Washington D.C. — After a slow start on a warm night at RFK Stadium, the U.S. Women's National Team exploded for five first half goals in a 30-minute span - which included four goals from forward Sydney Leroux - on the way to a convincing 7-0 victory against Mexico.
Leroux was making just her sixth start in her 39th game for the USA and upped her goal total to 21 in her career. Abby Wambach opened the scoring with her 161st career goal, extending her world record, while defender Rachel Buehler and 20-year-old midfielder Morgan Brian added second half scores.
Two players earned first caps on the night with midfielder Erika Tymrak earning her first start as well and defender Leigh Ann Robinson entering the game in the 56th minute for defender Crystal Dunn.
Mexico created a few dangerous chances early on from U.S. giveaways, but the Americans settled down after 10 minutes and overlapping left back Kristie Mewis assisted on the first goal. Her cross on the ground from outside the penalty area skipped through some traffic to Wambach, who struck a left-footed shot off the hands of Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and into the right side of the net.
Wambach then turned provider, playing a part in the next three goals.
In the 21st minute she received a pass inside the penalty area and was able to spin toward goal as she shot from 16 yards out. Santiago managed to parry the driven ball to her right, but it fell directly to Leroux who headed the rebound into the empty net.
Leroux struck again just about a minute later as Wambach, with her back to the goal, flicked a perfect first-time pass with her heel to the streaking Lauren Holiday, putting her through on the breakaway straight up the middle. Once again Santiago was able to get a piece of the ball as Holiday tried to slip her shot into the lower left corner. She couldn't hold it and the shot dribbled behind the Mexican goalkeeper. Leroux won the race to the ball ahead of two Mexico defenders and stuffed her shot home from two yards away.
Leroux got her third - and completed the perfect hat trick - in the 30th minute after Wambach won a header off a long ball and it skipped to Leroux running at the Mexico net. She drove about 40 yards all the way into the penalty area, out-sprinting and out-muscling three defenders before sliding to roll a left-footed shot past the stranded Santiago and into the lower right corner from 10 yards out.
Leroux's fourth goal came in the 41st minute off a free kick from the left side as Holiday spun a perfect cross into the goal mouth and Leroux cut in front of a defender to head into the right corner from six yards out.
Rachel Buehler added the sixth goal in the 55th minute after entering the game just three minutes prior. The goal came off a corner kick that bounced around before Heather O'Reilly had a crack at the net. The shot was deflected by a defender and fell right to Buehler who rolled it into the net from seven yards out. It was Buehler's fifth goal in her international career.
The seventh goal came from Brian, a member of the USA's 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup champions, who came in for Tymrak in the 70th minute. Just two minutes later Wambach played a short pass back to Brian at the top of the box from inside the penalty area. The junior at the University of Virginia, took a touch to the left and struck a shot that deflected off a Mexican defender and over Santiago for her first national team goal in just her second cap.
The U.S. team will now go on a six-week break before getting back together in mid-October for several more soon-to-be-announced friendly matches.