October 17, 2014
By Kathryn L. Knapp
U.S. Women, Guatemala pleased with outcome
Chicagoland Soccer News Contributing Editor
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The U.S. Women’s National Team has come a long way in just a couple days. While the USA played well on Wednesday and earned a 1-0 win. Friday night’s game opened a few new doors for the women in a 5-0 victory over Guatemala.
“I thought there were a lot of positives out of tonight’s win,” U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis said. “We are finding more width. I was pleased that we were able to break through and score more goals in the second half. We’re going to improve upon the good.”
The U.S. Women took a 1-0 into the half. They had a solid first half. They dominated play and created plenty of chances. But something changed in the first few seconds of the second half. The floodgates then opened as the women combined to score four more goals.
“I thought we played well in the first half,” Ellis said. “We’re creating a lot of chances. I told them at half time, the finishing will come. In the second half we finished our chances. We opened the game up.”
The best part was the goals were creative. And four different players scored. Tobin Heath added two goals.
“The win was great,” Heath said. “Scoring five goals was great. Us scoring different ways was great.”
The women took a bit of a hit when Alex Morgan hit the pitch, grimacing in pain. Morgan was assessed as having a sprained ankle. More tests will be run. Coach Ellis said it’s too early to make any decisions.
“We’ve talked a lot about our depth,” Ellis said. “[Losing Alex Morgan] would be a loss, but we have personnel that will be able to step in there and help. We’ll be ok.”
Whitney Engen agreed. “We have to be ready whenever we’re needed. We have so much depth on this team. We push each other really hard.”
Guatemala head coach Benjamin Monterroso said despite the final score, he was pleased with the result.
“We didn’t expect to give up five goals, but nevertheless, I’m happy with our performance,” Monterroso said. “Two championships ago, they scored 13 on us. The last championship they scored eight. We are improving.”
The USA took charge of group 1 in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship with a 2-0-0 record. Guatemala, Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago are all even with one win each. Monday’s matches will determine their fate. But for now, Monterroso is optimistic.
“We’re still alive,” Monterroso said. “We’re happy to have come this far.”
Guatemala opens a doubleheader on Monday at RFK Stadium, playing Trinidad & Tobago at 5:00 p.m. (ET). The U.S. women take on Haiti in game two at 7:30 p.m. (ET).