Nashville, TN (February 13, 2013)-Tom Sermanni secured his second win with the U.S. Women’s national soccer team routing his home country 3-1. Playing their second match against Scotland within a five-day span, the Americans showed that despite some rust they are still clearly the number one team in the world.
14,224 fans came out on a chilly night in Nashville to cheer on the reigning gold medalists despite temperatures hovering only slightly above 40 degrees.
Sermanni mixed up his lineup once again with Whitney Engen receiving her first cap with the team as one of the four starting defenders. And Sydney Leroux who is accustomed to coming off the bench received her first start for the U.S. replacing Alex Morgan on the forward line. Morgan injured her left ankle in Saturday’s match and was held out as a precautionary measure though she did practice with the team the past two days.
Megan Rapinoe scored the first goal of the night and provided some energy to what was initially a sluggish first half for the U.S. Scotland came out with much more energy in this game then just a few days ago in Florida when they lost 4-1 to the Americans. Rapinoe however was able to spark the squad with her goal in the 21st minute and though they did not score again in the first half, they dominated ball possession and did not allow a single shot on goal.
Abby Wambach scored quickly in the second half with a diving header in the 51st minute to bring her career total to 153, now only five off the mark from tying Mia Hamm’s all-time record.
Christen Press replaced Wambach in the 60th minute and didn’t waste much time before increasing the lead for the U.S. With an assist from midfielder Shannon Boxx, Press made it 3-0 for the Americans in the 63rd minute. Press has quickly made a case for more minutes from Coach Sermanni having now racked up three goals in her first two games.
Suzanne Grant added the lone goal for Scotland in the 81st minute.
It was a special night for Wambach who also celebrated her 200th career cap with the national team. She wore the captain’s sleeve and was honored prior to the game for her career, which thus far has spanned more than a decade. She is only the 8th player in U.S. history to notch that many games.
The Algarve Cup is only a few weeks away for the Americans. It will take place March 6-13 in Portugal and will be the first true competition for the U.S. in 2013. It was also the last place that the U.S. suffered a loss, losing 1-0 to Japan. The Americans will be looking to capture their 9th Algarve Cup title.