USWNT Toppled Romania 5-0 in Friendly Match

Written By: Robert Henry

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Carson, California- The United States has been dominating international play thus far, and Sunday was no exception. Coming into this friendly match against Romania, the U.S. Women’s National Team has yet to lose a game. Sunday they took home another win, 5-0 over Romania. The U.S. finished 2016 with an unbeaten record of 22-0-3, making it the third time the team has done this in regulation in a year.  Sunday’s match at StubHub Center hosted 20,336 loud screaming fans. To no one’s surprise, when Alex Morgan’s name was announced over the loudspeaker, the crowd erupted with a great deal noise. It was almost defining. For being the last game of the year, the United States definitely ended it on a high note.

The United States controlled the ball for most of the game. Romania struggled on offense and was outshot by the U.S. 31-0.  Although Romania was overpowered, they were able to stop the onslaught of shots to allow just 5 out of 31 shots taken.  The Romanian team seemed to have a good control of their defense at the beginning of the match, as the US team came at them strong with shots at the goal.

After Romanian player Teodora Meluta deflected the ball into her own goal in the 20th minute of the match, the Romanians had to change the way they were playing defensively early on. The Romanians seemed to have a good rhythm with regards to their team but just couldn’t get past the U.S. defenders as often as they would like, and that ultimately was their demise. At the 45th minute, Christen Press shot a beautiful pass to Crystal Dunn, who put the ball right between the goalie’s legs giving the U.S. a 2-0 lead going into halftime.

As the second half started the Romanian defense seemed to have changed they way they were playing defense in an attempt to try and combat the U.S. offense.  Alex Morgan was asked about how she thinks the Romanian defense played.

Morgan said that they bunkered down, which was a big help to keep them out of their back line. Also how they implemented a defensive change that was a good move for them because it may help them when facing other European teams.

In the end, the defensive changes and bunkering down was not enough to keep Team USA away from scoring. Shortly after the beginning of the second half, Press got her chance to take a shot on goal, and she did not waste it. In the 55th minute of the game, Tobin Heath for the U.S. passed the ball to Press who was guarded quite well, but not well enough.  Press put the ball in the back of the goal, and the U.S. went up 3-0. The U.S. went back fourth with Romania near the Romanian goal and in the 88th minute the U.S. was rewarded a penalty kick. The penalty kick was the result of a handball from Romanian player Maria Ficzay.  Morgan Brian was the U.S. player taking the PK and she put it right in the back left corner away from where the goalie was leaping.

In extra time, Heath took in a corner shot and passed it to Kelley O’Hara.  O’Hara drew in three Romanian players, and then she sent in a cross to the middle of the box right to Samantha Mewis. Mewis then headed the ball right past the Romanian goalie making the goal. The last two minutes of the game you could tell the U.S. team was trying extremely hard to get the ball to Morgan, so she could put the ball in the back of the net. That was the last goal of the match as time expired, but the U.S. team continued to drive the ball until the whistle was blown.

Head coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Jill Ellis, was asked after the game how she felt her team played.  She was clearly happy with her team but also stated that for a team to take 31 shots and only have 5 goals is something to work on.  Ellis also stated she was happy with how they were able to pressure the ball but also said that they need to work on in game tempo.  Is any of this statement a quote?

The U.S. team continued to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with and the Romanian team played hard but came up short.  Now this ends regulation play and training camps will be starting in the coming months.

When coach Ellis was asked about her plans for training camps, she stated that she is holding an under 23 camp prior to the main teams camp.  This is to see if any players stand out and if they perform they could stay on for the main camp with the team.  It sounds like the U.S. Women’s National Team is already getting ready for 2017 and we cannot wait to see them next season.

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