On Sunday, May 27th, the USWNT defeated China 4:1, with Alex Morgan scoring two goals and getting an assist via a throw-in. Earlier in the day, the Olympic roster was released.
Also, on Wednesday (May 23rd), the USWNT defeated China 3:0 in a closed-door scrimmage.
* * *
USWNT Wins Closed-Door Scrimmage Versus China, 3:0. (WNT Blog)
Goals: 9′, Abby Wambach (Megan Rapinoe); 75′, Heather O’Reilly; and 87′, Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara).
Starting Line-Up (based on the video): Barnhart; Mitts, Rampone?, Buehler, O’Hara; O’Reilly, Boxx, Lloyd, Rapinoe; Morgan, Wambach.
Known Subs: Heath (for Rapinoe?); Cheney (for Lloyd?), Solo for Barnhart.
* * *
Sundhage Names Olympic Roster. (US Soccer)
There were no major surprises in the final 18-player roster, though there were a few odd inclusions/exclusions in the overall roster.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach
ALTERNATES (4): Lori Lindsey (MF), Megan Klingenberg (MF/FB), Christen Press (FW), Jill Loyden (GK)
Most notably, not included even as an alternate were veteran fullback Stephanie Cox and twice-capped centerback Whitney Engen. Meanwhile, Megan Klingenberg was included as an alternate. A likely reason for Engen’s exclusion as an alternate is that the final roster already includes four players who could be used as centerbacks (Rampone, Buehler, Sauerbrunn, and LePeilbet). One possible reason for her inclusion over Cox and Engen could be Klingenberg’s ability to play both as a fullback and as a wide midfielder. Although, Engen has played professionally both as a fullback and a centerback.
The inclusion of Tobin Heath over Lori Lindsey leaves the USA with only one experienced holding midfielder, Shannon Boxx in the final eighteen. If Boxx gets suspended for a match due to a red card or accumulated yellow cards, or is otherwise to play in a match due to a minor injury, her replacement options are not that clear. Perhaps one of the centerbacks, such as Sauerbrunn or Rampone will be used in the midfield.
Christen Press making the roster as an alternate is not a surprise, given the USWNT’s woeful lack of experienced depth at the forward position.
Summary statistics for the final eighteen players: Average age on the first day of the Olympic tournament will be 28.50. And, the average height is 5’7″.
The final roster is not due until July 9th, so there is still time for the roster to change, whether due to an injury, a really poor performance, or Sundhage’s whim.
* * *
USWNT Defeats China 4:1, After a Poor Start and a Conceded Goal.
(Match Report, Post-Match Quote Sheet)
Goals: 34′, Alex Morgan; 36′, own goal; 50′, Alex Morgan (Christie Rampone); and 83′, Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan).
Preliminary highlights (USA goals only) are up at USSoccer.com, but they lack audio.
Further Reading: USA Today write-up by Beau Dure; post-game thoughts by Jenna Pel (ProSoccerTalk).
The match was a sell-out, with attendance of 18,500 and change.
(If US Soccer posts the full match online as was done for the Sweden match last year and the New Zealand match last February, then I’ll have an analysis/review of the match up, probably by or during this next weekend. — I was unable to catch the match live online.)