Alex Morgan scores, US women beat China 1-0
SANDY, Utah (AP) Alex Morgan scored on a header in the 57th minute and the U.S. national team beat China 1-0 in an exhibition match Thursday night.
The teams also will meet Tuesday night in Cleveland.
China has already qualified for the 2019 World Cup in France. The United States, the defending World Cup champion, is preparing for CONCACAF qualifying in October.
Megan Rapinoe fed Morgan with a well-placed free kick that Morgan popped past China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng. Morgan has 13 goals in her last 14 appearances with the national team. It was Morgan’s 86th international goal.
Midfielder Tobin Heath was brought into camp for the game, but was not in the starting lineup or available as a sub.
Heath hasn’t played with the national team since appearing as a substitute in a friendly against New Zealand last September. She had surgery to remove bone growth on her right ankle in early January.
She has returned to play for her club team, the Portland Thorns.
Also returning to the national team is Julie Ertz, who missed a pair of April exhibition matches against Mexico because of a knee injury. Ertz started against China.
Amy Rodriguez, who missed 2016 because of the birth of her son and 2017 with an ACL injury, and Christen Press, left off the roster for the teams’ last two matches because she was not on a club team at the time, were both used as subs.
Press, who was traded to the Houston Dash in the offseason but never joined the National Women’s Soccer League club, has been playing in Sweden with Goteborg.
Forward Alex Morgan wore the captain’s armband, but gave it to Carli Lloyd when she subbed in for Rapinoe after Morgan’s goal.
Crystal Dunn played three different positions in the game.
Ly Ying’s hard strike in the 34th minute was saved by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.
Attendance was announced at 13,230.