Trinity Rodman scored twice and the United States beat Wales 2-0 in San Jose on Sunday in a pre-Women’s World Cup friendly, making a timely push for a starting place.
Rodman, the daughter of former NBA star Dennis Rodman, came on as a substitute after the interval with the USA struggling to break down determined Welsh defenders.
But the 21-year-old changed the course of the game, making a strong case for a starting spot when the US women open their campaign in Group E against Vietnam at Auckland on July 22.
Wales, ranked 30th in the world and a team that have never qualified for a major tournament, had their backs against the wall for the opening half with the home side enjoying 75% possession but creating few openings.
Rodman, introduced in place of Alex Morgan, injected some energy and invention into the attack and provided the breakthrough in the 76th minute.
Sophia Smith got behind the Welsh defence down the left and then slipped the ball across into the path of Rodman, who slotted home the simple chance.
Rodman then made sure of the victory, winning the ball on the edge of the box with a physical challenge that was overlooked by the referee before she curled a superb shot into the top corner.
USA coach Vlatko Andonovski said Rodman had brought the team exactly what he wanted.
“Trinity came in and had a had a test to fulfill… to raise the pace and the tempo of the game a little bit and we saw that the tempo changed dramatically,” he said.
“Obviously, the goal that she scored, the second goal, I think that’s a world class goal.”
Andonovski said Rodman gave him some interesting options in attack due to her and Smith’s ability to swap positions.
“It just makes it a little more unpredictable because of how they how they play, they play a lot by instinct as well,” he said. “They understand the game and use their instincts. They have the freedom to roam from one to another position to impose themselves to the game.”
Andonovski’s side, searching in Australia and New Zealand for an unprecedented third straight World Cup triumph, will also face Portugal and 2019 runners-up the Netherlands in Group E.
World Cup News
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Tuesday blasted as “insufficient” the apology given by...
Spain’s Women’s World Cup hero Olga Carmona paid tribute to her father on Monday...
Spain midfielder Jenni Hermoso defended Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales after he came...
Sunday’s World Cup final between England and Spain is the final act of a...