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USWNT Deemed 'Absolutely Dominant' by Twitter in 5-0 Win Over New Zealand

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 21, 2023

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 21: Rose Lavelle #16 of the United States scores a goal and celebrates during a game between New Zealand and USWNT at Eden Park on January 21, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

For the second time in four days, the United States women's national soccer team outclassed New Zealand in a friendly on Friday night.

Playing in Auckland, New Zealand, the USWNT exploded in a 5-0 win, bettering the 4-0 victory it earned three days earlier in New Zealand's capital city of Wellington.

Every player on the pitch contributed to the winning effort, but Rose Lavelle and Mallory Swanson stood out, as Lavelle recorded two goals and one assist, while Swanson scored for the third time in four days:

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team @USWNT

A beauty of a ball from <a href="https://twitter.com/schuerta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@schuerta</a> finds <a href="https://twitter.com/roselavelle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@roselavelle</a> to make it 2-0 πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ <a href="https://t.co/FnB83NRT20">pic.twitter.com/FnB83NRT20</a>

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team @USWNT

πŸ”₯ STAY HOT, <a href="https://twitter.com/MalPugh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MALPUGH</a> πŸ”₯ <a href="https://t.co/YE7Vm8yT4o">pic.twitter.com/YE7Vm8yT4o</a>

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team @USWNT

.<a href="https://twitter.com/lynnraenie?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@lynnraenie</a> 🀝 <a href="https://twitter.com/roselavelle?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@roselavelle</a> <a href="https://t.co/QAdMELObBi">pic.twitter.com/QAdMELObBi</a>

Team USA was praised across Twitter for Friday's dominant performance, especially in terms of how all of the pieces seemed to fit together:

Keith Richards @5280Keith

FULLTIME: 5-0 for USNWT! Absolutely dominant performance. <br><br>Two goals and an assist for 🌹<br>A goal and dominance from Swanson<br>Fantastic performance and goal for Hatch<br>Goal for off the assist from Lavelle for Kornieck<br><br>Great stuff!

Phillip Rollo @ByPhillipRollo

Utterly dominant performance by the US, led by stand-in skipper Rose Lavelle. Football Ferns failed to fire a shot across 90 minutes. <a href="https://t.co/tM4Q6VVWpx">https://t.co/tM4Q6VVWpx</a>

Meg Linehan @itsmeglinehan

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> definitely look much more cohesive off the bat today. Beautiful cross from Pugh to Rodman, who finds Sanchez centrally. As hoped, they're finding runners much better in game 2.

Jeff Kassouf @JeffKassouf

FULL TIME:<br><br>New Zealand 0<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> 5<br><br>The score + NZ's absences less important here than what the US needed to work on internally. Combination play in those 'subgroups' was much sharper, better line-breaking ability than the other day.

Brendan Ploen @BrendanPloen

FULL TIME: USWNT 5, New Zealand 0.<br>Couldn't ask for a better second game from the U.S.<br><br>A <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ColoradoSoccer?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ColoradoSoccer</a> update: Mallory Swanson has three goals to start 2023, while Lindsey Horan played in the first game.<br>Six months until the start of the World Cup in NZ &amp; AUS.

There were also plenty of mentions of Swanson and Lavelle, who have both helped the USWNT get off to an ideal start in 2023:

Brendan Ploen @BrendanPloen

The Mallory Swanson Era is officially off to a flying start. Absolutely electric.

Jeff Kassouf @JeffKassouf

Anyone paying attention for, oh, two years now, will not be surprised but: Mallory Swanson is and has been in her best form ever. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a>

Jeff Kassouf @JeffKassouf

Rose Lavelle won't and shouldn't play this deep too often, but that she's found the game the way she has often as the deepest US midfielder is a good thing for that staff to know when they need it in a World Cup group-stage rotation and other scenarios when needed.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Friday's match for the U.S. is that it was a strong, consistent effort throughout.

The Americans broke through with a goal in the 22nd minute, led 2-0 at halftime and went on to score in the 53rd, 74th and 80th minutes, meaning they never took their foot off the accelerator.

After the team lost three friendlies in a row to England, Spain and Germany in October and November, there was some concern about the rest of the world potentially closing the gap and even surpassing the U.S.

The Americans got back on track with a 2-1 win over Germany on Nov. 13, however, and they have been firing on all cylinders in their past two matches, albeit against a lower level of competition.

The 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand in July and August, though, meaning the United States got a taste of what it can potentially expect during the summer.

The USWNT has won each of the past two Women's World Cups and is looking to become the first team to make it three in a row. There is plenty of time for preparation before then, but the past two wins have to be considered an encouraging sign for USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski.