Attackers Shine Heading Into International Break

The US Women’s National Team has reconvened for the first time since April, coming together in Denver, Colorado to kick off preparations for the upcoming friendlies vs. Colombia and the Concacaf W Championship. The 26 players called up by head coach Vlatko Andonovski head to camp on the heels of an action-packed and entertaining week of NWSL action.

Forward Alex Morgan maintained her lead atop the league scoring charts, tallying twice and adding an assist as San Diego Wave FC defeated NJ / NY Gotham FC, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. Morgan’s first goal came in the 19thth minute when fellow USWNT call-up Taylor Kornieck slipped her in behind the Gotham defense for a right-footed finish. Morgan scored again in the 43rdrd when she beat her defender to get on the end of a service into the six-yard box and redirected the ball into the back of the next. With her two goals on Sunday, Morgan now has 11 goals this season, her most ever in a single NWSL season for the 10-year veteran. The two-time World Cup champion added an assist in the 68thth minute, helping San Diego maintain its lead atop the league table and extending its unbeaten run to four consecutive matches.

WATCH: MORGAN CONTINUES SCORING SPREE

Goals abounded on the west coast as second-place Portland Thorns FC downed the Orlando Pride, 6-0, on Sunday. Center back Becky Sauerbrunn scored in the 25th minute to give the Thorns a 2-0 lead, pouncing on rebound after a free-kick and finishing from six yards out. It was the fifth career NWSL goal for Sauerbrunn and the first for the four-time NWSL Defender of the Year since 2019. Sauerbrunn holds the US Women’s National Team record for most matches played without scoring a goal, having made 202 appearances for the USWNT.

WATCH: CENTER BACK GOAL FOR SAUERBRUNN


Sauerbrunn’s offensive contributions continued in the 63rdrd minute when she set up a goal by her USWNT teammate Sophia Smith in the 63rd minutes. Smith received a pass from Sauerbrunn with her back to goal before deftly turning and finishing from 22-yards out. Smith bagged her second goal of the game in the 86thth minute, scoring a brilliant left-footed blast from distance the found the upper corner. It was Smith’s eighth goal of the season, surpassing her total goal from her rookie campaign in 2021.

WATCH: SMITH NETS BRACE FOR THORNS

Mallory Pugh also continued her red hot scoring form, finding the back of the net in the Chicago Red Stars’ 2-2 draw against the Kansas City Current on Saturday. Pugh assisted Chicago’s equalizing goal in the 53rdrd minute and added a goal of her own in the 58th, converting from the penalty spot for her sixth goal of the season. In seven NWSL regular season games, Pugh has six goals and two assists and has now scored in 11 of her 17 appearances so far in 2022 across club and country.

The highest-scoring game of the weekend saw a combined seven goals, as the Houston Dash held on to defeat the North Carolina Courage, 4-3, in a thrilling affair. Defender Carson Pickettwho was called in for her first USWNT camp, registered an assist for the Courage in the defeat.

OL Reign maintained its unbeaten record at home, topping Angel City FC, 1-0, on Saturday evening to improve to 3-0-2 on the season at Lumen Field.

Washington Spirit and Racing Louisville FC played to 2-2 draw on Friday evening with Louisville scoring twice in the final 30 minutes to steal a point on the road. Forward Trinity Rodman opened the scoring for the Spirit in the 34th minutes. Fellow USWNT attacker Ashley Sanchez played Rodman through with a perfectly-weighted ball to split the Racing backline and the 20-year-old striker finished to the bottom left corner for her second goal of the season. Washington scored again in the 43rdrd minute to take a 2-0 lead, but Racing Louisville responded with a pair of second-half goals to secure the draw.

WATCH: RODMAN TALLIES FOR SPIRIT

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