It was a weekend of highs and lows for U.S. Soccer. There were two important events this weekend: the Women’s World Cup Final between the United States and the Netherlands as well as the Gold Cup Final between the United States and Mexico. The women were victorious in their match, but unfortunately, the men fell short in Chicago.
It felt like the whole country was watching the Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday. Many believed the U.S. would repeat as champions, but they still had to defeat the reigning European champions, the Netherlands. The first half was a tight game, with the U.S. dominating chances but unable to find the back of the net. It was a fantastic performance by Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal, who had four saves in the first half. But the U.S. was finally able to break through in the 61st minute when Alex Morgan was hit with a high cleat inside the box. The referee awarded a penalty to the U.S. and Megan Rapinoe slotted it home for the team’s first goal. The Netherlands started to look shaky after that, and eight minutes later, Washington Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle slipped between two Dutch defenders and sent a ball soaring into the far corner. The U.S. won the game 2-0, earning their fourth World Cup title and becoming only the second team to win back-to-back titles.
On Sunday evening, the U.S. Men’s National Team took to the pitch at Soldier Field in Chicago to face off against Mexico for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. created many chances but weren’t able to find that finishing touch. The Mexican team started putting pressure on the United States and finally found their goal in the 73rd minute from L.A. Galaxy midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos. Former Atlanta United head coach Tata Martino now has two titles in seven months as the Mexican manager.
The end of the Gold Cup wraps up Paul Arriola’s latest campaign with the U.S. Men’s National Team. In his five starts with the team, he scored two goals and earned one assist. He also solidified his role as an important part of head coach, Greg Berhalter’s attack and will hopefully be back in a U.S. jersey soon. Arriola will return to D.C. United in time for Friday’s match against the New England Revolution at Audi Field.