The USWNT has had zero problems in their qualifying run on their way to the Olympic games in Rio this summer. Fresh off of a 1-0 win against Mexico on Saturday that sealed the U.S. team’s spot in the Semifinal, the Women faced off against Puerto Rico in a match that would be seen more as a run up in the quest for the Qualifying title win. With that being said, this one was over pretty much before the ball was even kicked off.
The team that faced off against the Puerto Rican side with a mix of experienced players and some fresh faces that haven’t seen a lot of action in the first team. The starting 11 featured regulars and fan favorites like, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press, Ali Kriger, and Kelley O’Hara. Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, Samantha Mewis, Stephanie McCaffrey, Jaelene Hinkle, Emily Sonnet, and Alyssa Naeher rounded out the starting line up. If there was any doubt that the U.S. didn’t have a deep bench, those who doubted where shown a new lineup that destroyed opponents just as badly.
The game started off with a goal only 6 minutes in from Dunn who scored on a low shot after taking a nice touch inside of the 18 yard line. The second goal would come in the 19th minute as Pugh, who had the opening assist, earned a penalty that Lloyd put straight in the back of the net by way of a sweet upper 90 hit. Two minutes later, Dunn slotted in her second of the match. The next goal would come right before halftime from O’Hara to make it 4-0 at halftime for the USWNT. I will save us all some time and just say that after halftime, things only got worse for the Puerto Ricans. Dunn scored 5 total goals in the game, which tied a record for the USWNT for most goals by a single player in a match. Not a bad run out for the 23-year-old I would say!
The USWNT will be hoping to carry over this dominance into Friday’s match against the team that finishes 2nd in the other group. It’s looking like smooth sailing fot the U.S. to Rio.
Will the women be able to keep it up? This writer thinks Rio is going to happen. No one will stop this U.S. side the way they are playing right now.