Utah Royals FC Players Shine as U.S. and Canada Clinch World Cup Berths

The U.S. Women’s National Team clinched a 2019 World Cup berth after a 6-0 shutout of Jamaica on Sunday in the CONCACAF semifinals.

Utah Royals FC DF Becky Sauerbrunn and DF Kelley O’Hara started alongside each other on the back line as the U.S. kept yet another clean sheet.  FW Christen Press was on the bench, but did not make an appearance as the Stars and Stripes celebrated an eighth consecutive World Cup appearance.

The U.S. controlled the game right out of the gate and Portland Thorns FW Tobin Heath scoring in the second minute. Shortly after, Seattle Reign MF Megan Rapinoe was 1v1 and found the back of the net in the 15th minute. The U.S. pounded three more goals to take a 5-0 lead into halftime; another from Heath, a headed goal by Chicago Red Stars MF Julie Ertz and a goal by Orlando Pride FW Alex Morgan off a set piece play.

Jamaica kept up with the U.S. in the second half, but was unable to score and the U.S. topped off the match with a goal in the 84th minute by Alex Morgan, earning her second goal of the night.

The Canadian Women’s National Team qualified for the 2019 World Cup as well, after defeating Panama 7-0 on Sunday. URFC MF Diana Matheson made her 200th international appearance in the victory – playing a key role for Canada since her first appearance in 2003.  She finished the night wearing the captain’s armband after Portland Thorns FW Christine Sinclair handed Matheson the armband when Sinclair left the match in the 68th minute.

Team USA and Canada, both undefeated thus far, will match up Wednesday in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.