Football: Rodman shines with brace in US final friendly before World Cup
Trinity Rodman made a compelling case for herself as a Women's World Cup starter on Sunday (local time), as she scored a brace to give the United States a 2-0 win over Wales in their final tune-up match before the tournament.
Sophia Smith drew out the Welsh goalkeeper and crossed to 21-year-old Rodman, who finished into a open goal to break the deadlock in the 76th minute in San Jose, California.
Rodman, who came on as a second-half substitute after coach Vlatko Andonovski opted to start 18-year-old Alyssa Thompson up front, added another goal 11 minutes later.
The US had not been held goalless in the first half since January but were utterly flummoxed against the 30th-ranked Wales' tight formation, before Andonovski sent on a flurry of substitutes, including Rodman.
"Today was another stepping stone for us," veteran defender Crystal Dunn said in a post-match interview. "Obviously wasn't our tidiest game but I think this is a great moment for us to build on what we're working on right now."
The friendly gave fans a final glimpse at their four-times champions before they travel to New Zealand, where they begin their World Cup campaign against Vietnam in Group E on July 22.
The 23-player squad are in pursuit of an unprecedented third consecutive title and were treated to a post-match ceremony in front of 18,000 fans before they were expected to board a plane hours later.
Veteran Megan Rapinoe, who announced on Saturday that she would retire at the end of the season, did not play in the match but was greeted to roars of celebration as she stepped out onto the pitch and gave the crowd a wave.
- This story was originally published by Reuters