The USWNT celebrates qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. (Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)
The U.S. women’s national team qualified for the Olympic soccer tournament in 2020.
And the sun also rises.
For the seventh consecutive time, the Americans booked a spot in the Summer Games by capturing the title at the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship in January and February. They never conceded a goal, outscoring everyone by an amazing 25-0 margin.
The USA rolled through the group stage at BBVA Stadium in Houston with a 3-0-0 mark and outscoring its foes, 18-0.
The Americans started their run with a 4-0 victory over Haiti as Christen Press, Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd found the net. They continued with an 8-0 rout of Panama behind Horan’s hat-trick. Rose Lavelle, Jessica McDonald, Tobin Heath, Williams and Press also tallied.
They closed out the group with another clean sheet, a 6-0 triumph past second-place Costa Rica. This time Sam Mewis produced a brace as Press, Horan and McDonald scored single goals.
The USWNT clinched an Olympic berth in Tokyo behind a 4-0 semifinal win over Mexico as Mewis duplicated her Costa Rican effort and Lavelle and Press tallied in Carson, Calif.
To top off a perfect run, the Americans posted a 3-0 victory past Canada in the final, scoring all of their goals within a 26-minute span in the second half – by Williams, Horan and Megan Rapinoe.
Canada’s Jordyn Huitema led all scorers with seven goals, but the USWNT demonstrated its balance. Horan was second with five goals, followed by Press (five) and Mewis (four), who was tied for fourth place.
Due to the pandemic, the USA never got an opportunity travel to Japan as the 2020 Olympics was postponed for a year. The women’s soccer tournament will run from July 21- Aug. 6, 2021.
The USWNT have written the history of the Olympic soccer tournament with four gold medals and a silver. The USA failed to reach the medal round at the Rio Janeiro Summer Games.
The team finished with a perfect 9-0-0 record in 2020. After qualifying the team also ran the table at the SheBelieves Cup with a 3-0-0 finish while outscoring its foes, 6-1. The results included wins over England (2-0), Spain (1-0) and Japan (3-1). Mana Iwabuchi’s goal snapped a 688-minute shutout streak for the USA.
Immediately after the tournament finale, sports was shut down in the U.S. and the squad did not have another opportunity play until it met the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup final Nov. 27 – 261 days after the SheBelieves Cup finale. As they did at France 2019, the Americans posted a 2-0 win.
Tomorrow: Story No. 5