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WNT Tops Canada 1-0 to Open 2014 in Front of 20,862 Fans in Frisco, Texas

  • Sydney Leroux Scores Game’s Only Goal in 78th Minute
  • Largest Home Crowd in More than 10 Years Watches USA Improve to 11-0-0 in Texas-Based Games and Extend Home Unbeaten Streak to 78 Games
  • USA Prepares for Two-Game Set Against Russia at 3:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 8 in Boca Raton, Fla., and at 7:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 12 in Atlanta; Games will be Webcast Live on

FRISCO, Texas (Jan. 31, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team has dominated in the Lone Star State, and Sydney Leroux kept that streak intact as her goal led the USA to a 1-0 victory against Canada in front of a raucous crowd of 20,862 at Toyota Stadium.

It marked the largest crowd for a WNT home game in more than a decade, when 23,176 fans watched the USA beat Mexico 3-1 on Nov. 2, 2003, at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The U.S. improved to 11-0-0 in Texas-based games, thanks to Leroux finding the net in the 78th minute to open 2014 in winning fashion with her 25th goal in 44 appearances. The USA also extended its home unbeaten streak to 78 games.

Next up, the USA will face Russia for a two-game set on Feb. 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla., (3:30 p.m. ET kickoff), and on Feb. 12 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta (7:30 p.m. ET kickoff). Both games will be webcast live on Fans can also follow the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

With a shade more than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Leroux got the game-winner and it started with defender Becky Sauerbrunn stepping into the attack on a dynamic run into the right side of the penalty area.

Sauerbrunn, who became the 46th player in U.S. WNT history to reach 50 career appearances, began the buildup with a precise give-and-go sequence with second-half sub Christen Press. Sauerbrunn crossed the ball from the right of the six-yard box to Leroux who was stationed at the left post. She stretched to push the ball into the open net for the long-awaited one-goal lead.

The USA and Canada had some choppy moments in the first half as each side tried to find some fluidity in their first game of the year. Canada was plagued by three yellow cards in the opening 45 minutes, while the U.S. failed capitalize on several strong scoring chances.

Leroux was lurking around the Canadian goal from start to finish. Her 13th-minute shot was stopped by charging Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who alertly came off her line to bravely stuff Leroux’s attempt. In the 22nd minute, Leroux’s header off an Ali Krieger cross bounced directly to McLeod for the save.

The Americans had the vast majority of possession, but found space in the attacking third to be at a premium as Canada played a smart tactical game mixed with numerous hard fouls. Canada was whistled for 16 fouls to the USA’s three. Still, the U.S was dangerous throughout the match, and Abby Wambach had back-to-back close-range shots in the 36th minute blocked by Canada defender Lauren Sesselmann.

Canada launched a few troubling attacks, one of which ended in a solid diving save from Solo in the waning moments, and the visitors actually had the best scoring chance for either team in the first half. Quick one-touch passing from Christine Sinclair and Josée Bélanger set up Diana Matheson on the right side in the 40th minute. Solo came out well to cut down the angle and forced the right-footed shot to roll wide-left of the goal.

Solo now has 68 career shutouts and is only three clean sheets behind all-time leader Briana Scurry (71 shutouts from 1994-2008).

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. WNT moved to 47-3-5 all-time against Canada, the host nation of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The U.S. moved to 10-2-2 in January openers.
  • Midfielder and 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Morgan Brian, the youngest player on the roster at 20 years old, made her first start and played very well while earning her fourth overall appearance. In 2013, Brian scored a goal in three games and 62 minutes.
  • Forward Abby Wambach made her 187th-career start, (213th overall appearance), tying her for sixth on the all-time starts lists with Kate Markgraf (187 starts in 201 games from 1998-2010).
  • Heather O’Reilly and Hope Solo, who each made their 137th-career starts, are now tied for 13th on the all-time list with Michelle Akers.
  • Head coach Tom Sermanni has started his second year with the U.S. WNT. The USA is now 14-0-3 under Sermanni.
  • Sermanni’s lineup Friday included Solo in goal, anchoring a defense that featured left back Stephanie Cox, center backs Whitney Engen and Sauerbrunn and right back Ali Krieger.
  • The USA’s team defense was excellent, limiting Canada to one shot on goal.
  • In the midfield of Sermanni’s 4-4-2 lineup were Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, Brian and O’Reilly. Up front was team captain Wambach and Sydney Leroux.
  • In the 74th minute, Christen Press entered the match for Wambach, who passed off the captain’s armband to O’Reilly.
  • Sermanni brought in Christie Rampone for Engen in the 77th minute. Rampone now has made 288 appearances since debuting for the USA in 1997. Rampone ranks second all-time in caps behind only Kristine Lilly (352 caps from 1987-2010).
  • Amy Rodriguez entered the game for Rapinoe in the 88th minute, marking her first appearance for the USA since having a baby boy last August.
  • The USA played without forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Tobin Heath, who are both recovering from injuries.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Jan. 31, 2014
International Friendly
Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
8 p.m. CT
62 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         0 1 1
CAN                         0 0 0

USA – Sydney Leroux (Becky Sauerbrunn) 78th minute

1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen (3-Christie Rampone, 77), 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 25-Morgan Brian, 12-Lauren Holiday, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 88); 2-Sydney Leroux, 20-Abby Wambach (capt.) (23-Christen Press, 74)
Substitutions Not Used: 7-Crystal Dunn, 19-Kristie Mewis, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Julie Johnston

Head coach: Tom Sermanni

CAN: 1-Erin McLeod; 7-Rhian Wilkinson (3-Sura Yekka, 74), 14-Kadeisha Buchanan, 10-Lauren Sesselmann, 20-Marie-Éve Nault (4-Carmelina Moscato, 81); 8-Diana Matheson (16-Jonelle Filigno, 86), 11-Desiree Scott, 13-Sophie Schmidt; 9-Josée Bélanger (17-Brittany Baxter, 71), 12-Christine Sinclair (capt.), 19-Adriana Leon (6-Kaylyn Kyle, 61)
Substitutions Not Used: 21-Stephanie Labbe, 33-Karina LeBlanc, 2-Emily Zurrer
Head coach: John Herdman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 3 / 16
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Josée Bélanger 29th minute
CAN – Kaseisha Buchanan 33
CAN –Lauren Sesselmann 38

Referee: Mirian León (SLV)
Assistant Referee 1: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo Gómez (MEX)
Fourth Official: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn