U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Qualifies for 2020 Olympics After Win Against Mexico
The 2020 Olympics are taking place in Tokyo this summer
The USWNT is headed to Tokyo!
On Friday night, the soccer team — who won the FIFA World Cup championship last summer — clinched a 4-0 win over Mexico in their regional Olympic qualifying tournament, securing a spot in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. The four goals were scored by three players who also played in the World Cup tournament — Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis and Christen Press.
This is the seventh consecutive Olympics the USWNT has qualified for, according to Sports Illustrated.
“It’s very important for a team that just won two World Cups back to back, that those emotions and that motivation is something that’s the hardest to get back up again,” coach Vlatko Andonovski, who recently took over from coach Jill Ellis, said after the game, according to the New York Times.
“I was just glad to see that the emotions are there, that the motivation is there to make it happen,” he said. “We are moving in the right direction, and I’m very happy with the stage we are at.”
The Tokyo Games mark the USWNT’s first Olympics after their heartbreaking quarterfinal loss in the 2016 Games. That loss, to Sweden, ended their three-time Olympic winning streak since the 2004 Athens Games.
Last summer, the team — including co-captains Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd — won the United States’ fourth FIFA World Cup championship. In addition to the World Cup win, the women also made headlines when they filed a gender-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation because they were not being paid as much as the men’s team.
In October, Morgan announced exclusively to PEOPLE that she and her husband, MLS player Servando Carrasco, are expecting their first child — but the athlete, 30, has said she fully anticipates competing at the Olympics, three months after she is expected to give birth.
“I hope to get back on the field as soon as possible,” Morgan previously told USA Today. “After having a healthy baby, I want to get back with the national team and look forward to playing in Tokyo.”