England knew a draw would give it a first SheBelieves Cup. The Lionesses just had to hold to the USWNT at bay in Orlando on Wednesday.
Megan Rapinoe’s deflected cross was bungled by England in one of the worst tournament winning goals you’ll ever see.
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A draw would’ve given England the title. The U.S. won the inaugural SheBelieves Cup in 2016, and France won the second edition last year.
France toppled Germany 3-0 earlier Wednesday to finish third with four points, with the Germans finishing dead last with a single point.
The USWNT was better money for the opening goal with Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh especially lively in the first 45 minutes.
Pugh hit the outside of the post just before halftime as the USWNT aimed to go into the room with momentum.
The U.S. found the winner shortly after halftime. The box score doesn’t show how you scored them, and Rapinoe won’t care much anyway.
Mallory Pugh’s goal off a 35th minute scrum helped hosts USWNT to a 1-1 draw against France in its second match of the 2018 SheBelieves Cup.
[ MORE: Day 1 recap ]
The U.S. won the first SheBelieves Cup, and France won the 2017 edition.
The Sunday match was the front end of a doubleheader, with Germany and England up next.
Pugh punched a shot off Sarah Bouhaddi and into the goal a few moves after a Megan Rapinoe free kick to restore a deadlock that would last the match.
Her third goal of the year came just before Eugenie Le Sommer scored a beauty for France, the only way the visitors could overcome a fine performance from goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
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Alex Morgan scored two goals, the second with gusto, as the United States women’s national team hammered New Zealand 5-0 at Nippert Stadium in a Tuesday night friendly.
After Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle made a 30-minute cameo in her return from injury, the USWNT poured forth with goals.
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Coming off the bench, Morgan scored within a minute of her second half introduction.
And then, after an electric dribble from Mallory Pugh, Morgan rang an aesthetically-pleasing rocket off the proverbial woodwork to make it 5-0.
SANDEFJORD, Norway (AP) Christen Press scored to help the U.S. national team beat Norway 1-0 on Sunday.
Press broke through in the 60th minute. It was her 42nd international goal.
19-year-old Mallory Pugh injured her ankle in warmups, according to U.S. Soccer. She was replaced in the starting lineup by Meghan Klingenberg.
Midfielder Rose Lavelle appeared to injure her hamstring late in the game and gingerly walked off the field. Lavelle was replaced by Carli Lloyd, who did not start against Norway after playing in a 1-0 victory over Sweden on Thursday, the first stop on the two-game European Tour.
Several players did not make the trip because of injury, including Morgan Brian (knee), Tobin Heath (back) Alex Morgan (hamstring) and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (quad).
Norway, ranked No. 11 in the world, has had the most success historically against the Americans with 19 wins. The previous meeting occurred in the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, when Lloyd scored twice in the second half for a 2-1 U.S. victory.
The U.S. women, the reigning Women’s World Cup champions, have won four straight after a two-game losing streak. Those two losses, in the SheBelieves Cup tournament, were the first consecutive losses in the United States for the team in 17 years.
The second-ranked Americans will next play on home soil in the Tournament of Nations, opening the four-team multi-city event with Brazil on July 27 in Seattle.
It’s officially official: Mallory Pugh is a professional soccer player.
[ MORE: The latest USWNT news, on PST | USMNT ]
Pugh, the U.S. women’s national team’s 19-year-old budding superstar, announced last month that she was leaving UCLA before having played a single game of college soccer, in favor of going pro.
The next three weeks would be full of speculation over where Pugh would play this season. Her preference was the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League, but the Washington Spirit held the no. 1 spot in the NWSL Distribution Ranking Order, meaning they were first in line to acquire Pugh’s services. Paris Saint-Germain was also a possibility, as the French club offered Pugh a contract to head overseas.
In the end, Washington’s big bet paid off — in hopes of this exact scenario playing out, they traded away the majority of their assets during the offseason in order to move into the top spot in the allocation order.
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“This is a monumental moment for our club and the NWSL,” Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra said in a press release. “We are extremely humbled and grateful for the opportunity to develop such a talented player. We look forward to having Mallory join the Spirit family.”
“I am very excited to begin my career in the NWSL and with the Washington Spirit,” said Pugh. “Being part of a professional team will allow me to grow and develop as a player, and I look forward to helping the Spirit win championships.”