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USWNT rout Dominican Republican 14-0, A-Rod has 5

Photo: Paul Rudderow. 

I tried to tune in to watch the USWNT take on the Dominican Republic at the appointed 10:30 pm start time last night. In the 10 or so minutes it took me to update the stupid Silverlight player and get the game to load, I missed the opening 3 goals, which all happened inside the first 7 minutes of the game.

Amy Rodriguez had 5 (and she only came on at half time), Heather O’Reilly had 3, Abby Wambach had 2, and Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, and Lauren Cheney all scored 1 in a 14-0 demolishing of the small Caribbean nation in the first match of Olympic qualifying. The result was never in doubt after Wambach scored in the 1st minute and the score was 7-0 at halftime.

The story for Philadelphia fans was the flowing interplay between Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney in the second half. Rodriguez has not officially re-signed with the Independence but it is generally assumed that she will. And All White Kit reported this week that Cheney was close to signing with the team, staying consistent with the news that Paul Riley gave me last week that Philadelphia had two huge signings in the works (midfielder Lori Chalupny was announced Wednesday).

Rodriguez was subbed on at half time for Tobin Heath and scored an amazing 5 second half goals, 3 of which were assisted by Cheney. The two looked on the same page from the start of the half, finding good space and moving off each other with ease. If the chemistry transfers to the club level, Independence fans will have plenty to cheer about in 2012.

The lone negative that came out of the match was what appeared to be a severe injury to starting right-back Ali Kreiger. Kreiger was stretchered off with what looked like a knee injury in the latter stages of the first half after a reckless challenge from Leonela Mojica. Former Independence defender Heather Mitts replaced Kreiger for the remainder of the match. Outside-back is not the deepest position on the US roster, with Mitts being the only other natural outside player on the roster. Becky Sauerbrunn has seen time in the outside positions, but is more comfortable in central defense. Kreiger was to have an MRI today.

Olympic qualifying continues tomorrow when the US takes on Guatemala (who lost 7-0 to Mexico yesterday) before finishing group play against Mexico on Tuesday evening. The top two teams advance from the group stage to take on the top two teams from the other qualifying group which includes Canada, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Cuba.


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