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December 14, 2012
U.S. WNT ending eventful 2012, face China Saturday

By Norb Ecksl
Soccer News Net Contributor

Alex Morgan became only the second player in U.S. history to score 20 goals and assist on 20.
Alex Morgan became only the second player in U.S. history to score 20 goals and assist on 20.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BOCA RATON, FL---The U.S. Women’s National Team is ready to close out an eventful 2012 with a final match against China PR on Saturday at FAU Stadium, closing out their post-Olympic Fan Tribute Tour.

The match will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network and Univision Deportes Network at 7pm ET.

“One more game and its time to relax,” said goalkeeper Hope Solo. “The fans have stood by us and now its time for us to give back…entertain them and say ‘thank you’ for their support.”

The U.S. comes into the game having easily beaten China in each of their last two matches, with both of the team’s top scorers firing on all cylinders. Alex Morgan, with 28 goals, and Abby Wambach, with 25, have combined for 53 goals this year, the second highest of any duo in USWNT history.

Morgan, the US Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, looks back on a very satisfying year. “For me, I’ve grown as a player and a teammate. I appreciate the fans’ support and look forward to the future.”

The 23-year-old forward is looking ahead to a new coach and a new professional league. “I want to help grow the women’s game here in the US. And with a new league that means more teams are playing and the quality of play gets better,” Morgan explained. “And hopefully, that will help the women’s game financially.”

Morgan is only the second player in USWNT history to notch 20 goals and register 20 assists in one year. Mia Hamm accomplished the feat in 1998. “It’s an honor for me just to be talked about in the same breath as Mia,” she said.

Wambach, the 32-year-old captain and University of Florida grad, returns to South Florida after a stint with the professional team that played here in 2010. “Coming back to this campus is a treat for me. There were fun times here, playing here and being back in the sun again.”

Wambach scored two goals, the 149th and 150th in her career, in the last match on Wednesday against China PR in a 4-0 win. “It really has been such a successful year for us. It has been great. And coming here to close it out we’ll be able to celebrate with our fans.”

And as far as her young strike-mate is concerned, “She (Morgan) is really coming into her own. It is a pleasure being on the same side. And it will only get better!”

As far as the new women’s league, Wambach is positive. “We have committed to playing for the most part and will be participating in the growth once again. We know with US Soccer involved that there will be a stable league that will last for a full season. If the level of play is satisfactory…then we will make it go.”

U.S. Soccer plans to announce the name of the league and unveil its logo at halftime of Saturday’s game.
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