McCall Zerboni Injury Overshadows United States 4-0 Victory Over Chile

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McCall Zerboni

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA (Sept. 5, 2018) — McCall Zerboni only saw action for a single minute when the United States Women’s National Team hosted Chile once again on Tuesday night.

Zerboni, in the opening minutes, went down with a hard land on her left elbow and shoulder area. The versatile midfielder — who is a key fixture for the North Carolina Courage — was substituted off in the fifth minute. Morgan Brian replaced Zerboni, who immediately went to the locker room for further evaulation.

McCall Zerboni Injury Overshadows Dominant USWNT Victory

The final word came the next day: Zerboni had broken her elbow.

The injury comes at possibly the worst time. Not only does the United States have World Cup qualifying next month through the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, but Zerboni will miss the post-season with the North Carolina Courage. After a regular-season that included 20 starts, three goa, s and one assist, Zerboni will watch her teammates compete in the post-season.

The injury overshadowed the United States Women’s National Team victory over Chile. After a 3-0 victory over Chile in the first-ever meeting between the two sides, an extra goal was tacked on in the final seconds of the match.

Carli Lloyd scored the last-second goal. Despite having Alex Morgan wide open on the left flank, Lloyd elected to keep the ball herself, sending it past Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler.

Lloyd also scored in the 47th minute, after entering the match at halftime. After the match, Lloyd told the press that Chile was a “good opponent” before the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

“ I think that they’re pretty similar to the teams that we’re now going to face that we know of,” Lloyd said, via the Washington Post. “So two good matches, a lot of players got time, we scored some great goals. I think we can go into qualifying confident and ready.”

Other goals were scored by Mallory Pugh — off a rebound from a saved Alex Morgan penalty kick — and Tobin Heath.

Ashlyn Harris Gets the Nod but Alyssa Naeher Remains Number One

During the broadcast, Ian Darke — commentating alongside Julie Foudy — mentioned that Jill Ellis has crowned Alyssa Naeher as the number one goalkeeper for the USA.

However, Ashlyn Harris earned the start on Tuesday night.

Harris had a simple night, only being forced to save one attempt at goal. In total, Chile only took four shots the entire night. In front of Harris, Tierna Davidson partnered with North Carolina Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper.

Becky Sauerbrunn, who started the first match against Chile, remained on the bench until the 74th minute, entering the match for Julie Ertz.

Naeher has big shoes to fill next month, though. During the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, Hope Solo was named the best goalkeeper of the whole tournament. Solo also took the nod in the 2015 FIFA World Cup, when the United States won its third title.

Now, it’s up to Naeher to keep focus and lead a young United States team — and an ever-changing defense. Naeher has to work with players that sometimes don’t regularly feature on defense, including Crystal Dunn.

What’s Next?

The United States players will return to their respective NWSL clubs to finish out the regular season and enter the post-season. All four post-season teams have been decided, with North Carolina being joined by Seattle Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and Chicago Red Stars.

However, in a month, the team will re-group in Cary, NC.

The United States has its group picked for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The defending World Cup champions will face Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Then, the top two teams in the group will face the top two teams in Group B.

Group B consists of Canada, Cuba, Jamaica and Costa Rica.

The two teams that make the Championship game will advance to the World Cup, which will be held next summer in France. The third-place team will also advance, while the fourth-place team will face Argentina in November.

The CONCACAF Women’s Championship will take place from Oct. 4-17.

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