ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The first piece of a gold medal tour scheduling puzzle is opening with a game which will bring guaranteed victory. Check that off the list for the U.S. women’s national team.
A young Costa Rica team was dominated throughout Saturday’s match at Sahlen’s Stadium en route to an 8-0 loss to the United States. The match was overshadowed by Pia Sundhage’s announcement that she was leaving her post as U.S. coach (and later in the day it was revealed she will take over as Sweden’s coach on Dec. 1).
U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring in the 13th minute on a pretty free kick from 20 yards out, which deflected off the Costa Rica wall and smacked off the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Abby Wambach — the hometown hero for the majority of the 13,208 fans in attendance — added the next two goals in the 24th and 32nd minutes, both off headers. She then assisted on Alex Morgan’s goal in the 38th minute.
The floodgates opened from there, with Rapinoe adding a second goal and Sydney Leroux scoring in the 77th minute, five minutes after replacing Wambach, who got a standing ovation.
Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly also scored in the final minutes.
The match was the first of 10 planned games on what is being dubbed the “Fan Tribute Tour.” The tour is about to get much harder with two matches against Australia (in Carson, Calif. on Sept. 16 and in Commerce City, Colo. on Sept. 19) as well as two matches against world No. 2 Germany in October. Oh, and there is that whole looking for a new coach business.
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