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Recap: USWNT 2 - 0 Canada
Mallory Swanson's brace propels the US to a 2-0 shutout victory over Canada!
The United States Women's National Team returned to action Thursday as they opened up their SheBelives Cup campaign inside Exploria Stadium against Canada.
The spotlight shined on Alex Morgan before the game as she was honored for making her 200th cap with the United States Women’s National Team.
On the other side of the pitch, Canada continued their fight for equal pay as the squad dawned purple t-shirts with “Enough Is Enough” written across them. The display continued up to the whistle as both teams gathered at the center circle and came together to form a circle. The US supported the cause after battling and winning their equal pay fight in 2022.
Alyssa Naeher started in net behind the backline quartet of Crystal Dunn, Becky Sauerbrunn, Alana Cook, and Emily Fox. Lindsey Horan, Andi Sullivan, and Ashley Sanchez composed the midfield, while Mallory Swanson, Alex Morgan, and Trinity Rodman formed the attack.
The United States was off to a hot start in the first minute as Morgan headed a ball forward to Swanson, who dished the ball to Horan. Horan attempted a close-range shot to the near post, but Canada’s Kailen Sheridan was all over it as she deflected the ball away from danger.
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Sanchez came close to putting the USWNT on the board in the 3rd minute as she sent a long-distance shot from outside towards the top left corner of the net. Again, Sheridan was all over it as she stretched to make the save.
Horan had a golden opportunity to find the opener in the 5th minute as she found herself free inside the box and looked to send a shot to the right side of the net. Luckily for Sheridan, Horan’s shot deflected off a Canadian defender and away from danger.
The US finally found the back of the net in the 7th minute. Rodman drove down the right flank and sent a ball centrally to Morgan, who flicked the ball back to Swanson. Swanson was alert as she lasered a shot past the defense and into the back of the net.
A puzzling display by Canada in the 34th minute led to a second goal for the United States as pressure from Morgan forced Canada’s Vanessa Gilles to attempt a back pass to Sheridan. Gilles’ pass lacked force and accuracy as Swanson ran onto the loose ball and slotted it into an empty net to give the US a 2-0 lead.
Christine Sinclair gave the US a scare in the 43rd minute as her header from a Canadian corner kick just sailed over the crossbar and out for a US goal kick.
Janine Beckie then nearly found the back of the net in stoppage time as her shot from the right side of the field sailed toward the top left corner of the net. Naeher stretched out to make the save and preserve the clean sheet.
One change came for the United States before the start of the second half as Emily Sonnett replaced Dunn. Then a pair of substitutions came in the 61st minute as Ashley Hatch came on for Morgan while Kristie Mewis replaced Sanchez.
Canada’s Jessie Flemming received the game’s first booking after earning a yellow card in the 64th minute after fouling Horan just outside the box.
The US nearly tripled their lead in the 75th minute as Mewis found Hatch inside the box. Hatch hesitated for a second before attempting to slot the ball into the bottom left corner. Sheridan ended up having plenty of time to react as she easily deflected the ball away from danger.
Lynn Williams entered the game for the United States in the 78th minute as she replaced Rodman. The final US substitutions came in the 82nd and 83rd minutes as Midge Purce came on for Swanson while Taylor Kornieck replaced Horan.
Thursday’s win propelled the USWNT to the top of the SheBelieves Cup standings. The United States will look to hold to their lead in the table on Sunday, February 19th, as they take on Japan at 3:30 PM ET on HBO Max, Universo, and Peacock.