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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.

Kling’s Golazo

Meghan Klingenberg’s first WNT goal was one to remember. Her brilliant strike from just under 28 yards out against Haiti on Oct. 20, 2104, in the USA’s final Group A match of the CONCACAF Women’s Championships was enjoyed as much by her teammates as by Klingenberg herself. It was also the #1 play on ESPN SportsCenter Top-10 Plays of the Day, which is pretty cool.

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


2012: Did not play a match for the U.S. WNT, but was named an alternate for the 2012 Olympic Team and traveled to the U.K. with the squad … Had shoulder surgery at the end of the year … 2011: First call-up to the senior team came for a training camp in January of 2011, following which she earned a spot on the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China … She earned her first two senior team caps at the Four Nations, playing against Canada and China off the bench as a late game sub … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 and 2010 … A key member of the USA’s 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup champions … Played every minute of her five starts in the tournament including all 90 during the World Cup final victory against Korea DPR … Ended her U-20 career with 16 caps and one goal, that scored against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament … She played every minute of all five matches at the U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament … Played for the USA at the U-17 and U-16 levels in 2005 and 2004 … First Appearance: Jan. 23, 2011 vs. Canada … First Goal: None.

2012: Played for Tyresö in Damallsvenskan in Sweden and in her first season with the club, Tyresö won the league and qualified for Champion's League … Tyresö won the league in the last game of the season over rivals LdB Malmö … 2011: Taken third overall in the 2011 WPS Draft by magicJack, but after seeing action in just two games, she was traded in early June to the Boston Breakers for Nikki Washington … She played 10 matches for Boston, starting them all and totaled 961 minutes for the season … It didn't take Klingenberg long to make an impact on the field once she came to Boston, as four days after the trade, and in her first game as a Breaker, she scored what proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory at home over her former club and also assisted on the first goal of the game … She totaled one goal and two assist on the season … Youth: Played youth club for Penns Forest FC from U-15 through U-19 … Won state titles with PFFC at U-15 and U-17 levels.

Full name is Meghan Elizabeth Klingenberg … Nickname is “Kling” … Majored in business administration … Twice named to the Dean’s List … Is a third-degree black belt in taekwondo … As a budding thespian, she performed in a Pine-Richland production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats,” a masterpiece that won an award for best high school musical production in the Pittsburgh area … Says she loves musicals and “if I could hit a C or knew what note a C was, then I would try out for Broadway” … Member of National Honor Society in high school … Away from the field, she likes to spend time biking, reading, singing, dancing and cooking … Is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburg Penguins fan … Loves Gatorade, her best buddy Monica’s chocolate chip cookies and Iron City Pretzels … Has younger brother Drew who currently plays soccer at Penn State … Favorite beverage is water … Favorite athlete is Michelle Akers … Favorite movie is The Sound of Music … Says if she possessed the gift of time travel she would go back to the “Gone with the Wind” era because Scarlett is an icon and was ahead of her time and “I want to be her” … In a perfect world where making money was not a consideration, she says her dream jobs would be playing soccer, singing on Broadway and being an author … Favorite place she’s visited was South Africa for the FIFA World Cup 2010 and Rome.

A four year starter at North Carolina, she played in 94 games in her career, starting 65 … She scored 18 career goals with 24 assists … Played on all three lines at UNC … As a senior in 2010, she was an NSCAA All-American while playing in all 24 games for the Tar Heels and was fourth on the team with 23 points … She had 11 assists (second on the team) and scored six goals … She was named First-Team All-ACC … As a junior in 2009, she played in 26 games and played 1,668 minutes while scoring five goals with one assist … Scored against Notre Dame, North Carolina State and Florida State … Scored against Georgia in the NCAA second round on a penalty kick … Scored the game-winning goal in a 5-2 triumph over Wake Forest in the NCAA quarterfinals … As a sophomore in 2008, she played in 20 games, starting eight, and missed the last six games of the season playing for the USA at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile … Tied for second on the team with nine assists and two goals … Named to the ACC All-Academic women’s soccer team and the ACC Honor Roll …  As a freshman in 2007, she played in 24 games, starting 10, and earned Freshman All-ACC honors … Had five goals with three assists and was a Soccer America First-Team All-Freshman selection … Led UNC freshmen in all offensive categories … Had golden goals in ACC road wins against Boston College and Florida State … Scored her first collegiate goal against Texas A&M … Was an All-ACC Academic Team selection … High School: Graduated from Pine-Richland High School in 2007 … Was the captain of her high school team … Led Pine-Richland to 2005 Pennsylvania state high school championship and was an NSCAA All-America selection … Was also a Parade high school All-American.

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