Olympic fever struck early for Utah Royals FC’s four representatives in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, as Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press and Becky Sauerbrunn of the U.S. and Canadian Desiree Scott and their respective nations have punched their tickets to this summer’s games in Tokyo, Japan.
Earlier on Friday evening, Canada defeated Costa Rica 1-0 in the CONCACAF semifinals to qualify for their fourth-straight Olympic Games. Scott started and played all 90 minutes for the Canadian side.
In the same stadium just hours later the United States beat Mexico by a score of 4-0 to secure a spot in their seventh-straight Olympics. Both O’Hara and Sauerbrunn started along the backline for the U.S., while Press came on as a substitute in the 68th minute.
After only five minutes on the pitch Press single-handedly wrote her name on to the score sheet, netting the fourth goal of the match. The forward’s fifth goal of the tournament was a result of a long drive down the right side of the field by Press. The initial shot on goal was blocked by a Mexican defender, but with perseverance Press won back the ball and chipped two defenders and the goalkeeper. Heading into the final match of the tournament Press is now tied with Lindsey Horan for the second-most goals behind Canadian forward Jordyn Huitema.
In the final match of the tournament Scott will take on Utah’s trio of Americans on Sunday, February 9 at 4:00 p.m. MT at Dignity Health Sports Park. Sunday’s match will mark the fourth-consecutive time that Canada and the United States have faced off in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, where the Red, White and Blue have the upper hand, having won each of the past four games.