This was wasn't even close. Coach Jill Ellis made eight changes to her starting lineup that trotted out against Mexico on Saturday and Crystal Dunn had five goals as the United States Women's National Team crushed Puerto Rico, 10-0 in Frisco, Texas, to close out the group stage of Olympic qualifying.
With the top spot in Group A secured and a date in the semifinals booked, Monday night's game was a chance to get some younger players some valuable experience. Youngsters Mallory Pugh, Samantha Mewis, Stephanie McCaffrey, Jaelene Hinkle and Emily Sonnett all got starts, with Pugh having quite the game. The 17-year-old was a menace on the left wing, constantly blowing by Puerto Rican defenders and helping set up two of the four first-half goals.
Dunn had two goals in the first half, one via a nice Pugh lay-off to open the scoring on six minutes, and captain Carli Lloyd scored on a penalty kick earned by Pugh. In the buildup to Lloyd's goal, the UCLA commit split two defenders before being taken down. Just like in the previous group games, replays showed the foul was actually not a penalty. Pugh tripped on her own feet, but the referee did not see it that way and Lloyd stepped up and dispatched the spot kick. Lloyd has now scored every game in 2016.
After Dunn had made it 3-0, Kelley O'Hara slotted home a McCaffrey cross from close range with a cheeky back heel touch to make it 4-0 right before halftime. The goal was the second for O'Hara in a U.S. jersey, her first put the World Cup semifinal against Germany on ice last summer.
Alex Morgan entered the game for Lloyd at halftime and nearly earned herself a PK, but the Orlando Pride forward could only muster a few half-chances during her 45 minutes of action.
In the 60th minute it was Pugh again causing trouble, cutting to the end line and driving a low cross that was deflected in by Puerto Rican defender Ashley Rivera.
The U.S. scored two more goals in under two minutes in the second half to blow the game wide open. One was from Christen Press and the other was from Dunn, the star of the night. In the 61st minute Dunn slid a ball past the keeper from the top of the 18-yard box to give her a hat trick on the night. But Dunn was not done yet, a nice cross from substitute Meghan Klingenberg found the 23-year-old at the back post and the Washington Spirit player made no mistake, firing home in the 83rd minute. In the 87th minute Dunn broke through the defense off a cross from Mewis and bagged her fifth goal of the night. Entering the night, Dunn had five career goals for the U.S.
Samantha Mewis added goal number 10 late right before the final whistle blew.
Up next for the U.S. is a date in the semifinals on Friday with either Guyana or Trinidad and Tobago, barring a major collapse by Canada who appear to be set to win group B. Unlike most tournaments, the semifinals are more important than the final. The two finalists of qualifying punch their tickets to Rio 2016.