Carli Lloyd (#10) tries to avoid a tackle in the USA's 1-0 win over France in a women's international friendly on June 14, 2014, in Tampa, Florida. (Photo: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)
TAMPA, Florida – Sydney Leroux scored in a third consecutive game to lift the United States to a 1-0 win over France in a women’s international friendly on Saturday before 9,799 fans Raymond James Stadium.
The match – delayed for more than 30 minutes due to lightning -- was Jill Ellis’ first in charge as the USA’s official head coach since being elevated to the position on May 16 after serving on an interim basis.
The U.S. netted the only goal in the 21st minute in a sequence started by Carli Lloyd. The midfielder connected with Christen Press, who flicked the ball into the left side of the box. Leroux fought through France defenders Jessica Houara and Laura Georges to slide home past goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. It was Leroux’s team-leading seventh goal of the year.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo made a key first-half save to preserve her 71st career shutout. In the eighth minute, she thwarted Elodie Thomis in a one-one situation, playing the angle and making the stop at the near right post.
Alex Morgan entered in the 49th minute, marking her first 2014 appearance for the USA after battling back from an ankle injury.
The teams will meet again on June 19 in East Hartford, Connecticut.