Instant impact: Fresno’s Lynn Williams scores quickly in U.S. Soccer debut

October just keeps getting better for Fresno native Lynn Williams.

Less than a minute into her first cap for the U.S. women’s team, the 23-year-old forward scored her first international goal in Wednesday’s 4-0 win against Switzerland in an exhibition at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Williams – fresh off a pro league MVP and championship season – entered at the start of the second half as a substitute for Lindsey Horan and moments later pounced on a bad pass from a Switzerland defender that left her with just the goalie to beat. Williams dribbled into the box and fired a right-footed finish that rolled into the bottom left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Williams became the 20th player to score in her first national team match and now tops the list with the fastest debut goal in the history of U.S. women’s soccer at 49 seconds.

“At the end of the day, it’s soccer and it’s supposed to be fun, so I just tried to make it fun,” Williams told reporters after the game. “In that moment, I was thinking ‘Get a goal.’ 

Williams also helped create a score in the 69th minute when she found Kelley O’Hara on the run, who then dished to Christen Press for a 3-0 lead.

The former Bullard High and Pepperdine star was one of five players to make their national team debut. Stanford junior midfielder Andi Sullivan and Chicago Red Stars defender Casey Short started, while Williams, Abby Dahlkemper and Ashley Hatch came on as substitutes.

“They deserved some playing time based on how they trained,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “That’s the messaging – how well you do in training gets you playing time. Switzerland is a good team. To come in and be as impactful as they were is a real testament to our potential future with this group.”

The two countries will play another friendly Sunday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is 10:45 a.m.

Two more friendlies are lined up against Romania next month in San Jose (Nov. 10) and Carson (Nov. 13). However, the player pool for those matches has yet to be announced.

Williams is the area’s first soccer player to make an appearance for the U.S. women’s national team. Earlier this month, Williams was named the National Women’s Soccer League Golden Boot award winner and Most Valuable Player while helping the Western New York Flash capture the NWSL Championship.

6 consecutive matches in which Lynn Williams has scored, dating to Sept. 7 in the National Women’s Soccer League

Chad McCarty, now the coach of the Clovis Community College’s men’s and Clovis North boys programs, was the area’s first men’s player to make the U.S. national team. McCarty played in a 1999 friendly against Jamaica and captained the U.S. team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

International women’s soccer


  • Sunday: 10:45 a.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
  • TV: Fox Sports 1
  • Of note: Bullard High alum scored in her international debut as Americans won first leg of two-match exhibition series 4-0 on Wednesday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on ESPN2

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