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Alyssa Naeher's Story - One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.

Alyssa Naeher and her twin sister were drawn to opposite ends of the soccer field: Amanda would become a high scoring forward in college while Alyssa gravitated to the goal. After an early mishap, the duo rebounded, learning to complement each other and hone each other's competitive edge. Today, each Naeher sister calls herself the other's biggest fan.

World Champions: USA Wins 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

VANCOUVER, Canada (July 5, 2015) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5-2 at BC Place on Sunday night to become the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and the first three-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner. 

In the first 16 minutes of play the USA took a 4-0 lead over Japan after Carli Lloyd netted the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history and Lauren Holiday added a goal to put the USA up by a wide margin. 

Japan ended the USA’s record-tying shutout streak at 540 minutes by scoring in the 28th minute. The Asian nation built a bit of momentum early in the second half as Julie Johnston’s defensive clearance instead sent the ball into the USA’s net. However, Tobin Heath responded two minutes later to make it 5-2 and complete the highest scoring Final (seven goals) in FIFA Women’s World Cup history.

Loyd and goalkeeper Hope Solo were awarded the Golden Ball and Golden Glove, as the best player and the best goalkeeper at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, respectively. It was the second straight Golden Glove award for Solo (she also won it in 2011) and the first for Lloyd. Lloyd became the second American to win the award, joining Carin Jennings, who won it in 1991. 

The USA is now the only country to win three Women’s World Cup and the country to score the most goals (five) in a WWC Final – no other team has scored more than two. 

The WNT will return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively, before embarking on their nationwide celebration tour (details to be announced). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe), 3rd minute:
Playing a short corner kick on the ground, Megan Rapinoe sent a ball straight through several Japanese defenders to the middle of the six yard box. Carli Lloyd stormed from the back of the box to time her arrival with the ball perfectly and finished with a left-footed strike to score the fastest goal in FIFA Women’s World Cup Final history. USA 1, JPN 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd, 5th minute: Two minutes later, another set piece play led to a U.S. goal. Lauren Holiday stepped up to take the free kick from the right side of the box and sent a shot to the middle of the box that was flicked on by Julie Johnston through a forest of players before Carli Lloyd found it right in front of the net and tapped it in with the inside of her right foot for the second goal of the game and he fifth of the tournament. USA 2, JPN 0 

USA – Lauren Holiday, 14th minute: The sequence began with Tobin Heath, who sent a pass from the midfield intended for Alex Morgan but had the ball intercepted by Japanese defender Azusa Iwashimizu. Iwashimizu tried to head it out of danger but instead directed the ball up in the air. It came down right in front of Lauren Holiday, who volleyed it in stride with her right foot to net her first goal of the tournament. USA 3, JPN 0

USA – Carli Lloyd, 16th minute: Carli Lloyd intercepted the ball in midfield and touched it past a Japan player. Crossing the midfield line, she launched a shot that caught Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori out of her net. While Kaihori got a hand to the ball, she could not keep it from bouncing off the post and into the back of the net, thus completing the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history. USA 4, JPN 0 

JPN – Yuki Ogimi (Nahomi Kawasumi), 28th minute: Nahomi Kawasumi played a great ball from the right channel, spotting teammate Yuki Ogimi inside the box. Ogimi evaded a challenge from Julie Johnston, swiveled around and sent a curling shot beyond the reach of Hope Solo for the Japan’s first goal of the match that ended the USA’s record-tying shutout streak. USA 4, JPN 1

JPN – Julie Johnston (own goal), 52nd: Julie Johnston tried to clear a free kick attempt with a header that bounced across the face of goal and nestled inside the far post of Hope Solo’s net for Japan’s second score of the game. USA 4, JPN 2

USA – Tobin Heath (Morgan Brian), 54th: Japan’s goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori  punched a Lauren Holiday corner kick clear to the right side. Kaihori’s punch wasn’t strong enough and the ball landed at Morgan Brian’s feet. Brian cut the ball back into the middle where Tobin Heath used the inside of her foot to one-time Brian’s perfect ball into the back of the net for the final score line. USA 5, JPN 2 (FINAL)

Next on the Schedule: The WNT return to the USA for a pair of friendly matches against Costa Rica on Aug. 16 and Aug. 19 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Chattanooga, Tenn., respectively.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 (Aug. 16), ESPN2 (Aug. 19)
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp); FacebookInstagram

Milestone Watch:

  • The USA becomes the first country to win three FIFA Women’s World Cup titles.
  • Carli Lloyd is the first U.S. WNT player to score in four straight games in a World Cup. She netted a goal against China, Colombia and Germany and three against Japan.
  • Lloyd also became the first woman in a FIFA WWC to score a hat trick in a Final match and scored the fastest hat trick in Women’s World Cup history.
  • Lloyd also became the third U.S. Woman to score a hat trick in WWC play: Carin Jennings Gabarra netted three goals against Germany in 1991 and Akers scored five against Chinese Taipei that same year.
  • Lloyd’s goal in the third minute was the fastest goal scored in a WWC Final game.
  • Lloyd scored both U.S. goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game (a 2-1 win over Japan), and the sole goal in the 2008 gold-medal game (1-0 over Brazil). With her three goals against Japan tonight, she became the first American to score in three major-tournament finals.
  • Midfielders Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath each score their first goals of the tournament. It was Heath’s first goal in a Women’s World Cup.
  • The U.S. WNT finished this year’s tournament with a 34-4-5 all-time in Women’s World Cup play, outscoring its opponents 112-35 in 43 games. The 34 wins, 112 goals scored and the 43 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.
  • With its five goals against Japan, the USA now holds the record for most goals scored in WWC play with 112 – the team scored 14 throughout the tournament. Germany scored 20 in Canada to finish in second with 111.
  • The USA’s five goals were the most any team has scored in a WWC Final. No other team has scored more than two.
  • The USA’s two goals in the first five minutes of the match against Japan was the first time any team scored twice in that span in a WWC game. 

Additional Notes:

  • The game was the third meeting between the USA and Japan in a major tournament Final. The USA now has a 2-0-1 record in those meetings: Wins in 2015 WWC and 2012 Olympics. Tie in 2011 WWC (1-3 PKs).
  • Lloyd leads the U.S. with eight goals in 2015.
  • While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 183 goals, Lloyd is next with 69 career international goals and Morgan has 52. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
  • 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 (1,509) of anyone on the team.
  • Five U.S. players played all 630 minutes of the tournament: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Sauerbrunn, midfielder Carli Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
  • In its last 17 games, the U.S. has surrendered just five goals and has scored 34.
  • Nineteen of the 20 field players on the World Cup roster saw action in the tournament.
  • Coming on as a sub in the second half, Wambach played in her 25th career WWC game, tied for second most all-time with Julie Foudy, Brigit Prinz and Formiga. Only Kristine Lilly has more (30).
  • Lloyd has sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 69 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
  • Hope Solo finished with 10 clean sheets in Women’s World Cup play, tying the record for most by a U.S. goalkeeper and most in World Cup play with Brianna Scurry.
  • Solo now has 136 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Brian Scurry had 133 during her career (1994-2008).
  • Eleven players on the current USA roster have scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament: Tobin Heath, Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara.
  • For the first time in FIFA WWC history, 24 nations participated at this year’s event, up from 16 that participated in the previous four editions. The 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups featured 12 teams. 
  • Fourteen different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Tobin Heath, Lauren Holiday, Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Rodriguez, Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Megan Rapinoe, Brian, Chalupny, Leroux and Lloyd. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: July 5, 2015
Competition: 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Final
Venue: BC Place; Vancouver, Canada
Kickoff: 4 p.m. PT
Attendance: 53,341
Weather: Indoor Stadium

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                            4          1          5
JPN                             1          1          2

USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe)              3rd minute
USA – Carli Lloyd                                           5
USA – Lauren Holiday                                    14
USA – Carli Lloyd                                           16
JPN – Yuki Ogimi (Nahomi Kawasumi)         27
JPN – Julie Johnston (own goal)                    52
USA – Tobin Heath (Morgan Brian)               54

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 (5-Kelley O’Hara, 61), 13-Alex Morgan (3-Christie Rampone, 86), 17-Tobin Heath (20-Abby Wambach, 79)
Subs Not Used: 2-Sydney Leroux, 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
 

JPN: 18-Ayumi Kaihori; 3-Azusa Iwashimizu (10-Homare Sawa, 33), 4-Saki Kumagai, 5-Aya Sameshima, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 8-aya Miyama (C), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (15-Yuika Sugasawa, 39), 11-Shinobu Ohno (16-Mana Iwabuchi, 60), 13-Rumi Utsugi, 17-Yuki Ogimi, 19-Saori Ariyoshi
Subs Not Used: 1-Miho Fukumoto, 2-Yukari Kinga, 12-Megumi Kamionobe, 14-Asuna Tanaka, 20-Yuri Kawamura, 21-Erina Yamane, 22-Asano Nagasato, 23-Kana Kitahara, 7-Kozue Ando
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 15 / 12
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 7 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
JPN – Homare Sawa (caution)                      82nd minute
JPN – Mana Iwabuchi (caution)                     85

Officials:
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Natalia Rachynska (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yolanda Parga (ESP)
Fourth Official: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

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.

#TBT: Before the Stars Earned Their Stripes

Every journey has to start somewhere.

For most, the #USWNT is a group of fearless women representing their country while fighting for the ultimate prize in women’s soccer.

But for others, especially family and friends, the player everyone else sees on the field is just the silly girl who grew up before their very own eyes.

In honor of #TBT, we’ve compiled the 23 best photos of your #USWNT before they were the players you root for every day.

On #FridayNight the USA will come out onto the pitch for the #USAvSWE match in Winnipeg. But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the fact that before all of this, before the bright lights and the world stage, that player you dearly admire was once just a five-year-old with a big smile and an even bigger dream. 

WNT Brings #SheBelieves to Local Communities

In an effort to give back to the young fans that support them on the field, the U.S. WNT players are sending a simple yet powerful message back: #SheBelieves. Conceived and developed by the USWNT players, the #SheBelieves campaign is a message to young girls that they can accomplish all their goals and dreams.
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THE BUILT IN TRAINING PARTNER

Alyssa Naeher and twin as babies

As kids, Alyssa’s twin sister Amanda was, conveniently, a forward. That resulted in the two sisters out in the yard for hours, Amanda taking shots on Alyssa, who stood in front of whatever makeshift goal they’d come up with – usually the garage door or the underside of the stairs.

“When we were kids, we thought we had twin powers – one person gets hurt, you’d think, ‘Oh, I think I feel it too,’” says Alyssa. “My parents told us that when we were babies, we’d just sit up in our cribs talking to each other for hours.”

By high school, these “twin powers” were a real advantage on the field. During games, Amanda would take the corner kicks and Alyssa would run up the field and try to score on headers. “At one point in the season, I was six for six,” remembers Alyssa.

Naeher and twin grown up

Naeher Twins Halloween

BEGINNINGS OF THE ‘KEEPER

The Naeher sisters were four–years-old at their first practice, and they were excited. They rushed out of the car – a big old antique Chrysler convertible – and Amanda accidentally slammed the heavy, monstrous door on Alyssa’s hand. It turned black and blue, her nails falling off. As Alyssa screamed in pain, Amanda consoled her with this logic, “Good thing you don’t use your hands in soccer.”

Alyssa jokingly says that she partially became a ‘keeper because of the getup. Alyssa’s father was the high school soccer coach, which meant Amanda and Alyssa were the ball girls. The reward for helping shag balls for the year was a trip to the local soccer store. Both sisters were allowed to pick something out. “I wanted something different. I liked the idea that I could wear a different shirt from everyone else,” laughs Alyssa. “I chose my own jersey – this multi-colored thing – really, really bright. And I remember picking out my first gloves, blue and white – I still have them.”

Of course, she also liked ‘keeper because she got to use her hands – Alyssa was also a basketball player. In her high school career, she broke school records and scored over 2,000 points.

KID LOGIC

Alyssa’s sister Amanda now teaches Physical Education at a middle school. She occasionally has her sister – the professional athlete – come talk to the kids. After one of her talks, Alyssa played a game of basketball knockout with Amanda and her class. When Alyssa won, one of the kids turned to Amanda and asked, “Is she better than you at everything?”

Amanda got her own glory moment later that day. She boasted to some of her younger students that Alyssa was a professional athlete and one of the kids turned and looked at Alyssa, who was wearing jeans and a sweater, and said, “Coach Naeher, you’re definitely more athletic-looking.”

U.S. National Team: Has had quite a bit of training with the senior Women’s National Team, but is a veteran of the USA’s youth national teams and was the starting goalkeeper for the team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

2015:
Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her first World Cup selection... Has not seen any action with the WNT on the year but has been part of the USA's roster for all eight matches this year, including the 2015 Algarve Cup, where the USA won its 10th title after defeating France 2-0 in the final on March 11... 2014: Earned her first cap and shutout in a victory against Argentina at the International Tournament of Brasilia in December … Was at the January training camp and traveled with the USA in March to the Algarve Cup in Portugal ... Was on the roster for the Aug. 20, 2014 game against Switzerland  and a pair of games in September against Mexico ... Trained during the entire 2014 Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament, but was not on the official roster … 2013: Was called into camp with the senior team ahead of a November friendly against Brazil ... 2011: Travelled with the U.S. to Portugal for the Algarve Cup ... 2010:Trained at camp in January and September … 2009: Earned her first call-up to train with the senior team in December 2009 … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-23 team ... Won the 2008 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team, earning the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper after posting five wins in the tournament over France, Argentina, England, Germany and Korea DPR in the Final ... While in high school was called up to play for the U.S. U-16 and U-17 National Teams … Attended the U.S. U-14 I.D. camp in 2002 … First Appearance: Dec. 18, 2014, vs. Argentina  … First Shutout: Dec. 18, 2014, vs. Argentina

Professional / Club – 2014: She was the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year ... Played in and started all 24 games, one of only two Breakers to do so ... Logged a team-high 2,115 minutes, which also ranked her second in the league ... Set a NWSL record and team record with 106 saves ... Registered three shutouts and stopped six of the nine penalty shots she faced ... The six penalty kick saves was the most in NWSL history and a career high ... 2013: Started eight of the nine games she appeared in for the Breakers after joining the club as a free agent in May ... Finished with a 4-2-2 record with team-high two shutouts ... Joined after finishing her German Bundesliga season with FFC Turbine Potsdam … It marked her second stint with the Breakers ... She was selected in the first round (11th overall) of the 2010 WPS Draft ... 2012: With FFC Turbine Potsdam for the 2012/13 Frauen Bundesliga season, she posted a 16-4-1 record with 10 shutouts, helping the team earn a berth into the 2013-14 Champions League ... Potsdam finished second in the Bundesliga, four points back of champions VFL Wolfsburg ... In debut season with Potsdam (2011/12), Naeher went 13-2-2 with 11 shutouts in the league and Potsdam won the Bundesliga ... Made her debut on Sept. 28, 2011, coming on in the 64th minute of the team’s 6-0 victory over Thor/KA of Iceland in the UEFA Women’s Champions League ... Over two years at Potsdam, she had a 6-3-1 Champions League record with four shutouts … 2011: Set a franchise record and led Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) with 99 saves for the Boston Breakers ... Finished with a 5-9-4 record with five shutouts ... Had a goals against average of 1.33 ... Started and played in all 18 games ... Logged 1,620 minutes ... 2010: In her rookie season of 2010, she started all 16 games she played in during the regular season, logging 1,379 minutes ... Faced 90 shots and made 69 saves ... Allowed 18 goals for a 1.17 goals against average ... Posted a record of 9-4-2 with three shutouts ... Played in one playoff game and made three saves in a loss to the Philadelphia Independence in the WPS Super Semifinal ... Youth: Played youth club soccer with Yankee United from U-12 through U-15, then switched to South Central for U-16 to U-19 where she wont a state title … Was a Parade All-American and two-time NSCAA Youth All-American.

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