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Julie Johnston's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

Julie Johnston has played soccer for as long as she can remember, and fueled by competition with her sister, she became one of the best young players in the country, and then the world, when she captained the USA to the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title. Still, she struggled with self-confidence trying to make the huge jump to the full National Team, and without the constant support of her friends and family, she says she might not have made it to her first Women’s World Cup.

World Champions: USA Wins 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

VANCOUVER, Canada (July 5, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5-2 at BC Place on Sunday night to become the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and the first three-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner. 

In the first 16 minutes of play the USA took a 4-0 lead over Japan after Carli Lloyd netted the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history and Lauren Holiday added a goal to put the USA up by a wide margin. 

Japan ended the USA’s record-tying shutout streak at 540 minutes by scoring in the 28th minute. The Asian nation built a bit of momentum early in the second half as Julie Johnston’s defensive clearance instead sent the ball into the USA’s net. However, Tobin Heath responded two minutes later to make it 5-2 and complete the highest scoring Final (seven goals) in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.

Loyd and goalkeeper Hope Solo were awarded the Golden Ball and Golden Glove, as the best player and the best goalkeeper at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, respectively. It was the second straight Golden Glove award for Solo (she also won it in 2011) and the first for Lloyd. Lloyd became the second American to win the award, joining Carin Jennings, who won it in 1991. 

The USA is now the only country to win three Women’s World Cup and the country to score the most goals (five) in a WWC Final – no other team has scored more than two. 

The WNT will return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively, before embarking on their nationwide celebration tour (details to be announced). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe), 3rd minute:
Playing a short corner kick on the ground, Megan Rapinoe sent a ball straight through several Japanese defenders to the middle of the six yard box. Carli Lloyd stormed from the back of the box to time her arrival with the ball perfectly and finished with a left-footed strike to score the fastest goal in FIFA Women’s World Cup Final history. USA 1, JPN 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd, 5th minute: Two minutes later, another set piece play led to a U.S. goal. Lauren Holiday stepped up to take the free kick from the right side of the box and sent a shot to the middle of the box that was flicked on by Julie Johnston through a forest of players before Carli Lloyd found it right in front of the net and tapped it in with the inside of her right foot for the second goal of the game and he fifth of the tournament. USA 2, JPN 0 

USA – Lauren Holiday, 14th minute: The sequence began with Tobin Heath, who sent a pass from the midfield intended for Alex Morgan but had the ball intercepted by Japanese defender Azusa Iwashimizu. Iwashimizu tried to head it out of danger but instead directed the ball up in the air. It came down right in front of Lauren Holiday, who volleyed it in stride with her right foot to net her first goal of the tournament. USA 3, JPN 0

USA – Carli Lloyd, 16th minute: Carli Lloyd intercepted the ball in midfield and touched it past a Japan player. Crossing the midfield line, she launched a shot that caught Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori out of her net. While Kaihori got a hand to the ball, she could not keep it from bouncing off the post and into the back of the net, thus completing the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history. USA 4, JPN 0 

JPN – Yuki Ogimi (Nahomi Kawasumi), 28th minute: Nahomi Kawasumi played a great ball from the right channel, spotting teammate Yuki Ogimi inside the box. Ogimi evaded a challenge from Julie Johnston, swiveled around and sent a curling shot beyond the reach of Hope Solo for the Japan’s first goal of the match that ended the USA’s record-tying shutout streak. USA 4, JPN 1

JPN – Julie Johnston (own goal), 52nd: Julie Johnston tried to clear a free kick attempt with a header that bounced across the face of goal and nestled inside the far post of Hope Solo’s net for Japan’s second score of the game. USA 4, JPN 2

USA – Tobin Heath (Morgan Brian), 54th: Japan’s goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori  punched a Lauren Holiday corner kick clear to the right side. Kaihori’s punch wasn’t strong enough and the ball landed at Morgan Brian’s feet. Brian cut the ball back into the middle where Tobin Heath used the inside of her foot to one-time Brian’s perfect ball into the back of the net for the final score line. USA 5, JPN 2 (FINAL)

Next on the Schedule: The WNT return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Chattanooga, Tenn., respectively.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 (Aug. 16), ESPN2 (Aug. 19)
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp); FacebookInstagram

Milestone Watch:

  • The USA becomes the first country to win three FIFA Women’s World Cup titles.
  • Carli Lloyd is the first U.S. WNT player to score in four straight games in a World Cup. She netted a goal against China, Colombia and Germany and three against Japan.
  • Lloyd also became the first woman in a FIFA WWC to score a hat trick in a Final match and scored the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history.
  • Lloyd also became the third U.S. Woman to score a hat trick in WWC play: Carin Jennings Gabarra netted three goals against Germany in 1991 and Akers scored five against Chinese Taipei that same year.
  • Lloyd’s goal in the third minute was the fastest goal scored in a WWC Final game.
  • Lloyd scored both U.S. goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game (a 2-1 win over Japan), and the sole goal in the 2008 gold-medal game (1-0 over Brazil). With her three goals against Japan tonight, she became the first American to score in three major-tournament finals.
  • Midfielders Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath each score their first goals of the tournament. It was Heath’s first goal in a Women’s World Cup.
  • The U.S. WNT finished this year’s tournament with a 34-4-5 all-time in Women’s World Cup play, outscoring its opponents 112-35 in 43 games. The 34 wins, 112 goals scored and the 43 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
  • With its five goals against Japan, the USA now holds the record for most goals scored in WWC play with 112 – the team scored 14 throughout the tournament. Germany scored 20 in Canada to finish in second with 111.
  • The USA’s five goals were the most any team has scored in a WWC Final. No other team has scored more than two.
  • The USA’s two goals in the first five minutes of the match against Japan was the first time any team scored twice in that span in a WWC game. 

Additional Notes:

  • The game was the third meeting between the USA and Japan in a major tournament Final. The USA now has a 2-0-1 record in those meetings: Wins in 2015 WWC and 2012 Olympics. Tie in 2011 WWC (1-3 PKs).
  • Lloyd leads the U.S. with eight goals in 2015.
  • While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 183 goals, Lloyd is next with 69 career international goals and Morgan has 52. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
  • Defender Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every game for the USA in 2015. She has played the most minutes (1,509) of anyone on the team.
  • Five U.S. players played all 630 minutes of the tournament: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, midfielder Carli Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
  • In its last 17 games, the U.S. has surrendered just five goals and has scored 34.
  • Nineteen of the 20 field players on the World Cup roster saw action in the tournament.
  • Coming on as a sub in the second half, Wambach played in her 25th career WWC game, tied for second most all-time with Julie Foudy, Brigit Prinz and Formiga. Only Kristine Lilly has more (30).
  • Lloyd has sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 69 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
  • Hope Solo finished with 10 clean sheets in Women’s World Cup play, tying the record for most by a U.S. goalkeeper and most in World Cup play with Brianna Scurry.
  • Solo now has 136 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Brian Scurry had 133 during her career (1994-2008).
  • Eleven players on the current USA roster have scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament: Tobin Heath, Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara.
  • For the first time in FIFA WWC history, 24 nations participated at this year’s event, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams. 
  • Fourteen different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Tobin Heath, Lauren Holiday, Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Rodriguez, Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Megan Rapinoe, Brian, Chalupny, Leroux and Lloyd. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: July 5, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Final
Venue: BC Place; Vancouver, Canada
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Attendance: 53,341
Weather: Indoor Stadium

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            4          1          5
JPN                             1          1          2

USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe)              3rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd                                           5
USA – Lauren Holiday                                    14
USA – Carli Lloyd                                           16
JPN – Yuki Ogimi (Nahomi Kawasumi)         27
JPN – Julie Johnston (own goal)                    52
USA – Tobin Heath (Morgan Brian)               54

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61), 13-Alex Morgan (3-Christie Rampone, 86), 17-Tobin Heath (20-Abby Wambach, 79)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 16-Lori Chalupny,18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press
Head coach: Jill Ellis
 

JPN: 18-Ayumi Kaihori; 3-Azusa Iwashimizu (10-Homare Sawa, 33), 4-Saki Kumagai, 5-Aya Sameshima, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 8-aya Miyama (C), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (15-Yuika Sugasawa, 39), 11-Shinobu Ohno (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 60), 13-Rumi Utsugi, 17-Yuki Ogimi, 19-Saori Ariyoshi
Subs Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 2-Yukari Kinga, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 20-Yuri Kawamura, 21-Erina Yamane, 22-Asano Nagasato, 23-Kana Kitahara, 7-Kozue Ando
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
JPN – Homare Sawa (caution)                      82nd minute
JPN – Mana Iwabuchi (caution)                     85

Officials:
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalia Rachynska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yolanda Parga (ESP)
Fourth Official: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

FIFA Announces Shortlists for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Awards

The #USWNT will face Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on Sunday. Prior to the match, FIFA announced the shortlists of tournament awards highlighted by four United States Women’s National Team players along with three players from the Japanese team they will meet in the final.

U.S. WNT candidates for the Golden Ball are defender Julie Johnston, midfielder Carli Lloyd and midfielder Megan Rapinoe. Johnston has played every minute as a member of the U.S. backline that is carrying a 513-minute shutout streak and has allowed just one goal through six games. Hope Solo is also among three candidates for the Golden Glove awarded to the top net-minder in the tournament, an honor she won at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Julie Johnston

Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori was also nominated for the Golden Glove. Solo has allowed just one goal through six matches and has played an integral role in the U.S. shutout streak.  She’s been an immense presence on a well-organized backline and been a crucial part of the USA’s defensive resolve throughout the tournament. With another shutout, Solo would have 11 in Women’s World Cup play and set an all-time tournament record. Kaihori has allowed three goals in four appearances.

Lloyd has scored a goal in the last three knockout round matches for the U.S. including two game-winners. The veteran midfielder opened her scoring in the tournament against Colombia converting a penalty kick. The following match, Lloyd notched the game-winning header against China off a Johnston service. Most recently, Lloyd buried her second PK of the tournament in a 2-0 victory over Germany adding an assist on Kelley O’Hara’s first international goal.

Carli Lloyd

Rapinoe was the game changer for the United States in their opening match of the World Cup scoring two goals in America’s 3-1 victory over Australia. She’s notched an assist as well and despite being suspended for the quarterfinal due to yellow card accumulation, has been a consistently dynamic threat up and down the wing for the USA.

Megan Rapinoe

Saori Ariyoshi and Aya Miyama are the Japanese candidates for Golden Ball. Ariyoshi scored the first goal in Japan’s 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the Round of 16. Miyama has played every minute for Japan scoring two goals and adding two assists including the game-winning assist to help her team advance to the quarterfinals. 

Sunday’s match features the two oldest teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup tournament with the U.S averaging 29-years-old and six months and Japan having the average age of 28-years-old and five months.

Neither team has any players eligible for the Young Player Award, however the youngest player on the roster for the U.S. WNT, Morgan Brian at age 22 has made a major impact in the tournament starting three matches for the U.S. and allowing Lloyd to take on a more attacking role through the knockout stages.

Japan’s youngest player, also 22, is Mana Iwabuchi, who has been a second half spark for the Japanese scoring the game-winning goal in Japan’s 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinals.

The winners including the Golden, Silver and Bronze Boots for the tournament’s top scorers and the FIFA Fair Play Award will be announced after the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on July 5. The match will kickoff at 4 p.m. PT and will be broadcasted on FOX and Telemundo.

WNT Downs World No. 1 Germany 2-0 to Advance to 2015 World Cup Final

MONTREAL, Canada (June 30, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team downed FIFA No.1-ranked Germany 2-0 at Olympic Stadium to advance to the Final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It will be the fourth World Cup final appearance for the USA.

The first half was a balanced affair with both teams pressing and having opportunities to get on the board yet neither was able to capitalize. In the second half, things got going when U.S. defender Julie Johnston was called for a foul inside the penalty box in the 59th minute for pulling down Alexandra Popp. Celia Sasic stepped up to take the penalty kick but missed wide left to keep the game scoreless.

Almost ten minutes later, Alex Morgan got fouled in the box and it was the USA’s turn to attempt a PK. Carli Lloyd confidently netted the shot to give the USA the lead before assisting on Kelley O’Hara’s 84th-minute strike – the first of her international career – to secure the U.S. win.  

Hope Solo and the USA back line continued to shut down opponents and has now kept a scoreless streak for 513 straight minutes (a span of more than five-and-a-half matches)  in this year’s World Cup, the longest clean sheet streak in U.S. World Cup history.

It was Solo’s 10th clean sheet in World Cup play, tying Brianna Scurry’s record for shutouts in World Cup competition. The 10 clean sheets in a World Cup are not only a U.S. record, but also a FIFA Women’s World Cup record.

The WNT will vie for its third Women’s World Cup title on Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. PT, when it takes on the winner of the other Semifinal between England and Japan, which will be determined tomorrow, at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. The tournament Final will be broadcast live on FOX and Telemundo. Fans can also follow in-game updates on Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt and  @ussoccer_esp).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick), 69th minute:
Germany’s Annike Khran was called for a foul against Alex Morgan in the box, prompting the referee to point to the penalty circle. Carli Lloyd stepped forward and sent former FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer the wrong way as she blasted her shot into the left side of the goal. USA 1, GER 0

USA – Kelley O’Hara (Carli Lloyd), 84th minute: Meghan Klingenberg played a great ball from th outside of the area to Carli Lloyd inside the right side of the Germany box. Lloyd made a strong move to the endline and played the ball across the face of goal where Kelley O’Hara tapped it in with her right foot to finish the opportunity cap a sterling team move by the USA with her first career WNT goal. USA 2, GER 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
GER– Nadine Angerer, 7th minute: A corner kick from Megan Rapinoe went to the middle of the six-yard box by the near post where Julie Johnston was in great position to head it home. Germany’s goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was well placed to come up with a huge save and get the ball out of danger.

USA – Hope Solo, 8th minute: Alexandra Popp had a clear shot at goal from the left side of the USA box, sending a ball to the near post. However, Hope Solo was prepared and jumped high to deflect the ball over the crossbar for a Germany corner.

GER – Nadine Angerer, 15th minute: Alex Morgan split two defendersas she broke into the Germany box from midfield. Morgan sent a shot straight towards Angerer, who made a solid stop with her foot to deflect the shot away.

Next on the Schedule: The WNT will meet the winner of England/Japan on Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. PT at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada.
Broadcast information:  FOX; Telemundo 
Social:  Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp);  FacebookInstagram

Milestone Watch:

  • Hope Solo recorded her 89th career shutout. It was the fifth straight World Cup clean sheet for the USA, and Solo’s 10th in World Cup play, tying Brian Scurry for the most by a U.S. goalkeeper.
  • Carli Lloyd is the third U.S. WNT player to score in three straight games in a World Cup, joining Michelle Akers (1991) and Abby Wambach (twice; in 2003 and 2011).
  • The U.S. now holds a 19-4-7 all-time record against Germany, outscoring the Germans 62-29. The USA hasn’t lost to Germany since 2003 and has gone 7-0-5 since then.
  • Kelley O’Hara made her third career World Cup appearance in the second half, and scored her first career international goal for the WNT.
  • The USA will be making its fourth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Germany is the only other team to have reached the final that amount of times.

Additional Notes:

  • This was the fourth time the U.S. met Germany in Women’s World Cup play, the USA has a 3-1-0 advantage in these matches.
  • Carli Lloyd has scored in three straight games for the WNT. Her goal in the second half was her fourth career World Cup strike and her 66th overall.
  • Since allowing a goal against Australia in its opening match on June 8 in the 27th minute, the U.S. has shut out Sweden, Nigeria, Colombia, China and Germany – a stretch of 513 consecutive minutes.  
  • Defender Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every game for the USA in 2015. She has played the most minutes (1,419) of anyone on the team.
  • Five U.S. players have played all 540 minutes of the tournament so far: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, midfielder Carli Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
  • In its last 16 games, the U.S. has surrendered just three goals and has scored 29.
  • So far, 19 of the 20 field players on the World Cup roster have seen action in the tournament.
  • Germany lost by two goals for the first time in 26 Women's World Cup games. The last time was in the 1995 final (2-0 to Norway).
  • The USA is the third country to reach consecutive Women's World Cup finals (Germany - 2003/07) (Norway - 1991/95).
  • Coming on as a sub in the second half, Wambach played in her 24th career WWC game, tied for second most all-time with Julie Foudy, Brigit Prinz and Formiga. Only Kristine Lilly has more (30).
  • Twelve different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Rodriguez, Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Rapinoe, Brian, Chalupny, Leroux and Lloyd.
  • The game was the first time that Germany was shutout in this tournament and held to one shot on goal. Germany was averaging 12 shots on goal before tonight’s match and had outscored opponents 20-3.
  • The U.S. WNT is 33-4-5 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 107-33 in 42 games. The 33 wins and 42 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.

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

Match:  U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date:  June 30, 2015
Competition:  2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Semifinal
Venue:  Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada
Kickoff:  7 p.m. ET
Attendance:  51,176
Weather:  Indoor Stadium

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick)                    69th minute
USA – Kelley O’Hara (Carli Lloyd)                 84

Lineups:
USA:  1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Julie Johnston, 22-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe (20-Abby Wambach,80), 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 90+3), 17-Tobin Heath (5-Kelley O’Hara, 75)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 16-Lori Chalupny,18-Ashlyn Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher, 23-Christen Press
Head coach: Jill Ellis
 

GER : 1-Nadine Angerer (capt.); 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Annike Krahn, 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 22-Tabea Kemme; 6-Simone Laudehr, 20-Lena Goessling, 11-Anja Mittag (10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 78), 16-Melanie Leupolz, 18-Alexandra Popp; 13-Celia Sasic
Subs not used: 2-Bianca Schmidt, 7-Melanie Behringer, 8-Pauline Bremer, 9-Lena Lotzen, 12-Almuth Schult, 14-Babett Peter, 15-Jennifer Cramer, 17-Josephine Henning, 19-Lena Petermann, 21-Laura Benkarth, 23-Sara Daebritz
Head coach: Silvia Neid

Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 12 / 15
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
GER – Leonie Maier (caution)                        34th minute
USA – Becky Sauerbrunn (caution)               38
USA – Julie Johnston (caution)                      59
GER - Annike Krahn (caution)                       69

Officials:
Referee: Teodora Albon (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Salome di Iorio (ARG)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

Big Goal. Big Celebration.

Carli Lloyd scored the game-winning goal against China that qualified the USA for the semifinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The remarkable finish began with a Julie Johnston service into China’s 18-yard-box. Lloyd elevated over her defender, Zhao Rong, and headed the ball past Chinese goalkeeper Wang Fei and into the back of the net.

What transpired afterward was a slew of raw emotions from the entire U.S. WNT. “I tend to celebrate more in a big setting,” said Lloyd referring to her karate kick of the corner flag. “When the pressure is on and it’s a big goal, you don’t really think about what you’re doing after you score, you just react because you’re so happy.”

Lloyd admits the karate kick was something that had been in the back of her mind for a while. “I’d seen it before.” Lloyd continued, “But you don’t see it often in the women’s game and it was something different than I had ever done. So I did it; it just kind of happened.”

Morgan Brian, the 22-year-old defensive midfielder who played centrally with Lloyd on Friday, had a major role in allowing Lloyd to join the attack more frequently than in the previous four matches for the U.S. WNT. Brian was not directly involved in the goal sequence, but her pure excitement would lead you to think otherwise. 

Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian

.

WAY OF LIFE

“The most common question I ever get is, ‘What would you do if you weren’t a soccer player?’” says Johnston. “And I make up stuff every single time – it is not consistent, because I have never thought about not playing. I love it.”

At thirteen, her parents sat her down and said, “Look, are you sure this is what you want to do?” Johnston says, “I didn’t grow up with a ton of money and club soccer was expensive, so they wanted to be sure that this was what I was focused on. And I was. Soccer was everything.”

It was also her route to free college. “I knew wherever I went, I wasn’t going to have my parents pay for college, so I’d go on visits and just cross off schools if they didn’t give me a full ride.” But then she fell in love with the coaches and program at Santa Clara, an expensive private school. The program didn’t offer full rides until you’d earned it, but Johnston went anyway, hoping she could earn her way to a full ride by the end of the year.

At the end of the season, she sat terrified in the coach’s office, convinced that she was going to have to transfer because she couldn’t afford it. But coach Jerry Smith was not about to lose Julie Johnston and he found the money to keep her at Santa Clara. “When Julie decides she’s going to do it – she’s going to do it,” says Smith. “She won’t get outworked.

Julie Johnston

ROOKIE LOVE TALE

While in California, Johnston met Zach Ertz, who played football at Stanford University. Zach was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and was a rookie in the NFL at the same time Julie was getting her first call up with the National Team. “He’s in the exact same boat as me – you’re young, but you want to be so great. And everyone’s so good and you just want to do well and be next to them. It’s been so amazing to have Zach there, to have someone who understands as I’m worrying that I’m going to get cut.”

Zach graduated a year before Johnston and the first thing he got from his new Nike rep was a pair of cleats for Johnston; he custom-colored them in Santa Clara maroon and gold and put his number on her cleats. “I totally loved it,” laughs Johnston, “but my teammates really teased me. They’d be like, ‘Ohhh, Ms. Hertz, how’s it going today?’”

Julie Johnston

RUNNING RETREAT

“Everywhere I go, wherever I wind up living, no matter where, I always have a place I go run – and that’s my safe place,” says Johnston.

In Mesa, Arizona, where Julie grew up, her place was ‘The Mountain’ – “It’s complete desert, all cactus and rocks, 120 degrees out, but that’s my comfort spot,” says Johnston, who would run up the mountain for summer training. “Once, I tried to bring my dog, ended up having to carry him up the whole way,” laughs Johnston. At the top, there’s a rock with Julie’s name bleached into it. While she claims she didn’t do it, she still thinks of it as “her rock.” “Any time I come home, The Mountain is the first place I go.”

Julie Johnston


U.S. National Team: A gifted young defender who has been part of the U.S. Soccer program since 2006 when she attended a U-14 National Identification Camp, Johnston found tremendous success with the U-20 WNT, captaining the team to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title. The 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year earned her first cap with the WNT in 2013.

2015: Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has scored three goals for the WNT this year, the most by a defender so far... Her three goals all came in consecutive games, from set pieces, and assisted by teammate Lauren Holiday... Has played and started in 13 games so far this year, a career-high in starts... Recorded her first career assist against China in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, connecting with Carli Lloyd for the game-winning goal... Scored her first goal with the WNT during the USA's 2-0 victory over France in the final of the Algarve Cup on March 11, helping the U.S. capture its 10th title while starting in three matches during the tournament ... Did not see any action but was part of the roster that traveled to Europe for the U.S.'s first two matches of the year against France on Feb. 8 and England on Feb. 13... 2014: Made three substitute appearances for the WNT in the latter half of the year, featuring in international friendlies against Mexico and Switzerland as well as getting some time against China PR in the International Tournament de Brasilia … 2013: Earned her first senior cap in a 4-1 win against Scotland on Feb. 9 … Played her first full 90 minutes at the international level against the Netherlands on April 9 … Youth National Teams: The 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … A member of the full WNT and U-23 WNT player pools … The captain of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … She won the bronze ball as the third-best player in the tournament, a rare honor for a defender … Marshaled a U.S. defense that defeated three extremely talented group winners in the knockout rounds of the tournament, downing Korea DPR, Nigeria and Germany in the quarterfinal, semifinal and final, respectively, while allowing just one goal … Started all six games of the U-20 Women’s World Cup and played all but 32 minutes of the tournament  … A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship and earned a berth to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Played in three games in the qualifying tournament and scored three goals, including one in the 4-0 semifinal victory over Mexico that sent the USA to Japan … Scored a goal against Switzerland at the La Manga tournament in Spain in 2012 … Finished her U-20 career with 19 caps and four goals … Attended U.S. Under-18 Training Camps in 2010 and 2011 … Attended the U.S. Under-14 National Identification Camp in 2006. First cap: Feb. 9, 2013, vs. Scotland First goal: March 11, 2015, vs. France

Professional/Club – 2014: Signed her first professional contract with the Chicago Red Stars after being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the NWSL Draft… Started all 21 games she played for the club, tying for third in games played … Was second in starts (21) and minutes played (1,890) only to WNT teammate Lori Chalupny … Named the 2014 NWSL Rookie of the Year … Scored two goals, the first one of the season for Chicago and the last one  … Also had two assists … Youth: Played U-9 through U-12 for Arsenal GSC … Played U-13 through U-19 for Sereno Soccer Club … Won the state title nine times with Sereno Soccer Club … Was the captain at Sereno.


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