The United States put a 4-1 beatdown on Switzerland in a friendly on Wednesday, showing no mercy for their overmatched visitors. Megan Rapinoe scored the opener, following by goals from Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Abby Wambach at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.
The crowd in North Carolina was fantastic for the women, who are in need of some progress after a rough few months and got just that. They thoroughly outplayed the Swiss and had it not been for a few nice saves, could have won by six or seven.
Rapinoe got the U.S. in front after just three minutes, combining with Sydney Leroux and benefitting from a deflection to unhinge the Switzerland defense. She picked the ball up at midfield and ran at the Swiss before passing to Leroux, who delivered it back to Rapinoe. The midfield then fired, getting a deflection help beat the goalkeeper and give the U.S.a lead.
The Americans continued to pressure, keeping the ball well and asking Switzerland to come up with some fine last ditch defending and saves. By the time the match got to halftime, the U.S. had out-shot Switzerland, 8-1, and every American shot was on goal.
Wambach came on at halftime and immediately caused problems for the Switzerland defense, but her finishing wasn't up to snuff and her chances went for naught early in the half. That wasn't much of a problem because in the 56th minute, Switzerland handled a Rapinoe cross and Lloyd buried the ensuing penalty for a 2-0 advantage.
Switzerland gave the U.S. a bit of their own medicine when they fired a cross that struck Rapinoe in the hand and they made their spot kick, but Press was quick to answer with a gorgeous goal. She brought the ball down with her chest then fired a looping shot that clipped the bottom of the crossbar and crossed the line for the undeniable highlight of the match.
Wambach got on the scoresheet late when she was pushed in the box to draw a penalty that she had no problem slotting home and the U.S. had themselves a 4-1 win. The fans had a good time, the team made some progress and everyone -- except for the NWSL's playoff managers -- were happy with the display in Cary as the U.S. finally looked ready for World Cup qualifying in October.