Back on November 24, 1991, the USWNT played its first-ever Women’s World Cup knockout round game, facing Chinese Taipei (known as Taiwan outside of FIFA competitions) in the quarterfinals of the inaugural tournament held in China. The Americans won 7-0, thanks mostly to a 5-goal performance by eventual Golden Boot winner Michelle Akers. She became the first player to score five goals in a single World Cup game.
Including Akers, a total of eight USWNT players have recorded 5-goal games, with the most recent one coming this past summer, as Alex Morgan scored five against Thailand in the Americans’ opening game of the Women’s World Cup. Here’s a look at those historic performances (video available for all but one game), in chronological order.
Brandi Chastain, April 1991
The USWNT faced Mexico in its first-ever Women’s World Cup qualifier. The tournament to determine the one nation that would represent CONCACAF at the inaugural World Cup was held in Haiti in the spring 1991. The Americans defeated Mexico 12-0, with a 22-year-old Brandi Chastain (then playing as a forward), netting five goals as a second-half substitute.
Michelle Akers, November 1991
Golden Boot winner Michelle Akers scored five of her 10 goals at the 1991 World Cup in the quarterfinal versus Chinese Taipei. Four of her goals came in the first half, including the first USWNT penalty-kick goal in a World Cup (Mia Hamm hit the post in a PK attempt in the group stage game versus Japan).
Tiffeny Milbrett, November 2002
It would be another 11 years before a USWNT player had a 5-goal game. Once more, the performance game in World Cup qualifying, and this time it was Tiffeny Milbrett netting five, in a 9-0 group stage game versus Panama. It took less than 35 minutes for the University of Portland alum and New York Power (WUSA) captain to score her five goals.
Abby Wambach, October 2004
In the Victory Tour following the 2004 Olympics, Abby Wambach scored all five goals in the 5-0 win versus Ireland in Houston (a match which unfortunately was not televised). Mia Hamm, who would play her final international match two months later, assisted four of Wambach’s goals.
Amy Rodriguez, January 2012
The USWNT kicked off 2012 with CONCACAF Olympic qualifying in Vancouver. In the first game of the tourney, Amy Rodriguez scored five goals in the second half of the 14-0 win versus the Dominican Republic. That match set a record for most USWNT goals in one game.
Sydney Leroux, January 2012
Just two days later, Sydney Leroux joined the 5-goal-game club, coming off the bench at halftime to score five in the 13-0 win over Guatemala and help the USWNT clinch a berth to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.
Crystal Dunn, February 2016
In the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tourney four years later, Crystal Dunn netted five against Puerto Rico in the USWNT’s final group stage game. The Americans beat Puerto Rico 10-0 in the first-ever meeting between the two sides. Dunn finished the tournament with the Golden Boot trophy with a total of six goals.
Alex Morgan 2019
In their opening game of the Women’s World Cup in France, the USWNT set a new World Cup record for most goals in one game as they defeated Thailand 13-0. Alex Morgan became just the second player in Women’s World Cup history to score five in one game. She scored another goal later in the tourney, and earned Silver Boot honors.