The USA dominated the flow of game, out-shooting New Zealand 25-1, and similar to the previous Send-Off Series match vs. South Africa, took the lead just past the half-hour mark when Tobin Heath touched home a Megan Rapinoe cross. Five minutes later, Rose Lavelle converted a Lindsay Horan cross with a fantastic finish to give the USWNT a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw more of the same from the USA, which poured it on in the final half hour as substitute Carli Lloyd bagged a brace, the first after being on the pitch for a mere 44 seconds. Lloyd’s second in the 83rd minute was followed less than a minute later by Samantha Mewis’ third goal and fourth this year.
Up Next: The WNT travels to Harrison, N.J. for a showdown with Mexico on May 26 at Red Bull Arena (11:30 a.m. ET; ESPN, UDN) in the finale of the Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods.
USWNT vs. New Zealand score: Heath, Lloyd lead USA to another pre-World Cup victory
Goal Scoring Rundown: USA – Tobin Heath (Megan Rapinoe), 35th minute: A long ball out of the back by Abby Dahlkemper was settled by Alex Morgan for Megan Rapinoe to collect and drive toward the left end line. Picking her head up, Rapinoe spotted Heath steaming toward the right post and delivered a low cross through the goal mouth for the Portland Thorns attacker to tap in at the back post for her fourth of 2019 and ninth in her last 12 matches. USA 1, NZL 0 WATCH
USA – Rose Lavelle (Lindsay Horan), 40th minute: Five minutes after the USA’s opener, Horan and Lavelle produced a near carbon copy of Heath’s goal. Horan was played into space down New Zealand’s right flank and hit a well-placed cross to the into the middle where Lavelle, through an impressive ballet of body control, connected with the ball while sliding to the ground and volleyed her shot into the roof of the net for her seventh career WNT goal. USA 2, NZL 0 WATCH
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USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 61st minute: Foty-four seconds after entering the match as a substitute, Carli Lloyd finished of a transition opportunity at the left post by tapping in a Tobin Heath pass that cut diagonally through the box to the unmarked captain. USA 3, NZL 0 WATCH
USA – Carli Lloyd (Christen Press), 83rd minute: With time ticking down, Lloyd capitalized on another quick strike attack by the USA. The ball was played out of the center of midfield to Press on the left and after driving forward with pace, she centered a low cross for Lloyd to tap home as her direct run into the heart of the box took her inside her trailing defender for the gritty conversion in front of a sliding defender. USA 4, NZL 0 WATCH
Just five minutes later, another goal was created by a different trio. Crystal Dunn laid the ball off to an on-running Lindsey Horan, who sent a deep cross to the back post. Rose Lavelle sprinted onto it and finished with a one-time strike:
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USA – Samantha Mewis (Christen Press), 84th minute: The U.S. worked down New Zealand’s right flank through Press again, but this time she laid the ball to Mewis who dribbled toward the top of the box, beat a defender and unleashed low drive from distance that a screened Erin Nayler in the Ferns goal couldn’t react to in time as deflected off a defender and stuck into the lower left corner of the net. USA 5, NZL 0 FINAL
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand Date: May 16, 2019 Competition: International Friendly Venue: Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo. Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. CT Attendance: 35,761 Weather: 88 degrees; Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F USA 2 3 5 NZL 0 0 0
USA – Tobin Heath (Megan Rapinoe) 35th minute USA – Rose Lavelle (Lindsey Horan) 40 USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 61 USA – Carli Lloyd (Christen Press) 83 USA – Samantha Mewis (Christen Press) 84
Lineups: USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Ali Krieger, 60), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 16-Rose Lavelle, 8-Julie Ertz (20-Allie Long, 73), 9-Lindsey Horan (3-Samantha Mewis, 46); 17-Tobin Heath (23-Christen Press, 72), 13-Alex Morgan (2-Mallory Pugh, 73), 15-Megan Rapinoe (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 60) Substitutes not used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 6-Morgan Brian, 12-Tierna Davidson, 14-Emily Sonnett, 22-Jessica McDonald Head coach: Jill Ellis
NZL: 1-Erin Nayler; 14-Katie Bowen, 5-Meikayla Moore, 8-Abby Erceg, 3-Anna Green (19-Paige Satchell, 69); 16-Katie Duncan (22-Olivia Chance, 60), 10-Annalie Longo, 2-Ria Percival; 13-Rosie White, 11-Sarah Gregorius (17-Hannah Wilkinson, 75), 7-Ali Riley (capt.) Substitutes not used: 23-Nadia Olla, 9-Emma Kete, 15-Sarah Morton, 18-Stephanie Skilton, 20-Daisy Cleverley Head coach: Tom Sermanni
Stats Summary: USA / NZL Shots: 25 / 1 Shots on Goal: 9 / 0 Saves: 0 / 4 Corner Kicks: 10 / 1 Fouls: 8 / 4 Offside: 7 / 1
With one more friendly remaining before the World Cup begins on June 11, the U.S. continued to look sharp on both ends of the field. Including the 3-0 win over South Africa last Sunday, the U.S. has eight goals and zero conceded entering the final tune-up game on Sunday against Mexico.
Misconduct Summary: NZL – Anna Green (caution) 33rd minute
Officials: Referee: Karen Abt (USA) Assistant Referee 1: Jennifer Garner (USA) Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA) 4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
GOAL, @USWNT! Megan Rapinoe did plenty of the work with that assist, but its Tobin Heath on the end of it. Are you even surprised anymore? #USWNT leads New Zealand in St. Louis. #USAvNZL | 1-0 pic.twitter.com/2q88nBJV9Z
Share Share Carli Lloyd scores brace in 5-0 USA win over New Zealand tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Ali Krieger (top right) is congratulated by Abby Dahlkemper (7) after earning her 100th cap in a 5-0 win over New Zealand. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports The United States womens national team started out sloppy, but after the first 35 minutes they took off and dropped the New Zealand Football Ferns 5-0 in their penultimate game before the 2019 FIFA Womens World Cup. Head coach Jill Ellis seemed to put her preferred starting lineup on the pitch, but every one of these players needs to earn their spot with Sam Mewis fighting to make the first team. The substitution pattern shows that OHara, Horan, and Rapinoe are all being eased back into action as they come back from injury.
Starting XI: Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle, Lindsay Horan, Julie Ertz, Kelley OHara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Alyssa Naeher
The winner came from the foot of Tobin Heath 35 minutes in after Megan Rapinoe used her skill down the left side to set her up. Heres the winning goal:
Just like the match against South Africa on Sunday, the United States started out slow against New Zealand. After a solid first minute for the USA, it was New Zealand who got the first quality look at goal of the match. A bit of shaky defending left New Zealand with the ball just 12 yards from goal. The shot was skied over the bar, but it was nonetheless dangerous and probably should have been scored.
After the brief danger, the United States took over possession for the next 30 minutes, but there was a lack of cohesion between players in the attacking third. Too often it was Heath or Rapinoe taking on a group of New Zealand defenders and either being dispossessed or sending a wanting ball into the box. The Ferns were playing an extremely defensive brand of football, and there were times when they forced a dangerous turnover but couldnt press the advantage because there were eight players behind the ball. In all, it was a sloppy half hour for the United States and it renewed the worries about our inability to break down a deep blocking squad. With three or four players standing even with the defensive line, its hard to create much ball movement.
The first real opportunity for the USWNT came when Dunn took the ball on the left side and decided to attack her defender. She drove at the end line and sent a hard ball at Morgan near the top of the six-yard box. Morgan was able to get a piece of the ball to direct it on frame, but New Zealand goalkeeper Erin Nayler was able to parry the ball wide of goal.
Then, finally, in the 35th minute the United States got on the board. Morgan took the ball in the center above the New Zealand penalty box, and she found Rapinoe in space on the left side. She took the pass in stride and sent a low, rolling pass that curled around the defense and found Heath in open space at the back of goal. There was absolutely no chance for it to be saved once it reached her, and the USA was up one goal to nil.
And with that, the floodgates were opened, and the next goal would come just 5 minutes later when Horan whipped the ball in and Lavelle was able to get her foot on it and beat the goalkeeper for the second USA goal of the match. The pass from Horan was a thing of beauty as it rose up over the defense and dove back down, and Lavelle was able to keep the ball low when many players would have hit the ball an instant too late and sent it high.
After halftime we saw one substitution with Sam Mewis coming in for Horan, who is working her way back to full health. Mewis had a moment just minutes after hitting the pitch when she passed to Rapinoe in open space, but the shot with her left foot found the netting outside of the goal. It was quite clear, from the beginning of the half, that New Zealand was gassed.
In the 60th minute, Jill Ellis made two more substitutions. Rapinoe came out to make way for Carli Lloyd, but the big change was Ohara switching out for Ali Krieger and her 100th career appearance. Its pretty amazing for her to be on the roster, as it seemed that Ellis had misplaced her contact information for the last two years. The substitutes would make an immediate impact, with Mewis taking on a New Zealand midfielder to break an attack. She passed the ball right to Heath who sent it to Lloyd in the box, and Lloyd scored with her first touch of the match. It was a classically quick strike from the Americans, and it helps cement Lloyd as a valuable offensive sub.
In the 71st minute it was time for another trio of substitutes. Allie Long, Mallory Pugh, and Christen Press all hit the pitch while Morgan, Ertz, and Heath went to the bench. The game was firmly in hand by this point, but the Group Stage necessitates the bludgeoning of opponents in case the best two teams tie.
The substitutes did it again in the 83rd minute. Long stole the ball away in the midfield and passed out wide to Press. She drove past the defense and sent a perfect cross into the box. Lloyd had to do very little to redirect it on frame for her second goal of the night; the fourth for the USA. Lloyd has scored three goals in the past two games. The ease with which the USA was able to break the defense down in the second half is indicative more of New Zealands exhaustion than the offensive prowess of the United States.
Oh, and then Sam Mewis got in on the fun with a cracking shot from 25 yards out that took a deflection and snuck into the left side of goal. It was her third goal in two games as well. Mewis has definitely picked up a reputation for taking low, hard shots from distance than trick the goalkeeper and stay hidden until its far too late. Its a good feeling to know that the Americans have a world-class midfielder sitting in the wings in case of injury, but gosh its hard not to want Mewis in the starting lineup.
Sam Mewis makes it 5-0 … and three goals in two send-off games. Thats good, right? #TourDeFour pic.twitter.com/ebwqGqG5vs
The second half was certainly fun, but there wasnt a whole lot to take away tactically. It looks easy when youve got more energy and more talent than your opponent, and theres a fair bit of worry to be taken away from this match.
For one, the United States looked well neutralized in the first half hour. Not every team is going to lose as much steam as New Zealand did, so the ability to get out on top early is important. Its certainly not the only way to win soccer games, but the sloppy play that has now been showcased to start the last two matches would certainly be capitalized on by teams like Australia or France. Everyone on the squad is still working towards comfort and fitness, but things need to tighten up against Mexico in 10 days. We need more off-ball movement to distract defenders and prevent Heath from feeling like she needs to dribble through six players. She can do it because shes amazing, but its a lot more risky than a quick give and go.