Soccer

Upon further review: Rolfe to the rescue

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Upon further review: Rolfe to the rescue

At the risk of sounding redundant, it was Chris Rolfe to the rescue for DC United. In the second half Rolfe provided both goals, one from a penalty kick, to lead United past the New England Revolution Sunday at RFK Stadium.

Rolfe now has four game-winning goals on the season and helped rally United to another come from behind win. The Revs Charlie Davies opened the scoring in the tenth minute on an assist from Lee Nguyen. United’s successful rally improved its record to an impressive 5-4-1 when allowing the first goal.

Surprisingly United was sluggish from the start and in the 94 degree heat the Revs were more assertive and dangerous. Nguyen was especially active for the Revolution and in addition to the assist on Davies’ goal had scoring opportunities of his own. United made it to the break only down a goal.

The second half was much better for the home team. The spirit of Fabian Espindola burst through and he provided a perfect cross for an equally perfect finish from Rolfe in the penalty area for the equalizer in the 70th minute. In short United was the better team in the second half and deserved at least a draw

United was able to get more than a draw when a mazy run in the 81st minute by second half substitute Miguel Aguilar led to a penalty. Revs second half sub midfielder Steve Neuman was whistled for a foul on a clumsy challenge of Aguilar just inside the top of the penalty area. Rolfe converted his second penalty kick of the season.

The victory stopped United’s two-game losing streak and increased its lead over second place New England by seven points.

Conclusions:

  1. The Rolfe factor. We noted Chris Rolfe to the rescue. Since his arrival early last season Rolfe has been an important factor in United’s success. It doesn’t matter if Rolfe plays out wide on the flank or at forward, he excels.  On Sunday playing as forward he scored two goals and now has six for the season—his goal total from all of last season. With Espindola missing time  earlier this season from injury and suspension and Eddie Johnson out for health reasons, Rolfe’s increased production  has been a big factor in United’s  ability secure and now hold on to first place.
  2. Better starts.  Yes United did it again and claimed there points despite conceding the opening goal. It is a credit to United’s character and resilience that the team has a winning record, 5-4-1, when allowing the first goal. Still surviving through slow starts is not a game plan United wants to hold on to.  United was able to bag three points on Sunday, but knows it needs to better from the opening kick especially with a heavy road schedule next.

Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

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Carli Lloyd scores 2 and the US downs Chile 3-0 at the World Cup

Carli Lloyd scored a pair of goals for the United States in a somewhat subdued 3-0 victory over Chile that advanced the defending Women's World Cup champions to the round of 16.

The United States was criticized after its record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand when players celebrated goals even after the victory was well in hand. The Americans were more muted in this one, and all three goals were in the first half.

Sweden also advanced out of Group F with a victory 5-1 victory over Thailand earlier Sunday in Nice. Japan, playing in Group D with England, also went through to the knockout stage because both the United States and Sweden won.

Lloyd earned the start after coming in off the bench in the opener, and in the 11th minute became the first player to score in six straight World Cup matches.

She added another on a header off a corner in the 35th minute for her 10th career World Cup goal, which moved her into third on the all-time U.S. list behind Abby Wambach (14) and Michelle Akers (12).

Four years ago at the World Cup in Canada, Lloyd scored three goals in the opening 16 minutes of the finale to lead the United States to a 5-2 victory over Japan for the team's third overall title.

She nearly got another hat trick -- which would have made her the first player with two World Cups -- but her penalty kick in the 81st minute went wide left.

The Americans were blasted after their tournament-opening victory for the lopsided score, and overenthusiastic celebration, and the controversy clouded the run-up to Sunday's game.

Several of the U.S. players reached out to their Thai counterparts following the match. Lloyd exchanged encouraging words and tweets with goalkeeper Sukanya Chor Charoenying, and FIFA posted an interview with Thailand's coach thanking the U.S. players for being professional and playing well.

The United States set records for goals and margin of victory against Thailand. Alex Morgan tied the World Cup record for most individual goals with five, and she was among a record seven different scorers in a single game.

After such a rout, Jill Ellis made sweeping changes to the starting lineup against Chile with a new front line: Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory. Morgan was moved to the bench along with Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath.

Becky Sauerbrunn, who sat out of the match against Thailand because of a minor quad injury, returned and anchored a backline that included 20-year-old Tierna Davidson, who was making her World Cup debut. Davidson is the youngest player to start for the United States in the World Cup since Tiffany Roberts against Norway in 1995.

Chile made just one lineup change, starting midfielder Claudia Soto in place of Yanara Aedo.

Chile lost its opener to Sweden 2-0 but goalkeeper Christiane Endler kept the Swedes out of the goal until the 83rd minute. The second goal got past her in stoppage time. The 6-footer who plays for Paris Saint-Germain was solid again against the United States, especially in the second half when the United States peppered her with shots.

Julie Ertz scored in the 26th minute with a header off a corner kick from Davidson that Endler got her hands on but couldn't stop. It was her first World Cup goal and came with her husband Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, looking on.

Ender was able to prevent Lloyd from another attempt at a hat trick when she tipped the U.S. captain's shot over the net in the 72nd minute.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was among the U.S. team's well-wishers before the sold-out game at Parc des Princes stadium. Biden, who is running for President in 2020, referenced the team's lawsuit against U.S. Soccer alleging gender discrimination and seeking equitable pay.

"As we cheer them on in the World Cup, we must support their fight off the field for equal pay. In 2019, it's past time we close the pay gap and ensure women get paid as much as men," Biden posted on Twitter.

U.S. soccer maintains that the two teams have different pay structures because of separate collective bargaining agreements.

The United States plays Sweden in Le Havre on Thursday to wrap up the group stage. It is the first meeting between the two teams since Sweden ousted the American from the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics.

Chile wraps up the group with a match against Thailand on Thursday in Rennes.

MORE SOCCER NEWS: 

2019 Women's World Cup: USA vs. Chile, how to watch, time, live stream, fun facts

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2019 Women's World Cup: USA vs. Chile, how to watch, time, live stream, fun facts

After a blowout win over Thailand on Tuesday, the U.S. Women's National Team continues their World Cup title defense on Sunday, June 16 with a match against Chile. 

The U.S., aiming to win its second consective World Cup, entered this year's tournament as the most-successful nation in Women's World Cup history. With a combined 112 goals in all of the team's appearances, just one goal ahead of Germany (111), the USWNT consistently proved it belongs atop the list of soccer powerhouses of the world. 

During qualifying rounds the U.S. outscored opponents 26-0 and won all five of its games, while Chile outscored opponents 13-5 to advance to its first Women's World Cup appearance.

Then, the USWNT's first match against Thailand. Team USA scored 13 unanswered goals, the most goals in a single game and the highest win-margin in the history of the World Cup. That means the U.S. has outscored opponents 39-0 in its last six games and has a total of 125 goals in all its World Cup appearances. Pretty exciting, right?

HOW TO WATCH THE 2019 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP: USA vs. CHILE

Who: Team USA vs. Chile, Group F
What: Game 2 Women's World Cup
When: Sunday, June 16
Time: Noon ET
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
TV Channel: FOX
Stream Online: Watch the World Cup on fuboTV.

TAKE FIVE:

  • More From Morgan: Team USA forward Alex Morgan scored five times on Tuesday and tied the record for most goals in a single game in FIFA Women's World Cup history. (Michelle Akers scored five in the quarterfinals in 1991 against China Taipei)
  • On a Roll: Carli Lloyd scored a goal in her fifth consecutive World Cup match dating back to 2015, after she capped the U.S.'s victory on Tuesday with the 13th goal of the match. With the goal Lloyd tied the record for scoring in five straight FIFA Women's World Cup games. 
     

GROUP F SCHEDULE

Sweden vs. Thailand, Sun. 6/16, 9 a.m. ET (FS1)
USA vs. Chile, Sun. 6/16, 12 p.m. ET (FOX)

Sweden vs. USA, Thurs. 6/20, 3 p.m. ET (FOX)
Thailand vs. Chile, Thurs. 6/20, 3 p.m. ET (FS1)
 

WHAT ARE THE GROUPS FOR THE WOMEN'S WORLD CUP?

Group A (Record, points in parentheses): 
France (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Norway (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Nigeria (0-1-0, 0 pts.), Korea Republic (0-1-0, 0 pts.)

Group B: 
Spain (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Germany (1-0-0, 3 pts.), China PR (0-1-0, 0 pts.), South Africa (0-1-0, 0 pts.)

Group C 
Brazil (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Italy (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Australia (0-1-0, 0 pts.), Jamaica (0-1-0, 0 pts.)

Group D
England (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Argentina (0-0-1, 1 pts.), Japan (0-0-1, 1 pts.), Scotland (0-1-0, 0 pts.)

Group E 
Canada (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Netherlands (1-0-0, 3 pts.), New Zealand (0-1-0, 0 pts.), Cameroon (0-1-0, 0 pts.)

Group F
USA (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Sweden (1-0-0, 3 pts.), Chile (0-1-0, 0 pts.), Thailand (0-1-0, 0 pts.)


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