For a third consecutive year, the U.S. women’s national team claimed the SheBelieves Cup title.
Icy conditions in Frisco, Texas on Wednesday night were not an issue for Catarina Macario or Mallory Pugh, who each registered a brace in the 5-0 victory over Iceland.
22-year-old Macario’s first-half outburst featured the most impressive finishes of her international career to date, and rose her tally to five in her 15th USWNT appearance, while Mallory Pugh’s brace and Kristie Mewis’ closer in the second half put a stamp on the title-winning victory.
Macario’s opener in the 37th minute made up for some early frustration from the Americans, who had no issue applying pressure but wasted a handful of chances. The golazo made up for it, though.
The 22-year-old set herself up at the edge of the box and fired off a blistering right-footed shot that caromed in off the far post.
The fourth goal of the game saw some interplay between Macario and Pugh. The former unselfishly laid off a hat trick opportunity to set Pugh up for a more straightforward finish.
The duo was a constant theme in the game. Just before halftime, Macario had to chase down a pass from Pugh that did not look like it would turn into much, but her first touch sailed in on the far-post side.
Mewis’ closer was a special moment, as it represented her fifth USWNT all-time, and first since the 2021 SheBelieves Cup.
The tournament offered a new look at Macario, who started all three games in the striker position rather than as a midfielder where she is usually slotted and made head coach Vlatko Andonovski look wise for that deployment.
For Pugh, Thursday extended her positive run of form after finding goals in back-to-back games. The 23-year-old’s contributions settle her all-time goal tally to 21 in her 70th USWNT appearance.
2022 was the seventh running of the SheBelieves Cup, and the USWNT owns five titles all-time now.
The USWNT does not have any upcoming games scheduled, but will likely put together a handful of friendlies in the run-up to July’s Concacaf Women’s Championship in July.