USWNT dominate South Korea 4-0 on Emma Hayes' debut

The 4-0 win over South Korea equaled the second-largest margin of victory for a coach on his USWNT debut
South Korea v United States
South Korea v United States / Justin Edmonds/USSF/GettyImages

The US Women's National Team (USWNT) triumphed over South Korea with a commanding 4-0 victory at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The match marked the debut of head coach Emma Hayes, witnessed by a crowd of 19,010 fans. Hayes, known for her success with Chelsea, opted for a young and talented lineup, averaging 25.5 years in age and only 45.5 international caps per player.

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Naomi Girma wore the captain's armband for the first time at just 23 years old. This decision came as no surprise, given her tactical intelligence and leadership abilities. Tierna Davidson, partnering with Girma in central defense, played her sixth consecutive match for the USWNT, showcasing her defensive prowess and offensive threat on set pieces. Forward Mallory Swanson, in her second match of the year, earned her 91st cap and scored twice, demonstrating excellent form after nearly a year-long injury absence.

The scoring opened with Swanson finding the net in the 34th minute. Sophia Smith provided the assist, receiving a well-timed through ball, shielding it, and turning to set up Swanson, who finished past goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi. Just four minutes later, following a Catarina Macario corner, Davidson rose above her marker to head the ball over the goalkeeper, doubling the lead.

In the second half, Davidson again displayed her set-piece expertise, positioning herself at the back post to powerfully head in another corner from Swanson. Swanson capped off the scoring in the 74th minute, finishing clinically after Rose Lavelle carried the ball through the middle and laid it off to the right.

Hayes utilized 17 players during the match, taking the opportunity to prepare for the primary competition of the season: the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Starting with a resounding 4-0 victory, Hayes equaled the second-largest margin of victory for a coach debuting with the USWNT.

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This successful start under Hayes highlights a blend of youth and experience, setting a promising tone for the future and aiming to reclaim the top spot in women's soccer.