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WNT Set for Semifinal with Women’s World Cup Berth on the Line

The U.S. WNT is focused and ready for its semifinal clash with Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. After handily winning Group A, the U.S. team is taking nothing for granted as a victory will earn a berth to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Photo Gallery: WNT Beats Haiti at 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship

Photos from the U.S. WNT's 6-0 win against Haiti in its final Group A game at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.

WNT vs. Haiti: Highlights - Oct. 20, 2014

USA all-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States soundly defeated Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium to earn first place in Group A and a top seed heading into the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

WNT Defeats Haiti 6-0 to Earn Top Seed in Semifinals of 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team is one victory away from booking its spot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

USA all-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States soundly defeated Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium to earn first place in Group A and a top seed heading into the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The U.S. will face the Group B runner-up on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. 

Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Morgan Brian each scored a goal, and defender Meghan Klingenberg added her first international tally. 

The top three teams in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship earn automatic qualification to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the fourth-place team enters a two-leg playoff against South American third-place finisher Ecuador for the final berth.

The USA’s semifinal opponent will be determined Tuesday with the conclusion of Group B play, and the U.S. WNT will take on the runner-up from that group. Costa Rica (2-0-0, 6 points) currently holds the top spot, followed by Mexico (1-1-0, 3 points) and Jamaica (1-1-0, 3 points). Martinique (0-0-2, 0 points) is in last place, but could not qualify for the semifinal stage anyway as it is not recognized as a FIFA country. 

Trinidad & Tobago was the Group A runner-up, holding off Guatemala for a 2-1 win earlier Monday to conclude the group stage with a 2-1-0 record and six points. Trinidad & Tobago will face the Group B winner in the semifinals. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd, 9th minute: USA left back Meghan Klingenberg crossed the ball to the top of the six-yard box, where Abby Wambach and Haiti goalkeeper Geralda Saintilus met for a 50-50 challenge. Saintilus stepped in front of the pass and batted it away; however, she was unable to clear the ball out of the box and was well off her line when the USA retained possession. Lloyd collected the deflection, chested down to her foot and slotted into the net for her second goal of the tournament. USA 1, HAI 0

USA – Abby Wambach, 38th minute: Christen Press cut to her left foot and lofted a dangerous ball into the middle of the box with Wambach running straight at the goal. Haiti defender Roselord Borgella stretched with her right foot to intercept, but instead of clearing the danger, the deflection stayed in line with Wambach’s run. The all-time goal scoring leader headed the ball into the net without breaking stride to push the USA lead to two heading into halftime. USA 2, HAI 0 

USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 57th minute: Second-half sub Heather O’Reilly brought some high energy from the right flank and had ample space on this sequence to cross into the box. Haiti’s defense cleared the ball about eight yards above the box, where Klingenberg stepped up with a laser of a right-footed shot that was out of the reach of Saintilus and into the right side of the frame. It was Klingenberg’s first goal in 19 international games. USA 3, HAI 0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 60th minute: Lloyd won the header at the top of the box and her pass found its way between two Haiti defenders at the edge of the six, where Wambach volleyed it home with her right foot past Saintilus. With her brace, Wambach now leads the U.S. WNT with 10 goals in 2014. USA 4, HAI 0 

USA – Christen Press, 65th minute: A couple minutes after they entered the match Sydney Leroux and Morgan Brian created the USA’s next scoring chance, with Leroux crossing from the right side and Brian redirecting the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Haiti’s defense once again got a deflection but could not clear, and Press rushed a left-footed shot into the left side of the goal. USA 5, HAI 0 

USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press), 82nd minute: Press dribbled to the end line to elude her defender and crossed toward the penalty spot, where Brian shot from about eight yards out into the right side of the frame. It was Brian’s third goal in 14 appearances. USA 6, HAI 0 (FINAL) (Highlights)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 5th minute: Just several minutes after Carli Lloyd saw a goal disallowed because of an offside call, the USA attacked again with veteran striker Abby Wambach threatening the net. Wambach struck left-footed from the left side of the box, searching for the far right post. Saintilus secured the save on the low attempt and did not allow a rebound to keep the match scoreless in the early stages. 

USA – Whitney Engen, 33rd minute: The USA had a bad giveaway in midfield that opened a window for Haiti. Marie Jean Pierre collected the loose ball and rushed toward the net. The U.S. WNT’s back line recovered and Engen blocked Jean Pierre’s shot attempt a couple yards outside the area. 

HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 72nd and 74th minutes: In the first of these sequences, Sydney Leroux nearly had a highlight reel effort when she attempted a diving header on Heather O’Reilly’s cross from the right. Though Leroux missed on the header, the ball fell to her between a pair of Haiti defenders and Leroux managed to get a left-footed shot off, only to have Saintilus come away with the save. Two minutes later, O’Reilly threatened the net, and her attempt deflected off of a defender and was headed to the right side of the frame. Saintilus dove to her left to again limit the damage of the USA’s heavy attack.

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach added to her all-time goal scoring record, notching goals No. 172 and 173 of her 226-game international career.
  • Wambach scored her 13th and 14th goals in World Cup qualifying, passing Mia Hamm (12) for second place on the USA’s all-time list. Michelle Akers holds the U.S. WNT record with 17 goals in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
  • Wambach made her 12th appearance in a World Cup qualifying match, which ties her with Julie Foudy and Hamm for second on the U.S. WNT’s all-time list. Kristine Lilly is the USA’s all-time leader with 17 games in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
  • Carli Lloyd scored the 53rd goal of her career, tying Carin Gabarra (53 goals from 1987-96) for eighth-place on the U.S. WNT all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is the WNT’s top scorer among players who have exclusively played as midfielders. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will face the Group B runner-up in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 and multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOXSportsGo.com.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 13-2-3 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT is 4-0-0 all-time against Haiti. The USA has outscored Haiti 29-0 in its four meetings.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five changes to her starting lineup following the team’s 5-0 victory against Guatemala. Three changes were on the defensive side of the ball, including the first start of the tournament for goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Harris earned her fourth-career cap and her second of 2014.
  • The back line included two returning starters in left back Meghan Klingenberg and center back Whitney Engen. Kelley O’Hara got the call ahead of Ali Krieger at right back, and center back and team captain Christie Rampone returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the Guatemala match. Rampone is now one cap away from 300 for her career.
  • The USA’s midfield remained unchanged from the Guatemala game with returning starters Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
  • The front three of the USA’s 4-3-3 formation included returning starter Tobin Heath, fresh off her two-goal effort against Guatemala, along with Abby Wambach and Christen Press. Wambach had started and scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and sat out the Guatemala game. Press was a first-half sub for Alex Morgan when she injured her ankle against Guatemala.
  • Heather O’Reilly entered the game to start the second half, replacing Rapinoe.
  • After the USA pushed its lead to four goals, Ellis utilized her final two subs with Sydney Leroux replacing Wambach in the 62nd minute and Morgan Brian entering for Heath in the 63rd minute. Brian made her first appearance in the tournament.
  • The USA could have added to its lead on several occasions, the most noteworthy being Sydney Leroux’s 80th-minute shot ricocheting off the right post.
  • Press is now the only USA player to have made an appearance in all 18 games this year.
  • Harris earned her first-career clean sheet in four appearances.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 88-8-13 in the 109 games that Rampone has been the team captain.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: Oct. 20, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 6,421
Weather: 62 degrees, cool 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            2          4          6
HAI                              0          0          0           

USA – Carli Lloyd                                        9th minute         
USA – Abby Wambach                                38
USA – Meghan Klingenberg                        57
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)          61
USA – Christen Press                                   65
USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press)         82 

Lineups:
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 14-Christen Press, 20-Abby Wambach (2-Sydney Leroux, 62), 17-Tobin Heath  (7-Morgan Brian, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

HAI: 1-Geralda Saintilus; 4-Kencia Marseille (capt.), 6-Kimberly Boulos (8-Kensie Bobo,56), 9-Lindsay Zullo, 11-Woodlyne Robuste (10-Wisline Dolce, 60), 13-Marie Jean Pierre, 14-Samantha Brand, 15-Shanna Hudson (3-Generve Charles, 84), 17-Yvrose Gervil, 18-Roselord Borgella, 19-Clorene Rateau          
Subs Not Used: 2-Natacha Cajuste, 5-Dieunise Jean Baptiste, 7-Manoucheka Pierre-Louis, 12-Cynthia Chery, 16-Sindy Jeune, 20-Schmid Charles
Head Coach: Shek Borkowski 

Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 20 / 1
Shots on Goal: 12 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 12 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 6 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: Quetzali Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Stacy-Ann Greyson (JAM)
Fourth Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lauren Holiday


Photo Gallery: WNT Tops Group A with Win

Photos from the U.S. WNT's 5-0 win against Guatemala in its second game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.


One of the team's best goal scorers and craftiest players, Rapinoe saw the early part of her career stalled by knee injuries. But in recent years, Rapinoe has developed into a true scoring threat for the USA. She gained national and international acclaim with her left-footed cross to Abby Wambach to set up the tying goal in the dying seconds of overtime against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinal. Rapinoe also scored her first Olympic goal during a 3-0 win against Colombia on July 28, 2012, to clinch a quarterfinals berth at the 2012 London Olympics.

One of the USA’s most skillful attackers and goal scorers, she (and her hair) gained instant fame for sending in the cross that Abby Wambach headed home in the dying seconds of extra time against Brazil in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal … Her two-goal performance in the epic semifinal match of the 2012 Olympics further cemented her star status … 2012: Had her best year yet for the U.S. WNT, playing 1,649 minutes in 29 games while starting 20, the highest yearly totals of her career … Scored eight goals with 12 assists, also career highs … Her 12 assists were third highest on the team … Started all six games of the 2012 Olympics, her first Olympic tournament, while scoring three goals with four assists … Her four assists at the Olympics were tied for tops on the team … One of her assists came on Carli Lloyd’s game-winning goal in the 2-1 Olympic gold medal game victory against Japan … Scored the game-winning goal against Colombia in group play and also scored two spectacular goals against Canada in the Olympic semifinal, twice drawing the USA even in a match it would win 4-3 in the final minute of extra time of overtime … Her first goal against Canada came directly off a corner kick and the second was a brilliant strike from outside the penalty area … Played in four games at CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, starting one and had one goal and one assist … Was on the short list for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and finished 10th in the final voting … 2011: Played in 18 games, starting 13, and scored three goals with five assists over her 1,085 minutes … Was a starter for most of the year, but lost her spot just before the Women’s World Cup, where she played her role extremely well coming off the bench, getting one goal with three assists … Played in all six games in the World Cup, starting the group match against Sweden and the World Cup Final … Her three assists came in the final three games of the World Cup, crossing the ball that was famously headed home by Abby in the quarterfinal against Brazil, setting up Alex Morgan’s game-clinching goal in the semifinal victory against France and Morgan’s score in the World Cup Final against Japan … Also scored against England and Japan during the year … 2010: Recovered from illness to work her way back into the U.S. lineup, starting eight of the 10 games she played … Scored four goals with two assists, one of which came in the second leg of the Women’s World Cup playoff series against Italy that set up Amy Rodriguez’s game-winning goal … Started both games in the playoff series … Scored against Sweden and China, and twice against Guatemala at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, in which she played three games … 2009: Made a big impact in her return to the WNT for the first time in two years, playing in seven games and starting six while scoring two goals with one assist … Scored against Norway in the Algarve Cup in a 1-0 victory and also added a goal against Canada in Toronto … 2007-08: Did not play for the USA as she recovered from two ACL injuries … 2006: Trained with team at 2006 Residency Training Camp in Carson, Calif. … Came into training with the USA early in 2006 and played in four matches, scoring her first two career goals against Chinese Taipei on Oct. 1, but returned to her college team and suffered an ACL injury just four days later … Youth National Teams: Was one of the standout players on the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand … She had an excellent tournament, scoring three goals, tied for the team lead, including one in the third-place match victory against Brazil … Ended her U-19 international career with 21 caps and nine goals … First camp with the U-19 WNT was in January of 2003 in Chula Vista, Calif. … Played in three matches at the 2004 CONCACAF U-19 Qualifying tournament, scoring three goals … Scored her first goal with the U-19s against Mexico on March 1, 2003 … Scored against Canada in 6-1 victory on May 27, 2003 … Traveled with U-19s on European tour to Netherlands and Germany in July of 2003 … Played in USYSA International Tournament in Houston in May of 2003 … Played with the U-16 GNT in 2002 and traveled with the U-16s to France and Houston … First Appearance: July 23, 2006, vs. Ireland ... First Goal: Oct. 1, 2006, vs. Chinese Taipei (two goals).

2013: Allocated to the Seattle Reign for the inaugural NWSL season … Signed with two-time European Champions League winners Lyon for the second half of the French league season … 2011: Signed with the Philadelphia Independence for the 2011 WPS season after the Chicago Red Stars ceased operations but was traded to magicJack in exchange for cash considerations on June 22 during the Women’s World Cup … Ended up playing 10 WPS matches, starting six, with two goals and two assists over 641 minutes … Played all 90 minutes of magicJack’s two playoff matches, scoring in the quarterfinal victory against Boston … 2010: Struggled with illness and fitness, but played in 20 games, starting 19 and scoring one goal on the last touch of the last game of the season … 2009: Taken second overall in the first round of the 2009 WPS College Draft by the Chicago Red Stars … Started 17 of the 18 games she played for the Red Stars, scoring two goals with three assists … Was named as a WPS First-Team All-Star … Youth: She played with the Mavericks from U-12 to U-14, then played with Elk Grove United until she went to college … Won State and Regional Champions with Elk Grove United in 2003 … National runner-up in 2003.

Full name is Megan Anna Rapinoe … Nickname is “Pinoe” … Enjoys playing guitar, the beach and shopping … Majored in sociology … Has a twin sister, Rachael, who also played soccer at Portland … Is the youngest of six children … Prefers living in a city … Lists “The Shawshank Redemption” as one of her favorite movies … Competed in track as a freshman and sophomore, and basketball as freshman, sophomore and senior in high school … Was on the honor roll every semester of high school … Enjoys traveling, going to zoos and good coffee … Her favorite cities are Sydney; London; San Francisco; Phuket, Thailand; Chicago and Boston … She cannot travel without gum, a hair straightener, her computer, neck pillow, iPod, and toothbrush … Her favorite musical artists are currently Florence and the Machine, Adele, Missy Higgins, Kings of Leon and Dar Williams, Tegan + Sara, M83, Black Keys, Cat Power

Played just three full seasons at Portland as her junior year was cut short after two matches due to an ACL injury … Had one more season of college eligibility remaining, but opted to enter the WPS draft … As a senior in 2008, she started all 22 games for the Pilots and was named a Soccer America First-Team All-American and an NSCAA Second Team All-American … Voted the WCC Player of the Year and was All-WCC First Team … She led the team and the WCC in assists (13) … Also became the eighth player in school history to get 30 goals and 25 assists in a career … Her 88 career points (30 goals, 28 assists) are 10th-best in school history despite playing just 60 total games due to injuries … As a junior in 2007, she appeared in just two matches off the bench early in the year before suffering season-ending knee injury for the second consecutive season … Was granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA, but never used it … As a sophomore in 2006, she was among the nation’s leading scorers with 10 goals and two assists in 11 matches before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Washington State on Oct. 5 … She joined Tiffeny Milbrett and Shannon MacMillan as the only Pilots to score 25 goals and 15 assists in just two years … In 2005 as a freshman, she helped the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA championship. … She was an NSCAA First-Team All-American and was on the Soccer America First Team Freshman All-American list ... She made the College Cup All-Tournament Team and was the WCC Freshman of the Year ... An All-WCC First Team and All-WCC Freshman Team selection ... She played and started all 25 games as an attacking midfielder, scoring 15 goals and adding 13 assists for 43 points … Also recorded seven game-winning goals … Did not play college soccer in what would have been her freshman season in order to play in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand … High School: Did not play high school soccer, opting for club instead … Parade and NSCAA All-American as a junior and senior … A McDonald’s All-American in 2004.
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