By Karen Price | June 12, 2018, 10:06 p.m. (ET)
Wu Haiyan of China tries to stop Tobin Heath during a U.S. women's soccer friendly against China on June 12, 2018 in Cleveland.

 

The Women’s World Cup is a year away, and the U.S. women’s national team continued its preparations with a 2-1 win against China in a friendly at FirstEnergy Stadium on Tuesday in Cleveland.

Li Ying scored the tying goal for China in the 72nd minute but the U.S. answered immediately with 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Tobin Heath scoring three minutes later to give the Americans a 2-1 lead that they would hold from then on out. It was Heath’s first game back with the national team since Sept. 19, 2017.

Megan Rapinoe had put the U.S. on top with a diving header in the 35th minute, the only goal of the first half.

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The U.S. outshot China, 16-9, and held possession of the ball for 59 percent of the game.

Team USA won the last World Cup and is considered among the favorites — if not the favorite — to contend for a title again in 2019. The Americans are now 7-0-1 in 2018.

While they have Heath back healthy, they’re now playing without 20-year-old Mallory Pugh, whom they announced last weekend will miss 8-10 weeks with a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sprain to her right knee.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.