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US Women’s soccer club wins $1 million prize in first TST

Talia DellaPeruta kept her composure and slotted a game-winning goal against North Carolina Courage’s keeper Laren Kellett – except this was more flavorful than your ordinary game-winner.

It was for $1 million, and the U.S. Women’s Club made history by winning the first women’s The Soccer Tournament (TST).

The goal that won $1 million.
The goal that won $1 million.

The tournament is relatively new but has already garnered much hype. 

TST was founded by the same people who started The Basketball Tournament in 2014, gaining popularity yearly.

The tournament is also financially backed by NBA star Chris Paul and former U.S. national team player Clint Dempsey.

It features a seven-on-seven side World Cup format with a twist – oh, yeah, and the million-dollar prize paid out to members of the winning team, too.

Those wrinkles help make the game more interesting: unlimited subs, kick-ins, no offsides and no slide tackling.

Lastly, the TST instilled “Target Score Time.”

What is that?

At the end of regulation – two 20-minute halves – you take the leading score and add one to determine the TST, another layer of fun to the tournament.

The first team to reach the TST wins. And that is exactly how the championship game ended.

The U.S. Women’s team featured alumni from the national team alongside college talent. The blend of maestros – including Ali Krieger, Allie Long and Heather O’Reilly, with Carli Lloyd and Mia Hamm at the coaching front – helped them dazzle through their seven other competitors.

The U.S. women won $1 million.
The U.S. women won $1 million.

The team finished second in Group A, which meant they had to face the No. 1 ranked team in Group B: Tampa Bay Sun F.C. However, the seeding did not phase the U.S. Women in a 4-0 win.

The victory put them through to the finals against the Courage.

The game opened with back-and-forth action, with the U.S. Women grabbing the lead thrice only to have the Courage equalize on each occasion.

The U.S. Women ultimately grabbed a 5-3 edge at the end of regulation, which meant the TST score was six.

Finally, after nearly a week of hard-fought matches at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., DellaPeruta did something many youngsters dream of: net the game-winner on a big stage.

She told TST that “this moment doesn’t compare to any other moment in my soccer career” following the match.

Talia DellaPeruta was all smiles after scoring the game-winning goal.
Talia DellaPeruta was all smiles after scoring the game-winning goal.

Additionally, U.S. Women’s Tessa Dellarose was named to the TST’s Best 7, attesting to her strong performance all week.

The goal and victory capped a stellar weekend for the U.S. Women and will be the first of many tournaments to follow.