Los Angeles Soccer: Algarve Cup
The U.S. women's national team won its eighth Algarve Cup title Wednesday, beating Iceland, 4-2, in the final in Faro, Portugal. Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan netted the final goal, winning the Golden Boot as the 12-nation event's top scorer.
Morgan (Diamond Bar HS), who is heading into her first pro season with the Western New York Flash, claimed the honor by scoring her trio in just 159 minutes, less time than others with three goals -- including teammate Carli Lloyd -- needed to do so.
Lloyd, former UCLA star Lauren Cheney and Heather O'Reilly also tallied for the Americans, who went 4-0-0 in the annual tournament.
Morgan came off the bench in the 74th minute for Lake Forest's Amy Rodriguez (Santa Margarita Catholic HS/USC) and immediately stirred trouble on Iceland's backline with her pace and power. She set up Megan Rapinoe for a good chance, then fired wide before scoring a gritty goal in the 87th to secure the triumph.
Rodriguez assisted Lloyd's goal, and Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS) set up O'Reilly's. Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach came on at halftime, and Hermosa Beach's Lindsay Tarpley was a late substitute.
Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan had her first multigoal game for the U.S. women's national team, firing home the last two in a 4-0 romp over Finland to conclude group play at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Morgan (Diamond Bar HS), the top pick (by the Western New York Flash) in January's Women's Professional Soccer draft following a glorious stint at the University of California, tallied just before halftime and nine minutes into the second half, her fifth and sixth international goals.
Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS) scored on an eighth-minute header, and Carli Lloyd made it 2-0 five minutes later.
The Americans will face Iceland in Wednesday's Algarve Cup final.
Former UCLA All-American Lauren Cheney also was in the starting lineup, and Rolling Hills Estates' Whitney Engen (Peninsula HS) and Hermosa Beach's Lindsay Tarpley and Abby Wambach came off the bench in the second half.
Morgan took a long pass from Ali Krieger off her chest and knocked it to the left corner of the goal as Finnish goalkeeper Minna Meriluoto stepped out to challenge. She fired to the lower-right corner for her second goal after her cross and subsequent shot were blocked.
Lindsay Tarpley received a rare start with the U.S. women's national team Friday, and she made it count, scoring the first goal as the Americans advanced to the Algarve Cup title game with a 2-0 victory over Norway in Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal.
Tarpley (Hermosa Beach), in the starting XI for the first time since July 2009, finished a feed from Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and USC) after defender Rachel Buehler played a ball behind Norway's backline in the 33rd minute. Carli Lloyd netted the second in the 63rd minute.
Tarpley grew up in Michigan, led the University of North Carolina to an NCAA title, plays for the Boston Breakers in Women's Professional Soccer, and lives in the South Bay because her husband, former Indiana University defender B.J. Snow, is the women's coach at UCLA. She played up top in the first half and on the right side of midfield in the second half, and the goal was her 28th in international play, 14th on the all-time U.S. list.
Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach/South Torrance) nearly scored and was a force in midfield for the U.S., and defender Whitney Engen (Rolling Hills Estates/Peninsula HS) and forwards Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar/Diamond Bar HS) and Abby Wambach (Hermosa Beach) came on in the second half.
The Americans (2-0-0) finish group play in the annual event Monday against Finland. They can win their fourth Algarve title in five years Wednesday.
Amy Rodriguez scored a quick goal and Abby Wambach returned from injury to see her first action of the year in the U.S. women's national team's 2-1 victory over Japan in their opener at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Rodriguez (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and USC) scored in the seventh minute from a feed by Lauren Cheney (UCLA), and Megan Rapinoe doubled the advantage 11 minutes later. Former L.A. Sol midfielder Aya Miyama scored Japan's goal in the 29th.
Wambach (Hermosa Beach), who missed the Americans' start-of-the-year camp at Home Depot Center and the Four Nations event in China with a heel injury, came on at halftime for the U.S.
Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach/South Torrance HS) started in midfield, and Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar/Diamond Bar HS) came off the bench in the second half. Lindsay Tarpley (Hermosa Beach), wife of UCLA women's coach B.J. Snow, watched from the bench.
The U.S., which is seeking its fourth Algarve title in five years and eighth since first winning it in 2000, meets Norway on Friday and Finland on Monday, with a placement match set for Wednesday.