Lilly 1st U.S. player to appear in match in 4 decades
SAN DIEGO -- Amy Rodriguez and Shannon Boxx scored first-half goals as the United States stayed unbeaten against Mexico with a 3-0 win on Sunday.
Kristine Lilly became the first player to appear in a match for Team USA in four different decades when she entered in the 32nd minute. The 38-year-old Lilly appeared in her 343rd career match, the most of any female American player.
The Americans improved their record to 23-0-1 against Mexico, the only blemish a 1-1 tie in 2007.
"We are in the process of getting ready for 2011," said U.S. forward Abby Wambach, referring to the World Cup. "We want to play fun soccer that's exciting for the players to play and exciting for the fans."
The Americans had little difficulty defeating the Mexicans.
In addition to controlling the ball for much of the match, the U.S. did not allow the Mexicans a shot on goal and attempted 10 shots.
Lilly, second internationally with 129 goals behind Mia Hamm's 158, played in her first match with the national team since 2008.
"It felt good, it was a blast," said Lilly, "I'm just trying to get back into things and see what I can contribute."
Rodriguez scored in the 12th minute when she took a long pass from Heather O'Reilly and beat goaltender Pamela Tajonar to the ball with a left-footed kick.
Boxx extended the lead when she scored after getting a ball in deep against Tajonar in the 43rd minute.
The Americans had numerous scoring chances in the second half but were only able to convert once on Lauren Cheney's goal in the 72nd minute.
"We want to be aggressive," Wambach said. "The second half we did a lot better job of controlling the ball. I wish we could have finished on a few more of them."
Wambach credited much of the Americans' increased scoring chances in the final 90 minutes to Lilly's play.
"She made quite a difference when she was on the field," Wambach said. "There are times when I don't even have to communicate with her with words."
Wambach returned to the field where she suffered a broken left leg against Brazil in 2008. The injury, which came three weeks before the Olympics, knocked Wambach out of the games.
"No flashbacks, just glad to be able to walk out of here," she said.