USWNT Qualifies for 2023 Ladies’s World Cup

A United States ladies’s nationwide group that arrived in Mexico this week with two targets has already achieved the primary: After a lopsided victory over Jamaica on Thursday night time, the USA clinched a spot within the 2023 Ladies’s World Cup.

The 5-0 victory got here within the People’ second sport on the Concacaf ladies’s championship, which is serving as each a regional championship and likewise because the qualifying event for the Ladies’s World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics. The US beat Haiti, 3-0, in its opening sport on Monday.

Below the format of the revamped eight-team regional event, formally branded the Concacaf W Championship, the highest two finishers in every four-team group routinely qualify for the Ladies’s World Cup, the place the USA is the two-time defending champion.

The US ensured it might be one of many prime finishers with a dominant efficiency towards Jamaica: Sophia Smith scored twice within the first eight minutes, and Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis and Trinity Rodman added objectives within the second half because the outclassed Jamaicans pale underneath an onslaught of US depth and scoring possibilities.

The People’ place within the World Cup was solely ensured a number of hours later, although, when Haiti beat host Mexico within the night time’s second sport. That end result assured the USA a top-two end in its first-round group, and a spot within the expanded 32-team World Cup in Australia and New Zealand subsequent summer time.

The US is the twelfth nation to qualify, becoming a member of the co-hosts, together with South Korea, Japan, China, the Philippines and Vietnam from Asia; and Sweden, France, Denmark and Spain from Europe.

Canada, the defending Olympic ladies’s champion and the People’ greatest regional rival, is predicted to hitch that group on Friday when it performs Panama in its second match within the event. However the greatest story of the event may very well be Haiti: Its 3-0 victory over Mexico means it wants solely a draw towards Jamaica in its last group sport to earn its first journey to the World Cup.

The following objective for the USA, in the meantime, will likely be securing a spot within the Paris Olympics. Solely the winner of the Concacaf event will earn a direct place in that event, although there will likely be a lifeline for the runner-up and third-place nations by way of a Concacaf Olympic playoff in September 2023.

US Coach Vlatko Andonovski is managing a group in transition as he navigates the trail to each tournaments. The squad he dropped at Mexico is a mix of World Cup veterans like Lavelle, Lindsey Horan and Becky Sauerbrunn and new faces like Smith, whose two objectives gave her seven this 12 months, probably the most for a US participant; defender Naomi Girma, who assisted on Smith’s first objective in solely her third sport for the US; and Rodman, the daughter of the previous NBA star Dennis Rodman.

That variety of choices has made the group a glimpse of the way forward for a championship squad that, for the second, nonetheless contains veterans like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan. 13 members of Andonovski’s squad are competing of their first World Cup or Olympic qualifying event for the group, and eight entered the event with fewer than 10 worldwide appearances.

Smith confirmed a touch of the promise at his disposal within the opening minutes. On her first objective, she took an extended move on the suitable, lifted the ball over a defender’s head on the run to chop again after which flicked it along with her proper foot previous the Jamaican goalkeeper.

Her second got here a couple of minutes later, and after an analogous main ball down the suitable, and was completed simply as deftly: with a first-touch flip over the goalkeeper that was confirmed after a quick video evaluation.

Two extra objectives within the first half — by Ashley Hatch within the eleventh minute and Mallory Pugh within the twenty seventh — had been erased by video evaluation, which is getting used within the ladies’s championship for the primary time this 12 months.

The end result, although, was by no means doubtful. An unmarked Lavelle scored on the again put up within the 59th minute to make it 3-0; Kristie Mewis transformed a penalty after Midge Purce was shocked within the space within the 82nd minute; and Rodman turned in a cross from Pugh 4 minutes later for her second worldwide objective.

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