Morgan hurts ankle again as US beats Guatemala 5-0
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (AP) — Star forward Alex Morgan reinjured her left ankle in a U.S. qualifying match for the Women’s World Cup on Friday, just months after returning from a lengthy layoff.
Morgan hurt her ankle in a collision with Guatemala defender Londy Barrios in the 37th minute of the United States’ 5-0 win in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She will have scans to determine the extent of the injury.
“She’s pretty optimistic, which is a good sign,” coach Jill Ellis said. “She’s a tremendous player. It would be a loss if we didn’t have her.”
Morgan, who has 49 goals in 77 international caps for the U.S., was sidelined for seven months after injuring the same ankle during training last October. She returned to action in June with her club, the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Tobin Heath scored twice, and Carli Lloyd, Whitney Engen and Megan Rapinoe had one goal each as the U.S. improved to 2-0 in the group stage of tournament, which serves as qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo got her 75th shutout and didn’t need to make a single save as the Americans outshot Guatemala 21-0.
The U.S. had started the tournament with an unimpressive 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
“Things opened up, and we converted our chances this time,” Rapinoe said.
The U.S. is seeking its third World Cup title but first since 1999. The Americans lead Group A with six points, followed by Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago with three each. Guatemala is last on zero points.
The top two teams in each of two groups advance to the semifinals on Oct. 24 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The top three teams qualify for the World Cup in Canada, and the loser of the third-place game meets a South American nation in a playoff for another berth.