All Scores

Three takeaways from USWNT’s 1-0 win vs. Mexico

Midge Purce races an opponent during Monday’s Concacaf W Championship match against Mexico. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s national soccer team fought to a gritty 1-0 victory Monday against host Mexico to clinch the top spot in Group A at the Concacaf W Championship.

The result knocks Mexico out of World Cup qualifying. Jamaica earned second place in the group and the group’s second World Cup berth with a 3-0 win against Haiti.

For the USWNT, the Mexico matchup provided highlights and lowlights ahead of the tournament’s semifinals.

Lack of chemistry remains a challenge

The USWNT struggled to find its offensive tempo against Mexico, with the squad logging just two shots on goal in the opening half. Mexico, for its part, disrupted its opponent’s attack, effectively blunting the United States’ rhythm.

When asked about the team’s lack of creativity following the match, USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski gave all credit to Mexico.

“Sometimes it’s not us. Sometimes it’s how much the opponent allows things to happen … [Mexico] was making it very hard for us … If we don’t score early the game will be difficult,” Andonovski told reporters.

The USWNT has been eager to give minutes to a range of players, with few lines given time to gel. Perhaps that has shown itself in the lack of chemistry.

Monday’s starting lineup featured seven changes from Thursday’s lineup against Jamaica. Emily Sonnett took the place of Emily Fox, who is out due to COVID-19 protocol. Becky Sauerbrunn slotted back into the defensive line, replacing Alana Cook, while Kelly O’Hara replaced Sofia Huerta. Casey Murphy got the start in net over Alyssa Naeher, while Andi Sullivan started in the defensive midfield position, pushing Rose Lavelle out of the starting XI. In the attack, Alex Morgan and Margaret Purce replaced an injured Ashley Hatch and a resting Mallory Pugh.

Purce was a bright spot in an otherwise stressed USWNT attack, with the Gotham star dominating the wing and creating the most dangerous chances for her side.

After an arduous first two halves, the USWNT finally found its breakthrough goal in the 89th minute, as Kristie Mewis bodied in a deflected Sonnett header. The play was reviewed for a potential offside call on Sonnett, but the ruling on the field stood, upholding the USWNT’s lone goal of the match.

Naomi Girma continues to shine

Naomi Girma has had an excellent showing during the Concacaf W Championship, slotting into the center-back role alongside Cook and then Sauerbrunn. The 22-year-old continued to show her potential in the Mexico game, winning one-on-one defensive battles with apparent ease.

The San Diego Wave star’s ability to distribute also has been on display, as she has served precise long balls into the USWNT attack. While the Concacaf group stage hasn’t been the most illuminating for defensive tests, Girma has made a case for herself in the team’s center-back pool.

Atmosphere favored Mexico

Mexico’s fans showed out to watch their team take on the USWNT, with 20,522 fans packing the Estadio Universitario in Monterrey. The crowd is what Mexico was waiting for all tournament long after lackluster turnout.

The fans were raucous, packing the venue and staying loud throughout the match. The USWNT hasn’t played in such an environment in quite some time, giving the younger players a critical look into international tournament atmosphere.

Andonovski credited the impassioned crowd for affecting his team’s focus.

“As the atmosphere was getting fired up, our team started losing focus on the tempo,” Andonovski told media. “We had very good control of the tempo until the atmosphere started getting ramped and then our players started falling into the trap. That’s where the inexperience comes in.”

The USWNT continues its quest for the Concacaf W Championship title at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, when the team will face Costa Rica in the tournament semifinals.

USWNT to face Costa Rica in final Olympic send-off

uswnt sophia smith and tierna davidson celebrate at shebeilves cup 2024
The USWNT will play their final pre-Olympic friendly against Costa Rica on July 16th. (Photo by Greg Bartram/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday that the USWNT will play their last home game on July 16th in the lead-up to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

The 2024 Send-Off Match against Costa Rica will take place at Washington, DC’s Audi Field — home to both the Washington Spirit and DC United — at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 16th. The friendly rounds out a four-game Olympic run-up campaign under incoming head coach Emma Hayes’ side, with the last two set to feature the finalized 2024 U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team roster.

Hayes will appear on the USWNT sideline for the first time this June, helming the team as they embark on a two-game series against Korea Republic hosted by Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado on June 1st followed by Allianz Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 4th. 

The team is then scheduled to meet a talented Mexico squad on July 13th at Gotham FC’s Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, where the Olympic-bound lineup will attempt to rewrite February’s shocking 2-0 loss to El Tri Femenil in the group stages of this year’s Concacaf W Gold Cup. And while clear roster favorites have emerged from both of this year’s Gold Cup and SheBelives Cup rosters, a spate of recent and recurring injuries means making it to the Olympics is still largely anyone’s game.

Broadcast and streaming channels for the USWNT's final July 16th friendly at Audi Field include TNT, truTV, Universo, Max, and Peacock.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA start to serve as 2024 Olympic tryout

Clark of the Indiana Fever poses for a photo with Lin Dunn and Christie Sides during her introductory press conference on April 17, 2024
The talented Fever rookie is still in the running for a ticket to this summer's Paris Olympics. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The USA Basketball Women's National Team is still considering Caitlin Clark for a spot on the Paris Olympics squad, says selection committee chair Jennifer Rizzotti. 

On Monday, Rizzotti told the AP that the committee will be evaluating the college phenom’s Olympic prospects by keeping a close eye on her first few weeks of WNBA play with Indiana.

The move is somewhat unconventional. While Clark was invited to participate in the 14-player national team training camp held earlier this month — the last camp before Team USA’s roster drops — she was unable to attend due to it coinciding with Iowa’s trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four.

Judging by the immense talent spread throughout the league in what might be their most hyped season to date, competition for a piece of the Olympic pie could be fiercer than ever before.

"You always want to introduce new players into the pool whether it's for now or the future," said Rizzotti. "We stick to our principles of talent, obviously, positional fit, loyalty and experience. It's got to be a combination of an entire body of work. It's still not going to be fair to some people."

Of course, Clark isn’t the first rookie the committee has made exceptions for. Coming off an exceptional college season that saw her averaging 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 4 assists per game for UConn, Breanna Stewart was tapped to represent the U.S. at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil less than two weeks after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Seattle Storm. Eight years prior, fellow No. 1 pick Candace Parker punched her ticket to the 2008 Games in Beijing just two weeks after making her first appearance for the L.A. Sparks.

In the lead-up to Paris’ Opening Ceremony on July 26th, USA Basketball Women’s National Team is scheduled to play a pair of exhibition games. They'll first go up against the WNBA's finest at the July 20th WNBA All-Star Game in Phoenix before facing Germany in London on July 23rd.

While an official roster announcement date hasn’t yet been issued, players won’t find out if they’ve made this year’s Olympic cut until at least June 1st.

WNBA teams make history with 2024 season ticket sell-outs

Arike Ogunbowale on the wnba court for the dallas wings
The Dallas Wings are now the third team to sell out their entire season ticket allotment in WNBA history. (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the first time in history, three different WNBA teams have completely sold out of season ticket plans well before the league's May 14th kick-off.

Call it the Caitlin Clark effect, attribute it to this year’s tenacious rookie class, or look to the skyrocketing visibility of veteran players across the board. But no matter the cause, facts are facts: Tickets to the 2024 WNBA season are selling like never before. 

On Monday, the Dallas Wings became the third team to sell out of season ticket memberships in the league’s 27-year history. The announcement from Arlington came shortly after the Atlanta Dream issued their own season ticket sell-out statement, also on Monday, and almost seven weeks after the back-to-back WNBA Champion Las Vegas Aces made headlines by becoming the first-ever WNBA team to sell out their season ticket allotment.   

According to the Wings, season ticket memberships will fill nearly 40% of the 6,251 seats inside their home arena, College Park Center. The club also said that their overall ticket revenue has ballooned to the tune of 220% this year, spanning not just season tickets but also a 1,200% increase in single ticket sales. There’s currently a waitlist to become a Dallas season ticket holder, a status that comes with extra incentives like playoff presale access and discounts on additional single-game tickets. 

In Atlanta, season tickets aren't the only thing flying off the shelves. The Dream also announced that they broke their own record for single-game ticket sales during a recent limited presale campaign. Sunday was reportedly their most lucrative day, with five different games totally selling out Gateway Center Arena. Individual tickets for all upcoming matchups will hit the market this Thursday at 8 a.m., while a waitlist for season ticket memberships will open up next Tuesday at 10 a.m.

"Excitement around women's sports, particularly basketball, is at an all-time high and nowhere is that felt more than here in Atlanta," Dream president and COO Morgan Shaw Parker said in the team’s statement. "We’ve continued a record-setting growth trajectory over the past three years under new ownership — both on and off the court — and 2024 is shaping up to be our best season yet."

As of Tuesday, season ticket sales revenue for Caitlin Clark’s hotly anticipated Indiana Fever debut haven’t yet been announced by the club. But if these numbers are any indication — not to mention the explosive demand for Fever away games felt by teams around the country — it won’t be long before we see some scale-tipping figures coming out of Indianapolis.

Nelly Korda ties LPGA record with fifth-straight tournament win

Nelly Korda of the United States celebrates with the trophy after winning The Chevron Championship
Nelly Korda poses with her trophy after acing her fifth-straight tour title at The Chevron Championship on Sunday. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

25-year-old American pro golfer Nelly Korda secured her spot in LPGA history on Sunday, notching her fifth-straight title at this weekend's Chevron Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.

Ranked No. 1 in the world by Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Korda joins Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sörenstam (2005) as just the third LPGA player to rack up five consecutive tour wins. She is also the third No. 1-ranked player to capture The Chevron Championship victory since the rankings debuted in 2006, accompanied by Lorena Ochoa and Lydia Ko.

The Florida native shot three-under 69 in Sunday's final, besting Sweden's Maja Stark despite Stark's valiant come-from-behind attempt in the 18th. Korda finished with a four-day total of 13-under 275, celebrating her two-stroke win by cannonballing into Poppie's Pond, much to the crowd's delight. She left The Club at Carlton Woods with $1.2 million from an overall purse of $7.9 million.

It wasn't long ago that the two-time major champion's current winning streak seemed unimaginable. After maintaining her No. 1 position for 29 weeks, Korda underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from her left arm in 2022. She returned to the course not long after, but failed to win a single tournament in 2023 before seeing a surge in form during the first four months of 2024. As of today, she hasn't lost a tournament since January.

Korda will attempt a record sixth-straight win at next week's JM Eagle LA Championship at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, where she'll vie for a cut of the $3.75 million purse.

Start your morning off right with Just Women’s Sports’ free, 5x-a-week newsletter.