• Monday May 11, 2015

    Wambach brace lifts U.S. women past Ireland

    Abby Wambach (pictured) scored two goals in the USA's victory over visiting Ireland in an international friendly on May 10, 2015, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California. (Photo: John Todd/isiphotos.com)

    SAN JOSE, California -- Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States started its final FIFA Women's World Cup preparations with a 3-0 win over the visiting Republic of Ireland on Sunday.

    The Americans began a series of three warm-up matches in sterling fashion, before a capacity crowd of 18,000 at Avaya Stadium.  They extended their unbeaten streak to six games and are now 11-0-0 all-time against the Irish.

    The host, which held a 26-0 advantage in shots, took the lead in the 42nd minute.  An Ireland defender attempted to clear a Megan Rapinoe corner kick, but the ball ricocheted off the face of a teammate on the far post to the USA’s Christen Press, who positioned on the right side of the penalty area.  The forward squared a pass to Wambach to knock into the net from eight-yards out.

    Only three minutes later, Wambach was at it again, connecting for her 180th career international goal as she headed home a Carli Lloyd cross.  Lloyd dribbled past her marker on the left-goal line and delivered a right-footed cross, which Wambach headed home from the edge of the six-yard box.

    Julie Johnston completed the CONCACAF champion’s scoring in the 54th minute, connecting in a third consecutive match.  Acrobatically leaping at the near post, the 23-year-old defender used her right foot to direct Lauren Holiday’s right-sided corner kick past goalkeeper Niamh Reid-Burke.

    The USA will next meet rival Mexico at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, on May 17.

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