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USWNT cap off Tournament of Nations with victory over Japan

Photo by Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports

The U.S. Women’s National Team finished the Tournament of Nations on a high, beating frequent foe Japan, 3-0, on Thursday at the StubHub Center.

The first goal came only 12 minutes, courtesy of Megan Rapinoe with her second goal in as many games. Christen Press managed to find Rapinoe darting into the penalty area, and the midfielder made her way around a Japanese defender for an easy finish.

Mallory Pugh scored for the team’s second goal, which came in the 60th minute. Taylor Smith played a clever ball to nearby Pugh, who maneuvered her way into the penalty area and then scored from an angle. The goal marks Pugh’s fifth for the USWNT.

Alex Morgan scored her first international goal since November of last year to make it 3-0. She scored from a messy penalty area in the 80th minute, with the assist coming from Smith, who recorded her second assist in only her third cap.

The victory ended up being a fairly straightforward affair for the U.S., as Japan barely threatened throughout the match. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her first clean sheet of the tournament, and the team’s first since their trip to Scandinavia in June.

Despite the positive result, the U.S. did not walk away unscathed. Kelley O’Hara was taken off only 30 minutes in after what seemed to be illness. That was followed up by the 54th minute substitution of Julie Ertz, who came off with an unspecified injury.

The USWNT, after two wins and a loss, finish second in the Tournament of Nations standings, behind only Australia.


  1. The thing that holds Press back is all upstairs. She’s a far more complete striker than Morgan, but sometimes plays as if she rather be picking dandelions than playing soccer out there. When she’s engaged with the game, she’s world-class

    Morgan remains a speedy, one-cut, left-footed shot (into the side-netting mostly) player. There’s a place for that on the team, but I don’t see her as an always necessary part of the 11.

  2. “Julie Ertz, who came off with an unspecified injury.”
    She crashed into the post, after clearing a ball almost on the line. Her shin really banged the post hard. Thought she would come out immediately. She stayed in, but it seemed inevitable that she would have to come out, and after making a lunging tackle, she did.

  3. US dominated this game.
    Press has emerged as the clear #1 striker over Morgan who had a poor tournament overall. Press instrumental in the comeback vs. Brazil that restored the swagger after Morgan came out.
    Rapinoe translated her current club form to the Nats and was the best player on the field I thought, and Ertz was a revelation at holding mid, mistakes and all, her energy is awesome; Short was great and looks to have made that wingback position hers
    Still unconvinced with Naeher
    Ellis went with one of her strongest lineups and they rewarded her

  4. At times in this game they looked very good. The third goal was a thing of beauty because of the play that led to it. At times they were frustrating because they would try to make killer, but very difficult passes when they could have had a good attack if they played simpler. I think Morgan looked better than Press and should start over her in the future.


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