The US Women’s National Team earned a won over Japan in the second leg of the two-game series. Amy Rodriguez and Heather O’Reilly scored the goals for the USA as they took Japan down 2-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.
The previous game was won by the same score with Abby Wambach and Rodriguez scoring, but this game was a more solid performance that gave fans a little more hopes come Germany.
O’Reilly played a great match running up and down the flanks. She had the assist on Rodriguez’s goal in the 28th minute. The played started when Shannon Boxx, another player who was on top of her game, played a perfectly served long ball to O’Reilly on the right side of the field. O’Reilly carried the ball all the way down to the end line where she got fancy and got past a defender, fed the ball to the top of the 6-yard box where Rodriguez found the back of the net.
The second goal came in the second half. This time, O’Reilly scored it and was unassisted in the play. She dribbled into the right side of the box and created space for herself to shoot the ball past a sea of players and into the goal in the 70th minute.
The US was playing with a little bit of a different starting line up, with particular changes in the back line. Veteran Christie Rampone, and the last player from the 1999 World Cup-winning team, has a groin injury she suffered during a game with her WPS club, magicJack, the week before the first Japan game. Becky Sauerbrunn was placed into the starting line up, and played solid matches. She seemed to play extremely well with Rachel Buehler against a tricky Japan team.
Heather Mitts, who did everything possible to get back into the mix and a chance to make the World Cup roster, hurt her hamstring again. She needs to be 100% fit to keep her roster spot. Ali Krieger stepped in and, as always, played a good match at right back.
The USA is auctioning game-worn jersey on eBay to help fund the tsunami relief efforts in Japan. You can find the jerseys and bid on them here.
The last friendly match before team USA leaves for the World Cup will be on June 5th at Red Bull Arena where they will face Mexico at 2 p.m. ET. The match will be live on ESPN2.