Uzbekistan Serves As USWNT Punching Bag — Youngsters Net Nine In Friendly Match

The USWNT most likely wasn’t thrilled on having to settle with 48th ranked Uzbekistan as the opponent for two April friendlies. The first of those two games was played on Saturday and the U.S. expectedly thrashed the minnows 9-1.

With many of the USWNT veterans like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Christen Press not selected for the roster it would seem these friendlies are a last chance shot for some of the youngsters to prove themselves and make the cut for July’s Concacaf W Championship. That competition will also serve as World Cup and Olympic qualifying.

There’s just one thing I don’t quite understand. What exactly can a player prove against a team like Uzbekistan? The underdogs did their best against the USWNT and even managed to score a goal, but the skill gap between these two teams was incredibly vast.

If the USWNT did better at finishing its chances this game could have ended with a 17-1 score line. Credit needs to be given to Uzbekistan’s goalkeeper Laylo Tilovova who made several great saves and smart plays, but there were plenty of sitters missed by the USWNT.

That being said, the U.S. still scored nine goals so should they be criticized on finishing? Friendlies against teams like Uzbekistan rarely having any solid takeaways.

Sophia Smith will be the happiest of the USWNT players as she scored her first hat trick for the national team.

All USWNT Goals vs Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s Goal vs USWNT

The game recap won’t be all smiles for head coach Vlatko Andonovski. While the finishing could use some tuning up (the USWNT had 33 shots), he won’t be thrilled about conceding to Uzbekistan. 

The only goal for Uzbekistan was also the only shot of the game for the visitors. The score might not have altered to result, but it did end a two-year streak of not conceding on home soil for the USWNT. The 17-game streak of shutouts comes to an end at the hands of Aziza Norboeva.

Uzbekistan will have to go through the USWNT gauntlet again on Tuesday in Philadelphia. The good news for them is that these two games aren’t aggregate, so they get a clean 0-0 slate.

One player USWNT fans are dying to see play is Trinity Rodman. The NWSL Rookie of the Year was called up for the friendlies but wasn’t available for the first game. Perhaps fans will get to see her in Philly.

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