USWNT vs. Dominican Republic score: Olivia Moultrie gets first USA goals as favorites win W Gold Cup opener

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USATSI

The new era of the United States women's national team is off to a strong start in 2024. The group defeated the Dominican Republic 5-0 on Tuesday as they kicked off their Concacaf W Gold Cup campaign. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore utilized several players throughout the match as Oliva Moultire, Lynn Williams, Jenna Nighswonger and Alex Morgan scored goals in the victory. The United States now lead Group A with three points after opening day.

Moultrie and Midge Purce were dominant forces on the evening with the 18-year-old Moultrie scoring two goals while Purce provided a hat-trick of assists. The duo combined for an efficient final sequence before being subbed out of the match.

Purce remains in form

After a strong performance through the NWSL playoffs with NJ/NY Gotham FC, the NWSL Championship MVP has been consistent in her play for the national team. The attacker provided the extra width and pass in the final third throughout the match. 

"We worked a lot tactically about getting into those spaces and getting into the one-v-one zone and making a lot more tactical goals in the sense where like we want tap-ins, we want easy goals, like, easy finishes in the goal zone. So, I think [Kilgore] did a really good job of making sure we're all on the same page," Purce said during postgame on her team executing tactics.

"I think the next step for me was prioritizing playmaking more than getting that final touch on the goal. I mean, I want to score goals, I don't know what forward doesn't. But I think the evolution of a good winger is to create for their nines and create for other forwards. So, that's what I'm really focused on right now."

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Alex Morgan ends scoring draught

Forward Mia Fishel suffered an ACL injury during Gold Cup training and Morgan was a last-minute call-up to the squad in her place. Per Concacaf rules, Morgan sported a different jersey, No. 7, instead of her iconic No. 13, the number of the player she replaced. She came on as a late-game substitute and converted a penalty for the final goal of the match. 

Take a look at her 122nd goal in the USWNT uniform:

What's next

In the end, the U.S. had 31 shots, 10 on frame, allowing just one shot. Next, the U.S. will face Argentina on Friday night. The South Americans drew Mexico 0-0 in their opener. 

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USWNT 5-0 DR (FT)

Olivia Moultrie with a brace after scoring the opening goal for USA. Williams scored the second goal and Purce has provided all the assists during the match. Nighswonger and Morgan converted penalty kicks and the USWNT lead Group A after matchday one. 

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IT'S OVER

That's the game. A valient defensive effort by Dominican Republic but after keeping things close, exaustion caught up to them with two late penatlies in the game. Moultrie and Purce made quick work of ensuring three points on matchday one. They'll face Argentina next. 

 
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GOAL 122 for Alex Morgan

Whether its No. 7 or as No. 13 but Morgan converts the penalty for her 122nd career goal with national team. 

 
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Another look at VAR

Rodman takes some contact in the box and we're getting another VAR review, a penalty has been given. 

 
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GOAL NIGHSWONGER

It's now 4-0 as Nighshwonger converts from the spot!

 
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VAR makes an apperance

Shaw makes a play on the ball and gert stepped on afterwards. The foul inside the box goes to VAR and the official sees enough to issue a yellow and give the pen.

 
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Lavelle makes an appearance

Rose Lavelle subs on for Korbin Albert to help close the game out. Albert with a strong 75 minutes in her first senoir national team start. Was a key figure in setting up the first goal of the evening and had a shot attempt denied by the crossbar. Could see her get more time as the tournament goes on. 

 
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Ballers exit the game

Moultire leaves the pitch with two goals and Purce ends her night with a hat trick of assists. Check out the the link up between the duo:

 
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A trio of substitutions

Trinity Rodman, Alex Morgan, and Jaedyn Shaw all come on for Purce, Smith, and Moultrie respectively. Each are somewhat like for like adjustments and this game just might get away from the Dominican Republic after expelling lots of energy defensively.

 
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A brief scare as Moultrie is down

The 18-year-old midfilder is having a great game and continued to play with confience. Took a shot from distance but landed akwardly on her ankle. She's walked off the pitch on her own and it appears Trinity Rodman is set to make an appearance soon. 

 
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GOAL MOULTRIE!

It's 3-0 for the United States just before the hour mark. Purce once again with the assist, but given tons of space to work with. Drags the defender with her and eventually takes a shot from distance that deflects toward a darting Moultrie to tap in far post.

 
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Halftime substitution

Emily Fox is on for Emily Sonnett at haftime. Perhaps a bit of formation shift with the defensive midfielder off in favor for an attacking fullback.

 
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OFF THE POST

Albert with a quick heads up shot that goes off the cross bar! Moultire pounces on a rebound and takes a try from the top of the box as well but it deflects wide and the squad wins another corner. It's briefly cleared away before USWNT gets back on the ball again. Rinse, recycle, repeat. 

 
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No answers for DR

As the game apporaches halftime Dominican Republic has few answers for the USWNT. Have spent little time on the ball and before the they can truly get into the attacking third are being bodied off what minor possetion they had. 

 
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GOAL LYNN WILLIAMS!

30' This tiime it counts! Purce causing chaos out wide once again and slips a pass through the box to Smith who dummies the ball off toward Williams for the tap in. 

 
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USWNT keeps winning set pieces

Despite the rainy conditions, the Americans are doing a good job of keeping the ball. They've won four corners already and Nighswonger is preparing to take another. 

 
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GOAL OLIVIA MOULTRIE!

8' Albert with solid posseion of the ball finds and open Purce out wide. Purce dances into the box and whips a pass across the goal with plenty of runners in tow. Moultrie is there to tap it in first and its her first goal on the senior national team. 

 
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All USWNT to open the game

The USWNT is on the attack and have been dominant on the ball. Won an early corner and have had all the ball in the opening five minutes.

 
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Prediction 

We're just a few moments away from kickoff so let's have some fun with a little prediction: 

There might be an undeniable gap in form between teams in Concacaf, but tournament-style play can still provide a surprise or two. Some preseason form by U.S. players could mean extended minutes without a goal but the U.S. will get all three points. Pick: USWNT 3, DR, 0

 
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Alex Morgan is wearing a different number

Morgan was a late call-up to the squad after Mia Fishel exited the tournament with an ACL injury. She'll be wearing No. 7 instead of her iconic No. 13. It's the first time she hasn't worn No. 13 since 2010.

 
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Key lineup notes

  • Olivia Moultrie and Korbin Albert are making their first ever starts for the senior national team. It's the third appearance for the 18-year-old Moultrie, Albert's second, after making their debuts during December friendlies against China.
  • Defender Becky Sauerbrunn will captain the squad as she earns her 218th cap for the USWNT. She makes her first start for the USA since April 11, 2023. She was called into camp after Alana Cook was forced to withdraw with a minor knee injury. 
  • Alyssa Naeher returns to the goal posts after missing the December international window. She's making her 98th international appearance. She's another step closer to hitting the 100 cap mark, and could reach the milestone during the Gold Cup. 
 
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What they're saying 

Emily Fox on the first-ever Gold Cup: "I think for us, end of 2023, we ... wanted to keep going. Now that we've had the offseason and all that, we're excited to get back into it. The Gold Cup, it being a tournament and us being together for a long period of time, I think we're all really excited to get those connections, that chemistry, and really make a statement at this tournament," she said.  

Lindsey Horan on the significance of Gold Cup: "I think this Gold Cup, it's a tournament itself that we want to win, and it is also [a] direct correlation to the Olympics [in] how it's kind of set up. It's a major tournament so it's cool that we get this preparation leading into to the Olympics," she said. 

 
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USWNT Starting Lineup

Here's the starting lineup for the USWNT vs. Domincan Republic tonight:

USWNT Starting XI: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 2-Abby Dahlkemper, 3-Jenna Nighswonger, 5-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Lynn Williams, 9-Midge Purce, 11-Sophia Smith, 13-Olivia Moultrie, 14-Emily Sonnett, 15-Korbin Albert, 17-Sam Coffey


Available Subs: 
4-Naomi Girma, 7-Alex Morgan, 8-Jaedyn Shaw, 10-Lindsey Horan, 12-Tierna Davidson, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Casey Murphy, 19-Crystal Dunn, 20-Casey Krueger, 21-Jane Campbell, 22-Trinity Rodman, 23-Emily Fox

 
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Three ways the USWNT will use the Gold Cup

Time is running out before the 2024 Olympic Games, so make sure you check out three ways Gold Cup participation will help the USWNT's new era. Here's what Lindsey Horan had to say about the USWNT's participation:

"I think this Gold Cup, one, it's a tournament itself that we want to win, and it is also direct correlation to the Olympics and how it's kind of set up and it's a major tournament. So it's cool that we get this preparation leading into the Olympics," Horan said. "Also, it's a really cool opportunity because the NWSL is coming off preseason, and I think you're gonna see a lot of interchange in the players and amount of playing time." 

 
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Storylines: USWNT

The squad is getting its first crack at tournament play since their exit in the round of 16 during the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. The majority of the roster is currently in preseason form with several players preparing for the upcoming NWSL season. Only four players are in club season -- team captain Linsdey Horan, Emily Fox, and Korbin Albert all play in Europe.

Mia Fishel was also active in London with her club Chelsea FC and was named to the USWNT Gold Cup roster, but the forward suffered an ACL injury during Gold Cup training. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore and her coaching staff has already made an early adjustment and called in veteran Alex Morgn into the squad. 

 
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Storylines: Dominican Republic

The national team defeated Guayana to clinch the final spot in the Gold Cup. Before that, they had an exciting build-up to the tournament. Winners of their Gold Cup qualifier group with five wins through six matches, the squad racked up 24 goals through group play. Jazmin Jackson led the team with four goals, and the roster has a pair of goalkeepers in Paloma Peña and Odaliana Gomez who can keep strikers honest. The keeper duo has five clean sheets heading into Gold Cup group play.

 
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What is the Gold Cup?

A tournament reenvisioned as a marquee event for the region's senior women's national teams. In prior decades, Concacaf organized events for member nations that also served as qualifiers for the FIFA Women's World Cup and Olympic Qualifying under different titles and formats. The "Gold Cup" moniker was even borrowed for the Concacaf Women's Championship (World Cup qualifiers) during the 2000-2006 era. 

Now the format has shifted completely, with a standalone, flagship tournament for the region. The Concacaf W Gold Cup will feature 12 nations, eight Concacaf teams and four CONMEBOL guest nations, to compete for the inaugural trophy. The tournament will consist of a group stage with three groups of four teams, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a championship final. 

The 2024 Gold Cup is officially underway as the USWNT and Dominican Republic set to begin their group stage. The two sides were drawn into Group A alongside Mexico and Argentina, and the two top finishers in the group will advance to the quarterfinals along with the two best third-place teams.

 
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Concacaf W Gold Cup Power Rankings

United States are considered favorites to lift the cup, but where do they land on our power rankings and where do other teams fair leading into the group stage? Take a look at our power rankings ahead of the game tonight, here's what we're saying about Dominican Republic:

"With several dual nationals on the roster, this squad has shaken up the competition on its way to the preliminary match in the tournament. All eyes will be on Jaylen Vallecillo -- the 18-year-old midfielder is the second youngest player on the squad alongside 17-year-old defender Renata Mercedes."

 
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Viewing information

Make sure you're tuned into all our match coverage before and after the game!

Tuesday, Feb. 20

All times Eastern

  • CBS Sports Golazo Pre-Match Show, 9 p.m. -- Paramout+/CBS Sports Golazo Network
  • United States vs. Dominican Republic, 10:15 p.m. -- Paramount+

Wednesday, Feb. 21

  • Scoreline Post-Match Show, 12:15 a.m. -- Paramount+/CBS Sports Golazo Network
 
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Welcome to USA vs Domincan Republic

Hello and welcome to our Concacaf W Gold Cup live blog. I'm Sandra Herrera and I'll be with you providing updates and analysis of today's match between the USWNT and the Dominican Republic. Kickoff is in just a few hours so keep it locked here for all your game-day info!

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