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Morgan Brian's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

At 22, Morgan Brian is the youngest player on the USA’s 2015 Women’s World Cup Team and has starred at the youth National Teams level for some time, helping the USA win the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup. But it wasn’t always that way. As an under-sized youth player in Georgia and Florida, she earned the nickname “Plankton” and was cut from the Olympic Development Program team. Despite hitting some obstacles along the way, with hard work, self-belief, ambitious goal-setting and inspirational guidance from a coach, she made herself into one of the best young players in the world.

WNT Downs World No. 1 Germany 2-0 to Advance to 2015 World Cup Final

MONTREAL, Canada (June 30, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team downed FIFA No.1-ranked Germany 2-0 at Olympic Stadium to advance to the Final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It will be the fourth World Cup final appearance for the USA.

The first half was a balanced affair with both teams pressing and having opportunities to get on the board yet neither was able to capitalize. In the second half, things got going when U.S. defender Julie Johnston was called for a foul inside the penalty box in the 59th minute for pulling down Alexandra Popp. Celia Sasic stepped up to take the penalty kick but missed wide left to keep the game scoreless.

Almost ten minutes later, Alex Morgan got fouled in the box and it was the USA’s turn to attempt a PK. Carli Lloyd confidently netted the shot to give the USA the lead before assisting on Kelley O’Hara’s 84th-minute strike – the first of her international career – to secure the U.S. win.  

Hope Solo and the USA back line continued to shut down opponents and has now kept a scoreless streak for 513 straight minutes (a span of more than five-and-a-half matches)  in this year’s World Cup, the longest clean sheet streak in U.S. World Cup history.

It was Solo’s 10th clean sheet in World Cup play, tying Brianna Scurry’s record for shutouts in World Cup competition. The 10 clean sheets in a World Cup are not only a U.S. record, but also a FIFA Women’s World Cup record.

The WNT will vie for its third Women’s World Cup title on Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. PT, when it takes on the winner of the other Semifinal between England and Japan, which will be determined tomorrow, at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. The tournament Final will be broadcast live on FOX and Telemundo. Fans can also follow in-game updates on Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt and  @ussoccer_esp).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick), 69th minute:
Germany’s Annike Khran was called for a foul against Alex Morgan in the box, prompting the referee to point to the penalty circle. Carli Lloyd stepped forward and sent former FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Nadine Angerer the wrong way as she blasted her shot into the left side of the goal. USA 1, GER 0

USA – Kelley O’Hara (Carli Lloyd), 84th minute: Meghan Klingenberg played a great ball from th outside of the area to Carli Lloyd inside the right side of the Germany box. Lloyd made a strong move to the endline and played the ball across the face of goal where Kelley O’Hara tapped it in with her right foot to finish the opportunity cap a sterling team move by the USA with her first career WNT goal. USA 2, GER 0 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
GER– Nadine Angerer, 7th minute: A corner kick from Megan Rapinoe went to the middle of the six-yard box by the near post where Julie Johnston was in great position to head it home. Germany’s goalkeeper Nadine Angerer was well placed to come up with a huge save and get the ball out of danger.

USA – Hope Solo, 8th minute: Alexandra Popp had a clear shot at goal from the left side of the USA box, sending a ball to the near post. However, Hope Solo was prepared and jumped high to deflect the ball over the crossbar for a Germany corner.

GER – Nadine Angerer, 15th minute: Alex Morgan split two defendersas she broke into the Germany box from midfield. Morgan sent a shot straight towards Angerer, who made a solid stop with her foot to deflect the shot away.

Next on the Schedule: The WNT will meet the winner of England/Japan on Sunday, July 5 at 4 p.m. PT at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada.
Broadcast information:  FOX; Telemundo 
Social:  Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp);  FacebookInstagram

Milestone Watch:

  • Hope Solo recorded her 89th career shutout. It was the fifth straight World Cup clean sheet for the USA, and Solo’s 10th in World Cup play, tying Brian Scurry for the most by a U.S. goalkeeper.
  • Carli Lloyd is the third U.S. WNT player to score in three straight games in a World Cup, joining Michelle Akers (1991) and Abby Wambach (twice; in 2003 and 2011).
  • The U.S. now holds a 19-4-7 all-time record against Germany, outscoring the Germans 62-29. The USA hasn’t lost to Germany since 2003 and has gone 7-0-5 since then.
  • Kelley O’Hara made her third career World Cup appearance in the second half, and scored her first career international goal for the WNT.
  • The USA will be making its fourth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Germany is the only other team to have reached the final that amount of times.

Additional Notes:

  • This was the fourth time the U.S. met Germany in Women’s World Cup play, the USA has a 3-1-0 advantage in these matches.
  • Carli Lloyd has scored in three straight games for the WNT. Her goal in the second half was her fourth career World Cup strike and her 66th overall.
  • Since allowing a goal against Australia in its opening match on June 8 in the 27th minute, the U.S. has shut out Sweden, Nigeria, Colombia, China and Germany – a stretch of 513 consecutive minutes.  
  • 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 (1,419) of anyone on the team.
  • Five U.S. players have played all 540 minutes of the tournament so far: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, midfielder Carli Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
  • In its last 16 games, the U.S. has surrendered just three goals and has scored 29.
  • So far, 19 of the 20 field players on the World Cup roster have seen action in the tournament.
  • Germany lost by two goals for the first time in 26 Women's World Cup games. The last time was in the 1995 final (2-0 to Norway).
  • The USA is the third country to reach consecutive Women's World Cup finals (Germany - 2003/07) (Norway - 1991/95).
  • Coming on as a sub in the second half, Wambach played in her 24th career WWC game, tied for second most all-time with Julie Foudy, Brigit Prinz and Formiga. Only Kristine Lilly has more (30).
  • Twelve different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Rodriguez, Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Rapinoe, Brian, Chalupny, Leroux and Lloyd.
  • The game was the first time that Germany was shutout in this tournament and held to one shot on goal. Germany was averaging 12 shots on goal before tonight’s match and had outscored opponents 20-3.
  • The U.S. WNT is 33-4-5 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 107-33 in 42 games. The 33 wins and 42 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.

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

Match:  U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date:  June 30, 2015
Competition:  2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Semifinal
Venue:  Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada
Kickoff:  7 p.m. ET
Attendance:  51,176
Weather:  Indoor Stadium

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick)                    69th minute
USA – Kelley O’Hara (Carli Lloyd)                 84

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 (20-Abby Wambach,80), 13-Alex Morgan (2-Sydney Leroux, 90+3), 17-Tobin Heath (5-Kelley O’Hara, 75)
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 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
 

GER : 1-Nadine Angerer (capt.); 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Annike Krahn, 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 22-Tabea Kemme; 6-Simone Laudehr, 20-Lena Goessling, 11-Anja Mittag (10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 78), 16-Melanie Leupolz, 18-Alexandra Popp; 13-Celia Sasic
Subs not used: 2-Bianca Schmidt, 7-Melanie Behringer, 8-Pauline Bremer, 9-Lena Lotzen, 12-Almuth Schult, 14-Babett Peter, 15-Jennifer Cramer, 17-Josephine Henning, 19-Lena Petermann, 21-Laura Benkarth, 23-Sara Daebritz
Head coach: Silvia Neid

Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 12 / 15
Shots on Goal: 5 / 1
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 8 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 11
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
GER – Leonie Maier (caution)                        34th minute
USA – Becky Sauerbrunn (caution)               38
USA – Julie Johnston (caution)                      59
GER - Annike Krahn (caution)                       69

Officials:
Referee: Teodora Albon (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Petruta Iugulescu (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Salome di Iorio (ARG)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

Big Goal. Big Celebration.

Carli Lloyd scored the game-winning goal against China that qualified the USA for the semifinals of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The remarkable finish began with a Julie Johnston service into China’s 18-yard-box. Lloyd elevated over her defender, Zhao Rong, and headed the ball past Chinese goalkeeper Wang Fei and into the back of the net.

What transpired afterward was a slew of raw emotions from the entire U.S. WNT. “I tend to celebrate more in a big setting,” said Lloyd referring to her karate kick of the corner flag. “When the pressure is on and it’s a big goal, you don’t really think about what you’re doing after you score, you just react because you’re so happy.”

Lloyd admits the karate kick was something that had been in the back of her mind for a while. “I’d seen it before.” Lloyd continued, “But you don’t see it often in the women’s game and it was something different than I had ever done. So I did it; it just kind of happened.”

Morgan Brian, the 22-year-old defensive midfielder who played centrally with Lloyd on Friday, had a major role in allowing Lloyd to join the attack more frequently than in the previous four matches for the U.S. WNT. Brian was not directly involved in the goal sequence, but her pure excitement would lead you to think otherwise. 

Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian

Behind The Crest: Ep. 6 - #USWNT in Canada

Following the quarterfinal win over China, the #USWNT gets a short time to spend with friends before starting the recovery process and traveling to Montreal for a semifinal clash against Germany.

WNT Congratulates PNT on Qualifying for 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio

The #USWNT took a moment after training ahead of Tuesday's World Cup Semifinal showdown with Germany to congratulate the U.S. Soccer Paralympic National Team on its achievement of qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! The U.S. PNT placed 7th at the recently completed Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships and will next compete at the Pan American Games later this summer in Toronto. The U.S. WNT faces World-No. 1 ranked Germany at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on June 30 at 7 p.m. on FOX and NBC Universo.
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THE ISLAND INFLUENCE
Morgan Brian

Morgan Brian grew up on St. Simon’s Island, a tiny barrier island off the coast of Georgia, three miles wide, 11 miles long, with a huge soccer culture. “Everybody played,” says Morgan.

In spite of the soccer culture, the tiny island population meant there just weren’t enough players, so Morgan played up four or five years. “I was nine; we were playing with kids that were 14. I hadn’t grown yet.” Her tiny size earned her the nickname ‘Plankton;’ the character from her then favorite show, SpongeBob SquarePants. “He’s the evil one, but I like to think they just called me that because I was small…but, well, I was really competitive, and I guess I’d get mad at people…so,” Morgan laughs, “maybe that was a part of it.” Even though she’s now taller than most of her friends, they still to this day call her ‘Plankton.’

REJECTION
Eventually Morgan got to the age where she had to go play for a club team off the island. Everyone on the island played club with teams that were far away, making the long car rides a couple times a week, playing pickup with the other island kids the rest of the time.

Her entire club team tried out for the Florida State ODP team (which St. Simon’s Island fed into). Florida had an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C’ team, so every player on her team made at least one of those rosters – except for Brian.

“My club coach was like, ‘You can either pout about it or use it as motivation,” says Morgan. “And in retrospect, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.” Morgan started training constantly and devoted all her time to playing. The next year she made the ‘A’ roster state team, and then she made the regional team, and then she made the National Team. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Brian.
Morgan Brian

LONGSHOT GOALS
Morgan’s coach had his players each fill out a goal sheet, what they wanted to work on now, and what they wanted long term. “I think I wrote the least-aspirational goals on the team; they were just not very lofty because ever since I didn’t make that ODP team, I just didn’t think I was very good,” says Brian.

One of her goals was “start for my club team”; Morgan’s coach pulled her aside and said, “What are you doing? You should put, be on the Women’s National Team.” And Brian was like, ‘You’re a psycho. That’s not within reach.’ He made me put it and I just wrote it off to the side and I looked at him and said, ‘You’re crazy.’

The 22-year-old is now the youngest member of the Women’s National Team headed to this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Canada. 

U.S. National Teams: A rising star in central midfield for the WNT, Brian has shown the tremendous skill that made her one of the USA’s best youth national team players of the recent generation and she is already pushing for increased playing time in a deep and talented U.S. midfield.

2015: Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection ... Made her first World Cup start of her career against Sweden on June 12, 2015...
Has played in 15 matches for the USA, starting 11 so far this year... Scored her first goal of 2015 during a 4-0 win against New Zealand in St. Louis on April 4...Helped the USA to its 10th Algarve Cup title providing a strong presence in center midfield throughout the tournament... 2014: Earned 16 caps to the National Team while also leading her college team at UVA to the NCAA championship game … Was named the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Played in every international tournament in which the WNT participated in 2014, including the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship where she helped the USA qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup … Played in three games during qualifying, starting one, and scored one goal with one assist … 2013: Earned first three senior team caps in 2013 as the youngest player on the WNT … Her first call-up to the full National Team came during the USA’s June friendlies against the Korea Republic … She earned her first cap on June 15 against Korea, entering the game in the 77th minute for Lauren Cheney at Foxboro Stadium … Scored her first goal in her second cap, finishing the scoring in a 7-0 victory vs. Mexico at RFK Stadium … Youth National Teams:  Most recently played with the U.S. Under-23 WNT in 2013 … A key member of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Started all six games in the tournament and played all but 18 minutes … She scored the first goal in the 2-0 victory vs. Nigeria in the semifinal … Finished her U-20 career with 21 caps and four goals … A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship to earned a berth to Japan … Played in four games in qualifying and totaled 337 minutes … Had one goal and one assist during qualifying, scoring in the 4-0 semifinal victory over Mexico that earned the USA its berth to the Women’s World Cup … Scored a goal against Switzerland in La Manga, Spain in February of 2012 … The youngest player named to the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup roster, she played in one match against Paraguay, going all 90 minutes as a defender… She was also the youngest player on the CONCACAF Qualifying team, seeing action in three matches and scoring against El Salvador … Captained the U.S. U-17 team during the 2009-10 cycle and had seven goals at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament as the USA out-scored its opponents 38-0 but failed to qualify for the U-17 Women’s World Cup after falling in a penalty kick shootout during the semifinal … Finished her U-17 international career with 22 caps and 15 goals … Called up from the U.S. U-15s to the U-17s in 2008 … Participated in the U.S. Soccer Under-14 I.D. Camp in 2007 and played some matches with the U-14s that year as well. First cap: June 15, 2012, vs. Korea Republic. First goal: Sept. 3, 2013 vs. Mexico.


Professional / Club2015: Taken #1 overall by the Houston Dash in the NWSL Draft … Youth club: Played for the Ponte Vedra Storm from U-12 to U-19 … Won state championships at the U-18 and U-17 levels with the Storm and was the national runner-up as U-17s … Storm won the U-19 national title in the summer of 2012.



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