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USA vs Wales score, result, highlights from USWNT World Cup tuneup friendly as Trinity Rodman bags brace

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USA vs Wales score, result, highlights from USWNT World Cup tuneup friendly as Trinity Rodman bags brace

The U.S. women hadn’t exactly send themselves off to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in blazing style, but on FIFA’s biggest stage, wins are wins, and so that’s also the case today as the USWNT downed Wales 2-0 in San Jose.

In their final friendly before taking to the skies and traveling to Oceania for this summer’s tournament, the U.S. was sluggish at times, especially in the first half where they clearly favored their health above all else.

Yet they eventually found the winning spark, as halftime substitute Trinity Rodman picked up a brace, including a sparkling late goal to cap off a sleepy match in glittering style. Rodman, whose five career international goals have all come off the bench, becomes the first only player with more than two goals as a substitute since her debut in February 2022.

The first half saw very few chances for either side, exactly how Wales, ranked 30th in the world, wanted it. The European nation played a physical style, which frustrated the United States on a few occasions, but they stuck with the task at hand and eventually found the required moments.

Now, the United States departs for New Zealand where they will open group stage play against Vietnam on July 22 in Auckland.

The Sporting News is following the USA vs Wales match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.

MORE: USWNT’s schedule at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup

USA vs Wales final score

  Final Goal scorers
USA 2 Rodman (76′, 87′)
Wales 0

Starting lineups:

USA (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Naeher (GK) — 19. Dunn, 4. Girma, 12. Cook (Sonnett, 79′), 23. Fox (Huerta, 64′) — 2. Sanchez (DeMelo, 64′), 17. Sullivan (Mewis, 79′), 10. Horan — 7. Thompson (Williams, 64′), 13. Morgan (Rodman, 46′), 11. Smith.

Wales (4-3-3, right to left): 12. Clark (GK) — 5. Roberts, 14. Ladd, 3. Evans, 2. Woodham (Morgan, 46′) — 7. Holland, 8. A. James, 6. Green, — 20. C. Jones (Wynne, 71′), 11. K. Green (Morgan, 71′), 9. Cain.

MORE: Breakdown of the USWNT roster at the 2023 World Cup

USA vs Wales post-match analysis

Don’t worry about slow first half

The United States, rightly, prioritized health in this match, knowing that regardless of what happens in San Jose, injuries could shroud the match in a negative light. They were careful to push the pedal to the medal, happy to plod along and keep the ball, prodding in a few moments but otherwise progressing in a conservative manner.

Sure, Wales were organized well, and the slow buildup does create a few concerns moving forward, this is nothing new from Vlatko Andonovski’s USWNT tactical approach. They have often started slow, choosing instead to open the floodgates after halftime. Buildup will be tougher in the absence of a few injured players, but we already knew that, and there’s very little from today’s match to be truly worried about.

Trinity Rodman could give Vlatko another striker option besides Alex Morgan

One of the biggest negatives from this match is the lack of influence from Alex Morgan in the first half, before she was yanked at the break, in favor of Trinity Rodman. While we expected Rodman to be deployed on the wing, with Sophia Smith moving centrally, it was instead the substitute who moved into the striker role, and she was great in that spot.

Obviously the two goals were her most important contributions, but she was free-flowing in that position, looking far more fluid than Morgan did. Certainly Alex Morgan provides a world class element, but if the opponent is able to mark her static movement, then Rodman is the one who can throw defenders off balance.

Midfield needs Rose Lavelle to succeed at the highest level

There was one influence clearly missing from the USWNT midfield today, and it’s that of Rose Lavelle. The United States need Lavelle to be fit and healthy for the World Cup to have a chance at winning a title — without her, they are at a severe disadvantage.

She wouldn’t be on the roster if she wasn’t fit, and Vlatko managed both her minutes and those of Julie Ertz today, but it showed how much they miss her.

Lavelle could have conceivably won the Golden Ball at the 2019 Women’s World Cup, she was that brilliant, and while the likes of Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan can do a job, Lavelle is a vital part of this No. 1 ranked team. That was on full display today.

USA vs Wales live updates, highlights, commentary

FULL TIME: USA 2-0 Wales

The United States looked to be (rightly) prioritizing their availability for the Women’s World Cup above all else in the first 60 minutes, but after Vlatko Andonovski brought a few substitutes off the bench, they picked up their levels and provided the necessary spark to get them through.

All in all, a lot of positives to take from this match, most importantly a clean bill of health. Trinity Rodman was obviously wonderful, and a few other substitutes had some excellent moments to take with them to New Zealand.

USA vs Wales: Second Half

87th min: GOAL! USA! A messy, sloppy chance for the U.S. with about four different efforts is finally put away in style by Trinity Rodman, her second goal of the match! Savannah DeMelo, Sophia Smith, Kristie Mewis, and Lynn Williams all had chances blocked away in the scrum, but Rodman latched onto the loose ball outside the top of the penalty area, and she deposits a brilliant curler into the top-right corner!

This match hasn’t been glitzy or glamorous, but that was a sparkling goal to finish it off!

83rd min: Chance, USA! Sophia Smith has another go from inside the penalty area, but again it’s weak enough to be blocked before it reaches the frame. A great opportunity created by Savannah DeMelo on the right flank, but Smith can’t find the right hit, probably requiring a one-time effort rather than the touch she took to settle, allowing defenders to recover.

81st min: Yellow card to Ceri Holland of Wales for pulling Sophia Smith back by her shirt as she tried to spring a counter from the U.S. half of the field.

79th min: The final two changes for the USWNT see Emily Sonnett replace Alana Cook, while Kristie Mewis takes the place of Andi Sullivan. No Julie Ertz or Rose Lavelle today, and Sonnett gets some time at center-back as the emergency option.

76th min: GOAL! USA! Finally, the breakthrough! An exceptional ball from midfield by Lynn Williams springs Sophia Smith down the left edge of the penalty area, and with the two-on-two break, but with the defenders a step behind, she squares to Trinity Rodman for the clean, easy finish into an empty net!

It took until there were less than 15 minutes remaining, but the United States have broken down the Wales defense! Give Williams a lot of credit, as her through ball was the key despite being off balance.

75th min: Trinity Rodman, chasing a long ball, goes down at the top of the penalty area under heavy pressure from behind by Rhiannon Roberts. She and the crowd both want a penalty for a shove, but the referee waves it away.

73rd min: Savannah DeMelo goes for goal from a tight angle but there’s no space, as Olivia Clarke has it covered. That may have been a cross that got away from her, as there were options charging to the goal mouth, and a shot from there given the situation would be a poor choice.

71st min: Wales now make their first changes, bringing on Ffion Morgan and Megan Wynne to replace Kayleigh Green and Carrie Jones.

68th min: Chance, USA! Savannah DeMelo’s corner is a great one, and Alana Cook gets her head to it, but it’s stopped by Josephine Green off the line! The best chance of the game so far for either side, and it’s so close to the opener! What a play by Green!

64th min: Vlatko Andonovski rings the changes, with Savannah DeMelo making her USWNT debut as she enters for Ashley Sanchez. Sofia Huerta also enters in place of Emily Fox at right-back, while Alyssa Thompson exits for Lynn Williams.

No sign of Julie Ertz or Rose Lavelle so far in this match, and with DeMelo now coming on to play the No. 10, it’s unlikely that Lavelle will see the field.

61st min: Chance, USA! Emily Fox does really well to create a good opportunity, taking on her defender 1v1 and dribbling into the penalty area before cutting the ball to the top of the six-yard box where Alyssa Thompson was waiting. The 18-year-old pounced, but she swung wildly and didn’t even come close to putting the shot on target. Another missed opportunity for the U.S. which hurt in a game where there haven’t been many chances at all.

Vlatko Andonovski is readying a number of changes on the touchline.

54th min: Lindsey Horan is fouled again, and then Angharad James takes a cheeky swipe at Horan while she gets up. Horan doesn’t appreciate how physical Wales are being, and she gives James a few shoves. Starting to boil over here, and the referee will want to begin getting a bit more strict to keep a lid on things.

52nd min: Finally the first yellow card of the match is shown, earned by former Tottenham player Josie Green as she hacks down Lindsey Horan from behind. Green actually takes the worst of it, and needs time getting up.

47th min: In fact, it’s Trinity Rodman, not Sophia Smith, who moves into the central striker role with Morgan swapped out. Interesting wrinkle from Vlatko Andonovski, who may wish to both give Rodman a chance to impress in a different position, and mask how they might actually play if Morgan were off the field at the World Cup.

Kickoff: One halftime sub for the United States sees Trinity Rodman come on for Alex Morgan. In truth, Morgan wasn’t terribly effective through the first 45 minutes, finding it hard to have an influence in the attack with Sophia Smith and Alyssa Thompson dominating the forward intent. Imagine Smith will move centrally with Rodman and Thompson on the wing.

Wales also make a change, as Lily Woodham is withdrawn due to injury, replaced by Esther Morgan. Hope the rest of the substitutes are staying cool in the San Jose sun!

HALFTIME: USA 0-0 Wales

It’s a quiet first half for both sides, especially the U.S. who had lots of possession but very little to show for it.

At the break, Lindsey Horan tells the TNT broadcast that the U.S. is a “bit slow on the ball” which is a pretty accurate description. This is a good test for the USWNT in breaking down a bunkered and well organized opponent prior to the real deal in Australia and New Zealand coming up. 

Wonder if we’ll see changes at halftime, with Savannah DeMelo maybe coming on for her first cap to give the U.S. a bit more edge in the final third.

USA vs Wales: First Half

45+2 min: Yikes, right on the halftime whistle Carrie Jones is dumped to the turf by a Naomi Girma aerial duel and needs treatment, and has her eyes closed for a bit as the medical staff checks on her head. Hope she’s ok, that looked a bit scary.

45th min: For the third time, the U.S. send a corner to the near post for Andi Sullivan, and she again gets her head to it, but she’s off balance and can’t get the header on target. That’s clearly something Vlatko Andonovski has identified as an opening, and it’s worked, but so far they can’t get a shot on target from the tight angle.

43rd min: Chance, USA! The United States haven’t created many chances, but they get a good opportunity right before halftime as a free-kick is floated to the far post with Ashley Sanchez free, but her header in lots of space goes way over the crossbar and doesn’t trouble Olivia Clarke in goal. An unfortunate miss!

Wales are getting foul-happy, and it’s frustrating the USWNT players, who are beginning to pester the official for cards to be shown. They are sure to be concerned about their health ahead of the Women’s World Cup.

36th min: Wales are lucky not to concede a penalty as Haley Ladd completes a football tackle on Lindsey Horan during a set-piece scrum. The 49ers would be impressed! That’d probably be looked at in a match with VAR available, but alas, this is just a friendly, so nothing done after the referee misses it.

Some good news is that Alyssa Thompson has made a few impressive runs down both flanks, so her ankle appears ok.

32nd min: The U.S. has another corner which ends up at the feet of Sophia Smith in space at the far post, but her shot from about 10 yards out is weak, and doesn’t make it through the forest of red shirts en route to goal. That’s a good opportunity and poor take from Sophia.

27th min: The USWNT continues to probe the well organized Wales defense, but can’t put it together just yet. It feels like a goal might be coming soon, but this Wales team is pieced together well and hasn’t given the U.S. that inch of space they’re looking for.

Alyssa Thompson seems to be favoring her left foot, favoring it a bit after turning her ankle blocking a cross. That could be something to watch moving forward, Vlatko Andonovski will not want to suffer any more injuries than this squad is already saddled with.

23rd min: Nasty collision as Alyssa Thompson goes to head a ball but instead connects with the face of Lily Woodham. Thompson is fine, but Woodham needs treatment for what appears to be a cut over her right eye. The television broadcast shows that she’s got a nasty welt, but comes back onto the pitch after treatment.

17th min: Wow, Wales have a truly dangerous opportunity as Alana Cook makes a mess of possession under a high press, and Carrie Jones snatches it away inside the U.S. penalty area, but Naomi Girma makes a vital tackle to dispossess her just before she gets a shot off from the top of the six-yard box.

Down the other end, Hayley Ladd does the exact same on Alyssa Thompson, who herself was in on goal but is tackled expertly.

15th min: Much has been made of whether Crystal Dunn will play full-back or midfield at the Women’s World Cup. It seems, at least according to this friendly’s first few minutes, that she may end up doing both. Dunn has been deployed at left-back, but she’s ducking into midfield alongside Andi Sullivan on a number of occasions when the U.S. is in possession.

Against weaker teams where the U.S. doesn’t fear leaving space on that left touchline, that may be a tactic used at the FIFA tournament this summer.

12th min: Lindsey Horan puts a shot on target, meeting a delivery from deep with a header, but it’s straight at the young Wales goalkeeper Olivia Clarke who makes the simple save.

9th min: The first corner of the day for the USWNT is taken by Ashley Sanchez, fizzed to the near post where Andi Sullivan attempts to meet it with a diving header, but she can’t make contact on a chance with a high degree of difficulty. Hard to tell if that was planned or improvised, but it was certainly a dangerous moment.

7th min: The U.S. is applying significant pressure early on, but Wales are bunched in playing a low block, and there’s no way through early on. They snatch it away and break, and Hannah Cain is fouled to relieve the pressure.

2nd min: Some formational questions being answered for the USWNT. Emily Fox is at right-back, while Crystal Dunn is on the left, which is their dominant side, rather than being inverted. Alex Morgan is up top centrally, despite some wondering if she’d been deployed out wide with Sophia Smith moved into the middle.

Kickoff: The USWNT are under way in San Jose against Wales, with just 90 minutes separating them from the plane ride to New Zealand for the start of the Women’s World Cup!

USA vs Wales: Pre-match commentary, analysis, stats, and more

5 mins to kick: Fans have sent messages of support to the USWNT ahead of the Women’s World Cup. They’ve listed the messages along the tunnel as the players walk out. Pretty neat touch before this send-off match!

22 mins to kick: Wearing the captain’s armband today, and through the entire Women’s World Cup, is Lindsey Horan. She was named captain by Vlatko Andonovski, with Alex Morgan to serve as vice-captain. The two of them are rocks for this team, both on the field and off — they are both tied for the USWNT lead in 2023 with their seventh start of the calendar year.

35 mins to kick: We finally have access to the Wales squad and lineup, and oddly, Jess Fishlock does not appear in the lineup or on the bench. She’s one of the most well-known and talented players, with 134 caps in her excellent career. She’s 36 years old, but has been exceptional for OL Reign this year, although she was withdrawn after just 22 minutes over the weekend on club duty, and that’s likely shy she’s been held out.

45 mins to kick: USWNT starting center-back Naomi Girma gets the nod, as expected, in her hometown of San Jose. She spoke to The Sporting News about being a part of her first Women’s World Cup, and part of her chat was about how supportive her family has been through her young career, and how it will be to get sent off to the Women’s World Cup with a match in the city she grew up in.

Read the full chat with Girma here, as she talks family, her skill set, the Women’s World Cup, and much more.

1 hour to kick: The USWNT lineup is in, and it’s as strong as it gets, with two expected exceptions. Julie Ertz, whose minutes are likely being closely managed, does not start at the No. 6, with Andi Sullivan slotted in. Additionally, Rose Lavelle, who is also recovering from a knee injury and will likely be closely watched, also sits to start, with Ashley Sanchez in the lineup.

Expect both Ertz and Lavelle to see the field, but Vlatko Andonovski does not wish to risk them from the start, understandably given their situations. Also, interestingly, Trinity Rodman does not start on the wing, with Alyssa Thompson given a chance.

1 hour 15 mins to kick: The U.S. squad has talked about how there’s a bit of an extra edge to the pre-Women’s World Cup camp. There’s a huge amount of players in this squad (14) who have never been to a Women’s World Cup before, and they’d be lying if they tried to hide their excitement ahead of the tournament.

1 hour 30 mins to kick: The USWNT match today against Wales is sold out! PayPal Park in San Jose has a capacity of 18,000, and it sounds like that will be jam packed to see the women off to the World Cup.

1 hour 45 mins to kick: Someone else who will heartbreakingly miss the Women’s World Cup is U.S. forward Mallory Swanson. I spoke with Mal about her injury and prognosis, as well as her new path. She told me that there was a time she was convinced she could make the USWNT squad for the World Cup, even if the rest of the world knew she’s be out.

Now, she feels this was meant to happen. “I feel like there’s something I’m going to get out of this, something that I can’t wrap my head around right now,” Swanson said.

Read the full story here about Mallory Swanson and her injury recovery

2 hours to kickoff: Wales missed the 2023 Women’s World Cup in heartbreaking fashion. They reached the final playoff round of European qualifying, matched up against Switzerland in a match that saw the winner qualify and the loser eliminated.

With the score level at 1-1, the match proceeded to extra time, and it looked like penalties were imminent, until Fabienne Humm sent Switzerland through in the 121st minute, crushing Wales, who were hoping to qualify for their first Women’s World Cup.

MORE: USWNT players snubbed in Women’s World Cup roster selection

USA vs Wales lineups, team news

U.S. manager Vlatko Andonovski has, for the most part, gone with his first-choice lineup in this match, but there are some exceptions with some players coming off recent injuries or still working their way up to optimal fitness. Given that the USA’s first World Cup match is against Vietnam on July 21, a game in which some starters could be rested, that could be another reason to play some of the reserves against Wales.

Those whose minutes are being managed include Rose Lavelle, who is recovering from a recent knee injury, and Julie Ertz, who is slowly ramping her fitness back up from a long period of time off. Interestingly, Alyssa Thompson gets the start on the wing instead of Trinity Rodman.

USA confirmed starting lineup (4-3-3): Alyssa Naeher (GK) — Crystal Dunn, Naomi Girma, Alana Cook, Emily Fox — Ashley Sanchez, Andi Sullivan, Lindsey Horan — Alyssa Thompson, Alex Morgan, Sophia Smith.

USA confirmed subs (12): Aubrey Kingsbury (GK), Casey Murphy (GK), Sofia Huerta, Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Savannah DeMelo, Megan Rapinoe, Trinity Rodman, Lynn Williams

Team captain Sophie Ingle has traveled with the squad, but will not be available for the match, as she is serving a suspension that’s carried over after being sent off against Portugal in April. Also unavailable is regular left-back Rachel Rowe who is out with a calf injury, which could force Gemma Evans to move out onto the flank.

Manchester United regular Hayley Ladd is a weekly starter at defensive midfielder with her club, and while she usually slides back to center-back for Wales duty, she could move back to her regular position in place of Ingle.

One of the most exciting players on the roster is left winger Carrie Jones, who has 14 caps already at the age of 19, and plays for Manchester United, although she spent last season on loan with Leicester City. Jess Fishlock does not appear on the gameday roster, after being injured over the weekend on club duty for OL Reign.

Wales confirmed starting lineup (4-3-3): 1-Olivia Clark (GK) — 3-Gemma Evans, 14-Hayley Ladd, 5-Rhiannon Roberts, 2-Lily Woodham — 7-Ceri Holland, 6-Jose Green, 8-Angharad James — 20-Carrie Jones, 9-Kayleigh Green, 11-Hannah Cain.

Wales confirmed subs (11): 1-Laura O’Sullivan (GK), 21-Saffia Middleton-Patel (GK), 18-Esther Morgan, 23-Ffion Morgan, 13-Mary McAteer, 16-Charlie Estcourt, 19-Megan Wynne, 22-Anna Filbey, 24-Chloe Williams, 15-Elise Hughes, 17-Ella Powell.

MORE: Complete schedule for the 2023 Women’s World Cup

How to watch USA vs Wales

  • Date: Sunday, July 9, 2023
  • Time: 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT)
  • TV channel: TNT, Telemundo, Universo
  • Streaming: Fubo, Peacock, Telemundo Deportes en Vivo, Universo NOW

The match will kick off from San Jose, California at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. local time in San Jose) and will be televised on TNT, as part of the new 10-year rights deal between U.S. Soccer and Turner Sports.

There will also be a Spanish-language broadcast available on both Telemundo and Universo. Those channels are available to stream via Fubo, which offers a free trial for new users.

Fans subscribed to cable, satellite, or telco packages can also use their authenticated credentials to catch the stream on the Telemundo Deportes or Universo site and app. 

Subscribers to NBC’s Peacock can also watch the game in Spanish.

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