U.S. Women's National Team

USWNT gets back to winning ways with lopsided victory over Russia

Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Team ended their scoreless drought on Thursday night, and they did so in a pretty big way.

After sputtering through the SheBelieves Cup the last time the team took the field, the USWNT responded by winning, 4-0, in the first of two friendlies against Russia on Thursday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

The USWNT opened the scoring early on when a pass from Carli Lloyd found Crystal Dunn, whose shot from distance slid past Russian defenders and into the bottom right corner of the net for a 10th minute goal.

The second came eight minutes later through Allie Long on a corner. In a clustered penalty area, Long was found and easily headed the ball into the bottom left corner.

Dunn grabbed her second, the game’s third, just four minutes before halftime. After receiving the ball from a Russian giveaway on the edge of the penalty area, Dunn ran into the area and scored in the same corner she did earlier in the match.

The world champions were given a chance to extend the lead in the 66th minute, when Mallory Pugh was fouled in the penalty area by Russian defender Tatiana Sheikina, earning a penalty for the USWNT. Long, looking for her second goal, stepped up to take it, but she sent the ball over the crossbar.

Long, though, eventually did get her second finish of the night. Four minutes later, she was left unmarked in front of Russia’s goal, and Pugh sent a perfect ball to her head for the fourth and final goal of the match.

After experimenting with a back three since the end of last year, USWNT head coach Jill Ellis went back to playing with four in the back, playing Long in midfield. The USWNT looked more comfortable against Russia than they did throughout the SheBelieves Cup last month, where the back three received its toughest test. That being said, the level of opponent must be taken into consideration, as the U.S. went from some of the top teams in the world in Germany, England, and France, to an inferior Russia team.

Ellis also handed a first cap to Megan Oyster of the Boston Breakers, who played 23 minutes at right back. Additionally, Amy Rodriguez made her first appearance since the end of 2015 after taking 2016 off to give birth to her second child. The forward played 10 minutes in her return to the national team.

  • Rickster.

    If they want to get better they need to challenge themselves. Playing a team that weak will not do this. Takes the pressure off Ellis after screwing up the tournament but in the lng run, it means nothing to beat up a minnow


  • Bill Minarik

    There were some bright moments on the field, but again too many missed opportunities. You can’t have that many misses because against top 5 competition, you won’t get that many. The only thing that appeared to give hope was the fact that Allie Long headed in 2 goals. While that is impressive on its face, you need to realize that Russia had a short team out there, and that they are not a
    powerhouse anyway. So until Allie appears to have accomplished something against a quality
    team, I can’t say that she should even be on the Varsity USWNT. Her shooting is atrocious. Her penalty kick looked like she had been taking lessons from Christen Press – going -going-gone.
    And how about that announcer who said that “The She Believes Cup really increased her franchise”
    I can only assume that he did not see the USA-France match. I can only see Allie helping the
    varsity if she can be a spot player where they need a presence who can head in passes on set
    plays. AND, I can only see her in that position when the roster is 23, so that she can not bump
    a better player off of the roster like what happened in the Olympics. I like her size, but she has
    to be able to put it to use against top teams, or else she is not viable as a USWNT member.

    Otherwise, there are some new players who are impressing. I have seen some dandy players
    in college, so hopefully many decide to go pro and get a shot at the USWNT.


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