March 29, 2010
SAN DIEGO - Kelley O'Hara, who led Stanford to the 2009 NCAA final and earned the Hermann Trophy as college soccer's best player, made her debut for the United States national team on Sunday in a 3-0 exhibition victory over Mexico at Torero Stadium.
O'Hara entered the match for Heather O'Reilly in the 63rd minute. Her teammates found her wide into space a few times and she was able to create problems for Mexico's defenders with her pace. O'Hara sent in a cross in the 78th minute that veteran Kristine Lilly headed just wide.
O'Hara has been a veteran of U.S. youth national team camps and three U.S. senior national team camps, but this was her first match with the U.S. side. And her first cap.
Also on the field with O'Hara were former Stanford standout Rachel Buehler, in defense for the U.S. team, and her 2009 Stanford teammate Alina Garciamendez, who got the start and played all 90 minutes at centerback for Mexico. Garciamendez is a Stanford freshman.
O'Hara will get an opportunity for her second cap when the U.S. team plays Mexico on Wednesday (6 p.m., ESPN2) in Sandy, Utah. Garciamendez, however, will not be at the match.
O'Hara is now a member of the Bay Area's FC Gold Pride of Women's Professional Soccer. The Gold Pride opens its season April 11 in St. Louis, and plays its home opener April 17 against Sky Blue FC at Castro Valley High School, at 7 p.m.