CHESTER, PA –The U.S. Women’s National Team beat China 4-1 on Sunday night in its second-to-last home exhibition game before leaving for the London Olympics. The team was treated to sell out crowd of 18,573 screaming fans at PPL Park.
U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage said, “We struggled a bit in the first half, but we turned it around in the second half and the crowd was great. You look at the crowd like this and it makes a difference. In the Olympics, we’ll have big crowds and in the World Cup we had big crowds. You have to deal with that feeling and you should take advantage of it. Playing in front of this crowd is almost like having a 12th player and it’s fantastic.”
China did hold a short lead with a goal by Zhang Rui in the 22nd minute, but U.S. attack was too much. Alex Morgan tied it in the 34th and the U.S. pulled ahead on the own-goal in the 36th. Morgan stuck again in the 50th, and Wambach capped the scoring in the 83rd minute.
Alex Morgan clearly capitalized the on energy for the stands by scoring two goals and coming up inches short from a hat trick. After the game she said the thought she had the hat trick but was very pleased to have the win.
Several players with local Philadelphia ties had friends and family in the stands. Carli Lloyd and Heather Mitts both have strong Philly connections. Lloyd is a local product from Delran, NJ that played her college ball at Rutgers University and Heather Mitts twice played pro in Philadelphia in the WUSA and WPS. Both players still train locally with Coach James Galanis at Universal Academy in South Jersey. Mitts said after the match, “Training with James Galanis at Universal Academy is what helped me make the last Olympics.”
U.S. National 18-Player Roster
Goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo
Defenders: Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
Midfielders: Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe
Forwards: Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach
Alternates: Lori Lindsey (M), Jill Loyden (GK), Meghan Klingenberg (M), Christen Press (F)
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