydney Leroux.  Seems like almost anyone who gets hit by Leroux is getting up very, very slowly.

84 – What did I say? Do NOT let Rapinoe touch the ball if you don’t want to be burned.  Rapinoe with a shot from distance that is pushed aside by Jungmi

ATTENDANCE:  18, 965 on hand for a memorable and record-setting night

88 – Leroux cracks a shot that is pushed aside and O’Reilly swoops in to grab it and set the ball back in.

90 – O’Reilly with a blast (did her defender just move OUT of the way?)  and Averbuch with a cracker of a shot that’s held.

The US is STILL going at it – forget that it’s 5-0 – we want a sixth?

And that is GAME (after my dad and little sister are going “that’s it, it’s done”).

Final Score:  USA 5, South Korea 0

Post-game thoughts:

Well, the US didn’t get the early lead in this one – or at least not quite as early as we did on Saturday.  What the US did get was a monster game from Abby Wambach who – finally – got her record.  She’s been the first to say that she didn’t want any of this – she didn’t want the focus constantly on her TO break it, that she wanted the focus on the team.  But it was a special moment for her and congratulations were coming in on social media.  Mia Hamm released this statement in addition to the congratulatory tweets above:

“I’m just so proud of her.  Just watching those four goals, that’s what she is all about.  She fights for the ball, she’s courageous and she never gives up.  Her strength and perseverance is what makes her so great and it’s what opposing teams and defenders fear.  From being her teammate early in her career, I know all she ever wanted to do was win and she continues to do that.  I’m just glad I got to share 158 with her.  It was short, but it was fun.”

The US also got to take advantage of these friendlies to take a look at some young players.  Dunn, Klingenberg and Engen all saw time on the back line and Engen and Dunn played full 90s.  Sermanni continues to take a look at these players and evaluate them.  After watching Pia Sundhage stall with the same roster for so long, it’s been refreshing to see these young players breaking into the lineup.  They are our future and it will be pivotal for the United States to get them experience before 2015.

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