USA vs. Cymru | Friendly match – Football – Female – A

      Live ReportMatch Summary

      1. United States 2-0 Cymru

        โ€ข Substitute Trinity Rodman scores twice for United States
        โ€ข Cymru put in resilient defensive display but cannot hold world champions
        โ€ข First ever women’s international outside of Europe for Cymru
        โ€ข Jess Fishlock misses out through hamstring injury

        Despite being without key players Jess Fishlock, Rachel Rowe and captain Sophie Ingle, Cymru pushed world champions the United States all the way in the heat of San Jose and were denied a famous result only by two late goals from substitute Trinity Rodman.

        Goalkeeper Olivia Clark was handed a place in the starting line-up and denied Lindsey Horan in the early exchanges while the impressive Sophia Smith continued to cause problems for the Cymru defence. Although the United States enjoyed long periods of possession, chances were limited as Cymru defended resolutely.

        Counter-attacks were rare for Gemma Grainger’s side, but the home side were left frustrated despite the best efforts of the home fans to create a carnival atmosphere. For all their dominance, Cymru stood up to the challenge and put in a well-organised and disciplined defensive display to subdue the fans who had come to send their heroes off to the World Cup on a high.

        A collision with Alyssa Thompson left Lily Woodham with a lump above her eye and the defender was replaced by Esther Morgan at half-time. The United States continued to dominate proceedings, but Cymru more than matched their opponents physically and the 2nd half proved to be more competitive as Grainger’s side grew in confidence and belief.

        Striker Kayleigh Green showed her defensive qualities midway through the 2nd half to head the ball off the line and deny the home side from taking the lead. However, the United States eventually went ahead when Smith squared the ball to substitute Trinity Rodman and she made no mistake to beat Clark from close range.

        Rodman then scored her second of the game on 87 minutes as she struck a superb effort from outside the area into the top corner of the net. It was a cruel way for the game to end for Cymru, but Grainger will be proud of the way her team stood up to the challenge, and despite the scoreline this is another important step forward in the progression and development of this side.

      2. Substitution

        ESTCOURT Charlotte replaces ROBERTS Rhiannon

      3. Rodman makes it 2-0 with a well-struck shot from outside the area that curls past Clark. A tough one for Cymru to take after such a strong defensive display.

      4. Goal

        TRINITY RODMAN

      5. Substitution

        HUGHES Elise replaces GREEN Josie

      6. Yellow card

        HOLLAND Ceri

      7. Substitution

        KIRSTIE MEWIS replaces ANDI SULLIVAN

      8. Ceri Holland carries the ball forward.

      9. The Cymru defence is finally stretched as Smith squares the ball for substitute Rodman to open the scoring. Important for Cymru now to stay disciplined despite the setback.

      10. Goal

        TRINITY RODMAN

      11. A long-range effort from Cain goes narrowly wide, but the shot itself is a clear sign of how Cymru are growing in confidence heading into the final 15 minutes.

      12. Substitution

        EMILY SONNETT replaces ALANA COOK

      13. Substitution

        MORGAN Ffion Alys replaces GREEN Kayleigh

      14. Substitution

        WYNNE Megan replaces JONES Carrie

      15. Olivia Clark clears the ball upfield.

      16. A great chance for the United States as Kayleigh Green heads off the line to deny the home side from taking the lead. Best chance of the game.

      17. Substitution

        SAVANNAH DEMELO replaces ASHLEY SANCHEZ

      18. Substitution

        LYNN WILLIAMS replaces ALYSSA THOMPSON

      19. Substitution

        SOFIA HUERTA replaces EMILY FOX

      20. A scare for Cymru as Thompson fires the ball high and wide as the United States prepare to introduce a number of players from the bench.

      21. Hannah Cain in possession for Cymru.

      22. The United States becoming increasingly frustrated as Cymru remain resilient in defence and show that their not afraid to physically match their opponents.

      23. Yellow card

        GREEN Josie

      24. Substitution

        TRINITY RODMAN replaces ALEX MORGAN

      25. Cymru start the 2nd half but not before changes for both sides are made as Esther Morgan replaces Lily Woodham for Cymru while Trinity Rodman comes on for the experienced Alex Morgan for the United States.

      26. Substitution

        MORGAN Esther replaces WOODHAM Lily

      27. Plenty for Cymru manager Gemma Grainger to consider at half-time and it will be interesting to see what changes are made in the 2nd half.

      28. Half-time verdict: The United States were expected to have long periods of possession and they have seen plenty of the ball, but clear-cut chances have been few and far between mainly due to a well-organised defensive display from Cymru. The challenge for Gemma Grainger and her backroom staff now is to maintain that level in the 2nd half while also looking to keep the ball when it’s won and make some impression in the opposition half.

      29. Opportunities for Kayleigh Green have been few and far between as the United States enjoy long periods of possession.

      30. The United States really turning up the heat in the San Jose sun now but the Cymru defence hold firm. Grainger will be pleased with how her players have maintained their concentration and discipline at the back.

      31. Cymru captain Angharad James takes to the field.

      32. That looks a sore one for Woodham as Thompson collides with the Cymru defender and leaves her with a black eye. Cymru are past the midway point of the opening half and have restricted their illustrious opponents to just one effort on goal so far.

      33. Sophia Smith is causing some problems for the Cymru defence. The 22-year old is tipped to be a future star and will be looking to make her name at the World Cup.

      34. Plenty of discussion between Cymru manager Gemma Grainger and assistant Jon Grey as they look to stop the United States from dominating possession.

      35. The first real chance for the United States as Horan’s header is saved by Clark.

      36. Great to see some Cymru support at PayPal Park.

      37. No surprise that the United States are enjoying long periods of possession, but Clark has yet to be tested and Cymru will need to maintain concentration at the back as they cannot afford to make a mistake against this very talented side.

      38. The United States kick-off in what is a carnival atmosphere at PayPal Park. Cymru will need to keep their composure in these early exchanges.

      39. Respective United States and Cymru managers Vlatko Andonovski and Gemma Grainger share their thoughts ahead of kick-off.

      40. Cymru centurions Sophie Ingle and Jess Fishlock will be watching from the stands tonight through suspension and injury respectively, but Angharad James will lead the side out against the current world champions in front of a sell-out crowd at PayPal Park as Cymru take on the United States in a women’s international for the very first time.

      41. The teams are in and Cymru manager Gemma Grainger has opted for Olivia Clark in goal while Angharad James captains the side with Sophie Ingle suspended. Jess Fishlock misses out through injury. Here is the confirmed Cymru starting line-up.

      42. We will have the team news from PayPal Park very soon as Cymru prepare to take on the United States in their farewell match before they head to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals.

      43. Cymru midfielder Ceri Holland played her club football in the United States with Kansas Jayhawks between 2017 and 2020 and believes the pressure will be very much on the home side this evening. “We will go into the game as underdogs for the neutral, but we know we have the ability in this squad to compete against anybody,” said Holland this week.

        “We go into it with no pressure on us. The pressure will all be on them, in front of a sell-out crowd before the World Cup. We will just go out there, play our game and hopefully we can put a bit of a show on.”

      44. Karen Hernandez will be the referee for tomorrow’s game. She is assisted by Mayra Mora and Jessica Morales, while Diana Perez Borja is the fourth official.

      45. Cymru will wear their red jersey with white shorts and red socks for tomorrow’s game, while USA will be in their white jersey with navy shorts and white socks.

      46. PayPal Park, which opened in 2015, will play host to Sunday’s fixture in front of a sell-out crowd. The stadium is the home of San Jose Earthquakes, who play in Major League Soccer.

      47. Manager Gemma Grainger also spoke to the media on Saturday and expressed the importance of this fixture in her side’s preparations for the UEFA Women’s Nations League. This will be Cymru’s final fixture before they begin their inaugural campaign with an away fixture against Iceland in September.

        “The game plan for us has got to give us the best opportunity to compete, so that’s what you’ll see tomorrow in terms of the strengths we have in and out of possession,” said Grainger.

        “When we play in the Nations League later this year, we’ll be playing against a high-level of opposition in Germany, Denmark and Iceland. We’ve got to put in preparation that allows us to execute game plans and get us points. In the Nations League, it’s about making sure we’re successful and this game is ideal because I don’t believe there’s a tougher game than playing the US in the US.

        “We’re going to really relish the opportunity to test the game plan. We have our strengths in possession and I hope you see that tomorrow, and out of possession we’ve got to make sure we have a plan. But it’s not just about playing against the US for us, it’s about playing this level of opposition and knowing what our strengths are.”

        Watch the press conference on RedWall+ by clicking here or download the app on iOS or Android.

      48. Stand-in captain Angharad James spoke to the media on Saturday and revealed when she found out she would be leading out her team-mates in San Jose.

        “I found out just before coming onto camp. Gemma (Grainger) gave me a phone call and said I would be leading the group out, so it was a very proud moment,” said James. “It’s always an honour to put on the Welsh jersey, but to lead the girls out is a privilege. It’s a proud moment for me but also for my family as well. It’s something I’ve dreamed of as a little girl but I would do anything to have Sophie on the field, so I would give the armband back in a heartbeat if it meant that she could play. It’s a privilege to wear it tomorrow.”

        James also paid tribute to USA forward Megan Rapinoe, who confirmed in today’s pre-match press conference that she will be retiring at the end of the season.

        “The announcement this morning was a bit of a shock,” said James. “The career that Megan Rapinoe has had speaks volumes for her as both a player and person. She’s a leader both on and off the field and she’s been an inspiration to many people in the footballing world, so I wish her all the success in whatever is to come next.”

        Watch the press conference on RedWall+ by clicking here or download the app on iOS or Android.

      49. Two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain, who made 192 appearances for USA, was welcomed to the Cymru team hotel on Friday to talk to the players and staff about her playing career.

      50. Cymru will train at PayPal Park later this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s fixture, which is expected to be a sell-out at the 18,000-seater stadium. Manager Gemma Grainger and midfielder Angharad James, who will captain Cymru in San Jose, will also be facing the media today. We’ll bring you all the build up to the game throughout the afternoon.

      51. Cymru’s most capped player Jess Fishlock will be in action for her club side OL Reign today as they face Orlando Pride, before she links up with her international team-mates ahead of Sunday’s fixture. The midfielder will travel from Orlando following the match at Exploria Stadium to San Jose, meaning she could play two games in the space of 45 hours.

        Something similar happened on 11 November 1987, when Cymru forward Mark Hughes represented his club and country in two different countries on the same day. Hughes featured for Cymru against Czechoslovakia in a European Championship qualifier in Prague before flying to Germany later that day as his club side Bayern Munich took on Borussia Moenchengladbach in the German Cup, where he came on as a substitute.

      52. There has been some big transfer news in the lead up to Sunday’s fixture with defender Gemma Evans, who earned her 50th Cymru cap earlier this year, joining Manchester United following the expiry of her contract with Reading. She will link up with international team-mate Hayley Ladd, who she has built up a strong defensive partnership with over the last few years for Gemma Grainger’s side.

      53. Cymru defender Josie Green spoke to the media on Wednesday and said her team-mates should see it as a huge compliment to be invited to face the four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winners.

        “It’s a massive game because the USA are a big team, aren’t they? They’re ranked number one in the world so it’s a super exciting challenge for us and you always want to play the best,” said Green. “It will give us a chance to see where we’re at and everyone’s excited for it. It’s a huge challenge for us but at the end of the day it’s 11 against 11 and anything can happen when you step on the pitch. We want to test ourselves against such a big nation and you don’t get that opportunity often, so it’s about embracing that challenge and sticking to what we know.

        “We’ve had some big tests in the past against big nations, but that’s what we like and when the pressure is on us we always step up. It’s their send-off game, so it’s a big compliment for us that they see us as a challenge before they go to the World Cup.”

        Watch the interview on RedWall+ by clicking here or download the app on iOS or Android.

      54. Gemma Grainger has confirmed that midfielder Angharad James will wear the armband against USA after Sophie Ingle received a red card in Cymru’s last outing against Portugal in April.

      55. Cymru’s training base during their time in Oakland is at the home of Oakland Roots, who play in the USL Championship. Gemma Grainger’s side will travel down to San Jose later this week ahead of the match at Paypal Park on Sunday.

      56. Cymru defender Rhiannon Roberts spoke to the media on Wednesday and looked ahead to the challenge of taking on the four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winners USA.

        “We’re looking forward to testing ourselves against the best in the world because if you play against better teams, you’re only going to get better,” said Roberts. “With us being in the top league for the Nations League, we’re going to be playing good teams in every camp so it’s a good place for us to start I guess.

        “There’s never a friendly in football, not for me anyway, and playing against the best nations helps you step up as a player and you get the best out of yourself and your team. It’s going to be a big spectacle so we’re all looking forward to it.”

        Watch it on RedWall+ by clicking here or download the app on iOS or Android.

      57. Watch Lily Woodham’s travel diary as Cymru fly to California for their friendly game against USA in San Francisco.

        Watch it on RedWall+ by clicking here or download the app on iOS or Android.

      58. 19-year-old forward Mary McAteer has received her first senior call up and is one of 22 players included in Gemma Graingerโ€™s squad. Captain Sophie Ingle misses out through suspension and Rachel Rowe is unavailable due to injury, although the former will travel to California as a training player. Cymruโ€™s record cap holder Jess Fishlock, who plays in the USA with OL Reign, has also been included and will join up with the squad after her club face Orlando Pride.

      59. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski last week announced his squad who will represent USA in the FIFA Womenโ€™s World Cup this summer and also take on Cymru in their sendoff match. Actress Blake Lively, singer Taylor Swift, actor John Cena and US president Joe Biden were part of a stellar cast list that helped unveil the squad.

      60. Gemma Graingerโ€™s Cymru will finish preparations for their UEFA Womenโ€™s Nations League campaign by taking on four-time FIFA Womenโ€™s World Cup winners USA in San Jose next week. The match, which will be the first meeting between the two sides. will also be USAโ€™s final match before they travel to the 2023 FIFA Womenโ€™s World Cup.

      61. There is no live report available for this match

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