Thorns FC International Notebook: Wambach earns milestone 200th cap, scores 153rd international goal for the U.S. WNT

Thorns FC's Buehler, Heath and Morgan see playing time in two-game series against Scotland

Rachel Buehler, USWNT vs. Scotland, 2.13.13

Photo Credit: 
(Getty Images)

There aren’t many more appropriate ways to celebrate receiving your milestone 200 international cap other than scoring a goal. U.S. Women’s National Team forward Abby Wambach netted her 153rd international goal in the team’s 3-1 win against Scotland on Wednesday night at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. She's now just five goals from tying the world’s all-time goal-scoring record of 158 held by the legendary Mia Hamm, and Wambach certainly has the chance to bridge the gap from March 6-13 during the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

Wednesday night’s win – witnessed by 14,224 fans; the largest crowd to ever watch a women’s soccer match in Tennessee – was the second victory in a row for the U.S. WNT against Scotland, after previously beating the team 4-1 on Saturday, Feb. 9 in Jacksonville, Fla.

Forward Christen Press, who plays professionally in Sweden for Tyresö FF, scored a brace in her first appearance for the United States during Saturday's match as the focus was as much on getting back into shape as it was on getting a few new players some experience. Press, FC Kansas City midfielder Kristie Mewis, University of North Carolina defender Crystal Dunn and Santa Clara University defender Julie Johnston all earned their first caps under new head coach Tom Sermanni during the two-game series.

Thorns FC’s Heath, Morgan and Buehler all earn appearances

In the United States’ first match of 2013, Thorns FC forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath (who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain in France) featured in Sermanni’s starting lineup against Scotland, while Buehler was not in the game-day 18 because she arrived to camp late due to a previous family commitment. Buehler would, however, feature in the second match.

While Morgan suffered a knock to the ankle making a cutback on a counterattack at midfield and had to be subbed out in the 41st minute, Heath helped put the United States ahead 2-0 with a left-footed cross from the wing that found Press in the box in the 32nd minute. The header was Press's second goal of the first half.

On Wednesday in Music City, Thorns FC defender Buehler started and played 90 minutes at center back and nearly helped the United States keep a clean sheet before Scotland scored in the 81st minute.  Heath entered the match as an 81st-minute sub for forward Sydney Leroux.

All three Thorns FC players are expected to be part of the team’s trip to Portugal for the annual Algarve Cup, where the WNT is set to take on Iceland, China PR and Sweden – which is now coached by former United States head coach Pia Sundhage.