The U.S. Women's National Team, led by Abby Wambach's 149th and 150th career goals, posted a 4-0 victory against China PR in front of 15,643 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in the ninth match of the 2012 Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic.
Midfielder Carli Lloyd added her 43rd career goal during her 150th career international appearance, and Heather O'Reilly assisted on both Wambach goals and Amy Rodriguez's 85th minute goal as the USA improved to 7-0-2 on the Fan Tribute Tour, a celebration of the team's run to a fourth gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
The U.S. concludes a wildly successful year and the Fan Tribute Tour on Saturday, Dec. 15, when it hosts China at 7 p.m. ET at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla. The match will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network and Univision Deportes Network. Fans can follow the game via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
After mustering some long-distance attempts against a young China side in the game's early moments, the USA found the ever-dangerous head of Wambach in the 20th minute to make it 1-0. Defender Heather Mitts played the ball up to O'Reilly on the right flank and she whipped a point-perfect cross just over defender Wang Dongni's head to Wambach, who darted in front of another defender and snapped a powerful header from six yards into the right side of the net that gave China goalkeeper Wang Fei no chance.
The USA didn't score again until the 62nd minute, but then got two in two minutes. The USA made it 2-0 when second-half sub Megan Rapinoe took a corner kick from the left side, sending in a driven cross to the far post. Lloyd and Wambach both were in a good position to get a head on the service, but it was Lloyd who rose to bury a spectacular header that caromed off the right post and in.
Just one minute later, Wambach got on the score sheet again when O'Reilly played the ball up to the star striker near the end line. Wambach cut inside to her left to elude China defender Huang Yini and struck a crisp left-footed shot that took a deflection before landing in the left side of the net.
The goal was Wambach's 25th of 2012 and moved her to within eight goals of Mia Hamm's record all-time world record of 158 career tallies.
With just five minutes left, Rodriguez capped off the scoring with her ninth goal of 2012, all of which have come off the bench. O'Reilly created the buildup, hopping over a China defender during a run down the right side and took a shot at the near right post. Fei made the save, but the ball rebound directly to Rodriguez who finished from close range.
- The USA improved to 27-1-3 in 2012 and extended its unbeaten streak to 22 games.
- The U.S. defense has gone 365 straight minutes without conceding a goal.
- U.S. defender and team captain Christie Rampone earned her 275th career cap to tie for second all-time with National Soccer Hall of Famer Mia Hamm (275 caps from 1987-2004). Rampone has a chance this Saturday to move into sole possession of second place behind Kristine Lilly (352 caps from 1987-2010).
- Carli Lloyd earned her 150th career cap and became the 17th player to reach that mark for the U.S. Women.
- Goalkeeper Hope Solo, who broke her U.S. WNT wins record in the Dec. 8 victory against China PR, picked up her 25th win of the year Wednesday. Solo set a record 23 wins for a calendar year in 2008 and she now has 102 for her career, second only to Briana Scurry's 132.
- The U.S. improved to 96-2-7 when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
- With Wambach's two goals, she and Alex Morgan (28 goals) have combined for 53 this year. The U.S. WNT duo scoring record is currently held by Michelle Akers (39 goals) and Carin Jennings (16 goals) who combined for 55 goals in 1991.
- Interim head coach Jill Ellis selected defenders Heather Mitts and Becky Sauerbrunn for their eighth and ninth starts of the year, respectively. Mitts made her 136th career appearance and Sauerbrunn surpassed her previous career-high of eight starts in 2011.
- The U.S. made four changes to start the second half. Backup goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart made her 46th career appearance to replace Solo. Rachel Buehler replaced Mitts on the back line and Megan Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx took over in the midfield for Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney.
- The U.S. improved to 4-0-0 in games played in Houston. Wednesday's game was the team's first at the newly built BBVA Compass Stadium.
U.S. Women's National Team Match Report
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. China PR
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Weather: 52 degrees, cool and clear
USA - Abby Wambach (Heather O'Reilly) 20
USA - Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe) 62
USA - Abby Wambach (Heather O'Reilly) 63
USA - Amy Rodriguez (Heather O'Reilly) 85
USA: 1-Hope Solo (18-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 2-Heather Mitts (16-Rachel Buehler, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Amy LePeilbet; 9-Heather O'Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney (7-Shannon Boxx, 46), 17-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46); 13-Alex Morgan (8-Amy Rodriguez, 75), 14-Abby Wambach (11-Sydney Leroux, 69)
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O'Hara
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CHN: 12-Wang Fei; 4-Li Jiayue, 14-Wang Dongni, 20-Huang Yini, 26-Wu Haiyan; 7-Bi Yan (16-Wang Chen, 52), 18-Han Peng (2-Wang Lingling, 62; 33-Zhang Xin, 78), 11-Pu Wei (capt.), 21-Wang Lisi (23-Ren Guixin, 49), 25-Zhang Rui (19-Liu Shanshan, 68), 27-Li Ying (10-Ma Xiaoxu, 57)
Subs Not Used: 1-Zhang Yue, 6-Lin Yuping, 13-Wang Shanshan
Head coach: Hao Wei
CHN - Wu Haiyan (caution) 39
CHN - Li Ying (caution) 53
CHN - Pu Wei (caution) 57
Referee: Kristen Schiereck (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Juliana Duncan (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach