In this Sept. 15, 2017 photo, U.S. forward Alex Morgan (13) moves the ball against New Zealand during the first half of an international friendly soccer match in Commerce City, Colo. The U.S. Women's National Team Players Association is donating $16,000 to help get the union for players in the National Women's Soccer League off the ground. The NWSL Players Association represents more than 160 players who are not paid by the U.S. and Canadian soccer federations. Those federations pay the salaries of several national team players who are allocated across the five-year-old women's professional league.(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP
Photo: Jack Dempsey/AP

USWNT loses to France as Georgia natives look to make World Cup roster 

The United States women’s soccer team suffered its first loss since 2017, falling 3-1 on Saturday to the French national team at Stade Océane in Le Havre, France.

Two goals from forward Kadidiatou Diani led the way for France, and forward Marie-Antoinette Katoto contributed a score in the 78th minute. Forward Mallory Pugh scored the U.S.’s only goal in stoppage time.

The French haven’t lost a game in France since early 2016, and ended the U.S. team’s 28-game unbeaten streak with the latest win. The U.S. vs. France series now stands at 17-3-3. 

Both teams are considered favorites in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a tournament France will host later this year.

The four Georgia natives listed on the 27-person January training-camp roster hope to make the team that will defend the United States’ title as world cup champions.

Starting against France on Saturday, Morgan Brian, from St. Simons, earned cap No. 82 and Emily Sonnett, from Marietta, earned cap No. 27. Emily Sonnett left the game in the 74th minute, being replaced by veteran Carli Lloyd.

Kelley O’Hara, from Fayetteville, was listed as “not game ready,” despite returning to the team following the preemptive ankle surgery she underwent late last year. Jane Campbell, from Kennesaw, was called up for this camp for the first time since April, but did not play.

Brian, Sonnett and O’Hara helped the United States qualify for the World Cup during the CONCACAF tournament in October. 

If O’Hara makes the World Cup team, it would be her third. It would be Brian’s second and the first for both Sonnett and Campbell.

The first half was all France, who took a 1-0 lead after a goal from forward Kadidiatou Diani in the ninth minute. Forward Delphine Cascarino overpowered Emily Fox, a defender from North Carolina on her third cap, on the right side for the assist.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made three total saves in the first half, two big ones, but for the first twenty minutes the U.S. didn’t look sharp. But France did, and put plenty of pressure on the U.S. from the opening kick. The U.S. saw more improvement in the second half, but France controlled most of the match. 

The French women’s soccer league is in midseason. The U.S. last played in Portugal in November, and the U.S. missed plenty of starters, but despite that, the U.S. lacked a strong attack and defense against France.

In addition to O’Hara, also “precautionary unavailable” to play for USA vs. France were forwards Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath, midfielder Julie Ertz and defender Casey Short.

The U.S. travels to Spain for a friendly at 2:30 p.m. ET Tuesday on ESPN2. 

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