Alex Morgan plays heroine for U.S.

October, 6, 2010
10/06/10
8:25
PM PT

AP Photo/Michael Perez
Alex Morgan (21) scored the lone goal for the U.S. in a 1-1 tie with China on Wednesday in Chester, Pa.

Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan's role was heroine for the U.S. women's national team Wednesday night. Her first international goal gave the Americans a 1-1 draw with China in Chester, Pa., four nights after beating their old rival in Kennesaw, Ga.

You can show your appreciation this weekend for Morgan, a Diamond Bar High School grad who first played for the full national team last March. She's expected to be back in a Cal jersey for games Friday night at UCLA and Sunday afternoon against USC at McAllister Park.

Morgan, making her third appearance for the U.S., finished a feed from Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach in the 83rd minute to save the U.S. from defeat in a warmup for the region's Women's World Cup qualifying tournament, which begins later this month in Mexico. Two-time defending champion Germany will stage the sixth WWC next summer.

Ma Jun gave China a lead in the 37th minute.

The U.S. beat China, 2-0, Saturday night in Kennesaw, Ga., as Heather O'Reilly set up Megan Rapinoe in the 21st minute, then netted the winner in the 37th. Wambach, Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS), Lake Forest's Amy Rodriguez (Santa Margarita Catholic HS/USC) and Lauren Cheney (UCLA) played in both games. Hermosa Beach's Lindsay Tarpley came off the bench Wednesday, her first international game since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament last year.

UCLA's Sydney Leroux, in her first full national team camp, did not make the game roster for either match.

The CONCACAF qualifiers will be played Oct. 28-Nov. 8 in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, with the U.S. taking on Costa Rica, Haiti and Guatemala in Group B. The top two will advance to the semifinals, along with the top two from Group A (Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana), with the winners advancing to the Women's World Cup and the winner of the third-place game facing Europe's No. 5 team for another berth.

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