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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.

#USWNT Hits up Good Morning America, Meets Ed Sheeran

The U.S. Women’s National Team was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning along with Grammy nominated artist, Ed Sheeran.

The team traveled by ferry to New York City’s Central Park before getting to meet the British pop star and chat with GMA hosts, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee and Amy Robach.

WNT Surprise Lunch with GMA's Robin Roberts

U.S. Soccer hosted Media Day for the U.S. Women’s National Team Wednesday afternoon at the New York Marriott Marquis. Over 190 media members attended the event in Manhattan to preview the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and ask about the team’s preparations ahead of their final Send-Off Series match this Saturday.

Prior to the press conferences and round table discussions, the players ate lunch with a special guest.

Robin Roberts, anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America, gave praise to the athletes gearing up to represent their country next month and also gave them a bit of perspective.


#USWNT attacker Christen Press chats with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts at lunch during Media Day before the 2015 Women's World Cup.

“In life, it’s what you overcome that stays with you,” said Roberts, who recently overcame Breast Cancer and Leukemia. “It builds your character and that really makes you who you are.”

“Watching Robin’s very public personal journey battling her disease [and] seeing her come out of it in such a positive way, doing the things that she still loves, is really an inspiration,” said U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg. “There needs to be more people like her in the world.”


#USWNT defender Meghan Klingenberg and Robin Roberts share a moment during Media Day.

The United States will play Korea Republic in their final match of the Send-Off Series this Saturday at Red Bull Arena. A limited number of tickets are still available for purchase.

HIGHLIGHTS: WNT Turns on Second-Half Style in 5-1 Romp over Mexico

Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Leroux, Wambach Power USA to 5-1 Send-Off Series Victory against Mexico

CARSON, CALIFORNIA (May 17, 2015) – Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Before a sellout crowd of 27,000, the largest-ever for the WNT at StubHub Center, the U.S. outshot Mexico 12-4 in the first half and put eight shots on goal while producing a number of close opportunities that required all manner of blocks and saves from the Mexico defense and goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (five first-half saves), who kept things close with a fine performance.

After the U.S. broke through midway through the opening frame, Mexico struck back late in the first half as the teams entered the break knotted 1-1. But the USA turned on the style in the second half with four unanswered goals to put the match out of sight.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe), 28th minute: 
Sydney Leroux made a perfectly-timed run onto a Megan Rapinoe through-ball that sliced through Mexico’s defense. From the left side, Leroux found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and made a touch with the outside of her left foot to dart around the keeper. Then from a difficult angle, Leroux blasted a left-footed shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)

MEX- Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra), 39th minute: From a free kick, Bianca Sierra bent a long, curling ball in from the left. Hope Solo went out to punch it clear, but Ariana Calderon was first to ball and headed it in to the vacated net, ending the U.S.’s shutout streak at five games. USA 1, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach), 46th minute: Out of the second-half gate, the U.S. pressured with an immediate attack. Two second-half subs made the goal happen. Abby Wambach was the first to a deflected, rolling ball in the box. She controlled near the post with her back to a pressing ‘keeper and defender. Sensing the defense, Wambach dished it out to a waiting Chalupny, who fired and buried a near-post goal, just out of reach of the diving Santiago. USA 2, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (penalty kick), 58th minute: Mexico’s Arianna Romero went to clear away a U.S. corner kick, but sent her clearance off her hand to set up a USA penalty kick. Abby Wambach lined up, and blasted a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal. USA 3, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian), 61st minute: Leroux’s second goal of the night was similar to her first, only this time it came from the right side. Leroux ran onto a Morgan Brian ball and made one right-footed touch to get outside of the closing goalkeeper. With the room the touch created, Leroux finished into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 4, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA- Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath), 72nd minute: From the left edge of the box, Tobin Heath left her defender behind with a wicked cut, which gave her room to send a cross to Abby Wambach at the back post. Wambach out-jumped a pair of defenders to head home her second goal of the night. USA 5, MEX 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
MEX- Cecilia Santiago, 10th minute (save):
 Megan Rapinoe played a ball through the middle to Christen Press who completed the one-two by leading Rapinoe with a perfectly-timed pass. Rapinoe, ripped a shot from the center of the box, but Santiago was there to meet her and cut down the angle to make a quick save.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 14th minute (block and save): In the closing seconds of the 14th minute, the Mexico defense rallied to stand firm and hold off a barrage of close-range U.S. shots. The action began when Morgan Brian brought the ball down the right side and looped a cross to a breaking Christen Press at the back post. Press connected with a header that beat the keeper, but Mexico’s Alina Garcíamendez headed it off the line and away. Garcíamendez’s key stop rolled out to a waiting Sydney Leroux, who took a shot that deflected off a defender to Megan Rapinoe on the left. Rapinoe sent a rocket from five yards out that connected with Santiago’s face and bounced out to Carli Lloyd on the opposite side of the goal. Lloyd then headed back across to Rapinoe, who headed another shot on target, but Santiago had recovered to make the save again, this time holding on to put an end to the U.S. attack.

MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 43rd minute (block and save): For the second time in the half, the Mexico goalkeeper and defender rallied to hold off a series of USA shots. Leroux again chased down a ball on the left side, but seeing the defense closing in, cut back and passed off to Lauren Holiday. From 25 yards out Holiday ripped a shot at Santiago, who blocked it. Megan Rapinoe followed the shot and looked to put in the rebound, but Santiago made a diving reaction save to deflect it away again. Morgan Brian ran onto the deflection and fired a shot of her own, but Garcíamendez stepped in front and blocked it aside.

Milestone Watch:

  • The crowd of 27,000 was the largest in WNT history when playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 181st and 182nd international goals. Wambach is the team’s leading goal-scorer in 2015 with five scores.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wntFacebook; Instagram @ussoccer_wnt

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improved its record against rival Mexico to 31-1-1, and the WNT has outscored its North American foe 139-12. The win also extended the WNT’s perfect record against Mexico in Carson to 8-0-0.
  • The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak in Carson to 11 games. The team holds an immaculate 11-0-0 record that dates back to its first matchup at the home of the LA Galaxy back in 2003. The USA has outscored opponents 42-4 in Carson. No team has ever scored more than one goal against the U.S. Women while playing in Carson.
  • Abby Wambach’s pair of goals brought her career scoring total against Mexico to 24 goals. Wambach has scored more goals against Mexico than against any other team. It was her eight multi-goal game against Mexico.
  • Sydney Leroux made her first start of the 2015 season and scored her second and third goals of the year. Her last start came in the WNT’s 3-2 defeat in the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament to host Brazil on Dec. 14, 2014.
  • While the five-game shutout streak for the U.S. has ended; in its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and scored 20.
  • Lori Chalupny’s goal was her second of the year, with her first coming in the U.S’s 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4.
  • Midfielder Tobin Heath, who missed last game with a tender hamstring, returned today and recorded an assist.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 17, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy 

Scoring Summary:                1          2          F
USA                                        1          4          5
MEX                                       1          0          1 

USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe)      28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra)        39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach)       46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick)           58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian)         61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath)          72 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar 

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Katherine Daniela Jimenez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelly Odette Alvarado Quiros (CRC)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux

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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: 
Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has played in all nine games for the WNT so far this year, starting eight... 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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