US Women's National Team

LIVE BLOG: USA vs. Switzerland (8/20/14)

We are underway in Cary, North Carolina as the United States Women’s National team takes on Switzerland!

LINEUPS:

USA Starters: 1-Solo; 11-Krieger, 3-Rampone-C, 4-Sauerbrunn, 19-Dunn; 10-Lloyd, 12-Holiday, 15-Rapinoe; 2-Leroux, 13-Morgan, 23-Press

Subs are 6-Long, 7-Brian, 9-O’Reilly, 16-Johnston, 18-Naeher, 20-Wambach, 25-Klingenberg

Switzerland Starting XI: Thalmann, Maritz, Abbe, Kiwic, Moster, Walti, Burki, Humm, Crnogorcevic, Bachmann, Dickenmann

First half:

3′ – GOAL – Leroux finds her Seattle Reign teammate Megan Rapinoe at the top of the box and Rapinoe puts a left-footed shot past the Swiss keeper to put the U.S. on top, 1-0.

Familiar faces on the Swiss attack with Lara Dickenmann (2007, Sky Blue W-League MVP, scoring and assist leader) and Ramona Bachmann (2010 WPS Atlanta Beat).

Hope Solo has the opportunity to break the U.S. shutout record this evening if she and the U.S. defense can hold the Swiss scoreless.

Also of note – Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City) did not suit up for this match. Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Dunn, Holiday, Rapinoe, Leroux and Morgan will all suit up for their NWSL clubs this weekend for the semifinal matchups.

13′ – The Swiss are settling into this match after conceding the early goal. The United States has had a couple of half chances, but nothing solid.

19′ – Kiwic yanks down Morgan running down the left side and earns a yellow card. Rapinoe is standing over the free kick and her shot floats to the far post and is easily caught by Thalmann.

20′ – Solo’s plays a ball down field for Press but Thalmann comes out of her box to head the ball away from the onrushing Red Star.

Crystal Dunn has looked impressive at left back. She is versatile as many know (having played in the midfield or up top at North Carolina and in the back for the U.S.) and may have looked the best in that left back slot. It will be interesting to see who wins that spot (Dunn, Klingenberg, O’Hara).

31′ – Rapinoe’s corner kick skips off the crossbar after Morgan earned a corner kick. The U.S. is pressing for a second goal but has to tighten up the passing in the attacking third.

The midfield combination tonight has been intriguing. I’m not 100 percent sure that it would always work but it hasn’t been as strange as some thought.

35′ – Speaking of that midfield, Rapinoe runs at the Swiss defense before dishing out wide to Lloyd coming down the right flank. Lloyd slots a pass across that is cleared just feet off the line before an American can slide it home. Thalmann is injured on the play and there are consecutive corner kicks for the United States that are cleared away both times by the Swiss back line.

39′ – Morgan played on the left side and fires a rocket on goal that Thalmann is forced to parry away. The resulting (short) corner kick is executed well as Holiday’s shot is pushed out for a second corner kick.

43′ – Bachmann plays Crnogorcevic in and the Swiss attacker looks to take a shot but crosses instead. Sauerbrunn calmly knocks the ball out of danger. By far the most attacking we have seen from the visiting side this evening. The Swiss are struggling to find each other within the box.

HALFTIME:

After one minute of stoppage time, the U.S. heads into the locker room with a one-goal lead following Megan Rapinoe’s third minute goal.

Subs:

USA:

Wambach on for Leroux
Klingenberg on for Krieger
Johnston on for Sauerbrunn

SUI:  Stenia Michel on for Thalmann

Second half:

46′ – Michel makes a save right off the start of the second half as she pushes a shot from Lloyd away.

50′ – Wambach slots a pass for Morgan that gets knocked away but goes right to Rapinoe. Her left-footed cross finds the head of Lloyd and Wambach’s ensuing shot is deflected over the goal for a corner kick. The United States is still pressing for a second goal.

55′ – Rapinoe plays a cross in that is deflected off a Swiss defender’s hand. Lloyd to take the PK. She slots her shot into the lower right corner for a 2-0 lead.

59′ – Abbe with a yellow card – the third of the evening for holding/shoving/yanking down Alex Morgan.

63′ – Klingenberg plays a great ball in for Wambach who called offsides. Would have been a great chance.

Commentary team discussing WakeMed being a great complex and field. And I still wonder if we’ll ever see another women’s professional club in the Triangle (Carolina Courage, WUSA).

65′ – Heather O’Reilly comes on for Alex Morgan.

70′ – Rapinoe whistled for a handball in the box. Crnogorcevic to take it. And fires it past Hope Solo. No shutout record for the Reign keeper tonight.

72′ – O’Reilly gets played behind the Swiss backline and dribbles the keeper but runs out of space and the ball trickles out for a goal kick.

Both penalty kicks tonight were calm and cool placement shots. And both times the keeper guessed wrong. Lloyd’s PK the difference right now with 15 minutes remaining.

75′ – Press puts a ball across for Wambach from the right side of the field but Wambach is unable to get a foot on it and the ball is cleared out of danger by the Swiss.

77′ – GOAL – Press chests the ball down and smashes a volley off the crossbar and over the line to give the U.S. the 3-1 lead.

USA Sub:  Rapinoe off, Morgan Brian on.

Had to get the feeling another goal was coming for the U.S. Moments after a missed attempt from Wambach (off a Press pass), the forward comes back and hits a stunner for the two-goal advantage.

85′ – Holiday comes off for Allie Long and Carli Lloyd receives a yellow card (amid some protests from HAO and Abby) for a tough challenge.

87′ – Wambach gets a push in the box and earns the penalty kick. She will step up to the spot and slots her shot lower right as the U.S. goes up 4-1.

Not entirely sure I agree that that was a PK as it looked like it wasn’t a whole lot of contact. Surprised to see it called actually.

FULL TIME:  The United States takes this one, 4-1, behind goals from Rapinoe, Lloyd (PK), Press and Wambach (PK). Crnogorcevic scored the lone tally for Switzerland on a PK to spoil Solo’s hopes for her 72nd shutout tonight.

POST GAME:

Crystal Dunn (WASH) played the full 90 tonight and Lauren Holiday (FCKC) played 85 minutes. All other playoff-bound players played 77 (Rapinoe) or less. Holiday, Sauerbrunn, Morgan and Long will all play Saturday afternoon in Kansas City.

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