By GARRETT CLEVERLEY
It was an evening of rare events for the U.S. Women’s National Team on Tuesday night.
The Americans almost always win when Abby Wambach scores a first-half goal, but Tuesday wasn’t one of those matches. Christie Rampone rarely ever makes bad mistakes, but on Tuesday she committed an ugly blunder that led directly to a goal. The U.S. Women also rarely squander leads and they managed to do that twice against Germany.
The result was a 2-2 draw in East Hartford, Conn., the second draw between the countries in four days.
Thirty minutes into the first half, Germany was able to control the ball and center of the pitch through physical play. The U.S. countered by distributing the ball to the wings as the first half came to a close. Abby Wambach opened the scoring by heading home a deflection for her 148th career goal.
The game changed for Germany with the second-half inclusion of young star forward Dzsenifer Marozsan. The Golden Ball winner in the 2012 Under-20 World Cup delivered the first of two goals when she pounced on Rampone’s blunder in the 48th minute. Rampone attempted to clear the ball near midfield, but whiffed on her attempt, clearing the way for Marozsan to race in on goal and beat Hope Solo.
Tobin Heath responded in the 68th minute when she finished off an Alex Morgan cross.
Heath’s goal looked like it would stand up, but Germany equalized again in the 85th minute when Marozsan found some space at the edge of the penalty area and beat the outstretched arms of Solo, who made several quality saves on the night.
Both teams are at two different stages as 2012 comes to a close. The U.S. Women are still celebrating their Olympic Gold Medal victory over Japan. The Germans has been gearing up for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2013, where they will be looking to win their sixth consecutive title.
During halftime, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati sat down with NBC Sports and spoke about the future of the women’s game in America. He said that he hopes to name a new U.S. Women’s National Team head coach by November 1st.
Gulati also spoke about the possibility of a professional women’s league in 2013.
“We have been working very hard on that, with a number of investors, our friends at the Canadian Soccer Association, and I think over the next 10 days we will have some interesting things to say there,” Gulati said.