US Women’s National Team Flaws
The United States women’s national team is on a roll. Mallory Pugh scored her first goal since October 3, 2019, and Ashley Hatch scored her third goal in three games. Mallory Hatch was named the team’s most valuable player, and her goal against New Zealand is a perfect example of why she’s one of the best players on the team. However, the U.S. squad is not without its flaws. Here are some reasons why:
Ashley Hatch scored her third goal in as many games
The USWNT called upon four Spirit players in a 5-0 win over New Zealand, including forward Ashley Hatch, who was introduced into the match at halftime. Hatch’s goal was the team’s third in as many games, and it marked the second consecutive game in which she scored a goal. She has now scored with her left foot, right foot and head. She broke a three-way tie with a right-footed goal against the OL Reign.
Hatch came off the bench in the second half to score the American goal in the 51st minute. After coming on as a substitute, Hatch connected with Sofia Huerta’s cross from the right wing to make it 3-0. The resulting goal made Hatch the most productive player for the USA this summer. The USA scored four goals in a row, and it’s no surprise to see her form continue to improve.
Mallory Pugh scored her first goal since October 3, 2019
United States women’s national team forward Mallory Pugh scored her first goal in almost a year on Sunday. The goal came in the 76th minute against Korea Republic. This was Pugh’s first goal since October 3, 2019. Her goal was also the first by a USWNT player in over two years. Mallory Pugh’s goal came three minutes into stoppage time, which was her first since October 3, 2019.
The USWNT had a few more chances in the first half. The USWNT goalkeeper, Sam Mewis, was replaced by Jaelin Howell. Before halftime, the USWNT trailed 4-0. However, it didn’t look as if the USWNT would lose. The USWNT went on to win 9-0. The match featured Carli Lloyd, Lynn Williams, Tobin Heath, and Mallory Pugh.
Ashley Naeher returns to the team
American goalkeeper Ashley Naeher has been named to the 2016 Olympic roster. She first played for the national team on December 18, 2014, during a 7-0 victory over Argentina in the International Tournament of Brazil. She had been injured during the game, but returned to the lineup in the summer and will be ready for the games in Rio. She will likely be a key piece to the team’s success at the Olympics.
The 23-player roster for the United States women’s national team has been announced. Nineteen players were part of the squad at the SheBelieves Cup in February. Abby Dahlkemper and Lindsey Horan return after missing the Cup. Imani Dorsey and Naomi Girma are newcomers to the roster. Sam Mewis will not play, however, due to a knee injury.
Mallory Pugh’s goal against New Zealand
The United States Women’s National Team scored a thrilling goal in the third minute of stoppage time against the South Pacific nation. Mallory Pugh’s sixth goal for the national team came after an assist from Sofia Huerta in the first half. She also earned her 11th career international goal, her third of the tournament. Pugh is currently dating Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson, whom she met through her former high school boyfriend, Jace Peterson.
Pugh first made her senior team debut for the United States during the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was the youngest player to play for the national team since Heather O’Reilly in 2002. She scored in her debut in the 83rd minute to become the 19th player to score on her debut. In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Pugh was one of 18 players chosen to represent the United States. She made her Olympic debut against Colombia, and went on to score in the quarterfinal match.
Ashley Naeher’s own goal against New Zealand
The USWNT won 5-0 against New Zealand in their SheBelieves Cup match on Sunday, scoring five goals to the Kiwis’ two. The USWNT forced three own goals in the first half and had two goals by Ashley Hatch. The win marked a big step up from Thursday’s draw against the Czech Republic. Ashley Hatch and Mallory Pugh each scored twice to give the USWNT their first victory of the year.
With two injuries to the starting backline, the U.S. was forced to play without Alyssa Naeher. The 22-year-old Naeher, who injured her right knee in the 2021 Olympic semi-final against Canada, made just one save for the U.S. goalkeeper. Ashley Naeher was also one of six changes in the starting lineup since Thursday. Andonovski is testing out some of his younger players during the four-team round-robin tournament.