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Recap: USWNT 2 - Wales 0
Rodman notches her first international brace as the United States enters the World Cup on a high note!
The United States Women’s National Team returned to action Sunday evening hosting Wales inside PayPal Park in San Jose, California.
Sunday’s match provided the reigning Women’s World Cup champions an opportunity to get themselves ready before traveling to Australia and New Zealand for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Vlatko Andonovski implemented a 4-3-3 formation as Alyssa Naeher started in goal. Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Alana Cook, and Emily Fox comprise the backline. Lindsey Horan, Ashley Sanchez, and Andi Sullivan were in the midfield as Alyssa Thompson, Alex Morgan, and Sophia Smith provided the attack.
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Smith had an opportunity in the ninth minute as she received the ball inside the box and turned towards goal, looking for the game’s opening goal. The Welsh defense was alert as they laid a perfectly timed tackle to dispossess Smith as the ball rolled out for a corner kick.
Nervy moments came in the 16th minute as Alana Cook was dispossessed in the U.S. defensive half as Carrie Jones ran onto the ball and pushed towards Alyssa Naeher. Cook thankfully recovered and tracked Jones down before laying in a perfectly timed challenge, which led to the ball deflecting off Jones and out for a U.S. goal kick.
Ashley Sanchez had the chance to break the deadlock just before halftime as Andi Sullivan lobbed a long-distanced free kick into the box. Sanchez leaped into the air and headed the ball, yet it lacked accuracy as it sailed out of play.
There was one change before the start of the second half as Trinity Rodman came on for Alex Morgan. There were an additional three changes in the 64th minute as Sofia Huerta, Savannah DeMello, and Lynn Williams came on for Emily Fox, Alyssa Thompson, and Ashley Sanchez.
Alana Cook nearly put the U.S. on the board in the 68th minute as she headed a corner kick on-goal. Just as it looked like Cook’s header would sail into the net, Welsh midfielder Kayleigh Green cleared the ball off the line to prevent the U.S. from taking the lead.
A breakaway opportunity awarded the USWNT their first goal of the match in the 76th minute. The U.S. withstood pressure in the midfield and lobbed the ball forward. Sophia Smith darted up the left flank and onto the ball as the defense scrambled to recover.
As Olivia Clark and the defense stepped up to meet Smith, she cut the ball to her right to Trinity Rodman. Rodman slotted the ball into the empty net to notch her first goal of the calendar year and her second international goal as the USWNT took a 1-0 lead.
A stroke of luck came the USWNT way in the 88th minute as Lynn WIlliams' shot deflected off a Welsh defender and ricocheted to the center of the field. Wales attempted to clear the ball, but Rodman laid in a tackle and dispossessed the ball.
Rodman took a step forward and lasered a curling ball to the top-left corner and into the net to notch Rodman’s second goal on the day as the US walked away with a 2-0 victory. It wasn’t the cleanest performance by the USWNT, but Sunday’s win gave them the ultimate boost heading into the World Cup
Speaking of the World Cup, the USWNT wasted no time as they departed for New Zealand shortly after Sunday’s win.
The United States Women’s National Team opens World Cup Group Stage action on Friday, July 21st, as they face Vietnam inside Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, at 9 PM ET on FOX.