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WNT vs. Argentina: Highlights - December 18, 2014

Christen Press (four goals) and Carli Lloyd (three goals) accounted for all of the goal scoring as the U.S. WNT defeated Argentina 7-0 in its final group match of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The victory, combined with Brazil’s win against China later in the evening, gave the USA a berth to the tournament’s title game.

WNT Defeats Argentina 7-0 in Group Finale of International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team needed to win big to put itself in position to potentially advance to the final of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia, and its offense came through. Led by four goals from Christen Press and a Carli Lloyd hat trick, the USA defeated Argentina 7-0 in its third group match at Mane Garrincha Stadium. 

Press scored three goals in the first half and the seventh of the game while Lloyd notched her second-career hat trick (the other came against Mexico on Jan. 24, 2012) and also moved into seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 61. 

With Brazil defeating China PR 4-1 in Thursday's later match, that sets up a final between the USA and host Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 21 (4 p.m. ET). Brazil went 3-0-0 in group play (9 points, plus-8 goal differential). The U.S. is second (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-6). China (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-3) will play Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points, minus-17) in the third-place game at 1 p.m. ET.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her full WNT debut and made one save to earn the clean sheet, becoming the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to post a shutout in her first cap. 

Thursday’s USA-Argentina game originally was scheduled for Wednesday and was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Morgan Brian), 7th minute: The U.S. struck quickly when Brian dribbled down the right side and forced Argentina goalkeeper Elisabeth Minnin to make the save, pushing the ball to her right. Press was on the spot to slam home the rebound. USA 1, ARG 0

USA – Christen Press (Abby Wambach), 23rd minute: In a combination on the right side of the box, Wambach played the ball to Press who took a couple dribbles and shot from 10 yards out. Elisabeth Minnin got a piece of the ball but was unable to parry it away. USA 2, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian), 30th minute: From the left side, Brian chipped in a perfect cross to Lloyd who headed it home for the three-goal cushion. The goal gave Lloyd a score in every match of the tournament. USA 3, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger), 41st minute: Right back Ali Krieger crossed the ball in to Press who flicked her shot into the net at the near post for a first-half hat trick. It was Press’ first hat trick of her WNT career. USA 4, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny), 44th minute: The outside backs continued to make an offensive impact as Chalupny dribbled up the left side of the box, beat her defender and crossed the ball in to Lloyd, who finished from close range for her second tally of the opening half. USA 5, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly), 47th minute: To open the second half, Megan Rapinoe crossed the ball in from the left side. Halftime substitute O’Reilly kept the attack alive with a high touch near the goal line and Lloyd hit a full volley into the lower left corner for her third goal of the match. USA 6, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Megan Rapinoe), 78th minute: Megan Rapinoe dribbled into the penalty area and smashed a shot that the Argentina goalkeeper could not handle cleanly. That opened the door for Press, who tapped her shot in for her fourth goal of the match and her 11th of the year. USA 7, ARG 0 (FINAL) 

Milestone Watch:

  • With at least one goal in seven consecutive games, Carli Lloyd is now two games away from matching the U.S. WNT record of nine set by Michelle Akers from April 5 to May 25, 1991. Lloyd has 10 goals during that seven-game stretch.
  • Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
  • Alyssa Naeher became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
  • Abby Wambach now has 69-career assists (third all-time). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will look ahead to the tournament's championship game against Brazil at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 21, to cap off the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. The championship game is preceded by the third-place game between China PR and Argentina at 1 p.m. ET.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 16-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • With three goals, Carli Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties her career high in a calendar year when she also scored 15 in 2012.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five starting lineup changes following the team’s 3-2 loss to Brazil.
  • Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut. She became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
  • The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, earning her second consecutive start, right back Ali Krieger and center backs Whitney Engen and Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn has started in four straight games.
  • The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured Carli Lloyd at attacking midfielder with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian behind her.
  • The front three feature Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Christen Press from left to right. Wambach wore the captain’s armband.
  • Heather O’Reilly replaced Chalupny and Megan Rapinoe entered for Heath to open the second half.
  • The USA switched to a 3-5-2 for the latter part of the game.
  • In the closing minutes, Sydney Leroux subbed for Wambach in the 81st minute and Kelley O’Hara replaced Lauren Holiday in the 84th minute.
  • Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
  • Leroux picked up a red card in second-half stoppage time and will be unavailable for the USA’s placement match on Sunday.

Unexpected Soccer Tennis

A heavy storm in Brasilia, Brazil, the night before the U.S. WNT’s scheduled match with Argentina on Dec. 17 forced the postponement of the game just hours before kickoff. Undeterred, the U.S. team got in a few highly competitive games of soccer tennis just to get the legs moving.

WNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - Dec. 14, 2014

The U.S. WNT was edged out 3-2 by Brazil in its second match at the International Tournament of Brasilia. After early goals by Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Marta responded with a hat trick to give the hosts the win.

WNT Edged 3-2 by Brazil in Second Match at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 14, 2014) – Despite taking an early two-goal lead, the U.S. Women’s National Team lost 3-2 to Marta and  Brazil in the USA’s second match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored early goals for the USA in an action packed game, but Brazilian ace Marta replied with a hat trick for the hosts. 

Brazil sits atop the tournament table with six points, followed by China PR – which beat Argentina 6-0 earlier in the day – with four. The USA is third with one point and faces last-place Argentina on Wednesday on the final day of round-robin play. The top two teams at the end of group play will meet for the championship while the third- and fourth-place teams will meet for third place. Both placement games will be on Dec. 21. The USA can still reach the championship match, but it must hope that China loses to Brazil and then make up the gap in goal difference; China is currently at +6 while the USA is at -1. 

In sharp contrast to the USA’s opening game against China, the match between the USA and Brazil was a wide open, flowing affair that featured end-to-end attacking throughout the game. Both teams carved out chances that had the crowd at Mané Garrincha Stadium regularly rising to its feet. The Americans had the better of the scoring chances, but Brazil had Marta, who made her three shots on goal count. 

The USA was unlucky to twice hit the woodwork on shots by Rapinoe and second-half sub Christen Press in the final minutes of each half, and were also thwarted on multiple occasions during the second stanza by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana, whose performance was outshone only by that of Marta. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 6th minute: End-to-end action in the opening five minutes led to a USA corner that Megan Rapinoe whipped into the heart of the Brazil penalty area. Tobin Heath was on hand to knock down an attempted Brazil clearance right to the feet of Lloyd, who controlled the ball in the middle of the six-yard box, swiveled her hips towards goal and snapped a shot into the left hand side of the frame. USA 1, BRA 0  

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach), 9th minute: Rapinoe collected the ball from Abby Wambach wide on the right flank and beat her defender with a burst of pace. As she cut toward goal, Rapinoe unleashed a stinging shot from near the top of the box that caught Brazil goalkeeper Luciana off her line and dipped into the far left side netting. USA 2, BRA 0

BRA – Marta, 19th minute: The Brazilian ace got loose in midfield and put the USA center backs under pressure with a weaving run up the middle and then across the top of the USA box. With a defender and USA goalkeeper Hope Solo closing in, Marta blasted a shot from near the penalty spot into the right side of the goal. USA 2, BRA 1 

BRA – Marta, 55th minute: Against the run of play, Marta scored a spectacular solo goal. Picking the ball up just inside her own half, the Brazil forward drove toward the top of the USA penalty area. Cutting behind a diverting run from Debinah, Marta touched the ball wide left of the net and angled a hard, low shot back across the face of goal and into the far right hand netting. USA 2, BRA 2 

BRA – Marta (Beatriz), 65th minute: Beatriz seized on a USA turnover in its own half and slipped a pass to Marta in the right channel. Marta once again carried through a crowd of players before unleashing a dipping drive from distance that squeezed past Solo at her near right post. USA 2, BRA 3 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 24th minute: With Brazil growing in confidence after scoring in the 19th minute, Klingenberg was alert to the run of Marta, tracking the Brazil attacker across the box and getting in a leaping block to deny the five-time World Player of the Year’s overhead kick attempt. 

USA – Hope Solo, 57th minute: Christie Rampone tried to guide the ball back to Solo in the USA box, but Debinha was able to slip around the veteran center back and send a strong toe poke toward goal that Solo did well to smother. 

BRA – Luciana, 75th minute: Forward Christen Press worked herself some room  to shoot from outside the top of the box and let fly with a hard shot but it was not far enough outside Luciana’s range as she dived to her left to gather the shot. 

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: The USA had numbers up on a counter attack as Press carried the ball in from the left flank. Press smacked a dipping drive while in full stride that was headed for the left upper-90, but Luciana was able to recover her momentum and made a soaring stop to keep Press from equalizing. 

BRA – Luciana, 90th minute: The USA won a free kick just outside the top middle of Brazil’s penalty area after Tobin Heath was taken down and Carli Lloyd stepped up to send a well-placed free kick toward the right-hand roof of the net, but Luciana got in a strong leaping parry to send the shot over the crossbar. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 303rd cap. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd’s 58th goal put her just two shy of Shannon MacMillan for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is also just three goals shy of her career best 15 goals she scored in a calendar year for the USA in 2012.
  • Lloyd moved past Julie Foudy into ninth place on the WNT’s all-time points list with 148 (58 goals, 32 assists). Foudy had 145-career points (45 goals, 55 assists). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will close out group play at the International Tournament of Brasilia against Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET) before playing a final placement match on Dec. 21.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 15-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT falls to 25-3-3 all-time against Brazil.
  • Outside back Lori Chalupny made her first appearance for the U.S. WNT since October of 2009, playing 31 minutes and then as planned, exited the match and was replaced by Ali Krieger.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made all of her allowed four substitutes in the match, beginning with Krieger. In the second half, Christen Press came on for Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian entered for Lauren Holiday and Samantha Mewis made her first appearance for the WNT since March 10 against Denmark in the Algarve Cup when she subbed on for Sydney Leroux with 10 minutes to play.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 90-9-14 in the 111 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
  • The match marked the first loss under head coach Jill Ellis. The U.S. is 15-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 14, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Group Play
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 5,421
Weather: 72 degrees, cloudy 

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath)                                6th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach)                   9                    
BRA – Marta                                                               19
BRA – Marta                                                               55
BRA – Marta (Beatriz)                                                65        

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 31);  12-Lauren Holiday (7-Morgan Brian, 65), 10-Carli Lloyd, 20-Abby Wambach; 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (22-Samantha Mewis, 79), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana,  3-Bruna (capt.),  4-Tayla,  11- Andressa Alves, 7-Maurine (21-Beatriz, 59), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (6-Tamires, 71), 9-Debinha, 10-Marta (17-Andressinha, 88)
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 13-Camila, 14-Monica,  15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene,  22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 20 / 8
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution)                   31st minute
USA – Hope Solo (caution)                            41
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   68
BRA – Tayla (caution)                                                89 

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a 

Budweiser Woman of the Match:   Meghan Klingenberg

2014: Set a new career-high with the WNT in appearances with 20, the only player to play in all 20 games so far … Has more than doubled her starts from the previous year with 12 and minutes played with 1115 … Has scored seven goals, including one goal against Haiti on Oct. 20 in a 6-0 USA win, and one against Mexico on Oct. 24 in the semifinal game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, helping the team to a 3-0 win and a berth into the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Played in all five games at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and finished the tournament two scores and one assist … Has averaged almost a goal for every two games she’s played over her first two years with the WNT … Also scored against Russia and Switzerland …  2013: Earned her first 12 caps while starting five games and scoring eight goals, third most on the team … Played 554 minutes and averaged a goal for 69 minutes she was on the field … Also had two assists … No American player scored more goals for club and country in 2013 as she found the net a total of 45 times, including 23 in the Damallsvenskan … Scored twice in her debut on Feb. 8 against Scotland in Jacksonville, Fla., as she made her first start … Was the 17th U.S. player to score her in debut … Also scored in her second and fourth games to become just the fifth U.S. WNT player to score at least four goals in her first four matches … Also had a two-goal game against the Netherlands on April 9 in the Hague … 2012: Trained with the full U.S. team for the first time in April of 2012 in Bradenton, Fla. … Also traveled and trained with the U.S. team for two matches in Sweden in June … Named as an alternate to the 2012 Olympic Team without previously earning a cap and traveled with the squad to the U.K. … Youth National Teams: Attended training camp with the U-23s in October of 2011 … In July of 2010, she scored three times in three matches for the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team, including in a 1-0 defeat of Sweden, as the U.S. won the Four Nations Tournament in England ... Traveled to Germany with the U.S. U-23s for a three-match tour in May of 2010 and started both matches which ended as 2-2 draws against Germany and South Korea ... Also played for the U.S. U-23s in 2009 and scored against an Irish select side during a U-23 two-match tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland ... Finished her U-23 career with five caps and three goals … Was a member of U.S. U-20 player pool in 2008 … First Appearance: Feb. 9, 2013, vs. Scotland … First Goal: Feb. 9, 2013, vs. Scotland (two goals).

2014: Joined the Chicago Red Stars midway through 2014 NWSL season … Helped team to a fifth place finish in the regular season … Despite playing and starting in just 12 matches for the Red Stars, Press led the team with six goals while playing every minute of every match she appeared in … She was named to the NWSL Best XI second team … Came to Chicago after a highly successful stint with Tyresö FF where she helped the club to UEFA Champions League Final, scoring nine total Champions League goals during that run … 2013: Signed with Stockholm-based Tyresö FF for her second season in Damallsvenskan, Sweden’s premier women’s soccer league and became the first American to lead the league in scoring, finding the net 23 times in 20 games, all starts … Also scored nine goals in the Swedish Cup, once in the Swedish Super Cup and four goals in the UEFA Champions League to help Tyresö to two-leg victories over Paris Saint- Germain (Roundof 32) and Danish club Fortuna (Round of 16) … She scored both goals in 2-1 victories in each of the first legs of the two series’… 2012: Played her first season in Damallsvenskan with Göteborg FC and finished second in the league in scoring with 17 goals … Helped Göteborg win the Swedish Cup in overtime, 2-1, against 2012 league champions and her future club, Tyresö while scoring one goal and assisting on the other … Played in 34 games (21 Damallsvenskan, six Champions League, one Supercup, and six Swedish Cup), starting 33 … Scored 25 goals in all competitions (17 Damallsvenskan, three in the Champions League and five in the Swedish Cup) … 2011: Selected with the No. 4 pick in the Women’s Professional Soccer Draft by the Washington Freedom which transitioned to the magicJack based in Boca Raton, Fla. … Played in 17 matches for magicJack spanning 1,173 minutes and scored eight goals, which included a hat trick against the Boston Breakers, and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year … 2009: Helped the Pali Blues to the W-League championship in the summer of 2009 … Youth: Played club for the Slammers FC of Newport Beach, Calif. ... Won the Golden Boot for most goals scored in the USYSA National Championship tournament … Her team won U-14 and U-16 national titles and were finalists as U-18s and U-19s.

Full name is Christen Annemarie Press … Double majored in Communications and Psychology … As a senior at Stanford, she was named to the ESPN Academic All-America First-Team ... Selected as the Pac-10’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s soccer and named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team ... As a junior, she was an Pac-10 All-Academic Second-Team Selection … As a sophomore she was Second Team All-Academic Pac-10 ... Father played football for Dartmouth … Writes a well-read and well-received blog for SoccerAmerica.com and her own website at footballschristenpress.blogspot.com … Has recently started freelance writing for several magazines … The middle of three daughters and says “we are like Alvin and the Chipmunks” … Loves the ocean and sunshine … Most days she can be found writing and sipping a cappuccino at a coffee shop … Has volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles … Lived in Madrid for three months during the winter quarter of her junior year – where she took classes only in Spanish – and taught English to Spanish-speaking kindergarten-aged children … Is fluent in Spanish … Is also learning Swedish … Enjoys the sweeter things in life, especially chocolate and pastry-type desserts … She is a daily meditator and recently turned yogi.

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