Shaw does her thing, USWNT net four past Argentina to remain in Group A driver's seat

A teenager steals the headlines for the USWNT once again as Jaedyn Shaw acted as the catalyst to a comfortable victory in the second group stage contest of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup.

Argentina v United States: Group A - 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup
Argentina v United States: Group A - 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup / Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/GettyImages
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Six out of six. The USWNT train keeps rolling down the tracks in this first-ever CONCACAF W Gold Cup. On Friday night against 2023 Women's World Cup participant, Argentina, the Red, White, and Blue came out on a mission to put the game away early. Similar to CBS's broadcast, "La Albiceleste" did not have the most flawless of starts.

Three goals within the first 20 minutes including two by 19-year-old San Diego Wave FC attacker Jaedyn Shaw and one by Alex Morgan gave the Stars and Stripes all it needed to confirm a place in the quarterfinals of this competition. Captain Lindsey Horan rounded out the scoring with a neatly taken penalty to wrap up a 4-0 triumph in this second Group A match day.

Not surprisingly due to the team's depth, Twila Kilgore made 10 changes from the 5-0 Dominican Republic win. The only player that remained in the starting XI for the second consecutive game was Korbin Albert who demonstrated her versatility by moving to a much deeper role in the midfield alongside Horan.

Naomi Girma and Tierna Davidson anchored a back four that included one of the game's biggest standouts, Casey Krueger as the right back. One of Washington Spirit's newest additions was influential on both ends, pushing forward when needed while being able to track back and disrupt the flow of the South American outfit's attack. She was one of the big reasons why the USWNT kept the opponent out of the back of the net once again in this tournament. Just one of Argentina's three shots required a save from Casey Murphy.

The game did not come without a few moments of concern. Germán Portanova's team struck the woodwork inside the first 10 minutes, nearly catching Murphy off her line from distance. The message was sent, and the USWNT was up for the task. Moments later, some quick combination play between Horan and Shaw put the U.S. in front in the blink of an eye.

The teenage takeover theme continued. The San Diego Wave forward added a second seven minutes later, making volleying Rose Lavelle's cross look like light work. Per the national team's socials, Friday was the second time in USWNT history that teenagers converted a chance in three successive fixtures.

Shaw expressed her thoughts on not only her performance, but the entire team in the post-match.

"As a team, we just really executed the game plan. We really trusted the process and we came out on fire," Shaw said. "I'm just taking as much information as I can in training and asking a lot of questions, going over film, and doing what I can to make the team better."

Jaedyn Shaw may be who flourishes the most under Emma Hayes

No. 8 in blue was everywhere. Making defenders miss with her craftiness. Trying to make plays defensively. Executing late runs into the box. If you just tuned into the match not knowing Shaw's age, you'd assume she was nowhere near 19. She oozes class, quality, and dynamism, making a difference on both flanks on Friday night in Carson, California. As the tournament goes along, I'd expect to see Shaw move into that No. 10 role in the midfield or even a false nine if the coaching staff wants to go there.

The positive impact of the youth is quite evident. Lavelle agrees, giving her take on it after the game.

"Obviously we're going through a bit of a transition period, but I think it's cool when they're coming in and they're fitting right in," Lavelle explained. "There's not any drop in the level. They're coming in and they are bringing what they are great at and helping elevate the team."

Four goals in six international caps. That's special from Shaw. Shrinking this roster down to 18 for the Olympics seems like a monumental task for Emma Hayes and company. This nation has depth in bunches. Few nations can make double-digit changes from game to game and look just as dangerous if not even more. The job is far from complete. The USWNT's CONCACAF W Gold Cup journey heads into the final group stage encounter, the one most people starred before the tournament's kickoff.

Twila Kilgore and the USWNT finish off the CONCACAF W Gold Cup group stage with a meeting on Monday night against Mexico, a side that netted eight last time out.

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