Ertz’s goal, Davidson’s two assists carry United States to Knockout Stages

CHICAGO — It was another banner performance for the U.S. Women’s National team in their 3-0 victory over Chile in their second group stage game. All four Chicago Red Stars players earned the start and propelled the reigning champions to the knockout stages for the eighth consecutive tournament.

U.S. Coach Jill Ellis made seven changes to the starting lineup for Sunday’s game, including the additions of Morgan Brian and Tierna Davidson. The latter made her World Cup debut at 20 years of age, becoming the sixth player under the age of 21 to start a Women’s World Cup match for the U.S. WNT and the youngest player since 1995 to start.

Davidson was the top overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and wasted no time making an impact on the global stage, dishing out two assists in 35 minutes, both coming from set pieces.

The first of her assists was the premiere of the Chicago Red Stars connection to the global stage. Davidson whipped in a corner to Chicago teammate Julie Ertz, who made her trademarked run at the near post and headed the ball into the goal to double the lead for the U.S. WNT in the 26th minute. It was Ertz’s 19th international goal and her 14th from a set piece but marked her first-ever goal in the World Cup.  

Nine minutes later, Davidson once again delivered off a corner kick, finding Carli Lloyd for the veteran’s second goal of the game and gave the Americans a commanding 3-0 lead over La Roja.

Ertz, Davidson, and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher did their part in stifling the Chilean offense. La Roja was limited to a single shot through the 90 minutes. Brian played the full 90 minutes and was an instrumental part of a U.S. midfield that controlled the game with 72% of the possession held. Naeher earned her second clean sheet of the tournament and has 26 career clean sheets in 46 international appearances.

The American victory sealed their place in the knockout stages of the tournament, joining Sweden out of Group F. The matchup between the two teams will determine who enters the Round of 16 as the top seed in the group. Kickoff is scheduled for Thursday, June 20 at 2:00 PM C.T.