U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Defeats Colombia 7-0 in Front of Record Crowd in Connecticut

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut (April 6, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored four first-half goals and three in the second, each flurry in a span of 12 minutes, to defeat Colombia 7-0 in front of a record crowd of 21,792 on a cold night at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.

Tonight’s crowd set a new record for an all-women’s soccer event in Connecticut, besting the previous mark of 18,870 that watched the USA play Germany at the same venue on Oct. 23, 2012.

Forward Crystal Dunn kicked off the scoring in the 27th minute with a quick touch and shot from the middle of the box past Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez. Allie Long notched her first international goal five minutes later in her first WNT start since 2014. Seventeen-year-old winger Mallory Pugh and co-captain Carli Lloyd assisted each other within a span of six minutes, both scoring from close range to give the WNT a 4-0 lead heading into the half.

Midfielder Tobin Heath continued to pour in the goals in the second half with a well-executed volley off a Dunn cross in the 62nd minute. Three minutes later Long notched her second goal of the match, and first career brace, on a header assisted by Julie Johnston, who was celebrating her 24th birthday. Christen Press rounded out the scoring with an impressive curling right-footed shot from the top left corner of the box, which bent around Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez and into the right corner for her 32nd career score.

Hope Solo extended her all-time USA record for U.S. goalkeeper caps (194) and shutouts (98) and is now two shutouts away from becoming the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to reach the century mark.

The USA and Colombia complete the two-game series of friendlies on Sunday, April 10 in Chester, Pennsylvania (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Goal Scoring Rundown:

USA – Crystal Dunn (Carli Lloyd), 27th minute: Colombia’s backline did well to block two consecutive shots inside the box, but Carli Lloyd gathered a loose rebound and dribbled along the top of the penalty area before splitting the defense with a short pass to Crystal Dunn. Dunn battled Colombia captain Natalia Gaitan for the ball, used her left foot to nudge the ball toward the penalty spot and send a shot past Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez for the game’s first score. USA 1, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA -  Allie Long (Lindsey Horan), 32nd minute: Following a free kick, the USA worked the ball from the right side to the left where Dunn found Lindsey Horan with space on the flank. Horan sent a right-footed cross to a well-positioned Allie Long in the middle of the penalty area and she re-directed a perfect header into the left corner past the diving ‘keeper for her first career international goal. USA 2, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd), 33rd minute: Lloyd gathered the ball just shy of the 18-yard box, employed a nifty spin move to create space and slipped a perfect pass to 17-year-old Mallory Pugh past a lunging Leidy Asprilla. Pugh took two quick right-footed touches inside the box and toward goal before sending a low right-footed shot into the net for her second career goal in just her 10th cap. USA 3, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Carli Lloyd (Mallory Pugh), 39th minute: Pugh returned the favor six minutes later when she collected a Dunn pass near the left side of the penalty box, took a diagonal touch toward the near post and sent a low pass through the Colombia defense to Lloyd who was crashing the goal. The U.S. captain wasted no time using a left-footed first touch to send a seven-yard shot past Perez for her eighth goal of 2016. USA 4, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Tobin Heath (Crystal Dunn), 62nd minute: Dunn chased a ball down the right side of the box and played a perfect far post cross to the wide open Tobin Heath who struck a powerful right-footed volley past Perez. USA 5, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Allie Long (Julie Johnston) 65th minute: Colombia’s Catalina Usme clearance attempt following a U.S. corner kick spun awkwardly off her foot and toward Julie Johnston at the far post. Johnston won the aerial battle and headed the ball across the face of the goal to Long, who redirected the ball with her head into the net for her second score of the match. USA 6, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Christen Press (Crystal Dunn) 74th minute: Long capitalized on a quick free kick at midfield with a short pass to Dunn, who led Christen Press with a diagonal through ball down the left side of the field. In full stride, Press bent a perfect right-footed shot from the top left corner of the box into the right side of the net for her third goal of the year. USA 7, COL 0 (SEE GOAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:

COL – Orianica Velazquez, 5th minute: Tobin Heath went on a fantastic dribbling run down the left side, beating four defenders (which included a nutmeg) before attempting to play a pass across the face of the goal, but Colombia’s Natalia Gaitan deflected the pass toward Crystal Dunn at the top of the six-yard box. Dunn collected the ball and sent a right-footed shot on target, but Orianica Velazquez managed to stop it with her body on the goal line.

USA – Hope Solo, 57th minute: On a rare counter attack, Colombia managed to get behind the U.S. defense as Catalina Usme played in Liecy Santos and she raced at the U.S. goal with a defender in tow. Santos had a good look at the goal, but Solo stepped up and smothered the hard shot to preserve her shutout.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT will host Colombia again on Sunday, April 10 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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

Additional Notes:

  • After today’s tallies, Dunn and Lloyd are now tied with Alex Morgan for the team lead with eight goals apiece this year. Press’ goal moves her into a tie with Lindsay Tarpley for 16th on the WNT’s all-time scoring list.
  • The USA is 10-0-0 in 2016, having scored 39 goals and allowing only one, good for an average of 3.9 per match.
  • The win marked the WNT’s largest margin-of-victory against Colombia in the four all-time meetings between both sides (previous: 3-0 in 2011, 3-0 in 2012, 2-0 in 2015.)
  • The U.S. recorded its ninth clean sheet of the year, having allowed just one goal through 10 matches.
  • The WNT improved to 4-0-0 in the series against Colombia. Tonight’s game was the first friendly between the two teams.
  • Carli Lloyd’s goal was the 87th of her career and 24th over the last 23 matches, dating back to the WNT’s last match against Colombia in the Round of 16 at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Lloyd also improved her career total to four goals against Colombia. The only player to have scored in all four matchups.
  • Seventeen-year-old winger Mallory Pugh recorded her fifth assist along with her second goal in her first year of action with the WNT.
  • Pugh’s five assists are tied with Lloyd for the team lead in 2016.
  • Allie Long scored her first and second career international goals in her first cap since Aug. 20, 2014 against Switzerland in Cary, N.C.
  • Tobin Heath notched her third goal of the year and 15th career international goal in her 115th career cap.
  • The WNT used six subs: Samantha Mewis replaced Lindsay Horan and Christen Press replaced Mallory Pugh in the 45th minute; Whitney Engen replaced Julie Johnston and Emily Sonnett replaced Becky Sauerbrunn in the 67th minute; Heather O’Reilly replaced Kelley O’Hara in the 69th minute and Ali Krieger replaced Meghan Klingenberg in the 70th minute.
  • The USA improved to 6-2-1 all-time in Connecticut and 4-0-1 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.
  • The U.S. trained in Orlando, Fla. with 23 players for six days leading up to the match, but only 23 made the trip to Connecticut after defender Jaelene Hinkle injured her ankle late in camp and returned to her club, and 17-year-old forward Ashley Sanchez left to return to school. Alex Morgan (hip) and Morgan Brian (hamstring) did not play tonight due to minor injuries. Both have been progressing well in training and could be available for selection for the April 10 match in Chester, Pa.

Milestone Watch:

  • Carli Lloyd earned her 221st cap tonight, while Hope Solo recorded her 194th, extending her record for a U.S. goalkeeper, and Heather O’Reilly earned her 229th.
  • Solo recorded her 148th career win, improving her all-time U.S. record for a goalkeeper. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: April 6, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 21,792
Weather: 47 degrees, Cloudy

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             4          3          7          
COL                              0          0          0

USA – Crystal Dunn (Carli Lloyd)                                     27th minute      
USA – Allie Long (Lindsey Horan)                                    32
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd)                                    33
USA – Carli Lloyd (Mallory Pugh)                                    39
USA – Tobin Heath (Crystal Dunn)                                   62
USA – Allie Long (Julie Johnston)                                    65
USA – Christen Press (Crystal Dunn)                              74                                                                                      

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara (9-Heather O’Reilly, 69), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Emily Sonnett, 67), 8-Julie Johnston (6-Whitney Engen, 67), 7-Meghan Klingenberg (11-Ali Krieger, 70); 23-Allie Long, 20-Lindsey Horan (3-Samantha Mewis, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Christen Press, 46), 16-Crystal Dunn, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs not used: 21-Alyssa Naeher
Not available: Alex Morgan, Morgan Brian, Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

COL: 1-Catalina Perez; 3-Natalia Gaitan (capt.), 14-Nataly Arias, 17-Leidy Asprilla (2-Carolina Arbelaez, 78), 9-Orianica Velasquez; 5-Isabella Echeverri (13-Maria Jaramillo, 90), 6-Liana Salazar 8-Carolina Pineda, 68), 10-Yorely Rincon (18-Yisela Cuesta, 65), 4-Diana Ospina (15-Tatiana Ariza, 84), 16-Leicy Santos, 11-Catalina Usme (7-Nicole Regnier, 87)
Subs not used: 12-Paula Forero
Head coach: Felipe Taborda

Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 24 / 6
Shots on Goal: 14 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 18
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Orianica Velasquez (caution)                    18th minute
COL – Yisela Cuesta (caution)                            78

Officials: 
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)                             
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Han Gagnon (CAN)    
Assistant Referee 2: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
4th Official: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Tobin Heath

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WNT Apr 6, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Colombia
Date: April 6, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium; East Hartford, Conn.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 21,792
Weather: 47 degrees, Cloudy

Scoring Summary:       1          2          F
USA                             4          3          7         
COL                              0          0          0

USA – Crystal Dunn (Carli Lloyd)                                     27th minute      
USA – Allie Long (Lindsey Horan)                                    32
USA – Mallory Pugh (Carli Lloyd)                                    33
USA – Carli Lloyd (Mallory Pugh)                                    39
USA – Tobin Heath (Crystal Dunn)                                   62
USA – Allie Long (Julie Johnston)                                    65
USA – Christen Press (Crystal Dunn)                              74                                                                                      

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara (9-Heather O’Reilly, 69), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Emily Sonnett, 67), 8-Julie Johnston (6-Whitney Engen, 67), 7-Meghan Klingenberg (11-Ali Krieger, 70); 23-Allie Long, 20-Lindsey Horan (3-Samantha Mewis, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Christen Press, 46), 16-Crystal Dunn, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs not used: 21-Alyssa Naeher
Not available: Alex Morgan, Morgan Brian, Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

COL: 1-Catalina Perez; 3-Natalia Gaitan (capt.), 14-Nataly Arias, 17-Leidy Asprilla (2-Carolina Arbelaez, 78), 9-Orianica Velasquez; 5-Isabella Echeverri (13-Maria Jaramillo, 90), 6-Liana Salazar 8-Carolina Pineda, 68), 10-Yorely Rincon (18-Yisela Cuesta, 65), 4-Diana Ospina (15-Tatiana Ariza, 84), 16-Leicy Santos, 11-Catalina Usme (7-Nicole Regnier, 87)
Subs not used: 12-Paula Forero
Head coach: Felipe Taborda

Stats Summary: USA / COL
Shots: 24 / 6
Shots on Goal: 14 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 18
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Orianica Velasquez (caution)                    18th minute
COL – Yisela Cuesta (caution)                            78

Officials:
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)                            
Assistant Referee 1: Marie-Han Gagnon (CAN)    
Assistant Referee 2: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
4th Official: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Tobin Heath

FIFA Approves Change of Association Request for Midfielder Kenny Saief

U.S. Soccer confirmed Thursday that midfielder Kenny Saief has been approved by FIFA for a change of association. 

Born in Panama City, Fla., Saief represented Israel in official competition for their U-19 and U-21 National Teams, which required his application for a one-time switch. With his request granted, he can now only represent the United States at the international level. 

A member of Belgian club Gent, Saief was named to the USA's 40-player provisional roster for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. The final roster of 23 players will be announced June 25 on FOX.


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MNT Jun 22, 2017

Melia: Kansas City’s Pool Shark

“Stability? In sport?” chuckled goalkeeper Tim Melia, a wry edge in his voice, when asked about his new lease on professional life at Sporting Kansas City. “What’s that?” 

He might be the best keeper in Major League Soccer on current form, racking up 10 shutouts this season alone. But that doesn’t mean the SKC No.1 takes anything for granted. “You’re only as good as your last game,” admitted Melia, a man who earned his first starting gig in the American top-flight at the ripe old age of 29. “I know that more than the next guy because of all I’ve been through.”  

 

An agile shot-stopper with an eye for quick breaks, the Long Island native paid his dues in the lower leagues with Rochester Rhinos before Real Salt Lake drafted him in 2010. And of course, there at the top of the pyramid, it was all money, comfort and the professional dream. Happily ever after, right? Not quite.

From Chivas to the Pool
He was released from his contract after barely a full year in Utah and quickly landed one of the worst gigs in MLS: back-up at Chivas USA. He made six appearances for the ill-fated club and conceded 12 goals, an average of two per game. It’s one of those stats that’s a damned lie, a reflection more on the now-defunct club’s mismanagement than Melia’s chops between the posts. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Chivas went belly up in 2014, Melia ended up in MLS’ goalkeeper pool – where no one wants to be at age 28. He was a gun-for-hire, a back-up who’d travel to fill a hole. “It’s not the situation I wanted to be in,” he said, remembering his days without a home. He was a body, quite literally, making up the numbers, on contract with the league but not with a team. “But it was my reality.”

Melia took a novel approach to climb out. “I treated every stretch where I got in front of an MLS coach as a straight-up trial,” he said of those days having earned only a handful of starts and watching his dream die slowly. “I was pretty intense about it. I went all out. I did whatever needed doing – shagging balls or putting myself in front of hundreds of shots.”

 

Then-LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena allowed Melia to practice with his squad, affording the keeper at least a modicum of stability between Pool loans. “I just went across the hall, changed my shirt and trained with the Galaxy,” said Melia, who talks about the ins and outs of the game as you would expect, like someone who watched closely and paid attention to the details. “I put everything into it.”

Once he flew across the country only to have a coach change his mind when he arrived with a bag in hand and bleary-eyed. For a competitor like Melia, a pro in his bones desperate for a chance, it was cruel. He considered hanging up his gloves for good. But he pushed on. And when Sporting had a need in 2015, all three of their keepers down to injury, they put a call in for Melia. He packed another bag – maybe it was already by the door from last time out – and made his way to Kansas City.

He got his chance this time. For real. He pounced on the opportunity offered by coach Peter Vermes. His talent, determination and attitude – honed through the hard times – were obvious. It might be a trick of the eye, but Melia seems to hold the ball a little tighter and smother it more completely than other keepers, careful not to let the chance he’d waited so long for slip through his fingers. He was named the league’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2015, a sideways honor he scoffs at, and is in the hunt for both an MLS and U.S. Open Cup crown this year. 

A Place to Call Home
He’s expansive when talking about what it means to play at home. There’s genuine gratitude when conversation turns to the fans at Children’s Mercy Park. “It’s huge. You sleep in your own bed and train at your own field,” he said. “You keep your own routine. And then you get a little bit of extra energy from the fans and it makes all the difference. You drop these fans into the equation and it’s a recipe for perfection.”

It’s not just the fans, who chant his name, a name few knew two years ago, who’ve come to love Melia. He’s earned the respect of his teammates, which can’t be too hard when you concede one goal in your last six home games – over 540 minutes of soccer. “Unbelievable,” center-back Matt Besler said of Melia, while coach Vermes once called his go-to man: “The Hulk.”

Melia admits to having a special place in his heart for for the Open Cup. He won the competition in 2015, his first year in KC. “For a guy who became a starter so late in his career, I got my chances to play in the Open Cup,” he said about the dark days when an Open Cup outing was a hint of light in a life of anonymity. “If you played well and got a result, you could make more minutes for yourself. I love the tournament. There’s opportunities in it.”

He also likes having it all on the line. “Open Cup games are the kind where you just have to do anything to get through,” said Melia, now 31 and lynchpin of the league’s meanest defense. “It doesn’t matter if you win 5-4 or 1-0 or on penalties, you just need to win. It’s five games to a trophy and here at SKC we take that very seriously.

Sporting Kansas City face Houston Dynamo – currently their closest chasers in the Western Conference – on the road in the next round. “They’re quick on the counter and good at home – they haven’t lost at their place yet this season,” said Melia, rattling off the scouting report on his next opponent in the Cup’s Round of 16. He won’t be fazed by a quick road trip and he knows, with one more win – pretty or ugly, it’s back to home sweet home for the Quarters.

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U.S. Open Cup Jun 22, 2017

Gallery: In Remembrance - WNT Coach Tony DiCicco

Former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco has passed away at age 68. 

One of the most popular figures and leaders in women’s soccer history in the United States, DiCicco was a true pioneer of the sport. His association with U.S. Soccer dates to the late 1980s and DiCicco is the winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history by percentage as well as the only coach to win more than 100 games, while losing just eight times during his tenure from 1994-1999. 

He was the goalkeeper coach working for Anson Dorrance on the first Women’s World Cup championship team in 1991. In 1994, he took over from Dorrance as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team and led the USA to a third-place finish at the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden. 

He then led the USA to its first Olympic gold medal for women’s soccer at the 1996 Games in Athens, Georgia, guiding the team to victory in front of massive semifinal and championship game crowds that set the stage for the hosting of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. The events changed the way women’s soccer and women’s sports were viewed in the American sporting culture. 

In 2008, DiCicco took over the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team late in the cycle and led the underdog team to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title in Chile with a squad that featured current U.S. WNT players Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, Meghan Klingenberg and Alyssa Naeher. 

DiCicco was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.

 

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WNT Jun 21, 2017

U-18 WNT Travels Down Under to play Canada, Australia U-20s

CHICAGO (June 20, 2017) – The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team will travel to Canberra, the capital of Australia, from June 28-July 13 for a training camp and three matches.

U.S. U-18 WNT head coach Jaime Frias has called up 20 players for the trip Down Under that will see the USA play against the Under-20 teams from Canada and Australia (twice).

Frias’ squad is made up 12 players born in 2000, which is the current age group for the U-18s. He is also bringing seven players born in 1999, the current age group for the U-19s, and one player born in 1998 (Natalie Winters of Iowa, who is the only college player), which is the age cut-off for the current group of U-20s.

The USA will face Canada on July 6 and then play Australia on July 10 and July 12. All the games will be played in Canberra.

U.S. U-18 WNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Claudia Dickey (Charlotte Soccer Academy; Charlotte, N.C.), Hensley Hancuff (Oklahoma FC; Edmond, Okla.)         

DEFENDERS (6): Kerry Abello (Eclipse Select; Batavia, Ill.), Maycee Bell (Sporting Blue Valley; Wichita, Kansas), Sydney Dawson (Internationals SC; Akron, Ohio), Madelyn Desiano (So Cal Blues; San Clemente, Calif.), Shea Holmes (Real Colorado; Highlands Ranch, Colo.), Brianna Martinez (New Mexico Rush, Albuquerque, N.M.)                                                                       

MIDFIELDERS (6): Tess Boade (Real Colorado; Golden, Colo.), Coriana Dyke (Colorado Rush; Littleton, Colo.), Jenna Nighswonger (Slammers FC; Huntington Beach, Calif.), Taryn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Natalie Winters (Iowa; Plymouth, Mich.), Sydney Zandi (Penn Fusion, West Chester, Pa.)                                                      

FORWARDS (6): Jordan Brewster (Internationals SC; North Canton, Ohio), Emina Ekic (Javanon FC; Fairdale, Ky.), Aleigh Gambone (McLean FC; Clifton, Va.), Rachel Jones (Tophat SC; Lawrenceville, Ga.), Alexa Spaanstra (Michigan Hawks; Brighton, Mich.), Summer Yates (Pacific NW; Pasco, Wash.)              
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U-18 WNT Jun 20, 2017

Legendary WNT Head Coach Tony DiCicco Passes Away at 68

CHICAGO (June 20, 2017) – Former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tony DiCicco has passed away at age 68. 

“Today we mourn the loss of one of the most influential coaches in U.S. Soccer history,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Tony’s passion for the game as a coach, administrator and broadcaster was always evident and his relationships with everyone in the soccer community distinguished him as a compassionate and much-loved man. U.S. Soccer will forever be thankful to Tony for his vast contributions to the game and we extend thoughts and condolences to his family and to the many people who were positively impacted by him during what was a remarkable life.” 

DiCicco, one of the most popular figures and leaders in women’s soccer history in the United States, was a true pioneer of the sport. His association with U.S. Soccer dates to the late 1980s and he was the goalkeeper coach working for Anson Dorrance on the first Women’s World Cup championship team in 1991. 

In 1994, he took over from Dorrance as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team and led the USA to a third-place finish at the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden. 

He then led the USA to its first Olympic gold medal for women’s soccer at the 1996 Games in Athens, Georgia, guiding the team to victory in front of massive semifinal and championship game crowds that set the stage for the hosting of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. The events changed the way women’s soccer and women’s sports were viewed in the American sporting culture. 

During a magical few weeks in the summer of 1999, DiCicco deftly directed the U.S. team through a high-pressure World Cup tournament that ended in front of 90,125 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, where the USA defeated China PR in a dramatic penalty kick shootout that altered the course of women’s soccer in America and the world. It is still the largest crowd ever to watch a women’s sporting event. 

DiCicco was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.

“Tony is one of the true legends of women’s soccer in the United States and the game would not be where it is today without his dedication and visionary work,” said U.S. Soccer Secretary General/CEO Dan Flynn. “We’ve lost a great man, but we all know that the impact he had at the beginning of our Women’s National Team program will be felt for generations to come.” 

In 2008, DiCicco took over the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team late in the cycle and led the underdog team to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title in Chile with a squad that featured current U.S. WNT players Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, Meghan Klingenberg and Alyssa Naeher. 

DiCicco is the winningest coach in U.S. Soccer history by percentage as well as the only coach to win more than 100 games, while losing just eight times during his tenure from 1994-1999. 

DiCicco also played a key leadership role in the start of women’s professional soccer in the United States. In 2001, he served as Chief Operating Officer for the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA), the inaugural women’s professional league which played from 2001-2003, and was the league’s Commissioner in 2002 and 2003. He coached the Boston Breakers in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) from 2009-2011. 

DiCicco received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1970, where as a goalkeeper he was the captain and the most valuable player his senior year, earning All-America honors. DiCicco also has a master’s degree in physical education from Central Connecticut State University, earned in 1978. 

DiCicco played five years of professional soccer in the American Soccer League with the Connecticut Wildcats and Rhode Island Oceaneers, where he was team MVP and captain. In 1973, DiCicco toured and played for the U.S. National Team.

The Wethersfield, Conn., native is survived by Diane and four sons: Anthony, Andrew, Alex, and Nicholas.

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WNT Jun 20, 2017
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