Heather O’Reilly scored in her final international game and Carli Lloyd had a hat trick to lead the U.S. women’s national team to a 9-0 victory over Thailand on Thursday night.
Three of the U.S. team’s goals, including O’Reilly’s, came within the opening five minutes. O’Reilly previously announced that she is retiring following a 15-year run with the national team.
The match drew attention at the start when midfielder Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem in solidarity with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is refusing to stand in protest of racial inequality in the United States. Rapinoe came in as a sub to start the second half.
The game was also notable because it was the team’s first since goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for six months. And it was the first game for the U.S. team since it was ousted from the Rio Olympics in the quarterfinals last month.
The three-time defending champion Americans were eliminated by Sweden, which advanced on penalty kicks. Afterward, Solo called the Swedes a “bunch of cowards” for their defensive tactic.
Solo was suspended and her contract with the U.S. team terminated shortly after the games. U.S. Soccer made it clear the suspension was the result for a culmination of incidents with Solo, who was also suspended from the team for 30 days early last year.
Ashlyn Harris started in goal in her place.
Carli Lloyd headed home a pass from O’Reilly in the first minute and scored again off a feed off her in the 60th. Her third came in the 8st minute. It was her seventh career hat trick — she also scored three goals in the World Cup final last year.
Alex Morgan scored a pair of goals, while Christen Press, Tobin Heath and Crystal Dunn also scored for the United States.
O’Reilly’s goal was the 47th of her career. When she was subbed out in the 87th minute, the crowd gave her a standing ovation. O’Reilly cried as she hugged her teammates.
O’Reilly, who wore the captain’s band against Thailand, finishes her international career with 231 international appearances, ranking her seventh in national team history.
The 31-year-old has three Olympic gold medals with the team, as well as last year’s World Cup title.