The United States Women’s National Team and Utah Royals FCplayers DF Kelley O’Hara, FW Christen Press and DF Becky Sauerbrunn defeated fellow teammate DF Katie Bowen and New Zealand 5-0 in the second of three World Cup send-off matches for the U.S. in St. Louis, MO on Thursday, May 16.
Hometown hero Sauerbrunn started at center back for the second straight match, while O’Hara once again suited up for the Red, White and Blue at right back, recording their 157th and 117th career caps, respectively. Press entered the match in the 73rd minute as a substitute for Portland Thorns FC FW Tobin Heath on the wing, tallying two assists.
Bowen started on the backline at right back for the Ferns, going the entire 90 minutes of the match.
The United States began their scoring onslaught in the 35th minute when Heath's head connected on a cross from Reign FC FW Megan Rapinoe to find the back of the net. The lead doubled just five minutes later with a back-post run from Portland FC MF Lindsey Horan who found Washington Spirit MF Rose Lavelle in the box to put the goal away.
In the second half, substitute and Sky Blue FC FW Carli Lloyd netted the team’s third and fourth goal of the match. The veteran midfielder’s first goal came after entering the match on her first touch of the game with an assist from Health. Twenty two minutes later Press sent a cross into the box, finding the feet of Lloyd for her second on the night. Moments later North Carolina Courage MF Sam Mewis capped of the scoring with the fifth goal of the match on a strike from outside the 18-yard-box. Press was credited with the assist.
The Stars and Stripes will take a short break before returning to play for their final match before heading overseas for the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The team will face CONCACAF rivals, Mexico, in Harrison N.J. on May 26 at 10:00 a.m. MT. Just four days prior, Bowen and New Zealand will take on the same opponent when they play Mexico on Wednesday, May 22 at the New York Red Bull Academy in New York.