Category Archives: Shannon Boxx

USWNT vs. CanWNT: Wambach & Morgan were Left Unmarked and Made Canada Pay

The United States concluded their post-2011 Women’s World Cup Celebration Series tour against Canada with a 3-0 victory. Both friendlies were played in front of incredible crowds; Megan Rapinoe joked earlier in the week that the fanfare has been like if the WWC runner-ups had actually won the title.  18,570 strong serenaded the team with chants of “U-S-A” at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon, as did 16,191 at the first friendly in Kansas City, Kansas last Saturday (1-1 draw).

Similar to the previous game, the USWNT lined up in a new 4-2-3-1. As promised, Pia Sundhage featured all 21 players over the two friendlies, a full strength roster from the WWC. Notably in the starting XI, the experiment with Amy Rodriguez as a left winger continued, while Shannon Boxx and Lori Lindsey replaced Carli Lloyd and Lauren Cheney as holding midfielders. Stephanie Cox stepped in for Amy LePeilbet and Becky Sauerbrunn slide over from her usual role in central defence to the outside right.

John Herdman, who is playing without two of Canada’s regular starters Christine Sinclair and Candace Chapman, switched from a 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 and made two changes to his starting lineup from the first friendly, with Lexi Marton in place of Emily Zurrer and Karina LeBlanc in goal for Erin McLeod. Herdman’s fourth ‘keeper, 22 year-old Justine Bernier, was the only one of the 22 player roster not to see playing time. New talent was introduced as three players received their first senior caps during the two friendlies.

The US peppered the Canadian 18-yard box with dangerous crosses and well paced shots throughout the match, but were upstaged by great Canadian goalkeeping from Karina LeBlanc in the first half and Stephanie Labbé in the second.

Canada was kept deep on defensive duties for much of the game, but Melissa Tancredi got an early opportunity when she fended off a couple defenders before sending the ball over the net.

LeBlanc made her first of several great saves in the 17th minute. Abby Wambach started the play when she blocked Sophie Schmidt’s cross, which fell to Rapinoe. She was able to advance the ball up field before laying it off to Wambach, whose ensuing cross was met by an unmarked Rodriguez.  Her side-footed shot from point blank range was denied by a one-handed save.

About 10 minutes later, Heather O’Reilly led the charge forward when she beat Diana Matheson to send in a cross. Lauren Sesselmann was in a great position to block Christie Rampone’s initial shot. Her far post rebound was grabbed in the air by LeBlanc, who then sparked the Canadian attack with her goal kick. The bouncing ball eluded Rachel Buehler and fell favourably for Tancredi. Her header into space allowed her to turn and shoot, but the low bouncing ball went just wide to the right of Hope Solo.

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Thoughts on the United States' 2-1 Victory Over China

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe Was Sensational for the U.S. in Saturday's Win

The Good

-The Real Megan Rapinoe was on the pitch in Atlanta on Saturday night. Chicago Red Stars fans are probably cursing their fate as the jaded and inconsistent player of WPS form was nowhere in sight on Saturday. This Rapinoe was a constant terror down the left (or right when she switched flanks with HAO), making surging runs down the flank or cutting inside while also defending well from the front, forcing some of the Chinese defenders into mistakes. Rapinoe took her goal well to give the U.S the early lead and had an opportunity to add a second in the second half that was kicked away by Chinese keeper Huang Luna.
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Previewing the 2010 Saint Louis Athletica

             If you want to find an unlikely comeback story, look no further than the 2009 Saint Louis Athletica. The Athletica were the only WPS team to not have earned any points after two matches, remained winless until the fifth match and lost Daniela, their best player at the time, to a season-ending injury. Just to pile it on, the team were at the bottom of the standings during the duration of April and May.

              But what was probably most frustrating to Coach Jorge Barcellos was that Saint Louis was actually a good side. Soccer can be a pretty capricious sport sometimes and it seemed as if the Athletica were destined to finish last, despite having talent like Hope Solo, Lori Chalupny and English striker Eniola Aluko, who would find her scoring boots soon enough.

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Wambach Scores 105th in Winter Wonderland

(Michael Brandy, Desert News)

The WNT defeated Mexico 1-0 at the Rio Tinto Stadium, despite winter weather conditions. It was the first time the National Team had ever played in snow. The game plan was completely forgotten as the snow continued to steadily fall. Despite Mexican keeper’s Erika Vanegas’ valiant efforts throughout the match (she made 12 saves), Wambach broke the deadlock after an hour, tapping in a cross from Shannon Boxx.

The goal ties Wambach with WNT legend Michelle Akers in 105 goals scored. Kristine Lilly started, making her the only player to have started matches in the past four decades. Also, Alex Morgan and Brittany Taylor earned their first caps, each coming on in the second half.

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune match report.

And this is the official word from USSoccer.