USWNT remain unbeaten as they roll past Switzerland in Algarve Cup

morgan celebrating switzerland

by MC BOUSQUETTE
Staff Writer

The United States Women’s National Team continued their winning streak with a 3-0 victory over Switzerland at the Algarve Cup.

Alex Morgan broke the deadlock in the second half, with Amy Rodriguez and Abby Wambach rounding out the score.

Although the young Swiss squad put up an aggressive battle against the United States, requiring several notable saves by Hope Solo in both halves, the US appeared clearly dominant with three beautiful goals lifting the squad to victory.

lineup uswnt v switzerland

Coach Jill Ellis made three major changes to the starting lineup: Meghan Klingenberg started at left back instead of Lori Chalupny, for whom she subbed halfway through the last match. Megan Rapinoe returned to the starting lineup at left wing, as Christen Press was pushed to forward in place of Abby Wambach.

Switzerland had an important last minute change to the lineup as well with star striker Ramona Bachmann replaced by Eseosa Aigbogun during warm-up due to an undisclosed injury.

Switzerland were given an early attacking chance in the 3rd minute, with a corner called in their favor. The United States defense, resuming their small-group defensive efforts, shut it down quickly. A shot from Switzerland up high was saved smoothly by Solo. Christen Press responded moments later, cutting behind the Swiss defense, but was shut down into the Swiss defense. The resulting corner brought the United States close to their first goal, before Swiss keeper Stenia Michel grabbed a dangerous ball just inches from Julie Johnston’s head.

Klingenberg sent up a strong cross in the 13th minute, but her efforts to reach Press were intercepted, providing the United States with a corner and another just-missed cross by Holiday. Klingenberg’s next set-up was a cross to Lloyd in the 18th minute, but Lloyd connected a moment too early and missed high above the goal.

Megan Rapinoe, in her first start since her mid-December knee injury, drove a free kick in the 25th minute solidly towards the keeper, who saved it off a hard bounce on the right side of the goal. Rapinoe, trying again in the 33rd minute, missed by a hair in a high strike from the top of the box. Her third attempt came in the 37th minute, as sent a slow shot toward the goal for an easy save by Michel.

Switzerland, finally gaining entry into the US box, earned a corner in the 38th minute, but Solo saved the shot as the United States spun the momentum into an eventually futile attack in the other direction.

The US-dominant first half ended with a 0-0 balance.  To begin the second half, Amy Rodriguez replaced Megan Rapinoe, while Christen Press moved down to wing, and Rodriguez joined Morgan in the front.

Still the stronger side in the second half, the US launched a constant offensive barrage. In the 55th minute, Holiday took a free kick and connected with Alex Morgan, who sunk a left-footed shot into the right side of the goal to lift the US to a 1-0 lead. Lara Dickenmann came in strong in retort, with a heavy hit from the center of the box in the 59th minute, but Hope Solo executed an acrobatic save to prevent the equalizer.

Chance after chance appeared for the United States, with more creative and aggressive play from Alex Morgan beginning in the early second half, and a near-miss by Amy Rodriguez off a cross from Ali Krieger in the 62nd minute.

In the 64th minute, Kelley O’Hara substituted for Ali Krieger, and Heather O’Reilly replaced Morgan Brian.

Carli Lloyd was showed the yellow card for a foul on Lauren Dickenmann in the 66th minute, the first card to the US squad in the Algarve Cup.

In one of their closest offensive opportunities of the half, Switzerland were award a free kick in the 67th minute, which was quickly cleared by the United States to midfield.

Lia Walti was given a yellow card for taking down Amy Rodriguez in the 68th minute, presenting another free kick opportunity for the United States. Holiday took the kick, sending it into the fray, only to be caught by Michel. Switzerland responded to this attempt, and a weak shot from Maritz was saved by Hope Solo handily in the 71st.

Following a series of touches from US players immediately thereafter, Amy Rodriguez patiently displayed fancy footwork to navigate a dense Swiss defense directly in front of the goal, before sinking a well-placed chip to lift the United States to a 2-0 lead.

In yet another intense second-half drive, Morgan shot just wide of goal in the 78th minute before Abby Wambach substituted in for her, as Tobin Heath and Shannon Boxx entered the game for Christen Press and Lauren Holiday respectively. Less than a minute later, Boxx reached Michel twice in a row, before being stopped just shy of a goal. Boxx’s agile midfield steal fed into Abby Wambach who, from the left top of the box, sent a gorgeous left-footed shot into the high right side of the goal, upping the US lead to 3-0 in the 80th minute.

Five minutes later, after a midfield back and forth between the US and Switzerland, Tobin Heath reached the top of the Swiss box, sending a weak dribbler directly into Michel.

In a late attempt to put Switzerland on the scoreboard, Dickenmann launched what initially appeared to be a promising run in the 87th, but was swarmed by the US defense. A minute later, Rachel Rinast send a dangerous cross to back post, barely missing the goal.

Heath, with a chance to complete a promising breakaway, falsely believed herself to be offsides and failed to pursue the ball all the way to goal in the 91st, in what would be the last major US attempt of the match.

Despite Switzerland’s clear increase in confidence since their August meeting against the United States, the United States’ experience and fitness left them the clearly superior side as the US emerged victorious.

The United States will face Iceland on Monday at 1:30pm EST.

 


Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/empireofsoccer.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 399

Warning: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c12/h02/mnt/211961/domains/empireofsoccer.com/html/wp-content/plugins/bmo-expo/classes/theGallery.php on line 136