England Women have rocketed to fourth place in the FIFA rankings after winning Euro 2022 – but they still trail Sweden and Germany, two of the teams they beat on the way to glory.

The list continues to be headed by World Cup winners the United States, who are due to face England in an October friendly at Wembley.

Germany climb above Sweden to take over second place after reaching the European final, but the Swedes hold a narrow lead over England.

That is despite England thrashing Sweden 4-0 in the semi-finals of the Women's Euros, before going on to beat Germany 2-1 after extra time in the final.

England were eighth in the rankings prior to winning the European title for the first time but have vaulted above France, the Netherlands, Canada and Spain.

Sarina Wiegman, who led the Netherlands to Euro 2017 glory, repeated the feat this year as manager of England and is set to be offered an improved contract by the Football Association ahead of the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Brazil remain ninth after winning the Copa America Femenina, beating Colombia in the final, while Women's Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa nudged up four places to 54th on the list.

England and the United States are set to pack out Wembley in a tantalising October clash between the Euro 2022 and Women's World Cup winners, hailed by Sarina Wiegman as "the perfect game".

News of the planned October 7 fixture arrived two days after England completed their European triumph in front of 87,192 spectators at the national stadium in London, beating Germany 2-1 in a final that went to extra time.

It was a record crowd for a European Championship game, men's or women's, and the feverish support for the women's in England looks set to guarantee another full house.

The US women's side beat England 2-1 in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals, and the two teams are expected to be among the trophy challengers at next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

England still have work to do to be absolutely sure of their place in that tournament, but a point away to Austria on September 3 or a home win over Luxembourg three days later would make sure. In the highly unlikely event that England miss out on an automatic place, the USA game would have to be cancelled or postponed.

England boss Wiegman said: "It would be the perfect game for our squad to meet another strong team after so many tough games in the Euros. It is good we enjoy the moment we are in after this wonderful summer, but we know we still have to work to do to take the next step forward."

USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski is relishing the trip, saying: "This is exactly the kind of match we need at exactly the right time in our World Cup preparations so we can test ourselves against a very talented England team.

"I saw England play live at the Euros, and I'm looking forward to an amazing atmosphere at Wembley and another big event for women's soccer on October 7."

Former United States goalkeeper Hope Solo has opened up on her treatment for alcohol abuse after being convicted of driving while impaired.

Solo was arrested in North Carolina on March 31 and initially charged with impaired driving, resisting arrest and misdemeanour child abuse, with her two children present in the vehicle at the time of the offence.

The latter two charges were voluntarily dismissed, her attorney Chris Clifton told the Winston-Salem Journal on Tuesday, as Solo received a suspended 24-month sentence and surrendered her driving licence.

The former goalkeeper, who won 202 caps for her country between 2000 and 2016, revealed she was to enter an in-patient alcohol treatment program in April, having requested her imminent induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame be postponed until 2023.

Solo has now taken to social media to thank those who aided her throughout her treatment, as she labelled the incident leading to the arrest "the worst mistake of my life".

"It's been a long road, but I'm slowly coming back from taking time off," she wrote on Twitter. 

"I made a huge mistake, easily the worst mistake of my life. I underestimated what a destructive part of my life alcohol had become.

"The upside of making a mistake this big is that hard lessons are learned quickly. Learning these lessons has been difficult, and at times, very painful.

"I would like to thank my attorneys, Rich Nichols, Jim Trusty and Chris Clifton, for understanding that putting my mental and emotional well-being first is most important to me and my family. I look forward to opening up and sharing more with everyone in the coming weeks.

"I also want to thank all the wonderful women I met during my time at the Hope Valley treatment facility.

"I continue to be a student of the greatest school called life and I will continue to learn and grow from these experiences. I will continue to gain empathy, knowledge, and stories to share. 

"I consider this a gift to pass it on to others because pain shared is pain lessened."

Superstar gymnast Simone Biles received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden on Thursday, becoming the youngest living person to be honoured.

Biles is the most decorated US gymnast in history, with 32 Olympic and world championship medals, and has also been an advocate for mental health and sexual assault survivors.

President Biden recognised her achievements both inside and outside the gym, as he awarded the 25-year-old yet another medal.

"When we see her compete, we see unmatched power and determination, grace and daring," Biden said.

"A trailblazer and a role model, when she stands on the podium, we see what she is: absolute courage to turn personal pain into a greater purpose, to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

"Today, she adds to her medal count of 32 – I don't know if you're going to find room."

In the same ceremony, Megan Rapinoe was the first footballer to be a recipient of this highest civilian award in the United States.

Rapinoe has won two Women's World Cups and an Olympic gold medal and has also been a prominent figure due to her activism.

The OL Reign captain has battled throughout her career for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights.

"Beyond the World Cup titles and the Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for [an] essential American truth that everyone – everyone – is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Biden said.

While Rapinoe was at the White House, her United States team-mates clinched qualification for the 2023 World Cup with a 5-0 win over Jamaica.

United States Soccer has announced that collective bargaining agreements have been put in place to ensure the men's and women's national teams will receive equal pay.

This means that World Cup prize money received by FIFA will be combined and split evenly between the two teams.

The men's team will compete in the World Cup in Qatar later this year, having been drawn in the same group as England, Iran and the winner of the final European playoff.

The women's team won the 2019 World Cup in France and will be among the favourites for the 2023 event in Australia and New Zealand.

An announcement by U.S. Soccer on Wednesday stated: "The United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the United States Women's National Team Players Association (USWNTPA) and the United States National Soccer Team Players Association (USNSTPA) have agreed to terms of historic, first-of-their-kind collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that achieve equal pay and set the global standard moving forward in international soccer.

"The two CBAs, which run through 2028, achieve equal pay through identical economic terms. These economic terms include identical compensation for all competitions, including the FIFA World Cup, and the introduction of the same commercial revenue sharing mechanism for both teams.

"The agreements will ensure that U.S. Soccer’s Senior National Team players remain among the highest paid in the world.

"Under these agreements, U.S. Soccer becomes the first Federation in the world to equalise FIFA World Cup prize money awarded to the U.S. Women's National Team (USWNT) and the U.S. Men's National Team (USMNT) for participation in their respective World Cups.

"Equally as important, the new CBAs improve non-economic terms, including player health and safety, data privacy and the need to balance responsibilities to both club and country."

The total purse for the 2019 women's World Cup was $30million, with the United States receiving $4m as winners.

France took home $38m for winning the men's World Cup in 2018 in Russia from an overall purse of $400m.

The President of U.S. Soccer, Cindy Parlow Cone, called it a "historic moment" and said the agreement has "changed the game forever in the United States"

"I am grateful for the commitment and collaboration of both the men’s and women's national teams and I am incredibly proud of the hard work that has led to this moment. Everyone who cares about our sport should share in this pride as we look forward to working together to grow soccer for generations to come," Cone added.

Trinity Rodman scored her first goal for the United States in Tuesday's 9-0 win against Uzbekistan.

The 19-year-old forward is the daughter of five-time NBA champion and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Dennis Rodman, but is already forging a reputation in her own right.

Rodman was the NWSL Rookie of the Year and the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year in 2021.

And the Washington Spirit sensation, earning her third cap, achieved another milestone in scoring the seventh goal of a dominant USWNT win.

Half-time substitute Rodman steered a right-footed finish into the bottom-left corner from just inside the box in the 71st minute, becoming the first teenager to score for the USWNT since 2018.

For a player of such huge potential, it was perhaps fitting Rodman's breakthrough goal came at Subaru Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union where 115-goal great Alex Morgan also netted for the first time in national team colours back in 2010.

"For Trinity, it's her first goal," coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "But I said in the post-game huddle: I truly believe that's the first of many.

"It is a very nice moment and a very nice experience, obviously for Trinity but for me too. I was very proud of her.

"She has worked very hard to earn an opportunity, very hard to earn minutes on this team."

Players of the United States Women's National Team have reached a landmark agreement with governing body U.S. Soccer, ending a long-running legal battle over equal pay for the country's female footballers.

After a six-year legal battle led by the players of the USWNT, who have won the last two editions of the FIFA Women's World Cup, U.S. Soccer has committed to providing an equal rate of pay for it's men's and women's national teams, including World Cup bonuses, subject to agreements with the teams' respective unions.

The agreement will also see the players split a lump sum of $22m, roughly one-third of what they originally sought in damages, and provides for a fund of $2m to support players after their playing careers and to aid charitable initiatives around the women's game.

The governing body and the USWNT players have released a joint statement, which reads as follows.

"We are pleased to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement, we will have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand together in a shared commitment to advancing equality in soccer.

"Getting to this day has not been easy. The U.S. Women's National Team players have achieved unprecedented success while working to achieve equal pay for themselves and future athletes.

"Today, we recognise the legacy of the past USWNT leaders who helped make this day possible, as well as all of the women and girls who will follow.

"Together, we dedicate this moment to them.

"We look forward to continuing to work together to grow women's soccer and advance opportunities for young girls and women in the United States and across the globe."

The legal battle had raged since April 2016, and has been fraught with controversy, with former U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro quitting in 2020 after the federation submitted legal papers claiming women were physically inferior to men.

It's not often scoring a 'perfect' hat-trick would be considered a bad thing, but it certainly was for New Zealand women's international Meikayla Moore against the United States on Sunday.

That's because the luckless Liverpool defender completed the usually impressive feat by scoring three own goals in the SheBelieves Cup fixture in Los Angeles.

Moore's nightmare outing began when she inadvertently diverted home Sophia Smith's left-wing cross with her right foot in the fifth minute.

Just a minute later and it was Sofia Huerta's delivery from the right that caused panic and eventually went in via Moore's head.

And after 36 minutes, Moore directed Margaret Purce's low cross from the right in with her left foot to compound a truly miserable opening period.

Head coach Jitka Klimkova would end Moore's misery by replacing her with Rebekah Stott. The United States went on to win the game 5-0 with Ashley Hatch and Mallory Pugh also getting on the scoresheet.

The USA consequently went top with four points, with New Zealand bottom having lost twice. Iceland were aiming to reclaim top spot and make it two wins from two against the Czech Republic later on Sunday.

Two-time Women's World Cup winner Carli Lloyd has announced she will retire from playing at the end of the year.

The 39-year-old has earned 312 caps for the United States and represented 11 clubs across a 22-year playing career, 12 of those as a professional.

Lloyd is one of four players to have played more than 300 times at international level and is in line to play her last match for USA in their September and October friendlies.

She will also see out the remainder of the National Women's Soccer League season with NJ/NY Gotham FC before ending her career.

The New Jersey native hinted at her retirement following USA's defeat to Canada in the Tokyo Olympics semi-finals earlier this month and confirmed her decision on Monday.

"When I first started out with the national team in 2005, my two main goals were to be the most complete soccer player I could be and to help the team win championships," she said in a statement.

"Every single day I stepped out onto the field, I played as if it was my last game. I never wanted to take anything for granted, especially knowing how hard it is to get to the top, but even harder to stay at the top for so long."

 

Lloyd played under five different coaches for the USA across three different decades and lifted the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, having finished as a runner-up in the 2011 edition.

Through her 312 caps, which also includes appearances at four Olympic Games, the USWNT have a record of 257 wins, 17 draws and 38 defeats for a win percentage of 88 per cent.

"I would like to thank U.S. Soccer for helping to provide the opportunities and memories that will last a lifetime," Lloyd added. "I am forever grateful to have represented the crest and to be able to play for my country for the last 17 years.

"I will continue to support and cheer this team on and continue to find ways to help grow the game and inspire the next generation."

Lloyd is one of two Americans to win the FIFA Women's Player of the Year award on multiple occasions, doing so in 2015 and 2016. Mia Hamm was the other player to do so in 2001 and 2002.

USA football star Megan Rapinoe got to see her fiancee Sue Bird complete a stellar Olympic career with a fifth basketball gold medal - despite all crowds being banned in Tokyo.

Bird, 40, signed off her Games career in the United States' 90-75 win over Japan on Sunday.

At courtside was Rapinoe, who won a bronze on Thursday when she scored twice as the USA beat Australia 4-3 in the football third-place match.

Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2019 World Cup, first met Bird in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

They became a couple later that year and announced their engagement in October 2020.

When the USA clinched the basketball gold medal, Bird went to the side of the court and kissed Rapinoe, later revealing how her 36-year-old partner managed to gain access to the Saitama Super Arena.

"I'm very lucky," Bird said. "Obviously when your partner or your fiancee is also in the Olympics you would love to be able to go and support them, be around them, to give any kind of support possible.

"Megan somehow finagled a media credential and got herself in this arena today. We didn't really know it was going to happen until two days ago, it got confirmed. So I do I feel very lucky she was here to witness it, to share it with me."

Spectators have been blocked from attending venues at the Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with families of overseas athletes unable to travel to Japan for the Games, meaning Rapinoe was among the fortunate few to be in the arena.

"I just went over and obviously told her I loved her and told her I was tired," said Bird. "That was pretty much the extent of the conversation, and she told me she was happy and proud of me.

"Of course I'm so proud of her and her team for winning that bronze medal. The Olympics is hard. It's really hard. There's so much pressure involved and so to have both of us medal is something that I know we'll take that memory with us forever."

Rapinoe wrote on Instagram: "I am so proud of you @sbird10. As if I could love you any more. Congrats baby!"

Bird has ruled out playing on to Paris 2024, happy to settle for five gold medals, the first of which came in Athens at the 2004 Games.

"It really is hard to wrap your head around it, to grasp what it is," said the Seattle Storm star.

"Twenty years of staying true to the game, making sure you're at the top of your game, so much sacrifice.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen. We lost in 2006 [to Russia at the World Championship]. We tasted that and that's always been the driver.

"So when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

Megan Rapinoe scored direct from a corner as she and fellow United States veteran Carli Lloyd hit doubles to sink Australia 4-3 in the Olympic Games bronze medal game.

Australia's replies came from Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik in the seven-goal feast at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium.

It was 36-year-old Rapinoe and 39-year-old Lloyd who stole the show, though, on what may prove to be farewell appearances for the superstar duo.

Whether they play on in the short term for the national team remains to be seen, but this was likely a final outing at the Olympics for both, and they went out in style.

Rapinoe opened the scoring in the eighth minute when her wicked in-swinging corner from the left evaded everybody and found the net.

Kerr levelled seven minutes later with her 48th goal for Australia – a new national team record – when her shot proved too powerful for Adrianna Franch, but it was soon Rapinoe's time again.

The standout player from the 2019 World Cup smashed in her second goal of this game on the volley, connecting sweetly from around 12 yards after Alanna Kennedy sliced an attempted clearance.

Lloyd, who became the outright second most-capped player in US history by making her 312th appearance, got in on the goals just before half time. Her thumping left-footed shot across goal found the right corner, putting the US 3-1 up.

Lloyd scored again in the 51st minute after another Kennedy error, this time a weak header back to her goalkeeper allowing Lloyd a clear run on goal, with the striker slotting home.

That made her the US team's all-time highest scorer in Olympic women's football with 10 goals. Lloyd won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012, with Rapinoe also on the triumphant latter team in London.

Australia got back into this game with a header from Foord after 54 minutes, and Kerr headed against the left post two minutes later. Substitute Gielnik rattled in a delicious late third for Australia, but they could not find a fourth.

Canada sensationally ended a 36-game winless run against the United States, with Jessie Fleming's penalty securing a place in the women's football final at the Tokyo Olympics.

USA had 17 attempts on Monday but a second defeat at the Games – they had gone down 3-0 to Sweden in their opening group fixture – means the reigning world champions will not have a chance to secure gold in Japan.

There was controversy surrounding the winning goal, too, as a VAR check resulted in Canada being awarded a penalty for a foul by Tierna Davidson on Deanne Rose in the 74th minute.

Substitute goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who had replaced the injured Alyssa Naeher in the first half, guessed correctly but Fleming's penalty still found the net.

Canada stubbornly held on for the remainder of the contest to secure a first triumph over their rivals since March 11, 2001.

While USA can still claim a bronze medal, Megan Rapinoe did not hold back when assessing the impact of the result, particularly against opponents they have become accustomed to beating through the years.

"It's a bitter one to swallow. We never want to lose to Canada. I don't think I ever have, so it's a bitter one," Rapinoe said.

"Still a lot to compete for. It's not the colour we wanted, but there's still a medal on the line and that's a huge thing. We want to win that game, but this sucks. It sucks."

Asked why USA had struggled so much to find form during the tournament, Rapinoe replied: "I feel like we haven't had our joy a little bit.

"It just hasn't flowed for us, hasn't been easy. It's not for a lack of effort, or anyone not giving everything they have. It just didn't click for us.

"I don't know if it was roster rotation, I know it's a tough tournament when trying to save people, but our bench is as deep as hell. I don't think we can put it on that, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

"We just didn't have that juice that we normally do."

USA had been aiming to strike Olympic gold for a fifth time having missed out on a medal of any colour at Rio 2016, where they lost to Sweden on penalties in the last eight.

The Swedes lost to Germany in the final five years ago but could still go one better this year – they take on Australia in the second semi-final.

The United States and Canada will do battle in the semi-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after edging into the final four.

USA - winners of the Olympic tournament four times previously - managed to beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in their quarter-final after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Having finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major event for the first time in their history, the USA knew a much-improved display was needed against a Dutch side who scored 21 times in their opening three games, the most of any women's side at a single Olympics.

They duly delivered a strong display as they twice took the lead only for Vivianne Miedema to continue her sensational form, scoring twice to cancel out goals from Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams in an engrossing contest in Yokohama.

Megan Rapinoe swept the decisive penalty kick high into the net after Alyssa Naeher had made two stops to her right.


BRAZIL FALL SHORT AGAIN

Canada await USA after they inflicted further heartbreak on Brazil, whose wait for gold in this event goes on.

Beaten semi-finalists in Rio five years ago, Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw before suffering another defeat on penalties to the 2016 bronze medallists.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who was injured in the closing stages of extra time, recovered to make two critical saves in the shoot-out to secure a 4-3 win.

"In the moment, it was about trusting myself, trusting my instincts, and trusting my ability to make a save," she said afterwards.

"Pain is temporary. We have our eyes on the prize."

 

WHITE TREBLE NOT ENOUGH AS MATILDAS WIN CLASSIC

The stand-out quarter-final took place between Australia and Great Britain, a seven-goal thriller eventually ending in a 4-3 victory for the Matildas.

Two goals from Ellen White had turned the game on its head and looked to be enough to send Hege Riise's side through, but Chelsea star Sam Kerr levelled in the 89th minute with a crisp low strike.

The contest then swung Australia's way in a dramatic minute in extra time, Mary Fowler's deflected shot finding the top corner after Caroline Weir had a penalty saved at the other end.

Kerr scored another before White completed her hat-trick with a deft header to set up a frantic finale, with Australia just holding on for a famous win.

Remarkably, they overperformed in terms of expected goals by 3.2, their highest such figure at these finals.

Australia will contest their semi-final against Sweden, who ended Japan's quest for a medal on home soil with a 3-1 victory.

Mina Tanaka cancelled out Magdalena Eriksson's sixth-minute opener, but Sweden took control in the second half through further goals from Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani.

 

The United States will face the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after being held 0-0 by Australia to finish second in Group G.

USA bounced back from a shock 3-0 loss to Sweden in their opening game with a 6-1 win against New Zealand, but they dropped further points in the round-robin stage on Tuesday.

Previously unbeaten in 44 games before that Sweden loss, USA failed to break down Australia's defence – Alex Morgan's disallowed goal for offside the closest they came to doing so.

Mary Fowler hit the crossbar for Australia and in the end a point apiece was a fair outcome, with the Matildas also advancing to play Great Britain in the last eight.

It is the first time in history record four-time winners USWNT have finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major global tournament.

 

RAMPANT DUTCH AWAIT USA

Sweden were already assured of a place in the last eight ahead of their clash with New Zealand and saw the job through with a 2-0 win at Miyagi Stadium to finish ahead of USA.

Anna Anvegard and Madelen Janogy were on target for Sweden before half-time and they saw out a straightforward win that condemned New Zealand to a group-stage exit.

It means USA will now take on the Netherlands in the next round in what is a repeat of the 2019 Women's World Cup final. The Netherlands lost that match, but they enter this latest showdown in superb form after thrashing China 8-2 in Yokohama.

Lineth Beerensteyn, Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema all scored twice in the one-sided affair, while Shanice van de Sanden and Victoria Pelova were also on target.

The Netherlands' tally of 21 goals from three games is already the most scored by a team in a single women's football Olympics event, surpassing the USA's 16 from London 2012.

HOSTS JAPAN SCRAPE THROUGH

Japan did all that they could in the final round of group games by beating Chile 1-0 through a Mina Tanaka goal 13 minutes from time.

That win took the tournament hosts to four points from three games, enough to send them through as one of the best third-placed sides, along with Australia.

Already through to the quarter-finals, Great Britain snatched top spot with a late 1-1 draw against second-placed Canada in Tuesday's other Group E match.

Caroline Weir's long-range free-kick with 84 minutes played took a heavy deflection and cancelled out Adriana Leon's opener.

Brazil also booked their spot in the knockout stages thanks to Andressa's first-half free-kick in their 1-0 win against the tournament's lowest-ranked side in Zambia, who lost Lushomo Mweemba to an early red card. 

The Selecao meet Canada in the quarters, while Australia await Great Britain.

The United States returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion to kick-start their bid for Olympic glory, while Barbra Banda tied a Games record with a second successive hat-trick for Zambia.

Sweden had sensationally put an end to USA's 44-match unbeaten streak at the start of the women's tournament, with Megan Rapinoe admitting the beaten world champions had "played a bit tight" in a 3-0 defeat.

However, Vlatko Andonovski's side responded impressively to that setback on Saturday, thrashing New Zealand 6-1 in Saitama, in the process registering their largest margin of victory in an Olympics fixture.

Rose Lavelle and Lindsey Horan gave USA a 2-0 half-time lead, the latter on target to mark her 100th cap. Further efforts from Christen Press and Alex Morgan added to the score after the break, while they were helped out by their opponents scoring two own goals.

It is the Swedes who sit on top of the table, though, as a strong second-half performance sealed a 4-2 triumph against Australia.

Meanwhile, Banda equalled the record for most goals scored by a woman at a single Olympics, matching Christine Sinclair's tally of six for Canada at London 2012 with another treble, this time against China.

Zambia's captain scored all her country's goals in a 10-3 loss to the Netherlands in their Group F opener. She followed up with three more in a thrilling 4-4 draw on Saturday, though China's Wang Shuang went one better as she hit four in a see-saw contest.

Vivianne Miedema later moved level with Banda on six goals at this Olympics. The forward had scored four as the Dutch crushed Zambia, then managed another two in a 3-3 draw against Brazil.

Ellen White continued her impressive start to the tournament with the winner as Great Britain defeated hosts Japan 1-0 to qualify for the last eight.

Having scored twice in the opening 2-0 win over Chile, White made it 13 goals in her past 14 international outings when heading in a cross from Lucy Bronze in the 74th minute.

Also in Group E, Canada overcame Chile 2-1 thanks to a brace from Janine Beckie, putting them second in the standings ahead of a clash with Team GB to finish the round-robin stage.

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