The U.S. Women’s National Team opened their 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup play with a record-breaking, 13-0 win over Thailand, breaking the 11-0 record set by Germany over Argentina back in 2007. Seven players scored for the United States in the opening match win with Alex Morgan tying USWNT great Michelle Akers for most goals in a Women’s World Cup match.
Here’s 5 takes from Tuesday’s historic win for the defending Women’s World Cup champs:
1) The USWNT came to play
The USWNT is the favorite to repeat as Women’s World Cup champions, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking this tournament for granted as the defending champions. Even after going up 5-0 in the second half, the Americans kept their foot on the gas pedal, deploying a four-woman attacking front despite already drastically outplaying low-ranked Thailand all match with the game already in hand.
2) Remember, it’s against Thailand
A dominating 13-0 win over anyone is great, especially for an opening match and especially when mostly everything was clicking. However, let’s keep in mind that this win came against a Thailand team that’s ranked 34th in the world, compared to the top-ranked USA. The United States has a fairly easy schedule in the group stages, something that could take away from them winning the group and advancing into the knockout stages. The American’s lone legitimate challenge come on June 20th against Sweden, in a match that should determine who takes first place out of the group.
For what it’s worth, the United States has lost just once in the group stages of the Women’s World Cup and Thailand really has no business being in the tournament.
3) Everyone’s a threat on this USWNT roster
It doesn’t matter if they’re coming off of the bench or in the starting XI, everyone on this roster can score. Alex Morgan scored a record-tying five goals and 21-year-old Mallory Pugh scored off of the bench in her Women’s World Cup debut. Rose LaVelle also scored a brace along with Sam Mewis in the second half.
4) If Pinoe has a better game, USA wins by even more
It’s hard to place a negative when a team wins 13-0, but despite the late goal scored, captain Megan Rapinoe didn’t have a great game against Thailand, and her issue was mainly on her crosses coming from the left. Aiming for the far post on almost every attack, Rapinoe skied several crosses with her teammates in position in front of the net. She made up for it with her hard run on an American counter, capitalizing on a great cross by Pugh late in the blowout.
5) Alyssa Naeher had the easiest day in the history of goalkeeping
Of everyone in Reims that saw the American’s easy demolition of Thailand, USWNT goalkeeper had to ultimate view – on the field seeing it all from behind. Naeher faced just two shots on goal from Thailand and, obviously, made the saves pretty easily. It’s safe to say that she’ll be fresh and ready for the USWNT’s next match against Chile on Sunday.