Women's Soccer

Amid flurry of chances, USWNT coast past China

Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe

Photo by Brad Smith/ISIPhotos.com


It wasn’t quite the roaring comeback the U.S. Women’s National Team wanted after a rough Algarve Cup last month, but the Americans coasted to victory Sunday in Denver using a newer formation over China, 2-0.

In their second time starting in a 4-3-3 under coach Tom Sermanni, the USWNT seemed to be their own worst enemy, failing to finish on a flurry of chances as China threatened very little for a friendly in front of 14,903 fans.

With 23 shots for the Americans – 12 of them on goal – Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe found the breakthroughs as China only had one shot all game.

In the 39th minute, Sydney Leroux touched off a frantic sequence of deflections after charging Chinese goalkeeper Zhang Yue for the ball in a crowded box. The ball bounced to the feet of Holiday, who fired it from the top of the box past an out-of-position Yue for the lead.

Rapinoe scored the insurance goal in the 79th minute on an in-swinging free kick that took a bounce through traffic and slipped far post past a diving Yue.

Since Sermanni took over the USWNT in January 2013, Sunday marked their second time starting with a three-front of Leroux, Christen Press and Heather O’Reilly, usually only switching to the formation late in games for an offensive boost.

It seemed a bit unjust for Leroux to not get on the scoreboard herself after creating the bulk of the Americans’ chances. She had a couple good long-range looks on goal inside the first 16 minutes, forcing saves, and she relentlessly kept Chinese defenses busy all game.

In their last three meetings against China, the U.S. had scored at least four goals, but a win in a less familiar formation without injured Alex Morgan should give the USWNT a confidence boost after the Algarve Cup last month. There, the USWNT snapped a 43-game unbeaten streak against Sweden and then conceded a record five goals in a single match against Denmark.

The USWNT will face China again on Thursday in San Diego, Calif.

Watch a replay of the full match below:


What did you think of the match? What did you think of the 4-3-3 formation? How will the USWNT do against China on Thursday?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Allex

    Does anyone know if we will see a healthy Alex Morgan this year? MRI coming soon, I think…right?


    • Landy Cakes

      the latest update is begining of june I think. Lord only knows what she did to herself. The explanation has never been good. She had some sort of “reaction” to sprained ankle. I’m startig to think we’re in greg oden micro fracture territory.


    • The Garrincha

      Hey Jack Del, I like Press,
      However she was a very week finisher this game and she fails to make that final pass for an easy goal, hopefully this should change?.


    • user222

      I guess 2-0 against china wasn’t good enough… sunil gelatin needs to fire himself…


    • Landy Cakes

      uh probably because we got our ass kicked by Denmark and could barely score against China. Tom really hasn’t been very good.


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