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As Europe's fifth-place team, Italy knew it would have to face a squad from the Caribbean or North or Central America for the final spot in next summer's women's World Cup. Mexico, perhaps. Or Costa Rica. Maybe even Canada.
California forward Alex Morgan, whose late goal against China last week helped preserve the U.S. women's nearly six-year unbeaten streak at home, is the only college player on the roster for the World Cup qualifying tournament later this month.