The United States women's national team got off to a hot start at the CONCACAF W Championship, earning a 3-0 win over Haiti at Estadio Universitario in Monterrey, Mexico, on Monday.
This year's CONCACAF W Championship serves as the region's qualifying tournament for the 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The eight-team tournament is divided into two groups, and the top two finishers in each group automatically qualify for the 2023 Women's World Cup, while the third-place finisher in each group advances to a 10-team intercontinental playoff for a shot at earning a World Cup spot.
The winner of the CONCACAF W Championship will also automatically qualify for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris, with the runner-up and third-place teams moving into a CONCACAF Olympic playoff to earn a spot at the Olympics.
Here's a look at each of the groups and the USWNT's group stage schedule. The semifinals will be played on July 14, and the final will be played on July 18.
Trinidad & Tobago
July 7 at 7 p.m. ET vs. Jamaica
July 11 at 10 p.m. ET vs. Mexico
The USWNT is widely expected to win the CONCACAF W Championship and seal berths in both the 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympics, and they asserted their dominance in this year's tournament with an impressive outing against Haiti.
Alex Morgan opened up the scoring in the 16th minute with an impressive flick past Haitian goalkeeper Lara Larco. Mallory Pugh assisted on the goal with a gorgeous pass from just outside the 18 to give the Americans a 1-0 lead.
Morgan found the net again in the 23rd minute on a header off a cross from Kelley O'Hara.
While it was a dominant first half from the U.S., Haiti forward Melchie Dumornay put some pressure on the American back line and earned a shot on goalkeeper Casey Murphy before Emily Fox was called for a foul inside the 18 to give the Haitians a penalty shot.
Roselord Borgella took the penalty for Haiti in the 42nd minute, and while Murphy guessed wrong on the shot, the ball hit the post and stayed out of the net to keep the game 2-0 in the U.S.' favor.
Borgella found herself tangled up in the action again in first-half stoppage time when she caught O'Hara high with her cleat, initially earning a red card. However, the call was overturned to a yellow card after video review.
The USWNT's back line looked shaky in the first half and undoubtedly gave the Americans some scares. However, it was a much better start for the U.S. after two slow starts against Colombia in international friendly action last month.
Meg Linehan @itsmeglinehan
HT: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USWNT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USWNT</a> 2 - Haiti 0. A brace from Alex Morgan, Borgella misses a PK for Haiti, then escapes a red card via VAR. Main lesson for the US is that the intensity on defending needs to be turned up a few notches at minimum.
The United States got out to a slow start in the second half and, in turn, allowed Haiti to get more comfortable and settle into the match. And despite Midge Purce, Ashley Sanchez, Kristie Mewis, Sofia Huerta and Megan Rapinoe subbing in after halftime, the Americans struggled to find the back of the net for a third time.
Rapinoe and Purce nearly combined for a goal in the 77th minute, but the call was overturned for offside after review. However, Purce cashed in for the Americans' third goal of the night in the 84th minute on a shot from the center of the box.
While the second half was quite underwhelming, Monday's game overall was a solid start to the tournament for the Americans. That said, they will need play much better over the next two weeks to earn a berth in the final.
The USWNT will take the field again on Thursday against Jamaica at 7 p.m. ET. A victory would put the Americans in good position to win Group A.