Jessica McDonald’s first senior goal is a milestone for her and a mile-marker for the United States women’s national team, which won its 500th match with a 1-0 defeat of hosts Portugal in a friendly on Thursday.
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McDonald, the 30-year-old North Carolina Courage star, put home her own rebound in the 42nd minute. The match was just her second cap, and her first since Nov. 2016.
The Americans can finish 2018 unbeaten with a win on Tuesday in Scotland.
The USWNT began play in 1985, winning its first match in 1986.
A former U.S. women’s national team U-23 striker has been named in the latest England women’s squad by Phil Neville.
Chioma Ubogagu, 26, currently plays for Brisbane Roar and is on loan from the NWSL’s Orlando Pride. She was born in London, England but moved to Texas as a three-year old.
The forward represented the U.S. national team at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 level and was called up to Jill Ellis’ squad for the October 2017 friendlies against Canada but didn’t feature in either games.
Due to FIFA rules, Ubogagu is allowed to switch her allegiance to England after only playing for the USWNT youth ranks and never playing for the full national team in a competitive game. However, with England’s two games next month friendlies, should could, in theory, switch back to the USWNT.
Ubogagu was a star at Stanford and then moved to Arsenal in 2015 to begin her professional career, with stops at Houston and Orlando since.
England visit Austria on Nov. 8 November and host Sweden on Nov. 11.
Kelley O’Hara is set for some time on the mend as the United States women’s national team begins its preparation for this summer’s World Cup.
O’Hara, 30, will miss 8-12 weeks after undergoing surgery to remove “loose bodies” in her ankle, according to a U.S. Soccer press release.
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That means the 112-times capped defender will not play in next month’s newly-announced European friendlies against Portugal and Scotland.
“It’s all good. These kinds of things come with the territory,” O’Hara said. “This is just the best time to get the procedure done so I’m one hundred percent heading into 2019 and physically ready to perform at the level I want to and need to. It’s a bummer that I won’t get to Europe, but the most important thing is to be healthy for next year.”
O’Hara scored in the 2015 World Cup semifinal, and has an Olympic gold to go with that tournament title. She’s won two SheBelieves Cups and three Algarve Cups.
The Scottish Football Association has announced that their women’s team will host the U.S. women’s national team on Nov. 13 near Glasgow at the Simple Digital Arena in Paisley.
Fresh from qualifying from the World Cup, the USWNT are also said to be playing Portugal in Estoril on Nov. 8 with plans reportedly in place to scrap the January camp and play more games in Europe ahead of the 2019 World Cup in France next summer.
As for Scotland, they have just qualified for their first-ever Women’s World Cup and this game will be a key part of their preparation for the tournament in France.
Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr was delighted to line up the fixture, which has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming the USA to Scotland this November. It represents a real opportunity for our players to test themselves against the best in the world as we prepare for our first FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer,” Kerr said. “The USA’s record in major tournaments speaks for itself, and the players cannot wait to go up against them. Having the best team in the world come to Scotland is fantastic and is a measure of how far we’ve come, when we’re attracting this level of opposition. Showcasing some of the finest players the women’s game has ever seen in Scotland is another opportunity to inspire the nation and young aspiring footballers.”
The USWNT last played Scotland in 2013, winning 3-1 in Nashville.
Jill Ellis’ reigning world champions dominated the CONCACAF qualifying tournament this month and are warming up very nicely ahead of the World Cup.
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.