U.S. Women’s National Team Open 2022 Concacaf W Championship with 2-0 Win over Haiti
Alex Morgan Registers 29th Career Multi-Goal Game; Midge Purce Adds Late Insurance Goal; USA Continues Group A Play Against Jamaica on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+, ViX)
MONTERREY, Mexico (July 4, 2022) – The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the Concacaf W Championship with a solid 3-0 win over Haiti on a burning hot Monday evening at Estadio Universitario. Forward Alex Morgan scored twice before the half and forward Midge Purce added another late in the second as the USA began its quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2024 Olympic Games on Independence Day.
The USWNT continues Group A play on Thursday, July 7 when they face Jamaica (7 p.m. ET, Paramount+ and ViX) and will close the round-robin stage against Mexico on Monday, July 11 (10 p.m. ET)
Morgan scored her 116th and 117th international goals to record her 29th career multi-goal game, third best in U.S. history. She has now scored 21 goals in 21 career qualifying appearances for the USWNT and has scored in the last five consecutive Concacaf Qualifying matches in which she has played, a streak that dates back to 2018 World Cup Qualifying.
Purce - one of eight U.S. players to make her qualifying debut - scored her first goal in qualifying and fourth of her career.
With the shutout, the USWNT has now posted 29 consecutive clean sheets in qualifying matches. The last goal conceded in World Cup or Olympic Qualifying was on November 5, 2010, against Mexico.
The searing 99-degree temperature at kickoff made things difficult for both teams over the 90 minutes, but it was Haiti who had the first threat of the match in seventh minute. Forward Sherly Jeudy lifted in a freekick from 30 yards over the U.S. defense. Haitian defender Kethna Louis got her head on the ball and flicked it just past the right post, but in a tournament that is using Video Assistant Referees for the first time, she probably would have been called offside had the ball gone into the net.
The VAR checks would not go in favor of the USA on the night as two U.S. goals and one likely penalty kick were correctly waved away for offside, and a red card given to Roselord Borgella was somehow rescinded and changed to a yellow despite her cleats up challenge to the midsection of Kelley O’Hara.
The U.S. kept its composure and nearly went ahead in the 11th minute when Sophia Smith’s cross from the right wing to the near post found Morgan, who had stepped back to snap back a header that clanked off the crossbar.
The breakthrough came five minutes later as this time Morgan put away Mallory Pugh’s cross from the right wing with a nifty heel flick that snuck inside the near post for her first USWNT goal since October 26, 2021. Morgan would double the lead midway through the half on fantastic header from seven yards out.
A determined Haiti side kept its collective head up and did create threats. In the 27th, the skillful Melchie Dumornay burst into the penalty after a nifty step-over at the top of the penalty and dribbled at U.S. goalkeeper Casey Murphy who came off her line and snuffed the shot about seven yards from the goal.
Minutes later, Dumornay again attacked up the middle and then played Nérilia Mondésir into the right side of the penalty area. She took a touch and was tripped inside the box by sliding U.S. defender Emily Fox. The referee did not hesitate to point to the spot and VAR confirmed the call. Borgella stepped up to take the penalty kick, but her well-struck shot hit the left post and came right back to her. As soon as she touched the ball, the referee blew play dead.
VAR would come into play three more times in the second half. Morgan blasted home a clinical finish from a tight angle in the left side of the box, but the goal was waved off after VAR showed she was offside.
In the 58th minute, Pugh was taken down in the box by Jennifer Limage for a 100% penalty, but VAR showed that Pugh was offside when she received the ball, so no penally was awarded.
The U.S. continue to create opportunities and had a massive edge in possession against a Haiti team that played a very low 4-2-4 defensive block, making it difficult for the USA to find space in the attacking third. In the 62nd minute, a nice combination between Pugh and Morgan set up 59th minute substitute Ashley Sanchez, but her shot from the right side flew through the penalty box and rolled wide.
Fifteen minutes later, U.S. midfielder Andi Sullivan slipped a perfectly weighted ball to Sanchez, who kept it moving across the box to the left to Megan Rapinoe, who had entered in the 74th minute. Rapinoe held off her mark, turned and lifted a beautiful chip to the far post that Midge Purce put away with a first-time finish. VAR again would be consulted, and Rapinoe was deemed to be offside when she received the initial pass.
After Purce had another opportunity saved nicely by Haiti goalkeeper Lara Larco she finally put away a chance in the 84th minute, finishing off a poorly cleared ball from 12 yards out for the final margin.
USA - Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh), 16th minute: A 12-pass sequence ended with Pugh receiving the ball on the right side. After creating separation, Pugh sent a low cross toward Morgan, who redirected the ball with a slick glancing backheel at the near post for her 116th career USWNT goal. USA 1, HAI 0
USA - Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara), 23rd minute: Pugh’s free kick was cleared by the Haiti defense, but USA defender Alana Cook collected the ball and played a simple ball back to O’Hara who set up her left foot to lift a cross into the box. Morgan tracked back and headed it from seven yards over Haiti goalkeeper Lara Larco and under the crossbar to double the lead. USA 2, HAI 0
USA - Midge Purce, 84th minute: Aftermidfielder Kristie Mewis won a ball on the left flank, she took a step and whipped a cross into the area that was headed away by center back Kethna Louis. The ball fell to Purce, who took a touch to set up her right foot and buried a low shot from 12 yards out for her fourth career goal. USA 3, HAI 0
Sophia Smith, Emily Fox, Alana Cook, Casey Murphy, Sofia Huerta, Ashley Sanchez, Kristie Mewis and Midge Purce – all except Mewis having fewer than 20 caps - made their first-ever appearances for the USWNT in a World Cup or Olympic qualifier.
Murphy earned her sixth career cap and her fourth appearance of 2022. Murphy, who earned her first cap with the USWNT just seven months ago in a 3-0 victory over Australia in Sydney on November 27, now has five clean sheets in her six career caps.
Cook made her seventh start of 2022 in her 11th international appearance overall.
Smith, the youngest player in this Starting XI at 21-years-old, earned her 17th cap overall.
Fox earned her 15th cap for the USA and has now played in 11 of the USA’s 12 matches since the October 2021 FIFA window, making 10 starts during that span. No player has appeared in more matches for the USA over the last 10 months.
Becky Sauerbrunn captained the USWNT for the 33rd time in her 204th international appearance. This was Sauerbrunn’s 18th start and 19th cap for the USA at a Concacaf Qualifying event, having played in World Cup Qualifying in 2010, 2014 and 2018 and Olympic Qualifying in 2012, 2016 and 2020.
This was the fourth time Cook and Sauerbrunn have started together at center back. They started together most recently in the USA’s 3-0 victory over Colombia on June 25.
O’Hara earned her 155th cap, moving into a tie with Michelle Akers and Christen Press for 22nd on the USWNT’s all-time caps list. O’Hara is competing in her sixth Concacaf Qualifying tournament, having played in Olympic Qualifying in 2012, 2016 and 2020 and World Cup Qualifying in 2014 and 2018. She has one goal and four assists in 16 Qualifying appearances.
O’Hara registered her 21st career assist and second of 2022 on Morgan’s first goal.
Mallory Pugh became the 49th player in USWNT history to reach 75 caps. At 24 years and 66 days old, she is the youngest player to reach the milestone since Heather O’Reilly did so in 2008 at age 23. This was Pugh’s 10th cap overall in Concacaf qualifying and her first since World Cup qualifying in 2018.
The assist on Alex Morgan’s first goal was Pugh’s team-leading sixth assist of 2022. Pugh’s six assists are tied for her most ever in a calendar year with the USWNT, previously reaching the mark in 2018 and 2019.
Lindsey Horan earned her 112th cap as she competes in her fourth consecutive qualifying event for the USA, having appeared in Olympic Qualifying in 2016, World Cup Qualifying in 2018 and Olympic Qualifying again in 2020.
This was Morgan’s first multi-goal game since scoring a hat trick vs. Paraguay on Sep 21, 2021.
The USWNT is now 70-0-10 (W-L-D) in games in which Alex Morgan scores.
Midfielder Andi Sullivan made her seventh start of 2022 in her 29th international appearance overall. This was Sullivan’s second appearance for the USA in a Concacaf Qualifying event, starting and playing the full 90 minutes against Panama during 2020 Olympic Qualifying.
Megan Rapinoe earned her 190th cap and 24th appearance all-time in a qualifier. Only Carli Lloyd (35) and Abby Wambach (28) have more. Christie Pearce Rampone also with 24 qualifying appearances.
-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: Haiti vs. United States Women’s National Team
Date: July 4, 2022
Competition: Concacaf W Championship
Venue: Estadio Universitario de Nuevo Leon; San Nicolás de Los Garza, Nuevo Leon, Mexico