USA thrash New Zealand in World Cup warning

USA thrash New Zealand in World Cup warning

Alex Morgan scored his 120th international goal as the United States thrashed New Zealand 4-0 in a friendly in Wellington on Wednesday to trigger a World Cup warning.

Forward Mallory Swanson scored twice and Lynn Williams also scored for the world’s top-ranked team, six months before the Americans defend their title in New Zealand and Australia.

The match was the first of the year for the Americans, who will be seeking a third consecutive World Cup crown.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski said he wants his team to familiarize themselves with stadiums, training venues and travel ahead of the month-long global showpiece that begins on July 20.

The United States will play its three World Cup group games in Wellington and Auckland and possibly return to those cities for the quarterfinals and semifinals.

They squandered a slew of chances in the first half, but capitalized on their dominance after the break with four goals in 20 minutes.

Swanson’s first headed goal came off a cross from Trinity Rodman, the daughter of former National Basketball Association star Dennis Rodman.

Star forward Morgan doubled the lead before Swanson got her second and Williams capitalized on another assist from Rodman.

The four-time world champions will play a two-game series against the 24th-ranked New Zealanders, which concludes in Auckland on Saturday.

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