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Fuel Soccer Talk: U.S. picking up the pace (and goals); MLS News & Notes: USWNT Players to Watch

World Cup Send-Off: US blanks New Zealand 5-0 before 35,761 in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (May 16, 2019) – The U.S. Women’s National Team played the second match of its three-game Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods, recording a 5-0 win against New Zealand in front of 35,761 fans on a balmy spring night at Busch Stadium.

The USA dominated the flow of game, out-shooting New Zealand 25-1, and similar to the previous Send-Off Series match vs. South Africa, took the lead just past the half-hour mark when Tobin Heath touched home a Megan Rapinoe cross. Five minutes later, Rose Lavelle converted a Lindsay Horan cross with a fantastic finish to give the USWNT a 2-0 lead at the break.

The second half saw more of the same from the USA, which poured it on in the final half hour as substitute Carli Lloyd bagged a brace, the first after being on the pitch for a mere 44 seconds. Lloyd’s second in the 83rd minute was followed less than a minute later by Samantha Mewis’ third goal and fourth this year.

Up Next: The WNT travels to Harrison, N.J. for a showdown with Mexico on May 26 at Red Bull Arena (11:30 a.m. ET; ESPN, UDN) in the finale of the Send-Off Series, Presented by Volpi Foods.

What have you liked from the U.S. side in these warm-up matches?

MLS News & Notes from around the league

Real Salt Lake 3, Toronto FC 0: This was a dominant performance from RSL from start to finish, one that pushed the home side above .500 at Rio Tinto Stadium. For a team that’s struggled with consistency all season long, the match also marked back-to-back wins for the second time this season. Toronto, meanwhile, was a step off the mark with tired legs and dropped to 0-3-1 in their last four matches. This wrapped up a stretch of five games in 15 days for the Reds.  – Jonathan Sigal 

Seattle Sounders FC 2, Orlando City SC 1: It ended up being closer than they wanted, but the Sounders always appeared to be in control of the match. They win their second in a row to move within two points of first-place LAFC in the West, while the Lions dropped their third straight and extend a winless streak to four games.– Dylan Butler

Los Angeles Football Club 2, FC Dallas 0: It was a mixed bag in terms of performance for both sides. LAFC got the win, but after a dominant first half, they struggled to maintain control after the break until the second goal went in. Dallas, meanwhile, walk away empty handed, but considering their many absences and a poor first half, they adjusted to really pressure LAFC in the second half, and can build on that for the next meeting. – Alicia Rodriguez

For more excellent coverage of this weekend’s MLS action  

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup: 10 Players to Watch

Tobin Heath

Forward (PDA Wildcats)

One of the USA’s most skillful players and dynamic dribblers, Heath has been a member of the last five championship squads and will be in the starting lineup when the U.S. hits the pitch in France. A staple on the right wing, Heath is a game-changer for the USWNT who has 25 goals in 142 CAPS. She had a goal in the 5-3 U.S. win over Australia in the April friendly in Colorado. In 2016, Heath (Portland Thorns) was named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. She earned NWSL Player of the Week honors after an amazing goal in week one of the 2019 season. The Basking Ridge, N.J. native helped the PDA Wildcats win one club national championship, in 2003 at U-14s, and in two other club national championship tournaments. She also helped the PDA Wildcats to the U-17 club National Championship game in 2005.

10 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN FRANCE

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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