MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 23, 2016) – Reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Carli Lloyd led the U.S. Women’s National Team to a 5-1 win against Switzerland on an another record-setting day in front of a crowd of 23,400 fans at U.S. Bank Stadium, the largest to watch the U.S. Women in the state of Minnesota.
The U.S. dominated the run of play throughout the match, but did fall behind early to Sandrine Mauron’s 7th-minute counter-attack strike. Lloyd evened the match in the 25th minute with a rocket from 27 yards out that was a sign of things to come in the second half when she bagged the game-winner only six minutes after the break. It was her 96th goal of her career putting her just four shy of becoming the sixth U.S. player to score 100 times.
Christen Press scored in her second consecutive game and Crystal Dunn notched the 17th goal of her international career just 10 minutes apart, putting the match of out of reach for Switzerland.
Then it was time for yet another fresh face to add to the WNT record books as Kealia Ohai made her international debut as an 81st minute substitute for Dunn and then scored just 48 seconds after entering the game, breaking the record for quickest goal in a debut set just four days ago by fellow newcomer Lynn William, who scored 49 seconds into her first game vs. Switzerland in Utah.
The U.S. WNT will finish its 2016 schedule next month with a pair of matches vs. Romania in California. The teams first meet at Avaya Stadium in San Jose on Nov. 10 (7 p.m. PT; ESPN2, UDN) [TICKETS] before the USA takes to the field a final time this year at StubHub Center in Carson on Nov. 13 (6:30 p.m. PT; FS1) [TICKETS].
Goal Scoring Rundown:
SUI - Sandrine Mauron (Lara Dickenmann) 7th minute: Switzerland down the right flank, squeezing a pair of passes up the sideline and ultimately into the path of Dickenmann as she broke toward the USA goal. From a wide angle, Dickenmann sent a powerful shot on goal that U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris was well positioned to push away; but the clearance fell right to the hard charging Mauron whose volleyed shot from near the penalty spot. Harris nearly saved the second chance, but couldn’t get enough of a hand on it to keep the ball from arching into the right side netting. USA 0, SUI 1 WATCH
USA – Carli Lloyd (Kelley O’Hara), 25th minute: A nice spell of U.S. possession set up Lloyd to score the USA’s equalizer. Some swift interplay between Andi Sullivan, Lloyd and Kelley O’Hara resulted in Lloyd receiving a pass from O’Hara and advancing toward the Switzerland goal. From 27 yards out, Lloyd sent a lightning bolt of a strike into the upper right corner for one of the best finishes of her career. USA 1, SUI 1 WATCH
USA – Carli Lloyd, 51st minute: Lloyd’s second goal, the game-winner, was no less spectacular than the first as she helped lead a USA counterattack with an exquisite outside of the foot pass that curled around a defender perfectly into the stride of Christen Press who was making a run down the right side. Press did well to lose her marker and get off a shot from the top of the box that was blocked and arched high into the air. As the ball fell just outside the top center of the box, Lloyd arrived to send a full volley along right down the middle of the goal mouth and into the back of the net for her 96th career goal. USA 2, SUI 1 WATCH
USA – Christen Press (Andi Sullivan), 53rd minute: From deep in the USA’s own half, Sullivan sent a long ball over top the Switzerland defense and into the path of halftime substitute Press. As the ball bounced near the top of the box, Press spotted Thalmann charging off her line and sent a perfectly weighted looping shot over the ‘keeper and into the right side of the goal for her 37th career goal in her 78th cap. USA 3, SUI 1 WATCH
USA – Crystal Dunn (Lynn Williams), 63rd minute: The USA broke at pace with Casey Short finding Lloyd in the center of midfield, who then sent Williams into the box with a nice lead pass down the left flank. Williams beat her defender om pace and sent a low cross along the six-yard box to the back post where an unmarked Dunn finished smartly her 13th goal of 2016. USA 4, SUI 1 WATCH
USA – Kealia Ohai (Christen Press), 82nd minute: From a free kick at midfield, the ball was played to second-half substitute Lindsay Horan whose pass into the left side of the Switzerland box found Press as her run took her across the path of Ohai who headed straight toward the penalty spot. Press then cut the ball back to the Ohai, who had only entered the match seconds earlier. The young attacker did well to hold off a defender and hook a low shot from the center of the box that scooted into the right corner beyond the reach of the diving ‘keeper. USA 5, SUI 1 WATCH FINAL
- The win improves the USA’s record to 20-0-3 in 2016 and 4-0-0 all-time vs. Switzerland.
- Ashlyn Harris earned her second start in goal of the year and earned her 10th cap.
- Casey Short and Andi Sullivan both made their second consecutive starts to earn their second caps. Both played 90 minutes.
- Kelley O’Hara picked up her 11th career assist on Carli Lloyd’s first goal.
- Carli Lloyd now has 33 goals in her last 34 goals starting with the Round of 16 game at the World Cup.
- Lloyd finished one goal short of tying her record for most goals in a calendar year. She scored 18 in 2015.
- Sullivan earned her first WNT assist, setting up Christen Press’ goal.
- Lynn Williams started her first career match and also earned her first assist, setting up Crystal Dunn’s goal.
- Dunn’s goal was the 13th of the year, third best of the U.S. team this year, and it was her 17th overall in 43 caps.
- Abby Dahlkemper earned her second cap when she replaced Becky Sauerbrunn in the 67th minute.
- Switzerland’s goal was just the ninth given up by the USA this year.
- The USA played in a 3-5-2 formation for the second match in a row with Allie Long playing center back.
USA vs. Switzerland
Oct. 23, 2016
U.S. Bank Stadium
Broadcast: FS1, 12:45 p.m. CT
Tonight’s U.S. WNT Starting XI vs. Switzerland: 24-Harris; 4-Sauerbrunn, 20-Long, 8-Short; 5-O’Hara, 19-Sullivan, 6-Brian, 16-Dunn, 17-Heath; 10-Lloyd (c), 13-Williams
Subs: 1-Naeher, 3-Mewis, 7-Ohai, 9-Horan, 12-Sonnett, 14-Dahlkemper, 23-Press
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has made three changes from the starting lineup that faced Switzerland on Oct. 19 in Utah as Ashlyn Harris gets the start in goal, Kelley O’Hara will start at right midfield and Lynn Williams gets the nod up top.
- The USA will play in a 3-5-2 formation with Casey Short, Allie Long and Becky Sauerbrunn in the back, Andi Sullivan and Morgan Brian in the middle; Kelley O’Hara and Tobin Heath on the wings; with Crystal Dunn playing underneath Carli Lloyd and Williams, who are up top.
- Williams earns her first start for the WNT. She earned her first cap on Oct. 19 against Switzerland in Utah, where she came in to the game in the second half, played the entire second 45 minutes and scored 49 seconds into her debut to become the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first international appearance.
- Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and Chicago Red Stars’ Casey Short both will earn their second cap and second consecutive start. Sullivan played 74 minutes against Switzerland on Oct. 19, while Short played all 90.
- Kealia Ohai is on the bench and could potentially also earn her first cap today.
- U.S. captain Carli Lloyd earns her 232nd cap and takes sole possession of seventh place on the all-time caps list. She has scored 94 international goals, including 15 in 2016 and is six away from becoming the sixth WNT player to score a 100 or more goals. This will be her last match of 2016 as she will miss the November matches due to her upcoming wedding.
- Lloyd scored her seventh career hat trick against Thailand on Sept. 15, and recorded four assists to become the first player in U.S. WNT history to score three goals and have four assists in one game. She scored and assisted a goal against the Netherlands on Sept. 18. She has 11 assists in 2016, a team-leading mark. Since the Round of 16 at the FIFA WWC, Lloyd has scored 31 goals in 33 matches.
- Ashlyn Harris makes her second appearance and start in goal of 2016. She will earn her 10th international cap today.
- Kelley O’Hara returns to the starting lineup today. It marks her 16th start of 2016 and 89th cap, tying Stephanie Cox in 37th place in the all-time caps list. She recorded the 10th assist of her career against Switzerland on Oct. 19.
- Becky Sauerbrunn, who recorded her third assist of 2016 against Thailand on Sept. 15, will make her 21st appearance and start of the year. She leads the team in minutes played with 1,717.
- Allie Long will make her 12th start of 2016 and 14th appearance of the year. Since re-joining the WNT in April, Long has more than quadrupled her career caps. Long came into this year with only four WNT appearances under her belt but with today’s start, she will earn her 18th cap. She has three goals and two assists this year as well. For the second consecutive game in her career with the WNT, Long will take the field as a center back, playing in the center of a three-woman back line with Short and Sauerbrunn.
- Tobin Heath makes her 18th start of the year to go along with her five goals and seven assists. She most recently scored against Switzerland on Oct. 19.
- Morgan Brian, who is just 23 years old, will earn her 16th start of the year in her 61st international appearance.
- Crystal Dunn makes her 23rd appearance of 2016, most on the team, and 15th start in her 43rd international cap. Dunn has scored 16 international goals, which includes 12 this year, third-most on the team. She also has six assists, most recently against Switzerland on Oct. 19
- The five players in training camp that are not suiting up tonight are: Danielle Colaprico, Arin Gilliland, Shea Groom, Merritt Mathias and Ashley Hatch.
On a beautiful Wednesday night in Sandy, Utah, on Oct. 19, the childhood dreams of Abby Dahlkemper, Ashley Hatch, Casey Short, Andi Sullivan and Lynn Williams came true as they earned their first caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team. It was the most players to earn their first U.S. WNT caps in the same game in many years.
The quintet all played against Switzerland in front of a boisterous crowd of 14,336 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Short, who plays for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars, and Sullivan, who is a junior at Stanford University, both started the match with Short playing all 90 minutes and Sullivan giving a terrific performance in 74 minutes of action.
“I thought they were fantastic,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said of the USA’s debutants. “To come in and play your first game… as much as they were allowed to express themselves, they also fit within the system. I was very impressed.”
“It was amazing,” Short said of earning her first cap. “I was definitely having some nerves and it took me little bit to settle in, but with the players around me, the veterans, they comforted me and gave me direction. To put that jersey on… it just meant a lot.”
The 20-year-old Sullivan has played several positions in the midfield for her college and in the U.S. Youth National Team program, but on Wednesday she played as holding midfielder, a role once occupied by the spectacular Lauren Holiday, and played very well in 2016 by Allie Long, who got a run at center-back against the Swiss in Utah. Sullivan showed a calm presence and confidence beyond her years. She connected passes, won tackles and headers, held possession and allowed her teammates to move into productive spaces.
Andi Sullivan excelled in her first cap as a holding midfielder against Switzerland on Oct. 19.
Ellis had high praise for Sullivan following the big win, commenting that she looked like she had been with the National Team for a while.
“My motto for this camp was ‘take everything one minute at a time’ so it wasn’t until I was in the locker room that I thought, ‘oh my goodness, I’m about to get my first cap’”, Sullivan said. “It’s something I had been dreaming of for a long time. I just told myself to stay in the moment. I really enjoyed it and it was special.”
Dahlkemper, Hatch and Williams all came into the game as second half substitutes, playing 19, 16 and 45 minutes, respectively. As unnerving as a first cap can be, the fact that five players were in the same situation made the night even more fun for Dahlkemper, who along with Williams and Samantha Mewis helped the Western New York Flash to the 2016 NWSL title earlier this month.
“It felt unreal, but it was such an honor to represent the United States,” Dahlkemper said. “It’s definitely comforting to know there’s a few other people in the same shoes as me that got their first cap on the same night. It’s just really exciting.”
“When I knew I was going in, for me it was just about gathering all of my thoughts and trying to stay composed,” Hatch said. “Once I got in the game, I was ready and focused. It was a very special moment.”
Despite solid performances for every player on the field, it was of course Williams who stole the show. Just 49 seconds after the whistle began the second half, Williams took advantage of some poor passing by the Switzerland defense, ran onto the loose ball and roared into the penalty box before calmly drawing out the goalkeeper and slotting her shot into the lower left corner.
The goal was not only the first international score for Williams, but also the fastest goal in a debut in U.S. history. With the feat, she also became the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first cap.
Lynn Williams became the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first cap.
“When I found out that I was going to go in, I was nervous,” Williams said. “But Carli [Lloyd] came up to me and said ‘just connect your first pass and go from there,’ and then Sam [Mewis] told me ‘Lynn don’t be anything that you’re not. They brought you here for a reason. Be you.’ And that’s what I tried to do. I just made it fun. And then to score, it was just a dream. I have no more words for it.”
Following the game, Ellis complimented Williams on her goal and her work ethic to make an impact all over the field.
“Lynn obviously had a great finish,” Ellis said. “Her work rate, her pressure…she’s pretty multi-dimensional. She came in and made an impression.”
The USA’s 4-0 win against Switzerland was a game full of excitement, significance and a fantastic team performance from veterans and rookies alike. To have five first caps in one game lends an emotional factor to the match, but it’s also particularly important for a team trying to expand its player pool and build towards the next big world event – the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
“I think all of the players that came in tonight were deserving in the last couple of days of getting some playing time in this game,” Ellis said. “I’m exceptionally pleased that they all came in and looked like they belonged.”