KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The US Women's National Team beat Japan 4-2 Thursday in front of a sellout crowd of 18,467 at Children's Mercy Park.
Alex Morgan scored her fourth career hat trick, and Megan Rapinoe added the team's final goal. The game was the nightcap of the first round of action in the 2018 Tournament of Nations.
“Kansas City is really the hub of soccer now," Kim Brummett said.
This round of the tournament also features national teams from Brazil and Australia, but the crowd of red, white and blue was there to support the U.S. women.
“Every time they take the field is magical, so I’m in heaven right here. The next eight days are like New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one," one fan who asked to only be identified as "Joe" said.
“This is my first time, so I’m excited. I’ve seen Sporting KC play, but I’ve never seen the U.S. play before," Alex Kahler said before getting her face painted for the game.
Though it was Kahler's first game, it was Joe's 41st trip to see Team USA in just the past 3 years. He’s traveled the country, only missing five games, but says Kansas City’s American Outlaws supporter squad is like no other.
“It is two hours (of) thunderous, continual, never-ending chants and songs. They bring it. When you think they may be tailing off a bit, they bring it more," he said.
The tournament heads to Hartford, Connecticut, where the U.S. National Women's Team will take on Australia on Sunday. Australia defeated Brazil 3-1 in the opener Thursday at Children's Mercy Park.