U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Equalizes Twice as Morgan's Brace Earns 2-2 Draw with France

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut (June 19, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan scored her first international goals in seven months as she helped FIFA’s No. 1-ranked USA overcome two deficits to earn a 2-2 draw against No. 4 France in front of 14,695 fans at Rentschler Field.

The U.S. WNT also extended its record home unbeaten streak to 84 games having posted a 74-0-10 record since Nov. 6, 2004.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
FRA – Louisa Necib (penalty), 27th minute: In the sequence leading up to a penalty kick call, France’s Elodie Thomis chipped the ball over the USA defense toward the left side of the box. France playmaker Louisa Necib and USA goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris made a dash toward the corner of the six-yard box. Harris slid to deflect the ball away, but she was ruled to have made contact with Necib’s leg, resulting in a penalty. Necib shot down the middle as Harris guessed to her right to give France the lead. USA 0, FRA 1

USA – Alex Morgan (Allie Long), 56th minute: Alex Morgan, playing in just her second match this year, found her scoring touch and looked to be fully recovered from an ankle injury that kept her out for seventh months. Midfielder Allie Long, making just her second start, played threaded a pass to Morgan in the middle of the field. Morgan made space at the top of the penalty area and drilled a left-footed strike from 25 yards out that deflected off the inside of the left post and past France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi. Morgan then jumped over the signboards behind the goal to celebrate the equalizer with the fans. It was Morgan’s first goal of the year and first goal since she recorded a brace against Canada on June 2, 2013. USA 1, FRA 1

FRA – Amandine Henry (unassisted), 68th minute: France dispossessed the USA in midfield and launched a lightning-quick attack up the middle. Ali Krieger broke things up, but her clearance wound up at the foot of Amandine Henry, who ran onto the ball a yard inside the box on the right side and fired just inside the right post past a diving Ashlyn Harris to retake the lead. The ball took a nasty deflection off a U.S. defender to wrong-foot Harris. USA 1, FRA 2

USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath), 85th minute: Second-half sub Tobin Heath took the quick throw-in from the left side to Alex Morgan and the energetic forward weaved her way through two France defenders for a right-footed shot. France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi got a foot on it, but did not do enough to prevent the ball from bouncing into the net. USA 2, FRA 2

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
FRA – Laura Georges, 7th minute: France defender Laura Georges was called upon several times in the early moments to break up the USA attack. She had an important clearance when U.S. right back Ali Krieger sprinted up the right side and crossed toward Carli Lloyd. Her redirect was trickling toward the net, but Georges got to the ball in the six-yard box to keep the USA off the score sheet.

FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 12th minute: Though it was a fairly routine save, France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi was sure-handed on Sydney Leroux’s strike from the left side. The USA’s first shot on frame had some pace on it, and Bouhaddi secured it en route to a pair of saves in the first 45 minutes.

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 75th minute: With the lead, France was in no hurry to take its set pieces, and shortly after a Necib corner kick, she got the ball back and crossed from the left side. Eugenie Le Sommer was in the area, but U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris alertly left her line and dove in front of Le Sommer for an important catch.

USA – Ashlyn Harris, 88th minute: Louisa Necib played a perfect lead pass toward Gaetane Thiney in the middle of the box giving her a one-on-one chance. Ashlyn Harris made an aggressive rush to stop Thiney’s shot but initiated a hard, yet brave collision. It took some time for Harris to recover, but the sacrifice preserved the U.S. draw.

Milestone Watch:

  • Alex Morgan scored her 45th and 46th goals, passing Julie Foudy (45 goals) for 10th on the all-time goal scoring list.
  • Heather O’Reilly moved into sole possession of seventh on the all-time caps list with her 205th appearance, passing Tiffeny Milbrett (204 caps from 1991-2005).
  • Carli Lloyd moved into a 13th-place tie in all-time caps with former U.S. WNT goalkeeper Briana Scurry with her 173rd cap.
  • With her second-half appearance, defender Christie Rampone reaches 294 caps. She is second all-time behind Kristine Lilly (352 caps from 1987-2010).

Next on the Schedule:
No future international friendly matches have been announced at this time. The USA will be looking forward to CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying, which will take place in the United States in October.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt); Facebook; Instagram

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is 14-0-2 in the all-time series against France.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 8-2-2 in 2014.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis went with a starting lineup that featured Ashlyn Harris in goal as she made her first appearance of 2014 and third appearance of her career. Regular starting goalkeeper Hope Solo was unavailable due to a family commitment.
  • The back line featured two changes from the previous game against France, with Meghan Klingenberg at left back and Whitney Engen at center back. Right back Ali Krieger and center back Becky Sauerbrunn retained their starting roles.
  • The midfield trio in the 4-3-3 formation remained unchanged with Allie Long, Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holiday.
  • Carli Lloyd wore the captain’s armband.
  • The starting front three included one lineup change from the last game with Heather O’Reilly getting the nod. Sydney Leroux and Christen Press returned to the starting lineup.
  • All-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach (167 goals) was once again unavailable for selection Thursday as she returns from a knee injury that occurred during a June 1 match in National Women’s Soccer League play.
  • At the start of the second half, Ellis made her first two substitutions as Christie Rampone entered for Engen and Alex Morgan replaced O’Reilly.
  • Tobin Heath replaced Long in the 60th minute.
  • In the 79th minute, Kelley O’Hara replaced Klingenberg and Amy Rodriguez joined the attack in place of Leroux.
  • O’Reilly, Press and Sauerbrunn are the only WNT players to have appeared in all 12 matches in 2014.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 19, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 14,695
Weather: 78 degrees, humid

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          2          2
FRA                             1          1          2           

FRA- Louisa Necib (penalty)              27th minute
USA- Alex Morgan (Allie Long)          56
FRA- Amandine Henry                       68
USA- Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)      85

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 79); 15-Allie Long (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 2-Sydney Leroux (8-Amy Rodriguez, 79), 23-Christen Press
Subs Not Used: 7-Morgan Brian, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 2-Wendy Renard, 4-Laura Goerges, 24-Julie Soyer; 6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia, 14-Louisa Necib, 12- Elodie Thomis; 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (10-Camille Abily, 84), 17-Gaetane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 89)
Subs Not Used: 1-Celine Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy,  7-Viviane Asseyi, 11-Laetitia Tonazzi, 13-Pauline Crammer, 19-Marina Makanza, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Laetitia Phiippe, 22-Amel Hamraoui, 23-Kheria Hamraoui, 25-Ines Jurena
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 14
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kristen Salazar (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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WNT Jun 19, 2014

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: June 19, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rentschler Field; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 14,695
Weather: 78 degrees, humid

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            0          2          2
FRA                             1          1          2           

FRA- Louisa Necib (penalty)              27th minute
USA- Alex Morgan (Allie Long)          56
FRA- Amandine Henry                       68
USA- Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)      85

Lineups:
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 79); 15-Allie Long (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 2-Sydney Leroux (8-Amy Rodriguez, 79), 23-Christen Press
Subs Not Used: 7-Morgan Brian, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 2-Wendy Renard, 4-Laura Goerges, 24-Julie Soyer; 6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia, 14-Louisa Necib, 12- Elodie Thomis; 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (10-Camille Abily, 84), 17-Gaetane Thiney (18-Marie Laure Delie, 89)
Subs Not Used: 1-Celine Deville, 3-Laure Boulleau, 5-Sabrina Delannoy,  7-Viviane Asseyi, 11-Laetitia Tonazzi, 13-Pauline Crammer, 19-Marina Makanza, 20-Anaig Butel, 21-Laetitia Phiippe, 22-Amel Hamraoui, 23-Kheria Hamraoui, 25-Ines Jurena
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 11 / 8
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 1
Fouls: 5 / 14
Offside: 1 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Kristen Salazar (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

5 Things to Know: The U-17 U.S. WNT and 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

The USA kicks off the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on Saturday, Oct. 1 in Al Zarqa, Jordan, when it takes on Paraguay at 11:55 a.m. ET on FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Sports GO app, FOXSportsGo.com and FOXSoccer2GO.com. Fans can enter a free promo code to watch the games on the FOXSoccer2GO.com registration page when prompted. The promo code is “U17WNT” and can be activated from Sept. 30-Oct. 31 (Complete broadcast schedule). Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-17 WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. For full coverage, visit the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com.

Here are five things to know about the U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team and the U-17 Women’s World Cup:

A Historic Host
Jordan, which encompasses roughly the same square miles as the state of Indiana, will host the tournament in four venues, two in Amman, one in Irbid, which is about 60 miles north of Amman, and one in Al Zarqa, which is just 15 miles northeast of Amman. The USA will open the tournament at the 12,000-seat Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Al Zarqa. Amman International Stadium, which seats 13,000, will host the Third Place match on Oct. 20 and World Cup Final on Oct. 21. The event marks the first time in history a FIFA women’s competition is being held in the Middle East.

USA’s Path to the Top Begins in Group D
The USA opens the tournament against South America third-place finisher Paraguay in what will be the second meeting between the nations in U-17 Women’s World Cup play. The two countries met in the second group match at the 2008 tournament in New Zealand with the USA prevailing 3-1 after going down a goal. The meeting with Ghana will be the first between these two countries in this tournament, but second against an African team for the USA in FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup play. The USA defeated Gambia, 6-0, in group play at the 2012 tournament. The Americans will finish group play against Japan, which finished second behind Korea DPR in the 2015 AFC U-16 Women's Championship. Japan won this tournament two years ago in Costa Rica, defeating Spain 2-0 in the title match. These will be the first matches by any U.S. Women’s National Team in Jordan and the first matches by any U.S. Women’s National Team in the Middle East.

AFC Dominance
Of the four total tournaments that have been held, an Asian country has been crowned champion in three out of four occasions, with Korea DPR winning the U-17 World Cup in 2008, Korea Republic in 2010 and Japan in 2014. France is the only exception, taking the title in 2012, but only after defeating Korea DPR in penalty kicks. Teams from the same confederation have met in the final match just once and it was the AFC which holds the honor, with Korea Republic playing Japan in the 2010 U-17 WWC Final.

U.S. History at the U-17 Women’s World Cup
The tournament will mark the third appearance by the USA at a U-17 Women’s World Cup (2008, 2012, 2016). The USA returns to the biggest stage for U-17 women’s soccer after failing to qualify for the tournament in 2010 and 2014, despite outscoring opponents 62-1 over the course of both of the prerequisite CONCACAF qualifying tournaments. The U.S. has never won the tournament, though it did reach the U-17 WWC Final in 2008, falling to Korea DPR, 2-1 in extra time.

Tournament Format
The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which is staged every two years, features 16 nations divided into four groups of four teams each. At the U-17 level, each confederation (outside of the smallest Oceania) gets three berths to the World Cup tournament. Eleven countries return from the 2014 tournament, which includes defending champion Japan. In Costa Rica in 2014 the final match was decided in regular time for the first time. Extra time was played in the final matches of both 2008 and 2010, the latter tournament also having to go to a penalty shootout. The top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinal stage on Oct. 12 and 13. The semifinals will take place Monday, Oct. 17, and the Final and third-place matches will be held on Friday, Oct. 21.


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U-17 WNT Sep 30, 2016

Five Things to Know: NWSL Playoffs

As the 2016 NWSL playoffs approach, we take a brief look at the history of the NWSL playoffs, how it all works and what we should expect this weekend as the Washington Spirit take on the Chicago Red Stars on Friday, Sept. 30 (8 p.m. ET; FS1) and the Portland Thorns host the Western New York Flash on Sunday, Oct. 2 (5 p.m. ET; FS1).

Here are five things to know about the NWSL playoffs:

A Historic Year
2016 marked the first time a woman’s professional league reached a fourth season of play in the United States; a fantastic development for the growth of the sport worldwide. The National Women’s Soccer League began in 2013 with eight teams, which included the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Portland Thorns, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Washington Spirit and Western New York Flash. In 2014, the Houston Dash joined the league to make it nine, followed by the Orlando Pride in 2015 to up the total number of teams to 10.

For Club and Country
Eleven U.S. Women’s National Team players will take the field this weekend, hoping to win it all with their club teams. The Portland Thorns lead the way with five players on their roster (Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long and Emily Sonnett), followed by the Chicago Red Stars (Julie Johnston, Alyssa Naeher and Christen Press), the Washington Spirit (Crystal Dunn and Ali Krieger) and the Western New York Flash (Samantha Mewis). Read more about all 11 players here.

Four; Two; Champion
Unlike other leagues, the NWSL’s small number of teams forces the postseason to be quick. The single elimination tournament begins with four teams (the top four finishing teams in the NWSL regular season automatically advance), with all four teams in actions – two matchups total – in the span of a weekend. The two winners then advance to the championship match. The NWSL Final will take place on Oct. 9 at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, and will air live on FS1. Since playoff games cannot end in ties, two straight 15-minute overtime periods are played, followed by a penalty shootout of best-of-five rounds plus extra if needed. The winner of all three previous NWSL Finals have been determined in regulation.

One Team Looks for Repeat, Other Three Look for First Title
With two-time champions FC Kansas City (2014, 2015) out of the playoffs this year, the NWSL trophy will belong to someone else for the first time since 2013. The Portland Thorns are the only team in the playoffs – and only other team in the league – to have won a title on a previous occasion (2013; a 2-0 win against WNYF). However out of the five U.S. WNT players on the Thorns’ roster, only Tobin Heath and Allie Long were part of the 2013 championship team. If the Chicago Red Stars, Washington Spirit or Western New York Flash were to result triumphant in the championship match, it would make them the third different team in league history to claim the coveted trophy. The Flash (2013) have advanced to the championship match before, while a trip to the finals would be a first for the Spirit and Red Stars.

Successful Seasons
Several WNT players in the league’s playoffs are nominated for NWSL Awards, including Tobin Heath, Allie Long and Christen Press for Most Valuable Player, Julie Johnston for Defender of the Year, Alyssa Naeher for Goalkeeper of the Year, and Emily Sonnett for Rookie of the Year. Additionally, Heath finished the regular season with a new club and league record for most assists in a single season with 10, while Naeher finished atop the league standings tied with FCKC’s Nicole Barnhart for clean sheets earned in the regular season with six. 

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WNT Sep 29, 2016

U-17 WNT Midfielder Jaelin Howell: The USA’s Strong Safety

On January 26, 2003, three-year-old Jaelin Howell was taken by her mom onto the field at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Her dad, John, a safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had just helped his team defeat the Oakland Raiders 48-21 to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

She was too young to remember that day, but it’s clear from watching Howell play center midfield for the U.S Under-17 Women’s National Team that she inherited some of those hard-hitting genes from her dad.

Jaelin Howell was three years old when her father, John, won Super Bowl XXXVII with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Solidly-built and 5-foot-8 -- making her the USA’s tallest field player -- Howell has been one of the USA’s most consistent performers during this cycle in which she has attended every training camp. She was named to the Best XI at the CONCACAF U-17 Women’s Championship, playing in four games and getting one assist, but her impact is felt in many ways that don’t register on the score sheet. More like on the Richter scale.

Howell has shown tremendous talent in many facets of the game, helping set the USA’s attacking rhythm while locking down the middle of the field on defense, and she is especially adept in one thing her dad was also good at: separating a player from the ball.

“There’s probably some truth to that,” Howell said of following in her dad’s footsteps, albeit it in a different kind of football. “It’s part of my position to tackle and try to own the midfield. I’ve never been afraid to get stuck in, even when I was little. I have two younger brothers [Jack, who is 14 and Jake, who is 11] and we’ve always been super competitive and rough-housed all the time, so I’ve gotten used to being knocked around and knocking them around.”

Although her dad did not grow up with the game of soccer, she says he’s been particularly helpful in molding her competitive mentality.

“He’s always been an inspiration to me although he really didn’t know anything about soccer when I started playing,” she said. “He’s grown to love the game and watches it all time. He watches all the Women’s National Team games so we can talk more soccer now. He came from a really small town in Nebraska and he had to work really hard to get to the NFL, so he has a lot of knowledge and wisdom about work ethic and overcoming adversity. Many things are the same mentality-wise with all sports so he was able coach me up on that aspect of the game pretty easy.”


Despite playing different types of football, Jaelin and her father share a unique bond between athletes; one that relates to persevering against adversity and chasing your dream

This October, Howell and her teammates will embark on their own Super Bowl journey, hoping to earn a place in the world’s biggest game for U-17 women’s soccer players, and she knows the road will not be easy.

“It’s awesome playing for your country and it means a lot,” she said. “Not many people get this opportunity so all of us are really embracing it. We know that all the teams in this tournament will be playing at a high level and so it will be difficult against every team we play.”

Howell feels that she and her teammates are in a good place and up for the challenges after working for two years to get used to the demands of the international game.

“Club soccer can get pretty wild as far as the physical part of the game, but the international game is a whole different type of physicality,” she said. “Internationally, the players are so fast and strong and they know how to use their bodies to shield you off and get you off balance. It’s just crazy how much faster the game is and how the players use their physicality in a smarter way.”

The international soccer learning curve has included many lessons, including navigating social media. “Someone called me Wreck-It-Ralph on Twitter,” Howell said, in a tone that was half amused, half exasperated. “I really hope it’s for my style of play and not how I look.”

If it was for her ball-winning ability, Howell will embrace that. She’s also a big American football fan, and her favorite team is – no surprise -- the Buccaneers. She will close a loop of sorts when she returns to Florida to play for Florida State in the fall of 2018. There, she will surely see some high-level football, when the Seminoles take the field at Doak Campbell Stadium, and fútbol, under head coach Mark Krikorian.


Howell is talented on both offense and defense, helping win balls in the midfield while also playing a role in setting the USA's attacking rhythm

“I still play football with my brothers all the time,” said Howell. “I think when I was younger I wanted to play tackle football, but that didn’t last long. If I did, I think I’d want to be a wide receiver or a running back because you get to catch passes and carry the ball all the time.”

And what would her dad think about her playing on the offensive side?

“He approves,” she said. “He told me I’d be a good receiver!”

High praise from someone who played on a Super Bowl team with Keenan McCardell, Keyshawn Johnson and Joe Jurevicius.

“I never really got to see my dad play football in the NFL because he retired when I was six,” said Howell. “But it’s really cool that he’s getting to see me live my athletic dreams. Hopefully, there are some championships in my future as well.”


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U-17 WNT Sep 29, 2016
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