Oh, you thought the USWNT was just going to stop dominating the soccer world after they won last year’s World Cup?
That, of course, was never going to happen. Now the U.S. Women have a new goal in their sights: Olympic gold in 2020. And vengeance for being ousted in the quarterfinals at the Rio games in 2016.
They took their first step in that direction with a convincing 4-0 dismantling of Mexico on Friday evening at Concacaf’s Olympic qualifying tournament. The victory enabled the USWNT to qualify for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
The match was somewhat reminiscent of the havoc that the USWNT wreaked during the 2019 Women’s World Cup Group Phase, when they trounced Thailand and Chile by scores of 13-0 and 3-0, respectively. Like those two squash matches, this one was almost never in doubt from the opening kick.
Unselfishness and teamwork were the themes of this one as Rose Lavelle scored the first goal from the top of the box following a nifty set-up pass from Megan Rapinoe. The U.S. was on top 1-0 and the match was not yet five minutes old.
Less than ten minutes later, the USWNT had their second tally when Rapinoe’s corner kick found an open Sam Mewis directly in front of the goal. Mewis fired a missile directly into the upper right portion of the net, leaving Mexico goalkeeper Emily Alvarado with no chance.
From there, both teams settled in and the score remained 2-0 at the halfway mark. A bit of subterfuge then led to the third U.S. goal, with Rapinoe and Mewis converging on a free kick 15 minutes into the second half. Rapinoe opted to run past the ball while Mewis followed closely behind and unloaded another laser that found the back of the net.
While it’s almost impossible to take your eye off Megan Rapinoe at this point, sometimes it’s bad strategy not to.
With the score 3-0, the match was essentially wrapped up. New USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski then made a couple of substitutions which eventually led to the final goal at the 72nd minute when Christen Press followed up a blocked shot by lifting a majestic parabola over two defenders and a helpless goaltender that landed untouched over the goal line.
The 4-0 final score marked the fourth consecutive win for the USWNT in the Concacaf tournament and 27th consecutive win overall. The U.S. women also have yet to allow a goal during the qualifying tourney, outscoring their opponents 22-0. It’s getting to the point where the 1927 Yankees need to start being considered the USWNT of baseball.
According to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, following the match, Rapinoe summed up her team’s intensity in the most Megan Rapinoe way possible:
“Our ebbs are like micro-ebbs because we are so psycho. It’s hard to keep it up all the time, but as soon as it starts to ebb, it’s like ‘Oh no, hell no, that’s not happening.’ We keep each other accountable. It doesn’t need to come from anywhere else.”
As if the rest of the world didn’t have enough to be concerned about already, the USWNT has apparently started fielding 11 Mrs. Bates on the pitch. And they’ve been sending all of their competition to the showers.