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WNT Set for Semifinal with Women’s World Cup Berth on the Line

The U.S. WNT is focused and ready for its semifinal clash with Mexico in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. After handily winning Group A, the U.S. team is taking nothing for granted as a victory will earn a berth to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Photo Gallery: WNT Beats Haiti at 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship

Photos from the U.S. WNT's 6-0 win against Haiti in its final Group A game at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.

WNT vs. Haiti: Highlights - Oct. 20, 2014

USA all-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States soundly defeated Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium to earn first place in Group A and a top seed heading into the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

WNT Defeats Haiti 6-0 to Earn Top Seed in Semifinals of 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team is one victory away from booking its spot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 

USA all-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States soundly defeated Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium to earn first place in Group A and a top seed heading into the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The U.S. will face the Group B runner-up on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. 

Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Morgan Brian each scored a goal, and defender Meghan Klingenberg added her first international tally. 

The top three teams in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship earn automatic qualification to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the fourth-place team enters a two-leg playoff against South American third-place finisher Ecuador for the final berth.

The USA’s semifinal opponent will be determined Tuesday with the conclusion of Group B play, and the U.S. WNT will take on the runner-up from that group. Costa Rica (2-0-0, 6 points) currently holds the top spot, followed by Mexico (1-1-0, 3 points) and Jamaica (1-1-0, 3 points). Martinique (0-0-2, 0 points) is in last place, but could not qualify for the semifinal stage anyway as it is not recognized as a FIFA country. 

Trinidad & Tobago was the Group A runner-up, holding off Guatemala for a 2-1 win earlier Monday to conclude the group stage with a 2-1-0 record and six points. Trinidad & Tobago will face the Group B winner in the semifinals. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd, 9th minute: USA left back Meghan Klingenberg crossed the ball to the top of the six-yard box, where Abby Wambach and Haiti goalkeeper Geralda Saintilus met for a 50-50 challenge. Saintilus stepped in front of the pass and batted it away; however, she was unable to clear the ball out of the box and was well off her line when the USA retained possession. Lloyd collected the deflection, chested down to her foot and slotted into the net for her second goal of the tournament. USA 1, HAI 0

USA – Abby Wambach, 38th minute: Christen Press cut to her left foot and lofted a dangerous ball into the middle of the box with Wambach running straight at the goal. Haiti defender Roselord Borgella stretched with her right foot to intercept, but instead of clearing the danger, the deflection stayed in line with Wambach’s run. The all-time goal scoring leader headed the ball into the net without breaking stride to push the USA lead to two heading into halftime. USA 2, HAI 0 

USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 57th minute: Second-half sub Heather O’Reilly brought some high energy from the right flank and had ample space on this sequence to cross into the box. Haiti’s defense cleared the ball about eight yards above the box, where Klingenberg stepped up with a laser of a right-footed shot that was out of the reach of Saintilus and into the right side of the frame. It was Klingenberg’s first goal in 19 international games. USA 3, HAI 0 

USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 60th minute: Lloyd won the header at the top of the box and her pass found its way between two Haiti defenders at the edge of the six, where Wambach volleyed it home with her right foot past Saintilus. With her brace, Wambach now leads the U.S. WNT with 10 goals in 2014. USA 4, HAI 0 

USA – Christen Press, 65th minute: A couple minutes after they entered the match Sydney Leroux and Morgan Brian created the USA’s next scoring chance, with Leroux crossing from the right side and Brian redirecting the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Haiti’s defense once again got a deflection but could not clear, and Press rushed a left-footed shot into the left side of the goal. USA 5, HAI 0 

USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press), 82nd minute: Press dribbled to the end line to elude her defender and crossed toward the penalty spot, where Brian shot from about eight yards out into the right side of the frame. It was Brian’s third goal in 14 appearances. USA 6, HAI 0 (FINAL) (Highlights)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 5th minute: Just several minutes after Carli Lloyd saw a goal disallowed because of an offside call, the USA attacked again with veteran striker Abby Wambach threatening the net. Wambach struck left-footed from the left side of the box, searching for the far right post. Saintilus secured the save on the low attempt and did not allow a rebound to keep the match scoreless in the early stages. 

USA – Whitney Engen, 33rd minute: The USA had a bad giveaway in midfield that opened a window for Haiti. Marie Jean Pierre collected the loose ball and rushed toward the net. The U.S. WNT’s back line recovered and Engen blocked Jean Pierre’s shot attempt a couple yards outside the area. 

HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 72nd and 74th minutes: In the first of these sequences, Sydney Leroux nearly had a highlight reel effort when she attempted a diving header on Heather O’Reilly’s cross from the right. Though Leroux missed on the header, the ball fell to her between a pair of Haiti defenders and Leroux managed to get a left-footed shot off, only to have Saintilus come away with the save. Two minutes later, O’Reilly threatened the net, and her attempt deflected off of a defender and was headed to the right side of the frame. Saintilus dove to her left to again limit the damage of the USA’s heavy attack.

Milestone Watch:

  • Abby Wambach added to her all-time goal scoring record, notching goals No. 172 and 173 of her 226-game international career.
  • Wambach scored her 13th and 14th goals in World Cup qualifying, passing Mia Hamm (12) for second place on the USA’s all-time list. Michelle Akers holds the U.S. WNT record with 17 goals in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
  • Wambach made her 12th appearance in a World Cup qualifying match, which ties her with Julie Foudy and Hamm for second on the U.S. WNT’s all-time list. Kristine Lilly is the USA’s all-time leader with 17 games in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
  • Carli Lloyd scored the 53rd goal of her career, tying Carin Gabarra (53 goals from 1987-96) for eighth-place on the U.S. WNT all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is the WNT’s top scorer among players who have exclusively played as midfielders. 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will face the Group B runner-up in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 and multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOXSportsGo.com.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 13-2-3 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT is 4-0-0 all-time against Haiti. The USA has outscored Haiti 29-0 in its four meetings.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five changes to her starting lineup following the team’s 5-0 victory against Guatemala. Three changes were on the defensive side of the ball, including the first start of the tournament for goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Harris earned her fourth-career cap and her second of 2014.
  • The back line included two returning starters in left back Meghan Klingenberg and center back Whitney Engen. Kelley O’Hara got the call ahead of Ali Krieger at right back, and center back and team captain Christie Rampone returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the Guatemala match. Rampone is now one cap away from 300 for her career.
  • The USA’s midfield remained unchanged from the Guatemala game with returning starters Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
  • The front three of the USA’s 4-3-3 formation included returning starter Tobin Heath, fresh off her two-goal effort against Guatemala, along with Abby Wambach and Christen Press. Wambach had started and scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and sat out the Guatemala game. Press was a first-half sub for Alex Morgan when she injured her ankle against Guatemala.
  • Heather O’Reilly entered the game to start the second half, replacing Rapinoe.
  • After the USA pushed its lead to four goals, Ellis utilized her final two subs with Sydney Leroux replacing Wambach in the 62nd minute and Morgan Brian entering for Heath in the 63rd minute. Brian made her first appearance in the tournament.
  • The USA could have added to its lead on several occasions, the most noteworthy being Sydney Leroux’s 80th-minute shot ricocheting off the right post.
  • Press is now the only USA player to have made an appearance in all 18 games this year.
  • Harris earned her first-career clean sheet in four appearances.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 88-8-13 in the 109 games that Rampone has been the team captain.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: Oct. 20, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: 6,421
Weather: 62 degrees, cool 

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            2          4          6
HAI                              0          0          0           

USA – Carli Lloyd                                        9th minute         
USA – Abby Wambach                                38
USA – Meghan Klingenberg                        57
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)          61
USA – Christen Press                                   65
USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press)         82 

Lineups:
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 14-Christen Press, 20-Abby Wambach (2-Sydney Leroux, 62), 17-Tobin Heath  (7-Morgan Brian, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

HAI: 1-Geralda Saintilus; 4-Kencia Marseille (capt.), 6-Kimberly Boulos (8-Kensie Bobo,56), 9-Lindsay Zullo, 11-Woodlyne Robuste (10-Wisline Dolce, 60), 13-Marie Jean Pierre, 14-Samantha Brand, 15-Shanna Hudson (3-Generve Charles, 84), 17-Yvrose Gervil, 18-Roselord Borgella, 19-Clorene Rateau          
Subs Not Used: 2-Natacha Cajuste, 5-Dieunise Jean Baptiste, 7-Manoucheka Pierre-Louis, 12-Cynthia Chery, 16-Sindy Jeune, 20-Schmid Charles
Head Coach: Shek Borkowski 

Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 20 / 1
Shots on Goal: 12 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 12 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 6 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
None 

Officials:
Referee: Quetzali Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Stacy-Ann Greyson (JAM)
Fourth Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lauren Holiday


Photo Gallery: WNT Tops Group A with Win

Photos from the U.S. WNT's 5-0 win against Guatemala in its second game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.

Leroux opened 2012 in dramatic fashion by tying a U.S. WNT record with five goals during the USA's 13-0 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying win against Guatemala on Jan. 20 in Vancouver, Canada, where Leroux grew up. All of her goals came in the second half in just her second international cap.

2012: Had a breakout year, playing in 27 games, all as a reserve, and set a U.S. record for most goals as a substitute with 14, which were the first 14 of her career … Averaged a goal for every 37 minutes she was on the field … In her second career cap against Guatemala at CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, she scored the first five goals of her career, all in the second half, in her hometown of Vancouver, Canada … Played in three games during Olympic qualifying as the USA won the regional title … Made her first world championship team at the senior level for the 2012 Olympics and played off the bench in four games … Scored her first Olympic goal against New Zealand in the quarterfinal, sealing the 2-0 victory in Newcastle … Scored the winning goal against Norway in a 2-1 victory in group play at the Algarve Cup … Also scored against Denmark at the Algarve Cup … Had a two-goal game against Ireland on Nov. 28 during the Fan Tribute Tour … 2011: A prolific scorer with the U.S. Under-20 WNT, she earned her first cap with the senior team at the beginning of 2011 … Made the roster for the Four Nations Tournament in China in January and came off the bench late in the game in the first match of the tournament against Sweden … Youth National Teams: One of the most dangerous forwards in the world at the U-20 level, finished her U-20 career as the USA’s most-capped player (39) and highest scorer at this level (24) … The USA’s all-time leading scorer in U-20 Women’s World Cups with 10 goals … Played in 18 international matches in 2010, including four at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and scored 17 goals in those games … Scored against Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Germany, England, New Zealand, Japan, Ghana, Switzerland and Korea Republic in 2010 … Scored a hat trick against Switzerland at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, just the third ever in a Women’s World Cup by a U.S. player … A member of the U.S. team that won the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championships in Guatemala to earn a berth to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, she scored the winning goal in the final minutes of the 1-0 victory against Mexico in the championship game … Started all five games in Guatemala and led the USA in scoring with six goals, scoring two each against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and two against Mexico, one in group play and one in the final … Also a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile … She became the first American since Carin Gabarra in 1991 to win the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player at a FIFA Women’s World Cup … She also won the Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, including the first in the 2-1 championship game victory against Korea DPR … At the age of 14, she was a member of Canada’s team that played in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand, where she was the youngest player in the tournament ... Served as captain of Canada’s U-15 team that traveled to Germany in 2005 but got her clearance from FIFA to change associations to the USA in 2008 and went on to star at the U-20 Women’s World Cup … First Appearance: Jan. 21, 2011, vs. Sweden … First Goal: Jan. 22, 2012, vs. Guatemala (5 goals).

Allocated to the Boston Breakers for the inaugural NWSL season … 2012: Taken with the first pick in the 2012 WPS Draft by the Atlanta Beat, but never played after the league ceased operations … 2011: Played with the W-League Vancouver Whitecaps in her hometown during the summer, scoring 11 goals in 11 games with two assists … Youth Club: Won provincials three years in a row with the Coquitlam City Wild, where she played from U-14s through U-16s … 2004: The Wild won the national championship, where she had two four-goal games and more than 11 goals in the four-game tournament ... Youngest player to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps Club in the W-League at the age of 15 ... 2005: Won a championship with Team BC at the Canada Games in 2005 where she scored in the final ... 2006: Member of three state cup-winning teams in the United States, helping Eastside (Seattle, Wash.) to a title in 2006 before moving to Arizona where she played for Sereno in 2007 and 2008.
Full name is Sydney Rae Leroux … Nickname is “Syd” … Majored in history at UCLA and graduated in the Fall of 2012 … While in Canada, she also won provincials in the 400-meter relay as a member of the track team ... Loves Vancouver, Canada, where she grew up … Gives much credit in her youth development to club coaches Chico Munoz and Les Armstrong … Loves animals and has a rather fierce Chihuahua named Boss who is eight pounds … Has confessed that she has a “ridiculous” amount of clothes … Loves wearing heels, but admits she can’t walk in them very well … Always has her nails done … Mom is Canadian and played third base for the Canadian National Softball Team … Father is American and played Major League Baseball with the Anaheim Angels … Born and raised in Canada until she was 15 and moved to the United States with a goal of earning a college scholarship and playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team … Is an avid shopper … Loves music, reading and is a collector of inspirational quotes … Favorite musical artists include Beyonce, The Weekend and Ed Sheeran … Favorite candy is Swedish Fish … Favorite color is purple … Does yoga whenever she can … Favorite movies are “Pitch Perfect” and “Wedding Crashers” … Played Little League Baseball with boys from the ages of 5-14.As a senior, she played in 21 games and led the team in scoring with 16 goals and three assists … Was named First-Team NSCAA All-American and Soccer America MVP First Team ... Led the team in scoring for the third-straight season ... Led the Pac-12 in game-winning goals with eight ... Came in second in the voting for Pac-12 Player of the Year and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team ... Had four multiple-goal games and two hat tricks on the season ... She finished her college career ranked in the top 5 at UCLA in several offensive categories, including points (126 - 4th), goals (57 - 4th) and game-winning goals (23 - 4th) … As a junior, she played in 20 games and was the team’s leading scorer with 13 goals and one assist … Named a First-Team Soccer America MVP … Named a Third-Team NSCAA All-American and a First-Team All-Pac-10 selection … Had a breakout sophomore season at UCLA in 2009, leading the team in scoring with 23 goals and two assists … Her 23 goals tied the school single-season record previously set by Lauren Cheney in 2007 … Was named an NSCAA Third-Team All-American and Second-Team All-Pac-10 selection … Set UCLA single-season records for both points and goals in NCAA Tournament play, registering 16 points on eight goals during the 2009 NCAA Championships … Tied the school’s single-game record for goals, scoring four in a 7-1 victory against Boise State in the NCAA First Round … Also scored twice in a 5-0 win against San Diego State in the second round … Punched in two more in a 3-0 quarterfinal victory against Virginia … Scored a goal in 14 of 24 matches and had seven multiple-goal games … As a freshman, she played in 19 matches, making 18 starts, and scored five goals with six assists … Was a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, but missed all five of UCLA’s matches during the NCAA Tournament while leading the U.S. to the FIFA U-20 world title ... Scored her first collegiate goal in the team’s season opener, tallying the game winner in a 2-1 victory against UC Santa Barbara ... High School: Played two years of high school soccer for Johnston Heights Secondary School in Surrey, Canada ... Led the team in scoring as a freshman and sophomore.
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