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Fuel Soccer Talk: United States Women’s World Cup Champions Special Edition

The game: U.S. wins 2-0 for fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title

LYON, France – A sellout crowd of 57,900 fans that thundered “USA” chants throughout the game turned up at Stade de Lyon to witness the U.S. Women’s National Team claim its record fourth FIFA Women’s World Cup title with a 2-0 triumph over 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro champions the Netherlands. Megan Rapinoe, who was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player and the Golden Boot as its top scorer with six goals and three assists in 428 minutes played, opened the scoring for the USA in the second half, and Rose Lavelle, who was awarded the Bronze Ball, scored the USA’s second goal of the Final, as the USWNT authored another entry in the history books as the highest scoring team in Women’s World Cup history with 26 goals scored.

The world title makes the USA only the second nation to successfully defend a World Cup crown.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, who is now only four wins short of becoming the winningest coach in USWNT history, made two changes to the USA’s starting XI, returning Rapinoe to the forward line alongside Silver Boot winner Alex Morgan (six goals, three assists in 490 minutes played) and offensive dynamo Tobin Heath after she sat out the England match with a strained hamstring, and drafting Samantha Mewis into midfield alongside defensive stalwart Julie Ertz and the all-around brilliant Lavelle.

The USA’s historic World Cup title triumph that was celebrated by thousands of fans across France and the United States who attended matches and tuned into games in record numbers throughout the tournament comes 33 years and a continent away from the U.S. Women’s National Team first ever program win, a 2-0 result against Canada in Blaine, Minnesota on July 7, 1986.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick), 61st minute: Ali Krieger’s attempted cross was deflected by a Dutch defender and arced into the Netherlands penalty area. Alex Morgan was first to the ball before taking a high boot from Stefanie van der Gragt in the right side of the box. After consulting with the VAR booth, referee Stephanie Frappart award the penalty kick. Rapinoe stepped to the spot for the third time in the tournament and coolly waited for Veenendaal to make the first move before dispatching the spot kick into the right side of the goal. USA 1, NED 0 [WATCH]

USA – Rose Lavelle (Samantha Mewis), 69th minute: Sam Mewis picked out Lavelle with a short, sideways pass near midfield. With acres of space in front of her, Lavelle drove straight up field toward goal. As she approached the box, Lavelle feinted to the right to move her defender and create space for a low, left-footed shot into the bottom right corner for her third goal in her first World Cup. USA 2, NED 0 [WATCH] FINAL

FULL COVERAGE

 

The Reaction: “It’s like history I don’t know how to feel right now.”

Megan Rapinoe, U.S. captain and goalscorer in the final: “It’s unbelievable. Just to know all of the people in our group that put in so much work, obviously the players. We have all our friends and family here. It’s like history I don’t know how to feel right now. It is ridiculous.”

Jill Ellis, U.S. coach: “This is an amazing group of players but even better group of people. Just fantastic resiliency, just chemistry. They put their heart and soul into this journey and I cannot thank them enough. It’s been fantastic.”

Alex Morgan, U.S. striker: “This team is something special, and to do it back-to-back is pretty incredible. We had a hard route to the final. I’m just proud of this team. We felt confident. We felt like it was going to take us a bit to gain momentum throughout the tournament. Jill (Ellis) did a great job in terms of managing the team, so credit to her and the team for playing our roles to a ‘T’.”

Revisited: A look back at the memorable and magical 2019 Women’s World Cup

Fox put together a great video capturing some of the many highlights from the 2019 World Cup. Kudos to the U.S. for winning its fourth World Cup title and going back-to-back despite increased competition. And kudos to France for hosting the tournament in great and fitting fashion. Take a bow, U.S. Take a bow, France.

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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