All Scores

Three things to know about USWNT at Concacaf World Cup Qualifying

Taylor Kornieck (20) celebrates her first goal with the USWNT. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

On Monday, the U.S. women’s national team will embark on its mission to qualify for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

The Concacaf qualifying tournament takes place in Monterrey, Mexico from July 4-18. The top four teams qualify for the World Cup, and the champion automatically advances to the 2024 Olympics as well.

In the group stage, the USWNT faces Haiti (July 4), Jamaica (July 7) and Mexico (July 11), while the other group has Canada, Costa Rica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Jamaica and Haiti, ranked 51st and 60th in the world by FIFA, will both give the U.S. tough competition, but No. 26 Mexico is expected to be the USWNT’s most challenging opponent in the group stage.

All USWNT games can be streamed on Paramount+, where you can get free access until July 19 by using the offer code “GLORY.”

Last week, the U.S. played a two-game friendly series against Colombia in preparation for Concacaf, winning 3-0 on Saturday and 2-0 on Tuesday.

Here are three things to know heading into the tournament based on the USWNT’s most recent game action.

Starting lineup predictions

Head coach Vlatko Andonovski said after the second game against Colombia on Tuesday that the players already know what their starting lineup will look like in Mexico. 

And for everyone else, “It’s not hard to predict who it’s going to be,” he said.

Chances are good that the lineup throughout the group stage will look very similar to last Saturday’s: Casey Murphy (GK), Emily Fox (FB), Alana Cook (CB), Becky Sauerbrunn (CB), Kelley O’Hara (FB), Andi Sullivan (M), Lindsey Horan (M), Rose Lavelle (M), Mallory Pugh (F), Ashley Hatch (F) and Sophia Smith (F).

If NWSL form factors into these decisions, then the biggest surprise will be to see Alex Morgan on the bench. She leads the league with 11 goals, three ahead of second-place finisher Sophia Smith and already surpassing last year’s Golden Boot champion, Ashley Hatch.

Pugh and Smith are all but certain to feature as two of the three starting forwards. Dynamic, fast, and strong on the dribble, the young attackers have had their spots solidified for months.

After Andonovski’s postgame comments Saturday, Hatch seems assured to start in the nine position.

“Ashley is here in camp and even starting the first game for a reason,” Andonovski told reporters. “She has goal-scoring abilities, she has a very good feeling for a goal, to find herself in good moments to score a goal. We think she’s going to get to play a lot and help us in the upcoming games.”

In the midfield, Andonovski alluded to Horan and Lavelle as starters. Although they each missed penalty kicks on Tuesday, Andonovski said they will continue to be the designated penalty takers because of their starting spots.

Defender Carson Pickett started Tuesday’s game and played all 90 minutes, but she was only on the 26-player squad for June and won’t be traveling to Mexico. Other left fullback Emily Fox started Saturday’s game, but was playing limited minutes in the series.

“The situation with Emily is very clear that she is a starter in the left back position and she has been proving that every camp she comes into,” Andonovski said.

Kelley O’Hara’s leadership has been important to Andonovski, as well as that of Becky Sauerbrunn, who served as captain on Saturday. Their past experience with the national team will help set the competitive bar on the field. Also in the back, Alana Cook and Casey Murphy have had consistently strong performances ever since becoming regulars at camp over six months ago. They’ll likely get the start as well.

The six situation

The biggest question mark in the USWNT’s Concacaf roster is the No. 6 position. Andi Sullivan is the only defensive midfielder making the trip to Mexico, and she’s been dealing with a quad injury. She’ll be a starter in the tournament if healthy, but on Tuesday, she didn’t dress. 

Jaelin Howell and Sam Coffey play at the six for their clubs, but did not see the field on Tuesday when Sullivan was out. Instead, Kristie Mewis and Lindsey Horan split the responsibilities in front of the backline. As midfielders who usually play higher, they’ll both likely have a slight learning curve at the position. There’s no doubt they’ll be able to adapt, but it’s notable that Andonovski decided to go with them over Howell, who has been participating in camps and acclimating to the international environment for months.

Ability to score

The USWNT was clearly ironing out tactics and chemistry in the two friendlies, which weren’t the prettiest of results, but the players have the talent to find ways to win even when things aren’t going according to plan. Both goals in the second match came from defenders. Sofia Huerta forced an own goal to put the U.S. on the board, and then Kelley O’Hara knocked one in from the top of the box near the end of the match.

Andonovski wasn’t worried that the forwards weren’t the ones to get the job done. It was difficult to get them open with five Colombian players surrounding them at all times, but the games served as a good test for Concacaf competition.

“Biggest takeaway is that we do have a very good team,” he said. “We found a way to score goals in different ways. Even though today, I would say, was not our best performance, we still managed to score goals.”

Jessa Braun is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports covering the NWSL and USWNT. Follow her on Twitter @jessabraun.

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.