The United States women's national team entered the 2019 World Cup with expectations as large as the target on its back. The Americans delivered. For the second consecutive time, the USWNT ended the World Cup by raising the trophy, capping the seven-game runin Sunday's final.
This year's cup will be remembered for, among other things, Megan Rapinoe's excellence, a quarterfinal showdown that lived up to the hype and people arguing about goal celebrations. Now that the trophy has been raised and the confetti has fallen in Lyon, we wanted to take a look at some of the numbers from the United States' record-setting title run in France.
The United States scored 26 goals as a team during its seven-game run, a record at the cup. Half of those goals came in the team's first game as the Americans dominated Thailand in a 13-0 rout (). The pace of the goals slowed significantly after that. The U.S. didn't score more than three goals again in the tournament and averaged 2.2 goals per game in its final six contests. Still, the Americans got just enough to beat the former record of 25, which was also set by the USWNT during the initial tournament in 1991.
Rose Lavelle's gorgeous left-footed rocket in the 69th minute of the final against the Dutch was the U.S.'s 26th goal of the tournament and the 146th goal at this year's World Cup, tying the cup record. There were also 146 goals at the 2015 World Cup. Teams will try to keep the 146 streak alive in 2023.
Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan combined to score 12 times for the United States, both finding the back of the net on six occasions. Rapinoe ended upon a tiebreaker (Rapinoe and Morgan both had three assists in addition to their six goals, but Rapinoe played fewer minutes), but no country had a more productive duo.
Rapinoe turned 34 two days before the final. She belatedly celebrated with the go-ahead goal against the Netherlands and, in the process,in a Women's World Cup final.
Enough about goals, let's talk about some shots that didn't go in the net. USWNT goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made one penalty kick save on the only shot from the spot she faced. It might've been the most important play for the team in the entire tournament. The Penn State grad denied England's Steph Houghton in the 84th minute in the semifinals to preserve the USWNT's 2-1 lead. You've probably seen the play by now, but here it is again:
Naeher, who took over for Hope Solo, became the first American goalkeeper to ever save a (non-shootout) PK at the World Cup.
With Sunday's win vs. the Netherlands, the USWNT ran its unbeaten streak at the World Cup to 14 games. The team has not lost since the 2011 final vs. Japan. The U.S. is on a 12-game World Cup winning streak and the only game the team hasn't won in the last two World Cups came in a draw against Sweden in 2015 group play.
The 2019 World Cup title is the fourth for the United States. The Americans have won the cup in half of its eight installments and have twice as many titles as any other nation (Germany has two). The USWNT also became the second team to win back-to-back championships (Germany won in 2003 and 2007). No women's team has ever won three straight World Cup titles. That might change in four years.