Midge Purce, Olivia Moultrie lead youthful USWNT to easy win in Concacaf W Gold Cup opener

The USWNT's Midge Purce (9) dribbles the ball against the Dominican Republic during the first half of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup group stage game at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The USWNT's Midge Purce (9) dribbles the ball against the Dominican Republic during the first half of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup group stage game at Dignity Health Sports Park.

With the United States women’s national soccer team in flux, the Concacaf W Gold Cup represents a moment for players old and new to claim places of prominence.

Midge Purce and Olivia Moultrie heeded the call, leading the USWNT to a 5-0 rout of the Dominican Republic as the teams kicked off their Group A slate late in rain drenched Carson, California, on Tuesday night.

Purce, fresh off of a 2023 NWSL championship victory with NJ/NY Gotham FC, posted three assists, while Moultrie scored her first two goals with the senior national team.

The USWNT spent much of the last year or so guilty of some slow starts, but came flying out of the gates in the first seconds of their W Gold Cup opener.

Lynn Williams seemed to have converted that early pressure into a second-minute goal, only for an offside call on Sophia Smith to negate it.

The wait wouldn’t be long, though, as Purce waltzed through the Dominican Republic defense along the right before chopping a low cross  towards a wave of USWNT targets. Moultrie ended up winning the race, with the Portland Thorns midfielder finishing the move with a tap-in.

The USWNT came to grips with the nuances of a new-look 3-2-4-1 formation, but eventually Purce would find another, very similar assist in the 30th minute.

This time, Williams wouldn’t end up ruing an offside call, firing home after the feed from her Gotham teammate was right on the money.

Korbin Albert nearly joined Moultrie in claiming a first USWNT goal, jogging in to cap a simple 44th minute attacking sequence, only for Gabriella Cuevas to arrive to barely deflect the effort onto the crossbar.

After halftime, the Purce show continued, with the Gotham attacker getting her third assist of the night in the 58th minute.

This time, the Maryland native faked a shot to get past Winibian Peralta outside the box, before pinging a low service to leave Moultrie little option but to guide the ball home.

The USWNT’s newcomers kept it going to pad the margin of victory, with substitute Jaedyn Shaw winning a VAR-assisted penalty kick after Brianne Reed appeared to step on the San Diego Wave star’s foot.

Jenna Nighswonger eventually got the nod to step to the spot in the 86th minute, with the reigning NWSL Rookie of the Year making no mistake.

The late penalty seemed to finish things, but there was still time for Alex Morgan to break the longest goalless run of her USWNT career. This time, Reed brought Trinity Rodman down along the endline, giving up a second late penalty kick.

Nighswonger collected the ball, but handed it off to the U.S. legend, who was only named to the W Gold Cup squad as an injury replacement after Mia Fishel tore her ACL on Monday.

It might not have meant a lot in terms of the result, but Morgan’s successful effort from 12 yards ended an 11-game run for the U.S. without getting onto the scoresheet.

The USWNT’s next challenge at the W Gold Cup will be a meeting with Argentina, who held on for a scoreless draw with Mexico earlier on Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USWNT highlights of Concacaf W Gold Cup win vs. Dominican Republic