The Soccer Tournament (TST) kicked off on Thursday and saw the U.S. Women open their tournament with a 5-0 defeat to Say Word FC.
The U.S. Women team coached by Mia Hamm is the only team consisting of just women on the roster and features household names like Heather O’Reilly, Kristine Lilly and more.
US Women’s FULL TST ROSTER⚽️ pic.twitter.com/dRC9vmbLVp— TST (@TST7v7) May 23, 2023
— TST (@TST7v7) June 1, 2023
Say Word FC comprises young talent, mostly aged 18 through 20, with college and lower pro league experience. The team is taking this tournament seriously and did a two-week training camp in May with two practices each day.
US Women vs Say Word FC highlights TST
Unfortunately, with the game being shown on Peacock the highlights aren’t available on YouTube or on TST’s socials. The best I can do is give you the timestamps from the full-game replay that is available on Peacock. I will put the timestamps in parentheses.
The first 20-minute half of the 7v7 affair saw Say Word FC completely dominate and control the game. They opened the scoring in the seventh minute when a rocket shot from distance was headed away from goal by Kendall Fletcher, but Brendan Lambe was able to clean up the rebound. (9:05)
Say Word doubled the lead in the 16th minute after a shot deflected off Schuyler DeBree for an own goal. (17:42)
Say Word were in cruise control for the first half and took full advantage of their youth and size. Say Word striker Salifu Jatta stands at 6 feet 4 inches tall and looked like a skyscraper standing next to the U.S. Women defenders.
The height advantage held by Say Word was the difference for the team’s third goal right before halftime as Caleb Steele scored with a header off a corner kick. (21:10)
Lindsey Harris, who currently plays as a goalkeeper in Portugal, had the best performance for the U.S. Women with a number of ridiculous saves. She was incredible during the team’s opener.
The first shot for the U.S. Women came in the 17th minute at the end of a great sequence of passes. This was the first sign of life on offense for Hamm’s side and they looked much better in the second half. (18:40)
The second 20-minute half saw the U.S. Women grow into the game and look more comfortable with the 7v7 teams and smaller field size. More chances came their way, including a quality effort by Lilly in the 30th minute as she controlled the ball with her chest near the outside of the box, turned away from her defender and hit the ball sweetly on the half-volley to force a save. Not too shabby from the 51-year-old USWNT legend. (35:50)
The confidence from the U.S. Women was more present as the game went on and Casey Loyd drew cheers from the crowd with a clever nutmeg.
Casey Loyd said, “Watch yo’ legs.” pic.twitter.com/dANCDUnHn7— TST (@TST7v7) June 1, 2023
Say Word’s lone goal of the second half came in the 24th minute when Alex Palme found Kyle Broderick with a cheeky backheel pass and Broderick slipped his shot by Harris. (29:25)
The biggest moment for the U.S. Women came in the “Target Score Time” when they were awarded a penalty kick. Cat Whitehill stepped up to take the penalty and went with power up the middle but was denied by the outstretched hand of the goalkeeper, who had dived to his left. (49:17)
Minutes later the fifth and final goal for Say Word was scored when Lambe got around DeBree to end the game at 5-0. (52:20)
It was all smiles after the full-time whistle for both sides as group photos were taken and Say Word showed their respect and appreciation for the U.S. Women.
Say Word will face Italian side Como 1907 later Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. ET while the U.S. Women face the Wrexham Red Dragons at 8:00 p.m. Thursday night.