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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

September 3, 2013
OVERPOWERING
US Women unstoppable against Mexico

By Charles Cuttone
Executive Editor

Abby Wambach challenges Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago in the second half of Tuesday’s 7-0 US win at RFK Stadium.
Abby Wambach challenges Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago in the second half of Tuesday’s 7-0 US win at RFK Stadium.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
WASHINGTON, DC.---The lineup U.S. Women's National Team Coach Tom Sermanni put on the field Tuesday night wasn't even the best one he could have utilized.

Alex Morgan was kept out as a precaution, Shannon Boxx, Kelley O'Hara, Tobin Heath and Megan Rapinoe are all hurt, and Ali Krieger and Christen Press have already departed to play in Europe.

Yet the U.S. dominated Mexico 7-0 behind a four-goal performance by Sydney Leroux, as well as goals by Abby Wambach, Rachel Buehler and Morgan Brian.

And yet, the U.S. didn't play as well as it could have, with only one day of training after the National Women's Soccer League season.

"I thought for the most part, our team played as well as we possibly could have for kind of being on all different pages from the NWSL," said Wambach, who, after scoring the first goal in the 11th minute, assisted on three others.

The night however belonged to Leroux and Brian, whose goal was the first of her international career, coming after a total of just 20 minutes of playing time.

"I feel very comfortable," Leroux said of her place in the National Team.

After Wambach's goal, Leroux got a natural hat trick, starting with a 21st minute tally set up by the world's all-time leading scorer.

Wambach took a shot from inside the area. Mexico’s 18-year old goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago made a two-handed stop of the shot, but could not hold onto the ball, and it flew straight onto the head of Leroux, who redirected it into the goal.

Leroux was unstoppable after that. In the 23rd minute, a shot by Carli Lloyd was blocked by Santiago. Again Leroux was there for the opportunistic rebound, this time lurking at the right post to put the goal away.

A missed 20-yard shot by Mexico’s Monica Ocampo in the 29th minute started the sequence for the USA’s fourth goal, and Leroux’s third of the game. Hope Solo launched a goal kick past the midfield line. Wambach got a slight touch of her head on the ball, laying it into the path of Leroux, who made a long run into the area before being challenged by a defender. She made a falling away shot that slowly rolled past Santiago.

Leroux, who had a five-goal game in Olympic Qualifying in 2012, got her fourth goal in the 41st minute. A long free kick by Lauren Holiday into the box found Leroux sailing in for a header.

The U.S. made it 6-0 in the 55th minute, when Rachel Buehler, who had just entered the game three minutes earlier for Christie Rampone, powered a shot through a forest of legs for her fifth international goal.

Brian, a University of Virginia forward, got into just her second international game in the 70th minute. Less than seven minutes later, she had her first international goal. Wambach again played provider. With her back to the ball, she received a ball and laid it back to Brian, whose shot deflected up off a Mexican defender and into the goal.

Her tally got the loudest roar from the crowd of 12,594, led by the entire UVA team, which had made the trip from Charlottesville for the game.


" It was awesome," said Brian. "You can't ask for a better story. My team is here, my parents and my old club coach. I am really happy that I could do it in front of them, and I couldn’t ask for a better goal."


   
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