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U.S. WNT Routs Mexico 8-0 as Hope Solo Earns Record 72nd Clean Sheet

SANDY, Utah (Sept. 13, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled over Mexico in the first of a two-game set against its CONCACAF foe, scoring four goals in each half to win 8-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Alex Morgan scored two goals and assisted three others.  Abby Wambach also recorded a brace and goalkeeper Hope Solo earned the clean sheet to break the U.S. WNT record with the 72nd shutout of her career. Solo surpassed the previous shut-out mark of 71 held by Briana Scurry.

The U.S. played a dominant and well-rounded match as second-half subs Whitney Engen, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly added goals, and the U.S. benefited from an own goal in the opening minutes.

The USA and Mexico meet again on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and Watch ESPN). These matches serve as the USA’s final preparation heading into CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which starts in mid-October.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Own Goal (Alina Garciamendez), 11th minute: The U.S. WNT earned a gift early on when Alex Morgan’s lead pass toward Abby Wambach was skipped to Garciamendez. Though she was able to intercept, Garciamendez’s attempted clear deflected over Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago who was well off her line, bounced once and crossed the goal line. USA 1, MEX 0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan), 23rd minute: Megan Rapinoe set up the sequence with a dish to Morgan down the left sideline. Morgan brought the ball toward the end line, and despite having her first cross blocked, calmly set up Wambach with a second pass just outside the six-yard box. Wambach’s left-footed shot got through the Mexico defense and past Cecilia Santiago to signal a long night for Mexico. USA 2, MEX 0 

USA – Alex Morgan (unassisted), 36th minute: Mexico defender Bianca Sierra made a shaky decision on a lofted pass toward her own box. The ball bounced off her chest as she retreated toward her own goal and Morgan, who was running alongside her, won the ball and sent a right-footed chip over Santiago into the net. USA 3, MEX 0

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan), 41st minute: The USA kept its foot on the gas as Morgan had plenty of space on the right side of the box. She crossed, and even though Cecilia Santiago managed to get a fingertip on the ball, it was not enough to push the ball out of the path of Wambach who slotted it home for the 170th tally of her career and the seventh of this year. USA 4, MEX 0 

USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press), 56th minute: A quick passing sequence found Press in the right side of the box and she sent a smooth-rolling pass to Morgan near the right post. She slotted home with her right foot to open the second-half scoring. USA 5, MEX 0

USA – Whitney Engen (Christen Press), 58th minute: Off of Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick from the right side, Press rose among the pack and headed to the right side of the goal box. Engen delivered her snap header into the upper right corner for her first goal of the year and second of her career. USA 6, MEX 0

USA – Sydney Leroux (Lauren Holiday), 71st minute:  Second-half sub Leroux, the team’s leading goal scorer in 2014, got into the act on a set piece chance. Holiday took the right-footed corner kick from the left side and her driven cross was met by Leroux who powered her header home from the top of the six-yard box. USA 7, MEX 0

USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan), 75th minute:  Lauren Holiday played a superb through ball to Morgan on the left side of the box. Though Mexico’s defense deflected Morgan’s first cross attempt, Morgan stuck with it and found O’Reilly for a left-footed shot from six yards out to cap off the scoring. USA 8, MEX 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MEX – Cecilia Santiago, 45th minute: The scoring damage had already been done, but Mexico’s 19-year-old goalkeeper tried to keep Mexico’s faint hopes alive with a diving save just before halftime. Megan Rapinoe rocketed a right-footed shot from about 17 yards out, and her attempt to the near left post was parried away by Santiago for a USA corner kick. 

MEX – Cecilia Santiago, 52nd minute: From 20 yards out, Alex Morgan launched a left-footed shot headed toward the near right side of the frame, but Santiago smothered it with the diving save to her left. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Hope Solo’s U.S. record 72 clean sheets have been posted over 154 games starting in 2000. Briana Scurry’s previous record of 71 shutouts were accumulated over 173 matches.
  • Solo’s first cap and shutout in April of 2000 was also an 8-0 match, that win over Iceland.
  • Center back Christie Rampone played in her 296th match as she continues to inch closer to 300 caps. Only Kristine Lilly has appeared in more games for the USA (352 games from 1987-2010).
  • Abby Wambach upped her all-time record goal scoring total to 170 with her brace. She is now 12 goals ahead of the legendary Mia Hamm (158 goals from 1987-2004).
  • With her two assists to Wambach, Alex Morgan now has 31 for her career. That moves her ahead of Lauren Holiday for 12th on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd played in her 175th match. With her next appearance, Lloyd will tie Shannon MacMillan for 12th on the USA’s all-time list. MacMillan had 176 caps from 1993-2005.
  • Morgan is currently 10th on the all-time goal scoring list with 48 following Saturday’s brace. Morgan sits three goals behind Lloyd.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT and Mexico square off in a rematch on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET).

Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt | @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 9-2-3 in 2014.
  • Hope Solo moved to 119-9-18 for her career. She is second only to Briana Scurry for all-time wins (Scurry went 133-12-14 from 1994-2008).
  • The USA improved to 109-2-8 when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
  • The U.S. is now 28-1-1 all-time against Mexico.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup featured Hope Solo in goal and a defensive group of Meghan Klingenberg at left back, Stephanie Cox at right back and Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Rampone as the center backs. Rampone wore the captain’s armband.
  • The midfield corps in the 4-3-3 included Megan Rapinoe on the left side, Lauren Holiday on the right and Carli Lloyd in the center.
  • The USA’s front line included Christen Press, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach.
  • To open the second half, Ellis made two defensive substitutions with Crystal Dunn replacing Cox and Whitney Engen in for Sauerbrunn.
  • In the 60th minute, Sydney Leroux, Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly were brought in for Rapinoe, Wambach and Press, respectively.
  • Morgan Brian served as the final substitution for Lloyd in the 71st minute.
  • Sauerbrunn, Press and O’Reilly are the only U.S. WNT players to have seen action in all 14 matches in 2014.

-U.S. Women’s National Team Report-

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Sept. 13, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT
Attendance: 8,849
Weather: 79 degrees, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               4      4      8
MEX                               0      0      0                                                       

USA – Own Goal (Alina Garciamendez)                  12th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                    23
USA – Alex Morgan                                                         36
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                    41
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press)                       56
USA – Whitney Engen (Christen Press)                  58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Lauren Holiday)                  71
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan)                   75

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 14-Stephanie Cox (19-Crystal Dunn, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 25-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Morgan Brian, 71), 15-Megan Rapinoe (2-Sydney Leroux, 60); 23-Christen Press (9-Heather O’Reilly, 60), 20-Abby Wambach (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 13-Alex Morgan
Substitutions Not Used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Arianna Romero, 4-Alina Garciamendez (capt.), 5-Paulina Solis, 13-Bianca Sierra; 6-Liliana Mercado (3-Monica Alvarado, 57), 7-Nayeli Rangel, 10-Stephany Mayor, 11-Kenti Robles (20-Charlyn Corral, 46), 17-Veronica Perez (21-Lizbeth Angeles, 88); 9-Tanya Samarzich (19-Luz Duarte, 67)
Substitutions Not Used: 8-Teresa Noyola, 12-Brissa Rangel, 14-Christina Murillo, 15-Guadalupe Cruzaley, 16-Jazmine Ponce, 18-Jackie Acevedo
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots:  25 / 8
Shots on Goal: 10 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 7 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Lauren Holiday (caution)                 64th minute

Officials:
Referee: Vilma Montez (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Elizabeth Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivonne Ayala (SLV)
Fourth Official: Melissa Borjas (HON)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Hope Solo

Photo Gallery: WNT Rolls Past Mexico in Utah

Photos from the U.S. WNT first of two matches against Mexico in preparation for the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.

Sounders in Familiar Territory with U.S. Open Cup Title on the Line

Kenny Cooper has a personal incentive to extend Seattle Sounders FC’s dominance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Lamar Hunt’s name is on [the trophy],” Cooper said. “Lamar’s name is special to my family. My dad played for the Dallas Tornado, which he owned then, and when I first came to league, he was the owner of FC Dallas, where I started.

“I would love to win with this.”

He will get his opportunity Tuesday in Chester, Pennsylvania, at PPL Park when Seattle plays the Philadelphia Union in the Cup final (7:30 p.m. ET, GolTV), the fifth time in six years it has reached the championship match and chance at a fourth title.

Beside the family pride, a win also would put Cooper on par with his father, Ken Cooper Sr., in bragging rights at holiday family dinners. The British-born elder Cooper, who began his goalkeeping career with the Blackburn Rovers, won the 1971 North American Soccer League title with the Tornado.

“He has an NASL ring,” the younger Cooper said. “He’s one up on me at the moment. I’d love to win an MLS Cup ring one day, be part of a team that wins all three things. We’re fighting for all three trophies: the Supporters’ Shield, MLS and the Open Cup. I’d love to wear a ring like my father.”

Kenny Cooper

Cooper has played in the Open Cup final before, in 2007, when he came on late in the second half but could not rally FC Dallas from a one-goal deficit and the New England Revolution claimed the title with a 3-2 victory.

This season, Cooper  seems to be determined to claim a title. While he has three goals in 20 MLS games, Cooper has scored a tournament-leading six in four games in the Open Cup.

It is a determination that fits well with Seattle’s approach to the U.S. Open Cup, and the team’s seemingly ownership of it.

“We take a lot of pride in the competition,” said Sounders technical director Chris Henderson. “Even when we played as USL challengers, we went pretty deep into the tournament. That has continued on.

“If you have one night off, you’re out. It’s a knockout. I think we’re 21-3, including PKs. There’s a lot pride in the club in this. To be able to go as far we have, it’s one of hardest competitions to win.”

As a player with six different MLS clubs, Henderson only remembers reaching the semifinals, and most of the teams he played on treated the Open Cup as an afterthought.

“It’s certainly not like that here,” Henderson said.

Seattle won the Open Cup over the first three years the club played in Major League Soccer: 2009, 2010 and 2011. It reached the final in 2012 but lost to Sporting Kansas City.

Last year, Seattle lost its opening game in the tournament to the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, a 1-0 defeat that eliminated the team in the third round. It was a harbinger of a disappointing season that saw the team go winless in its last seven and get eliminated from the MLS Playoffs at the conference semifinal stage.

It was an experience Seattle did not want to repeat. It may seem commonplace for Seattle to win the Cup, but not to the Sounders.

“It never gets routine,” said manager Sigi Schmid, who in addition to the three Open Cups he’s won with Seattle also won one with Columbus, as well as two MLS Cups, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and three College Cups. “To win a fourth Open Cup in six years of existence, I think, is a pretty good statement.

“It’s one of two trophies you can win, maybe although you could count the Supporters’ Shield as a third. I’ve said that if you’re going to enter something, you try to win it. If you’re not trying to win, don’t enter.”

WNT Kicks Off Final Pair of WWC Qualifying Preparation Matches vs. Mexico Tonight at 9:30 ET on ussoccer.com

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Sept. 13, 2014

U.S. WNT WARMS UP FOR QUALIFYING WITH TWO GAMES VS. MEXICO: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Mexico in a pair of friendlies, on Sept. 13 in Sandy, Utah (7:30 p.m. MT on ussoccer.com), and Sept. 18 in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and delayed at 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT on Univision Deportes Network). These represent the final matches for both countries before the start of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship that will automatically send three teams to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. Fans can also follow both games on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp. The USA is 8-2-3 so far in 2014 and will be playing its fourth and fifth matches under head coach Jill Ellis since she was officially named to the position in May.

ROSTER SPOTS: The USA will have had a week of training in Salt Lake City before the first Mexico game, which is the longest training period U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has had with the team since taking over. She and her staff will take full advantage of the 28-player roster. Ellis will not only have to choose 18 players to suit up for each of the two matches against Mexico, but is also tasked with the difficult challenge of choosing 20 players for the roster that will enter the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament in October. Nineteen players arrived in camp on Sept. 5 with the eight who played in the NWSL Championship Game on Aug. 31 arriving into camp on Sept. 8. The USA’s lone college player, Morgan Brian, arrived on Sept. 8 after participating in her weekend college matches with the University of Virginia. Twenty-seven of the 28 players on the roster played in the NWSL this season with Brian, who is a senior, the only non-professional.

2014 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE:

Date

Opponent

Result/Time (ET)

U.S. Goal Scorers/TV

Venue

Jan. 31

Canada

1-0 W

Leroux

Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas

Feb. 8

Russia

7-0 W

Lloyd (2), Press (2), O’Reilly,

Leroux, Wambach

FAU Stadium; Boca Raton, Fla.

Feb. 13

Russia

8-0 W

Own Goal (2), Rodriguez, Wambach, Brian, Holiday, Leroux, Press

Georgia Dome; Atlanta, Ga.

March 5

Japan^

1-1 T

Leroux

Parchal, Portugal

March 7

Sweden^

0-1 L

-

Albufeira, Portugal

March 10

Denmark^

3-5 L

Press, Leroux, Rapinoe

Albufeira, Portugal

March 12

Korea DPR^

3-0 W

Wambach (2), O’Reilly

Parchal, Portugal

April 6

China PR

2-0 W

Holiday, Rapinoe

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.

April 10

China PR

3-0 W

Lloyd (2), Leroux

Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.

May 8

Canada

1-1 T

Leroux

Investors Group Field; Winnipeg, Canada

June 14

France

1-0 W

Leroux

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

June 19

France

2-2 T

Morgan (2)

Rentschter Field, East Hartford, Conn.

Aug. 20

Switzerland

4-1 W

Rapinoe, Lloyd, Press, Wambach

WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.

Sept. 13

Mexico

9:30 p.m.

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Sept. 18

Mexico

7 p.m.

Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester, N.Y.

Oct. 15

T&T*

8:30 p.m.

Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.

Oct. 17

Guatemala*

9 p.m.

Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Ill.

Oct. 20

Haiti*

7:30 p.m.

RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.

^ Algarve Cup *2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship

#SOLO72: U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who has earned 71 shutouts in her 153 caps since debuting for the USA in 2000, needs just one more clean sheet to surpass Briana Scurry’s record, set over 173 caps from 1994-2008. Eleven of Solo’s shutouts have come in world championship play – five in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and six during the Olympics. As a confirmation of her reputation as a big-game player, 42 of Solo’s career shutouts – almost 60 percent – have come in tournament competitions that include world championships, qualifying for the World Cup and Olympics and elite tournaments such as the Algarve Cup, which is held annually in Portugal.

USA LEARNS OPPONENTS FOR WOMEN’S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: The 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which will qualify three teams directly to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup (and produce one playoff qualifier, as well), will be played from Oct. 15-26 in four host cities in the United States: Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The USA opens Group A competition on Oct. 15 in Kansas City against Trinidad & Tobago (7:30 p.m. CT), then heads to Chicago to face Guatemala on Oct. 17 (8 p.m. CT) and finishes the first round in Washington, D.C., against Haiti on Oct. 20 (7:30 p.m. ET). Group B consists of Mexico, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Martinique (which is not a full-fledged member of FIFA and therefore cannot qualify for the CONCACAF Championship semifinals).

QUALIFYING FORMAT: The 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship features eight countries divided into two groups of four with the top two finishers in each group after round-robin play moving on to the semifinals. All the countries will play one match in each of the three first-round venues. Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas; Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois; and RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., will each host two doubleheaders, one each for Groups A and B. PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, will host the semifinals on Oct. 24, along with the third-place and championship games on Oct. 26. The two finalists and the winner of the third-place match will qualify directly for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. The fourth-place team will enter a playoff with a South American country for a final berth.

WORLD RECORD AND COUNTING: After scoring from the penalty spot against Switzerland on Aug. 20, U.S. forward Abby Wambach currently has 168 goals in her career. Wambach passed the legendary Mia Hamm to become the world’s all-time leading scorer on June 20, 2013, when she pounded in four goals against South Korea at Red Bull Arena. Hamm had 158 international goals from 1987-2004. The match against Switzerland marked the 108th win for the USA in a game in which Wambach has scored at least one goal (108-2-8). Wambach has scored 43 goals in her past 54 games over 2012, 2013 and 2014. She is also third all-time in assists with 65, behind only Kristine Lilly (105) and Hamm (144).

MORGAN BAGS TWO IN RETURN: Alex Morgan returned to the U.S. team in June for the two matches against France, and her second-half appearance on June 14 in Tampa was her first since November of 2013, an absence due to injury of almost seven months. Morgan entered in the second half against France five days later in East Hartford, Connecticut, and scored two excellent goals to pull out the 2-2 draw, her first scores since June 2, 2012, when she scored twice against Canada in Toronto for a 3-0 U.S. victory. She now has 46 goals (10th all-time) in her 80 caps. Morgan is now fully healthy and fit after playing in 14 NWSL matches this past season. She made her first start since her return from injury on Aug. 20 against Switzerland, playing 65 minutes.

The Younger Yanks Are Coming

ussoccer.com: Having reviewed the win against the Czech Republic, what are your lasting impressions of the performance?
Jurgen Klinsmann: “There are a lot of positives we can take out of this game. We asked this younger generation - the group that here and there was not a big part of the World Cup in Brazil - to step it up and make statements. I think that young group made a very, very strong statement. We asked players such as Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Jozy Altidore and others to take the responsibilities into their hands and guide that young team in Prague, and that’s what they did. Winning in Prague against a Czech team that barely missed out on qualifying for the World Cup is a strong statement. So overall, it was a very positive trip. We learned a lot, and this group deserves to come along.”

ussoccer.com: There seemed to be an increased aggressiveness in the midfield. What were your instructions to those guys?
JK: “With every young group that comes through the system, you want them to step it up physically year by year. You want them to take over responsibilities, you want them to grow, to be louder on the field, but also to send out signals physically. It’s a physical sport, and in many cases it’s about one-on-one battles on the field and winning those battles. That’s what Mix, Michael Orozco, Joe Corona, John Brooks, Jozy Altidore, Ale Bedoya did. They stepped up and showed they can compete physically. That’s what we wanted to see, so for that reason they deserve a compliment.”

ussoccer.com: The team also seemed to show a commitment to playing out of the bac, particularly with the distribution by Brad Guzan. Did you ask them to stick with that plan and not be afraid to take risks? Is that something you plan to preach moving forward?
JK: “It’s definitely a huge step for us to play out of the back, to find defenders and open up the game right away and not to play long balls all the time. Pretty much every long ball is a turn over. In the first half with Brad Guzan delivering those balls into Diskerud, into the fullbacks, into the centerbacks, that looked really nice. Obviously for Nick Rimando, he’s used to doing that. He’s almost like a field player and he’s very comfortable playing out of the back. We told them not to worry about making mistakes. Here and there it might happen, but we want this game to be developed from the back into the midfield and then into the forwards and not to be forced always to play long balls. This is something we are going to encourage more and more going forward. We want to keep the ball. We want to build out of the back. We want them to have the confidence to do that and not worry about mistakes. I think it was a big step forward, and we will emphasize that going into the October games as well.”

ussoccer.com: While Jozy didn’t have many scoring chances, he seemed to show improved hold up play. What were your impressions?
JK: “It was huge for us to have Jozy Altidore back in our lineup. This was the biggest bummer for us in the World Cup, to lose Jozy in the first game. I think we could have made a huge step in the World Cup, especially facing a team like Belgium in the Round of 16, if Jozy had been on the field.  I asked him to guide this young group. He’s still a young guy himself - he’s 24 years old but he already has 70 caps. We made him the captain and told him to guide these guys and he enjoyed that. He battled the whole game. He won most of his one-on-one battles, he provided great assists. He connected with Joe Gyau to the right and Julian green to the left, and connected to the midfield. It was a very strong performance by Jozy, even if he didn’t score. This is what we want to see from him. Sooner or later, I told him you are going to score your goals in the Premier League and continue to score goals for the National Team.”

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