After adding three more goals to her remarkable 2015 tally, Carli Lloyd was just happy this game was played.
Lloyd's hat trick Thursday night lifted the United States to another rout on its Women's World Cup victory tour, 5-0 over Haiti. The match was supposed to be against Australia, but the Aussies canceled their tour of the U.S. amid a labor dispute. Haiti agreed to replace Australia for this game and Sunday's in Birmingham, Alabama.
"It would have been very interesting if we didn't have an opponent. I wouldn't want to think about that, because we might have had to play in November. That's our time off," Lloyd said. "We wish Australia all the best. We know that they're fighting the good cause."
Crystal Dunn added a goal and two assists, the 23-year-old's first points for the national team, and Christen Press also scored for the Americans. The U.S. extended its home unbeaten streak to 99 games.
The U.S. is 5-0 against the Haitians and has outscored them 34-0, but this equaled the smallest margin of victory in the series.
"We have to keep it in perspective," Haiti coach Shek Borkowski said. "These are world champions, reigning Olympic champions, arguably the best team in women's football ever."
Borkowski said Haiti was supposed to play a scrimmage against Australia in the Detroit area, and after that was canceled, the team agreed to come to the U.S. anyway and play the Americans.
The Americans have won eight straight overall since a 0-0 tie against Sweden in the group stage of the World Cup and are unbeaten in 19 matches (16-0-3) since an exhibition loss at France in February.
Lloyd opened the scoring Thursday, heading home a cross from Dunn in the sixth minute. Dunn added another assist in the 33rd minute when her pass found Press at the near post.
Dunn was among the final players cut from the World Cup team, but she led the NWSL with 15 goals for the Washington Spirit.
"Everyone asked me what it was like when I didn't make the team, but I think it ended up being the best thing for me," Dunn said. "I was able to take my game back to the basics and I have a lot more confidence in myself than I did four months ago. The NWSL gave me a huge platform to grow as a player this summer and let me be a lot more aggressive."
Lloyd made it 3-0 with a penalty kick in the 37th.
The Americans began their victory tour by beating Costa Rica twice by a combined 15-2 last month. Although the games have taken on a Globetrotters-versus-Washington Generals quality so far, the U.S. will likely be tested more in October, when there are a couple matches against Brazil.
Haiti's starting lineup included three 18-year-olds, a 17-year-old and two 16-year-olds.
"Every four years, we lose our players who are in their prime," Borkowski said. "Once our players turn 24, 25, we lose them, because there's no money for them. There's pressure from their families — 'Hey, you've got to start making a living' — so they move on."
Borkowski estimates his team is about where the U.S. program was in 1985. Now the Americans are an international power, and they drew a crowd of 34,538 for this match, a Ford Field record for soccer.
Lloyd has 11 goals in her last seven games for the U.S., including three in the World Cup final against Japan. She has 13 goals this year after completing her latest hat trick in the 69th minute Thursday when her header went in off the underside of the crossbar.
Although Lloyd did most of the scoring, Dunn may have been the most impressive attacking player for the U.S. Making her 14th appearance for the national team, she created several good chances from the wing and scored the game's final goal in stoppage time when she headed in a cross from Heather O'Reilly.
The Americans have not lost at home since falling to Denmark in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2004.
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