Morgan's 5 goals boost US

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Associated Press Alex Morgan, second from right, celebrates after scoring her team's 12th goal Tuesday.

REIMS, France (AP) - Thailand was never a real threat to the U.S. national team. Even so, the three-time Women's World Cup champions had no desire to go easy on a lesser opponent in their opening game.

Goals matter in the group stage.

And statements matter in soccer's biggest tournament.

"Obviously we have the utmost respect for everyone we play, but it's the World Cup," said captain Megan Rapinoe.

Alex Morgan tied the tournament record with five goals and the United States opened with a historic 13-0 rout of Thailand on Tuesday night. Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which broke the record for goals and margin of victory in a World Cup game.

Rapinoe, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored. The previous record margin was Germany's 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007.

Morgan tied Michelle Akers' record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Taiwan in 1991. The team's seven different scorers also set a tournament record.

Lloyd, 36, became the oldest American woman to score at a World Cup and joined Germany's Birgit Prinz as the only players to score in five straight World Cup games.

The United States faced criticism over its relentless attack. The Americans led 3-0 at the break and then broke the match open in the second half, with the players celebrating goal after goal.

The Americans meant no disrespect, said Morgan, but they simply wanted to position themselves for a run at a second consecutive title.

"We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves," Morgan said. "Every goal matters in this tournament and that's what we were working on."

Asked about the lopsided score, U.S. coach Jill Ellis wondered if a 10-0 victory in a men's World Cup would elicit the same questions.

"This is a world championship, so every team here has been fantastic to get to this point. And I think that to be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents, and as Alex said, it's a tournament where goal differential is important," Ellis said.

The two teams were the last to kick off in the group stage for the monthlong tournament. Host France opened the World Cup before a sellout crowd in Paris on Friday night with a 4-0 victory over South Korea.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Americans had dropped only one match in their previous 38, a loss to France in Le Havre in January. The team was 7-1-2 overall this year, with six straight wins going into the World Cup.

The last time the Americans played in the sport's top tournament, Lloyd had a hat trick in the first 16 minutes and the United States beat Japan 5-2 in Canada for the trophy.

The U.S. pounced early against Thailand, too, on Morgan's header in the 13th minute off Kelley O'Hara's precisely placed cross.

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