USWNT slips past Mexico in final World Cup tune-up

Reuters

The U.S. National Team pulled away from Mexico for a 3-0 victory at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., in the final tune-up before the Women's World Cup.

Tobin Heath (11th minute), Mallory Pugh (76th) and Christen Press (88th) scored while Alyssa Naeher did not have to make a save.

When the Americans next take the field June 11 vs. Thailand in Reims, France, they will do so as defending champions and the No. 1 ranked team in the world entering the 24-team tournament that runs through July 7.

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Before then, they enjoyed a send-off in front of a near sellout crowd of 26,332 against a Mexican side that did not qualify for the World Cup.

Mexico, whose players' 261 combined national team appearances are 13 fewer than that of U.S. forward Carli Lloyd, provided a challenge after a rough start.

Heath's 50th goal, coming in her 150th cap, gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead and came off a blunder by Mexican goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago. Her errant pass went directly to Heath at the top of the penalty area. She dribbled around left back Rebeca Bernal for the easy score.

Gonzalez kept the Americans quiet the remainder of the opening half despite the U.S. having a 7-0 shots on goal advantage on a steamy afternoon with a feel-like temperature of 93 degrees.

First, she stopped Alex Morgan's breakaway in the 35th minute. Gonzalez robbed Crystal Dunn on a header in the 44th minute, and just before the break she made a stabbing left-handed save of Dunn's volley.

Pugh made it 2-0 in the 76th minute, thanks to Lloyd's run down the left side to the end line. She made a toe-poke to Pugh at the near post, who finished her 16th goal. Press ripped a shot straight-on from 17 yards for her 48th goal.

The U.S. has reeled off seven wins and two ties since losing 3-1 to host France on Jan. 19 in its first match.

--Field Level Media

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