By James Nalton, Football Whispers
A first-half goal from Alex Morgan was enough to ensure the US Women’s National Team end the calendar year unbeaten for just the fourth time in their history, having done so previously in 2003, 2006, and 2016.
It was a dominant performance against a Scotland side who will be heading to the FIFA World Cup next year, and the Tartan Army were no pushovers despite their lack of possession. This latest victory just a matter of days after beating Portugal to record the USWNT's 500th win of all time.
Here we take a look at some of the numbers behind the USWNT's remarkable run in 2018 as they won 18 games and tied just twice.
USWNT 2018 Stats
The unbeaten run consists of 18 wins from 20 games, with two draws coming against France and Australia.
The list of defeated teams reads: Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (three times), China (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Canada, Portugal and now Scotland.
As well as Scotland, 11 of these sides will take part in next year's World Cup in France, so this was far from a run of easy games.
This successful stint also means they have won all three tournaments entered this season: the SheBelieves Cup, the Tournament of Nations, and the CONCACAF Women's Championship which also served as the region’s qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup.
The USWNT's unbeaten run stretches back to 2017, consisting of 28 matches in total – 25 wins, and three ties. There were no scoreless ties, and the US managed to outscore their opponents 93 goals to 17.
The last time they failed to score was the last time they were beaten – by Australia in the 2017 Tournament of Nations last July.
In terms of 2018, the USWNT racked up a total of 64 goals, only conceding ten, and were only cautioned seven times. No-one was sent off.
USWNT Player Stats
In terms of individual records Alex Morgan leads the way having scored 17 goals in 2018, while Megan Rapinoe has the most assists with 12.
Here is a full list of the players who have scored or assisted goals for the USWNT in 2018.
Alex Morgan 18
Tobin Heath 7
Carli Lloyd 7
Megan Rapinoe 7
Mallory Pugh 6
Julie Ertz 4
Rose Lavelle 4
Lindsey Horan 3
Crystal Dunn 2
Christen Press 2
Tierna Davidson 1
Jessica McDonald 1
Samantha Mewis 1
Megan Rapinoe 12
Lindsey Horan 8
Tobin Heath 6
Christen Press 4
Alex Morgan 3
Mallory Pugh 2
Crystal Dunn 2
Tierna Davidson 2
Abby Dahlkemper 2
Rose Lavelle 1
Becky Sauerbrunn 1
Casey Short 1
Emily Sonnett 1
Lindsey Horan, Alex Morgan, and Carli Lloyd made the most appearances in 2018, with 19 apiece, while Morgan played the most minutes with 1494.
In terms of keeping goals out at the other end, Alyssa Naeher was the most used goalkeeper this year, accumulating 15 starts and conceding just seven goals, giving her a goals against average of 0.47.
Ashlyn Harris has appeared in a handful of games, including the most recent fixture against Scotland, conceding just once in five appearances giving her a GAA of 0.23 when taking into account her per 90 statistics (one appearance was as a substitute).
The other goalkeeper involved was Jane Campbell, who had the misfortune of conceding twice in her only start against a strong Mexico side who scored two in the first half before going on to be beaten 6-2 by the US.
Following the game against Scotland, the USWNT hasn’t conceded a goal in 884 minutes. The last time the opposition found the net was during the 4-1 win against Brazil at the Tournament of Nations in August.
2018 was the second best calendar year in Morgan’s career in terms of goal scoring, though it didn’t get close to the remarkable 28 goals she scored in 2012.
It takes her to 98 goals in 153 caps overall, and she has managed to score 25 goals in her last 26 games for the national team including six braces and a hat-trick.
She is the seventh highest scorer in USWNT history, and her volley from Pugh’s cross in the Scotland game takes her to 98, just two off Tiffeny Milbrett in sixth place. She is still some way off Abby Wambach’s all-time record of 184, but Morgan is still only 29.
"It's been great this year being undefeated," Morgan said.
"I don't feel like this was our strongest performance by any means, but I do have to give credit to Scotland.
“I feel like they played very well. They're a pretty physical team and it's a team we could very well [meet] in the World Cup."
The USWNT will now be looking to extend this run into next year ahead of the big tournament in France which begins in June.