US Women’s Team tops Canada to win Olympic Qualifier

The U.S. Women’s National Team won the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament title with a 3-0 victory over Canada in front of 17,489 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park. Lynn Williams, who also had two assists, Lindsey Horan (who scored six goals to finish second in scoring in the tournament) and reigning Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe all scored to secure the USWNT’s fifth Olympic Qualifying tournament crown.

This was the USA’s thirteenth all-time Concacaf title.

USA forward Christen Press, who finished as the tournament’s third-leading scorer with five goals, was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. Her spectacular play along with that of her teammates saw the USA record a perfect 5-0-0 record in the tournament with 27 goals scored and none conceded.

The match came to life after the half-hour mark with multiple chances nearly bringing the game’s opening goal. In the 33rd minute, Press crashed a 25-yard drive off the cross bar’s upper right corner. Moments later, Jessica McDonald chased down Canada goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and blocked a clear. The ball rolled to Press, who attempted a 35-yard long chip over Labbé, but the shot sailed high.

Canada created its best moment to score in the 38th minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came up with a huge save, closing fast to cut down the angle on the world’s all-time leading scorer, Christine Sinclair, and blocked her shot with her chest.

Shortly thereafter, Press had another opportunity when she tried to volley Rose Lavelle’s cross home after peeling away from her defender but was unable to make clean contact, sending the teams into the break deadlocked at 0-0.

The second half began with a flurry of chances for the USA and the dam finally broke on the hour mark when Williams intercepted a pass in the Canada box and blasted it home.

With the lead in hand, the USA did not let up. Horan’s slick dribbling move and finish in the 71st minute gave the U.S. a 2-0 cushion before Rapinoe, who had come on for McDonald in the 62nd minute, put the game away with her first goal since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final last summer.

It was the USA’s 50th all-time win against Canada, the most against any team.

With another regional crown and its ticket to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in hand, the USA will try to become the first team in history to successfully follow up a World Cup triumph with an Olympic gold medal.