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WNT vs. China: Highlights - April 10, 2014

Carli Lloyd became the ninth player to reach the 50-goal milestone with a brace and the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated China PR 3-0 in front of 12,857 fans at Qualcomm Stadium.

Studio 90: WNT Trio Shoots for Champions League Title

U.S. forward Christen Press and defenders Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg have helped their Swedish club Tyresö FF advance to the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinal round, where it will face Birmingham FC of England in a two-leg series on April 19 and 27. Whenever their Champions League run ends, the U.S. trio will head back to home to join the NWSL, Press with the Chicago Red Stars and Engen and Klingenberg with the expansion Houston Dash. They have their sights set on a Champions League title, a feat accomplished by just one other U.S. WNT player – Ali Krieger with FFC Frankfurt in 2007-2008.

WNT vs. China: Field Level Highlights - Apr. 6, 2014

Field Level Highlights from the U.S. Women's National Team's 2-0 victory against China PR on April 6, 2014 in Commerce City, Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

WNT vs. China PR: Full Match - April 6, 2014

Lauren Holiday scored an unassisted goal in the first half and Megan Rapinoe followed with a second-half goal off a direct free kick as the U.S. Women's National Team defeated China PR 2-0 in front of 14,903 fans at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

U.S. WNT vs. Japan: Post-Match Quotes - March 5, 2014

U.S. WNT vs. Japan
Post-Match Quotes – March 5, 2014
Algarve Cup – Group B

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“I thought we did more than enough to win the game, and we had enough chances to probably win two or three games. But, it’s the classic tale that if you don’t take your chances when the game is at one-nil. It’s always very dangerous, particularly when you are playing quality opposition. One free kick, which was a bit questionable, and suddenly the score is one-all.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“Other than the result, which is disappointing, the actual performance, the chances we created, the way we pressured Japan, the amount of balls we won in the Japanese half, and the way we just generally, particularly in the second half, dominated the game, I thought was fanatic. If we had ended up winning the game I’d have been elated, rather than feeling a little bit deflated, simply because of the result.”

On the team defense creating offensive chances:
“I thought we did exceptionally well by winning the ball and really counter attacking and even in the first half we could have scored four goals in the counter-attack. In the level of the performance, and in a lot of things we talked about and worked on at training, they did come out in the game. But funny old thing about soccer, it’s just a tight game and often the result masks the performance.”

U.S. WNT forward CHRISTEN PRESS
On the match:

“I think overall it was a good match for both sides. There was a lot of good possession out there, but it was the first game of the tournament so we had to shake our legs out a bit. I think we are a little disappointed not to come away with the win after having the lead, but I think we are moving in the right direction as a team.”

On creating quite a bit of danger down the wings:
“We were trying to swing the point out attack more than we usually do. I think that opened up some spaces and we created a good amount of chances in front of the goal so that was really good for us.”

On creating so many chances against the world’s third-ranked Japan:
“Going out there and being able to play a game like this against one of the world’s best team means a lot of our team. It’s good for our confidence. Sweden will be a totally different opponent, but if we can come and impose our style every game against every opponent, that will help us a lot going into the World Cup qualifiers (at the end of this year).”

U.S. WNT forward SYDNEY LEROUX
On her goal, which came when she blocked a clearance from the Japanese goalkeeper:
“I think the center-back played to the goalie and the goalie kind of just took a touch and looked to play someone, and I pressured her and slid and hit it. It kind of ricocheted perfectly off my foot into the net. I thought I had could get it. She was very lackadaisical, so I said, ‘ok, I’ll pounce,’ and I got her.”

On the USA creating chances:
“We had a lot of chances that we should have finished, but that’s the game of soccer so hopefully we’ll come out next game and finish those chances.”

U.S. WNT midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY

On dealing with the windy conditions:

“It was pretty windy out there, but we’re used to this when we come to the Algarve. It’s always going to be a battle of the elements, sometimes with the field and wind and stuff like that, but we got the ball down and knocked it around and did some good stuff today. We’re disappointed that we didn’t come away with the win, but we are happy how we dominated the game in certain points.”

On pressuring Japan to spur the U.S. attack:
“Our offense a lot of times starts with our defense and in the first half we were maybe a little bit conservative and sort of over-respected the Japanese possession. In the second half, we won the ball higher up the field and that allowed us to create chances offensively on the attack so it really just stemmed from good defense I think.”

U.S. WNT and Japan Draw 1-1 at 2014 Algarve Cup Opener

  • Sydney Leroux’s 27th International Goal Comes Off Block of Japan Goalkeeper Clearance
  • USA Out-Shoots Japan 20-8, Japan Captain Aya Miyama Equalizes with Late Free Kick
  • WNT Will Face Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira, Portugal, in Second Group B Match 

PARCHAL, Portugal (March 5, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team certainly did enough to win, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Japan in the first Group B match for both teams at the 2014 Algarve Cup.

Up next for the USA will be Sweden on March 7 in Albufeira, Portugal (8:30 a.m. ET), in a match that will have major implications for the USA’s Algarve Cup championship game aspirations. The team must win the group to advance to the final. Fans can follow USA-Sweden on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and watch highlights on ussoccer.com.

Despite creating the vast majority of dangerous scoring chances, the USA’s lone goal was a bit quirky, coming in the 59th minute when forward Sydney Leroux slid to block a clearance from Japan goalkeeper Erina Yamane, and the ball bounced back into the open net.

Just moments after Leroux had sprinted down the right wing and passed back to Christen Press, whose shot was saved by Yamane, the Japan goalkeeper received a pass back from her centerback and was just a bit too casual for the speedy Leroux, who sprinted hard at the 21-year-old ‘keeper from her left side and managed to ricochet the attempted clearance into the net from 12 yards out.

While the goal was unusual, the USA certainly deserved it and perhaps a few more. In fact, the U.S. put the ball into the Japan net just 72 seconds into the match, when Leroux’s shot hit a defender and bounced to Carli Lloyd, who finished her volley well from an offside position. Lloyd led a U.S. midfield that won numerous balls in dangerous spots, allowing the American counter-attack to flourish while putting Japan’s back line on their heels for most of the game.

Leroux had a chance off a right-side cross from Ali Krieger in the 12th minute that was going to stick into the upper right corner, but the 6-foot-1 Yamane palmed the shot up into the air, and it was headed off the line by a Japan defender.

In the 22nd minute, Heather O’Reilly darted past a defender into the right side of the penalty box and dribbled almost all the way to the near post, but her cross into a crowded goal mouth was cleared.

Leroux had a multitude of chances in both halves. In the 29th minute, she out-muscled a defender into the right side of the penalty area, but stuck her shot into the side-netting outside the right post. The USA counter-attacked with tremendous speed, creating numerous dangerous situations down the wings and in the 32nd minute, O’Reilly got free down the left, but her cross on the ground just eluded Leroux who was sliding through the goal box.

The Americans were going against the wind in the first half and as soon as they switched sides, the attacked picked up more steam. The USA fired 16 shots after the break to Japan’s three, and just four minutes into the second half, O’Reilly put Press behind the defense with a through ball. Her shot brought a nice save from Yamane, who knocked it away for a corner kick, and Leroux headed the ensuing service on goal, but it was cleared off the line by a defender.

Press played well, holding the ball in the attacking third, but also while running at the Japan back line, and in the 68th minute, she streaked down the left after a long throw-in and played a pass on the ground the O’Reilly at the near post, but under pressure, she pushed it just wide left.

In the 73rd minute Leroux smacked a shot from distance off the outside of the left post and then she had a great chance to win it in the 89 th, bulling her way past a defender into the right side of the penalty area, but cut her shot just past the far post from 15 yards out.

Japan was content to sit back for most of the match, but made a push with about 15 minutes left and got a questionable call in the 83rd minute when Becky Sauerbrunn was called for a hand ball while blocking a service that appeared to hit her chest.

Japan’s captain Aya Miyama took the freekick from about 35 yards out, hitting a wicked knuckler that  diving U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo could only parry into the upper right corner to tie the score at 1-1.

Japan also had a chance to win it late. In the 87th minute, Rumi Utsugi sent her volley wide left from close range as U.S. defenders converged.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA extended its current overall unbeaten streak to 43 games (36-0-7) dating back to March of 2012 when it lost to Japan during group play at the Algarve Cup.
  • The USA moved to 3-0-1 on the year with its first draw of 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT improved to 24-1-5 all-time against Japan.
  • The USA is now 16-0-4 under head coach Tom Sermanni.
  • Sermanni made just two substitutions in the match, sending on Tobin Heath for Heather O’Reilly and Kristie Mewis for Morgan Brian, both in the 73 rd minute.
  • It was the first appearance in a U.S. uniform for Heath, who struggled to overcome an ankle injury, since June 15, 2013, when she played 90 minutes against Korea Republic.
  • O’Reilly earned her 197th cap and is now just three games away from becoming the ninth WNT player to reach the 200-game mark.
  • With U.S. captain Christie Rampone and co-captain Abby Wambach not seeing action, Becky Sauerbrunn captained the U.S. team, as she did in the opening game of the Algarve Cup last year.
  • Twenty-one-year-old Morgan Brian made just her third start and earned her sixth cap.
  • The most recent U.S. tie in the Algarve Cup came in last year’s tournament, a 1-1 draw with Sweden in the final group game, a result that sent the USA to the championship game.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: March 5, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Belavista Municipal Stadium; Parchal, Portugal
Kickoff: 7:45 a.m. ET / 12:45 p.m. local
Attendance: 500
Weather: 66 degrees, windy, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1          2          F
USA                         0          1          1
JPN                         0          1          1

USA – Sydney Leroux                        59th minute
JPN – Aya Miyama                              83

Lineups:
USA:
1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 73), 7-Morgan Brian (19-Kristie Mewis, 73), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 23-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 12-Samantha Mewis, 13-Sarah Hagen, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 20-Abby Wambach, 21-Jill Loyden, 25-Meghan Klingenberg 
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

JPN: 21-Erina Yamane; 2-Yukari Kinga, 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 19-Saori Ariyoshi (5-Aya Sameshima, 38); 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (22-Nanase Kiryu, 68), 8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 59), 10-Homare Sawa (13-Rumi Utsugi, 76); 11-Shinobu Ohno, 17-Yuki Ogimi (15-Megumi Takase, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 7-Kozue Ando, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 18-Ayumi Kaihori, 20-Kana Kitahara, 23-Emi Nakajima                   
Head coach: Norio Sasaki

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 20 / 8
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6 
Corner Kicks: 2 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 5
Offside: 2 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
JPN -- Rumi Utsugi (caution)                           87th minute

Officials:
Referee: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Chrysoula Kouromplyia (GRE)   
Assistant Referee 2: Judith Romano Garcia (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodora Albon (ROM)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux  

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: None … First Goal: None.
2013: Signed with Stockholm-based Tyresö for her second season in Damallsvenskan, Sweden’s premier women’s soccer league … 2012: Played her first season in Damallsvenskan with Göteborg 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 … 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 … 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 … 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 or shoe shopping … 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 kindergarten-aged children … Is proficient in Spanish, but wants to get better … Is also learning Swedish … Has a “really bad” sweet tooth, especially chocolate and pastry-type desserts.Had a brilliant college career at Stanford from 2007-10, breaking school records for career points (183), goals (71), assists (41) and shots (500) ... Set single-season school records for shots (180) and game-winning goals (10), and tied the mark for goals (26) ... In 2010, she became the second consecutive Stanford player to win the MAC Hermann Trophy, college soccer's most prestigious award ... She received Pac-10 First or Second-Team honors all four years … Stanford had a 67-0-1 record when Press had a goal or assist during her collegiate career ... Is the Cardinal's all-time scorer in NCAA Tournament play with 13 goals … As a senior in 2010 she not only won the MAC Hermann Trophy as the nation's best player, but also won national player of the year awards from Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer ... Was named the Pac-10 Conference Player of the Year and earned NSCAA First-Team All-America honors for the first time … Was also a Soccer America MVPs First-Team selection for the second time ... Named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team for the third consecutive season ... Named NSCAA All-Pacific Region First-Team ... An All-Pac-10 First-Team selection for the second time ... Was the national leader in goals (26) and points (60) while helping the Cardinal reach the College Cup final while compiling a 23-1-2 record ... Her 26 goals tied the school’s single-season scoring record, set in 2009 by Kelley O'Hara ... Led Stanford to its second consecutive perfect conference season, sending the team to its third consecutive College Cup ... Scored her first collegiate hat trick in a 6-1 victory over Utah in Santa Clara on Sept. 17 ... Had either a goal or assist over a stretch of 18 consecutive matches ... Scored or assisted in 20 of Stanford’s 26 matches ... Had seven multi-goal matches in 2010 ... Scored on a curving left-footed shot in the 32nd minute to give Stanford its first-ever lead against North Carolina (Aug. 27) in a 2-2 draw ... Broke the Stanford career scoring record on an unassisted 20-yarder in the 59th minute against USC (Oct. 8), breaking Sarah Rafanelli’s mark of 59 that had stood since 1993 ... Scored twice in a 2-0 victory over visiting Oregon State – the first on a full volley – to decide the Pac-10 title (Nov. 5) ... Scored twice in a 3-0 NCAA third-round victory in the rain against visiting UCLA (Nov. 19) ... Had a school-record 10 game-winning goals. As a Junior in 2009 she scored a golden goal on a screaming 24-yarder in the 94th minute against UCLA in the NCAA College Cup semifinals in chilly and windy conditions in College Station, Texas, to give Stanford a 2-1 victory ... Had the second-highest scoring season in Stanford history to date, with 21 goals and 16 assists for 58 points ... Tied for the national lead in assists … Top Drawer Soccer’s National Co-Player of the Year with O’Hara ... Combined with O’Hara on 19 goals ... Press and O’Hara scored 47 of Stanford’s 80 goals and combined for 123 points, the most for a tandem in the country since 2005 ... Had seven game-winning goals ... Received her first All-America honor by being named to the NSCAA Second-Team ... Named to Soccer America's MVPs First-Team … Named to the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team for the second consecutive season ... Scored the fastest goal in Stanford history, only 23 seconds into Stanford’s 2-0 victory over BYU (Nov. 14) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament ... Named NSCAA All-Pacific Region First-Team and All-Pac-10 First-Team … As a Sophomore in 2008, she had 16 goals and 11 assists (43 points), the second-highest single-season point total in school history at the time ... Named Second-Team All-West Region and Second-Team All-Pac-10 ... Only Stanford player named to the College Cup All-Tournament team ... Had a goal or an assist in 19 matches ... As a freshman in 2007 she was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Second-Team All-Pac-10 and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team ... Started in 18 of 21 appearances ... Led the team in assists (6) and was second in goals (8), points (22) and shots (60) … A 2007 graduate of Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif. ... A 2006 NSCAA High School All-American and a Parade All-American ... Was a two-year team captain and four-year starter ... Led Dolphins to two Southern Section Division IV titles ... Scored 128 high school goals, including a school-record 38 as a junior ... A two-time Southern Section Division IV Offensive Player of the Year ... A four-time Prep League Offensive MVP ... Also won letters in track and tennis.
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