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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.

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: None.
2012: In October 2012, Engen signed with English club Liverpool Ladies for the 2013 FA WSL season … 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: 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.

Full name is Whitney Elizabeth Engen… Nickname is Whit … Graduated with a degree in political science from North Carolina … Named to the Dean’s List five times … Has aspirations to attend law school after her soccer career … An avid reader, she loves science fiction and thrillers … Some of her favorite books include the Harry Potter series and the Game of Thrones series …  Loves to play all types of games – board, dice, card – anything that is competitive … Favorite TV series include “True Blood,” “The Office” and “Modern Family.”

A four-year starter at UNC, she played in 107 games in her career, starting 105 … She started her career as a forward, playing up top for her first two years before moving to the back … Scored 19 career goals with 27 assists during her Tar Heel career … As a senior in 2009, she started all 27 games while scoring one goal with three assists and helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title … Named Defensive MVP of the College Cup … She was named NSCAA First-Team All-American and First-Team All-ACC … Was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year on a team that allowed just 12 goals and had 19 shutouts … Won the NCAA’s prestigious Honda Award as the top women’s college soccer player … As a junior in 2008, she moved into the starting role at center back after playing her first two years as a starting striker and started all 28 games, leading the team in minutes played with 2,518 … Helped UNC to the NCAA title … Played the last 1,211 minutes of the season without a break ... Recorded three assists ... Tied the school record for games played and games started in a season with 28 … Was named a NSCAA Third-Team All-America and Second-Team All-ACC honoree ... Was named to the All-Tournament Teams at both the NCAA College Cup and the ACC Tournament ...  Named to the ACC All-Academic Team and was on the NSCAA’s First-Team Collegiate Scholar All-America squad ... On the ACC Academic Honor Roll ... As a sophomore in 2007, she appeared in 23 of 24 games during the season, starting all 23 games she played in ... Scored six goals with eight assists … Was on the All-ACC Academic Team and the ACC Academic Honor Roll … As a freshman in 2006, she played in 27 games, started 24, and tied for second on the team in goals with 12 and in assists with 13 ... Helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title … Named to the 2006 ACC All-Tournament Team and ACC All-Freshman Team ... Named to the ACC All-Academic Women’s Soccer Team .. Had points in 18 of 28 games ... Had at least one point in each of the three ACC Tournament games and in five of the six NCAA Tournament matches ... Had a pair of goals in wins over N.C. State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals and against Navy in the NCAA Tournament second round ... Also assisted on Casey Nogueira’s game-winning goal in the NCAA Tournament championship match against Notre Dame … High School: Graduated from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in 2006 ... Lettered as a freshman and sophomore as a forward and attacking midfielder but missed her junior season with an injury and then concentrated on club soccer during her senior year ... Named high school’s Most Valuable Offensive Player as a freshman and Most Valuable Player as a sophomore.

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