There was nothing friendly about today’s sendoff match between the USWNT and the Canadians. Canada started things off for the US by scoring an own goal. The US dominated the half, with stellar play by Megan Rapinoe. Her crosses into the box created all sorts of danger, but either no one in hoops were on the end of the crosses, or Canada was able to play it out. It looked as if the Canadians had tied the game prior to the end of the half, but Hope Solo made an amazing save, and held onto the ball just well enough to prevent the entire ball from crossing the line. It’s hard to say if the second effort got it cleanly across, perhaps. Goal line technology anyone?
The second half was filled with very chippy play by both teams. The
Sounders USA were not as dominating, and their back line gave too much room to the hard charging Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi. With a sweet through pass, Sinclair was able to connect with Tancredi, and the game was equalized in the 57th minute. There were two yellow cards issued to each team, and there could easily have been more. One yellow card was issued in the 67th minute to Canada’s Candace Chapman for an off the ball foul on Abby Wambach in the box. How she was issued a card, but no penalty shot was allowed, I do not understand.
Alex Morgan went down in a heap in the 51st minute, and after a rest on the field, was subbed out. It looks as if it’s a knee sprain, or bruise. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious. She was shown on the bench with ice wrapped around her knee. When she came out, Amy Rodriguez came in, and things slowed down for the USA. It seemed that having Alex out injured shook the team up, and it took a while to get back into the game. When Sydney Leroux came on in the 76th minute, Pia changed the formation to a 3-4-3 and things started looking up for the USA. Amy Rodriguez was able to knock in a bouncing ball from Abby Wambach for the winning goal in the 85th minute.
Megan Rapinoe was the player of the match for me. She set up the own goal, and the cross into Abby which was back healed to A-Rod for the goal. Her crosses were fantastic, and her ball handling was top notch.
The U.S. will open Group G play on July 25 – two days before the Opening Ceremonies – against France (12 p.m. ET) at Hampden Park, Scotland’s National Stadium in Glasgow. The USA will then face Colombia at Hampden Park on July 28 (12 p.m. ET) and finish group play against Korea DPR on July 31 (12:15 p.m. ET) at Old Trafford in Manchester.