U.S. Women's National Team
Yanks Close Out Nov. Camp With Another Decisive Win
November 14, 2016
THE UNITED STATES women’s national team wrapped up its November camp on Sunday night, picking up a 5-0 win over Romania in Carson, Calif.
Crystal Dunn, Christen Press, Morgan Brian, and Sam Mewis all tallied for the Americans with the Romanians contributing an own goal to the final scoreline.
The Yanks finished the calendar year with a record of 22-0-3. Along the way, the team won the inaugural SheBelieves Cup in decisive fashion, dominated its CONCACAF competition in Olympic qualifying, and beat nearly all of the top teams in the world, including Japan, Canada, Germany, England, and France.
Still, the squad failed in its most important goal—defending the team’s Olympic gold medal—when it fell to Sweden in penalty kicks (losses in penalties count as draws) in the quarterfinal round of the Rio Olympics back in August.
On Sunday, the U.S. beat Romania for the second time in four days. Jill Ellis once again sent her team onto the field in a three-back formation, and once again using a 3-4-3. However, on Sunday, both American center midfielders played in a deeper role—rather than stacked on top of each other—and the forwards played in a tighter grouping up top.
GOAL! Christen Press makes it 3-0 off a bit of a give-and-go with Tobin Heath in the box. #USAvROU #USWNT https://t.co/T7icytrigC— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 14, 2016
The slight changes resulted in a number of positives, despite the unimpressive 2-0 halftime score. The Americans’ pressure on Sunday stifled the Romanians throughout the entire match, making it nearly impossible for them to generate any worthwhile attacks, especially with the U.S. holding both its center midfielders closer to the backline to offer support when the Romanians did manage to break pressure.
The U.S. also moved the ball around the field much better on Sunday, repeatedly putting together crisp passing combinations in the attacking third. However, the Americans struggled to finish their chances for much of the evening, keeping the scoreline tighter than it should have been.
The Romanians also acquitted themselves much better on Sunday, combining a stingy defensive approach with physical play and a pride that seemed missing in the first contest between the two sides late last week.
For the Americans, Press and Dunn ended the year on a high note with their impressive attacking play, while Tobin Heath, Lynn Williams, and Kealia Ohai did well with their opportunities on the night.
John D. Halloran is an American Soccer Now columnist. Follow him on Twitter.