US 7, Mexico 0

Future stars shine for US women’s soccer team

WASHINGTON — Winning the World Cup is tough enough. If Tuesday night’s thumping of Mexico is any indication, making the US women’s roster might be even tougher.

Over the next two years, the next generation of women’s soccer talent will compete with the old guard for precious roster spots and even more precious playing time for the 2015 championship in Canada. The established and the upstarts blended nicely in a 7-0 win before 12,594 at RFK Stadium, a signal to the world that the US pool is as deep as ever.

‘‘I think what a result like tonight does is it sends a message right across the whole squad that there are no places safe on this team,’’ coach Tom Sermanni said. ‘‘And that’s important for competition, and it’s important for the continued development of the team.’’


Abby Wambach extended her world record with her 161st international goal, and Morgan Brian got her first. Sydney Leroux scored four times in the first half alone, and defender Rachel Buehler tallied just her fifth goal in 104 US games. Erika Tymrak and Leigh Ann Robinson earned their first US caps.

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Oh, the dilemmas Sermanni will face as he thinks ahead. It’s a good problem to have.

‘‘I think our second 11 would definitely get into the semifinals of any world championship,’’ Wambach said. ‘‘Tom has a difficult job over the next two years deciding who the team’s going to be, who’s going to be the starters. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks.’’

The Americans, ranked No. 1 in the world, ran their overall unbeaten streak to 35 games and their home unbeaten streak to 73. They are 27-1-1 all time against 24th-ranked Mexico.

The US team had been off for 2½ months while the National Women’s Soccer League wrapped up its inaugural season. Several regulars missed the game because they’re either playing in Europe or nursing injuries. Forward Alex Morgan, who strained a ligament in her left knee during the NWSL season, was on the bench.


That opened the door for players such as Brian, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Virginia who is still in a bit of awe over the chance to share the field with her heroes.

‘‘You look around at the players that you’re playing with, and it’s Abby Wambach,’’ Brian said. ‘‘I mean, some of these players are 13, 14 years older than me.’’

Wambach is indeed 33, but she’s not going anywhere any time soon. She broke Mia Hamm’s international mark of 158 goals in the US team’s previous game and played a part in all four goals scored in the first 30 minutes Tuesday.

Leroux, who played this summer for the Boston Breakers, has 42 goals in just 18 games for the US team, including her five-spot against Guatemala in the Olympic qualifying tournament last year.

‘‘She still hasn’t even touched her potential,’’ Wambach said. ‘‘And that’s scary.’’


Goalkeepers Hope Solo (first half) and Nicole Barnhart (second half) combined for the shutout.