Heath Scores 30th Career WNT goal in 150 U.S. Appearance;
Pugh and Press Add Second Half Tallies, While Naeher Records Third Straight Clean Sheet;
USA Begins 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup vs. Thailand on June 11 in Reims, France (3 p.m. ET; FOX, Telemundo)
HARRISON, N.J. (May 26, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team closed out its three-game Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods, with a 3-0 win against neighbors Mexico before 26,332 fans at Red Bull Arena. Tobin Heath’s 11th minute strike combined with second half goals from Mallory Pugh and Christen Press lifted the USA to victory in the team’s final preparation match for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which kicks off on June 7 in France.
The USA dominated first half play, generating a 15-1 shot advantage, putting seven on goal. Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago’s early mistake gifted Heath the opportunity to score the opening goal, and she duly obliged after a bit of nifty footwork to beat her defender. Shortly after Heath’s opener, Santiago faced down an Alex Morgan breakaway and came up with a big save. Morgan nearly scored on another golden opportunity but just missed applying the finishing touch to a perfectly placed Megan Rapinoe cross.
As the game marched toward half time, the U.S. forced Santiago into a pair of impressive saves. The first one on a header just before half and the second on a volley by Crystal Dunn in first half stoppage time.
After the break, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five subs bringing on Press for Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd for Morgan, Lindsay Horan for Rose Lavelle, Pugh for Becky Sauerbrunn and Allie Long for Dunn.
The changes made an immediate impact as Lloyd rounded Santiago in the opening moments of the second half, but her shot was cleared off the line. While Mexico then carved out two half chances, the U.S. resumed where it had left off in the first half and was unlucky not to add a second in the 67th minute when Lloyd once again got around Santiago but was whistled offside as she deposited the ball in the vacated net.
However, the USA would not be denied more goals on a day when they finished with a 25-3 shot advantage. On the second goal, Lloyd played provider as she beat a defender off the dribble and centered into a crowd of players in front of goal. Pugh met the pass and was able to drag the ball over the line in the 76th minute.
Press finished proceedings with her second strike of the year in the 88th minute. Julie Ertz slipped the ball to Press near the top of the box and she juked away from one defender before burying a low shot into the bottom right corner to cap the 3-0 win and an undefeated (3-0-0) Send-Off Series.
Up Next: The USA departs for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on June 7 and will face Thailand in its opening Group F match on Tuesday, June 11 at Stade August-Delaune II in Reims (3 p.m. CT; FOX, Telemundo). The tournament that same day when the host nation France tackles South Korea. After it’s opening game, the USA plays Chile on June 16 at Parc des Princes in Paris (12 p.m. ET; FOX, Telemundo) before finishing group play against Sweden on June 20 at Stade Oceane in Le Havre (3 p.m. ET; FOX, Telemundo).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tobin Heath, 11th minute: A giveaway by Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago resulted in Heath receiving the ball just outside the penalty area. She beat the last remaining defender one-v-one to open up space for a shot from the middle of the box and buried the ball in the lower right side of the net for her 30th career goal. USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH]
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd) 76th minute: Lloyd received the ball on the left side of the penalty area and beat her defender with a nice move to get free near the endline and center the ball into a crowd of players near the goal mouth. Pugh was on hand, jostling with a defender, and was able to poke the ball over the line near the left post for her 16th tally of her career. USA 2, MEX 0 [WATCH]
USA – Christen Press (Julie Ertz), 88th minute: The U.S. advanced the ball into the box, where Ertz played back to the top for Press, who fooled her defender with a nice faint to open up space for a shot across her body into the lower right corner of the net. USA 3, MEX 0 [WATCH] FINAL
- Tobin Heath’s goal was her fifth of 2019 and 30th of her career. She now has 12 goals in her last 18 matches and 10 in her last 13. The strike came in her 150th cap for the USA, making her the 22nd American female player to reach that number.
- Mal Pugh’s goal was the 16th of her career and fourth of the 2019.
- Carli Lloyd recorded her 53rd career assist on Pugh’s goal.
- Lloyd earned her 274th WNT cap, tying her for fourth in team history with Julie Foudy. The top three: Kristine Lilly (354), Christie Rampone (311) and Mia Hamm (276).
- Christen Press’ goal was her second of 2019 and 48th of her career.
- The game marked Alyssa Naeher’s 25th career shutout. She earned cap No. 46 tonight.
- The U.S. WNT is 35-1-2 all-time vs. Mexico and departs for the 2019 World Cup with a 7-1-2 record in 2019.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 26, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. ET
Weather: 85 degrees; Sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Tobin Heath 11th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd) 76
USA – Christen Press (Julie Ertz) 88
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 46), 19-Crystal Dunn (20-Allie Long, 46); 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 16-Rose Lavelle (9-Lindsey Horan, 46); 17-Tobin Heath (14-Emily Sonnett, 71), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 46)
Substitutes not used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Adrianna Franch, 6-Morgan Brian, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Tierna Davidson, 22-Jessica McDonald
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago (capt.); 2-Kenti Robles, 13-Arianna Romero (3-Jocelyn Orejel, 89), 4-Rebeca Bernal, 5-Jimena López; 7-Daniela Espinosa (18-Alexia Delgado, 90+1), 6-Karla Nieto, 11-Lizbeth Ovalle (17-Yamilé Franco, 63), 8-Joana Robles (14-Belén Cruz, 85), 10-Katty Martinez (20-Dinora Garza, 85), 9-Kiana Palacios (19-Andrea Sánchez, 82)
Substitutes not used: 12-Emily Alvarado, 15-Karen Díaz, 16-Zulma Hernández
Head coach: Christopher Cuellar
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 25 / 3
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 3 / 5
Offside: 6 / 2
MEX – Kenti Robles (caution) 38th minute
Referee: Crystal Sobers (TRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jassett Kerr (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon (CAN)
4th Official: Miranda Cibeles (SLV)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz