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WNT Ties Brazil 0-0 in Title Game at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 21, 2014) – Playing in steady rain on a saturated pitch, the U.S. Women’s National Team tied Brazil 0-0 in the championship match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. As Brazil accumulated more points than the USA during the group stage (nine points to the U.S. WNT’s four), Brazil was awarded to the tournament title. 

The U.S. finishes runner-up after posting a 1-1-1 record in group play. 

The match marked just the second time the USA and Brazil have played to a scoreless draw in their storied history. The previous occasion was on June 27, 2000, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. 

In the USA’s final match of 2014, its two best scoring chances came in the second half. The first came off a 59th-minute cross from Tobin Heath on the left wing. She picked out Abby Wambach, who was making a run to the far post, but the pass was just a bit too high and the 5-11 striker sent her header just outside the upper right corner of the goal. 

In the 86th minute, a Becky Sauerbrunn header off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana and Brazil fended off the USA’s late attack to secure the draw. 

The USA did put the ball in the net in extra time as Carli Lloyd finished into the lower left corner from close range, but the goal was waved away for offside. After Heather O’Reilly played a cross in from the left side, the ball was headed up in the air by Morgan Brian. Amy Rodriguez was in an offside position on the header, but did not touch the ball, which bounced off a Brazilian defender straight to Lloyd, who slotted home. 

Brazil had the better overall possession in the match, but its scoring chances were few. Brazil’s best chance came in the 38th minute off of a Marta corner kick from the right side. Monica, who did not play against the USA in the teams’ previous tournament matchup, rose from eight yards out and headed the ball just wide left of the frame. 

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was forced to make just one save on a shot from distance, but she was tremendous controlling her penalty area and had several excellent punches during the match. 

In the third-place game, China PR and Argentina played to a scoreless draw. With more points in group play, China (1-1-1, 4 points in the group stage) was awarded third place over Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points in group). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
(None) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 30th minute: Just after Morgan Brian was issued a yellow card for a foul against Andressa Alves, Brazil’s Marta delivered a dangerous free kick toward the penalty spot. Solo confidently read the ball and punched it toward the edge of the box for the USA defense to clear it out of harm’s way. 

BRA – Luciana, 60th minute: The USA played the ball from the midfield behind Brazil’s defense in the direction of Tobin Heath, who was in a one-on-one against Brazil goalkeeper Luciana but the net-minder won the foot race, beating Heath by one step to prevent a potential U.S. goal.

USA – Hope Solo, 83rd minute: Brazil’s corner kick was whipped in and Solo punched the ball away. Though Brazil did follow with a volley from the top of the box, it sailed over the goal as the USA continued to maintain its clean sheet.

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: Off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick, U.S. center back Becky Sauerbrunn rose for the header at the back host and directed back across toward the center bar. However, Luciana rose up to palm the shot away.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone earned her 304th-career cap. She is second on the USA’s all-time list behind only Kristine Lilly’s 352 appearances.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo, the USA’s all-time leader in career shutouts, earned her 78th clean sheet. It was her 11th shutout in 2014.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT begins 2015 with a January camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, followed by two matches in in Europe in early February. The USA faces France on Feb. 8 in Lorient, followed by England on Feb. 13 at a venue to be determined.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA wraps up its 2014 schedule with a 16-3-5 record.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-5 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • After Alyssa Naeher played in the last match against Argentina, earning her first cap, Hope Solo returned to the goal, anchoring a defense featuring right back Meghan Klingenberg, left back Lori Chalupny and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and team captain Christie Rampone.
  • The starting midfield of the USA’s 4-3-3 included Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian.
  • The front line included Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Kelley O’Hara from left to right. O’Hara has played as an outside back for the WNT since 2012, but she returned to forward, a position at which she won the MAC Hermann Trophy at Stanford.
  • Three U.S. forwards were unavailable for Sunday’s final. Sydney Leroux served her suspension after receiving a red card late in the second half against Argentina on Thursday. Christen Press returned to the United States because of a death in her family. Alex Morgan is still not cleared to play as she completes her recovery from an ankle injury.
  • Outside back Ali Krieger replaced Chalupny in the 55th minute. Chalupny started in three of the tournament’s four games.
  • In the 74th minute, Megan Rapinoe entered for O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez replaced Wambach. Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament.
  • Heather O’Reilly was the USA’s fourth and final sub in the 80th minute as she took over from Heath.
  • Lloyd caps off the year as the U.S. WNT’s leader with 15 goals and eight assists. Wambach was second on the team with 14 goals and Rapinoe was second in assists with seven.
  • Lloyd and Press tied for the team lead with 23 appearances in the USA’s 24 matches. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Final
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 11,000
Weather: 72 degrees; Steady rain 

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

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 56); 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday; 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 81), 20-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 74), 5-Kelley O’Hara (15-Megan Rapinoe, 73)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn, 22-Samantha Mewis
Suspended: 2-Sydney Leroux
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana, 3-Bruna (capt.), 14-Monica, 11- Andressa Alves (17-Andressinha, 89), 7-Maurine (6-Tamires, 57), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (21-Beatriz, 57), 10-Marta, 9-Debinha
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 4-Tayla, 13-Camila, 15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene, 22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 4 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Morgan Brian (caution)                       30th minute
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)                         51
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   72 

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

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian 

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.

Dunn Preps Brian and Mewis for NWSL

With young U.S. WNT players Morgan Brian and Samantha Mewis having completed their college eligibility and set to be high picks in the 2015 NWSL Draft, Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who played her rookie season in 2014, sits down with the up-and-coming midfielders to discuss turning pro.

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.

Ellis Names WNT Roster for International Tournament of Brasilia

CHICAGO (Dec. 5, 2014) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players to travel to Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia, a four-team competition being held from Dec. 10-21 at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha.

Ellis named all 20 players who helped the USA win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition, she named Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who was initially on the qualifying roster before suffering an injury in the lead-up, Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, former UCLA midfielder and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Samantha Mewis and Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny.

“It’s a chance to travel to a new environment and play international matches in unfamiliar territory, which is always valuable when getting ready for a World Cup,” said Ellis. “It’s pretty exciting to get to play in a World Cup stadium, and many of our players have never played or even been to Brazil before. It’s a unique opportunity to go to a fantastic soccer country, have a great cultural experience and get four competitive games to end the year on a high note.”

The USA will open the tournament Dec. 10 against China PR (4:20 p.m. ET), face Brazil on Dec. 14 (3:45 p.m.) and finish group play on Dec. 17 against Argentina (4:20 p.m.). The final match day on Dec. 21 will feature the top two teams after round-robin play squaring off for the tournament championship while the two countries that finished third and fourth will battle for third place. The USA, Brazil and China PR will be participating in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer in Canada.

The U.S. Women have not played in Brazil since 1997 when they played two matches against the host, a 2-1 win in Taubaté and a 1-0 loss in São Paulo.

The matches mark the end of the USA's 2014 campaign, which will feature 24 games, the most of any year in which the U.S. players have competed in a domestic league. The current high came in 2003, the third year of the WUSA and also a World Cup year, when the U.S. WNT played 23 games. 

Additional Notes:

  • Midfielder Morgan Brian is still involved in the NCAA Tournament with the University of Virginia and will travel to Brazil to join the team following the completion of this weekend’s NCAA College Cup.
  • The International Tournament of Brasilia will be staged entirely at National Stadium Mane Garrincha, which hosted seven matches during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  • The National Stadium Mane Garrincha cost $900 million to build, making it the second-most expensive soccer stadium in the world after England's Wembley Stadium. It opened during the summer of 2013.
  • In its history, the U.S. WNT has played six matches in Brazil, four at a tournament in 1996 in Campinas (two against Brazil and matches against Ukraine and Russia) and two against Brazil in 1997.
  • The USA won the championship of the 1996 event in penalty kicks after drawing Brazil 1-1 in regulation.
  • The U.S. Women have never played anywhere in South America outside of those six games in Brazil.
  • Christie Rampone is the only player on the roster to have previously played in Brazil with the full National Team.
  • The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team did participate in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 getting to the final of a tournament that featured full Women's National Teams before losing 5-0 to Brazil. That U-20 team featured current U.S. WNT players Lauren Holiday, Tobin Heath, Alyssa Naeher and Kelley O'Hara.
  • The USA has not played Argentina since 1998 when the countries played twice in three days in Southern California. The USA earned 8-1 and 7-0 victories on April 24 and 26, respectively. Those were the only matches between the two teams.
  • China PR is one of the most frequent opponents in U.S. history with 52 previous meetings, most recently in April - a 2-0 U.S. victory in Colorado and a 3-0 win in San Diego.
  • The USA most recently faced Brazil on Nov. 10, 2013, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, a 4-1 U.S. victory.
  • The USA is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. Brazil is sixth, China PR is 14th and Argentina is 37th.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position: (Detailed Roster)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (WNY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

A member of the team that won the 2012 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s Championship and earned a berth to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan … Played in four games and totaled 337 minutes in the qualifying tournament … 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 … Had 15 U-20 caps and three goals heading into the WWC in Japan … 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 2009-2010 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 Was 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.

Full name is Morgan Paige Brian … Nickname is Moe or Miss M … Plans to major in a discipline in the kinesiology department … A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes … Played varsity basketball as an eighth-grader, freshman, sophomore, and senior, earning team MVP every year as well as the Coach’s Award and All-Region and All-State recognition … Enjoys playing Ping-Pong, basketball, going to the beach and watching movies on a rainy day … Also loves to spend time with friends and sleep … Her sister plays soccer for D-2 Armstrong Atlantic University in Savannah, Ga. … Favorite foods are pineapple gratin and peanut butter pie … Favorite candy is Warheads, extreme sour hard candies.

Named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year for Virginia in 2011 … An NSCAA First-Team All-American … A Second-Team Soccer America MVP … Hermann Trophy Semifinalist … Named the ACC Freshman of the Year and First-Team All-ACC … The second-leading scorer on the Cavs with 11 goals and eight assists … Started in 22 games and appeared in 23 of the 24 total matches … Attended Frederica Academy … Was the 2011 Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year and the 2011 Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year … She was also the 2010 Parade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year … 2010 NSCAA Youth Player of the Year … 2010 NSCAA High School and Youth All-American … 2010 ESPN Rise All-American … A two-time Parade All-American … Two-Time Gatorade Georgia State Player of the Year … Played varsity as an 8th grader and was All-Region and All-State, helping her team to 2nd place in the state tournament … As a freshman, she was team MVP, All-Region and All-State and helped the Knights to the state title … She scored 83 goals with 50 assists in her first two years of high school soccer and had 71 goals and 30 assists her senior season for the Knights … Did not play many high school games as a junior due to national team commitments. ... 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 … Was the national runner-up in as U-17s … Storm won the U-19 national title in the summer of 2012.

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