2019 Women's International Friendly, Women's International Friendly
  • Allie Long (45'+3')
  • Mallory Pugh (76')

U.S. beats South Korea in friendly in Megan Rapinoe's return to action

Megan Rapinoe had two assists in her return to make Jill Ellis the winningest coach in U.S. women's national team history after a 2-0 victory against South Korea in a friendly at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday.

Allie Long and Mallory Pugh scored to give Ellis 106 wins (106-7-18, .878) since 2012 to surpass the late Tony DiCicco's mark set from 1994-99 (105-8-8, .901). DiCicco won the World Cup in 1999; Ellis in 2015 and '19.

She is leaving the program after Sunday's match vs. South Korea at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Long scored from a free kick by Megan Rapinoe in the third minute of stoppage time to put the U.S. ahead 1-0 in an otherwise lethargic first half before 30,071 fans.

Pugh padded the lead in the 76th with a header from Rapinoe's corner kick for her 18th goal all time and sixth this season. It was her reward after Pugh hit the post in the 37th minute for the first good U.S. scoring opportunity.

The final of the five-match Victory Tour celebrating the World Cup title in France in July was played without Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath, Ali Krieger, Samantha Mewis, Alex Morgan and Kelley O'Hara.

It took the magic of Rapinoe for the U.S. to break through. Playing in her first match since the World Cup, the recently named FIFA Best Women's Player of 2019 sent a 25-yard restart to the left post for three runners. Long got her left foot on the pass for her eighth goal.

The U.S. was bedeviled by the post twice more in the second half on a 49th minute shot by Carli Lloyd and a clean look by Christen Press in the 70th.

The Americans won their 17th straight match, one shy of the record from July 25, 1990, to May 25, 1991. The U.S. has outscored opponents 55-3 in the past 15 matches.