Amy Rodriguez scored a quick goal and Abby Wambach returned from injury to see her first action of the year in the U.S. women's national team's 2-1 victory over Japan in their opener at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal.
Rodriguez (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and USC) scored in the seventh minute from a feed by Lauren Cheney (UCLA), and Megan Rapinoe doubled the advantage 11 minutes later. Former L.A. Sol midfielder Aya Miyama scored Japan's goal in the 29th.
Wambach (Hermosa Beach), who missed the Americans' start-of-the-year camp at Home Depot Center and the Four Nations event in China with a heel injury, came on at halftime for the U.S.
Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach/South Torrance HS) started in midfield, and Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar/Diamond Bar HS) came off the bench in the second half. Lindsay Tarpley (Hermosa Beach), wife of UCLA women's coach B.J. Snow, watched from the bench.
The U.S., which is seeking its fourth Algarve title in five years and eighth since first winning it in 2000, meets Norway on Friday and Finland on Monday, with a placement match set for Wednesday.