The United States women's national team, ranked No. 2 in the world, failed to really take hold of the game against a strong Norwegian team, ranked No. 11, on Sunday in Sandjeford, Norway. USWNT coach Jill Ellis cotinued her experimentation with personnel and formations — the starting line-up featured just two players that got minutes at the 2015 World Cup.
Injuries continue to run rampant on the U.S. side, taking out prominent players one by one. It was the two youngest Americans who succumbed to knocks today. 19-year-old Mal Pugh pulled out of the starting XI at the last minute with an injury sustained during warm ups, and fellow fresh-faced star Rose Lavelle was taken out with a hamstring tweak in the 85th minute. They join Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan, Lynn Williams and Morgan Brian on the injury list.
Nevertheless, the USWNT persisted. While youth proved to be the catalyst on Thursday, today it was experience. Chicago Red Stars striker and national team stalwart Christen Press scored her 42nd international goal with the game’s lone tally in the 60th minute.
Different angle, just as awesome. @beckysauerbrunn @ChristenPress pic.twitter.com/Rrf35odvnH— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) June 11, 2017
Two wins against two solid European squads on the road is not an accomplishment to be scoffed at, however, the team and fans know the USWNT is a lot more dangerous than what they’ve recently displayed. The next test for the team will be the Tournament of Nations on home soil, starting with Australia on July 27th.