A late penalty by USA fly half Kimber Rozier proved the difference as Wales fell to a 7-10 defeat in their 2014 World Cup warm-up match at Pandy Park in Cross Keys.
Both sides scored one converted try apiece with winger Vanesha McGee ploughing over for USA and No 8 Sioned Harries replying in the second half for Wales.
Both sides ignored the wind and rain to play an open game of rugby with McGee and full back Akilaini Baravilala a constant threat with ball in hand for USA while Dyddgu Hywel and Laurie Harries featured regularly in counter attacks for Wales.
The teams were deadlocked until the 39th minute when USA ran the ball right and McGee dived over to score a well-executed try despite the best efforts of Harries and Hywel in defence. Rozier landed an excellent conversion to give the Americans a hard fought 7-0 lead at the interval.
Wales got back in to the game in the early stages of the second half through their forwards with Caryl Thomas and Catrin Edwards willing workhorses.
Wales got back on level terms in the 60th minute after holding onto possession for several phases. The ball was spread wide where Sioned Harries was lurking with intent and the speedy No 8 showed a clean pair of heels as she cut back against the grain to score under the posts. Laurie Harries added the extras to bring the scores level at 7-7.
Wales continued to attack but were guilty of coughing up possession at crucial times. USA made them pay by bursting downfield to set up Rozier for a penalty after Welsh forwards were penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck. The fly half had no trouble striking the ball between the uprights to edge her side back in front.
Wales finished the match in the ascendency but couldn't find a way through as USA held out for a gritty win.
Despite the narrow defeat, Wales Women's head coach Rhys Edwards was satisfied with his team's efforts.
"Going into the game we didn't know much about them but we knew it was going to be a tough game, especially as they are ranked in the top five teams of the world. The scoreboard doesn't really reflect that so I'm pretty pleased with the performance.
"We created some chances against one of the best teams in the world - the difference being when they get a chance they score, we don't. We take two, three, four or five times to get on the score board. We've got to show some composure and a bit of belief but we are certainly knocking on the door.
"We are improving and we showed that today. As we look ahead to the World Cup, we have another game against Ireland and there is no reason why we can't kick on from there and challenge in France."
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.