Priority No. 1 for Emma Hayes as U.S. women's national team manager: fix the attack. It's a group that's too talented and too important. A quiet World Cup led to a short World Cup, which is the reason Hayes was brought in in the first place: to inject some much-needed life into a team that needs to claw its way back to the top.
That clawback has started, even if Hayes truly hasn't. We won't see the Chelsea boss leading the USWNT until next summer but, on Saturday against China, the U.S. showed that they're already moving into this new era at a rapid pace.
The U.S. took down China 3-0, with Sophia Smith, Lindsey Horan and Trinity Rodman getting on the scoresheet. More important than the result, though, was how it came together. For the first time in so long, the U.S. looked like a team with a plan, an identity, and some ideas of what they wanted to do on the attacking end.
It's important to remember that this is a start. One game does not make up for everything that happened this summer, not by a longshot. However, this brief bridge period before Hayes arrives is off to an ideal start as the USWNT is already beginning to look like itself again.
GOAL breaks down the winners and losers of Saturday's match...