The tune-ups are over and it’s off to the Tokyo Olympics for the juggernaut U.S. women’s soccer team.
Lindsey Horan, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath had first-half goals as the Americans defeated Mexico 4-0 in a friendly at in East Hartford, Conn., on Monday in the final game before the Olympic tournament.
The victory extended the U.S. unbeaten streak to 44 games (40-0-4), the second-longest in program history. The record unbeaten streak is 51 from December 2004 to September 2007. The U.S. has won 20 straight and is on a 53-0-5 run at home.
As winners of the past two World Cups (2015 and ’19), the U.S. is a heavy favorite to claim gold.
However, the first Group G match vs. Sweden on July 21 conjures memories of when the Swedes eliminated the USWNT on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, the only time the Americans weren’t gold or silver medalists since the first tournament in 1996.
“Every time we step on the field we are expected to win in huge fashion. I don’t think the expectations have changed,” USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski told ESPN.
After needing two goals in the final 16 minutes to settle a 4-0 victory over No. 28 Mexico on Thursday, the top-ranked team in the world wasted little time in putting the Mexicans away in the rematch — and reached that goal total by halftime.
Horan made it 1-0 in the sixth minute with a volley off Lloyd’s header. Lloyd scored on a diving header from a Crystal Dunn cross in the 11th. An own goal by Mexico defender Reyna Reyes made it 3-0 in the 37th and Heath added a fourth goal two minutes later.
Heath also scored Thursday, her first game for the U.S. this year after a series of injuries. She has 35 goals in 171 career matches.
Connecticut native Alyssa Naeher made two saves for her 43rd shutout in 72 games.
— Field Level Media