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Alex Morgan wins Algarve gold

3/9/2011
Francisco Leong/Getty Images

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.

The Americans, preparing for the June 26-July 17 Women's World Cup in Germany, next play England on April 2 in London.

Only three other WWC qualifiers were in the Algarve field: Japan, which finished third, fourth-place Sweden and fifth-place Norway. The tournament MVP was Japan's Homare Sawa, who plays for the Washington Freedom in Women's Professional Soccer and starred in WPS's predecessor, the Women's United Soccer Association.