Two-time World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe ends her career in the top 10 in U.S. women’s national team history in goals.

Alex Morgan and Christen Press also rank in the top 10. See where they sit on the all-time leaderboard.

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

10. Megan Rapinoe — 63

A member of the USWNT since 2006, Rapinoe has made an impact on and off the field. She became the only player to score an Olimpico in two Olympic Games when she added one in the USWNT’s bronze-medal win in Tokyo in 2021.

(Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

9. Christen Press — 64

While Press missed the 2023 World Cup due to a knee injury, her body of work speaks for itself. Her first two career goals came during a 2013 friendly against Scotland, and her 64th came in a 4-1 win over New Zealand during the Tokyo Olympics.

(Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

8. Cindy Parlow Cone — 75

Now the president of U.S. Soccer, Parlow Cone spent 11 years with the USWNT, spanning three Olympics and two World Cups. She scored her first two goals in her first appearance during a friendly against Russia in 1996. She also recorded seven career hat tricks for the USWNT, just one behind Mia Hamm for the most in team history.

(Al Bello/Allsport)

7. Tiffeny Milbrett — 100

After joining the USWNT in 1991, Milbrett scored her first international goal in 1992 against Norway. She went on to lead the team to Olympic gold in 1996, scoring the game-winning goal against China. Her 100th and final goal came in a 2005 friendly against Ukraine in her hometown of Portland, Ore.

(David Madison/Getty Images)

6. Michelle Akers — 107

A member of the USWNT from 1985 to 2000, Akers scored the first goal in the team’s history in its second-ever international game against Denmark.

She also led all scorers in the inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 with 10 goals, including five in one game. Akers led the USWNT to their first World Cup that year, scoring both goals in a 2-1 defeat of Norway in the championship match.

Rico Brouwer/Soccrates/Getty Images

5. Alex Morgan — 121

One of two 2023 World Cup players on this list, Morgan has been a member of the USWNT since 2010. Morgan’s goal in the 123rd minute of the 2012 Olympic semifinals, which delivered her team a victory over Canada, still holds the record for the latest goal ever scored by a USWNT player.

(Guang Niu/Getty Images)

4. Kristine Lilly — 130

A member of the USWNT for 23 years, Lilly is the most-capped player in the history of the sport. She has 12 goals across five World Cups and three Olympics.

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

3. Carli Lloyd — 134

With a five-goal performance to begin her farewell tour in 2021, Lloyd tied the USWNT’s single-game scoring record. The star forward also had a hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final — scoring all three goals in the span of 16 minutes.

(David Madison/Getty Images)

2. Mia Hamm — 158

Hamm held the record for most international goals scored until Wambach surpassed her in 2013. She remains third on the all-time list behind Wambach and Canada’s Christine Sinclair (190).

A member of the USWNT’s inaugural World Cup and Olympic teams, Hamm played an astounding 17 years for the senior national team. Her 158th and final goal came during a 2004 friendly against Australia.

(Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

1. Abby Wambach — 184

Wambach tops the list after an illustrious 14-year career with the USWNT. A tour de force on the big stage, Wambach scored 14 times in World Cup tournaments and 24 times in the Olympics. Her final goal came during a 2015 friendly against Costa Rica.

The Women’s World Cup is almost here, and Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at the tournament’s all-time leading goal scorers.

Though Alex Morgan doesn’t crack the top 10 on this list, it’s worth noting that the U.S. women’s national team forward and Michelle Akers hold the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup match. Morgan scored five goals against Thailand at the 2019 World Cup, 28 years after Akers did so in 1991 (she also set the record for most goals scored in a tournament that year with 10).

Morgan and Megan Rapinoe each have a chance to make it onto the elite list with just one more goal at this year’s World Cup.

5. Ann-Kristin Aarønes (Norway), Carli Lloyd (USA), Heidi Mohr (Germany), Christine Sinclair (Canada) – 10

Four players have scored 10 goals in their World Cup careers, including the USWNT’s Carli Lloyd and all-time international leading goal scorer Christine Sinclair. Sinclair is the only member of this group still competing, with Lloyd retiring after the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Both Mohr and Aarønes notched impressive World Cup performances in their careers. Mohr had 10 goals in 12 matches, while Aarønes had 10 goals in 11 matches.

4. Cristiane (Brazil), Wen Sun (China), Bettina Wiegmann (Germany) – 11

Bettina Wiegmann appeared in four World Cups for Germany and was a part of the title-winning team in 2003. Cristiane represented Brazil at five World Cups from 2003-19 and always showed up on the world’s biggest stages. At the 2007 World Cup, she was voted third-best player of the tournament after scoring five goals, second only to teammate Marta.

Wen Sun earned the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 1999 World Cup after scoring seven goals in the tournament. In 2000, she was named FIFA Female Player of the Century alongside Akers.

3. Michelle Akers (USA) – 12

Akers stands alone with 12 goals scored in 13 World Cup matches. Akers originally set the record for most goals in a single match with five at the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991.

2. Birgit Prinz (Germany), Abby Wambach (USA) – 14

Birgit Prinz starred for Germany from 1994-2011, helping the team to two World Cup titles and earning the Silver Ball in 2007 as the second-best player at the tournament. She remains Germany’s top goal scorer, having scored 128 international goals in 214 appearances. Abby Wambach, the USWNT’s all-time leading goal scorer, set the record for the latest goal ever scored in a FIFA competition when she delivered the game-tying goal against Brazil in the 122nd minute of the quarterfinals of the 2011 World Cup.

1. Marta (Brazil) – 17

Topping the list of World Cup goal scorers is Brazilian legend Marta. She’s found the back of the net 17 times across 20 World Cup games through five tournaments. In comparison, it took Wambach 25 appearances to score 14 goals.

Marta, who has announced this will be her last World Cup, made her World Cup debut in 2003, netting three goals to help Brazil top their group. She’s the first player to score at five consecutive World Cups.

Women’s soccer took over the globe this past week, with six tournaments in the FIFA window. Amid the chaos of flipping between channels and live streams, it was perhaps easy to forget that NWSL training camps were rolling on, despite many teams missing players on international duty.

Throughout the week, clubs brought in new staff members, players found out about the U.S. women’s national team’s equal pay settlement and teams made progress in their on-field tactics.

Rest assured, we’re here to catch you up on what you might have missed this past week in the NWSL.

Beers are on Michelle Akers

Orlando Pride coaches Amanda Cromwell and Michelle Akers, both former USWNT players, were not convinced their multitude of young players fully grasped the context of the national team’s equal pay resolution with U.S. Soccer. So, after the deal was announced on Tuesday morning, they went home to celebrate.

“Hallelujah, it’s about time,” Cromwell said.

“‘Hell yeah,’ that was my reaction,” said Akers, later adding, “Beers are on me. It’s so exciting.”

Akers, a 1991 and 1999 World Cup champion and regarded as one of the best women’s soccer players of all time, was a part of the USWNT’s initial movements in the fight for equal pay. In 1995, Akers and a group of other veteran players rejected their contracts from U.S. Soccer and sat out of the training camp leading into the 1996 Olympics.

Called into the same camp, Cromwell was one of the younger players at the time, fighting for a spot on the national team roster.

“We’re asking our fellow teammates like, ‘What do you want us to do?’” she said. “It was really scary for some of us like, ‘What do we do in this situation? How do we fight with you, but also maintain our position to be on this team?’”

Cromwell recalled the team agreed to respect every player’s decision, recognizing they were all on the same page about pushing for higher salaries. Having recently come across a handful of her USWNT contracts from the ’90s, Cromwell said the low numbers were “shocking.”

“It would be really interesting for people to see that,” she said.

Standing on the Pride’s training grounds in Sylvan Lake Park in Sandon, Fla., where Akers used to train with the national team, the now 56-year-old said it’s been rewarding to see how much the conditions of the locker rooms and offices have improved since she was a player.

“I’m just so excited and thrilled and have such respect for the fight of every single player, and to stick with it for so many years, especially this last group,” Akers said.

‘Players don’t work for me’

Chris Petrucelli was announced as the Chicago Red Stars’ new head coach on Friday following what Chief Business Officer Vicky Lynch said was a long and careful search process.

In the wake of multiple allegations of emotional abuse and sexual misconduct against former Red Stars coach Rory Dames, Petrucelli said he’s focused on creating a positive and supportive environment where players can feel safe and unafraid to make mistakes.

“When you talk about any organization that includes athletes, the athletes always come first,” Petrucelli said on Tuesday. “The players, for me, are more important than anything else, and I view my role as a support role. I don’t view my role as a person in a position of power or things like that. I view my role as trying to help players reach their goals, try and help the team reach their goals. I work that way.

“I work with the players. Players don’t work for me.”

After a season of reckoning in the NWSL, during which multiple coaches were ousted over accusations of abuse and the commissioner resigned, Petrucelli wants to come into 2022 with a forward-thinking mindset. He expressed his commitment to support the players “in their dreams and desires” both on and off the field.

Coming to work in the NWSL was an easy decision for Petrucelli, who won a national championship as coach of the Notre Dame women’s team and was a two-time winner of the National Coach of the Year award.

“When you sit back and talk to the players, and you see the quality of the people that you have here, I think any coach would want to come work for them,” he said.

Finding ‘current’ identity

Similar to many NWSL teams this year, the Kansas City Current are navigating preseason with a lot of new players and staff members.

Head coach Matt Potter, hired in early January, applauded the team’s veteran leadership for helping build the Current’s identity and leading the way for the younger players, seven of whom are first-timers in the NWSL.

“That type of group who have experience in the league and on these types of stages have been instrumental in allowing those new players to express themselves in a manner that they’re getting to show their talents, too,” Potter said.

The Current, who debuted as an NWSL expansion team last season and finished last in the league, have recently begun working out their big-picture tactical strategy for 2022, such as their defensive and possession structures.

“I feel that we’re making progress,” he said. “We’re trying to focus on the behavior we want to see, and in doing so, it has a great vibe to it. The camp has had a really good kind of energy, and that’s what I would applaud, but that’s been player-led for sure.”

Kristen Hamilton, 29, said the veterans were reminiscing recently about the different NWSL teams they’ve played on together, a familiarity that’s already shining through in their on-field chemistry. Before arriving in Kansas City, Hamilton was teammates with Lynn Williams, Sam Mewis and Hailie Mace on the North Carolina Courage from 2017-21, and before that with Kristen Edmonds on the Western New York Flash.

“We’ve been pretty comfortable with everyone gelling together,” Hamilton said.

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

Former USWNT standout Michelle Akers will serve as an assistant coach for the Orlando Pride in 2022, the club announced Wednesday.

Joining Akers alongside head coach Amanda Cromwell will be Sam Greene and Seb Hines.

“Throughout my career, I’ve been blessed with amazingly talented assistant coaches. My on-field coaching success was greatly impacted by these individuals and support staff. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to bring a staff to Orlando that will compliment me and each other,” Cromwell said. “This is a staff that I’m well familiar with and is a staff that knows the Orlando community. Most importantly, this is also a staff that is aligned in building a championship culture and developing an identity we want the Orlando Pride to have on the field.”

A two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and FIFA Co-Player of the Century, Akers is one of the most decorated players in American soccer history. Throughout her 15 year career with the USWNT from 1985-2000, she recorded 153 caps and 103 goals. She retired as the nation’s second all-time leading scorer behind Mia Hamm (158) and still sits at No. 6 all time.

She was also teammates with Cromwell at the University of Central Florida and on the USWNT from 1991-1998.

“I’ve always said [Cromwell] was the only person I’d want to work with (in this capacity),” Akers told The Athletic. “So that’s the reason. She asked me, she knows me well, she knows the role I can play and also what I don’t like about coaching, and she carved out a place for me.”

Akers, who founded the Michelle Akers Horse Rescue and Sanctuary upon the conclusion of her career, has spent a lot of time away from the game. But that hasn’t stopped her from feeling the itch to return.

“There’s something about standing on the grass in a big stadium, getting ready for a big game as a team and stepping out there and putting it out there on the line in front of a huge crowd, cheering,” she said. “That’s never been replaced. So now I’m really excited and hungry for that again.”