USWNT blanks South Korea 4-0 as Emma Hayes era begins

Tierna Davidson and Mallory Swanson led the USWNT with two goals each during their win over South Korea on Saturday. (Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national team gave head coach Emma Hayes a victory in her first match in charge, shutting out South Korea 4-0 in front of 19,010 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado.

Mallory Swanson opened the scoring in the 34th minute following a good buildup of play. Sophia Smith slipped a ball through the South Korean defense and Swanson, cutting through the penalty box, then beat goalkeeper Kim Jung-Mi to make it 1-0.

Four minutes later it was Tierna Davidson doubling the lead for the Americans, winning a header off a Catarina Macario corner kick.

The USWNT didn’t wait long into the second half before making it 3-0. Davidson, who was left unmarked in the box, headed in her second goal of the match in the 48th minute off a Swanson corner kick.

Swanson netted her second of the match after another methodical, slow buildup from the back by the USWNT. Rose Lavelle took a loose ball in the South Korean third and slipped a pass through to Swanson, who put it home in the 74th minute.

Hayes was hired in November and her first move was to freshen up a USWNT roster that needed it. Only 11 players on this roster were part of the 2023 World Cup team and only 10 of the 23 have taken part in a previous national team camp.

Saturday’s win was an impressive performance and gave valuable experience to a number of players as the team continues its preparations for this summer’s Paris Olympics.

The USWNT has three more friendlies — another meeting with South Korea on June 4, Mexico on July 13 and Costa Rica on July 16 — before Olympic competition begins July 25.

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