The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off it’s 2019 World Cup Send-Off Series with a 3-0 victory over South Africa on Sunday at Levi Stadium in the Bay Area. Utah Royals FC’s trio of defender Kelly O’Hara, forward Christen Press and defender Becky Sauerbrunn all started for the Red, White and Blue.
Sauerbrunn anchored the team’s defense at center back, while O’Hara started at right back, aiding in securing the team’s third clean sheet of the calendar year. Press got the nod up top on the left wing. The match marked the first international appearance for O’Hara since the 2019 SheBelieves Cup on March 5 and her 116th career cap. Sauerbrunn and Press earned their 156th and 114th career caps respectively.
North Carolina Courage midfielder Sam Mewis struck first for the U.S. in the 37th minute when she collected a pass at the top of the 18, turning her defender and sending off a shot into the lower left corner of the net. Forty-one minutes later the Massachusetts native doubled the lead, connecting with a cross in the box from Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe. The U.S. finished off the match when Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd scored a goal in stoppage time to put the final nail in the coffin of South Africa, solidifying the win for the Stars and Stripes.
The U.S. will face a quick turnaround as they head to St. Louis where they will take on Royals FC defender Katie Bowen and New Zealand on Thursday. The final send-off series match will take place on May 26 in Harrison, New Jersey against the foes from the south, Mexico.