WASHNGTON, D.C. (May 10, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Team ended a three-game domestic tour with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Canada as forward Natasha Kai scored her first career hat trick. Lindsay Tarpley, Carli Lloyd and Leslie Osborne also added goals in what was a dominating performance from the opening whistle.
Amazingly, the USA scored six goals without getting one from top scorer Abby Wambach, who played creator in this match, dishing for three assists.
This game quickly took a different direction from the last meeting between the two countries on April 12 in the championship game of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. That game was won by the USA in penalty kicks and didn’t see its first goal until overtime in the 107th minute, followed by an equalizer from Canada with just four minutes left.
In front of a festive crowd of almost 10,000 tonight at RFK Stadium, the USA out-shot Canada 21-2, holding their northern neighbors without a shot in the second half, and scored five second half goals.
““I’m thrilled,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “We talked about changing up the rhythm in the attack. My dream is to take this game to the next level and I think we can do it. We’re halfway there. The way we played today, there were so many good things I could stand here for an hour just talking about how good it was. And still it could be better.”
The match was clearly going the USA’s way after the Americans earned seven corner kicks in the first 15 minutes with a rhythmical, ball possession attack that kept Canada scrambling to clear numerous crosses from its penalty area and make several last-ditch tackles inside the penalty box.
The first goal came in the 23rd minute as Wambach controlled a ball at the top of the penalty box on the left side with her back to the goal. She played a short square pass into the path of the sprinting Tarpley who hammered her first-time shot on a line just inside the right post to give the USA a well-deserved 1-0 lead.
The spectacular strike was the 26th career goal for Tarpley and the ninth of 2008, besting her previous high for a calendar year when she found the net eight times in 2004.
The second half barrage started in the 54th minute as Lloyd looped a high ball into the penalty box that at first didn’t look dangerous. Kai positioned herself under the falling sphere and snapped off a header that surprised Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, hitting off her leg and into the net to make it 2-0.
The USA’s third goal came just six minutes later on yet another fantastic build-up and quick possession in the final third. The ball was played to Shannon Boxx on the right wing and she swung a perfect spinning cross into the penalty area that was met by Kai just inside the six-yard box. The Hawaiian got a good piece of the ball and powered a header past McLeod to make it 3-0.
The fourth goal, and third in a nine-minute span, came as the USA busted Canada’s restraining line with a perfectly-timed pass from Wambach that sprung Lloyd on a breakaway. The attacking midfielder made a great run from behind and then out-ran Canada’s defense to the top of the penalty box. She took a touch to her right to elude McLeod and slotted the ball into the open net as she tumbled to the ground. The goal was the fifth for Lloyd in 2008 and 15th of her young career.
Kai just missed the hat trick in the 72nd minute as Lloyd played a nifty pass to slice open the Canada back line. Kai had a one-on-one chance inside the penalty area, but McLeod came out quickly to stuff the shot with a brave save.
Three minutes later Kai got another chance and this one she finished. This time it was Wambach who played a perfectly-weighted ball behind the Canadian backs to give Kai and open look at goal and she drew McLeod out of her goal before poking a slow roller into the lower right corner from 10 yards out.
The three goals marked the first career hat trick for Kai and upped her career total to 18 in 45 games. The goals also gave her a team-leading 10 for the year.
The USA had numerous other chances to add to the lead during the second half, including a 69th minute header from Wambach that was cleared off the line by Canadian defender, but by that time the USA had all the goals they needed.
The game was capped by the third-career goal from midfielder Leslie Osborne, who came into the match in the 70th minute. Forward Amy Rodriguez, herself a 76th minute sub, blew by a defender in the right side of the penalty box and turned the corner before slipping a short pass into the seam that Osborne slammed into the goal from 10 yards out. It was Osborne’s first goal since Nov. 26, 2006, when she scored against Canada in the championship game of the 2007 Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament.
The U.S. women, who has been on the road since April 21 will now go on a break before regrouping in Los Angeles for a two-week training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., that begins on May 19. Following that camp, the USA will have a week break before heading to the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea where it will face Australia, Brazil and Italy in first-round play.
- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -
Match-up: USA vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Date: May 10, 2008; Kickoff – 7:00 p.m. ET
Weather: Cloudy, cool – 60 degrees
1 2 F
USA 1 5 6
CAN 0 0 0
USA – Lindsey Tarpley (Abby Wambach) 23rd minute.
USA – Natasha Kai (Carli Lloyd) 54.
USA – Natasha Kai (Shannon Boxx) 60.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Abby Wambach) 63.
USA – Natasha Kai (Abby Wambach) 75.
USA – Leslie Osborne (Amy Rodriguez) 87.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 17-Lori Chalupny, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 15-Kate Markgraf, 2-Heather Mitts; 9-Heather O’Reilly (16-Angela Hucles, 76), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (12-Leslie Osborne, 70); 6-Natasha Kai (19-Amy Rodriguez, 76), 20-Abby Wambach.
Subs not used: 1-Briana Scurry, 4-Cat Whitehill, 13-Tobin Heath, 14-Stephanie Cox.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
CAN: 18-Erin McLeod; 6-Sophie Schmidt (4-Clare Rustad, 46), 9-Candace Chapman, 10-Martina Franko, 11-Randee Hermus; 8-Diana Matheson, 19-Jonelle Filigno, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (5-Robin Gayle, 73); 12-Christine Sinclair, 14-Melissa Tancredi (17-Brittany Timko, 90), 15-Kara Lang (21-Jodi-Ann Robinson, 70).
Subs not used: 1-Karina LeBlanc, 2-Kristina Kiss, 13-Amy Walsh.
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
USA / CAN
Shots: 21 / 2
Shots on Goal: 13 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 11 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 10
Offside: 3 / 3
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 27th minute.
Referee: Sandra Serafini (USA)
Asst. Referee: Debbie Coleman (USA)
Asst. Referee: Meredith Hacket (USA)
4th Official: Byran Roslund (USA)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Natasha Kai