The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) avoided losing four games in row by dominating Germany, scoring twice in the second half before a rambunctious crowd of over 26,000 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
Once again, the dynamic duo of Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith heeded to head coach Vlatko Andonovski calls to penetrate the 18 yard box and take wise shots on goal. And did they deliver to the delight of both the coaching staff and fans.
What a year for @sophsssmith!— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) November 13, 2022
The 22-year-old scores the equalizer for her team-leading 11th goal of 2022. She's on track to become the youngest player to lead the USA in scoring in a calendar year since Mia Hamm in 1993 pic.twitter.com/GJJdULPrHZ
Pugh continues to grow more confident and has solidifying her role as a reliable attacker. Fans are mindful that she didn’t make the Japan Summer Olympics roster some 18 months ago. Her comeback into her own has been nothing short of tremendous. During this match she unleashed a torrid display of runs at the goal.
Smith, the reigning NWLS MVP, picked up where she left off in league play that concluded on October 29. She danced from left to right and made the most of her opportunities.
Smith and Pugh’s goals were timely as the team headed into the locker room down 1-0 at the half. Whatever they ate, drank and heard from the staff made all the difference in the world. They returned to the pitch to out fox the FIFA third ranked Germans.
After the match Andonovski said, “They’re inspiring to watch play and they show that at the stage of the career they’re at, they’re ready to compete against some some of the best teams in the world.”
He added, “I thought that their performance was very good. And I think that they were a very good example for all those young players that were here.”
It was the team’s first win since September in Washington D.C., when the Lady Yanks defeated Nigeria in Audi Stadium.
In addition to celebrating the victory, the team cheered for veteran Alex Morgan who earned her 200 cap in red, white and blue.
Former CU Buffalo and tallest Yank rookie Taylor Kornieck came in for Alex Morgan in the 83rd minute.
Morgan debuted for the USA in 2010 and is in her 13th year with the USWNT, became just the 13th player in program history to reach the 200-cap milestone, and match her jersey number.
The USWNT will open their next training camp in New Zealand. They also scheduled to play against FIFA’s 22nd ranked Ferns twice in late January.
Upon their return, they will host the 2023 SheBelieves Cup tournament.
In the meantime, Andonovski is heading out to Qatar to join the USMNT coaching staff. “First and foremost I’m going go to Qatar with the men’s team. I will be helping the men’s team a little bit with some work,” the gaffer shared with members of the media.”
He continued “I’ll be doing analysis of the year and seeing where we are in the process and what else we need to do to get ready for the next camp and then for the World Cup.”