Top Stories

USWNT cruises past Russia in second game of friendly set

Photo by Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Team cruised past Russia in the first game of their scheduled friendly doubleheader. Sunday’s match proved more of the same.

After winning, 4-0, in the opener, the USWNT once again beat Russia in the second of the two friendlies, winning 5-1 on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The scoring opened in the 20th minute after Ksenia Kovalenko took Crystal Dunn down in the box, resulting in a penalty for the USWNT. Carli Lloyd stepped up to take it, and though goalkeeper Iuliia Grichenko dove in the right direction, Lloyd still managed to slot it in the bottom right corner for her first goal of the year.

The next goal came in the 37th minute from Rose Lavelle, who has been enjoying a stellar first few caps with the USWNT. Mallory Pugh found a darting Lavelle near the penalty area, who finished soon after.

Dunn wasted no time scoring the third goal, making the score 3-0 just a minute after Lavelle’s goal. Meghan Klingenberg had the ball on the left flank, and crossed it to Dunn, who scored right in front of goal.

Russia managed their only goal of the two-match series against the U.S., as the away side won a penalty after a call on Casey Short  Daria Makarenko fired the ball past goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris in the 42nd minute for the Russian’s lone finish.

It seemed like Russia was gaining some momentum before the visitors scored an own goal in stoppage time of the first half. Kovalenko was in front of goal, attempting to clear a Lavelle corner, but instead tapped it on the wrong side of the goal for 4-1 right before halftime.

There was one final goal in the second half, as Dunn scored her second of the match three minutes after the break. Pugh got another assist, as she made it into the penalty area only to see Dunn on the other side of the box. Pugh played the pass to Dunn, who easily scored the team’s fifth goal of the match.

The only change between the lineups of the two matches came in goal, with Alyssa Naeher being replaced by Ashlyn Harris, who had very little to do. Harris was eventually switched out in the 74th minute for Jane Campbell, who received her first cap.



  1. don’t get Ellis’ love affair with Long. She’s a nice player but not what Ellis is doing with her or relying on her to accomplish, my opinion; still looking for someone to step up into the big shoes Holiday left

  2. I thought the U. S. looked better here than in the first match. Passing still needs some improvement, and the entire team needs to do better on their ball striking. There were a lot
    of point blank opportunities which were missed because of poor ball striking. While many of
    these required a 1-touch approach, players at this level need to be able to execute like that.
    I don’t know how time Jill Ellis’s staff spends on basic skills and technique, when she has the team together, but whatever it is, its not enough. There are drills designed for the type of shortcomings demonstrated on Sunday. There should have been 5 more goals scored based on the
    opportunities developed.

    BTW, the penalty call against the U. S. may have been the worst I have ever seen. And then the ref compounded the error by issuing a yellow card. The Russian girl was backing in to Short and was pushing so hard she fell down. That should have been a non-call or called the other way. But how was the Yellow Card justified. All that did was to add insult to injury. The PK for the U. S. was legit in that you can’t push someone down from behind and not expect to get a call.

    With Megan Rapino back, the U. S. should begin to put some polish on their set plays, specifically the corner kick. They get too many of them to simply do a short corner.

    • Short corners are only OK if there’s a plan behind them…The USWNT never seem to have a plan with these. Put ball in play, dribble back around towards top, send in wayward service.

      Against opponents like Russia, they should be pouring service into the box directly from set-pieces.


Leave a Comment