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Photo Gallery: WNT Rolls Past Mexico in Utah

Photos from the U.S. WNT first of two matches against Mexico in preparation for the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.

Sounders in Familiar Territory with U.S. Open Cup Title on the Line

Kenny Cooper has a personal incentive to extend Seattle Sounders FC’s dominance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

“Lamar Hunt’s name is on [the trophy],” Cooper said. “Lamar’s name is special to my family. My dad played for the Dallas Tornado, which he owned then, and when I first came to league, he was the owner of FC Dallas, where I started.

“I would love to win with this.”

He will get his opportunity Tuesday in Chester, Pennsylvania, at PPL Park when Seattle plays the Philadelphia Union in the Cup final (7:30 p.m. ET, GolTV), the fifth time in six years it has reached the championship match and chance at a fourth title.

Beside the family pride, a win also would put Cooper on par with his father, Ken Cooper Sr., in bragging rights at holiday family dinners. The British-born elder Cooper, who began his goalkeeping career with the Blackburn Rovers, won the 1971 North American Soccer League title with the Tornado.

“He has an NASL ring,” the younger Cooper said. “He’s one up on me at the moment. I’d love to win an MLS Cup ring one day, be part of a team that wins all three things. We’re fighting for all three trophies: the Supporters’ Shield, MLS and the Open Cup. I’d love to wear a ring like my father.”

Kenny Cooper

Cooper has played in the Open Cup final before, in 2007, when he came on late in the second half but could not rally FC Dallas from a one-goal deficit and the New England Revolution claimed the title with a 3-2 victory.

This season, Cooper  seems to be determined to claim a title. While he has three goals in 20 MLS games, Cooper has scored a tournament-leading six in four games in the Open Cup.

It is a determination that fits well with Seattle’s approach to the U.S. Open Cup, and the team’s seemingly ownership of it.

“We take a lot of pride in the competition,” said Sounders technical director Chris Henderson. “Even when we played as USL challengers, we went pretty deep into the tournament. That has continued on.

“If you have one night off, you’re out. It’s a knockout. I think we’re 21-3, including PKs. There’s a lot pride in the club in this. To be able to go as far we have, it’s one of hardest competitions to win.”

As a player with six different MLS clubs, Henderson only remembers reaching the semifinals, and most of the teams he played on treated the Open Cup as an afterthought.

“It’s certainly not like that here,” Henderson said.

Seattle won the Open Cup over the first three years the club played in Major League Soccer: 2009, 2010 and 2011. It reached the final in 2012 but lost to Sporting Kansas City.

Last year, Seattle lost its opening game in the tournament to the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies, a 1-0 defeat that eliminated the team in the third round. It was a harbinger of a disappointing season that saw the team go winless in its last seven and get eliminated from the MLS Playoffs at the conference semifinal stage.

It was an experience Seattle did not want to repeat. It may seem commonplace for Seattle to win the Cup, but not to the Sounders.

“It never gets routine,” said manager Sigi Schmid, who in addition to the three Open Cups he’s won with Seattle also won one with Columbus, as well as two MLS Cups, a CONCACAF Champions Cup and three College Cups. “To win a fourth Open Cup in six years of existence, I think, is a pretty good statement.

“It’s one of two trophies you can win, maybe although you could count the Supporters’ Shield as a third. I’ve said that if you’re going to enter something, you try to win it. If you’re not trying to win, don’t enter.”

WNT vs. Mexico: Highlights - Sept. 13, 2014

The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled over Mexico in the first of a two-game set against its CONCACAF foe, scoring four goals in each half to win 8-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

U.S. WNT Routs Mexico 8-0 as Hope Solo Earns Record 72nd Clean Sheet

SANDY, Utah (Sept. 13, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled over Mexico in the first of a two-game set against its CONCACAF foe, scoring four goals in each half to win 8-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Alex Morgan scored two goals and assisted three others.  Abby Wambach also recorded a brace and goalkeeper Hope Solo earned the clean sheet to break the U.S. WNT record with the 72nd shutout of her career. Solo surpassed the previous shut-out mark of 71 held by Briana Scurry.

The U.S. played a dominant and well-rounded match as second-half subs Whitney Engen, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly added goals, and the U.S. benefited from an own goal in the opening minutes.

The USA and Mexico meet again on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and Watch ESPN). These matches serve as the USA’s final preparation heading into CONCACAF Women’s Championship, which starts in mid-October.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Own Goal (Alina Garciamendez), 11th minute: The U.S. WNT earned a gift early on when Alex Morgan’s lead pass toward Abby Wambach was skipped to Garciamendez. Though she was able to intercept, Garciamendez’s attempted clear deflected over Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago who was well off her line, bounced once and crossed the goal line. USA 1, MEX 0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan), 23rd minute: Megan Rapinoe set up the sequence with a dish to Morgan down the left sideline. Morgan brought the ball toward the end line, and despite having her first cross blocked, calmly set up Wambach with a second pass just outside the six-yard box. Wambach’s left-footed shot got through the Mexico defense and past Cecilia Santiago to signal a long night for Mexico. USA 2, MEX 0 

USA – Alex Morgan (unassisted), 36th minute: Mexico defender Bianca Sierra made a shaky decision on a lofted pass toward her own box. The ball bounced off her chest as she retreated toward her own goal and Morgan, who was running alongside her, won the ball and sent a right-footed chip over Santiago into the net. USA 3, MEX 0

USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan), 41st minute: The USA kept its foot on the gas as Morgan had plenty of space on the right side of the box. She crossed, and even though Cecilia Santiago managed to get a fingertip on the ball, it was not enough to push the ball out of the path of Wambach who slotted it home for the 170th tally of her career and the seventh of this year. USA 4, MEX 0 

USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press), 56th minute: A quick passing sequence found Press in the right side of the box and she sent a smooth-rolling pass to Morgan near the right post. She slotted home with her right foot to open the second-half scoring. USA 5, MEX 0

USA – Whitney Engen (Christen Press), 58th minute: Off of Megan Rapinoe’s corner kick from the right side, Press rose among the pack and headed to the right side of the goal box. Engen delivered her snap header into the upper right corner for her first goal of the year and second of her career. USA 6, MEX 0

USA – Sydney Leroux (Lauren Holiday), 71st minute:  Second-half sub Leroux, the team’s leading goal scorer in 2014, got into the act on a set piece chance. Holiday took the right-footed corner kick from the left side and her driven cross was met by Leroux who powered her header home from the top of the six-yard box. USA 7, MEX 0

USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan), 75th minute:  Lauren Holiday played a superb through ball to Morgan on the left side of the box. Though Mexico’s defense deflected Morgan’s first cross attempt, Morgan stuck with it and found O’Reilly for a left-footed shot from six yards out to cap off the scoring. USA 8, MEX 0 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MEX – Cecilia Santiago, 45th minute: The scoring damage had already been done, but Mexico’s 19-year-old goalkeeper tried to keep Mexico’s faint hopes alive with a diving save just before halftime. Megan Rapinoe rocketed a right-footed shot from about 17 yards out, and her attempt to the near left post was parried away by Santiago for a USA corner kick. 

MEX – Cecilia Santiago, 52nd minute: From 20 yards out, Alex Morgan launched a left-footed shot headed toward the near right side of the frame, but Santiago smothered it with the diving save to her left. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Hope Solo’s U.S. record 72 clean sheets have been posted over 154 games starting in 2000. Briana Scurry’s previous record of 71 shutouts were accumulated over 173 matches.
  • Solo’s first cap and shutout in April of 2000 was also an 8-0 match, that win over Iceland.
  • Center back Christie Rampone played in her 296th match as she continues to inch closer to 300 caps. Only Kristine Lilly has appeared in more games for the USA (352 games from 1987-2010).
  • Abby Wambach upped her all-time record goal scoring total to 170 with her brace. She is now 12 goals ahead of the legendary Mia Hamm (158 goals from 1987-2004).
  • With her two assists to Wambach, Alex Morgan now has 31 for her career. That moves her ahead of Lauren Holiday for 12th on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd played in her 175th match. With her next appearance, Lloyd will tie Shannon MacMillan for 12th on the USA’s all-time list. MacMillan had 176 caps from 1993-2005.
  • Morgan is currently 10th on the all-time goal scoring list with 48 following Saturday’s brace. Morgan sits three goals behind Lloyd.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT and Mexico square off in a rematch on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET).

Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN

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

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 9-2-3 in 2014.
  • Hope Solo moved to 119-9-18 for her career. She is second only to Briana Scurry for all-time wins (Scurry went 133-12-14 from 1994-2008).
  • The USA improved to 109-2-8 when Abby Wambach scores a goal.
  • The U.S. is now 28-1-1 all-time against Mexico.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup featured Hope Solo in goal and a defensive group of Meghan Klingenberg at left back, Stephanie Cox at right back and Becky Sauerbrunn and Christine Rampone as the center backs. Rampone wore the captain’s armband.
  • The midfield corps in the 4-3-3 included Megan Rapinoe on the left side, Lauren Holiday on the right and Carli Lloyd in the center.
  • The USA’s front line included Christen Press, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach.
  • To open the second half, Ellis made two defensive substitutions with Crystal Dunn replacing Cox and Whitney Engen in for Sauerbrunn.
  • In the 60th minute, Sydney Leroux, Tobin Heath and Heather O’Reilly were brought in for Rapinoe, Wambach and Press, respectively.
  • Morgan Brian served as the final substitution for Lloyd in the 71st minute.
  • Sauerbrunn, Press and O’Reilly are the only U.S. WNT players to have seen action in all 14 matches in 2014.

-U.S. Women’s National Team Report-

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: Sept. 13, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT
Attendance: 8,849
Weather: 79 degrees, mostly sunny

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               4      4      8
MEX                               0      0      0                                                       

USA – Own Goal (Alina Garciamendez)                  12th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                    23
USA – Alex Morgan                                                         36
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)                    41
USA – Alex Morgan (Christen Press)                       56
USA – Whitney Engen (Christen Press)                  58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Lauren Holiday)                  71
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Alex Morgan)                   75

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 14-Stephanie Cox (19-Crystal Dunn, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 25-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Morgan Brian, 71), 15-Megan Rapinoe (2-Sydney Leroux, 60); 23-Christen Press (9-Heather O’Reilly, 60), 20-Abby Wambach (17-Tobin Heath, 60), 13-Alex Morgan
Substitutions Not Used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Arianna Romero, 4-Alina Garciamendez (capt.), 5-Paulina Solis, 13-Bianca Sierra; 6-Liliana Mercado (3-Monica Alvarado, 57), 7-Nayeli Rangel, 10-Stephany Mayor, 11-Kenti Robles (20-Charlyn Corral, 46), 17-Veronica Perez (21-Lizbeth Angeles, 88); 9-Tanya Samarzich (19-Luz Duarte, 67)
Substitutions Not Used: 8-Teresa Noyola, 12-Brissa Rangel, 14-Christina Murillo, 15-Guadalupe Cruzaley, 16-Jazmine Ponce, 18-Jackie Acevedo
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots:  25 / 8
Shots on Goal: 10 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 10
Offside: 7 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Lauren Holiday (caution)                 64th minute

Officials:
Referee: Vilma Montez (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Elizabeth Aguilar (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivonne Ayala (SLV)
Fourth Official: Melissa Borjas (HON)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Hope Solo

One Cap, One Touch, One Goal

On July 7, 2000, a U.S. Women’s National Team featuring numerous young players (but also current U.S. captain Christie Rampone and current U-20 U.S. WNT head coach Michelle French) defeated Italy, 4-1, in Central Islip, New York. In the 87th minute, Bountiful, Utah native Carolyn Putz entered the match to earn her first cap and less than four minutes later scored on her first touch of the game. It would be her only appearance for the full National Team. A college teammate at the University of Washington with Hope Solo, who was on the bench that day, Putz remains the only player from Utah to score for the WNT. With the USA in Salt Lake City to face Mexico, the now Caroline Leith (who is married with three kids) visited practice to recount her one cap, one touch and one goal.
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