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Carli Lloyd’s 100th goal leads USWNT past Mexico, 6-2 (video)

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HOUSTON (AP) Carli Lloyd became the sixth American to score 100 international goals, putting the United States ahead as it rallied for a 6-2 win over Mexico in an exhibition Sunday.

Alex Morgan scored twice for the second straight game as the Americans played another prep match ahead of World Cup qualifying in October. Megan Rapinoe chipped the goalkeeper to score from 35 yards and had four assists, one short of the U.S. record.

Lloyd, a two-time FIFA Player of the Year, scored in the 34th minute. Rapinoe’s cross went all the way across the field, and Lindsey Horan kicked the ball back into the penalty area, where it was deflected by goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago. Mallory Pugh’s volley ricocheted off the crossbar and Lloyd headed the ball into the open net from at the goal line.

The 35-year-old midfielder became the 16th woman to reach the century mark, joining fellow Americans Abby Wambach (184), Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (130), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100). Wambach holds the women’s world record.

CONCACAF announced Sunday that World Cup qualifying will take place in October, with group stage matches in Cary, North Carolina, and Edinberg, Texas. The semifinals and final will be in Frisco, Texas from Oct. 14-17.

Wearing the captain’s armband, Lloyd made her 252nd appearance with the national team. She scored three goals in the 2015 Women’s World Cup final.

“It’s obviously a great milestone, but I’ve got a lot of things I still want to accomplish left in my career,” Lloyd said. “To look back on where I started in 2005 to the player I’ve become, you don’t very often get to sit back and reflect because you’re always waiting for that next big thing.”

Lloyd also scored in the first match of the exhibition series against Mexico, a 4-1 victory Thursday in Jacksonville, Florida. Lloyd’s goal was the third in four minutes at the start of the second half. Morgan scored twice in the span, including a successful penalty kick.

Playing in her home stadium, goalkeeper Jane Campbell made her first international start.

Pugh beat goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago to put the U.S. ahead in the third minute, her fifth international goal this year and 11th overall for the 19-year-old. She also scored in the opening match against Mexico.

Mexico went ahead when Monica Ocampo scored in the 16th minute and Kiana Palacios in the 24th, her first international goal. Horan tied the score for the US in the 25th.

Morgan scored in the 43rd and 68th minutes. Rapinoe got her goal in the 64th when she chipped Santiago after running onto a sliding clearance by the goalkeeper.

Alex Morgan scores twice in USWNT win over Mexico

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Alex Morgan scored twice and the U.S. women’s national team got three goals in the space of four minutes early in the second half to beat Mexico 4-1 on Thursday night in the first of two exhibition matches between the teams.

Morgan’s first goal came on a penalty kick a minute the second half to put the United States up 2-0. She added another goal shortly thereafter with a shot that bounced off the far post and into the goal.

Carli Lloyd, who came in as a second half substitute, scored in the 54th minute. It was her 99th international goal.

Katie Johnson scored for Mexico in the 64th minute.

Mallory Pugh scored her fourth goal of the season in the sixth minute to open the game for the United States at EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Announced attendance was 14,360.

The U.S. continues to play without midfielder Tobin Heath, who also missed the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year because of offseason ankle surgery. Also unavailable for the match was defender Julie Ertz, who aggravated a knee injury during the SheBelieves Cup

Coach Jill Ellis did not name forward Christen Press to the roster for the two games against Mexico. Press, who was traded to the Houston Dash in the offseason but never joined the National Women’s Soccer League club, is currently playing in Sweden with Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC.

Press hadn’t signed on with the team when Ellis named the roster. The coach said one of the national team’s expectations was that players on the roster had already returned to training with club teams.

The second match in the series was set for Sunday in Houston. The game will mark Lloyd’s return to the city since she was traded from the Dash to Sky Blue in the offseason.

Both teams are preparing for World Cup qualifying this fall. The United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, is the defending World Cup champion.

Alex Morgan and Marta included on FIFPro Women’s World XI

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U.S. national soccer team striker Alex Morgan and Brazil forward Marta were among the players chosen for the FIFPro Women’s World XI, released Thursday to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl of Sweden was joined by defenders Nilla Fischer of Sweden, Lucy Bronze of England, Irene Paredes of Spain and Wendie Renard of France. Midfielder Dzsenifer Maroszan of Germany, Camille Abily of France, Pernille Harder of Denmark and Lieke Martens of the Netherlands round out the 11.

[READ: USWNT wins #SheBelievesCup]

“It’s always exciting to be considered as one of the top players in the world. For women’s football to have our own World XI is incredible,” Morgan said in a statement. “It helps promote the women’s game. It helps female footballers recognize the talent among their peers and I’m really happy to encourage and be a part of that.”

More than 4,100 female first-division players in 45 countries voted for team, based on 2017 play for clubs and national teams. It is the third year that FIFPro, the global group of players’ unions, has compiled a women’s team.

The award was special to Abily, who retired from France’s national team last year.

“After I stopped with France last year after the European Championship I thought I would go on for one or two more years with Olympique Lyonnais. But I think at the end of this season I’m done. I could still change my mind but I don’t think so,” she said. “I decided this about a month ago.”

Marta, who had long said she planned to retire at 30, is now hoping that at 32 she can help Brazil qualify for next year’s World Cup in France. Marta also plays with Morgan on the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League.

“Women’s football is becoming more competitive so it’s harder to stay at the top,” she said. “You have to have a lot of perseverance to stay consistent. I have that in my character: fighting spirit.”

USWNT wins SheBelieves Cup on England flub

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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.

Nope.

Megan Rapinoe’s deflected cross was bungled by England in one of the worst tournament winning goals you’ll ever see.

[ MORE: Spurs 1-2 Juve | 3 things from Wembley ]

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.

SheBelieves Cup: USWNT slips Germany; Neville wins England debut

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The United States women’s national team joined Phil Neville‘s England women’s NT as Day One winners at the SheBelieves Cup on Thursday in Columbus.

World No. 3 England gave manager Neville a heck of a debut, scoring thrice in the first half en route to a 4-1 defeat of France, who won the 2017 SheBelieves Cup.

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Fran Kirby and Jill Scott each had a goal and an assist for England, while Toni Duggan and Jodi Taylor also scored before Gaëtane Thiney ruined the clean sheet with 13 minutes to play.

The former Manchester United and Everton legend’s appointment has been much scrutinized, as he’s never had the top chair in his managerial career.

The snowy nightcap saw the No. 1 USWNT facing No. 2 Germany, and the Yanks started in style. A long Alyssa Naeher clearance was flicked toward the German 18 by Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe’s side-foot effort was enough to get the Yanks on the board.

That’s all the Yanks would need in their bid to retake the tournament’s bragging rights after winning the first edition in 2016.

The tournament shifts to New Jersey for Sunday matches between the U.S. and France (Noon ET), Germany and England (3 p.m. ET).

France and Germany then meet Wednesday in Orlando (4 p.m. ET), with the U.S. wrapping up the tournament versus England (7 p.m. ET)