Watch: Dunn, Long each score twice as USWNT routs Russia in friendly
Two days after finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, the U.S. women's national team returned to the field with renewed energy, cruising to a 4-0 win in the first of two friendlies against Russia in Texas in a four-day span. Crystal Dunn and Allie Long each scored twice to account for all of the goals in an overall aggressive showing by the Americans.
The last time the U.S. played, it completed a frustrating performance in the SheBelieves Cup, finishing last in a four-team tournament on home soil after beating Germany but losing to England and eventual champion France. Jill Ellis's side hopes to turn the page while continuing to work in newer faces and experiment with tactics as the long road to the 2019 World Cup continues.
The U.S. came out attacking early, forcing the issue from the opening whistle. Dunn's cutback cross for Carli Lloyd was put wide of the mark 25 seconds in, setting the tone for the hosts.
The pressure continued, and in the fifth minute, Rose Lavelle uncorked a blast from 20 yards that was tipped out for a corner.
The U.S. found its breakthrough in the 10th minute, with Dunn opening the scoring. Samantha Mewis and Lloyd combined in the midfield, with the latter playing Dunn in behind the defense. The Chelsea forward finished with her left to give the Americans a 1-0 lead and continue her success at FC Dallas's Toyota Stadium. It was there that Dunn scored five goals against Puerto Rico in qualifying for the 2016 Olympics.
Long doubled the lead in the 18th minute with a header off Lavelle's corner, making a near-post run and glancing home the fourth goal of her international career.
Lavelle continued to put on a show, roasting a pair of Russia defenders on the end line while trying to create another chance.
Lavelle nearly created off another sensational move, flicking a back-heel pass for Mallory Pugh down the right channel. Her cross for Long was put off the outside of the post in the 37th minute, narrowly missing a chance to put the USA up 3-0.
Dunn, after a number of offside calls, finally got the U.S. its third goal, scoring in the 41st minute for her second of the night. She took the ball off a defender in the final third and then scored again with her left from a similar spot to her first goal.
It was almost 4-0, as Lloyd hit the post with a quick turn and fire from 20 yards with moments remaining in the first half, nearly missing for the second time in the opening 45 minutes. Lloyd, who entered Thursday with 96 career goals and hoping to creep closer to the century mark, checked out at halftime, replaced by Alex Morgan.
Long eventually made it 4-0, but not after a golden missed opportunity. After Pugh was taken down in the box, Long fired the ensuing penalty kick over the bar. The two connected for a more conventional goal shortly after, though, with Pugh's service being headed home by Long for her second of the night.
The U.S. saw out the match from there to complete its bounce-back performance. The two sides meet again in Houston on Sunday.