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Whitney Engen

Women's National Team
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Whitney Engen's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

Whitney Engen grew up in what you might call a “fun household” where her parents were always encouraging her and her brother through games and activities. Today, she knows those experiences helped mold not only her competitive nature, but also her ability to thrive in such an environment. She now feels comfortable dealing with the good days and the bad ones, whether it be while competing for and earning a spot on the USA’s Women’s World Cup Team, or catching a tossed ice cube in a cup after a full 360-degree spin.

WNT Puts on a Show For Detroit and Birmingham

The U.S. Victory Tour rolled through Michigan and Alabama as the World Champions delighted the large crowds with two convincing performances.

Lloyd Hat Trick Leads WNT to 8-0 Victory against Haiti in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Sept. 20, 2015) – The World Cup Champion U.S. Women’s National Team continued its Victory Tour with an 8-0 win against Haiti in front of a record crowd of 35,753 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. The crowd was the largest ever for a stand-alone WNT match in the southeastern United States. 

It only took a minute for the U.S. to find the net as Kelley O’Hara took a short corner and crossed it in to Julie Johnston, who converted for the match’s first goal. The goal was one of five that would come for the WNT in the first half. Lloyd scored her first on a penalty kick in the 16th minute and one minute later Crystal Dunn put in her second goal in as many games after receiving a brilliant through ball from Megan Rapinoe. Lloyd would close out the half with two goals to complete her hat trick and in doing so became just the fifth American player with five international hat tricks (Hamm, Parlow, Wambach, Akers), three of which she has earned in the WNT’s last five games. 

The USA continued to dominate possession and produced a number of chances in the second half. Amy Rodriguez converted the sixth goal of the game six minutes into the second frame, while Alex Morgan and Heather O’Reilly each tallied in the final five minutes of regulation to bring the WNT scoring total to eight and seal the win for the USA, which pushed its unbeaten streak at home to 100 consecutive games (88-0-12). 

It will be a month before the WNT takes the field again when they will match up with Brazil for a pair of matches that continue the Victory Tour. The first match will be in the Pacific Northwest at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. on Oct. 20. After that the team will travel back across the country for the second match at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 25. For more information on tickets, click here.  

Goal Scoring Rundown:  
USA – Julie Johnston (Kelley O’Hara) 1st minute: 
Before a full minute of soccer had even been played, the U.S. found its first goal. It came from a short corner that O’Hara took from the right. The Haiti defense was slow to get into position, and O’Hara capitalized on the mistake and smashed in a low hard cross that found Johnston. Johnston directed in the cross with a confident touch that found the back of the net for the game’s first score.  USA 1, HAI 0  

USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty kick), 16th minute: After making a cutting move on the left hand side of the box, Alex Morgan was brought down, which set up the WNT with a penalty kick. Carli Lloyd stepped up to take it and calmly tucked it into the left corner to double the U.S. lead. USA 2, HAI 0  

USA – Crystal Dunn (Megan Rapinoe), 17th minute: Just a minute after scoring its second goal, the WNT put the finishing touches on the third. After Haiti lost possession from the kickoff, Megan Rapinoe played a hard through ball up to Crystal Dunn. Dunn raced past the defense and ran onto the ball taking a controlling touch before smashing into the bottom left corner. USA 3, HAI 0  

USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan) 22nd minute: Alex Morgan jetted down the left had side and attacked to the end line, where she blasted a cross in front of goal. The ball just got by Crystal Dunn, but Lloyd had run in behind and was there to bury for her second goal of the game. USA 4, HAI 0  

USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe) 39th minute: Megan Rapinoe took the free kick from 35 yards out and looped a ball into the top of the box. Lloyd outmuscled her defender and rose for a header. She flicked on toward the goal and the ball dipped in over the jumping goalkeeper, clipping the cross bar and falling in. USA 5, HAI 0 

USA – Amy Rodriguez (Kelley O'Hara) 51st minute: With little pressure on the ball for Amy Rodriguez, she took a few settling touches near the top of the box before ripping a blast from 20 yards out that beat the diving goalkeeper for a score.  USA 6, HAI 0 

USA – Alex Morgan (Whitney Engen) 85th minute: After producing a number of chances throughout the match, Morgan was finally rewarded for her efforts, scoring the matches seventh goal on a header in the 85th minute. It started from a short corner. O’Hara took the ball and attacked the box whipping in a cross that Engen got a touch to. The ball floated up and Morgan headed it into the net.  USA 7, HAI 0 

USA – Heather O’Reilly 88th minute: The U.S. did the work to get the ball down near the goal. After a deflection and a missed clearance the ball ended up at the feet of O’Reilly, who capitalized and kicked in for the eighth goal of the game.  USA 8, HAI 0 FINAL 

Next on the Schedule: The WNT continues the 2015 Victory Tour with a stop in Seattle, Wash. on Oct. 21 where it will face Brazil at CenturyLink Field. 
Broadcast information: ESPN2, WatchESPN (7 p.m. PT; Oct. 21) 
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Milestone Watch:

  • Johnston’s goal was the fifth of her career goal and just the second to come from her foot. The slim majority of her goals (three) have come from headers. All five of Johnston’s goals have come off of set pieces. 
  • With her second hat trick in as many games, Carli Lloyd pushed her career total to 77 goals and in doing so passed Cindy Parlow for 6th on the all-time U.S. goal scoring list. Lloyd is the fifth American with five international hat tricks (Hamm, Parlow, Wambach, Akers). 
  • Lloyd has scored 16 goals this year, which is her career-high for a calendar year. She previously had scored 15 in 2012 and 2014. She has scored 13 times in her last eight games and today marked her 11th multi-goal game for the WNT.  
  • Amy Rodriguez scored the 30th goal of her career. 
  • Alex Morgan’s 54th goal moved her into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time U.S. scoring list, breaking her tie with Carin Gabarra. 

Additional Notes: 

  • Dunn’s goal is her second in as many games. She scored the first goal of her WNT career in the USA’s last match against Haiti three days ago. 
  • The USA improved to 6-0-0 all-time against Haiti with 42 goals scored and none conceded. 


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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Haiti  
Date: Sept. 20, 2015  
Competition: International Friendly – Victory Tour  
Venue: Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala.  
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. CT  
Attendance: 35,753   
Weather: Hot, humid – 85 degrees   

Scoring Summary: 1    2    F  
USA                          5    3    8  
HAI                           0     0    0   

USA – Julie Johnston (Kelley O’Hara)                1st minute  
USA – Carli Lloyd (penalty)                                 16  
USA – Crystal Dunn (Megan Rapinoe)               17  
USA – Carli Lloyd (Crystal Dunn)                        22  
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe)                   39  
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Kelley O’Hara)                 51  
USA – Alex Morgan (Whitney Engen)                 85  
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Amy Rodriguez)           89   

USA: 1-Hope Solo (21-Alyssa Naeher, 46); 5-Kelley O’Hara, 19-Julie Johnston (6-Whitney Engen, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (9-Heather O’Reilly, 60); 25-Crystal Dunn, 14-Morgan Brian, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (7-Shannon Boxx,, 46), 15-Megan Rapinoe (11-Ali Krieger, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46); 13-Alex Morgan    
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 12-Lauren Holiday, 16-Lori Chalupny, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Abby Wambach  
Head coach: Jill Ellis   

HAI: 12-Ednie Limage (capt.) (1-Jonie Gabriel, 90+1); 2-Soveline Beaubrun, 3-Jennifer Limage, 4-Clorene Rateau, 5-Sabine Chandler, 6-Kimberly Boulos, 7-Roselord Borgella (18-Kensia Destinvil, 46), 9-Nerilia Mondesir, 10-Betcheba Louis (21-Emeline Charles, 84), 16-Darline Radamaker (13-Zila Lafleur, 46), 17-Yvrose Gervil  
Subs Not Used: 8-Sherly Jeudy, 19-Bencia Erleus, 20-Phisline Michel  
Head coach: Shek Borkowski  

Stats Summary: USA / HAI  
Shots: 39 / 0  
Shots on Goal: 19 / 0  
Saves: 0 / 8  
Corner Kicks: 10 / 0  
Fouls: 6 / 12  
Offside: 1 / 0   

Misconduct Summary:  
HAI – Nerilia Mondesir (caution)72nd minute  

Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)      
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)  
Assistant Referee 2: Veronica Perez (USA)   
4th Official: Kate Abt (USA)  

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd 

The First Time Whitney Engen Ever Broke a Rule

While U.S. Women’s National Team players Ashlyn Harris and Whitney Engen are two totally divergent personalities, they formed a bond in college that blossomed into what will surely be a life-long friendship while helping both of them grow as people along the way. In this anecdote, Harris tells how she helped break Engen out of her somewhat conservative shell.

Harris & Engen: BFFs

Coming from vastly different backgrounds and bringing tremendously different personalities and world views to Chapel Hill, N.C., U.S. Women’s National Team players Ashlyn Harris and Whitney Engen nevertheless forged a symbiotic friendship in college that allowed both to blossom as people, students and players.


“I wanted to be a gymnast more than anything in the world,” says Engen. “But when you’re a five-foot-seven, 100 pound third grader, it’s not really going to work out for you. I was a huge, huge kid. I’ve basically been this size my whole life.” So she focused on soccer.

Whitney Engen

She loved driving to games in her father’s old diesel Mercedes, the whole car shaking, her dad blaring opera music as they wound up the hill toward her game. But on the field, things weren’t going much better than gymnastics, “I rode the bench; rode it hard. I only went in if we were winning by so many goals that there was no way I could screw it up.” She went to individual training sessions; she did everything she could to figure out how to break into the team. “This experience taught me two things: that it’s good to persist even when you’re not having success, and that I did not want to sit on the bench.” The next year, Engen switched teams – to one that included her future National Teammate Christen Press – ended up playing every minute, and loved it. “It changed my whole outlook on soccer.”

Whitney Engen


“In my family, everything was a competition,” says Engen. When they were little, it was a race to see who could get on their pajamas first, “My parents would be like, ‘Ready, set, go!” and we’d be stomping up the stairs, banging open drawers, ripping off clothes.”

There were also living room obstacles courses. Whitney’s mother would set up circuits – vault the chair, summersault over the couch, jump over the table. “My parents would be standing there laughing, calling out, ‘Four, five, six!’ and I’m trying to book it through the house,” says Engen.

In the car, there was the “Seat Belt Olympics:” gold if you were the first to get yours on, silver if you were second, bronze if you were third, lead if you were fourth. “Obviously, lead was the worst. You never wanted to get lead,” laughs Engen. “It was a full blown race to get in the car, but then you’d pull too hard, too eagerly and the seat belt would get caught … it was a delicate balance. To this day, it’s unsaid; we get in the car, and you’re still trying to see who got their seatbelt on first. It’s the personal satisfaction of having won.”

Whitney Engen


Engen’s parents instilled the idea that there should always be a ‘Plan B’ in case soccer didn’t work out. Law school was her back up plan. “Laws are things that are black and white, yet there’s a lot of gray in the field too. If it was just ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ there wouldn’t be a need for lawyers. The lawyers come in because there are interpretations. It’s kind of like a puzzle, and I liked the idea of finding the most right answer.”

U.S. National Team – A central defender who adds a commanding aerial presence at the back and on offensive set pieces.

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Champion... Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection ... Has appeared in three matches for the USA this year... Started and played in the USA's first two matches of the year against France on Feb. 8 and England on Feb. 13... Was named to the 2015 Algarve Cup roster that claimed the USA's 10th Algarve Cup title, but did not see any action and was replaced by Christie Rampone after suffering a hamstring injury during training in Portugal... 2014: Engen took a big step forward with the WNT in her third year with the program, playing 1,051 minutes in 13 games while starting 11 … She scored two goals, finding the net against Mexico on a header off a corner kick that was assisted by childhood friend and youth soccer teammate Christen Press, and against Guatemala on a header from a set play in the opening match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship, where she helped the USA secure its berth to the Women’s World Cup …  2013: Had her best year for the WNT to date, playing in eight games at center back while starting seven … Scored her first international goal on March 8 against China PR at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … 2012: Did not play in a match for the U.S. WNT … 2011: Earned her first two senior team caps, coming off the bench against Norway and Finland during group play at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … Trained extensively with the team in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup … 2010: First call-up to the senior team came in March of 2010, and she trained with the team during matches against Mexico in San Diego and Salt Lake City, Utah … Also called in to train in October of 2010 during two friendly matches against China … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 … Played with the U.S. U-20s in 2006 and 2007 … First Appearance: March 4, 2011, vs. Norway … First Goal: March 8, 2013 vs. China PR.

Professional / Club –2014: Traded from the Houston Dash to the Western New York Flash on Oct. 16 for Carli Lloyd, Becky Edwards and a draft pick … Allocated to the expansion Houston Dash for the second NWSL season, joining the team after her Swedish club Tyresö finished runner-up in the UEFA Women’s Champions League… Played in 11 games for the Dash, starting all of them … 2013: In a season that ran from March to October, Engen marshalled a Liverpool Ladies defense that helped the club win the FA Women’s Super League on the last weekend of the season, holding off Bristol Academy to finish four points clear and break Arsenal’s 10-year stronghold atop English women’s soccer … Started and played in 20 of Liverpool’s 21 games (she missed one due to WNT duty) and scored once … Following her stint in England, she signed with Tyresö in Sweden and helped the club win its Round of 32 UEFA Women’s Champions League series against French power Paris Saint-German and Round of 16 series against Danish club Fortuna … In the second leg against Fortuna, she scored a spectacular back-heel flick volley off a free-kick service from U.S. teammate Meghan Klingenberg … 2012: In October 2012, Engen signed with English club Liverpool Ladies for the 2013 FA WSL and arrived in England in January of 2013 … Played with the Pali Blues in the W-League during the summer … 2011: At the end of the WPS season, Engen joined Swedish team Tyresö FF on loan, playing seven games with six starts while scoring one goal with one assist in Damallsvenskan … Signed with the Western New York Flash and played a key role in helping the team to the WPS regular season title and the WPS championship in its first year of existence … Played in 17 of the team’s 18 regular season matches, starting them all, and led the Flash in minutes played with 1,530 … Played every minute in the championship game shootout victory over Philadelphia … Was named the WPS Defender of the Year and to the 2011 WPS Top XI … 2010: Taken fourth overall by the Chicago Red Stars in the 2010 WPS Draft … She started all 24 games for the Red Stars and played all but four minutes of the season … 2009: Played for the Pali Blues in the W-League …Youth club: Played youth club for Slammers FC, winning back-to-back state and regional titles in 2004-05 ... Took part in two national championships with the Slammers, taking second in 2004 and third in 2005 ... Won two ODP national titles with the Cal South ’86 State Team.