The last time the United States played a match, they were being crowned World Cup champions. So as they embarked on their Victory Tour, who better to play Costa Rica, a team they had outscored 51-0 all-time. Well now it's 59-0 after they crushed the Ticas, 8-0, on Sunday.
The Americans were dominant all match long in their first match since the World Cup. Christen Press notched a hat trick to lead the way and delight a crowd of 44,028 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the largest ever standalone crowd for a USWNT match.
It took all of four minutes for the U.S. to go in front as Heather O'Reilly capitalized on a turnover by racing in on goal and finding space at the near post to slot her shot home. If Costa Rica thought the match might be competitive, they were shown otherwise quickly.
The U.S. were never threatened by Costa Rica so while it did take them a (relatively long) while to find a second goal, they played fine. Finally, Megan Rapinoe's cross found Press, whose first shot was blocked, but the second ended up in the back of the net in the 29th minute and it was 2-0.
Julie Johnston got in on the action when she was somehow unmarked on a corner kick and got a free header from six yards. She would never miss that chance, and she didn't. Press the notched her second tally just before the halftime whistle to send the Americans to the break with a 4-0 advantage.
Costa Rica's best (and only) chance of the game came just after halftime when they got a 1v1 chance on goal. Hope Solo, who had come off the bench to start the second half so she had just entered the game, made a good save to deny the Ticas and keep the shutout intact.
From there on, it was all U.S.
The best moment of the match came in the 54th minute when Meghan Klingenberg got on the end of a Tobin Heath cross and slotted the ball home. It was an extra special tally for her because she is a Pittsburgh native and after losing her mind with probably the fastest sprint of her life in celebration, she grabbed a Terrible Towel (a staple of the beloved Pittsburgh Steelers fan base) from the bench and waved it around. The crowd went wild and Klingenberg had herself a dream match in her hometown.
O'Reilly added her second goal of the match, then Whiteny Engen got in on the action with a header from a corner. Finally, Press completed her hat trick and the Americans' shellacking of Costa Rica was complete.
The U.S. had a huge crowd and a great performance in their first match since the World Cup. It was everything they could have wanted and in three days they'll be in Chattanooga, TN to play in front of a sold out crowd. The Victory Tour is underway, and perfect so far.