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Four Washington Spirit and Spirit Reserves players qualify for 2019 World Cup

By Michael Chan-Lok and Mason Cavalier
WashingtonSpirit.com

Boyds, Md. – Washington Spirit players Rose Lavelle, Mallory Pugh, Rebecca Quinn, and Chiny Asher qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as they played key roles for their national teams in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

Lavelle, Pugh and the U.S. WNT romped through the group stages, making a perfect 3-0-0 run while scoring 18 goals and conceding none. The U.S. continued their dominant display through the semifinals, winning 6-0 over the eventual third-place winner Jamaica. In the finals against Canada, Lavelle scored the championship-deciding goal in the 2nd minute of play. The U.S. would go on to lift the trophy after winning 2-0, booking their trip to France.

Lavelle made five caps for the U.S. during the competition, scoring twice and assisting once against Trinidad & Tobago, and scoring again in the final against Canada. Pugh made four caps for the U.S. WNT and was utilized as a super sub off the bench.

By finishing second in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, Quinn and the Canadian WNT also clinched their spot in the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. During the group stages of the Women’s Championship, Canada scored 17 goals and only conceded one, with it coming in the final group stage match against Costa Rica. After a huge 7-0 win over Panama in the semi-finals, Canada fell just short after a hard-nosed and tightly-contested final against the U.S., losing 2-0 and claiming second place.

Quinn contributed offensively for Canada, scoring and assisting once against Cuba and scoring in the semi-final against Panama. Defensively, Quinn was part of a back line that only gave up three goals over the course of the competition. The 23-year-old made five caps for the Canucks, starting every game in the tournament, and was selected to the CONCACAF Championship’s Best XI.

Joining the United States and Canada as CONCACAF representatives in the 2019 Women’s World Cup will be Jamaica. After finishing as runners-up in Group B behind Canada, Jamaica found themselves in need of a victory after succumbing to the U.S. 6-0 in the semi-finals.

The Reggae Girlz shocked the soccer world after a 2-2 draw in regulation and extra time gave way to a thrilling win in penalties in the third place match against Panama, securing the third and final automatic bid in the confederation.

Asher, a member of the Spirit Reserves, earned caps in all five of Jamaica’s matches in the tournament and provided two assists in their dominating 9-0 win against Cuba in the final group stage match. With the berth, Jamaica became the first Caribbean nation ever to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.