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WNT vs. Argentina: Highlights - December 18, 2014

Christen Press (four goals) and Carli Lloyd (three goals) accounted for all of the goal scoring as the U.S. WNT defeated Argentina 7-0 in its final group match of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The victory, combined with Brazil’s win against China later in the evening, gave the USA a berth to the tournament’s title game.

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.

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.

WNT Takes On Brazil

A match against Brazil in Brazil is one of the most difficult in women's soccer. Coming off a 1-1 draw with China, the USA will take on the hosts of the International Tournament of Brasilia on Dec. 14 on the second match day of this four-team competition.

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)

 

One of the USA’s best attacking defenders and a gritty ball-winner, before returning to the USA for good in 2013, she was only U.S. regular playing her club soccer overseas … 2012: Played in just one match at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament before tearing her ACL in the 42nd minute against the Dominican Republic, which ruled her out for the year … 2011: Had a breakout year while seeing the most extensive action of her National Team career so far, starting all 16 games in which she played … Her 1,341 minutes played were sixth-best on the team … Made her first Women’s World Cup team and started all six games in her return to Germany, where she lived and played for the previous four years … One of four U.S. players to play every minute of the Women’s World Cup … Sealed her place in U.S. history by converting the fifth and final penalty kick in the dramatic shootout victory over Brazil in the quarterfinal … Had two assists during the year … 2010: Played in eight matches for the USA, starting four … Played all 180 minutes in two matches at the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament … 2008: Made her first roster and debuted in January at the Four Nations Tournament in China, starting and playing every minute of games against Canada and Finland … Her first start in a 4-0 win against Canada was also Pia Sundhage’s first match as head coach of the USA … First call-up came in January … Youth National Teams: Played for the U.S. U-21/U-23 Women’s National Team in 2006 and 2007 … First Appearance: Jan. 16, 2008, vs. Canada … First goal: None.

2012: Returned to Frankfurt and played six matches over three months before coming back to the USA to play in the first season NWSL … Was allocated to the Washington Spirit for the inaugural season of the NWSL … 2010-11: Helped Frankfurt win the German Cup in 2011, a 2-1 victory against Turbine Potsdam in front of more than 20,000 fans in her last game for Frankfurt before returning to the USA for a brief period after four years abroad … Played in 11 games for Frankfurt, starting all of them, and scored one goal … 2009: She regained match fitness to play in 10 matches, starting nine, on loan with the Washington Freedom during the 2009 WPS season … 2008-09: Wasn’t able to play for most of the 2008-2009 season at Frankfurt due to a foot injury that kept her out for about nine months … 2008: Allocated to the Washington Freedom before the start-up of Women’s Professional Soccer in 2008, but due to her contract with Frankfurt, she was initially unavailable to the Freedom … 2007-08: She won “the treble” in 2008, winning a UEFA Women’s Championship, the Bundesliga title and the German Cup with Frankfurt … Scored her first goal in Germany on Feb. 24, 2008, vs. FCR Duisburg … Youth: Coached by her dad Ken Krieger on the Prince William Sparklers, for whom she played from age 7 to 19 … Eight players stayed with the team for that entire run, and almost every player went on to play NCAA Division I. 

 Full name is Alexandra Blaire Krieger … Majored in advertising and public relations at Penn State … Speaks fluent German … When she is done with her soccer career she wants to get into sports broadcasting … Loves movie nights … Her favorite color is fuchsia … Favorite food is Mexican … Brother is a hair-stylist Chris MacMillan Salon in Beverly Hills … Loves going to live sporting events … Is a big Washington Redskins fan and proud Penn State alumna … Loves going to live concerts and Broadway musicals … Dad is director of coaching for both boys and girls for the Prince William Soccer Club in Woodbridge, Va. … Mom lives in Miami and is a physical education teacher at The Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart … Is a morning person, and loves chatting over coffee … Loves to skateboard (on a longboard), but wishes she was better at it … Peanut butter pretzels are her weakness … Lives for beach days and wants to learn how to surf … Cherishes spending times with her best friends … Loves watching cartoons … Always, always, always wears mascara, even if it’s just to get the mail … Enjoys cooking as it relaxes her and brunch is her favorite meal … Obsessed with her new “underground” dance class called Kazaxe … Loves to laugh (she thinks it adds years to one’s life) … Always paints her nails before games … Her brother Kyle is her hero.Played at Penn State from 2003-2006, where she was a two-time All-American and a First-Team NSCAA All-American … Started every game she played for the Nittany Lions, totaling 87 career matches … Scored 11 goals with 19 assists during her college career … Had a career-high seven goals as a junior and a career-high nine assists as a freshman … Broke her leg two days before the opening of the NCAA playoffs during her junior season in November of 2005 … She was the Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 …. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2003 … Helped the Nittany Lions to four consecutive Big Ten titles … High School: Attended Forest Park Senior High School in Woodbridge, Va. … The Virginia Gatorade Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year as a senior in 2003 … First-Team All-Metro as a junior and senior … Team captain as a junior and senior for the Bruins.
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