Andi Sullivan scores first USWNT goals in win over Paraguay


After being left off of the Tokyo Olympic team roster, Andi Sullivan returned to the field for the United States women’s national team Thursday night and scored her first two international goals in a 9-0 win over Paraguay.

In the starting lineup for her first game back, the midfielder didn’t take long to find the back of the net.

In the 25th minute, Sullivan tapped one in off of a corner kick for the first goal of her USWNT career.

In the 49th minute, Sullivan scored her second goal of the night to secure the brace.

Andonovski had high praise for Sullivan, 25, entering the USWNT’s fall camp.

“I think she’s going to come in and have no problem adjusting to what we’re trying to do,” he said on Wednesday. “In these two games, I’m pretty sure we’re going to see Andi on the field and we’re going to see her getting a lot of minutes.”

Sullivan exceeded those expectations Thursday night as the only player to notch multiple goals besides Carli Lloyd, who had five.

After the game, Sullivan said it was a relief to rejoin the national team after a tumultuous season with the Washington Spirit. The club fired its head coach, Richie Burke, in August after a report detailed multiple allegations of verbal and emotional abuse toward players. Since then, the Spirit have had to forfeit two games following a COVID-19 outbreak within the team. The NWSL also fined the club $25,000 for violating COVID-19 protocols.

“It’s rare that I would say this environment (the USWNT) is less stressful than our club environment, but that’s the case for me right now,” Sullivan said. “I’m just super excited to get into camp.”

Lynn Williams and Tobin Heath also scored in the win. The USWNT made a statement on the field in the wake of social media controversy over U.S. Soccer’s equal contract proposals.

“I think there’s tremendous strength in this team’s ability to focus,” Sullivan said about the CBA tweets. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had conflict. We just focus on business, and obviously we did that tonight. That’s all I’ll say on that.”

The U.S. will play Paraguay again on Tuesday in Cincinnati.