The USWNT concluded their 5 game Victory Tour last Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. Coming into this match the team has been on a roll, winning its previous 17 matches. The match caps off an incredible run for Head Coach Jill Ellis as she had announced that she would be stepping down from the position after winning the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this past summer in France.
Having lost the previous match 0-2 to the US in Charlotte just 3 before, South Korea struck first in the 34’ as Chelsea FC Women Forward, Ji Soyun, scored a right footed shot past keeper Alyssa Naeher’s outstretched arm in the bottom left corner. However, the South Korean lead was very short lived. Just 3 minutes after they conceded a goal, Captain Carli Lloyd equalized in the 37’ with a header assisted by, 2019 FIFA Women’s Player of the year, Megan Rapinoe off a corner kick. Both sides went into halftime scoring one a piece in a very physical first half recording a total of 18 free kicks with the South Korean side receiving 2 yellow cards.
The beginning of the second half saw three Women’s World Cup starters getting subbed off with Morgan Brian, home NWSL team Chicago Red Star’s midfielder, being one of the substitutes to come on. Brian had a scoring opportunity early on in the 49’ but missed the shot wide right of the goal. Both teams struggled to build scoring opportunities for the majority of the second half until a late substitution of Casey Short, another Chicago Red Star’s player, for Jessica McDonald in the 81’. McDonald’s first header was denied of a goal hitting off the right post. The remainder of regular time saw South Korean defenders blocking multiple shot attempts from the likes of Christen Press, Carli Lloyd, and Mallory Pugh. USA thought they had found a late winner in 90’+2 when Carli Lloyd put the ball in the back of the net from a Christen Press through ball. The goal would eventually be disallowed as Lloyd was in an offside position. The match finished as a 1-1 draw and as the whistle blew, the USWNT era under Jill Ellis also came to an end.
The position for USWNT’s head coaching job is still up in the air and the future for the team also holds a few unknowns. What we know is a new era of US women’s soccer is ahead of us and we can look forward to more exciting goals and celebrations from the best women’s sports team in the world, starting November 7th when the USWNT takes on Sweden in an International Friendly at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.