Five Portland Thorns FC players earned minutes in the U.S. Women's National Team's 7-0 rout of Colombia in front of a crowd of 21,792 in Connecticut on Wednesday night.
After forward Crystal Dunn opened the scoring in the 27th minute, Thorns midfielder Allie Long scored her first international goal just five minutes later, heading home a beautiful cross from Thorns teammate Lindsey Horan.
Boom. Get in. Love that Lindsey and Allie— Mark Parsons (@mparsons_1) April 7, 2016
Thorns midfielder Tobin Heath predictably caused chaos in the Colombian back line. Her slaloming run through four Colombian defenders in the 5th minute nearly led to the U.S.'s first goal of the game, but Dunn's shot was cleared off the line.
Heath would get on the scoresheet in the 62nd minute, powering home the U.S.'s fifth goal of the game off of a pinpoint pass from Dunn.
Long, meanwhile, wasn't done. Only three minutes after Heath's golazo, Long scored her second goal of the match. When a Colombian player mishit a clearance, defender Julie Johnston got a head to the ball near the goal line, lofting the ball into the air across the face of goal and right onto the head of Long, who made no mistake with the finish.
After the match, Long explained what this call-up meant to her.
"When I got the call-up, I knew this was my chance," she said. "I needed to take this opportunity and grab it and go with it."
National Team head coach Jill Ellis singled out Long for praise in her own post-game comments.
"I thought she did well today, made some good decisions, obviously got a couple of goals [and] was impactful," Ellis explained. "Allie's been in here before. She's a quality player. She had a good season last year with the NWSL."
"I think her qualities at practice, she deserved to get some time tonight and part of it is testing them in the mental capacity and I thought she responded very, very well."
While Heath and Long both played the full 90 minutes, Thorns defender Meghan Klingenberg and Lindsey Horan both earned starts. Klingenberg made way for Ali Krieger in the 70th minute, while Horan went off for Samantha Mewis at the start of the second half. Rookie defender Emily Sonnett also earned time, coming on for Becky Sauerbrunn in the 67th minute.
Meanwhile, in other Thorns international action, forward Nadia Nadim started and played the full 90 minutes in Denmark's 0-0 draw with Poland at Stadion Miejski w Tychach in Euro 2017 qualifying. The result leaves both sides tied for second place in Group 4 with seven points. Sweden leads the group with nine points from three matches. Denmark will next play host to Slovakia in June.
In order to qualify for the 2017 Euros, Denmark will need to finish either in first place or be one of the six best runners-up in the eight qualifying groups. The next two best runners-up will face each other in a home-and-away playoff for the final qualifying spot.