A-Rod is latest hat-trick hero

It was Amy Rodriguez's turn to score three Saturday night -- and the U.S. is one win from another Women's World Cup.

Rodriguez, Lake Forest's premier soccer product, followed the hat trick in the region's qualifying opener by Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach with one of her own as the Americans decimated Guatemala, 9-0, in Cancun, Mexico.

Wambach added two more goals and Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar HS) scored a goal and assisted the 88th-minute finale by Rodriguez (Santa Margarita HS/USC). The U.S. and Costa Rica, also 2-0-0 after a 3-0 win over Haiti, will meet Monday for the Group B title.

Both have clinched semifinal berths; the tournament finalists advance to next year's WWC in Germany, and the third-place team takes on Italy for another berth. The U.S. has won two of the previous five World Cups (in 1991 and 1999) and finished three in the other three. The Germans are two-time defending champs.

Rodriguez, who also tallied in the 21st minute and in first-half stoppage, has a dozen international goals in 51 appearances. Wambach boosted her goal total to 114, and Morgan doubled her output.

Also playing for the U.S.: Redondo Beach's Shannon Boxx (South Torrance HS), in midfield, as always.

OVER IN GROUP A: Maribel Dominguez's four goals led Mexico in a 7-2 rout of Guyana in a Group A opener Friday. Marlene Sandoval (Placentia/Valencia HS and Cal State Fullerton) was on El Tri's backline. ... Melissa Tancredi had the lone goal in Canada's victory over Trinidad & Tobago.


Group A: Mexico 3 points, Canada 3, Trinidad & Tobago 0, Guayana 0

Group B: United States 6 points, Costa Rica 6, Haiti 0, Guatemala 0