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Tobin Heath scores in return as USWNT beat China


The U.S. Women’s National Team celebrated milestones as it capped off its two-game series against China with a 2-1 victory at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium on Tuesday.

The game winner came courtesy of Tobin Heath, who made her national team return after picking up an ankle injury in September. She received the ball from Christen Press, which she finished by chipping the goalkeeper in the 75th minute. There was the suspicion of a handball on Heath, but the referee elected to let the goal stand.

Things got started for the USWNT in the 35th minute, when Press recorded her first assist of the night on a goal scored by Megan Rapinoe. Press made a run towards the end line before crossing the ball towards the goal, which Rapinoe finished from an angle.

China found their equalizer through Li Ying three minutes before Heath’s goal, capitalizing on a U.S. defense that was caught playing higher up the pitch. Li Tingting found her teammate, who made the several yard run to score past Ashlyn Harris on an angle.

The match saw a much more cohesive performance from the U.S. midfield, this time made up of Julie Ertz, Samantha Mewis, and Morgan Brian at the start. The three of them gelled well the trio of Press, Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan ahead of them, a clear sign of improvement from last week’s match. The defense, though, was shaky at times, allowing China a few chances at goal.

Along with Heath, Rose Lavelle marked her return to the national team, also after a nine-month absence. Additionally, Merritt Mathias received her first cap, coming on for Sofia Huerta after 77 minutes.

The USWNT are next in action on July 26th against Japan in the Tournament of Nations.


  1. Maybe stuff had degenerated by the second half when I tuned in but I thought the girls were very poor. I was particularly disappointed by the very weak play of the lauded Tobin Heath…she might have had a good first half, but she was terrible in the second. I watched her get in on goal two different times and a more positive, aggressive touch would have forced the defender to foul…instead she wussed out, and tried to cut the ball back, and two opportunities were squandered, frankly, because she wimped out. Go in STRONG, girl, or go home – there’s too many other people who want your job. She also missed out on a bunch of 50/50 balls because she challenged half-heartedly or not at all.

    Whoever was playing right back was terrible too. Giveaways all night, and then got caught out of position and wasn’t tracking back after she fluffed some basic passes. Bad.

    We aren’t as good as we were in ’15. Not by a long shot.

  2. Yeah, this was definitely a good effort from all USWNT combatants. This was against a China Team which has already qualified for the World Cup. The only team to beat them in the Asia Q-Tournament was Japan who the U. S. will see in the Tournament of Nations.

    The only issue I saw out there was with Tierna Davidson who gave up the ball 3 times in her own half of the field. From my perspective, she has the same issue that Morgan Brian now has in that in 1 on 1 struggles for the ball, she always loses. No matter how good your skills are in the open field, you will always face 1-on-1 struggles for the ball, and you need to win most of the time if you want to be a World Cup contender. You simply cannot be losing the ball in WC matches all the time, and expect to keep a clean sheet for 90 minutes. Defensive mistakes typically lead to more goals against than great plays by the other team(s). We simply can’t afford to have any giveaway artists on the filed in important matches. Both the above athletes need a physical trainer to strengthen them all around so that they can compete for the ball better. In the alternative, maybe they can get advice from Meghan Klingenberg, who at 5′ 2″, got involved in martial arts, and now doesn’t get pushed around by anyone!!!!


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