The U.S. Women’s National Team was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning along with Grammy nominated artist, Ed Sheeran.The team traveled by ferry to New York City’s Central Park before getting to meet the British pop star and chat with GMA hosts, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee and Amy Robach.
“You want to hear a story about Kelley O’Hara? Here’s one that tells you everything you need to know,” says Paul Ratcliffe, coach of Stanford University’s women’s soccer team.
Before O’Hara’s senior year at Stanford, the women’s soccer team traveled to the University of Hawaii for preseason matches. On their off morning, they went sightseeing at Kailua Beach Park. Ratcliffe left the team on one side of the beach and took a walk with his family to the other.
Kailua Beach Park. Photo by Jessica Lieuson.
“When I get back, all the girls are sitting down, kind of laughing and looking uneasy. I was like, ‘Uh, what’s up?’ That’s when they pointed out two tiny flecks swimming out in the water, en route to an island that is far away –I’m talking like far, far out,” says Ratcliffe. “And I’m responsible for these girls, and I’m panicked. When I told the Hawaii coach about it, he says, ‘Yeah, people die doing that.’”
O’Hara and teammate Ali Riley (who plays for the New Zealand national team) had been sitting in the sand, idly wondering whether it was possible to swim out to that island in the distance. The daydreaming prompted reactions from their teammates: “Not possible,” “No way,” “You guys are out of you mind if you think you could swim all the way there!”
CARSON, CALIFORNIA (May 17, 2015) – Sydney Leroux and Abby Wambach led the way as the U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 5-1 in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series matches ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Before a sellout crowd of 27,000, the largest-ever for the WNT at StubHub Center, the U.S. outshot Mexico 12-4 in the first half and put eight shots on goal while producing a number of close opportunities that required all manner of blocks and saves from the Mexico defense and goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (five first-half saves), who kept things close with a fine performance.
After the U.S. broke through midway through the opening frame, Mexico struck back late in the first half as the teams entered the break knotted 1-1. But the USA turned on the style in the second half with four unanswered goals to put the match out of sight.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA- Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe), 28th minute: Sydney Leroux made a perfectly-timed run onto a Megan Rapinoe through-ball that sliced through Mexico’s defense. From the left side, Leroux found herself one-on-one with goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago and made a touch with the outside of her left foot to dart around the keeper. Then from a difficult angle, Leroux blasted a left-footed shot across the goalmouth into the far side netting. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)
MEX- Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra), 39th minute: From a free kick, Bianca Sierra bent a long, curling ball in from the left. Hope Solo went out to punch it clear, but Ariana Calderon was first to ball and headed it in to the vacated net, ending the U.S.’s shutout streak at five games. USA 1, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA- Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach), 46th minute: Out of the second-half gate, the U.S. pressured with an immediate attack. Two second-half subs made the goal happen. Abby Wambach was the first to a deflected, rolling ball in the box. She controlled near the post with her back to a pressing ‘keeper and defender. Sensing the defense, Wambach dished it out to a waiting Chalupny, who fired and buried a near-post goal, just out of reach of the diving Santiago. USA 2, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA- Abby Wambach (penalty kick), 58th minute: Mexico’s Arianna Romero went to clear away a U.S. corner kick, but sent her clearance off her hand to set up a USA penalty kick. Abby Wambach lined up, and blasted a left-footed shot into the left corner of the goal. USA 3, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA- Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian), 61st minute: Leroux’s second goal of the night was similar to her first, only this time it came from the right side. Leroux ran onto a Morgan Brian ball and made one right-footed touch to get outside of the closing goalkeeper. With the room the touch created, Leroux finished into the lower left corner of the goal. USA 4, MEX 1 (SEE GOAL)
USA- Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath), 72nd minute: From the left edge of the box, Tobin Heath left her defender behind with a wicked cut, which gave her room to send a cross to Abby Wambach at the back post. Wambach out-jumped a pair of defenders to head home her second goal of the night. USA 5, MEX 1 (FINAL) (SEE GOAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
MEX- Cecilia Santiago, 10th minute (save): Megan Rapinoe played a ball through the middle to Christen Press who completed the one-two by leading Rapinoe with a perfectly-timed pass. Rapinoe, ripped a shot from the center of the box, but Santiago was there to meet her and cut down the angle to make a quick save.
MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 14th minute (block and save): In the closing seconds of the 14th minute, the Mexico defense rallied to stand firm and hold off a barrage of close-range U.S. shots. The action began when Morgan Brian brought the ball down the right side and looped a cross to a breaking Christen Press at the back post. Press connected with a header that beat the keeper, but Mexico’s Alina Garcíamendez headed it off the line and away. Garcíamendez’s key stop rolled out to a waiting Sydney Leroux, who took a shot that deflected off a defender to Megan Rapinoe on the left. Rapinoe sent a rocket from five yards out that connected with Santiago’s face and bounced out to Carli Lloyd on the opposite side of the goal. Lloyd then headed back across to Rapinoe, who headed another shot on target, but Santiago had recovered to make the save again, this time holding on to put an end to the U.S. attack.
MEX-Alina Garcíamendez and Cecilia Santiago, 43rd minute (block and save): For the second time in the half, the Mexico goalkeeper and defender rallied to hold off a series of USA shots. Leroux again chased down a ball on the left side, but seeing the defense closing in, cut back and passed off to Lauren Holiday. From 25 yards out Holiday ripped a shot at Santiago, who blocked it. Megan Rapinoe followed the shot and looked to put in the rebound, but Santiago made a diving reaction save to deflect it away again. Morgan Brian ran onto the deflection and fired a shot of her own, but Garcíamendez stepped in front and blocked it aside.
- The crowd of 27,000 was the largest in WNT history when playing in Carson.
- Abby Wambach widened the gap as the world’s all-time leading goal-scorer with her 181st and 182nd international goals. Wambach is the team’s leading goal-scorer in 2015 with five scores.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT faces Korea Republic on May 30 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 4:30 p.m. ET
Broadcast information: ESPN, WatchESPN and Univision Deportes
Social: Twitter @ussoccer_wnt; Facebook; Instagram @ussoccer_wnt
- The USA improved its record against rival Mexico to 31-1-1, and the WNT has outscored its North American foe 139-12. The win also extended the WNT’s perfect record against Mexico in Carson to 8-0-0.
- The U.S. WNT extended its unbeaten streak in Carson to 11 games. The team holds an immaculate 11-0-0 record that dates back to its first matchup at the home of the LA Galaxy back in 2003. The USA has outscored opponents 42-4 in Carson. No team has ever scored more than one goal against the U.S. Women while playing in Carson.
- Abby Wambach’s pair of goals brought her career scoring total against Mexico to 24 goals. Wambach has scored more goals against Mexico than against any other team. It was her eight multi-goal game against Mexico.
- Sydney Leroux made her first start of the 2015 season and scored her second and third goals of the year. Her last start came in the WNT’s 3-2 defeat in the 2014 Brasilia International Tournament to host Brazil on Dec. 14, 2014.
- While the five-game shutout streak for the U.S. has ended; in its last seven games, the U.S. has surrendered just two goals and scored 20.
- Lori Chalupny’s goal was her second of the year, with her first coming in the U.S’s 4-0 win over New Zealand on April 4.
- Midfielder Tobin Heath, who missed last game with a tender hamstring, returned today and recorded an assist.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: May 17, 2015
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, California
Kickoff: 6 p.m. PT
Attendance: 27,000 (sellout)
Weather: 61 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
MEX 1 0 1
USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe) 28th minute
MEX – Ariana Calderon (Bianca Sierra) 39
USA – Lori Chalupny (Abby Wambach) 46
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 58
USA – Sydney Leroux (Morgan Brian) 61
USA – Abby Wambach (Tobin Heath) 72
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 19-Julie Johnston (3-Christie Rampone, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (6-Whitney Engen, 70), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (16-Lori Chalupny, 46); 14-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday (17-Tobin Heath, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 15-Megan Rapinoe; 2-Sydney Leroux, 23-Christen Press (20-Abby Wambach, 46)
Subs Not Used: 7-Shannon Boxx, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Ashley Harris, 21-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
MEX: 1-Cecilia Santiago; 2-Kenti Robles, 3-Christina Murillo (6-Jennifer Ruiz, 64), 4-Alina Garcíamendez, 15-Bianca Sierra; 7-Nayeli Rangel, 11-Monica Ocampo, 14-Arianna Romero, 17-Veronica Perez; 9-Veronica Charlyn Corral, 21-Ariana Calderon (19-Renae Cuellar, 42 (16-Monica Alvarado, 69))
Subs Not Used: 12-Pamela Tajonar, 23-Mariana Ladron; 5-Valeria Miranda, 13-Greta Espinoza, 10-Stephany Mayor, 18-Amanda Perez, 8-Teresa Noyola, 22-Fabiola Ibarra, 24-Maria Sanchez; 20-Yadira Toraya
Head coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 29 / 6
Shots on Goal: 13 / 4
Saves: 3 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 5
Offside: 1 / 0
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Katherine Daniela Jimenez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Nelly Odette Alvarado Quiros (CRC)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Sydney Leroux
Kelley O’Hara was the kid who was afraid of sleepovers. “At my first one, I was at a friend’s house in the neighborhood and I felt cool, I was having a good time. But when we started to get ready for bed, I was like, ‘Uh, I don’t like the idea of this!’ I called my parents and they drove the one minute to come pick me up. I was much happier.”
Her dad says, “She would never make it the whole night. Eventually she’d just say, ‘Why don’t you plan on showing up around 9?’”
The self-described “home body” saw her world open up when she began playing with the U.S. Youth National Teams and began traveling the world. While she’d once thought of college – where you sleep in a room with a stranger – as the “worst idea in the whole world,” now she was going on recruiting trips to colleges across the country. Yet, she was still attached to home. When she boarded the plane to California for a trip to Stanford, she turned to her father with dread, “What if I like it?”
The kid who did not like sleeping even one mile from home ended up signing with a college on the other side of the country. At Stanford, she scored 57 goals, tallied 23 assists, and won the 2009 Hermann Trophy as the top collegiate soccer player in the country.
O’Hara was a lifelong forward, a leading scorer at nearly every level of the game, from club to college. But when Ali Krieger tore her ACL in 2012, the National Team was short on outside backs, and head coach Pia Sundhage wondered what O’Hara thought about playing the position. Having learned how to step out of her comfort zone when she chose to attend Stanford, O’Hara stepped up to the challenge.
On January 22, 2012, in Olympic Qualifying against Guatemala, she started her first game at left back, registering three assists. She went on to play every minute at outside back for the USA at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In California, O’Hara got hooked on surfing the first time she tried it. “It didn’t matter if I was good or not – I like learning things.” Surfing was also what steadied her. “With surfing, I don’t have to perform. I’m not competing with anyone, even with myself. I can just enjoy being in the water. And I also like that I can enjoy it if someone else gets a sick wave. In soccer, if the other team scores a sick goal, you can’t be excited about that. You can in surfing.”
U.S. National Teams – She had extensive Youth National Team experience before breaking into the full team in 2010 … Despite playing forward for her entire college career, she switched to outside back in 2012 for the USA and became a starter and an important player in the team’s run to the Olympic gold medal.
2015: Named to the 2015 U.S. FIFA Women's World Cup roster, her second World Cup selection... Has appeared in seven matches for the U.S. Women, starting one game... Saw action in two games during the Algarve Cup, helping the USA win its 10th title after defeating France 2-0 in the final on March 11... 2014: Played in 12 games, starting four over 529 minutes and surpassed 50 caps, becoming the 47th player in U.S. history to reach that mark … Played in two matches, starting one, at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship to help the USA earn its Women’s World Cup berth … 2013: An ankle injury and subsequent surgery limited her to 561 minutes in just seven matches, but she started six … 2012: Had a breakout year while playing left back for the first time at any level, playing in 26 games and starting 25, more than tripling her cap total from the previous two years … Showed excellent attacking abilities down the flank and had five assists on the year, including one to Megan Rapinoe in the Olympic semifinal victory against Canada … One of three players to play every minute of all six matches at the Olympics … Played in three matches at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament in Canada, picking up three assists … Those were her first three starts of her career at outside back … 2011: Played in four matches, starting one, that coming against Canada in January at the Four Nations Tournament in China … Was an alternate on the Women’s World Cup Team but made the final squad due to an injury to Lindsay Tarpley and ended up playing in one game, coming on as a substitute in the USA’s final group match against Sweden … 2010: Earned her first three senior team caps, debuting against Mexico on March 28 in San Diego … 2009: Called in to train with full U.S. Women’s National Team in December after a stellar senior season at Stanford … 2007: Earned first call-up to training camp with the full WNT in March … Youth National Teams: Was a U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year finalist in 2008 and 2009 … Played for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team in 2009 and for the U-21s in 2007 … Ended her U-20 international career as one of the USA’s all-time leading scorers at that level with 24 goals (currently tied with Lindsey Horan and Kelley O’Hara) in 35 U-20 caps … Played in 12 international matches for the U-20s in 2008, scoring 10 goals, but was not selected for the World Cup team … Played in five matches at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament, starting four, while tying for the team lead in scoring with six goals (which included a hat trick against Cuba) … Played in 29 matches for the U-20s in 2006 leading into the Women’s World Cup in Russia, scoring 18 goals, including two against the full U.S. Women’s National Team and a hat trick against the Finland U-20s … Played in four matches at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, scoring two goals, including a huge score in the quarterfinal victory against Germany … Also scored in a first-round win against DR Congo … First call-up to the U-20 National Team in January of 2006 … A member of the U.S. team that won the 2006 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Qualifying Tournament in Mexico … Played in four matches in Mexico, starting two, and scored one goal with two assists … Played with U.S. U-17 Women’s National Team in 2005, leading the team in scoring with 10 goals … Played with the U.S. U-16s in 2004 and also was called into a U-17 camp that year … Scored in both matches for the U-17s against the Germany U-17s in late February of 2005 … Also scored against Japan in 2005 and had five goals on a tour of Brazil in December of 2005 … First Appearance: March 28, 2010, vs. Mexico ... First Goal: None.
Professional / Club – 2014: Started all 22 games in which she played for Sky Blue FC, totaling 1,917 minutes which was third on the team … Playing on the flank or at forward, she scored seven goals with five assists and was the leading scorer on the team … Fired 61 shots with 27 on goal … 2013: Allocated to Sky Blue FC for the 2013 NWSL season and played 924 minutes in 12 games, starting 10, before an ankle injury ended her season … Had three assists while helping Sky Blue get off to a fast start … 2012: Signed with her home state Atlanta Beat for the 2012 Women’s Professional Soccer season before the league folded … 2011: Signed with the Boston Breakers for the 2011 WPS season after FC Gold Pride ceased operations … Played 1,049 minutes for the Breakers, second-most WPS minutes for any WNT player, while playing in 13 matches and starting 11 … Scored four goals, tied for second-most by a WNT player in WPS, and had one assist … 2010: The first-round pick and third overall player taken by FC Gold Pride in the 2010 WPS Draft … In 2010, she was one of the top rookies in the league, playing in 18 games while starting 16 and scored six goals with four assists … Suffered a quad injury toward the end of the season that kept her from starting the WPS championship game, but came off the bench and played 24 minutes as Gold Pride won the championship, adding that trophy to the regular season title … Was named as a WPS All- Star Game reserve … Youth Club: Started with the Peachtree City Lazers in U-10 until U-12s, when she switched to the Lightning Soccer Club … Moved back to the Lazers for U-17s where she finished her youth career … Won Georgia state titles at U-13, U-14, U-15 and U-17 levels … Won Regionals at U-14s and advanced to nationals, where they placed third.