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Press, Lloyd lead U.S. rout of Russia

Christen Press started and scored twice against Russia. She now has 10 goals in 14 appearances for the U.S. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

BOCA RATON, Fla. —The United States Women’s National Team routed Russia 7-0 on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Boca Raton, FL. Christen Press and Carli Lloyd each scored two goals in the first of two meetings between the teams.

In her first game of the 2014 season, Lloyd proved to be threatening in the midfield ending her day with two goals and an assist. Midfielder Heather O’Reilly provided the assist on Lloyd’s first goal in the 29th minute, and added a goal of her own three minutes later.

“Every time you put on this jersey, and given the opportunity in the starting line up, you want to bring what you’re great at,” said O’Reilly. “My strengths are 1-v-1, my strengths are bringing a lot of energy on the outside. My strengths are putting the ball in the box and getting in the box myself. I think that those are things I try to bring to the table day in and day out.”

O’Reilly found the ball at her feet and blasted it past Russian goalkeeper Elvira Todua to put the US up 2-0. O’Reilly was able to get behind the defense easily throughout the first half, forcing Russia to make an early substitution in the 33rd minute.

With two quick strikes, the US continued to pressure, with Russia chasing most of the first half. In the 37th minute, Lloyd settled a Stephanie Cox pass off her chest, getting the ball to her right foot and unleashed a rocket in the upper corner of the net.

The U.S. finished the first half leading in shots 13-2, with US goalkeeper Hope Solo easily handling the two Russian shots early in the first half.

Press and Sydney Leroux picked up the pace in the second half, displaying how dangerous the duo’s speed is. In the 51st Press headed in a cross from Lloyd scoring her first of the game. Just three minutes later, Leroux slipped past her defender and shot low to beat Todua giving the U.S. a 5-0 lead just 54 minutes in.

Press scored her second of the match after a corner kick redirected out to defender Ali Krieger who knocked a shot off Todua, and Press hammered home the rebound in the 59th minute. Press’ goal was the 10th of her national team career in just her 14th appearance and the assist for Krieger was her 4th.

In the 60th minute forwards Abby Wambach and Amy Rodriguez replaced Leroux and Press. It only took eight minutes for the two to connect on Wambach’s 164th career goal. Wamabch finished a back heel pass from Rodriguez making Russia the 35th team she has scored against in her national team career.

Russia played with only 10 players for the last 19 minutes of the game after Valentina Orlova took down Rodriguez with a clear path to goal. The US looked to up the pressure, taking out defender Cox in the 74th minute, and adding midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Kristie Mewis dropped to left back as needed.

Solo finished the day with her 69th shut out in 138 appearances for the national team. Solo is now three shutouts shy of surpassing Briana Scurry for the most shutouts in U.S. history.

U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni was impressed with his team’s effort. He credited his team’s passing and the way the U.S. moved the ball around in the offensive end. The US found openings behind Russia’s defense all afternoon. The flank work of O’Reilly, Mewis, Krieger, and Cox caused problems throughout the game as well.

“The way we kept switching the point of attack opened up the space on the left side and the right side,” Sermanni said.

Saturday was the fourth time in 13 months the U.S. has played in Florida. The US is 18-4-1 all time in the state of Florida. Saturday’s game was played at Florida Atlantic University’s football stadium in front of 8,857 fans.

The U.S. takes on Russia for the second of the two game series Wednesday Feb. 12 in Atlanta, GA at 7:30 p.m. EDT.


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