Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle were both injury questions entering the Women's World Cup final, but both provided the answers for the USA vs. the Netherlands scoring to deliver a fourth title to the Americans.
The U.S. didn't miss a beat despite the sudden absence of Megan Rapinoe, scoring early and then holding on late, with Alyssa Naeher's PK heroics preserving a semifinal win over England and clinching a return to the Women's World Cup final.
The match lived up to the expectations. An intense, physical battle went the USA's way, with ringmaster Megan Rapinoe conducting the circus she craved with two decisive goals, leading the Americans to the semifinals and dumping the Women's World Cup hosts out of the competition.
Spain tested the USA throughout their round-of-16 clash at the Women's World Cup, but the U.S. overcame its pressing opponent–and its own miscues–to set up the quarterfinal vs. France that's been anticipated since the draw came out.
Jill Ellis made seven changes to the USA lineup after a 13-0 win over Thailand, but a similar dominance ensued, with only Chilean goalkeeper Christiane Endler keeping the Americans from a second straight thrashing at the Women's World Cup.