An Easy Day for the USWNT as They Route Costa Rica 8-

admin Last updated on: February 17, 2024

Despite the announcement that head coach Pia Sundhage would be stepping down to pursue coaching opportunities back home in Sweden, the USWNT kicked off their Fan Tribute Tour with a bang, defeating Costa Rica 8-0 in Rochester, NY.  It was an especially amazing day for Abby Wambach, who hails from Rochester.  Before match time, Wambach was honored with “Wambach Way,” a new walkway similar to Wembley Way in London that leads fans into the stadium.  She didn’t let her hometown down, scoring two vintage headers which helped her team to the 8-0 victory.

The day really belonged to the offense, who pretty much embarrassed the much younger and not as seasoned Costa Rican side.  Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring for the USWNT, looking like the same dominant player she was during the Summer Olympics.  Rapinoe would pick up her second right before halftime.  In between her second goal were two goals from the veteran Wambach, both coming off her now extremely famous head.  Not to be left out, star forward Alex Morgan picked up a goal of her own after pressing hard for much of the first half.  With five goals scored in the half, this match was a forgone conclusion before the second half even started.

But of course, the game must go on.  The first two thirds of the second half were a lot tamer than the first.  A sixth goal didn’t come until the 77th minute, when Sydney LeRoux, who is being being groomed to be Wambach’s replacement when she retires, curled in a beautiful shot in the lower right corner of the net.  And then the barrage started all over again.  In an 11 minute span, the USWNT scored two more goals, one from veteran and New Jersey native Carli Lloyd in the 82nd and the second from Heather O’Reilly in the 88th.

With the match being a friendly, it made the way for some of the USWNT’s younger players get some time on the pitch, specifically goalkeeper Jill Loyden.  With Hope Solo virtually having no work to do today, coach Sundhage pulled her in the 54th, making way for Loyden to come in.  While not “young,” at 27 years old, Loyden doesn’t get much playing time with Solo being the best Women’s keeper in the world, but when she took the pitch today, Loyden showed poise and blocked a few key shots along the way.

The next stop for the USWNT on their Fan Tribute Tour is a match against Australia.  This will mark the second to last match Pia Sundhage will coach before going back home to Sweden, where she hopes to get the head coaching job for the Swedish Women’s International Team.  USWNT versus Australia will be on September 16th at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.  That match will be televised on NBC at 7:30 a.m. ET.  If you are unable to watch the match, you can follow up-to-the-minute live updates via @JulianB_PSL on Twitter.

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