On a chilly Sunday night in New Jersey in front of a near-sell out crowd of 26,317 fans, the U.S. Women’s National Team brought home a much needed win with a 2-1 scoreline over Germany. This was the second of two friendlies scheduled in this international break between the two teams.
The first half of the night was all Germany. The visitors employed a high press that made it difficult for the U.S. to connect their passes and get into the attacking half. By the 18th minute, Germany had done enough to earn themselves the opening goal scored by Jule Brand.
JULE BRAND GIVES GERMANY A 1-0 LEAD pic.twitter.com/M6woy0dOXz— ESPN (@espn) November 13, 2022
The U.S. found limited success skipping the midfield entirely, playing long balls out of the back hoping to find the feet of Alex Morgan, Mal Pugh, or Sophia Smith. Although the U.S. was able to find themselves in front of goal on a few occasions, the team was unable to convert any chances into goals. It would be the defensive work of Naomi Girma that would keep the score as is, sending the U.S. into halftime only down by one goal.
In the second half, the U.S. would come out on the front foot, beginning with a goal scored in the 54th minute by 2022 NWSL MVP Sophia Smith, assisted by Rose Lavelle. The U.S. would follow up quickly with their go-ahead goal just minutes later, with Mal Pugh taking advantage of a rare miscue from Germany’s defense and getting her shot past the goalkeeper.
What a year for @sophsssmith!— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) November 13, 2022
The 22-year-old scores the equalizer for her team-leading 11th goal of 2022. She's on track to become the youngest player to lead the USA in scoring in a calendar year since Mia Hamm in 1993 pic.twitter.com/GJJdULPrHZ
The USWNT seemed to be on the front foot for the majority of the second half with a number of opportunities on goal, but they were unable to find a third. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came up big for the U.S. on a number of occasions, making key saves that kept the squad in the game and able to pull out an important win.
With only seven months between now and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USWNT will be looking to build upon this performance, solidify a starting XI, and use their remaining friendlies to prepare for a go at their fifth star above the crest.