U.S. Soccer

WNT Defeats New Zealand 5-0 in Front of Record Crowd in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Sept. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 with a dominant performance on Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd of 30,596 as Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams scored at Nippert Stadium. 

The USA put together an excellent performance on both sides of the ball, controlling possession and piling up a 19-5 shot advantage. With the win, the USA sweeps the two-game series against the Oceania champions. 

Morgan scored in her third consecutive game, upping her 2017 total to four goals. The brace marked her 18th career multi-goal game. Morgan’s goals both came in the second half and sandwiched a strike from fellow substitute Lynn Williams. Horan and Pugh had staked the USA to a 2-0 halftime lead before the second half fireworks. 

Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle got the start, playing in front of her hometown crowd as a professional for the first time. Lavelle left the game in the 33rd minute as a precaution after recovering from a hamstring injury. She almost delighted the crowd with a chance less than a minute into the game, but cut her left-footed shot wide right. 

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three changes to the starting lineup from the first game between the teams on Sept. 15 in Commerce City, Colo., as well as moving Kelley O’Hara from left back to right back. Christen Press got the nod at center forward, Lavelle played in a three-woman midfield before being replaced by Lindsey Horan, and Casey Short started at left back. 

The U.S. players will now return to their clubs to finish the NWSL season, while forward Crystal Dunn heads back to England to begin her season with Chelsea FC. Next for the USA will be two matches against the Korea Republic on Oct. 19 at the Superdome in New Orleans (7 p.m. CT on FS1) and on Oct. 22 at Sahlen’s Stadium at Wakemed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (2 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Lindsey Horan (Samantha Mewis), 36th minute: A terrific lofted cross from Mewis came from just past midfield and fell to Horan who looped a long-distance header from 16 yards out over goalkeeper Erin Nayler, who was caught off her line, and into the back of the net. USA 1, NZL 0. GOAL. 

USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan), 44th minute: After one of many nice buildups from the USA, Horan slipped a pass to Pugh who was streaking down the right side. Pugh sprinted into the penalty area and curled a right footed shot inside the near, right post for her second goal of 2017. USA 2, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Alex Morgan, 46th minute: Morgan came on at halftime for Megan Rapinoe and wasted no time making an impact. Julie Ertz dropped a long ball over the defense on the left side and Mallory Pugh ran it down before playing a pass on the ground into the penalty box that was deflected by a New Zealand defender, but right into the path of Morgan. She found a bit of space and squeezed her shot between Nayler and the near, left post from close range just 28 seconds into the half. USA 3, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara), 55th minute: Kelley O’Hara sent a cross from the left side into the middle of the box where a leaping Williams came from the opposite side, ran straight past New Zealand captain Ali Riley to head the ball to the back of the net and score her second goal of the year. USA 4, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh), 69th minute: It was another beautiful run from Pugh on the left wing to find Morgan in the corner inside the 18-yard box. Morgan received the ball with her right foot, bringing it down to set up an incredible first-time, left-footed strike thundering off the underside of the crossbar into the net for her second goal of the match. USA 5, NZL 0. GOAL. FINAL.

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

Additional Notes:

  • The crowd of 30,596 was the largest to ever attend a WNT match in the state of Ohio and was the seventh highest standalone WNT friendly crowd. The other six came in 2015 and included another match against New Zealand (April 4 in St. Lous) as well as five Victory Tour games. Additionally, tonight’s crowd was 23rd largest WNT home crowd all-time.
  • Lindsey Horan scored her fourth career goal and earned her 11th assist for the WNT on Mallory Pugh’s goal. It was her first goal and second assist of 2017. She earned her 39th appearance for the WNT tonight and ninth this year.
  • Mallory Pugh scored her second goal of 2017 and her sixth career goal. She made her 11th appearance of 2017 and eighth start.
  • Alex Morgan scored 28 seconds into the second half and again in the 69th minute of the game for her third and fourth goals of 2017, getting on the scoreboard for the third consecutive game this year. She earned her 130th cap.
  • Now with 77 goals, Morgan moves into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT. Tonight was Morgan’s 18th multi-goal game of her career.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn and Samantha Mewis both started their 12th consecutive game of the year and are the only two players to have started every match in 2017.
  • Samantha Mewis earned her 30th cap. Mewis completed 70% of her passes in the opponents’ half, the third highest percentage for any player with at least 15 passes in the New Zealand half.
  • Alyssa Naeher earned her 12th career shutout tonight in her 20th appearance for the USA and 18th start. It was her seventh consecutive start, which included all three games of the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
  • Julie Ertz, who scored her second career brace on Sept. 15 in Colorado, started her second consecutive game as a defensive midfielder - a position she played while at Santa Clara, and is currently playing for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. She earned her 53rd cap tonight and has three goals in 2017. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps.
  • Kelley O’Hara, earned her 101th cap, after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country. She earned her first assist of 2017 tonight.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath returned to action for the USA for the first time since March 7, 2017. She came in the 72nd minute in place of Mallory Pugh to play the final 18 minutes of the game. Heath had been sidelined from both club and country since March due to a back injury.
  • Casey Short made her 10th start of this year and 11th appearance. Before coming in as a sub in the Sept. 15 game against New Zealand, Short had started every game she had played in for the USA. Tonight, she played all 90 minutes in her 15th career cap.
  • Abby Dahlkemper played all 90 minutes tonight and earned her ninth cap for the WNT in what was her sixth career start.
  • Players that did not dress tonight were: Jane Campbell, Sofia Huerta, Allie Long and Crystal Dunn.
  • Lynn Williams scored her third career goal, and second of 2017 tonight. She did not suit up on Sept. 15 but came on in the 46th minute to earn her 11th WNT cap. She hurt her ankle in the USA's first training in Sweden in early June and could not play either match in Europe, then played sparingly in the Tournament of Nations.
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WNT Sep 19, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand
Date: Sept. 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Attendance: 30,596
Weather:  73 degrees; clear 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                             2          3          5                     
NZL                             0          0          0                      

USA - Lindsay Horan (Samantha Mewis)      36th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan)            44
USA – Alex Morgan                                        46
USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara)            55
USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh)               69 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 14-Casey Short, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) (22-Taylor Smith, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 3-Samantha Mewis (6-Morgan Brian, 57), 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle (9-Lindsey Horan, 33); 15-Megan Rapinoe (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 23-Christen Press (12-Lynn Williams, 46), 2-Mallory Pugh (17-Tobin Heath, 72)
Substitutes not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

NZL: 1-Erin Nayler; 7-Ali Riley (capt.), 5-Meikayla Moore, 6-Rebekah Stott, 2-Ria Percival (4-CJ Bott, 86); 11-Kirsty Yallop (16-Olivia Chance, 58), 14-Katie Bowen, 12-Betsy Hassett (22-Katie Rood, 90+3), 10-Annalie Longo (8-Daisy Cleverley, 80); 13-Rosie White (18-Aimee Phillips, 76), 17-Hannah Wilkinson (15-Martine Puketapu, 89)
Substitutes not used: 3-Anna Green, 20-Malia Steinmetz, 21-Anna Leat, 23-Victoria Esson, 25-Liz Anton, 26-Jane Barnett
Head coach: Tony Readings 

Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 19 / 5
Shots on Goal: 9 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 4
Fouls: 2 / 10
Offside: 1 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
NZL - Hannah Wilkinson (caution)     35th minute 

Officials:
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)                                                                                                        
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Crystal Sobers (TRI)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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GALLERY: WNT Takes Down New Zealand 5-0 Before Electric Crowd in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Sept. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 with a dominant performance on Tuesday night in front of a record crowd of 30,596 as Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams scored at Nippert Stadium. 

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WNT Sep 21, 2017

WNT Social: Morgan and O’Hara Take on FB Live as Goals Highlight Productive Week

The U.S. Women’s National Team wrapped up an entertaining and successful week as it defeated New Zealand with a combined score of 8-1 in a two-game set of friendlies on Sept. 15 in Commerce City, Colorado and on Sept. 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

With a week of trainings, hotel stays, traveling and two productive match days, the U.S. WNT took to social media to share some of the best moments of camp life, connect with fans and shed a light on just what goes on during a WNT camp.

Below we highlight the best social media moments of the week:

Once the entire squad made its way into Denver, it was time to hit the weight room and get things started in the Mile High City.

The first few days of camp were special for both Lindsey Horan (Golden) and Mallory Pugh (Highlands Ranch), who both hail from the Denver area.

But it wasn’t only just Horan and Pugh that were basking in the joy of being home, as almost the entire WNT roster “took over” with banners hanging downtown all along 16th Street Mall, making Denver the official home of the WNT for a few days.

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WNT Sep 21, 2017

WNT Defeats New Zealand 5-0 in Front of Record Crowd in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Sept. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated New Zealand 5-0 with a dominant performance on Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd of 30,596 as Alex Morgan, Lindsey Horan, Mallory Pugh and Lynn Williams scored at Nippert Stadium. 

The USA put together an excellent performance on both sides of the ball, controlling possession and piling up a 19-5 shot advantage. With the win, the USA sweeps the two-game series against the Oceania champions. 

Morgan scored in her third consecutive game, upping her 2017 total to four goals. The brace marked her 18th career multi-goal game. Morgan’s goals both came in the second half and sandwiched a strike from fellow substitute Lynn Williams. Horan and Pugh had staked the USA to a 2-0 halftime lead before the second half fireworks. 

Cincinnati native Rose Lavelle got the start, playing in front of her hometown crowd as a professional for the first time. Lavelle left the game in the 33rd minute as a precaution after recovering from a hamstring injury. She almost delighted the crowd with a chance less than a minute into the game, but cut her left-footed shot wide right. 

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three changes to the starting lineup from the first game between the teams on Sept. 15 in Commerce City, Colo., as well as moving Kelley O’Hara from left back to right back. Christen Press got the nod at center forward, Lavelle played in a three-woman midfield before being replaced by Lindsey Horan, and Casey Short started at left back. 

The U.S. players will now return to their clubs to finish the NWSL season, while forward Crystal Dunn heads back to England to begin her season with Chelsea FC. Next for the USA will be two matches against the Korea Republic on Oct. 19 at the Superdome in New Orleans (7 p.m. CT on FS1) and on Oct. 22 at Sahlen’s Stadium at Wakemed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. (2 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Lindsey Horan (Samantha Mewis), 36th minute: A terrific lofted cross from Mewis came from just past midfield and fell to Horan who looped a long-distance header from 16 yards out over goalkeeper Erin Nayler, who was caught off her line, and into the back of the net. USA 1, NZL 0. GOAL. 

USA – Mallory Pugh (Lindsey Horan), 44th minute: After one of many nice buildups from the USA, Horan slipped a pass to Pugh who was streaking down the right side. Pugh sprinted into the penalty area and curled a right footed shot inside the near, right post for her second goal of 2017. USA 2, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Alex Morgan, 46th minute: Morgan came on at halftime for Megan Rapinoe and wasted no time making an impact. Julie Ertz dropped a long ball over the defense on the left side and Mallory Pugh ran it down before playing a pass on the ground into the penalty box that was deflected by a New Zealand defender, but right into the path of Morgan. She found a bit of space and squeezed her shot between Nayler and the near, left post from close range just 28 seconds into the half. USA 3, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Lynn Williams (Kelley O’Hara), 55th minute: Kelley O’Hara sent a cross from the left side into the middle of the box where a leaping Williams came from the opposite side, ran straight past New Zealand captain Ali Riley to head the ball to the back of the net and score her second goal of the year. USA 4, NZL 0. GOAL.

USA – Alex Morgan (Mallory Pugh), 69th minute: It was another beautiful run from Pugh on the left wing to find Morgan in the corner inside the 18-yard box. Morgan received the ball with her right foot, bringing it down to set up an incredible first-time, left-footed strike thundering off the underside of the crossbar into the net for her second goal of the match. USA 5, NZL 0. GOAL. FINAL.

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

Additional Notes:

  • The crowd of 30,596 was the largest to ever attend a WNT match in the state of Ohio and was the seventh highest standalone WNT friendly crowd. The other six came in 2015 and included another match against New Zealand (April 4 in St. Lous) as well as five Victory Tour games. Additionally, tonight’s crowd was 23rd largest WNT home crowd all-time.
  • Lindsey Horan scored her fourth career goal and earned her 11th assist for the WNT on Mallory Pugh’s goal. It was her first goal and second assist of 2017. She earned her 39th appearance for the WNT tonight and ninth this year.
  • Mallory Pugh scored her second goal of 2017 and her sixth career goal. She made her 11th appearance of 2017 and eighth start.
  • Alex Morgan scored 28 seconds into the second half and again in the 69th minute of the game for her third and fourth goals of 2017, getting on the scoreboard for the third consecutive game this year. She earned her 130th cap.
  • Now with 77 goals, Morgan moves into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT. Tonight was Morgan’s 18th multi-goal game of her career.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn and Samantha Mewis both started their 12th consecutive game of the year and are the only two players to have started every match in 2017.
  • Samantha Mewis earned her 30th cap. Mewis completed 70% of her passes in the opponents’ half, the third highest percentage for any player with at least 15 passes in the New Zealand half.
  • Alyssa Naeher earned her 12th career shutout tonight in her 20th appearance for the USA and 18th start. It was her seventh consecutive start, which included all three games of the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
  • Julie Ertz, who scored her second career brace on Sept. 15 in Colorado, started her second consecutive game as a defensive midfielder - a position she played while at Santa Clara, and is currently playing for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. She earned her 53rd cap tonight and has three goals in 2017. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps.
  • Kelley O’Hara, earned her 101th cap, after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country. She earned her first assist of 2017 tonight.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath returned to action for the USA for the first time since March 7, 2017. She came in the 72nd minute in place of Mallory Pugh to play the final 18 minutes of the game. Heath had been sidelined from both club and country since March due to a back injury.
  • Casey Short made her 10th start of this year and 11th appearance. Before coming in as a sub in the Sept. 15 game against New Zealand, Short had started every game she had played in for the USA. Tonight, she played all 90 minutes in her 15th career cap.
  • Abby Dahlkemper played all 90 minutes tonight and earned her ninth cap for the WNT in what was her sixth career start.
  • Players that did not dress tonight were: Jane Campbell, Sofia Huerta, Allie Long and Crystal Dunn.
  • Lynn Williams scored her third career goal, and second of 2017 tonight. She did not suit up on Sept. 15 but came on in the 46th minute to earn her 11th WNT cap. She hurt her ankle in the USA's first training in Sweden in early June and could not play either match in Europe, then played sparingly in the Tournament of Nations.
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WNT Sep 19, 2017

Lineup Notes: WNT Takes on New Zealand in the Queen City

USA vs. New Zealand
Date: Sept. 19, 2017
Venue: Nippert Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Broadcast: FS1
Pre-Game Show: 7:30 p.m. ET
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET

Tonight’s Starting XI vs. New Zealand: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 14-Casey Short; 8-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 16-Rose Lavelle; 2-Mallory Pugh, 23-Christen Press, 15-Megan Rapinoe

Subs: 6-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan, 12-Lynn Williams, 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath, 22-Taylor Smith, 24-Ashlyn Harris

  • Midfielder Rose Lavelle gets the starting nod tonight. Lavelle was born and raised in Cincinnati and will play in front of friends and family for the first time as a member of the U.S. WNT. She returns to the field tonight for the USA for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on June 11, 2017, in Norway that sidelined her for the last few months. She will earn her seventh career cap and start tonight. She has two goals for the WNT, her most recent being the game-winner against Sweden on June 8 in Gothenburg.
  • Captaining the USA tonight is Becky Sauerbrunn who is set to make her 12th start and appearance this year, one of only two players – Samantha Mewis being the other – to be in every starting lineup this year. So far, she has played every minute of each match.
  • Kelley O’Hara, will earn her 101th cap, after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country.
  • Alyssa Naeher makes her 20th appearance for the USA and 18th start. She will become the ninth goalkeeper in U.S. history to play 20 or more times for her country. It will be her seventh consecutive start, which includes all three games of the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She has 11 career shutouts, most recently earning a clean sheet on Aug. 3 against Japan in Carson, California.
  • Casey Short will make her 10th start of this year and 11th appearance. Before coming in as a sub in the Sept. 15 game against New Zealand, Short had started every game she had played in for the USA. It will be her 15th career cap.
  • Samantha Mewis will earn her 30th cap tonight. Alongside Sauerbrunn, she is the only other player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017. She has played 923 minutes so far in 2017, the most besides Sauerbrunn.
  • Abby Dahlkemper earns her ninth cap for the WNT in what will be her sixth career start. She made her debut for the U.S. on Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland in Utah, and earned her first start against Norway on June 11, playing all 90 minutes to help the U.S. defense claim a shutout in Sandefjord.
  • Megan Rapinoe will earn her 125th cap today and fifth start of the year – she started every game at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. She will make her eighth appearance of 2017 and becomes the 29th player to play 125 or more times for the USA. Rapinoe has scored 33 goals in her career. Her most recent goal was against Japan on Aug. 3, and it was her second in two games after scoring against Brazil on July 30. Rapinoe is now within two goals of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goal scoring list.
  • Christen Press will play in her 12th game of 2017, and make her sixth start. Press has scored 43 goals for the USA, her most recent coming against Brazil on July 30 in San Diego. Press is in 14th place on the all-time WNT goals list. She averages just under a goal every two games (0.47 goals per game) for the WNT. She earns her 92nd career cap tonight.
  • Mallory Pugh makes her 11th appearance of 2017 and eighth start. On Aug. 3 against Japan, she scored her fifth career goal. It was her first of 2017.
  • Julie Ertz will earn her 53rd cap tonight. She is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps. Ertz will once again start at defensive midfield today, a position she played while at Santa Clara, and is currently playing for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars. She also started there against Japan on Aug. 3 and on Sept. 15 against New Zealand. Ertz has 11 career goals for the WNT, with her most recent ones coming last Friday when she scored her second career brace.
  • On tonight’s bench will be three of the four players that did not dress last game (the fourth is Lavelle, who is starting). These players are: goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, midfielder Tobin Heath and forward Lynn Williams.
  • For Harris and Heath, this marks the possibility of returning to action for the USA since a couple of injuries sidelined them for the last few months. Harris last played for the WNT on April 9, while Heath hasn’t seen any game action since March 7, 2017 at the SheBelieves Cup.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis brought a 23-player roster to the training camp for this pair of friendlies. Stanford University sophomore Tierna Davidson, who trained with the USA for four days in Colorado, left camp before the Sept. 15 match and returned to Palo Alto to play in her weekend game for the Cardinal, leaving a 22-player roster from which 18 will suit up for this match.
  • Not dressing for this match are: goalkeeper Jane Campbell, forward Crystal Dunn, defender Sofia Huerta and midfielder Allie Long.

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WNT Sep 19, 2017

Five Things to Know About New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team will take on New Zealand twice in a pair of friendlies this fall on Sept. 15 (8 p.m. MT; ESPN2) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, and on Sept. 19 (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1) at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here are five things to know about the Football Ferns:

New Zealand Women’s National Team Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): 23-Victoria Esson (North Shore United), 21-Anna Leat (Glenfield Rovers), 1-Erin Nayler (Girondins Bordeaux, France)

DEFENDERS (7): 25-Elizabeth Anton (Western Springs), 4-CJ Bott (USV Jena, Germany), 3-Anna Green (Reading, England), 5-Meikayla Moore (Norwest United), 2-Ria Percival (FC Basel, Switzerland), 7-Ali Riley (FC Rosengard, Sweden), 6-Rebekah Stott (Seattle Reign, USA) 

MIDFIELDERS (7): 10-Annalie Longo (Cashmere Technical), 12-Betsy Hassett (KR Reykjavik, Iceland), 14-Katie Bowen (FC Kansas City, USA), 16-Olivia Chance (Everton, England), 8-Daisy Cleverley (UC Berkeley, USA), 20-Malia Steinmetz (Forrest Hill Milford United), 11-Kirsty Yallop (Klepp IL, Norway) 

FORWARDS (6): 26-Jane Barnett (Norwest United), 18-Aimee Phillips (Eastern Suburbs), 15-Martine Puketapu (University of Colorado, USA), 22-Katie Rood (Juventus, Italy), 13-Rosie White (Boston Breakers, USA), 17-Hannah Wilkinson (Vittsjo GIK, Sweden)  

OFC Champions
New Zealand is the current OFC (Oceania Football Championship) Champion. Of the 10 confederation championships that have been held, New Zealand has won five, including the most recent one in 2014, played in Papua New Guinea.

The competition has served as a qualifying tournament for the FIFA Women's World Cup since 1991, and will once again take place in 2018 as the teams aim for qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

USA Roots
New Zealand has numerous ties to the USA. It has four players featuring for NWSL clubs, but as former captain and North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg retired from the National Team earlier this year, three players on the New Zealand’s roster that will face the USA are currently playing in the league: Rosie White (Boston Breakers), Katie Bowen (FC Kansas City), and Rebekah Stott (Seattle Reign). White has four goals and one assist for the Breakers so far this year while Bowen has two goals and one assist and Stott has picked up one assist from the back.

Veteran Ali Riley, now the Ferns captain, played at Stanford and grew up in Los Angeles. She currently plays in Sweden with FC Rosengard and comes into the match with 109 caps. Riley played in the WPS with the Bay Area FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash, winning league titles in both seasons. She was the WPS Rookie of the Year in 2010 with the Gold Pride. Forward Hannah Wilkinson played at Tennessee, where she scored 33 goals with 19 assists in in 68 career matches. She currently plays for Vittsjo GIK in Sweden. Forward Rosie White played with Samantha Mewis at UCLA. Despite being just 24 years old, she has played 88 times for New Zealand and scored 17 goals.

Additionally, two players currently play for American colleges: midfielder Daisy Cleverly at UC Berkeley and forward Martine Puketapu at the University of Colorado. Cleverly was an alternate at the 2016 Summer Olympics and was on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. She played for the New Zealand at both the 2014 and 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cups and scored for the Football Ferns at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.


FC Kansas City and New Zealand international, Katie Bowen.

Most Recently
The WNT has shutout New Zealand twice in its two last meetings. On April 4, 2015, the USA defeated the Football Ferns, 4-0 with goals from Lori Chalupny, Morgan Brian, Meghan Klingenberg and Julie Ertz in St. Louis, Missouri. Most recently, the U.S. played New Zealand on Aug. 3, 2016 in the opening game of Group G at the 2016 Olympic Games in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The USA won the match 2-0 with goals from Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan. At the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, New Zealand lost just one match, that by a 1-0 score to eventual 2017 European Champion Netherlands, then drew Canada 0-0 and China PR 2-2, but the two points were not enough to earn quarterfinal qualification.

Solid Leadership
New Zealand head coach, 41-year-old Tony Readings, is a former semi-professional footballer in both New Zealand and his native England and has overseen the Football Ferns since 2011. Readings boasts extensive experience with New Zealand women’s football, having been an assistant coach during the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cups, as well as the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He also coached the New Zealand U-20 side and, as senior coach, has since added London 2012, the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics to a lengthy resume.


Tony Readings has been New Zealand's head coach since 2011.

2008-2012-2016
The USA has played New Zealand in the last three Olympics Games. In 2012, it was USA vs. New Zealand in the quarterfinal of the London Olympics in Newcastle, England, a 2-0 victory in which Abby Wambach scored early and Sydney Leroux added a late goal to send the Americans to the semifinal. The U.S. also played New Zealand at the 2008 Olympics, earning a 4-0 victory during group play to advance to the quarterfinals. Heather O’Reilly scored a goal 40 seconds into the match. O’Reilly’s goal is still the fastest in Olympic history. The teams once again played in 2016 in Brazil, this time in the tournament’s opening game for each side, with the USA taking the 2-0 win.

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WNT Sep 19, 2017
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