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HomeSoccerCONCACAFCONCACAF News: USWNT blanks China PR in first of two friendlies

CONCACAF News: USWNT blanks China PR in first of two friendlies


Sophia Smith scored early in a rare start at center forward and the U.S. women’s national team eased to a comfortable 3-0 victory over visiting China PR Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Trinity Rodman had a goal and an assist, and Lindsey Horan also scored after halftime for the Americans in the first of two friendlies in four days against China, FIFA’s No. 15-ranked team and the third-place finisher in Group D at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

The No. 3-ranked Americans also played back-to-back matches against the same opponent in September and October on home soil, sweeping South Africa before earning a win and a draw against Colombia.

Casey Murphy kept a clean sheet for the USWNT with two saves.

The 23-year-old Smith started every game on the wing for the U.S. at this summer’s World Cup, but on Saturday began in the middle of interim coach Twila Kilgore’s front three, a role occupied for more than a decade primarily by 34-year-old star Alex Morgan.

If this was an audition to potentially inherit that responsibility, the results were mixed.

Smith gave the Americans the lead in the eighth minute after Rodman found space down the left and drove in a low cross toward the penalty spot. Smith slid to meet it, directing a first-time finish past goalkeeper Xu Huan from close range for her 15th career international goal.

But she should have added to that total before being subbed off at the half. Smith forced the keeper into a save from close range only a couple minutes after her opener, then missed high on a wide open chance from close range in the 25th minute, and then dragged another effort well wide on a 32nd-minute breakaway.

Horan finally doubled the lead in the 52nd minute on an effort that appeared intended as a cross to Jaedyn Shaw from the left. Shaw tried to redirect it but missed, and the goalkeeper reacted late as the ball bounced and then nestled inside the far right post.

Rodman made the lead 3-0 from close range when she reached Shaw’s low cross after Midge Purce also helped set up the chance.

–Field Level Media

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