The #USWNT opened the Victory Tour by putting on an eight goal show in front of more than 44,000 fans in Pittsburgh
The 2015 World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team earned a coveted third star above its crest this summer by winning the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in July, and the accolades keep on coming. Five U.S. players were among the 23 selected to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star squad; Golden Glove goalkeeper Hope Solo, defenders Julie Johnston and Meghan Klingenberg, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and Golden Ball winner Carli Lloyd.
Solo backstoped the WNT throughout the tournament, playing all seven games and earning five shutouts in a clean-sheet streak that reached 540 minutes.
Johnston and Klingenberg also contributed in the back to help bolster the elite, title-winning defense. Johnston played every minute of the tournament at center-back, while Klingenberg did the same at left back. In addition to shutting down the opposition, both defenders made memorable and important individual plays in the tournament. Klingenberg jumped to head a ball off the goal-line to save the game against Sweden in the group stage and Johnston delivered an assist that Carli Lloyd headed in for a goal to defeat China in the quarterfinals.
It was Rapinoe that got the WNT off to a great start, scoring two goals in the USA’s 3-1 win against Australia in its tournament opener. She also tallied two assists in the tournament, including one in the World Cup Final.
Lloyd earned Golden Ball honors as the tournament’s best player. She scored six goals, all coming in the knockout rounds, including a historic hat trick in the Women’s World Cup Final. She also won the Silver Boot as the tournament’s second leading scorer.
The All-Star squad is made up of 23 players who succeeded in getting fans out of their seats and truly impressed FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG). In addition to naming the All-Stars, the TSG published the FIFA Technical Report, a 234-page document that covers the 52 matches of the World Cup as well as technical and tactical analysis, trends, confederations analysis, a refereeing report, a goal-line technology report and a medical report.
2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Squad
Goalkeepers: Nadine Angerer (GER), Karen Bardsley (ENG), Hope Solo (USA)
Defenders: Saori Ariyoshi (JPN), Lucy Bronze (ENG), Kadeisha Buchanan (CAN), Steph Houghton (ENG), Julie Johnston (USA), Meghan Klingenberg (USA), Wendie Renard (FRA)
Midfielders and forwards: Ramona Bachmann (SUI), Lisa De Vanna (AUS), Amandine Henry (FRA), Elise Kellond-Knight (AUS), Eugénie Le Sommer (FRA), Carli Lloyd (USA), Anja Mittag (GER), Aya Miyama (JPN), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Mizuho Sakaguchi (JPN), Celia Sasic (GER), Elodie Thomis (FRA), Rumi Utsugi (JPN).
World Champion U.S. WNT Opens Victory Tour with 8-0 Win Against Costa Rica in Front of Record Crowd in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (Aug. 16, 2015) – The World Champion U.S. Women’s National Team opened its Victory Tour in style with an 8-0 win against Costa Rica in front of a crowd of 44,028 at Heinz Field. The attendance set a record for the largest crowd for a stand-alone U.S. WNT match on home soil.
In a special homecoming, Pittsburgh native Meghan Klingenberg scored early in the second half, by which time the USA already held a substantial lead. Christen Press and Heather O’Reilly led the scoring for the USA with a hat trick and a pair of goals respectively. Defenders Julie Johnston and Whitney Engen also put their names on the scoresheet with header goals while Ashlyn Harris and Hope Solo split the goalkeeping duties for the shutout. Solo made three saves in the second half on Costa Rica’s only three shots.
The team entered the stadium to a rapturous standing ovation from the Heinz Field crowd and will likely see a similar scene when it next travels to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it will face a rematch with Las Ticas before a sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 at Finlay Stadium on Aug. 19. That match kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.
After the double-header with Costa Rica, the USA continues its Victory Tour with a pair of matches against Australia, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, and Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama on Sept. 17 and 20, respectively. From there the Victory Tour continues with a pair of games against Brazil in October before taking a break in November and then finishing with four matches in December. Dates and venues for those games will be announced in the near future.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Heather O’Reilly, 4th minute: As Costa Rica attempted to play out of the back, O’Reilly stripped a defender and raced into the Ticas’ penalty area. From the right side of the box, O’Reilly powered her show low into the near post past the wrong-footed ‘keeper for her 42nd international goal. USA 1, CRC 0 SEE GOAL
USA – Christen Press, 29th: Megan Rapinoe chipped the ball through the Costa Rica defense to Press inside the penalty area. After a nice collection that opened up space for a shot, Press saw her first, right-footed effort blocked by a defender but was first to the rebound and drilled a left-footed shot into the right side of the net. USA 2, CRC 0 SEE GOAL
USA – Julie Johnston (Megan Rapinoe), 36th minute: Megan Rapinoe whipped in a corner kick from the left side that found an unmarked Johnston steaming toward the near post. The U.S. center back sent a powerful header into the middle of the next past a falling Diaz for her fourth career goal. USA 3, CRC 0
USA – Christen Press, 45th minute: Press continued her offensive outburst as Rapinoe sent in another dangerous corner kick that connected with Shannon Boxx at the back post. Boxx sent a header back across goal that Diaz tried to swat away, but her clearance fell to the feet of Press in the center of the six-yard box and she slammed the ball home from close range just before the halftime whistle. USA 4, CRC 0
USA – Meghan Klingenberg (Tobin Heath), 56th minute: The Pittsburgh crowd erupted into a frenzy as second half substitute Tobin Heath carried the ball at pace down Costa Rica’s left side to the end line and cut the ball back into the middle of the box. Klingenberg ran onto the service and with a great bit of skill, redirected the ball with her left foot into the far side netting from 10 yards out. In a wild celebration, she ran to her teammates on the sideline, high-fived the whole bench and then grabbed a Pittsburgh Steelers Terrible Towel from U.S. head coach Jill Ellis before waving it aloft in tribute to her hometown fans. USA 5, CRC 0 ( SEE GOAL)
USA – Heather O’Reilly, 60th minute: Lori Chalupny got forward to play Christen Press into the right side of the Costa Rica penalty area. Press brought down the chipped pass, swiveled 180 degrees and sent a beautiful curling chip shot off the cross bar that fell to Heather O’Reilly who was crashing the back post. With the net wide open, O’Reilly had time to collect before smashing the ball home for the second multi-goal game of her career. USA 6, CRC 0
USA – Whitney Engen (Abby Wambach), 63rd minute: From yet another set piece, the USA targeted Wambach at the far post, and the world’s all-time leading goal scorer headed the ball down toward goal. As it bounced back up off the ground, Engen snuck in front of a waiting Diaz to snap a header into the back of the net for her fourth international goal. USA 7, CRC 0
USA – Christen Press (Heather O’Reilly), 68th minute: O’Reilly drove down the left flank and picked out Press who was making a delayed run into the Costa Rica box. With one deft touch, Press controlled the ball, stole a look at goal and then snapped a shot from near the top of the box into the upper left-hand corner of the goal to put the finishing touch on the second hat trick of her career and the day’s goal scoring. USA 8, CRC 0 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CRC – Dianna Diaz, 8th minute: With the USA threatening down Costa Rica’s right flank through some nifty combination play that nearly put Meghan Klingenberg in alone on goal, Diaz made a diving stop, charging out of her goal to smother the ball a step before Klingenberg arrived.
CRC – Dianna Diaz, 17th minute: Shannon Boxx unleashed a rocket from a wide angle on Diaz’s left that swerved toward the middle of the goal, but the Costa Rica goalkeeper punched the shot up over the crossbar to deny the U.S. adding to its early lead.
USA – Hope Solo, 50th minute: Solo has called into action right away after coming on at halftime. A chipped diagonal pass put Karla Villalobos in alone on goal. Solo charged out of the net, cut down the angle and got a piece of Villalobos’ shot, forcing it to skid wide of the left of the goal.
Next on the Schedule: The WNT continues the 2015 Victory Tour with a stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Aug. 19, where it will take on Costa Rica before a sold out crowd of over 20,000 at Finlay Stadium.
Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN (6:30 p.m. ET; Aug. 19)
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
- Christen Press scored the second hat trick of her career. Her first came in a four-goal performance against Argentina at the International Tournament of Brasilia in December of 2014.
- Heather O’Reilly notched her second multi-goal game of her career. The first came on Jan. 20, 2012, when she scored a hat trick against the Dominican Republic during Olympic Qualifying.
- The 8-0 wins ties the USA biggest win in the history of its series with Costa Rica. The WNT beat the Ticas by the same score line on two previous occasions, in 2000 and 2012.
- The crowd of 44,028 at Heinz Field is the largest stand-alone attendance on home soil in the history of the U.S. WNT.
- Ashlyn Harris got the start for the USA in goal for the first time since pitching a 1-0 shutout against England in Milton Keynes in February of this year. Hope Solo replaced her in net for the U.S. at halftime.
- This is the first game of the year that Becky Sauerbrunn did not start for the USA. She had previously started all 17 matches, playing the most minutes on the team with 1,509.
- Veterans Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone, who played all 90 minutes, both made their first starts of 2015. Boxx was removed at halftime for Morgan Brian.
- The USA remains perfect against Costa Rica, improving its all-time record to 11-0-0.
- Julie Johnston has scored all four of her WNT goals off set plays.
NOT A NATURAL
At six-years-old, Meghan was not a starter – ever. “The coach would be like, ‘We’re going to put in Meghan’ – and everybody would be like, ‘Great, now we’re going to lose.’ I was that bad,” says Klingenberg.
She blames it on being timid and shy, on not understanding anything about the game. “It was embarrassing. I was shut out from the team because I wasn’t good enough. Those are hard feelings to deal with regardless of what age you are,” says Klingenberg. “I basically thought, I have to be better at this if I want friends.”
In an effort to make her less timid, Klingenberg’s father signed her up for Taekwondo. “People kind of looked at you funny if you’re a girl, but I liked it so much that I just threw all inhibitions to the wind. It was so good for my confidence across the board. I was like, ‘Why do I care, if it really makes me this happy?’” She’s now a third-degree black belt and is definitely no longer shy. “I used to hide behind my mom’s leg – now my mom’s like, ‘What happened to you?’ I think she liked me better back then,” jokes Klingenberg, affectionately known as ‘Kling’ by those close to her.
Kling and her younger brother Drew constantly played in the basement. “I always beat him; except this one time. I was losing… and I was a very competitive little kid, and I got so ticked off that I pushed him into the wall. Unfortunately, the wall had a corner – his head just cracked open. It was bleeding and I was like, ‘You cannot tell mom about this.’ But we did, and we had to take him to the hospital. Nothing ever really changed after that. I was competitive, which made him competitive, which made me more competitive – it was just kind of this cycle.” Drew, an incoming senior on Penn State’s soccer team, who is still Kling’s go-to training partner, credits his sister with his own success. “I completely attribute me playing soccer to her,” says Drew.
2015: 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has played in all 17 games for the WNT so far this year, starting 16 and playing the fourth-most minutes on the team with 1306... Scored her first goal of 2015 and second of her international career, during the USA's 4-0 victory against New Zealand on April 4 in St. Louis... Was one of three defenders to score in the victory... Key piece of the USA's back line during the Algarve Cup, appearing in all four matches and starting three to help the USA capture its 10th title after defeating France 2-0 in the final on March 11...
2014: Cemented herself as a candidate at left or right back, started 17 of 18 games played, both career highs in a calendar year … Was sixth on the team for field players in minutes played with 1,325 … Notched her first international goal at the senior level with a goal-of-the-year level long-distance strike against Haiti during World Cup Qualifying … 2013: Played in four matches, starting three … Foot injuries kept her out of action toward the end of the year … 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, and 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: Oct. 20, 2014
Professional / Club – Allocated to the Boston Breakers for the 2014 NWSL season, but was then taken with the sixth selection of the 2014 NWSL Expansion Draft by the Houston Dash … 2014: Started all seven games in which she appeared for the Houston Dash, playing a total of 607 minutes after returning from her Swedish club … 2013: Played her second season with Tyresö, starting 17 of the 20 matches in which she appeared while scoring once … Helped the club win its Round of 32 UEFA Women’s Champions League series against French power Paris Saint-German and Round of 16 series against Danish club Fortuna … In the second leg against Fortuna, her free kick service led to a back-heel flick volley goal for U.S. teammate Whitney Engen … 2012: Played eight matches 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 assists 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.