Wambach scores twice to lead rout of Canada
FRISCO, Texas -- Abby Wambach scored two goals to help the U.S. women's soccer team rout Canada 6-2 in an exhibition game Saturday night.
Kristine Lilly and Lindsay Tarpley each had a goal and an assist in the United States' highest-scoring game in 16 matches.
The Americans, preparing for the Women's World Cup in September, have won seven straight games and are 20-0-3 since their loss to Germany on penalty kicks in the 2006 Algarve Cup final. The win extended the United States' unbeaten streak against Canada to 13 (11-0-2).
"I think this is the kind of game that people would enjoy watching, a lot of attacking," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "Canada put a lot of numbers forward at us, and they gave us great chances to go the other direction to convert. Our set plays were very good tonight. If we can create these kind of chances, I think we're going to look pretty good."
The United States took control quickly, with Wambach drilling a penalty kick into the upper-right corner of the net just 3 minutes in after goalkeeper Erin McLeod fouled Carli Lloyd in the penalty area. It was Wambach's 70th goal in 90 international games.
"It didn't come easy, we had a few players injured," Wambach said. "They're a hard, tough team. You never expect to win a game like this 6-2, but I'm happy we did."
Canada's Rhian Wilkinson tied in the 11th minute, just the Canadians' second goal in the last seven meetings between the nations. Two minutes later, Tarpley redirected a nice cross from the right flank by Heather Mitts to put the United States back in front for good.
The United States built up a 4-1 lead before halftime. Lori Chalupny scored in the 28th minute, and Lilly connected for her 122nd career goal off a nice feed from Lloyd 7 minutes later.
Canada cut the deficit to two in the 50th minute on captain Christine Sinclair's 65th international goal. Wambach's second goal, a nice header off Lilly's free kick, gave the Americans a 5-2 advantage 15 minutes later. Heather O'Reilly tacked on another goal in the 73rd minute.
"The more you play together, the better you get," Wambach said. "Even today, with five different players getting goals, you see how well-rounded our team is. Kristine's goal was ridiculous. Her pass to me was amazing."
Canada scored two goals for the first time in 11 meetings between the teams dating back to June 2001.
"I could think of a million things, but there's no excuses," said McLeod, who made one save for the Canadians. "A part of our game is physical battles, and we didn't win them tonight."
"It was a tight game, they scored two goals, but we kept finishing and that was the difference," said Lilly, who played in her record 325th international game. "Canada's a great team, they're a World Cup team, they're a destructive team and you saw that tonight. We finished some great goals tonight and that's a credit to our finishing. A couple of these goals tonight, we've been working on."
Mitts left the game with a left knee injury in the 27th minute and did not return. She is scheduled to have an MRI exam to determine the extent of the damage.
The Americans wore special pink jerseys in support of breast cancer awareness. The jerseys will be auctioned at ussoccer.com, with the proceeds being donated to several foundations.