The U.S. Women’s National Team appears ready to take to Brazil for the 2016 Olympics, and Jill Ellis’ group proved that on Friday night.
Holding Costa Rica to a single shot over 90 minutes, the United States dominated the match and won 4-0 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. The friendly concludes the U.S.’ pre-tournament friendlies ahead of the Olympic Games.
Winger Mallory Pugh scored her third career national team goal in the match. The 18-year-old smashed the ball into the net at the near post in the 22nd minute. Crystal Dunn’s far post tap-in in the 15th minute padded Pugh’s tally. Carli Lloyd added one just before halftime off an uncontested header at the end of a cross from Becky Sauerbrunn.
Still controlling nearly all of the possession in the second half, the US quieted down a little as the match went on. Christen Press scored the only goal of the second half by firing a shot from 20 yards into the bottom right of the goal in the 79th minute.
The US rested key players Becky Sauerbrunn, Hope Solo and Meghan Klingenberg by taking them off at halftime. Whitney Engen, Alyssa Naeher and Ali Krieger came in for them. Alex Morgan, who only recorded one shot, left the match in the 63rd minute for Press.
The women’s national team opens the 2016 Olympics with an Aug. 3 match against New Zealand.