3813_kriegerali_isi_uswntjd0213134050 John Dorton//isiphotos.com

United States Women Rout China at Algarve Cup

Ali Krieger, Sydney Leroux, and Alex Morgan lead the United States women over China in a victory that shows off the growing depth of the American squad and the rise of some dangerous young players.
BY Maura Gladys Posted
March 08, 2013
12:44 PM
Well, that was easy. The U.S. defeated China 5-0 Friday morning in its second game of group play at the Algarve Cup. The win puts Tom Sermanni's club in great position going into the final Group B game against Sweden, as a win or a draw will see the Americans finish on top.

Friday's lineup was distinctly different from the group that won the first match on Wednesday and was dominated by young players. Alex Morgan was the only holdover, with center back Becky Sauerbrunn captaining a side that featured Nicole Barnhart in goal, Ali Krieger at right back, Whitney Engen joining the captain, and Kristie Mewis on the left. Tobin Heath, Yael Averbuch, Christen Press, and Megan Rapinoe started in the midfield with Morgan up top with Sydney Leroux.

The U.S. jumped out to an early lead in the 14th minute when Leroux took the ball to the goal on a solo effort. Krieger, who had a stellar game both offensively and defensively, doubled the Stars and Stripes’ advantage in the 32nd minute with a half-volley from six yards out. It was over after a Megan Rapinoe-forced own goal and Christen Press's fourth tally in as many matches. Engen completed the rout in the 84th minute when she netted an easy tap-in.

The performance was a scary display of dominance and depth by the U.S. Sermanni has used 20 of his 21 players thus far in the tournament and no woman looks overmatched. Of the eight goals that the U.S. has scored in two games, three have come from defenders, two have come from players with less than five caps, and only one has come from Abby Wambach.

The win also makes the U.S. showdown with Sweden a little less intimidating, after Pia Sundhage's new club only managed to draw with China 1-1.

The U.S. will be without midfielder Lauren Cheney and goalkeeper Jill Lloyden for the remainder of the tournament however. Cheney returned to the states for personal matters while Lloyden broke a bone in her left hand and will be out up to three months. However, if today’s performance was any indication, the U.S. will have plenty of capable players to step in going forward.

Maura Gladys, a featured ASN columnist, works in production for KICKTV. She also runs the goalkeeping blog All You Need Is Glove.

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