Francois Mori, AP Photo

World Cup Royal Roundup: O'Hara returns, Morgan scores 5 in USA's 13-0 rout of Thailand

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Updated - Jun 11th, 2019 @ 3:23pm | Posted - Jun 9th, 2019 @ 4:01pm



SALT LAKE CITY — The United States women’s national team will try to defend its World Cup title this summer in France.

But fans of Utah Royals FC will want to keep an eye on more than just the Stars and Stripes.

Six Royals will feature for their respective international squads over the next month, including three from the United States. The trio led by three-time World Cup veteran center back Becky Sauerbrunn opened their title defense Tuesday against Thailand (1 p.m. MDT, Fox).

Find results of the whole tournament here.

Here’s how each of the local products fared during the first round of group play in France. Be sure to check back after every game for highlights and updates.

United States' Alex Morgan, center, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (Photo: Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

DF Becky Sauerbrunn, DF Kelley O’Hara & FW Christen Press, United States

United States 13, Thailand 0

Alex Morgan scored five goals, Rose Lavelle and Samantha Mewis added two each; and Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe also scored to lead the United States in a dominating rout of No. 34-ranked Thailand.

With the five goals, Morgan tied a World Cup record for goals in a single match, the most since Michelle Akers knotted five in the American's win over Chinese Taipei in 1991. The United States also beat out Germany's previous record for widest margin, an 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007.

In a stunning update, Jill Ellis’s ever-reliable center back Becky Sauerbrunn was not available to start against Thailand, lending the U.S. coach to selected Abby Dahlkemper and recently transitioned defensive midfielder Julie Ertz in the middle of the park. Sauerbrunn, who has been with the national team since 2008, was held out with a quad injury that U.S. Soccer described as "precautionary."

But Sauerbrunn’s Utah teammate Kelley O'Hara was part of the Starting XI, making the first World Cup start of her international career. The U.S. fullback of 117 appearances assisted on Morgan’s opening goal about 13 minutes in, and the Stars and Stripes never took their foot off the gas en route to the baker’s dozen demolition.

O'Hara, who has been limited in her time with the Royals by several minor injuries, had a field day on the U.S. flank. Her long pass to Morgan just before the 20th minute helped set up Lavelle for the second goal, and the rout was on.

Utah’s Christen Press entered the match as a second-half sub, just before the hour mark, and immediately after Lavelle’s second goal gave the Americans a 7-0 scoreline.

The United States finished with 39 shots, including 21 on target. Thailand had two.

Next up: USA vs. Chile, June 16, 10 a.m. MDT (Fox)

DF Rachel Corsie, Scotland

England 2, Scotland 1

Rachel Corsie was a key member of the starting XI in the squad’s first-ever Women’s World Cup match in Nice, France. The 5-foot-9 center back was a bulwark for the Scots, donning the captain’s armband and forcing England to use its width in the win via first-half goals from Nikita Parris and Ellen White, establishing the Lionesses as one of the tournament’s lesser-known favorites.

Claire Emslie pulled one back for Scotland, while Corsie led the team in clearances on a defense that faced nine corner kicks.

Next up: Scotland vs. Japan. June 14, 7 a.m. MDT (FS1)

MF Desiree Scott, Canada

Canada 1, Cameroon 0

Royals teammate Diana Matheson was also named to Canada's initial World Cup roster, but the veteran forward with 200 international caps was ruled out for the tournament with a toe injury that will require surgery.

Desiree Scott started in defensive midfield of the Canadians' 4-4-2 formation Monday during the win over Cameroon. The 5-foot-3 enforcer played every minute of the match where Canada took a lead in first-half stoppage time, via Kadeisha Buchanan’s goal, and never looked back.

The hard-tackling midfielder was her usual physical self, known both for club and country, and drew a yellow card from Cameroon's Marlyse Ngo Ndoumbouk a few moments before the opening goal.

Next up: New Zealand vs. Canada, June 15, 1 p.m. MT (FS1)

DF Katie Bowen, New Zealand

Netherlands 1, New Zealand 0

The No. 8-ranked Dutch outshot Bowen and the All Whites 17-6, with eight shots on target, but didn’t lead until Jill Roord’s goal in second-half stoppage time to claim all three points.

Bowen started and played all 90 minutes for New Zealand, which held just 31 percent of possession.

Next up: New Zealand vs. Canada, June 15, 1 p.m. MT (FS1)

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