US Women's National Team

LIVE BLOG (9/13/14): USA vs. Mexico

The United States takes on Mexico tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Here is tonight’s starting line up for the United States:

Starters:  Hope Solo; Stephanie Cox, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Klingenberg; Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday; Christen Press, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan

Off the Bench:  Sydney Leroux, Whitney Engen, Morgan Brian, Heather O’Reilly, Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn, Ashlyn Harris

**Kelley O’Hara and Ali Krieger are unavailable for tonight’s matchup with minor injuries, per U.S. Soccer

Of note:  After a two-goal performance against Seattle in the NWSL Championship August 31, Amy Rodriguez is left off of the 18-woman roster for this match. Have to wonder what it will take for Rodriguez to get a starting nod–or to make the roster in general. A-Rod was the only player to not suit up for the U.S. against Switzerland on August 20.

MEXICO STARTERS:  Santiago (C), Romero, Sierra, Garcíamendez, Solís, Rangel, Mercado, Mayor, Robles, Samarzich, Pérez

While we’re waiting for kickoff, check out this video of the NEW New Kids, just in case you haven’t seen it. And even if you have, it is definitely worth watching again:

And we are underway in the first half.

1′ – Press gets behind the Mexico defense on the right side but hooks her shot wide of the left post.

The opening 10 minutes has been mostly USA thus far. No real dangerous opportunities for either side.

11′ – GOAL – The U.S. goals up by a goal after Alina Garciamendez attempted to clear a header from Alex Morgan and chipped Santiago for an own goal. [Of course, just before this happens is when my feed opts to freeze the video so I only heard the goal but was not able to see it. Hoping for a replay].

The United States topped Mexico 7-0 the last time these two sides met. Are we on our way to seeing another rout?

18′ – Morgan gets free on the left and puts a left-footed cross in that Press plays on the volley with the inside of her right foot. Her shot hits the side netting and the U.S. is still looking to add to its lead.

Unsure how I feel about the outside back situation on this team. Krieger at right back is the only one that really makes sense to me, but the left back rotation (Klingenberg, Cox, Dunn and O’Hara) is just not working for me. Who do you think fits the bill on the left side for Team USA?

23′ –  GOAL – Morgan gets down the left flank again, manages to get endline and slides a cross back for Wambach to bury to make it 2-0.

28′ – Rapinoe on the left side looks for Wambach lurking at the back post but the cross sails out of bounds.

USA back line has not really been tested in this opening half hour.

30′ – Klingenberg saves a pass on the right side and puts a cross into the back post. Lloyd smacks a volley from close range that Santiago gets a hand on to prevent the Americans from adding to their lead.

35′ – Morgan gets played in by Klingenberg and takes a touch to turn and fire a right-footed shot into the side netting. The U.S. is knocking on the door.

36′ – GOAL – Morgan running side-by-side with Bianca Sierra and Morgan gets her foot on it to chip it over an onrushing Santiago. 3-0 USA

The U.S. has looked more dangerous and we have seen a great deal of Rapinoe, Wambach, Morgan and Lloyd. Would like to see more of Holiday and Press as well as both outside backs (particularly Cox) getting up the field.

41′ – GOAL – Morgan gets in on the right and plays a cross just in front of Santiago, who gets a hand on it but that isn’t enough to push it out of the path of a sliding Wambach. 4-0.

Mexico needs to get into the break without conceding again so that they are able to regroup heading into the second half. Dominating half by the Americans, which has been much of the “Abby and Alex show” thus far.

45′ – Almost another one for the U.S. when Rapinoe gets on the left side of the box and fires a shot on goal that is parried away by Santiago. Big save from the Mexican ‘keeper to prevent a further hole.

One minute of stoppage time, which is just about over now. The U.S. heads into halftime leading the match 4-0.

Halftime:

I think that the 4-0 scoreline is slightly misleading here. The U.S. has capitalized on Mexican mistakes but three of those four goals were caused by a breakdown on the Mexican back line. I’d like to see the U.S. build the attack a bit more. Holiday and Press have both been a bit invisible during this half. Cox has not gotten up that left side as often as we’ve seen Klingenberg get up into the attack. Wambach and Morgan don’t look like they’ve missed a beat, despite both missing significant parts of the year due to injury.

SUBS:

USA- Crystal Dunn ON, Stephanie Cox OFF
USA – Whitney Engen ON, Becky Sauerbrunn OFF

Second half is underway

We’ll see if Dunn gets into more of the attack than what we saw from Cox.

47′ – Garciamendez comes dangerously close to repeating her first half mistake when clearing a Rapinoe cross away from her own goal.

50′ – Klingenberg continues getting in the attack and puts a cross at the back post for Wambach whose header hits the crossbar and deflects back in front of goal. The U.S. is unable to put the shot past and Lloyd is called for a foul (those she seemed to get the worst of it).

56′ – The U.S. has had several corner kicks but hasn’t created anything dangerous there

57′ – GOAL – Press is in on the right side and plays a pass across the goal mouth for Morgan running through the middle who finishes easily. 5-0, U.S.

60′ – GOAL – Just as I’ve said that the U.S. needs to be dangerous and create on a corner kick, Rapinoe puts a corner kick in that Press heads up and Engen gets a head on for her first goal of 2014. 6-0 USA.

SUBS:

USA-Sydney Leroux ON, Megan Rapinoe OFF
USA – Tobin Heath ON, Abby Wambach OFF
USA – Heather O’Reilly ON, Christen Press OFF

Dunn has been more of an attacking presence on that left flank than we saw the opening 45 minutes from Cox. Good to see both outside backs in the attack now though.

Side note: we currently have five players that are North Carolina products:  O’Reilly, Heath, Dunn, Engen and Klingenberg. Of those five, only Klingenberg started the match.

68′ – O’Reilly picks out Leroux on the left side and the Reign forward’s header goes wide (though the flag was up for offside)

71′ – GOAL – Holiday finds Leroux on the corner kick and Leroux gets her head on it from the back post. The last time this two teams met, Leroux had a hat trick en route to a 7-0 win. It’s 7-0 now.

SUB:

USA:  Morgan Brian ON, Carli Lloyd OFF

75′ – GOAL – Morgan gets a shot off that is saved by Santiago but the rebound comes back to O’Reilly and the East Brunswick, New Jersey native slots it lower left to make it 8-0.

The United States have finished their opportunities in the second half and we have seen a bit more build up from the U.S. at times. I like the set pieces (mostly corner kicks) after Wambach exited the match primarily because there have been other options for Rapinoe and Holiday to pick out (like Engen and Leroux, who were virtually in the same spot but didn’t garner the same defensive pressure as Wambach does). I think that going forward, maybe mixing it up with who is at the back post may throw some teams a little off balance.

82′ – Holiday and Heath play a corner shot and Holiday’s left-footed cross finds Morgan and Leroux at the back post but the header is off the post and cleared.

90+ – Morgan gets in 1v1 on Santiago but the 19 year-old makes a big stop on the play.

And that’s the final whistle. The U.S. wins 8-0 behind goals from Wambach (2), Morgan (2), Leroux, Engen and O’Reilly as well as an own goal. Hope Solo gets her 72nd shutout to break the tie with Brianna Scurry and now holds the U.S. record.

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