Defenders love when they get the chance to play forward and shoot!
It was a pretty entertaining match between the USA and China on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center, with some good soccer played by both teams. Highlights of the match included Amy Rodriguez' play as a second half sub -- she set up the winning goal with a powerful dribbling run that showed why she could be an impact player for the USA for years to come -- as well as a first international goal from Tina Ellertson. The goal came in her 33rd cap and first start for the USA at forward, her college position at the University of Washington where she was a two-time Pac-10 Player of the Year. After sliding to knock the ball into the net, Ellertson rolled on her back and did a celebration shimmy on the ground that she described as "a dead worm." It was a great moment for Tina and the team as it's always fun when someone gets their first-ever goal, especially when it's a defender and especially when it's a game-winner. You may recall Kate Markgraf's first goal on a penalty kick against Ireland on Sept. 20. That came in Markgraf's 193rd cap, but of course she's never had the opportunity to play forward. Hmmmm? With the last game of the year in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan coming up? Could Pia Sundhage throw Markgraf up top to display her striker skills? Ok, not gonna happen. She's already got her first goal anyway.