USWNT vs. Korea Republic: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
The United States' women's national soccer team took down Korea Republic on Thursday night by a 5-0 tally, but the team aspect of the second straight friendly win paled in comparison to the individual one that was accomplished in the 29th minute.
USA star Abby Wambach scored not one, not two, but three goals in the first 30 minutes of action at Red Bull Arena, breaking the scoring record (158) set by former teammate and USA star Mia Hamm over the course of her international career.
If you were on Twitter earlier in the night, hopefully you avoided this one from Fox Soccer Trax, because you would have missed something truly special in Harrison, N.J. on Thursday night:
Not a ton to report, other than that the USA is very good, South Korea not so good and the crowd shrieks whenever Alex Morgan gets the ball.— FOX Soccer Trax (@FOXSoccerTrax) June 20, 2013
Wambach found the back of the net in the 10th minute off a pass from Lauren Cheney, another of the exact same nature in the 19th minute and the record-breaking goal in the 29th minute, when a corner from Megan Rapinoe led to a header goal that will forever live on in USA lore.
The side's official Twitter account had the congratulatory tweet as USA goal No. 159 found the net:
Fox Soccer also had this sentimental one for fans who have watched Hamm's greatness and Wambach's rise to stardom over the past few years:
Wambach passes Hamm. Not too long ago, they were teammates: pic.twitter.com/VoAw30rVhR— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 21, 2013
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated added this one, throwing a basketball spin on Wambach's over-impressive first-half performance:
USWNT teammates are looking to feed Wambach the way Wilt's teammates presumably did for him on his 100-point night.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 21, 2013
She then trolled us all by adding a fourth goal (No. 160 all-time) for good measure just before the first half ended.
As noted by ESPN's Paul Carr, Wambach tied another Hamm record on Thursday night, too:
38th career multi-goal game for Abby Wambach, tying Mia Hamm's #USWNT record.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 21, 2013
It was truly the Wambach show on Thursday night in Harrison, but there's something to be said about the way this women's team is clicking right now.
A draw with Germany in April remains the only blemish on the schedule so far in 2013, and with the 2015 World Cup in Canada not far off, Team USA looks as dangerous as ever on the national scene.
Cheney and Rapinoe are two of Team USA's best options in the attacking half, and the back line was solid and efficient in making sure Korea had no chances to score and Wambach had all of them in the first half.
The all-time leader in United States goals came off early in the second half, and the crowd at Red Bull Arena made sure their appreciation for her efforts came through in the form of a huge ovation. Wahl had the tweet as her night was over:
Wambach comes off for Press to a standing ovation at Red Bull Arena. Memorable night.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 21, 2013
The rest of the women on the pitch still had to complete the friendly, though, and even though Wambach outscored the entire Korea Republic squad by herself, no lead is ever safe when the benches are emptied.
Lucky for Team USA, Cheney added a goal in the middle of the second half to increase the lead to five, and that was all she wrote for the Korean side as the clock wound down to little excitement in the final few minutes of action.
The women's national team Twitter account had the tweet as that strike rang true:
Goal for the USA! Cheney gets a goal now. A nice cross from O'Hara and Cheney heads home from the six yard box. #USAvKOR 5-0, 65'— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) June 21, 2013
A successful two-match run against Korea Republic proved that the U.S. women are as dangerous as ever, and Wambach's record-setting performance was just the icing on the cake in a dominant game for the Americans in front of their home crowd.
|Hope Solo (off)||B||Jung-Mi Kim||D|
|Crystal Dunn||A-||Seon-Joo Lim||C|
|Christie Rampone (off)||B||Hye-Ri Kim||B-|
|Whitney Engen||C||Se-Jin Lee (off)||C-|
|Meghan Klingenberg (off)||C+||So-Hyun Cho||C+|
|Heather O'Reilly||A||Seo-Yeon Shim||C|
|Carli Lloyd||B-||Na-Rae Kim||C+|
|Lauren Cheney||A+||Eun-Ha Jeon (off)||B|
|Megan Rapinoe||A-||So-Yun Ji (off)||C-|
|Alex Morgan (off)||B+||Hee-Young Park (off)||D+|
|Abby Wambach (off)||A++||Young-Ah Yoo||F|
|Jillian Loyden||B||Min-Ah Lee||B|
|Becky Sauerbrunn||B||Hah-Nul Kwan||B|
|Kelley O'Hara||A||Ji-Young Shin||C-|
|Christen Press||B+||Sang-Eun Kim||B-|
Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.
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