The last time the USWNT took the field they were taking home a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. It wasn’t exactly the color medal they had in mind, but all the same - hardware is nice. Still, a hint of disappointment shadowed the team as they got back to business in their first match back from that that tournament.
The lineup the team would send out was missing some stars, but still would be a formidable side. Of course, Carli Lloyd made the start as she embarks upon her farewell tour. The forward will wind down an epic career in the next four games.
The #USWNT's starting lineup for tonight's friendly vs. Paraguay is here. Mal Pugh, Andi Sullivan, Lynn Williams and Kristie Mewis are notable starters. 7:30 pm ET on ESPN2.— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 16, 2021
What's on your mind with this XI? pic.twitter.com/P5o7ItQtnv
Meanwhile, Paraguay was playing just their second match of 2021 and their first since April. They brought a roster with a trio of players plying their trade in the Spanish second division, with the rest of the 18 player roster on teams in Paraguay or elsewhere in South America.
Here is how Paraguay will line up tonight in their first-ever match against the #USWNT! #USAvPAR pic.twitter.com/7U5Grp3POi— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 16, 2021
In the end, the US Women easily outmatched Paraguay and poured on the goals early and often. The South Americans were’t much of a match for the Stars and Stripes and the USA found acres of space to create chances while their marking on set pieces was severely lacking. Still, the USA created and took the chances they created for a classic blow-out win.
Gifs of goals, a lot of goals
The USWNT has occasionally scored bunches and bunches of goals. They did that against Paraguay.
Carli Lloyd got things started in the 3rd minute heading home a corner.
Cleveland ❤️'s @CarliLloyd— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) September 16, 2021
and @CarliLloyd ❤️'s scoring
No. 1️⃣2️⃣9️⃣ pic.twitter.com/jPpIIQFU6T
The forward got her second of the game, and 130th in her career, a few minutes later.
Goal No. 1️⃣3️⃣0️⃣!@CarliLloyd is now tied with the queen of caps herself -- @KristineLilly -- for 3rd on the #USWNT all-time scoring charts ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/G53hquCpjt— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) September 16, 2021
It would be nearly 20 more minutes for the third goal when Andi Sullivan tapped in a goal off of corner that Paraguay failed to clear.
It's Always Sunny ☀️☺️ @sunshine_sully pic.twitter.com/cf9uJkcH7u— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) September 17, 2021
Goal four would come shortly there after when Lynn Williams struck a shot from deep in the 30th minute.
Lynn Williams puts herself on the score sheet with this strike! #USAvPAR | 4-0 pic.twitter.com/tI7neMFJ9y— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
The rout was on a few minutes later when Carli Lloyd completed her hatty, passing Kristine Lilly for 3rd all time on the WNT charts.
It's a hat-trick for Carli Lloyd! She's now third on the all-time #USWNT scoring list, behind Abby Wambach (184) and Kristine Lilly (158), with 131 INT goals. #USAvPAR | 5-0 pic.twitter.com/sQcyRFHbhS— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
Carli wasn’t done... and it wasn’t even the 40th minute when she flung in her 4th of the night. The ESPN 2 broadcast noted it was her 12th touch of the game, not bad.
Carli Lloyd with her FOURTH goal tonight in Cleveland! #USAvPAR | 6-0 pic.twitter.com/yEH718Tefh— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
The teams would come back from the half and in the 49th minute, Sullivan got her second on the match off of a header from a set piece that the Paraguay keeper got a hand to but couldn’t push away from goal.
Another one for Andi Sullivan, giving her a brace! #USAvPAR | 7-0 pic.twitter.com/PMxQANQQFK— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
In the 59th minute Rose Lavalle, Kristie Mewis, and Mallory Pugh came off for Catarina Macario, Sophia Smith, and Alex Morgan.
Just a few minutes later Carli Lloyd got her 5th goal of the game to put the WNT up by ocho. It seemed like the set pieces were just being sent her way and she made the most of it.
Count 'em up! Carli Lloyd has five goals tonight and Mallory Pugh has a third assist! #USAvPAR | 8-0 pic.twitter.com/uTl8JSezgg— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
Emily Sonnett would come on for Crystal Dunn shortly after the goal as the US looked to hold on to the lead. In the 71st minute, Abby Dahlkemper came on for Becky Sauerbrunn while Lynn Williams made way for Tobin Heath in the 74th.
Heath would make her presence felt as she scored the 9th goal of the game for the WNT.
Nine goals for the #USWNT! Tobin Heath with the tally.#USAvPAR | 9-0 pic.twitter.com/4F9iB4DwDM— The Equalizer (@EqualizerSoccer) September 17, 2021
The game would end with the USA scoring nine on the night. Carli Lloyd’s five scores tied her for the most scored by a USWNT player in a match in what was a one sided, if not pretty fun game.