The U.S. women’s soccer team will arrive at the Olympics next week with a 15-game unbeaten streak and favored status for a fourth consecutive gold medal.
In their final tuneup before traveling to Brazil, the Americans rushed to a three-goal lead and defeated Costa Rica, 4-0, Friday night in Kansas City, Kansas.
Former South Side High School star Crystal Dunn, 18-year-old Mallory Pugh and World Cup hero Carli Lloyd scored in the first half in front of 12,635 at Children’s Mercy Park. Substitute Christen Press added a goal in the 79th minute.
The top-ranked Americans are 14-0-1 this year with a 52-4 goal differential after defeating No. 29 Costa Rica for the 14th time in as many all-time meetings.
Jill Ellis’s squad will spend a few days in Washington before traveling to Brazil for the 12-team competition. In Group G, they’ll play New Zealand and France in Belo Horizonte and Colombia in Manaus.
Dunn scored her 10th international goal of the year in the 15th minute, an easy finish of Meghan Klingenberg’s cross. UCLA-bound Pugh beat goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz to the near corner in the 22nd minute, and Lloyd headed in Becky Sauerbrunn’s free kick during first-half stoppage time. It was Lloyd’s first goal since recovering from a sprained knee (88th of her career) and first start since April 10.
Allie Long, who played at Northport High School, assisted Press’s goal from 12 yards.
In her last opportunity for competitive minutes before the Olympics, midfielder Megan Rapinoe was not in uniform. Rapinoe made the 18-player squad, despite no international or league appearances since recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, suffered last winter. On Friday, Olympic alternate Samantha Mewis took her place on the active roster but did not play.