U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Opens 2016 with 5-0 Win Against Republic of Ireland in Front of Record Crowd in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (Jan. 23, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team opened its 2016 campaign with a dominant 5-0 shutout against the Republic of Ireland at Qualcomm Stadium in front of 23,309 fans, a record crowd to watch a WNT game in San Diego.

It was all USA from the beginning as midfielder Carli Lloyd scored three goals in 28 minutes with her first coming in the sixth, and was assisted twice by Alex Morgan, who was celebrating her 100th game with the WNT. The scoring duo swapped roles just before the break as it was Lloyd who provided the assist for Morgan for a 4-0 halftime U.S. lead.

Forward Mallory Pugh, the captain of the U-20 Women’s National Team that will compete at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea later this year, came in for Morgan in the 58th minute of the game to make her USWNT debut. At 17 years, 8 months and 25 days, she is the youngest player to make her debut in the last 11 years of the program and became the 19th player to score in her first cap when she added the fifth and final goal of the game in the 83rd minute of the game.

The WNT is now 12-0-0 all-time vs. Ireland. Of the 12 meetings, seven have seen the USA score five goals.

Up next, the USWNT travels to the Lone Star State to begin the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship from Feb. 10-21 for a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan), 6th minute: Alex Morgan ran deep into the attacking third down the left side and crossed the ball on the ground. An unmarked Carli Lloyd outran the defense and finished with her right foot into the back of the net. USA 1, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Carli Lloyd, (Alex Morgan), 21st minute: Tobin Heath began the play with a deep run on the left flank and crossed the ball towards the back post. Alex Morgan headed it on goal but Ireland’s goalkeeper Emma Byrne punched it out. Carli Lloyd took advantage of the poor clearance and headed it to the back of the net from close range for her second goal of the day. Carli was shaken up after she knocked heads with an Ireland defender on the play but was okay and retuned to the game shortly after. USA 2, IRL 0. (SEE GOAL)

USA – Carli Lloyd, 28th minute: Carli Lloyd stole possession thanks to a poor Ireland pass to run past the defense and slot the ball past the goalkeeper for her third goal of the game. USA 3, IRL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd), 45th minute: Ali Krieger played a great ball from the right side to the middle of the box. Carli Lloyd jumped up for the header but the ball bounced off the post. Alex Morgan was there for the loose ball and tapped it in for the USA’s fourth goal of the game. USA 4, IRL 0

USA – Mallory Pugh (Christen Press), 83rd minute: Christen Press made the first run to get inside the box and looked to cross the ball before running out of bounds. The cross reached Pugh, who was quick to head it to the near post for her first international goal in her first cap. USA 5, IRL 0. FINAL. (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 80th: Late in the game, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was called into action on back-to-back plays, but both times she was ready to preserve the shutout for the USA.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT heads to Texas to begin the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship that will run from Feb. 10-21 in Houston and Dallas. The USA will open the Olympic Qualifying Championship in Group A against Costa Rica on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. CT. TV information will be released at a later date and ticket info is available here. The U.S. will be attempting to qualify for a sixth consecutive Olympic Games and win the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship for the fourth consecutive time.
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Milestone Watch:

  • Forward Alex Morgan became the 34th player in U.S. history to play 100 times for her country. Morgan debuted on Oct. 2, 2010, vs. China.
  • Carli Lloyd has scored 82 international goals. She is in sixth place on the USWNT all-scoring list. Lloyd has scored 19 goals in the USA’s last 14 matches, starting with the Round of 16 game vs. Colombia at the WWC in 2015. Her three goals today marked this her sixth career hat trick.
  • Mallory Pugh made her debut for the USWNT, coming in for Alex Morgan in the second half. Pugh, the captain of the U-20 WNT team that will compete at the U-20 WWC in Papua New Guinea at the end of the year, is 17 years, 8 months and 25 days old, becoming the youngest player to debut for the U.S. in the last 11 years. Heather O’Reilly debuted for the WNT just a few months past her 17th birthday in 2002 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Amy Rodriguez debuted at the 2005 Algarve Cup just a few months past her 18th birthday. Lauren Holiday first trained with the senior team a few months shy of her 18th birthday in 2005.
  • With her goal in the 83rd minute, Pugh becomes the 19th U.S. player to score in her debut. The last player to do it was Stephanie McCaffrey on Oct. 25, 2015 against Brazil. Per Elias Sports Bureau, Pugh is the youngest WNT goal scorer in the last 16 years and sixth youngest in team history.
  • Hope Solo recorded her 91st career shutout in today’s match. With 186 caps, she is the leader for caps by a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Briana Scurry earned 173 caps in her career (1994-2008).
  • Midfielder Samantha Mewis made her first career start for the U.S. WNT and earned her fifth cap.
  • Defender Whitney Engen made her first start for the USA since doing so against England on Feb. 13, 2015.
  • Jaelene Hinkle, Stephanie McCaffrey and Emily Sonnett all earned their fifth caps. It was Sonnett’s second start. Lindsey Horan earned her seventh cap and fourth start.
  • Today’s attendance was 23,309, which marks the largest crowd to watch a U.S. WNT match in San Diego. The previous record was 12,857 (a 3-0 win vs. China PR on April 10, 2014, also at Qualcomm Stadium).
  • Solo has 143 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Scurry posted 133 wins during her career (1994-2008).

Additional Notes:

  • Carli Lloyd is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 82 career international goals. Alex Morgan is next with 57 and Heather O’Reilly has scored 46.
  • Heather O'Reilly earned her 228th cap when she came on at halftime. She’s currently the most capped player on the team.
  • Midfielder Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn have been named captains of the U.S. Women's National Team by head coach Jill Ellis. The duo becomes the 13th and 14th players officially named captain of the U.S. WNT over the 31 years of the program, although many others have worn the captain's band during a match.
  • On January 11 at the FIFA Gala Awards in Zurich, Switzerland, Carli Lloyd, the co-captain of the U.S. Women's National Team, was named the 2015 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year, and Jill Ellis, who led the USA to the 2015 Women's World Cup title, was named as the 2015 World Coach of the Year for Women's Soccer
  • Long-time U.S. captain Christie Rampone underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee before Christmas and midfielder Megan Rapinoe is doing well in her rehab from ACL surgery. Forward Amy Rodriguez is pregnant with her second child and will be off the soccer field for a large part of the year.
  • The match in San Diego was the USA’s sixth match in “America’s Finest City” and second at Qualcomm Stadium, current home to the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. The U.S. Women have never lost in San Diego but did tie their first match there, 0-0, against Japan on Jan. 12, 2003. This is the second time the USA has played Ireland in San Diego, winning 5-0 both times (July 23, 2006 and January 23, 2016). 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: Jan. 23, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. PT
Attendance: 23,309
Weather: 65 degrees; mostly cloudy

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             4          1          5
IRL                               0          0          0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan)                                    6th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan)                                    21
USA – Carli Lloyd                                                          28
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd)                                    45
USA – Mallory Pugh (Christen Press)                              83

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 27-Emily Sonnett (5-Kelley O’Hara, 58), 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 29-Samantha Mewis, 31-Lindsey Horan (26-Jaelene Hinkle, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (12-Christen Press, 46); 25-Crystal Dunn (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (22-Mallory Pugh, 58), 17-Tobin Heath (28-Stephanie McCaffrey, 46)
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

IRL: 1-Emma Byrne (capt.), 2-Sophie Perry (11-Julie Ann Russell, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 4-Louise Quinn, 6-Karen Duggan (17-Meabh De Burca, 72), 7-Diane Caldwell (14-Jessica Gleeson, 46), 8-Aine O’Gorman, 9-Ruesha Littlejohn (18-Megan Connolly, 65), 10-Denise O’Sullivan, 13-Stephanie Roche (21-Fiona O’Sullivan, 46), 15-Katie McCabe (12-Siobhan Killeen, 65)
Subs Not Used: 5-Ciara Rossiter, 16-Niamh Reid Burke, 19-Clare Shine, 20-Grace Wright, 22-Savannah McCarthy
Head coach: Sue Ronan

Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 23 / 2
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves:  2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 8
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Karen Abt (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA)
4th Official: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

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WNT Jan 23, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Republic of Ireland
Date: Jan. 23, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. PT
Attendance: 23,309
Weather: 65 degrees; mostly cloudy

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             4          1          5
IRL                               0          0          0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan)                                    6th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan)                                    21
USA – Carli Lloyd                                                          28
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd)                                    45
USA – Mallory Pugh (Christen Press)                              83

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 27-Emily Sonnett (5-Kelley O’Hara, 58), 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 29-Samantha Mewis, 31-Lindsey Horan (26-Jaelene Hinkle, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (12-Christen Press, 46); 25-Crystal Dunn (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (22-Mallory Pugh, 58), 17-Tobin Heath (28-Stephanie McCaffrey, 46)
Subs Not Used: 18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

IRL: 1-Emma Byrne (capt.), 2-Sophie Perry (11-Julie Ann Russell, 46), 3-Megan Campbell, 4-Louise Quinn, 6-Karen Duggan (17-Meabh De Burca, 72), 7-Diane Caldwell (14-Jessica Gleeson, 46), 8-Aine O’Gorman, 9-Ruesha Littlejohn (18-Megan Connolly, 65), 10-Denise O’Sullivan, 13-Stephanie Roche (21-Fiona O’Sullivan, 46), 15-Katie McCabe (12-Siobhan Killeen, 65)
Subs Not Used: 5-Ciara Rossiter, 16-Niamh Reid Burke, 19-Clare Shine, 20-Grace Wright, 22-Savannah McCarthy
Head coach: Sue Ronan

Stats Summary: USA / IRL
Shots: 23 / 2
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves:  2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 9 / 8
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Karen Abt (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA)
4th Official: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

GALLERY: U-20 MNT Falls 1-0 to Panama in First Match of 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Photos from the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team's 1-0 loss against Panama at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibas, Costa Rica, in the opening group stage game of the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. A 37th minute goal from Panama’s Leandro Ávila assisted by Ronaldo Córdoba marked the difference in the game. The U-20 MNT plays its second match against Haiti, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.

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U-20 MNT Feb 19, 2017

Five Things to Know About the Germany SheBelieves Cup Roster

Germany has announced its 2017 SheBelieves Cup roster while France and England will soon follow suit. The USA announced a 25-player pre-tournament training camp roster on Feb. 8 and head coach Jill Ellis will name the final 23-woman roster closer to the start of the tournament.

As Germany was first out of the gate, here are five things to know about the roster that will represent the current Olympic champions in the U.S. from March 1-7.

Germany Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Laura Benkarth (SC Freiburg), 1-Almuth Schult (VfL Wolfsburg), 21-Lisa Weiß (SGS Essen)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Josephine Henning (Olympique Lyonnais), 3-Kathrin Hendrich (1. FFC Frankfurt), 5-Babett Peter (VfL Wolfsburg), 7-Pauline Bremer (Olympique Lyonnais), 14-Anna Blässe (VfL Wolfsburg), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (VfL Wolfsburg), 23-Verena Faißt (Bayern München), 24-Kristin Demann (1899 Hoffenheim), 29-Felicitas Rauch (1. FFC Turbine Postdam)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 4-Leonie Maier (Bayern München), 9-Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg), 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyonnais), 13-Sara Däbritz (Bayern München), 27-Sara Doorsoun (SGS Essen), 31-Linda Dallman (SGS Essen)
FORWARDS (5): 11-Anja Mittag (VfL Wolfsburg), 15-Mandy Islacker (1. FFC Frankfurt), 18-Lena Petermann (SC Freiburg), 20-Lina Magull (SC Freiburg), 26-Hasret Kayikci (SC Freiburg)

Steffi Takes the Reins

For the first time in more than a decade, Germany will have a new coach roaming the sidelines. Steffi Jones, a legendary international player and 2003 Women’s World Cup champion, has replaced Silvia Neid – also a legend as a player and a coach – as the head coach of the Germany Women’s National Team. Neid, who took the positon in 2005, finished her highly successful 11-year tenure by winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. She also won the 2007 Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Olympic bronze medal. She was named the FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year in 2010, 2013 and 2016. Neid has transitioned into a player development position with the DFB.

Germany Women's National Team

Jones received much praise for her work as president of the organizing committee for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. It was a ground-breaking event for women’s soccer and especially women’s soccer in Europe. As a player, Jones played the majority of her career for her hometown FFC Frankfurt team, but also played in the USA with the Washington Freedom in 2002-2003, helping the club to the championship in 2003. Jones is a dual German and American citizen as she is the daughter of a German mother and an American father. Germany has yet to lose under Jones, winning four games (including two Euro qualifiers and two friendly matches) and drawing one so far, a 1-1 tie with Norway in a friendly on Nov. 29, 2016 in Germany’s most recent match.

Replacing Nadine

After the retirement of legendary goalkeeper and captain Nadine Angerer, the 2013 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Germany has been looking for her successor. Angerer was the first goalkeeper, male or female, to win the award, and as a two-time FIFA Women’s World champion she leaves some big shoes to fill. Angerer, who is currently on the coaching staff for the Portland Thorns in the NWSL, retired from international play in late 2015, but Germany has some excellent young net-minders coming up.

Germany Women's National Team

Twenty-six-year-old Laura Schult has been getting most of the caps. She back-stopped Germany to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title on home soil and was in goal for both the 2016 SheBelieves Cup and Germany’s 2016 Olympic gold-medal run, where she only allowed five goals in six matches. In her 38 caps, Schult has amassed a 32-3-3 record. She is being pushed by both 24-year-old Laura Benkarth, who played against the USA in the final of the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan (along with three other players on the German roster), and 29-year-old veteran Lisa Weiss. Both have played three times for the senior side.

Always Anja

The Germany roster includes a plethora of talent, but perhaps no one is more lethal than striker Anja Mittag. Mittag has played 149 times for her country and has scored 49 goals. She is tall, fast, strong, determined and has a knack for finishing goals from difficult spots. Mittag comes into SheBelieves as the most experienced player on the roster who throughout her 149 games has been part of 111 wins for Germany, 20 draws and only 18 losses. She scored five goals at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, including a hat trick in Germany’s opening match vs. Ivory Coast.

Mittag started all three games at the 2016 SheBelieves Cup and scored the first goal of the game in the de facto final against the United States on March 9. Despite not scoring at the 2016 Olympics, Mittag started every game and was a crucial piece of the team’s run to its first Olympic gold medal. 

Germany Women's National Team

Young Stars

Besides Angerer’s retirement, in the past two years Germany has also said farewell to veterans Célia Šašić, Melanie Behringer and Saskia Bartusiak, all integral members of Germany’s success in the last decade. But just like the USA’s infusion of young and new talent, Germany has welcomed tremendously talented youngsters Pauline Bremer, Sara Däbritz, Leonie Maier, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Alexandra Popp and Lena Petermann – all players born in or after 1991, who have quickly established themselves as a powerful group in the new era of Germany women’s soccer. Popp and Marozsan were two of the stars on Germany’s team that won the 2010 FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup at home. Popp won the Golden Boot in that tournament, scoring 10 goals, and was the tournament MVP. 

Bremer, who is 20 years old, has played for Germany since she was part of its U-15 WNT. For the senior team, she has seen action in 11 games and has already scored three goals, a solid ratio for a defender.

Germany Women's National Team
Däbritz battles for the ball with France’s Eugenie Le Sommer

Twenty-two-year-old Däbritz played in two games at last year’s SheBelieves Cup and was part of the German team at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. She scored two goals at the World Cup and three goals at the Olympics, one in Germany’s opening game against Zimbabwe, one in its second game against Australia, and one in Germany’s 2-0 semifinal win against Canada. Overall, she has 38 caps with Germany (32 of those are wins), and has scored eight international goals, five coming at major tournaments.

Peterman, who is 23 years old, led Germany to the title at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and is one of five players on the German roster for the SheBelieves Cup who played on that team. She is another playing starting to find her footing in the highly competitive Germany Women’s National Team. Despite having only played in nine games with the senior squad, she has already scored four goals – two at the 2015 World Cup.

WATCH: Maroszán scores; Germany Wins 2016 Olympic Gold

A trio of young German players can already be called world class in Leonie Maier (24-years-old), Dzsenifer Maroszán (24) and Alexandra Popp (25). All three were members of Germany’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster as well as the 2016 SheBelieves and Olympic Games squads. Marozsán and Popp, who have long been hailed as two of the top young players in the world after performing so well for Germany’s U-20 WNT, both scored at the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. In Canada, Popp scored against Ivory Coast, while Maroszán tallied her goal in the knockout stage against Sweden. In Brazil, Popp scored against Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament and Maroszán scored a crucial goal in the gold-medal game against Sweden, helping Germany take the title with the 2-1 win. Despite their young age, Marozsán and Popp have played 69 and 77 times and have scored 35 and 30 goals, respectively. Maier, who has recovered from a major knee injury, has 37 caps and seven goals to her name, including one at last year’s SheBelieves Cup.

Germany Women's National Team
Dzsenifer Maroszán

A EURO Scoring Machine

Germany has long been a European power, but its dominance has been extremely impressive. During UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying, Germany scored 35 goals and allowed zero. Ten of the players on the 2017 SheBelieves Cup roster scored a combined 25 goals, with Alexandra Popp leading the way with five goals in four games.

Anja Mittag, Isabel Kerschowski, Leonie Maier and Pauline Bremer each added three, while Sara Säbritz, Lina Magull and Mandy Islacker had two each. Lena Petermann and Dzsenifer Marozsán round out the goal scoring group with a goal apiece.

Germany has won six consecutive European titles. The last time Germany wasn’t reigning European champion was in 1994. 

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WNT Feb 19, 2017

Five Things to Know About 2017 SheBelieves Cup

From March 1-7, 2017, U.S. Soccer will host the second annual SheBelieves Cup, the most elite four-team international women’s soccer tournament of the year. Three doubleheaders will be staged in the northeast region of the United States as we welcome back three of the best teams in the world: Germany, France and England. Here are five things to know about this year’s SheBelieves Cup.

Top of the FIFA Rankings
The participants of the SheBelieves Cup – just like last year – make up four of the top five ranked women’s national soccer teams in the world. The USA, the reigning World Cup champions, sit atop the rankings followed by current Olympic champions Germany. France is third and England is fifth. 

Those Elusive Goals
In last year’s SheBelieves Cup, the USA defeated England and France by 1-0 scores and downed Germany, 2-1, in the de facto championship game to take the inaugural tournament title. Germany finished second, England was third and France was fourth. In fact, none of of the games were decided by more than one goal with the results coming down to three 1-0 victories, two 2-1 victories and one 0-0 draw. Even though the USA only scored a total of four goals in the three games during the tournament, the quality made up for the quantity, providing plenty of excitement and thrilling games. Scoring important goals on the biggest of stages can define a player or a team and that was proven out as three of the four goals the USA scored in the tournament finished ranked in the top five of the WNT’s Top 10 Goals of 2016.

Dunn vs. England
Against England, Crystal Dunn scored the game-winning goal with a perfect shot to the upper 90. After a competitive first half, Dunn came in as a substitute in the 67th minute and in the 72nd minute, Meghan Klingenberg did some nice work on the ball to the left of the penalty area, then slipped a pass between two England defenders to Dunn, who took two touches into the left corner of the box and ripped a shot into the top right corner for an incredible finish to propel the USA to a 1-0 U.S. victory.

Morgan vs. France
Few things are more exciting than scoring a game-winning goal in second half stoppage time and Morgan electrified the crowd of 25,363 fans in Nashville when she did exactly that. Against France in a game that been a display of excellent soccer for 90 minutes, Mallory Pugh brought the ball down at midfield, took a few touches as she sprinted forward and then played Morgan in behind the defense with a perfectly-weighted pass. She out-sprinted her defender and cut her left-footed shot into the lower right corner from just inside the penalty area for a slick game-winning finish at 90+1.

Morgan vs. Germany
Voted as U.S. Soccer’s Best Goal of 2016, the game-tying score against Germany brought the USA back into the game after an early strike from Anja Mittag had given the European champions the lead in the de facto SheBelieves Cup final. In the 35th minute, Meghan Klingenberg evaded a defender near midfield and lofted a ball over the top of the German defense down the left side into the path of the sprinting Morgan. She let the ball bounce twice, as she muscled out a first defender, before deftly lifting it over Saskia Bartusiak with her left foot and ripping a right-footed shot into the net in two fluid steps. 

Schedule Format and How to Watch
The tournament format will be the same as last year as the four teams will each participate in three doubleheader events at three different venues over a seven-day period. The USA's match vs. Germany will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on FS1; USA vs. England will be televised at 5 p.m. ET on the main FOX network, and USA vs. France will be live at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.

Replacing Algarve Cup
Before the SheBelieves Cup was established in 2016, the U.S. WNT’s early year competition for most of the last 20 years included the Algarve Cup in Portugal. A 10-time champion of the tournament, the Algarve Cup is an important part of the history of the program, but for 2016, U.S. Soccer the decisions to develop its own tournament where the best female soccer players in the world would come to test their mettle in a four-team, seven-day tournament.

The SheBelieves Cup then replaced the Algarve Cup for the WNT, while providing a chance for soccer fans in the Unites States to watch the bests teams in the world on U.S. soil. 

The Best Players in the World
Probably the most exciting prospect of the SheBelieves Cup, not only for teams and players but also for fans in the United States, is that the tournament provides the opportunity to watch some of the most talented women’s players on the planet. 


France's Eugine le Sommer at the inaugural SheBeleives Cup.

This doesn’t just include the 2015 and 2016 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in Carli Lloyd, or the speedy and technical Tobin Heath, but also forward Eugenie Le Sommer and midfielder Amandine Henry; Germany forwards Alexandra Popp and Anja Mittag and England defender Stephanie Houghton and attacking Karen Carney – all considered among the best in the world at their respective positions -- just to name a few. 

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WNT Feb 19, 2017

Steve Cherundolo Celebrates Half a Lifetime in Hannover

If you’re sitting back on Steve Cherundolo’s birthday and asking yourself, “I wonder where that guy is?”, rest assured he’s spending his birthday in the exact same place he’s been the past 19 years.

Dubbed the “Mayor of Hannover” thanks to playing the entirety of his 15-year career with German side Hannover 96, the three-time World Cup veteran MNT defender retired in 2014 as the club’s leader in Bundesliga appearances with 300. When he finally hung up his boots, he moved immediately into Die Roten’s management ranks, where he began as an assistant in the club’s academy.

“I’m working towards earning my [UEFA PRO] coaching licenses here in Germany and am currently the head coach of the U-17 Academy team,” Cherundolo told ussoccer.com this week. “I’m just trying to get as much experience as I can, at as many levels as I can.”


The Hannover 96 U-17 Academy Team with head coach Steve Cherundolo (pictured far left)

While most of his management experience has come at the youth level, the former Hannover captain did take a short stint as a first-team assistant in April of 2015. He temporarily joined newly named head coach Michael Frontzeck’s staff as the club rallied to stay up in the Bundesliga that season.

“That was a great experience, a successful one where we ended up staying in the top division. That was fun, that was good and then I decided to go on my own route. I wanted to coach my own team and to do my own things, so then I started with the Under-17s and this is my second season. I’m enjoying it a lot."

A mainstay at right back for much of his time with the MNT, Cherundolo is one of only 17 U.S. players all-time to be part of three or more FIFA World Cup rosters. A near automatic choice at right back for three different National Team coaches, Cherundolo’s 87 career caps surely would have pushed passed 100 if he spent even a few years of his club career stateside.


Steve Cherundolo celebrates a goal for Hannover against Wolfsburg in October 2004

Instead, the San Diego native continues to be a rarity in the game’s modern era, happily continuing his reign as a “one club man” with Hannover.

“It’s not something you envision. I think every young American, every soccer player who starts somewhere at a club hopes that they have a long career and certainly that was something I was able to achieve. That was great, but I had no idea I’d spend my entire career here in Hannover. It just seemed to work out that every contract extension it seemed to be the right decision for both the club and myself. I’m fortunate it did work out that way as a player, and it’s continued now for me as a coach.”

While his main focus is towards helping develop young talent for Hannover, Cherundolo says he still keeps tabs on the only other team he’s played for, and praised the recent hiring of Bruce Arena as MNT head coach.


Steve Cherundolo and Landon Donovan stand for the National Anthem ahead of the USA's 2010 World Cup match vs. Slovenia

“From my standpoint, he’s the right guy for the job,” Cherundolo said about the man that handed him his MNT debut in 1999. “Bruce brings a ton of experience, and as a player I was able to learn an unbelievable amount about always being competitive not only on game day, but in training as well.”

Part of Arena’s rosters at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Cherundolo said the veteran manager’s ability to motivate players combined with his knack for fielding a starting XI that gives his team the best chance to win has made Arena the most successful coach in MNT history.

“It may not have been the best 11 players, but it was certainly the group that mixes well together and is the strongest side to be successful at the end of the game. I think that’s something that Bruce does very, very well, and I think that’s one of his strongest traits as a coach.”

Due to be eligible for the entry into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2018, Cherundolo looks back fondly on the memories made during his international career. From Landon Donovan’s game-winner against Algeria in 2010 and the matches in which the U.S. clinched qualification to his three different World Cups, above all the 38-year-old counts the time he got to spend with his fellow U.S. teammates as his favorite moments from a 13-year international career.


Cherundolo and U.S. teammates celebrate finishing atop the 2009 Hexagonal on Oct. 14, 2009

“On the road, on the planes, in the hotels – those are moments that for me were very personal, gratifying and moments that I cherished very much. There were some fabulous memories and there wasn’t one camp that I can recall that I wasn’t happy while I was there.

“There were amazing experiences and amazing players. U.S. Soccer has done a great job of creating atmospheres in camp where it was enjoyable for players, but also very professional at the same time. I think it’s a privilege to have been involved in the program for so long and every training camp was something special.”

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MNT Feb 19, 2017

U-20 MNT Edged 1-0 by Panama in 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Group B Opener

TIBÁS, Costa Rica (Feb. 18, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team pushed heavily for a second half equalizer before falling 1-0 to Panama by virtue of Leandro Ávila’s deflected effort in the 37th minute in its opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.  

The first half largely lacked opportunities for both sides until Ávila collected the ball in the area, turned inside and saw his shot deflect off Marlon Fossey before floating inside the top right corner to give Los Canaleros a 1-0 half-time advantage.

Playing up a man after Panama’s Justin Simons was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Tyler Adams in the 18th minute, the U.S. pushed things early on in the second half when Jeremy Ebobisse’s header clanged off the crossbar in the 48th minute.

With Panama content to pack the area in defense of their 1-0 lead, the U-20 MNT found it hard to break through, but came close again when a Justen Glad laser was pushed out for a corner kick in the 82nd minute before Panama ‘keeper Charles Taylor smothered Ebobisse’s 88th minute effort on the goal line to preserve the 1-0 result.

The U-20 MNT plays its second group stage match against Haiti, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose (5:30 p.m. ET; UDN, CONCACAF Facebook Page). Haiti defeated St. Kitts and Nevis 5-1 in Saturday’s first Group B match.
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Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba), 37th minute:
Going against the run of play, Panama got on the board towards the end of the first half when Ronaldo Córdoba swung a looping ball into the box for Leandro Ávila. The Panama forward took it down with his knee before cutting back inside and curling an effort that took a slight deflection off USA defender Marlon Fossey and into the top right corner.
USA 0, PAN 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
USA – Marlon Fossey, 15th minute:
The first clear-cut opportunity came on the quarter-hour mark when Leandro Ávila broke through down the right and sent a penetrating ball into the box for Ronaldo Córdoba only to have Marlon Fossey slide through to clear the ball out for a corner kick.

USA – Tommy Redding, 25th minute: As the U.S. worked to move the ball forward, pressure from Andrés Andrade forced a turnover at the back, allowing the San Francisco FC winger a free run up the left where he centered looking for Córdoba, only to have the cross well-read by Tommy Redding who calmly cleared to safety.

PAN – Crossbar, 48th minute: Looking for the equalizer right out of halftime, Marlon Fossey quickly threw the ball in for Eric Palmer-Brown who laid off for Brooks Lennon just outside the box. Lennon then swung a cross to the six-yard box where Jeremy Ebobisse’s header beat Charles Taylor, but careened off the cross bar before being cleared.

PAN – Charles Taylor, 80th minute: Continuing to press for the equalizer, the U.S. had a sustained period of possession and moved the ball around just outside the penalty area before Justen Glad unleashed a low rocket from 22 yards that saw Taylor dive to palm it out for a corner kick.

PAN – Charles Taylor, 87th minute: Still full of steam, Fossey paraded up the right side, sending a long cross for Sebastian Saucedo at the back post where the Real Salt Lake midfielder centered for Jeremy Ebobisse whose first-time shot was smothered on the goal line by Taylor.

NOTES:

  • With the result, Tab Ramos moves to 8-3-1 all-time in CONCACAF U-20 Championship play
  • The USA U-20s moves to 3-2-0 all-time vs. Panama in U-20 World Cup Qualifying
  • Panama played a man down after midfielder Justin Simons was shown a straight red card in the 18th minute for a late challenge on USA midfielder Tyler Adams.

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: Feb. 18, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship – Group B
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; Tibas, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 77 degrees; partly cloudy

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

PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba)                    37th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding (7-Eryk Williamson, 69), 6-Justen Glad, 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams (18-Emmanuel Sabbi, 31), 
5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 11-Sebastian Saucedo; 10-Luca De La Torre (19-Coy Craft, 69), 9-Jeremy Ebobisse, 17-Brooks Lennon
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 13-Auston Trusty, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan Gonzalez, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos

PAN: 12-Charles Taylor; 20-Josue Vergara (13-Jorge Gutiérrez, 90+3), 6-Javier Rivera (Capt.), 2-Jiovany Ramos, 3-Andrés Andrade; 11-Justin Simons, 5-Ricardo Ávila, 14-José Tejada, 17-Leandro Ávila (18-Isidoro Hinestroza, 79); 8-Cristian Martínez (16-Yair Jaen, 72), 9-Ronaldo Córdoba
Subs not used: 1-Aldo Ciel, 7-Chamell Asprilla, 10-Andrés Peñalba, 19-Oliver Beckles
Head coach: Nelson Gallego

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 22 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
PAN – Justin Simons (sent off)                         18th minute
USA – Luca de la Torre (caution)                    41
PAN – Cristian Martínez (caution)                45+1
USA – Sebastian Saucedo (caution)              74

Officials:
Referee: Armando Castro (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Melvin Cruz (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
4th Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Justen Glad

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U-20 MNT Feb 18, 2017
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