The U.S. women’s soccer team is heading to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Americans booked their trip with Friday’s 5-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying semifinals in Houston.
Team USA tweeted its congratulations on the qualification just after Friday’s win:
U.S. Olympic Team @TeamUSA
CONGRATS to the @ussoccer_wnt on QUALIFYING for #Rio2016! 🇺🇸 👏 #GoTeamUSA #RoadToRio https://t.co/EThroWajC92/20/2016, 3:23:44 AM
The U.S. becomes the eighth of 12 teams to qualify for the tournament, and will seek its fifth gold medal a little more than a year after winning the 2015 FIFA World Cup.
ESPN Stats & Info shared the U.S. could become the first women’s team ever to win soccer’s two most monumental events in back-to-back years:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
#USWNT beats Trinidad & Tobago to qualify for the Olympics. No country has won the Women's World Cup and Olympics in consecutive years.2/20/2016, 3:23:36 AM
Alex Morgan tallied her third career hat trick in Friday’s 5-0 victory, and Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath each added goals in the first half as the Americans cruised to an easy win over Trinidad and Tobago.
“We finally qualified,” Morgan said, per the Associated Press (via the New York Daily News). “We don’t have to talk about qualifying anymore.”
The U.S. women have won the gold medal in four of the last five Olympics, claiming silver at the Sydney 2000 Games.
After powering through the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament—only Sunday's title match against fellow Olympic qualifier Canada remains—the U.S. can now turn its attention to solidifying its 18-woman squad for Rio.
The roster has seen significant adjustments since the USWNT won the World Cup via pregnancies, retirements and other changes, but the core of Morgan, Lloyd and Hope Solo remains intact.
And given their continued dominance and no signs of complacency, the Americans will be a daunting foe for any team it meets this August.
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