Crystal Dunn’s five goals and the rest of United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) destroyed Puerto Rico 10-0 on Monday at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. With this victory the Yanks lock up Group A and are now waiting to find out if they will face either Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago on Friday’s crucial semifinal match.
Crystal Dunn Making History
The Americans are now only 90 minutes away from qualifying to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. For now Dunn and the rest of her team mates celebrate her historical night. The speedy 23-year-old forward became the seventh person in the golden history off USWNT to score five goals in a match for the senior team. The other six players are: Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux, Abby Wambach, Tiffeny Milbrett, Michelle Akers and Brandi Chastain. The last person to do it was Leroux on January 22nd, 2012 against Guatemala.
The 2015 National Women’s Soccer League MVP was everywhere on the offensive end. Even if she was not directly involved in a play her runs forced Puerto Rico’s defense to keep an eye on her. By the 61st minute she had complete her hat trick, and in the 87th minute she scored her fifth goal. The speedy striker was all smiles after the game.
“This is definitely a special moment,” Dunn told Fox Soccer after the match. “I think for me, personally, going forward my confidence is up and hopefully all our confidence is up and we can move this forward in the next game.”
Mallory Pugh And The Rest Of The Bench Players Step Up Big
The Americans in this match were never challenged from Puerto Rico. The United States created 35 shots while also controlling 69 percent of possession in the game. The Yanks passed the ball at such a rapid pace but yet still accurately that they finished with an 88 percent of competition.
Regardless that U.S. manager Jill Ellis allowed a handful of her starters to rest, they still dominated the match. In total eight starters from the two previous matches were not on the field when the game began.
Instead youngsters like Mallory Pugh, Stephanie McCaffrey, Samantha Mewis, Emily Sonnett and Jaelene Hinkle were given the nod to start against the Caribbean nation. Veteran striker Christen Press was also in the starting lineup for the Yanks on Monday.
Many players impressed Ellis in this match. Obviously Dunn had the best game of her career for the national team, but 17-year-old Pugh also enjoyed a solid 62 minutes for the Yanks. The speedy and crafty forward made her first start for the senior team on Monday, but she put in a performance as if it was her 50th cap.
She left the game with an assist to her name; the Puerto Rican defense for the majority of the game was not able to contain her. The first two goals for the United States were set up through her calm and nifty footwork.
She assisted on Dunn’s first goal at the sixth minute, and then her run into the box drew the penalty for the Yanks. Captain Carli Lloyd went on to convert the penalty at the 19th minute. Right before she was subbed out her active and creative play in the box forced the Puerto Ricans to score an own-goal in the 60th minute. The high school student was responsible for three of the Yanks goals on Monday night.
The Caribbean nation offense was nonexistent as they only mustered up two shots in the match. The USWNT took care of business quickly knowing that they needed a result to win the group and avoid Canada in the semis. By the time Lloyd made the score 2-0 the game was over and had become an offensive drill for the USWNT
Now after their dominating performance the United States will be playing on Friday at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas for the semifinal match. The Yanks have to win that game to secure their place in the Olympics.