Sermanni wins debut as US women's soccer coach
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — This was quite the debut for Tom Sermanni, and Christen Press.
Sermanni coached the U.S. women's soccer team to a 4-1 win over Scotland on Saturday, making the most of two first-half goals by Press.
It was Sermanni's first game in charge since he was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation in October. He was born in Scotland and spent the last eight years as Australia's coach, leading the Matildas to the quarterfinals of the last two Women's World Cups.
"It's good to get the team out on the park," Sermanni said. "What impressed me was the number of chances that they got and how they can create chances at all times. At times, some of the combinations impressed me. So just the way they focus and go about doing the job and winning games is very impressive."
Press played in her first game for the national team and had a hand in each of the United States' first three goals in the exhibition at the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, scoring twice and assisting on the third.
"I was hoping that my first cap would be my first start and my first goal all in the same day," she said. "Sort of was going for the trifecta. My teammates made it really easy for me and I'm really thankful for that."
She got the Americans on the board in the 13th minute, taking advantage of a poor clearing attempt by Scotland. The ball was batted back in the direction of Press, who deftly lifted a kick over the defenders and goalkeeper Gemma Fay.
Press' second score came at the 32-minute mark. She took a pass from Tobin Heath and sent a header from 22 feet out into the left corner of the net.
The U.S. made it 3-0 early in the second half when Shannon Boxx got a pass from Press and lifted a kick over the outstretched arms of Fay.
"On that first goal, the clearance by the defense was a little short and it was my job to be there for anything that came out," the 24-year-old Press said. "At that point, it's just have fun, shoot and see what happens."