Photo by Jerry Lal / USA Today
By ADAM TROXTELL
While searching for some new faces to inspire the team this summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team received a lift from its older, more reliable squad members.
Carli Lloyd scored twice in the second half to give the USWNT a comeback win against Norway in their Algarve Cup Group B opener, 2-1. Lloyd’s equalizer was a splendid turn and strike from some 20 yards out, and a converted 62nd-minute penalty kick gave the USWNT an early upper hand in what is viewed as an important warm-up to the World Cup.
Early chances for the U.S. came and went, but it was Norway who struck first just before halftime. An unmarked Ada Hegerberg scored her 15th goal for the Norwegians, and the 19-year-old looked to hand her team momentum going into the break.
The match marked the return of Hope Solo, who had been reinstated to the team just before the team left for Portugal after serving a 30-day suspension.
Solo proved her worth in the 53rd minute, making a crucial close-range block during a scramble in front of net to keep the Americans in the game. Minutes later, Lloyd tucked inside on her left foot at the other end before curling a shot inside the far post for the equalizer.
Capping an impressive display, Christen Press set up the game-winner. The midfielder who had been creating chances all day had her shot handled by a Norwegian defender to send Lloyd to the penalty spot, where she executed perfectly to put the U.S. ahead.
The Americans had a better go of it than they did last month against France and England, holding possession and building out well to create better chances that cut through Norway’s defenses.
The match saw coach Jill Ellis give rookie Julie Johnston a surprise start as a center back, reportedly due to injuries to defender Christie Rampone, White Engen and Kelley O’Hara.
The USWNT next plays Friday against Switzerland (11:30 a.m., Fox Sports 1), who beat Iceland 2-0 in the other Group B game on Wednesday.
See Carli Lloyd’s first goal below:
I’m sick of this tactic lousy ellis, this team is poor in ideas and a serious problem in midfield, I hope that God will give wisdom to jill ellis because what you are doing we will not move from group stage next wwc. julie johnston big game is much better than engen and Rampone …
Not an overly impressive game against a very average Norway team. Lots of possession and chances but only one goal during the run of play and that was mainly an individual effort. Jill Ellis has not produced a team that takes advantage of a ton of talent. The have been consistently under performing under her coaching.
We are out of time now. We should be a lot more dominating if we are to go anywhere in the WWC and that means scoring goals dominant…not just knocking it about dominant.
Personally I think that Wambach is the problem, not the solution. Her minutes need to be seriously cut back
wait- is wambach or the coaching the main problem?
Lloyd back in the middle (that’s where she was mostly, tucking inside) makes a difference, wherever the lineup card says she plays. she can actually win the ball in there, link up, play out of the back, and she can take players on. plus she plays with swagger and gives Holiday a reliable partner. And she can score
but insisting on Krieger as the main service provider into the area has not worked and I see no evidence it will but Ellis is persisting with this tactic and formation. we’ll see
still a work in progress this team
Lloyd has one skill and that is blasting the ball at the net as hard as she can from where ever she is on the field. She’s strictly a route 1 player. Sadly, this team will be exposed in Canada.
you’re seeing (or not seeing in this case) something no ne else is. even if her main skill is a hard outside shot, which is one of the best in women’ soccer history, this more than justifies her inclusion. that is a weapon many teams don’t have, especially Asian. she’s headed to the HOF, my friend, apparently to your disapproval.
Dang that was a nice goal! I wish we had more attackers on the Men’s team that could separate from defenders turn and score like that.
yep, but didn’t you hear? she’s strictly a route 1 player 😉
It was an OK performance. There is still a lot of kinks to work out in all aspects of their game. I’m not sure if agree with what Ellis asks of her outside backs in relation to the lack of defensive help from the midfield & forward lines–far too often the defense is left with little or no cover and sprinting back after being asked to provide offensive width.
I’m still not sold on Wambach as a starter, or contributing big minutes. She changes how they play, & not in a good way. If she held up the ball that would be one thing. All she seems to want is to flick on headers to Morgan or scream if a cross isn’t played to her.
I agree on Wambach the only way she should contribute to this US Team is by cheering for them in the stands. She is too slow and her passing has deteriorated so she doesn’t help in the build up play.
I’m glad she plays for Houston. Between Lloyd, Roche, Bryan, and Ohai, the chance creation will pay off a bit more in 2015 for the Dash.
Final score 2-1? (I googled it, yes, it was 2-1)
Yeesh, how do you write a recap without giving the final score?
This brace is going to have the unfortunate effect of making Ellis think this Lloyd on the wing thing is a good idea.
Edited it in now, I see