USWNT beats Romania to end 2016 without a loss, technically
The United States women's national team defeated Romania, 5-0 on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., to finish a calendar year unbeaten for the third time in program history.
But that comes with a caveat, of course: The U.S. women failed to finish in the top three at a major tournament for the first time ever (in 13 tournaments), falling to Sweden in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the Rio 2016 Olympics. That result is technically counted as a tie, and thus the Americans finish 2016 with a 22-0-3 record.
Following up her hat trick from Thursday in an 8-1 victory over the same opponent, Christen Press scored another wonderful goal in the 54th minute to keep her scoring streak alive at four straight U.S. matches.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 14, 2016
Press and Crystal Dunn are the only two players to feature in all 25 matches for the U.S. this year. Dunn played a role in each of the first two goals for the Americans on Sunday. sending in the 20th-minute cross that deflected into the net for an own goal and then doubling the U.S. lead on the final kick before halftime with a low finish.
Morgan Brian stepped up to finish a penalty kick in the 88th minute, and second-half substitute Sam Mewis scored the fifth goal on a header in stoppage time.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis started the same 10 field players on Sunday as she did on Thursday, against deploying an attack-minded 3-4-3 formation. Alyssa Naeher replaced Ashlyn Harris in goal on Sunday.