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Press, Lloyd lead USWNT past England in SheBelieves Cup win

In Vlatko Andonovski’s second pursuit of hardware at the helm of the U.S. Women’s National Team, things got off to a positive start on Thursday in the opening round of the SheBeleives Cup in Orlando, Florida, as the Americans cruised past England by a 2-0 margin.

The win makes it seven-consecutive clean sheets for the team in competitive matches, dating back to the World Cup semi-final against the very same England side in July.

The first half proved to be frustrating for the USWNT, as it amassed 11 shots and forced England keeper Carly Telford into four saves early on. A trio of wasteful opportunities from Carli Lloyd headlined the scoreless half along with a late penalty shout when Tobin Heath slowed play down in the box and was forcibly dispossessed by Alex Greenwood.

Things picked up quickly in the second half for the Americans though, in the 53rd minute Christen Press found space from distance and tucked one in behind Telford with style.

Making up for the first-half mishaps, Lloyd doubled the lead two minutes later when she snuck past the English backline and buried a close-range opportunity when Lindsey Horan connected with her in stride.

The night also served as the 100th USWNT appearance for midfielder Julie Ertz, who nearly celebrated the occasion with a goal in the 79th minute. Lloyd found her wide-open and she hit the net on the play, only to learn that she was a whisker offside.

The team moves on to face Spain at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on Sunday.


  1. in the World Cup, Ellis went the first 15-20 minutes with the 4 1 4 1, threw England off, Neville had his team prepped for the US high press that didn’t come until 15-20 minutes, and then 4 3 3 high pressure took them off guard with the timing. This time, Andonovski went high pressure from the opening whistle, attacking the ball control of England’s backline and England struggled to play out. Ertz and Dunn were particularly good, with Dunn essentially shutting down Parris when England did get into the final third. Neville has England playing a brutish brand, ugly, which is a bummer because they have talent. If Ellis gets to coach them, I say watch out

  2. That match was a preview of the Olympic decider whether or not that decider happens in the finals or in an earlier knockout round like the W/C. England is a big well-coached team with no real weaknesses. The U. S. goals were perfectly executed and well earned. Alyssa Naeher again came up with a HUGE save, when she stuffed an England forward on a breakaway and then recovered the ball before any follow-up attempt could evolve. Both England and Canada could beat the USWNT on a given day at Tokyo, but I still see our US Women as the team to beat. The only way I see us losing is the opposition getting an early goal due to a defensive lapse, and then going into a bunker defense and holding us at bay despite a multitude of shots at the goal. That is what happened at Abby Wambaugh’s farewell match with China.

    Our next opponent, Spain was tough at the W/C holding us to 2 PK goals. They didn’t have much offense with only a USA giveaway allowing them to score. However, with a 3-1 win over Japan yesterday, they may have solved their offensive problems, so don’t write this one as a W until we get a look at them. I am very happy that Spain, Germany & France will NOT be at the Olympics!!!

    • Spain beat Japan because the Japanese girls – who are normally one of the better-passing teams on the planet – uncharacteristically managed to mangle three back-passes and gifted the Spanish all three goals.

      That helps “solve” your offensive woes a lot.

  3. Press is a deadly shot when given time and space. The rest of the team is stalled in the past. New coach = old coach so far. Drive to the corner, cross and pray. Not really working. Next up is Spain who is better than England… lets see what happens there. It might take a loss to wake people up

    • Stuck in the past, haha. Past being 8 months ago they drop mic’ed the WWC trophy after the world was waiting for them to fail.

      New coach, getting his feet under him. If Press started over Rapinoe last summer, she would have been the star. She deserves the spotlight this summer.

      • As much as the rest of the world catching up will happen, the USWNT have still managed to keep themselves ahead of everyone by an arms’ length for the time being. And as long as this 30+-something core hangs around (and why would they go anywhere…the minute you’re no longer a national team player, opportunities to make $$$ will dry up) things are gonna stay this way.

        Only once they are gone, can/should people worry about changing style of play at the senior team level. That stuff should be happening on the youth levels already (to tepid results at times, admittedly).

    • Don- 1) England is ranked 6th, Spain is 13th, unless you think 13 is a lower number than 6!?
      2) You don’t watch the women, if you did, you would know that,
      3) Andonovski didn’t want to tinker with a winning product
      4) Lloyd & Press didn’t start in the WC but for 1 match. Both ladies have been in the starting XI since Andonovski’s 1st match.
      5) Jill Ellis > Vlatko Andonovski
      6) Jesse McDonald, Lynn Williams have been included more than Mallory Pugh, allowing Heath to go from winger to the 10.
      7) He’s had 8 college and YNT players in multiple camps

    • @don nelson: in the qualifiers, yes, I agree, but in this game, no, I disagree. Andonovski’s choice of Press over Rapinoe is one indicator, plus he subbed Lavelle off no problem as her game waned under all that physical crap England pulls–fouls off the ball, fouls late after you release the ball, cheap tackles from behind, and hair pulling? good grief, Neville has their mentality so skewed they play like creeps. And I agree with the 3 previous replies to your original post


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