How the USWNT was shut out by South Korea to halt 22-game home winning streak

For almost two years the U.S. ladies’s nationwide crew gained each time it stepped on the subject on American soil. That streak of twenty-two straight home victories got here to an finish Thursday with a 0-0 draw in opposition to a spirited South Korea aspect, ranked No. 18 in the world, that ran step for step with the No. 1-ranked U.S. ladies and did sufficient to maintain them at bay.

The shutout wasn’t for a scarcity of attempting: The Americans took 18 pictures. But stellar goalkeeping by South Korea’s Yoon Young-Geul (eight saves), compact defending by her teammates in entrance of her and erratic execution in the ultimate third meant the U.S ladies have been held goalless at home for the first time in 60 matches, since a 1-0 loss to Australia on July 27, 2017, in Seattle.

The scoring hassle comes with only one match remaining in the U.S. ladies’s nationwide crew profession of legend Carli Lloyd, who will play her 316th and ultimate match for the crew Tuesday in Minnesota. The 39-year-old Lloyd is the crew chief in each targets (11) and assists (six) this yr.

DeCOURCY: Is Carli Lloyd on the USWNT’s Mount Rushmore?

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski wasn’t nervous about the outcome.

“I actually thought we did a very good job in adapting to everything that thrown at us in this game,” he stated. “Obviously, we colud’ve done things a little bit better in the final third, created few good opportunities and just hope we score on some of those. . . .

“The groups that we face are going to be organized, defend and produce numbers in entrance of their field. It’s going to take the finest out of us so as to break them down. So, general, very pleased with the efficiency and really pleased with the recreation as a complete. I really feel like that is one thing we wanted.”

Carli Lloyd’s penultimate appearance

The match seemed poised for Lloyd heroics when she entered the match for starting center forward Alex Morgan in the 63rd minute. She came closest to scoring when she created her own shot in the 76th minute, ripping a diagonal that seemed destined for the far inside post. But Yoon made her most spectacular stop of the night with an acrobatic kick save in mid-air.

Lloyd ran onto some other hopeful balls floated into the box, but the service just was not precise enough during the night and the Korean defending never let up.

The Kansas City crowd went home disappointed that it didn’t see a Lloyd goal. The pressure will now be on the team to help her deliver one last goal in her career finale against this same South Korean team. The expectation is that Lloyd will be starting and wearing the captain’s armband for that match.

MORE: USWNT faces big decisions in lead-up to 2023 World Cup

Mantle passed to Lindsey Horan

Horan was given the captain’s armband for this game as she celebrated reaching 100 caps with the USA (the match was her 105th, but No. 100 came during the Olympics). The 27-year-old midfielder said that the last time she remembers being captain of any team was her youth soccer days with Colorado Rush.

Horan might need to start getting used to it. With Lloyd’s retirement and other veterans potentially stepping aside, she’ll be expected to assume an even greater leadership role. In a symbol of the passing of the torch, earlier in the day Lloyd handed her No. 10 jersey to Horan, who was still emotional about it hours later.

“I’ve cried about seven occasions in the present day,” Horan told the media. “The assembly we had earlier than the recreation, Carli offered the jersey to me with my title and the No. 10 on it. And I believe it was in all probability one in every of the most particular moments of my profession.

“Carli doing that for me and giving me the opportunity to wear her jersey, I’m so honored. And I’m going to try to represent it in the best way I possibly can and think of her every time I put it on.”

Horan rose to the event in opposition to South Korea, claiming lady of the match honors. She was throughout the subject, winning again balls, launching assaults and even stepping into the field. She struck the publish in the first half with a curling shot and received a header heading in the right direction shortly after.

“Almost two years in this job, I can’t remember Lindsey having a bad game,” Andonovski stated. “Tonight she controlled the tempo of the team and the game, and just had a great mindset and made unbelievable decisions as for when the time to go and when the time to slow down a bit. I’m happy for her to have a performance like that in a milestone game.”

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(Getty Images)

Younger gamers change the recreation

At halftime, Andonovski launched two of the youthful gamers who will seemingly tackle a extra distinguished function in the lead-up to the 2023 World Cup: wingers Sophia Smith (proper wing) and Mallory Pugh (left wing). At 21 and 23, respectively, they injected vitality and unpredictability to the U.S. assault with their velocity, dribbling, crosses and aggressive attacking runs.

“She can be truly, truly so special,” Horan stated of her Portland Thorns teammate Smith (each proven in the picture above). “I think she’s going to be such a bright light on this team and has so many years to prove that and the potential in her is amazing.”

DeCOURCY: USWNT will struggle to find another player like Lloyd

“She’s a lot more offensive-minded and more direct and specific with her runs,” Andonovski stated of Smith. “Unfortunately for her, [tonight] she was either a step short or she took a little bit too long of a touch. When all of that gets corrected, and with more minutes and more games, she’s going to take care of it, and I think she’s going to be unstoppable.”

In addition to Smith and Pugh, 23-year-old Emily Fox made her sixth look with 20 minutes to go, taking up at left again for Casey Krueger. Fox’s passing was off, however she performed with confidence, usually pushing into midfield.

Fellow defender Tierna Davidson can be 23, and she or he is already a fixture on the USWNT roster. She performed a robust recreation at left heart again, as did central midfielder Catarina Macario, 22, who began the match and is arguably the most in-form U.S. participant at the second together with her current performances for Olympique Lyon in France. More younger gamers are anticipated to be a part of the ranks in upcoming camps.

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