Wambach, Lloyd lead rout of New Zealand
CHICAGO -- Forward Abby Wambach and midfielder Carli Lloyd each scored twice as the U.S. women ripped New Zealand 6-1 Sunday at Soldier Field in their next-to-last tuneup before next month's women's World Cup in China.
Wambach scored the game's first and final goals and moved into fifth place among U.S. women with 77 career goals.
The Americans, now 5-0 in a six-game pre-World Cup tour, peppered New Zealand goalie Jenny Bindon with 10 first-half shots while opening a 3-0 lead.
New Zealand didn't manage an offensive attempt until the 73rd minute.
Lloyd, a 25-year-old midfielder-forward in her third season with the team, has seven goals this year while starting nine of 14 games. She earned most valuable player honors in the Algarve Cup tournament earlier this year in Portugal.
"I'm learning and I'm growing as a player," Lloyd said. "[So] whatever I can do to contribute to the team to help us win, that's what I'm there for."
Wambach's first goal came in the seventh minute on a header after taking a long feed from defender Cat Whitehall. The U.S. women then scored twice in a two-minute span late in the half.
Wambach fed team captain Kristine Lilly, who fired from just outside the penalty box in the 33rd minute for what proved to be the game-winner.
|• U.S. sails past New Zealand
Less than two minutes later, Lloyd sent a long-distance shot past Bindon.
"Carli's had a great year for us," U.S. women's coach Greg Ryan said. "She's scored a lot of goals and is doing very well. Last year she got a lot of playing time and wasn't scoring goals. This year she's getting playing time and goals."
Forward Lindsay Tarpley made it 4-0 on a successful short rebound in the 52nd minute after Bindon turned back a Lloyd try. Lloyd scored on a header in the 60th minute following a corner kick by Lilly to make it 5-0.
New Zealand captain Rebecca Smith broke the shutout with a penalty kick in the 73rd minute after teammate Emma Humphries was fouled by U.S. defender Stephanie Lopez.
Wambach closed scoring in the 91st minute on an assist from reserve forward Natasha Kai. The U.S. women outshot New Zealand 33-2, including 17-2 in shots on goal and had a 16-0 edge in corner kicks.
New Zealand defender Maia Jackman said the U.S. women were intimidating from the outset.
"No wonder they're No. 1 in the world," she said. "They're good. They do all the little things right. They know where each other is. You can tell they've been playing together for a long time."
The U.S. hosts Finland in its final international friendly at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Aug. 25.
They open World Cup Group B play against North Korea in Chengdu, China, on Sept. 11. New Zealand begins Group D action against Brazil on Sept 12 in Wuhan, China.