Carli Lloyd makes history, Rose Lavelle injured as USWNT passes Jamaica
The United States Women’s National Team continued their Olympic preparations on Sunday night with a comfortable 4-0 victory over an outmatched Jamaican team.
It couldn’t have been a better start, as Carli Lloyd only scored 24 seconds and Lindsey Horan’s spot goal six minutes later meant Jamaica went into damage control mode earlier. USA coach Vlatko Andonovski had much to think about as some of his bubble players shone in Houston, but he was also scared as Rose Lavelle had to be pulled in the first half due to injury.
The United States didn’t score between the 22nd minute and the second half timeout, but continued to dominate throughout. Here are three observations from the team’s penultimate game in its three friendlies in June.
Lloyd makes history – and his case
Lloyd is sort of a puzzle for Andonovsky. She’s made it clear in the past that she’s not happy with a role on the bench, but likely won’t start much if she’s on the Olympic squad.
But Lloyd has the big game experience and pedigree in her past and she still delivers plenty of goals in the present. Her 24-second opener against Jamaica was the second-fastest goal in USWNT history and at 38 years and 332 days, she is now the oldest USWNT player to score a goal.
“Being old isn’t that bad after all,” Lloyd said on Fox sports after the game. “For me it’s just about being better. That’s a cool record to have.”
Lloyd almost scored again within minutes of her first game and was active and dangerous throughout the first half before being substituted at half time.
Andonovski has plenty of options on offense if he chooses not to bring Lloyd to Tokyo, which means she is far from stuck despite her strong performance on Sunday. But against Jamaica, Lloyd took advantage of his chance.
Lavelle goes down in the first half
Lavelle was injured midway through the first half when she appeared to pass herself as she dribbled the ball.
Lavelle attempted to play, but was unable to continue and was replaced by Sam Mewis.
The problem appeared minor and Lavelle left the field on her own. After the match, Andonovski said it was actually Lavelle who made the decision to step aside as a precation.
“Rose rolled her ankle a little bit and she wanted to go a bit more at first, and it was her decision to leave, which I’m very proud of,” said Andonovski. “In the past, Rose would usually play 90 minutes, but she felt like it was better to retire.”
But any concern about injury to the team’s main playmaker so close to the Olympics isn’t ideal for the USWNT, especially for a player with Lavelle’s injury history.
Strong performance of bubble players
Lloyd wasn’t the only bubble player in the Olympic roster to put on a solid display against the Jamaicans on Sunday, as Emily Sonnett and Midge Purce also grabbed attention.
Purce, who usually plays away for the USWNT, played her more natural attacking stance and scored a goal in the first half before being brought back on defense for the second half.
Sonnett also demonstrated his versatility by setting up a solid two-way change to both right-back and left-back.
But it’s unclear exactly how much action Andonovski is expected to put in his players’ performance against Jamaica. The Caribbean nation is nowhere near USWNT level and the coach will likely learn a lot more about his players watching them train against each other for two weeks than a friendly match like Sunday’s. .