US Women’s National Team: Press, USWNT roll past Chile

Christen Press made her 100th appearance for the United States women’s national team back in June. Friday, Aug. 31st, in front of 23,544 fans at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Press, from nearby Palos Verdes and captain of the squad for the night, was celebrated for her incredible milestone during a friendly against Chile.

A 3-0 win and a tap-in goal for the Los Angeles native was the cherry on the top for such a special night.

Press’ goal didn’t come easy as a couple of dodgy calls from referee Katja Koroleva denied the USWNT a more comfortable victory. One of which was a disallowed penalty, converted by Press, after what appeared to be encroachment in the box from a teammate.

Post-match, Press talked about the nerves which took over after the decision. A goal on the night for her was something the whole squad was eager to contribute.

Finally, in the second half, Press got her chance.

Midfielder Morgan Brian slipped winger Mallory Pugh behind the defense with a dissecting pass. With two touches, her pass across the six-yard box went just past forward Carli Lloyd but straight to the foot of a waiting Press at the back post.

“When the ball came through, I was so happy.” Press said, “The thing I will remember the most is the looks on my teammates’ faces after I scored because they wanted me to score so bad after that penalty.”

Relief. A wide-eyed Pugh rushed Press’ way and bear-hugged her in celebration.

Head coach Jill Ellis was happy for her captain.

“I was delighted for tonight.” Ellis said, “Christen has been a player that has had to fight her way. To get 100 caps and I think 44 goals, it’s been a high output from her.”

The first two goals both came off set piece situations which the USWNT dominated in all night.

First, eight minutes in. Defender Tierna Davidson leaped highest to win a Tobin Heath cross and nod past Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

24 minutes later, the same set piece from Heath found Julie Ertz in the first post. Her glancing header went towards the back of the net. As Chile’s Carla Guerrero could only help it into the net for an own goal.

The USWNT will play Chile again in San Jose’s Avaya Stadium Tuesday. The last rehearsal before World Cup Qualifying in October.