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U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM

Jan. 16, 2008
GOING SOLO
GK returns to U.S. in 4-0 win over Canada


Hope Solo played her first game with the U.S. Women's National Team since her benching during the Women's World Cup.
Hope Solo played her first game with the U.S. Women's National Team since her benching during the Women's World Cup.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Guangzhou, China -- Goalkeeper Hope Solo made her return to the U.S. women's soccer team in a 4-0 victory over Canada in the opening game of the Four Nations Tournament Wednesday.

The U.S. meets Finland Friday.

Forward Amy Rodriguez, who made her international debut, and midfielder Linsday Tarpley scored two goals apiece in Pia Sundhage's first game as U.S. women's national coach, while Heather O’Reilly had three assists.

Solo, who made two saves, made major headlines in September when she was benched for criticizing former coach Greg Ryan for benching her for veteran Briana Scurry in a semifinal game against Brazil in the Women's World Cup. The U.S. lost, 4-0.

Ryan then essentially suspended Solo from practicing and being around the team for the rest of the tournanment. When Sundhage took over, Solo began with a new slate.

Rodriguez scored in the 51st minute and again in the 65th minute. Tarpley found the back of the net in the 71st and 78th minutes.

On the first goal, O’Reilly chipped the ball over the Canadian backs to Rodriguez, who held off a defender and as she tumbled to the ground, spun her shot into the net from 10 yards over sliding goalkeeper Erin McLeod.

Fourteen minutes later, O’Reilly sprinted from the midfield to the corner to take possession of the ball which she cut back across the middle. The unmarked, Rodriguez first-timed the ball into the lower right corner from 12 yards out.

The U.S. added to the lead when Abby Wambach brought the ball down about 15 yards from the net with her back to the goal and rolled a pass square to O’Reilly inside the penalty box. O’Reilly left-footed spinner on net that was well-saved, but not held, by McLeod. Tarpley tapped the rebound into the open net from eight yards out in the 71st minute.

Tarpley, who entered the game in the 64th minute, added her second goal of the game, and 19th of her career, seven minutes later. Once again it was O’Reilly setting up the goal, sending a perfect chipped cross into the middle that found Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, volleyed the ball towards the net.
Tarpley, who was stationed right in the middle of the goal about eight yards out, re-directed the ball into the lower right corner past the wrong-footed McLeod, who only could watch as the ball slowly rolled over the goal line.

Canada put two shots on goal during the match, but just one was dangerous, that coming off a corner kick in the second half. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had to make a reaction save to knock down the point-blank header, then smothered the ball before a Canadian attacker could react. Solo also did well handling three Canadian corner kicks in the final 15 minutes, punching two away in traffic and securing a third.

Canadian star forward Christine Sinclair did hit a screamer over the crossbar from a tough angle in the eighth minute, and had one dangerous cross that flew through the goal area.

In the second game, China blanked Finland, 2-0. Canada takes on the hosts Friday.
   
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