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Sermanni Names U.S. WNT Roster for Matches Against Canada and Russia

CHICAGO (Jan. 24, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a roster of 24 players for a three-game, three-week road trip as the USA opens its 2014 schedule.

The USA will play its first match of year on Jan. 31 against Canada at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas (8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports 1). The team then travels to Florida to face Russia on Feb. 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton (3:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream), followed by a quick trip to Atlanta to play Russia again on Feb. 12 at the Georgia Dome (7:30 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com web stream). Sermanni will name 18 players to suit up for each of the matches.

“The players and staff are looking forward to playing matches,” said Sermanni. “We had productive training camps in December and January, but having three games in less than two weeks is a great opportunity for these players to continue to show their growth as individuals and as a team. This is the start of a year in which competition for places becomes much more critical, as does team performance and results.”

All the players named to this roster participated in the USA’s early January camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif. With the exceptions of forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath, both of whom are still recovering from injuries, the USA will bring its full complement of regulars into these first matches of the year.

The roster includes the first and third overall picks in the 2014 NWSL College Draft with defender Crystal Dunn going No. 1 to the Washington Freedom and midfielder Julie Johnston at No. 3 to the Chicago Red Stars.

Sermanni also gave a first roster spot to rising UCLA senior Samantha Mewis, who helped the Bruins to the NCAA title last fall. The 6-foot-tall Samantha is the younger sister of current U.S. WNT defender Kristie Mewis.

The Mewis sisters played together on both the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Team and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, but this is first time they are on a full U.S. Women’s National Team roster together. The younger Mewis trained with the USA for a few days at the end of the January camp in Los Angeles.

The series of matches also marks the first that will see defender Rachel Buehler switch to her married name on the back of her jersey. Buehler, who was married in November of 2012, will now go by Rachel Van Hollebeke (pronounced “van HALL-ah-beck”).

U.S. Women's National Team Roster By Position – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Tyresö), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kristie Mewis (Boston Breakers), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

Additional Notes:

  • The 2014 schedule begins with the 51st meeting between the USA and Canada. The USA is 42-3-5 all-time against the host of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Seventeen players on the training camp roster played in the NWSL last season. Twenty-two of the 24 players have committed to play in the league during its second season in 2014.
  • It was announced this week that Megan Rapinoe has ended her tenure with French club Lyon and will be available to play for Seattle Reign FC for the entire NWSL season.
  • Three players on the roster were new allocations to NWSL clubs for the upcoming season: Stephanie Cox (Seattle Reign FC), Whitney Engen (Houston Dash) and Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars).
  • All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. FC Kansas City has the most players with five.
  • Since taking over as the U.S. Women’s National Team head coach in January of 2013, Tom Sermanni has seen 44 players called in to at least one training camp. Of those 44 players, 32 have earned at least one cap.
  • Sermanni has thus far also given 10 players their first caps.
  • After Abby Wambach, who has 163 career goals, midfielder Carli Lloyd is the top scorer on the roster with 46 career international goals, followed by Heather O’Reilly with 37.
  • Wambach finished second in the voting for the 2013 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year after winning the award for 2012.
  • 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kelley O’Hara, who was a late addition to the January camp roster, could return to game action for the first time since April 9, 2013, when she started against the Netherlands in The Hague.
  • The call-up of both Mewis sisters – Kristie and Samantha – marks the first time sisters have played together on the full U.S. Women’s National Team since 1998, when identical twins Lorrie (120 career caps) and Ronnie Fair (3 caps) played together.
  • Alex Morgan will be with the U.S. team for a few days during the middle of the trip, but only for rehabilitation and evaluation purposes as she continues to come back from her ankle injury.
  • Tobin Heath, who is currently in France with her club Paris Saint-Germain, is progressing well with her recovery from a foot injury but is not ready yet for National Team action.
  • The roster also includes the winner of the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player in University of Virginia senior Morgan Brian.


Sermanni Names U.S. WNT Training Camp Roster for Match against Canada in Toronto on June 2

CHICAGO (May 21, 2013) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Tom Sermanni has named a 21-player roster that will travel to Canada in preparation for the USA’s friendly match against the host on June 2 at Toronto’s BMO Field. The match will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPNews. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

Sermanni named 15 players currently competing for clubs in the National Women’s Soccer League, four players who are playing in Europe and two rising college seniors. Sermanni will name 18 players from the training camp roster to suit up against Canada at BMO Field, which is sold out for the first meeting between these two countries since the epic semifinal match at the 2012 Olympics.

The match, which marks the first friendly for the U.S. Women during the inaugural season of the NWSL, is part of U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration weekend, which also includes the U.S. Men’s National Team facing Germany at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., on June 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas.

“It’s always an important match when you play a neighbor, and with the strong contingent of Canadian players in the new league and how close the competition has become between the two countries over the past few years, there’s an intensity about this game far greater than a typical international friendly,” said Sermanni. “I know our players are really looking forward to the match and to the crowd, but also to getting back together as a national team and continuing to evolve in a positive direction.”

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Jill Loyden (Sky Blue FC)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Whitney Engen (Liverpool), Julie Johnston (Santa Clara), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Amber Brooks (Bayern Munich), Lauren Cheney (FC Kansas City), Tobin Heath (Paris Saint-Germain), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Tyresö), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

Due to the one-off match, which takes place on an official FIFA match date, as well the roster limitations, Sermanni chose not to call up several European-based players who were with the USA at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, including midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who has the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final coming up as well as the championship match of the French Cup with Olympique Lyon.

“Megan has two big matches coming up and we thought it best for all involved for her to stay in France to properly recover from the first and prepare for the second without that international travel mixed in between,” said Sermanni. “We wish Megan the best in her pursuit of what would be a tremendous achievement in winning the treble with Lyon, and we’ll see her on the East Coast for the South Korea matches in mid-June.”

The two college players named to the roster are defenders Crystal Dunn and Julie Johnston, both critical components of the team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan last year. Both have performed well since debuting for the USA at the beginning of 2013. The only uncapped player on the roster is midfielder Amber Brooks, a former U-17, U-20 and U-23 U.S. international. A veteran of two FIFA youth World Cups for the USA, she trained with the team in Germany in April, but this the first time she has been named to an official WNT roster.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who underwent wrist surgery in early March, will join the U.S. team in Canada for some training and evaluation of her wrist but will not be on the game roster. The U.S. coaching and medical staff is hoping for the world’s top ‘keeper to make a return to full fitness by mid-June.

“Hope’s rehabilitation has been progressing well, but we want to make sure she doesn’t jump back into competition prematurely,” said Sermanni. “The week in Canada seemed like the perfect time to give our medical staff and our goalkeeper coach, Paul Rogers, the chance to gauge her progress. Then we can take the appropriate steps to make a plan for her return to action.”

The match also marks the return to the U.S. roster of midfielder Carli Lloyd and goalkeeper Jill Loyden, both of whom have recovered from broken bones (shoulder and hand, respectively) suffered last March at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. Lloyd debuted for the Western New York Flash on May 11 while Loyden has yet to see league action for Sky Blue FC.

Additional Notes:

  • Abby Wambach heads into the match with 155 career goals, just three short of tying Mia Hamm on the world’s all-time scoring list. #ChasingMia
  • The USA’s quartet of forwards – Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Christen Press and Sydney Leroux – has scored 15 of the USA’s 24 goals so far in 2013, led by Press with a team-high six goals.
  • The four forwards have also gotten off to a great start in their clubs’ seasons with Leroux (four goals) Wambach (three) and Morgan (four) among the NWSL leaders. Press has found the net seven times in seven games so far for her Swedish club Tyresö.
  • U.S. captain Christie Rampone is currently the second most-capped player in U.S. history and the most-capped active player in the world with 280 career games played.
  • The USA will be without 186-capped midfielder Shannon Boxx, who is recovering from minor knee surgery.
  • BMO Field, which opened in 2007, has a capacity of just over 20,000 fans. A grass surface replaced the artificial turf in 2010.
  • The USA has played Canada in Canada five times, running up a 4-0-1 record. The most recent match was the USA's only previous visit to BMO Field, a 4-0 victory in March of 2009.
  • The USA is 44-3-5 all-time against Canada and has not lost to the Canadians since March of 2001.
  • The match in Canada will feature the world's top two active scorers in Abby Wambach (155 career goals) and Canadian striker Christine Sinclair (145).
  • The match will also be broadcast live nationally on all four regional Sportsnet channels in Canada.

What's In A Name?

In soccer, everyone’s got a nickname, right? It’s just that the game happens so fast. As a player, you need a name that all your teammates can get out quickly and easily. Some nicknames are used only within the confines of the team while others have been adopted by fans and media.

On the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, the nicknames fall into many different categories.

Some players rarely, if ever, hear their given names. We can’t remember the last time someone used Nicole Barnhart’s first name. She’s always “Barnie.” (Unless an occasion arises when someone pulls out “Barnyard” or “Barnacles,” which actually happens more than you might think).

Likewise for Shannon Boxx as 99.9 percent of the time it’s just “Boxxy.” We’re pretty sure she might not even respond to Shannon. Kristie Mewis is “Mew” or “Mewie” and Meghan Klingenberg is of course “Klingy.”

But nicknames are not just adding about adding a “y” or an “ie” to someone’s name. Sometimes it’s initials. Heather Ann O’Reilly has long been known as “HAO” (pronounced hey-oh). Sometime “HAO” calls Kelley O’Hara “KO.” Christen Press is sometimes “CP.” Young goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is “AD.”

(Side note: New U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni did call O’Reilly “Hailey” a few times in his first week of camp -- a combination of HAO and O’Reilly -- but that doesn’t really count as a nickname. He quickly corrected himself.)

Nicknames can be maiden names as well. Christie Rampone hasn’t been Christie Pearce for years, but her teammates still often call her “Pearcie,” proving that nicknames can stick around a while.

Some nicknames are more connected to a style of play. One of the best ever is “The Buehldozer” for Rachel Buehler (sometimes shortened to just “‘Dozer”), whose propensity for plowing through opponents earned her that moniker. Alex Morgan rose to international soccer fame with a nickname that seemed a perfect fit for her galloping running style and youthful exuberance: “Baby Horse.” While it’s still a popular nickname with the fans and on Twitter, her teammates rarely use it nowadays. As Megan Rapinoe said during the 2012 Olympics, “I think she’s definitely a stallion now.”

Many times, you just shorten it up. Carli Lloyd is “Car.” Megan Rapinoe is “Pinoe.” Ashlyn Harris is “Ash.” Crystal Dunn is “Cris” and Sydney Leroux is “Syd” (you can add “the Kid” if you like). Becky Sauerbrunn is “Becks,” or one that has become very popular on the U.S. team: “Reba.” (Yes, her real name is Rebecca).

Julie Johnston is “Jules” or “JJ,” and Lauren Cheney is “Chens” (pronounced Chains). Whitney Engen is “Whit,” Tobin Heath is “Tobes” and Ali Krieger is “Kriegs.” Her club teammates in Germany called her “Warrior Princess” (Krieger means warrior in German), but that’s a whole other story.

Yael Averbuch has one of the most fun nicknames on the team. You can call her “Ya-Ya.”

However, some players just don’t have nicknames. While in reality Jill is a nickname for Jillian, don’t call Jill Loyden “Jilly” (although U.S. goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers sometimes does).

Hope Solo is usually just Hope. Both her names are so cool that she doesn’t need a nickname.

And Abby Wambach is almost always Abby. Of course, when you’ve scored 154 career goals, you can go by one name. There is that rare occasion -- and this does happen -- that someone decides to use her real name: Mary Abigail. We’re not sure why it’s always funny when someone calls her “Mary” or “Abigail,” but it just is.

March 13, 2013: WNT vs. Germany - Quote Sheet

Post-Game Quote Sheet: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Germany
2013 Algarve Cup – Championship Game
Faro, Portugal
March 13, 2013

U.S. head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“The German side played very well today and gave us a lot of testing situations, and Barnie came up with couple of really big saves at crucial times. It was a difficult pitch to play on and a real battle, but the team showed a great deal of character.”

On Alex Morgan scoring early:
“That helps. That’s the great thing about this team. We have so many players that can score goals. Alex came up big in the critical game against Sweden and she came up big again today.”

On the team defense, and how to cope tactically since the team throws numbers forward into the attack:
“It’s done really well. The difficult thing for our defense is that they often have to deal with counter-attacks and breakaways and being out-numbered and having to scramble at times, and they’ve done that extremely well throughout the tournament. Its’ been a testing tournament, a difficult tournament and it’s great to have only conceded one goal.”

On winning his first tournament as head coach of the U.S. WNT:
“It always feels good to win and it’s great to continue the winning tradition that the U.S. team has. At least I haven’t been a jinx in the short term, so it’s terrific and the players deserve a great deal of credit with the way they played in this tournament, with the way that they’ve toughed out games when they had to and played some really good football when the occasion was to do that.”

U.S. goalkeeper NICOLE BARNHART
On earning the shutout in the Algarve Cup Final:
“You always go out with the goal of keeping a clean sheet, definitely. That’s what we say before the game starts. The defense came out and played really hard and there were a lot of hard tackles in the 18-yard box and I had to come up with a few saves to keep the clean sheet, but anytime we can get a shutout against a team like Germany, it’s a big accomplishment.”

On dominating her penalty area in the air:
“I want to be tough and come out and control the box. On any balls I come out for I want make sure I at least get a piece of them, if not win them, because that does a lot for the confidence of the defense as they know I can make the saves if called upon.”

On the entire roster getting to play during the tournament:
“It’s fun to see different lineups getting to play throughout the tournament and even in the final today. To see everyone step up and play well and play hard was nice. It was a tough game, under tough field conditions against a tough team and we came out and did the job.”

On being able to play and win a tournament final:
“It feels awesome to start and win a final. I don’t get the chance too often to come and play in a big game or a final so to get that experience is fun. I enjoyed it.” 

U.S. forward ALEX MORGAN
“It felt really good to get a good rhythm and score a couple goals. Yesterday I was at the press conference and a reporter asked me if I hope to score, and I said as a forward, I always hope to score and maybe a couple and it actually came true. I got two in and almost a third, but most importantly we won the tournament. The team had a good run and I’m really proud of all the girls.”

On the importance of the early goal:
“To get that first goal early kind of helped us out a little bit. It helped us set the tempo and gave us a little bit of an edge because the field wasn’t helping anyone.”

On the use of different players throughout the tournament by head coach Tom Sermanni:
“It’s great to get these games in and for him to see different lineups. It’s been a different lineup every single game, so I think that it’s good for him to evaluate players and good for us to get games. Other than a World Cup or Olympics, we never really get this many games in this short a time.” 

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On winning the MVP of the 2013 Algarve Cup although she played in just two games of the tournament and missed the final after she was a scratch during warm-ups with a minor muscle strain:
“This is obviously very unexpected. I thought I was getting punked when our liaison told me.”

On the team’s performance in the tournament:
“Obviously to win three games, with one little tie -- no worries about that -- and to have a good showing in the final was a good for our team. It was a battle and a good way to end this Algarve trip.”

On the final:
“I’m really proud of the girls. It wasn’t the most beautiful game of football. Both teams were battling with the field a bit, but we put in such a tough effort with tons of heart and got two goals.”

U.S. defender WHITNEY ENGEN
On winning the Algarve Cup with every player on the roster getting time:
“It feels great to win it. Overall it was a great team effort the entire tournament. We saw every player get on the field and every player contributed and it feels really good to know that we’ve got such depth early on in the year.”

On the team defense allowing just one goal during the tournament:
“I’m really proud of the defense, but as I’ve said before, defense is a team effort from front to back and it starts with the forwards putting pressure on the ball and getting a good shape in the midfield. Our back line was pretty tight today and Barnie came up with some great saves. Overall, great team defense throughout the tournament.”

U.S. defender ALI KRIEGER
On playing against her former FFC Frankfurt teammates in a battle with Germany:
“It’s always a bit weird going against some of my old teammates. I think seven or eight of them play for Germany. It’s always a strong game against one of the best teams in the world. The field wasn’t that great, so I think it was difficult to get a good touch on the ball, but I think we dealt with it fairly well. We started dumping it to the front because we have such strong forwards and that helped today because Alex had two great goals. We play them again in two weeks and I know it will be a battle again.”

On how the team grew during the Algarve Cup tournament:
“It was such a good foundation for us. Now we just need to work off that. Tom (Sermanni) has done such a great job with us and he has a lot of knowledge of the game and we need to let it all soak in. We just need to do what we do in training and apply it to the games and I think we’ve done a tremendous job of proving we can score goals and win games. We’re just going to build off each game.”

U.S. WNT vs. Iceland Post-Game Quotes

U.S. WNT vs. Iceland
Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
March 6, 2013

U.S. head coach TOM SERMANNI
On making just one sub during the match:
“We should make some changes for the second game. We have a lot of fresh players so we should be able to increase or at least maintain the tempo we can play at.”

On the match:
“I was happy with the win and I was relatively happy with the second half performance, but it took us 45 minutes to get going. I thought in the first half, we were a little bit slow, a little bit sloppy and untidy. In the second half, we played a tempo that suits us better, moved the ball a lot better and put the Icelandic team under more pressure so that was better. It was a game of two halves.”

On the performance of Crystal Dunn, who made her first career start:
“She did fantastic. Crystal played the full 90 minutes and she was still full of running near the end. She was aggressive in how she played, she was up and down the field throughout the game and played exceptionally well.”

On getting a shutout:
“I’m happy with the clean sheet. It was of aims before we came into the game and the tournament. We wanted to make sure we didn’t give away any easy goals so it was good to come out of the game with no goals against.”

U.S. defender RACHEL BUEHLER
On scoring just her fourth career goal, in her 100th cap, while wearing the captain’s armband:
“Today was an incredible game for me. It’s sort of coming full circle here in the Algarve for me as I got my first cap here and my 100th cap here. Wearing this jersey is always such an honor and I value every moment of that, but to wear the captain’s armband makes it even more special. And then to get a goal on top of it! Usually we hit the corner kicks back post, but it came right to my head and I was ready and it was probably the best goal I’ve had. Well, maybe the Korea goal (in the 2011 Women’s World Cup), but it was an awesome goal so I’m pretty excited about it!”

On the USA getting its first shutout of 2013:
“It was great for us to get the clean sheet. We were tight back there and they didn’t get too many opportunities. In this tournament there are so many good teams and goal difference is really important so I’m happy we were able to come through with no goals against.”

On right back Crystal Dunn, the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy winner at North Carolina, who made her first career start and earned her second cap:
“Crystal did great. She’s a dynamic outside back, she gets up and down the flank really well, she’s hard and tough and really athletic. It’s great to see such a young player doing so well.”

On the match:
“It wasn’t our best soccer game of all time. Against China, hopefully we can play some better soccer, connect some more passes and get some better rhythm.”

U.S. goalkeeper JILL LOYDEN
On making her third start and getting the shutout:
“Anytime you can play and get on the field and get some minutes, it’s a great opportunity to have fun and smile out there and I get to play behind some awesome teammates. We had fun out there and it showed. We got the shutout.”

On the U.S. defense:
“When I really don’t have to do too much, that’s always a great game for us. Credit to the defense for doing their job and making my life easy.”

On the USA having a much better performance in the second half:
“The second half was a lot better. We got the rust off and started knocking some passes. We were looking good and playing some sexy soccer.”

U.S. forward ABBY WAMBACH
On her goal:
“I’ll actually say that I got the assist on Alex’s goal. She did all the hard work. As a forward, those kinds of goals come very infrequently, so I’ll take it, but at the end of the day, Alex did all the work. Hard defending and getting the ball across the front of the box and it was a simple goal for anyone to finish.”

On moving to within four goals of tying Mia Hamm’s world all-time scoring record:
“Right now, my thoughts are not about that. It’s about the Algarve Cup and getting the wins we need to get to the Final. This isn’t an easy tournament to win. There are great teams in this tournament, and if the goals come from me, or Alex, or Boxxy or Buehler, so be it. As long as we are on the right side of the scoreboard with the amount of goals that we need to with that game, that’s the most important part.”

On the slow start in the first half:
“We started off slow. There weren’t one or even two reasons for it, but in the end, often times we get in the locker room and sort things out. We really needed to get our outside backs into the attacking third and that really did sort out a lot of the lethargy we felt in the first half.”

On Rachel Buehler scoring in her 100th cap:
“I am so thrilled for Buehler to get a goal in her 100th cap. It’s a big deal for any defender to get a goal and for her to do it in her 100th cap is really special.”

On how winning the FIFA World Player of the Year has changed things:
“Whenever you are awarded such an honor, you want to represent it in the right way. The only way we can keep women’s football moving forward is to come back stronger and better. We’ve had a long four years, so I definitely took a break. Getting back into the swing of things is a bit more difficult as an older player, but I am optimistic about the way our team is playing. Yeah, we didn’t play as well in the first half, but the fact that we can recover and still make a go of it in the second half says a lot about who we are as a team and shows a lot to the younger players about the expectations of what this team is about.”

On the USA’s greatest strength:
“Our mentality. No matter what the circumstances are, no matter who our opponent is, it’s our belief that we will go out and play the best soccer we possibly can. It doesn’t mean we are going to be flawless, we are going to make mistakes, but I think our team knows how to win games. We have players that can score a lot of goals. Alex Morgan didn’t get one today, but don’t’ worry about that, she’ll figure it out and get on the score sheet later in this tournament.”

U.S. defender CRYSTAL DUNN
On making her first start:
“I was a little nervous at first, but I think that’s normal. The girls around me were really supportive and they definitely helped me on the field. Once I got my first touches in, I felt pretty comfortable.”

On the match:
“I think we did well. A clean sheet is always a great start to the tournament. Iceland made it hard for us, but we kept our composure and really defended well as a team.”

Rachel Buehler Scores in Her 100th Career Cap as USA Defeats Iceland 3-0 to Open 2013 Algarve Cup in Portugal

  • #ChasingMia Update: Abby Wambach Scores 154th Career Goal, Putting her Four Shy of Tying Mia Hamm’s All-Time Record
  • Shannon Boxx Adds 27th Goal of Her Career on Header
  • Crystal Dunn Makes First Career Start
  • USA Will Face China PR Next on March 8 in Albufeira, Portugal Live on PPV

ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (March 6, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team overcame a subpar first half to defeat Iceland 3-0 with all three goals coming in the second half. U.S. defender Rachel Buehler tallied in her 100th career cap and forward Abby Wambach’s 154th goal moved her closer to Mia Hamm’s all-time international scoring record during a 3-0 victory against Iceland. Those two scores were sandwiched around Shannon Boxx’s 27 th career goal.

It was the seventh year in a row the USA has won its Algarve Cup opener, but it was not easy against a physical Iceland team that played low pressure on the front line while pushing its backs high, which severely compacted the space in the midfield.

While the Americans struggled to connect passes and find an attacking rhythm in the first half, the USA scored almost exactly two minutes into the second.

The U.S. team earned a corner kick almost right off the kickoff and Lauren Cheney drilled her service on a line into the pack of players. Buehler was making a hard run through the middle and as the ball came across her body, she perfectly redirected the ball with a header into the left corner.

It was just the fourth goal of Buehler’s international career, and while it was not the most dramatic – she scored in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Korea DPR – it was certainly emotional and important. Her fantastic header jump-started the USA’s attack to score three times, which may prove crucial in a group stage where goal difference often plays a critical role in who advances to the championship game.

The USA made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute off another corner kick. This time Cheney’s cross was closed enough to the net that Iceland goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir got a hand on it, but didn’t push it far and it went to Boxx at the far post. Her header sent the ball back across the ball and Iceland cleared, but not far enough, as Christie Rampone sent a powerful header back to the right post to Boxx, who jumped high to loop her six-yard header back across the goal into the left side of the goal.

Wambach scored one of the easiest goals of her career in the 74th minute, but the hard work was done by Morgan. The speedy forward raced into the left side of the penalty area to latch onto a weak back pass, beating Iceland goalkeeper Helgadottir to a loose ball before poking it past the goalkeeper to Wambach, who was alone in the middle to stroke home her shot from close range.

The goal moves Wambach to within four goals of tying Mia Hamm on the world’s all-time international scoring list and just five from passing Hamm’s mark of 158 set during her legendary career that spanned 1987-2004.

U.S. goalkeeper Jill Loyden made her third career start while earning her sixth career cap, but didn’t have much work over the 90 minutes, as she was called on to make just one save, that a collapse dive to her right in the 18th minute to snag a header off a free kick.

The USA had only six shots in the first half, but doubled that number in the second and came close to scoring on several occasions. Carli Lloyd pulled a full-out dive from Helgadottir with a strike from the top of the box at the right side, but it skipped just wide of the left post.

Wambach just missed scoring a spectacular diving header in the first half when the ball grazed off the top of her head as she went horizontal in the air chasing a Cheney free kick. In the 34th minute, Wambach had the USA’s best chance of the first half when she powered a header on goal off a corner kick, but it was saved well by Helgadóttir before her defenders cleared.

Morgan had several chances to open her 2013 account, including two in the waning moments of the first half. In the 44th minute a corner kick from the right side was headed back across the goal and Morgan got a solid piece of the ball, only to send it over the net. Seconds later she finally got loose in the penalty area from an Iceland team that battered her the entire match, but cut her half-volley wide right of the goal from 12 yards out.

In the 54th minute, Wambach found Morgan sprinting into the penalty area with a great long pass over the top of the Iceland defense, but she blasted her full volley high over the net. Morgan came close against in the 61st minute after she worked herself free from two defenders in the left side of the penalty area, but Helgadottir made a nice save with a dive to her right to push the right-footed shot away for a corner kick.

Heather O’Reilly did some hard running from right midfield for the USA all game long and earned the majority of the USA’s seven corner kicks on the afternoon. Former U.S. Under-20 star Crystal Dunn, who earned her first career cap at the senior level against Scotland on Feb. 13 in Nashville, Tenn., made her first career start, going the full 90 minutes at right back.

U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made just one substitute in the game, sending on Christen Press for Carli Lloyd in the 64th minute.

The USA continues group play against China PR on March 8 back at the Municipal Stadium in Albufeira. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET and fans can watch the match on TV or online via Pay-Per-View.

The Algarve Cup is being distributed in the United States by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, Avail-TVN, DIRECTV and DISH for a suggested retail price of only $14.95 per match. Additional same day replays will be available. Check with your Pay-Per-View provider for replay times. Fans can visit Integratedsportsnet.com for updates on TV coverage.

Fans can also watch the matches online via Pay-Per-View. For web-streaming information go to http://www.ustream.tv/integratedsportsppv. Fans can also follow the match via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

Additional Notes:

  • As is tradition on the U.S. team, Rachel Buehler wore the captain’s armband in her 100th cap. She earned her 100th cap in the same tournament and in the same stadium where she earned her first cap in 2008 against China.
  • When Christen Press came on in the 64th minute for Carli Lloyd, she moved to left midfield and Lauren Cheney moved into the middle to take Lloyd’s spot.
  • Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath, who arrived late into training camp due to a match with their French clubs and participated in just one training session, did not see action.
  • The USA is riding a 26-game unbeaten streak since the last loss, which came to Japan on March 5 at the 2012 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The U.S. has scored 83 goals while allowing 20 in 23 wins and three ties.
  • As U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made just one substitute in the game, that sets the stage for possibly using a group of fresh players against China on March 8 in the USA’s next Group B match.
  • Shannon Boxx’s 27th career goal came in her 183rd career cap.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland
Date: March 6, 2013
Competition: 2013 Algarve Cup; Group B    
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
Kickoff: 2 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Attendance: 500
Weather: 63 degrees, sunny, windy

Scoring Summary:    1 2 F
USA                             0 3 3
ISL                                0 0 0

USA – Rachel Buehler (Lauren Cheney)        48th minute
USA – Shannon Boxx (Christie Rampone)     62
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan)           74

Lineups:
USA : 21-Jill Loyden; 6-Crystal Dunn, 19-Rachel Buehler (capt.), 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd (23-Christen Press, 64), 12-Lauren Cheney; 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Kristie Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Whitney Engen, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Yael Averbuch, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Lindsey Horan, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

ISL: 1-Thóra Helgadóttir; 2-Sif Atladóttir, 5-Hallbera Gudný Gísladóttir, 13-Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, 10-Dóra María Lárusdóttir, 6-Hólmfrídur Magnúsdóttir (22-Sandra María Jessen, 64), 7-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (capt.) (20-Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, 83), 11-Katrín Ómarsdóttir (4-Edda Gardarsdóttir,73), 14-Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (15-Gudný Ódinsdóttir, 79), 9-Fanndís Fridriksdóttir (3-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 46), 18-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir (23-Elín Metta Jensen, 73)
Substitutions Not Used: 8-Katrín Jónsdóttir, 12-Gudbjörg Gunnarsdóttir, 16-Birna Kristjánsdóttir, 17-Ólína Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 19-Mist Edvardsdóttir, 21-Elísa Vidarsdóttir
Head coach: Sigurdur Eyjolfsson

Stats Summary: USA / ISL
Shots: 18 / 4
Shots on Goal: 8 / 1
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 16
Offside: 7 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Fusako Kajiyama (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Saori Takahashi (JPN)
Fourth Official: Salome Di Iorio (ARG)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Heather O'Reilly




The tall, strong and athletic Barnhart played a key role for the USA in 2010 and 2011 when she stepped into goal as the starter in the absence of Hope Solo (who was recovering from a shoulder injury) and helped the USA qualify for the Women’s World Cup. Heading into 2012, Barnhart had an impressive all-time career 26-3-4 record.

U.S. National Team – A backup goalkeeper on the USA’s last four world championship teams, at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2012 Olympics … Came back into Residency Training Camp on trial during 2007 and played well enough to earn a contract and a place on the Women’s World Cup Team and has been a regular call-up ever since … 2012: Played in five games, starting one and had a 2-0-0 record while allowing just one goal … She upped her all-time career mark to 28-3-4 … Her one start came in the third-place match of the Algarve Cup, a 4-0 shutout victory against Sweden … 2011: Played in 10 matches, starting nine, including the first eight of the year as Hope Solo finished her recovery from shoulder surgery … Those matches included back-stopping the USA to two tournament victories, at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January and the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March … Compiled a record of 6-2-1 … 2010: Took over the starting role after Hope Solo had shoulder surgery in September and started all five games in CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying and the two playoff matches against Italy … Strong play in two shutouts against Italy helped the USA secure its 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup berth … Played in 11 total matches, compiling a record of 8-1-2, and her 11 starts during the year were a career high … Allowed just five goals in 990 minutes of action … 2009: Played in three matches for the USA, starting two, and earned 1-0 shutouts in both … The first was against Iceland at the Algarve Cup in March and the second against Canada in Rochester, N.Y., in July, the same match in which Abby Wambach scored her 100th goal … Did not allow a goal in 225 minutes of action … 2008: Played in four matches for the USA before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in early May … Came back to play in 13 total matches, starting eight and gave up just one goal while earning five shutouts … Earned a shutout against Italy at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea … Earned a shutout against Norway in the USA’s third match of the 2008 Algarve Cup, helping the Americans to the championship game … Played in her most important international match to date against Canada in the championship game of the 2008 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, making several excellent saves and sealing the win with a penalty kick stop in the shootout victory against Canada … 2007: Played in one match in 2007, getting the shutout against Mexico in Portland, Ore., on Oct. 17 during the post-WWC tour, her fourth career cap … 2006: Did not appear … 2005: The youth national team veteran earned her first cap in goal and got her first career shutout with the full Women’s National Team on March 9 in a 1-0 victory against France at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … Earned her second career goalkeeper cap, also a shutout, in the USA’s 7-0 win against Ukraine in Portland, Ore. … 2004: Earned her first cap as a field player when the USA ran out of substitutes against Mexico at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Oct. 16 during the Fan Celebration Tour … She played the last five minutes plus stoppage time at forward next to Abby Wambach in the 1-0 win … Youth National Teams: A member of the 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 U-21 Nordic Cup Teams, she helped the USA to titles in Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, respectively … Also a member of the USA’s U-18 and U-16 National Team pools … First Appearance: Oct. 16, 2004, vs. Mexico … First Shutout: March 9, 2005, vs. France.

Professional / Club – 2013: Allocated to FC Kansas City for the inaugural season of the NWSL … 2011: Signed with the Philadelphia Independence for the 2011 WPS season and started nine total matches to help the club to a WPS playoff berth and a berth in the championship game … Earned a shutout in the 2-0 Super Semifinal victory against magicJack … Compiled a 4-3-2 record with three shutouts and had a goals against average of 1.11 … 2010: Helped FC Gold Pride to the 2010 WPS title, starting 21 games and playing 1,880 minutes while making 73 saves and allowing just 16 goals … Had eight shutouts, including the WPS championship game, and was named the WPS Goalkeeper of the Year and a WPS All-Star … Also was the goalkeeper on the WPS Best XI … 2009: Allocated to FC Gold Pride for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Was the starting goalkeeper for FC Gold Pride, starting all 16 matches in which she played … Made 74 saves, allowed 23 goals for a 1.44 GAA and earned two shutouts … Youth: Played for FC DELCO youth club, winning several state championships … In 2005, inducted into the FC DELCO Hall of Fame … Also played for Souderton in her earlier club years, as well as with a boys’ club team from Boyertown ... Played a significant time on the field as well.

Personal – Full name is Nicole Renee Barnhart … Nickname is “Barnie” ... Finished high school academic career with a 4.2 GPA … Interested in working as a graphic artist in advertising or marketing … Earned a double major in studio art and psychology from Stanford, graduating in June of 2005 ... Also interested in art therapy and her ideal job would be working in this field at a children’s hospital … A talented sketch artist … Played three months of lacrosse for Stanford after the completion of her senior year of soccer eligibility but stopped playing and became the team manager after turning professional with the U.S. team at the Algarve Cup … Studied American Sign Language for two years at Stanford and would love to further her studies ... Volunteers at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital when home in the Bay Area … Involved with the Garth Brooks’ and Troy Aikman’s Teammates for Kids Foundation … Does not like chocolate ... Has served as a volunteer assistant women’s soccer coach at Stanford since the fall of 2005 and was a member of the staff that helped the Cardinal win the 2011 NCAA title …  In her free time, enjoys drawing, and creating digital artwork ... Enjoys cooking ... Loves to do crossword puzzles and is the best on the team at Bananagrams … Owns a true log cabin in the woods in the Pocono Mountains and enjoys spending quiet time there and remodeling … It was always a dream of hers to own a log cabin … Takes her pillow and stuffed dog (Woof) on every soccer trip … One of her most memorable soccer moments would have to be her five minutes of fame as a forward with the WNT during the 2004 Fan Celebration Tour.

College / High School – Played in 71 games in her career at Stanford, starting 66 … Ranks No. 1 in Cardinal history with 35 career shutouts and is second all-time in minutes played (6,180) for goalkeepers … She is also first all-time in goals against average at 0.45 … Played her senior season for Stanford in 2004, starting all 22 games while playing 2044 minutes and allowing just 10 goals for a 0.44 GAA, good for third in the NCAA … Earned 10 shutouts and was named First-Team All-Pac 10 (her third All-Pac-10 recognition) and honorable mention All-Academic Pac-10 … Also named First-Team NSCAA All-American, co-captain and a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy … In 2003 as a junior, she earned First-Team All-West Region and All-Pac-10 honors ... She co-captained the team, starting all 21 games while playing 1,947 minutes, posted a 0.79 GAA and recorded seven shutouts on the year … Named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy ... Earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors ... Tops the Stanford record book with a 0.41 career goals-against average ... As a sophomore in 2002, she was named First-Team NSCAA All-American and earned First-Team All-West Region and All-Pac-10 honors ... Started all 23 games in goal, amassing 2,047 minutes on the season ... Finished the year as the nation’s top goalkeeper with a 0.18 goals-against average ... She recorded 18 shutouts and allowed only four goals all season, a Stanford record ... Set single-season Cardinal records in minutes played (2,047), total shutouts (18), goals allowed (4) and goals-against average (0.18) ... Also set the record for fewest goals allowed in the Pac-10 ... She posted career-high seven consecutive shutout games, shutting out Cal Poly, California, Notre Dame and Portland in the NCAA Tournament ... Earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic honors … Redshirted in 2001 due to a torn ACL … In 2000 as a freshman, she made five appearances, picking up four shared shutouts and saw action in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament against San Jose State ... Made her collegiate debut in the second half of a 4-0 win against Saint Mary’s, playing 15 minutes … High School: Played for the boys’ team at Boyertown High School for all four years, playing on the field a bit as well as in goal … Also played basketball and lacrosse, where she was an All-American.

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