USWNT finishes tune up for Rio with 4-0 win over Costa Rica

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by TOM SLATER

The tune ups are over for the United States Women’s Soccer Team. It’s time for Rio.

The United States finished its friendly games with the final sendoff match by staying perfect in 2016 with a 4-0 victory over Costa Rica, Friday in the sweltering heat in Kansas City.

With the temperature at 92 at game time and feeling like 106 degrees, the Americans came out strong and fast in the opening 45 minutes by scoring all its goals in the first half. Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd all had goals.

Christen Press finished off the scoring in the 79th minute with a pinpoint blast.

Coach Jillian Ellis, who won her 50th game as coach, used the match for a few other things. Carli Lloyd got 90 minutes of play and looked solid. Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath played for about 15 minutes shaking off minor injuries.

Even Hope Solo got a rare break, leaving after 45 minutes for Alyssa Naeher. The two goalkeepers split the shutout.

The Americans scored in the 15th minute after a bunch of early close calls. Lindsey Horan hooked up with Alex Morgan, who hit Meghan Klingenberg making a run out of the back. Klingenberg penetrated into the box and waited for the Costa Rican defense to commit. She froze the defense and found Dunn at the far post for a one-timer. It was Dunn’s 14th international goal.

Seven mintues later, the lead was doubled. Pugh, who caused many problems for Costa Rica in the first half with her speed, stole a ball just over the midfield stripe and took off for the goal. With Dunn and Morgan making runs in the box, Pugh dribbled with pace, freezing defender Mariana Benavides. When Benavides stepped back, Pugh drilled a near post shot past Dinnia Diaz.

Six minutes into first half stoppage time, Lloyd scored her first goal since being injured a few months ago. Becky Sauerbrunn took a free kick about 45 yards out. Lloyd had a step on Cristin Granados and headed a shot into the net. It was her 88th international goal.

Ellis took advantage of the liberal substitution rules and sent her reserves in the match. Ali Kreiger came on for Klingenberg; Heath came in for Pugh; Brian for Lindsey Horan. Press came on for Morgan.

Press finished the scoring in the 79th minute. Allie Long sliced a pass to Press running through the middle of the Costa Rica defense and she hit a laser in the corner.

The United State will open Group G play on Aug. 3 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremony – against New Zealand. The USA also play France on August 6 and Colombia on Aug. 9.

  • straighttalk

    Let say that I’m a supporter of our Women’s National team,but I must say that I”m not impressed by the results over a Costa Rica team that look like they’re just glad to be there.

    If you really want to see how well we are, play the Men’s National Team “cause after the women beat them…..then we’ll be ready for Rio.