USA’s most recent 3-1 win over New Zealand was the equivalent of a midnight snack: tasty, but with minimal nutritional value and easily forgotten the next time you eat a real meal.
The only real talking point here is the goal against, which put a dot on Alyssa Naeher’s shaky year. Normally a solid, reliable GK, Naeher has been a bit wobbly for both club and country in 2017. Her Tournament of Nations performance could have been a definitive answer for Jill Ellis on who she prefers as her #1, but instead it raised more questions about whether Ashlyn Harris would get a shot when she returned from hip injury. Now that Harris has returned and is putting in some good time for the Orlando Pride, it would be surprising if Ellis didn’t continue switching Harris and Naeher for the remainder of this year’s friendlies.
But other than that, there’s just not a lot to gauge. Of course it was fun to see a different midfield and to mix and match the forwards and to get Sofia Huerta her first cap, albeit at fullback. But the most exciting thing that could realistically happen in this second game against New Zealand is Rose Lavelle playing for more than 45 minutes. Boston Breakers fans would probably actually prefer Lavelle didn’t play more than 45 minutes, as delicate as it’s been getting her back from her hamstring injury, sustained playing for the WNT.
So in the continued spirit of fun from the first game, here are some of the wildest things we wish would happen in this game:
- Someone gets a hat trick in under 20 minutes, preferably a defender, and preferably at least one by bicycle kick. THIS IS YOUR TIME, BECKY SAUERBRUNN.
- Three consecutive Rose Lavelle nutmegs. Sorry, New Zealand.
- Rose Lavelle’s dog, Wilma, subbed in like Air Bud.
5 TIMES AROUND THE SUN FOR MY GOLDEN GIRL, WILMA JEAN!!!! Happpy 5th bday jabs!!! Your paws are… https://t.co/2EPov4lzQw— Rose Lavelle (@roselavelle) August 22, 2017
- GK instructed to join the field players so USA can play 3-5-3 formation.
- No offside.
- Field shrinks every 10 minutes and each team has one player removed until it’s 1v1 in the center circle.
- Former Stanford and FC Gold Pride teammates Ali Riley and Kelley O’Hara switch teams for the game.
- Beyoncé halftime show.
- Field players can only use hands while GKs can use any part of their body except their hands.
- All players on the field played by Tatiana Maslany.
- Loser must binge watch TV show of the winner’s choosing and MUST pay attention instead of goofing off on their phone.
- Should the game end in a tie, winner chosen by one-hour baking challenge judged by Mary Berry.
What do you want to see from the game tomorrow?
USA vs New Zealand will air at 7:30 PM ET on Tuesday, September 19 on FS1.