April 9, 2013
Christen Press brace leads USWNT
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Christen Press scored two goals and Tobin Heath added another as the United States Women's National Team dominated the Netherlands 3-1 on Tuesday.
"There were a lot of positives from the game," said U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni. "I thought tactically we did exactly what we tried to do. For much of the game, we pinned Holland in their own half which was our aim. We created a considerable number of chances and probably should have made the score line a little more decisive, but there was some spirited defending from Holland as we expect from these teams. But when you consider we made 10 changes from the team that played against Germany, I was very pleased with the performance."
Sermanni made 10 changes to the lineup that faced Germany on April 5, with right midfielder Heather O'Reilly the only holdover from that 3-3 tie last Friday.
The USA out-shot the Dutch 25-9 for the match and had a series of chances in the early going, with midfielder Yael Averbuch and Press testing the Dutch goalkeeper Loes Geurts in the opening 20 minutes.
The U.S. opened the scoring in the 36th minute as forward Sydney Leroux beat her defender on the right flank. Leroux cut it back past Press, who let it roll past here to an onrushing Heath, who spun the ball into the left side of the net past a diving Geurts.
Press doubled the score seconds before halftime in the 45th minute. With the defense converging on Leroux, she played a perfect ball that allowed Press a first touch that beat the Dutch back line. With a one-on-one chance, Press calmly picked her spot and sent the ball into the lower right side of the net as Guerts tried to come out and cut down space.
The Stanford product nabbed her second of the game in the 60th minute and a nice individual dribbling effort. She weaved her way free into the right sight of the penalty area before firing a right-footed shot that caromed off the post and in from 14 yards out.
U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who was making just the second start of her international career, did not have much to do but she was at her best in the 61st minute, springing to her left to keep out a bouncing header from Anouk Hoogendijk.
Julie Johnston nearly added to the USA's lead in the 73rd minute, but her goal was called back for offside. The 21-year-old midfielder, who was making her first career start in just her second cap, drifted into the area on a free kick and finished a textbook header, but the assistant referee's flag prevented the former U-20 WNT captain from notching her first goal for the senior team.
The Netherlands got on the board late in the match, with Manon Melis grabbing the consolation goal. Put through by Leonne Stentler into the left side of the U.S. penalty area, Melis chipped Harris with a beautiful first touch to the delight of the home crowd. It was the Netherland's only shot on goal of the match.
The U.S.-based players will now return to their National Women's Soccer League clubs to prepare for the opening weekend of the new league. The Portland Thorns travel to FC Kansas City on April 13 for the inaugural match of the NWSL.
The next match for the U.S. Women's National Team is June 2, when they travel to Toronto to face Canada at BMO Field. The rematch of the 2012 Olympics semifinal at Old Trafford, can be seen live on ESPNews at 4:30 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the game on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt