June 30, 2012; Sandy, UT, USA; USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe (15) during the first half against Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
On a brutally hot day in Utah, the USWNT continued their strong run in form, besting rivals Canada in the last game the two teams will play before the Summer Olympics. Despite the heat, both teams played hard in front of a decent crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium. It may not have been the prettiest of games, but it had good pace and was entertaining throughout.
The first half saw both squads play fast and hard despite the weather. The scoring opened up in the 13th minute for the US, with Canada scoring an unfortunate own goal. Megan Rapino made a cross into the box and Canadian defender Moscato got a foot on it. Unfortunately for her, it went right into her own net. The game would go into halftime with the US Women leading 1-0.
The second half was almost an entirely different game. The passing was slow and the pace lackluster at best. This is hard to fault due to the heatwave currently overwhelming the country and both squads playing at 100% during the first half. It also seemed as if Canada had just figured out the US Women, picking up their passes and capitalizing on their mistakes. The Canadians would score an equalizer in the 56th minute when Melissa Tancredi took a shot from distance, hitting the top bar and then into the net.
The game looked like it might end in a draw until a goal from "A-Rod" Amy Rodriguez in the 84th minute gave her squad the late lead and eventually the win. Megan Rapino put in another accurate cross into the box, which found the feet of Abby Wambach, who tried to back heel the ball into the net. Instead, the ball found A-Rod who quickly notched the goal.
Rapino was the clear MVP of this match. Offensively and defensively, she made her presence known all match long. She was a force to be reckoned with on defense, playing strong man-to-man, while offensively making all of her crosses and shots count throughout the match.
With the Send Off match over, the USWNT will head to London on July 10th to continue their Olympic training camp. They will then head to Glasgow, Scotland for their first match of Olympic Group Play against France. Stay tuned to the Brotherly Game for all of the USWNT Olympic Coverage!