VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The scores look absolutely ridiculous. 14-0. 13-0. The two most lopsided wins in the history of the U.S. women's soccer team. One of the few lively things about the second game was the constant chant of "Ju-das" directed at the player who scored five second-half goals.
The United States took it to Guatemala, 13-0, Sunday to clinch a berth in the semifinals of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the London Olympics. It was a great game for statisticians and for those who think the Americans need to learn to chill when they have a big lead.
Nothing doing. Not as long as the stunning loss to Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in late 2010 remains fresh on their minds.
"We understand that 14-, 13-goal games can be looked down upon by some of our viewers, our fans, by fans of other countries," said Abby Wambach, who scored twice in the first half. "But the truth is we didn't get our job done the last qualifying tournament, and this is a statement that we're making to the rest of the world, we're making to our region, and we can't take any game for granted. We have to play hard, play physical and respect the game. That's why the results are the results you've seen."
Wambach moved into third on the career goals list for women's international soccer with 129, ahead of Germany's Birgit Prinz (128) and behind only Mia Hamm (158) and Kristine Lilly (130). The only active player in the 31-year-old forward's range is Canada's Christine Sinclair with 125 -- including five in this tournament.
On pace to catch her in a hurry -- if Sunday is any indication -- is newcomer Sydney Leroux, who replaced Wambach at halftime and scored five goals in just her second cap with the U.S. team. Leroux was born and raised in Vancouver area.