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Meghan Klingenberg

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Meghan Klingenberg's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

The only thing small about Meghan Klingenberg – just call her Kling -- is her height. Her personality, toughness, competitive desire and talent on the soccer field certainly loom large, so much so that the third-degree black belt in taekwondo has molded herself into one of the best attacking outside backs in the world. Who would have known that a girl from Pittsburgh, who did a demo with Nunchucks to NSYNC’s “Here We Go” in her fifth grade talent show, would one day rise to the U.S. Women’s National Team? Kling would -- that’s who.

Behind The Crest. Ep. 8 - #USWNT in Canada

The U.S. WNT wins the World Cup and celebrates with fans in this final episode of Behind the Crest from Canada. After a great win against Japan in Vancouver, the team goes on set at FOX, heads back to the USA to present the trophy to fans in Los Angeles and caps it off with a historic ticker tape parade in New York City.

WNT Celebrates World Cup Title in Los Angeles

The U.S. Women’s National Team celebrated its historic World Cup victory with 10,000 fans at LA LIVE in Los Angeles. Fresh from their 5-2 win against Japan on Sunday in Vancouver, the WNT landed in the USA and promptly shared the triumph with some of the #BestFansintheWorld. Now onto NYC for a ticker tape parade!

Ticket Sales Surge Past 30,000 Mark as Pittsburgh Gets Set to Host World Cup Champs

CHICAGO (July 7, 2015) – More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s first post-Women’s World Cup match against Costa Rica on Sunday, Aug. 16, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Following the U.S. WNT’s historic Women’s World Cup victory on July 5, ticket sales increased rapidly, forcing the upper level stands of Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, to be opened in order to accommodate the large number of fans  wanting to see the World Cup Champions live. The game will kick off at 1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. Tickets are still available. (TICKETS)

The return to Pittsburgh will be a homecoming of sorts for U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg, who hails from nearby Gibsonia. Klingenberg was one of five players who played every minute during the USA’s run to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup title, as well as part of the backline that shut down opponents for 540 consecutive minutes, the second-best streak in WWC history. Over the course of seven games, the U.S. Women only allowed three goals.

The WNT’s match in Pittsburgh marks the team’s second visit to Heinz Field, after defeating Iceland there by a 3-0 score in 2004, following the USA’s Olympic gold medal run in Greece. The USA has played 15 times previously in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Three days after facing Costa Rica in Pittsburgh, the World Cup Champs will play a second friendly against its CONCACAF rival in front of over 20,000 fans at Finley Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 19 in Chattanooga, Tennessee (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Tickets for that match are sold out, with the number setting a WNT attendance record in the state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Milestone Watch:

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

Additional Notes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

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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.”

Meghan Klingenberg

KARATE CHOP

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.

Meghan Klingenberg

SIBLING WARS

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. 


U.S. National Team: An industrious defender with the ability to make quality contributions on offense, Klingenberg earned her way onto the National Team after a successful stint in Scandinavia to play her club football. Broke into the WNT consistently upon her return to play in the NWLS when the new league launched in 2013.

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.

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