If people didn’t know about Rose Lavelle before, they certainly do now.
The U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder put the USA up 2-0 in the 20th minute with a 25-yard left-footed blast, one which Thailand goalkeeper Sukana Charoenying couldn’t keep out. It was Lavelle’s first World Cup goal and second goal of 2019.
[ LIVE: Watch every single 2019 Women’s World Cup game ]
Before Lavelle’s goal, Alex Morgan connected on a header off a cross from Kelley O’Hara on the right to put the USWNT in front in the 13th minute. The goal was coming, especially with Thailand defending so deep in their own box.
Jill Ellis still has some time to tinker with her World Cup starting lineup, though she’s long had the luxury to plan for this summer.
When you’re the United States women’s national team manager, it’s all about the Olympics and the World Cup. Most friendlies can be won while experimenting, CONCACAF matches are straight-forward unless the opponent is Mexico, and the SheBelieves Cup is still growing in renown.
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So, yes, any uncertainty about the Yanks’ Best XI for a World Cup knockout round game is a head-scratcher, even with the wealth of talent at Ellis’ disposal as she attempts to make it back-to-back World Cup titles.
Seemingly the biggest questions are in the midfield, beginning with how often to deploy Carli Lloyd, and whether she’s a super sub or still an absolute force from the opening kickoff. Lloyd, 36, is a World Cup cycle removed from being crowned the best player in the world, but Rose Lavelle has been terrific when healthy.
The other questions is who to include in the other midfield spot near Julie Ertz, and both Lindsay Horan and Sam Mewis can lay righteous claims to starting bids. Still, Horan will get the chance to drive the bus more often than not in a roaming role.
With Thailand and Chile before Sweden, though, don’t be surprised if we get one last audition for Mewis or even Lloyd. Either way, opportunities abound against a Thailand team which regularly gives up multiple goals to top teams.
Here’s our bet:
O’Hara — Sauerbrunn — Dahlkemper — Dunn
Horan — Ertz
Heath — Morgan — Rapinoe
Rose Lavelle’s early goal was enough for the United States women’s national team to seal its eighth CONCACAF Women’s Championship with a 2-0 win over Canada in Texas on Wednesday.
Alex Morgan scored an offside goal in stoppage time, a deserved marker despite the captain’s transgression. The dominant striker has 17 of her 97 national team goals in 2018.
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Both sides had already clinched berths in this summer’s World Cup in France, while Jamaica earned a spot via a third place match win over Panama earlier Wednesday.
The USWNT is 15W-2D in 2018 and in fine form heading into a World Cup year. The last loss came in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
The game was vicious, with Tobin Heath the target for a number of hard Canadian fouls and Megan Rapinoe responding on behalf of the Americans.
“Obviously, we hate Canada and they hate us,” Rapinoe said after the game on Fox Soccer. “It was very apparent tonight.”
Lavelle sent a second minute loose ball just past the reach of Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe.
The United States women’s national team is one win away from clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup, and it will have two chances to do it.
The Yanks pounded Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 on Wednesday to win Group A of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying in dominant fashion.
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Alex Morgan and Rose Lavelle each scored twice in the win, which sends the USWNT to Sunday’s semifinals.
Earlier, Panama stunned Mexico with goals in each half of a 2-0 win that eliminated Mexico from qualification for the World Cup.
Mexico had qualified for the last two World Cups and was one of three automatic qualifiers to the CONCACAF tournament.
Now Panama will meet the winner of Group B, while the USWNT will face the second place team in Group B.
The semifinal winners qualify for the World Cup, while the losers play a winner-take-all third place game for the third CONCACAF spot in France.
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.