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WNT vs. Korea DPR: Highlights - March 12, 2014

The U.S. Women's National Team defeated Korea DPR 3-0 in its final match of the 2014 Algarve Cup on a sunny day in Parchal, Portugal. Abby Wambach led the way with two goals while Heather O'Reilly, playing in her historic 200th match, scored the third.

U.S. WNT vs. Korea DPR: Post-Match Quotes - March 12, 2014

U.S. WNT vs. Korea DPR
Post-Match Quotes – March 12, 2014
2014 Algarve Cup

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the team rebounding to get a win:
“It was a terrific performance to be honest. We dominated the game, we dominated possession, and I can’t remember them having a shot on goal. I’m really pleased with the way players came out and approached the game. To be honest, they could have come out feeling fairly dejected because we are playing in an unusual position in this tournament rather than playing for first and second. So, it’s a credit to them, their professionalism and focus, and we finished the game off exceptionally well.”

On the veteran leadership:
“Abby was tremendous today. She led from the front. Morgan and Carli dominated midfield, and Becky and Buehler dominated in the back, so right down our core today we were really solid. It was a good way to finish what has been a strange tournament.”

U.S. WNT midfielder HEATHER O’REILLY
On earning her 200th cap:
“I couldn’t be prouder, and although the tournament didn’t go exactly the way this team would have hoped, the really cool thing about being a part of this team is that it’s like a family. There’s ups, there’s downs, there’s hard times, there’s amazing times, so I think it’s fitting that my 200th was in a game like this, in a game where we were able to overcome some adversity and come away with a proud result.”

On scoring in her 200th cap:
“Scoring goals is the best. It’s always really fun and exciting to score. I’m just proud to be able to put on this jersey 200 times. It’s really incredible and something I’m really, really proud of.”

On the USA’s effort against Korea DPR:
“We’re really proud of what we put out there, and up until the last minute we were showing what the U.S. is all about. We got a great couple of goals but we know that there is growth still left in this team and we are already excited to get back on the training field and get better together.”

On her goal:
“On the last goal, I actually screamed at Abby to get near post. Usually it’s me making the near post run, but I made her to do it today and the ball scooted through after all their attention went to Abby and I was able to put it home at the back post. But I love this team and I’m really thankful to be a part of it.”

U.S. midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the match:

“Today was good. It was good to end the tournament with a win. Obviously it’s been a difficult situation for all of us. I think teams are getting a little more sophisticated in how to break us down, in how to contain us, and we’ve got to find more sophisticated ways to break them down. They are not going to give us time and space in midfield or up top, so we’ve got to find other ways, and I think that’s what will elevate our game. You live and learn. We’ll learn from this whole experience here and move forward and we’ve still got plenty of time.”

On attacking Korea DPR:
“We knew what to expect with them as far as organization. We knew they’d be technical and they did pose some threats up top as well, but we got around them with width and got some runs in from behind and that’s how we scored our goals.”

On looking forward:
“We’re still learning. There were some new players that were on the field, some younger players, some veterans, but once we find that core group we can keep moving forward. You always come out learning things. I came out as a better player, as well as everyone else, so we just have to bounce back and move forward.”

U.S. WNT defender RACHEL VAN HOLLEBEKE
On ending the tournament on a positive note:

“I think this hasn’t been our best tournament and we really wanted to come out today and leave everything that we had on the field and I think that we did that, so it was a good way to end.”

On the USA’s ball-winning:
“Ball winning is something that has always been a strength of our team. We focused on those things today. We tried to play to our strengths and set the tone out there.”

On the tournament overall:
“The tournament was definitely an interesting one for us, but it was great in certain ways because a lot of players did get a lot of experience, and we are still really far out from the World Cup. Sometimes adversity can be good and make you grow stronger. I think the way we answered back in this game is a testament to our character and hopefully we’re back on the right track.”

U.S. WNT forward ABBY WAMBACH
On rebounding from two poor results:

“Games like these are good. It’s a gut check. I don’t think we’ve lost two games in a row in a long time, maybe ever, so I think for us it’s a matter of coming out on the field and putting the work in. We can talk all day long about formations and systems and style of play, but at the end of the day, it’s about certain people showing up and playing collectively as a team and finishing your chances.”

On the Korea DPR testing the USA:
“Gone are the days that we are going to be beating teams nine or 10 to zero. North Korea is a quality team. They’re technical, they keep possession of the ball and that’s really good for us as it forces our defense to shift and puts us in positions that we’ll probably see in the World Cup. Games like this are really good for us, to look at film, to make sure if there was a breakdown we can go back and correct it.”

On creating scoring chances:
“Like we said at halftime, we can keep possession all day long, but we need to have those penetrating passes, or those people like Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe and Heather O’Reilly taking ownership of the game and do something individually, so we can get the chances that we can put in the back of the net.”

U.S. WNT Blanks Korea DPR 3-0 for Seventh Place at Algarve Cup

  • Heather O’Reilly Adds Goal in 200th Cap, Becoming Ninth U.S. WNT Player to Achieve Milestone
  • U.S. Players Return Home for Kickoff of NWSL Season With Next WNT Matches on April 6 and 10 vs. China PR in Commerce City, Colo., and San Diego

PARCHAL, Portugal (March 12, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team won its final game of the 2014 Algarve Cup, taking seventh place in the tournament with a 3-0 victory against Korea DPR on two goals from Abby Wambach and a late clincher from Heather O’Reilly.

The match marked O’Reilly’s 200th cap as she became the ninth female player in U.S. history to achieve that milestone. In those 200 games, she has been a direct part of 90 goals, scoring 40 and assisting on 50. She picked up her 50th assist in the USA’s previous match against Denmark on March 10.

The USA displayed a much more consistent attacking rhythm throughout the game than it achieved in previous matches, and while it didn’t produce a ton quality chances against an organized North Korea, the three goals all came from tremendous build-ups and featured quality finishes.

The first goal, which came in the 11th minute, was thing of beauty. A series of quick passes moved the ball from the left to the right wing, where Ali Krieger had space to cross from almost flush on the sideline. Her booming service flew over the last North Korea defender to the crashing Wambach at the far post, and she finished powerfully with a diving header.

North Korea knocked the ball around well, and threated with some excellent ball movement through the midfield, but the USA’s team defense, led by center backs Becky Sauerbrunn and Rachel Van Hollebeke and center midfielder Carli Lloyd, was stellar in its ball-winning. The USA limited Korea DPR to just two shots in the game, neither of which was on goal.

Wambach doubled the leaded in the 58th minute, but Lloyd was the catalyst, making a tremendous dribbling run into the left side of the box that featured power and skill. She was able to get all the way to the end line and cut a short pass back through a defender’s legs to Wambach, who had her back to the goal. In a moment of inspiration, with one sweeping motion, Wambach rolled the ball with the sole of her left foot and into the net from close range past the stunned North Korea goalkeeper.

The goals were the 166th and 167th of Wambach’s career as she continues to add to her world record. The brace also upped her total at the Algarve Cup to 21, the most for any U.S. player.

After some initial attacking pressure from North Korea early in the second half, the USA dominated the rest of the game, but didn’t get a clinching goal until two minutes remained.

O’Reilly, who had come on at halftime for Tobin Heath, was the recipient of another Lloyd assist. This one was made possible by Krieger, who slid to knock a pass to Lloyd in the right side of the penalty area. Lloyd then sent a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth and a Wambach run to the near post drew several North Korea defenders and the goalkeeper, leaving O’Reilly wide open at the far post to finish from the door step.

Most of the U.S. players will now return home to begin their pre-season camps with their National Women’s Soccer League clubs, while several will head back to Europe to finish their European club campaigns. The second season of the NWSL kicks off on April 12.

The USA will be back in action next for two games against China PR on April 6 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (3 p.m. MT) and April 10 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego (8 p.m. PT, NBC Sports Network). Fans can follow the U.S. WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA upped its record to 4-2-1 on the year.
  • The USA moved to 5-0-1 all-time against Korea DPR. This was the first match between the countries that did not take place in a Women’s World Cup or an Olympics as the teams met in the group play at the 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cups and the 2012 Olympics.
  • U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made two subs during the second half, sending on Kelley O’Hara for Meghan Klingenberg at left back in the 59th minute and forward Christen Press played the final 15 minutes in relief of Amy Rodriguez.
  • Goalkeeper Jill Loyden made her third career start in goal and picked up her second career shutout. It was her ninth overall cap and second this year.
  • Carli Lloyd played all 90 minutes in all four matches, the only U.S. player to do so.
  • With 40 goals and 50 assists Heather O’Reilly is just the seventh player in U.S. WNT history to join the 40/50 club, along with Abby Wambach (167/65), Mia Hamm (158/144), Kristine Lilly (130/105), Tiffeny Milbrett (100/61), Shannon MacMillan (60/50) and Julie Foudy (45/55).
  • In yet another sign of the USA bringing out the best in its opponents, Sweden lost in the third-place match to Iceland, 2-1, and Denmark fell in the fifth-place match to China PR in penalty kicks, after tying 1-1 in regulation.
  • Austria defeated Portugal 2-1 for 11th place.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea DPR
Date: March 12, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Seventh-Place Game
Venue: Belavista Municipal Stadium; Parchal, Portugal
Kickoff: 7 a.m. ET / 11 a.m. local
Attendance: 250
Weather: 61 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        1 2 3
PRK                         0 0 0

USA – Abby Wambach (Ali Krieger)   11th minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd)   58
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd)   88

Lineups:
USA: 21-Jill Loyden; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 59); 15-Megan Rapinoe, 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (23-Christen Press, 75), 20-Abby Wambach (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 2-Sydney Leroux, 3-Christie Rampone, 6-Whitney Engen, 12-Samantha Mewis, 13-Sarah Hagen, 14-Stephanie Cox, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Kristie Mewis, 
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

PRK: 1-Hong Myong Hui; 6-Kim Un Hyang, 15-Kim Nam Hui, 16-Kim Un Ha, 19-Yun Song Mi; 7-Kim Su Gyong, 8-Kim Un Ju, 9-Jong Yu Ri, 12-Kim Yun Mi; 10-Ho Un Byol, 11-Ra Un Sim (capt.)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Paek Gol Gum, 4-Jo Jong Sim, 13-Ri Yong Mi, 18-Kim Su Jong, 21-Cha Un Ju,
Head coach: Kim Kwang Min

Stats Summary: USA / PRK
Shots: 10 / 2
Shots on Goal: 5 / 0
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 2 /0
Fouls: 10 / 8
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
PRK – Ra Un Sim (caution)            45th minute

Officials:
Referee: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ella De Vries (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuela Nicolosi (FRA)
Fourth Official: Riem Hussein (GER)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Rachel Van Hollebeke

U.S. WNT vs. Denmark: Post-Match Quotes - March 10, 2014

U.S. WNT vs. Denmark
Post-Match Quotes – March 10, 2014
Algarve Cup – Group B

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the first half:
“I think we started the game very sluggishly, that’s what went wrong. We were too slow and too predictable and we allowed Denmark to dictate how the game was going to be played. I thought tactically they defended very well, and we really never posed them any problems because we didn’t vary how we played at all. We didn’t threaten in behind them and then they were pretty devastating on the break. To be honest, in transition, we were equally slow and sluggish and we got punished for that and they had some excellent finishes.”

On giving up the first goal against a team content to sit back and defend:
“It just makes them sit in there even more. It also makes every breakdown and every missed pass feel more stressful and it can start to erode the players’ confidence. It starts to affect your rhythm of play and starts to affect your tempo, and as a result of that, things can combine and things can sort of go downhill. I think that was what happened in the first half.”

On rebounding in the second half:
“Credit to the players. They came out in the second half and changed it around. Tactically, we did some things that started to put Denmark under pressure and when we do those things well, we become a really potent team.”

On the Algarve Cup group play:
“It’s been a strange tournament, but that’s a great lesson because that’s how tournament football is sometimes. Things can turn very quickly in your favor or turn against you. If you look analytically at the three games we’ve played, Japan barley had a chance against us and scored on a free kick. We dominated that game and had many chances to score. Similar story with Sweden, who didn’t actually have many shots at goal all game, and again we dominated (possession) and created chances and didn’t score. Today was different, our first half performance was poor, but we got ourselves into the game in the second half, we just never finished it off to get (a positive result.)”

On the halftime topics:
“We talked about what we had to do get back in the game. The few things we had to do were up the tempo with how we played and secondly start winning the second balls to assert some authority on the match, but mostly we talked about getting balls in behind them and putting them under pressure. We had to get them running back towards their goal and start to stretch the game so we could gain more possession on the ground. I think we actually did that in the second half, and as soon as we started doing that, we started creating chances and we started dominating the game. I think if you look at chances in the second half, we could have got ourselves in the game and won the game, but when you are chasing three goals that becomes very, very difficult.”

On Denmark’s counter-attack:
“We gave away some very bad goals on the break and that was something we had dealt with well in the previous two games. We were well-organized defensively to deal with transitions against us, but today, in fairness to Denmark, they broke very well and caused us some more problems and scored on breakaways.”

On having chances to tie the match before giving up a final goal:
“At 4-3, I thought we were going to get back in the game, going to at least get a draw and maybe go onto win the game. We hit the post and had an offside goal, but when it starts to get desperate near the end, you are talking all sorts of chances and there’s always a chance you will get caught on the break and that’s what happened.”

U.S. midfielder MEGAN RAPINOE
On looking forward:

“We’re seven months away from qualifiers and even longer from the World Cup, and for the most part, everyone is fit and healthy going into the NWSL season. Of course, we want to have to better results, but it’s not time to get to down on ourselves or be panicked. No one wins every game in football and these last two games we played excellent teams and just didn’t get it done.”

On the match:
“Obviously, that’s not good enough. I think they jumped all over us early and that set the tone, but we had a ton of fight in the second half and will be positive going forward, but overall we need to put a better game together than that.”

U.S. WNT defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On the match:

“Denmark was a good side. We have to give them credit for their transition and they were well organized definitely and that helped their attack. Unfortunately, we were off today in our spacing and shape defensively, and when we play high level teams, they will exploit mistakes and finishes their chances and Denmark did that today.”

On the second half:
“We came out better in the second half. We came out with energy and focus even though we were down 3-0 and we played well enough to tie that game, but we have to focus on the little things to make it happen.”

On looking forward:
“The results in this tournament are obviously not up to our standards. We have to re-focus and re-evaluate and we will get better leading into the rest of the year. A lot of young players got some time against great teams and that can only help moving forward.”

WNT vs. Denmark: Highlights - March 10, 2014

The U.S. WNT lost by a 5-3 score to Denmark in its final Group B match at the 2014 Algarve Cup. They USA went behind 3-0 in the first half before making a run in second on goals from Christen Press, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe, but fell short in a match that featured five total goals after the break.

U.S. WNT Falls to Denmark 5-3 in Final Group B Match at Algarve Cup

  • USA Will Play Korea DPR in Seventh-Place Match on March 12
  • Mewis Sisters Start Together for First Time
  • Leroux and Press Score Team-Leading Fourth Goals of 2014; Rapinoe Adds Second-Half Tally

ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (March 10, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team dropped its final Group B match at the Algarve Cup, falling 5-3 to Denmark in a game that featured a combined five second-half goals. Christen Press, Sydney Leroux and Megan Rapinoe each scored second-half goals to mount a comeback, but it was not enough as the USA suffered back-to-back losses for the first time since 2001.

The result puts the USA last in Group B and the team will now face Korea DPR in the tournament’s seventh-place match on Wednesday, March 12, at Parchal (11 a.m. local, 7 a.m. ET). Fans can follow the U.S. WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

The USA played a sluggish first half in which it struggled to get anything going offensively and ran into a Denmark team whose counter-attack was clinical. Denmark played low pressure while compacting the midfield, inviting the USA to find a way through the bunker before launching quick counters, and the first goal came in just that fashion.

After neither team created much in the way of chances for the first 20 minutes, a quick break down the left resulted in a tremendous shot from Katrine Veje. She struck her low, powerful blast perfectly across the goal, off the right post and in for a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

The USA then conceded two goals in five minutes between the 35th and 39th minutes. A give-away off a square pass in the back turned disastrous as Denmark then squared the ball to the wide open Nadia Nadim in the right side of the penalty area and she plowed her shot into the left corner to make it 2-0.

The U.S. conceded on a corner kick four minutes later as Simone Sørensen rose in a crowd to power a header into the left side of the net to make it 3-0 at the break.

A galvanized U.S. team came out in the second half, peppering the Denmark goal with shots and crosses, and quickly pulled a goal back in the 51st minute through Press. Midfielder Samantha Mewis, who was making her first start for the WNT, threaded a pass to Heather O’Reilly inside the penalty area and she touched it to Press, who rolled her shot into the lower left corner.

Leroux put the ball in the net with her head just a few minutes later, but the goal was correctly waved away for offside.

With the USA pressing, Denmark scored off another counter-attack in the 62nd minute. This time, it was Joanna Rasmussen who got behind the U.S. defense to slot home. The USA answered back immediately as Sydney Leroux ran under a long ball over the Danish back line and shot into the lower left corner to make it 4-2 in the 63rd minute

Just a minute later, Press had two chances, but her bullet header hit the right post and after Carli Lloyd ran down the rebound and crossed back into the middle, the U.S. striker saw her low shot toward the left corner saved by the sprawling Denmark goalkeeper. Soon after, Leroux broke free behind the defense, but saw her quasi-breakaway saved.

The third U.S. goal came after a sustained sequence of pressure in the Denmark penalty area which ended when Lloyd got to the ball near the end line on the left side, squared a pass on the ground into the middle and Rapinoe knocked it home from right on the goal line.

At that point, the USA had numerous chances to tie the score, but could not find the equalizer. With about 20 minutes left, Press got behind the defense and lobbed the ‘keeper, but her shot flew wide right.

In the 77th minute, the USA earned a free kick from 28 yards out almost straight away. Rapinoe got a good strike on the ball, but substitute Denmark ‘keeper Cecilie Sørensen, who came on at halftime, flew to her right to push the ball away.

U.S. head coach Tom Sermanni made numerous subs in the second half, as the USA chased the game, sending on Rapinoe for Heather O’Reilly in the 54th minute, Kelley O’Hara for Meghan Klingenberg in the 60th minute, inserting Becky Sauberbrunn into the midfield for Samantha Mewis in the 62nd minute and sent on Sarah Hagen and Abby Wambach in the last eight minutes as the USA switched to a three-front.

The USA sent a few crosses flashing through the Denmark penalty area in the final minutes, and Lloyd had a hard strike from 15 yards blocked with two minutes left, but could not find an equalizer.

Denmark scored on another counter in the third minute of stoppage time. With the majority of the U.S. team pushed up the field, Denmark had a massive numerical advantage on the break and Karoline Nielsen finished her breakaway chance for the final margin.

It was the first time in the history of the U.S. WNT program that the team allowed five goals in a match. The back-to-back losses marked the first time the USA has lost consecutive games since the 2001 Algarve Cup; a 2-0 loss to Sweden in the group finale and a 4-3 loss to Norway in the fifth-place match.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 3-2-1 on the year.
  • The U.S. WNT fell to 18-5-3 all-time against Denmark. It was the first loss to Denmark since Nov. 6, 2004, during the USA’s post-Olympic tour.
  • The Mewis sisters - Samantha and Kristie – both started the match, marking the first time sisters had started a game for the USA in its history. For Samantha, it was her second WNT start.
  • The last time WNT lost by two goals was Aug. 6, 2008, in a 2-0 loss to Norway to open the Olympics, but the USA went on to win the tournament.
  • Heather O’Reilly earned her 199th cap in the match and will be the ninth U.S. player to hit 200 games if she plays in the placement match.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Denmark
Date: March 10, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
Kickoff: 10:40 a.m. ET / 2:40 p.m. local
Attendance: 750
Weather: 64 degrees, sunny, windy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        0 3 3
DEN                        3 2 5

DEN – Katine Veje                                  24th minute
DEN – Nadia Nadim                                35
DEN – Simone Sørensen                          39
USA – Christen Press (Heather O’Reilly)    51
DEN – Joanna Rasmussen                       62
USA – Sydney Leroux (Stephanie Cox)     63
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Carli Lloyd)          68
DEN – Karoline Nielsen                           90+3

Lineups:
USA:
1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 60), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 14-Stephanie Cox (20-Abby Wambach, 85); 9-Heather O’Reilly (15-Megan Rapinoe, 54), 12-Samantha Mewis (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 62), 10-Carli Lloyd, 19-Kristie Mewis (13-Sarah Hagen, 82); 23-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux
Substitutions Not Used: 7-Morgan Brian, 8-Amy Rodriguez,11-Ali Krieger, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 21-Jill Loyden 
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

DEN: 1-Stina Petersen (16-Cecilie Sørensen, 46); 8-Theresa Nielsen, 4-Sofie Pedersen, 6-Mariann Knudsen (capt.), 9-Nanna Christiansen (14-Karoline Nielsen, 77), 19-Julie Jensen (17-Camilla Larsen, 46), 2-Simone Sørensen (12-Louise Kristiansen, 69), 7-Sanne Troelsgaard (18-Simone Hagelskjaer, 46), 10-Nadia Nadim, 11-Katrine Veje, 13-Joanna Rasmussen (15-Frederikke Thøgersen, 88)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Line Jensen, 5-Tenna Bendtsen, 20-Julie Petersson
Head coach: Nils Nielsen

Stats Summary: USA / DEN
Shots: 22 / 9
Shots on Goal: 11 / 7
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 13
Offside: 6 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
DEN – Joanna Rasmussen (caution)           84th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution)                        87th minute

Officials:
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Christina Biehl (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Michelle O’Neill (IRL)
Fourth Official: Stephanie Frappart (FRA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd

WNT vs. Sweden: Highlights - March 7, 2014

The U.S. Women’s National Team created enough chances to win, but couldn’t find the net in a 1-0 loss to Sweden during its second Group B match at the 2014 Algarve Cup. The loss broke the USA’s 43-game unbeaten streak, which started against Sweden in the Third-Place match of the 2012 Algarve Cup, as Lotta Schelin scored the game’s lone goal in the 24th minute.

U.S. WNT vs. Sweden: Post-Match Quotes - March 7, 2014

U.S. WNT vs. Sweden
Post-Match Quotes – March 7, 2014
Algarve Cup – Group B

U.S. WNT head coach TOM SERMANNI
On the match:
“I was pleased with how we played in the second half and how we upped the tempo and how many chances we created, but in this game, you have to score goals.”

On his first loss as head coach of the U.S. WNT:
“You’re always going to lose games in football. That’s how it works. Sometimes you win games that perhaps you should have lost, sometimes you lose games that perhaps you should have one. But as I said, today we missed a penalty at nil-nil and in the last fifteen minutes we had four very good goal scoring opportunities and if you don’t take those, that makes a difference.”

On the big picture:
“It’s not just about winning or losing at the moment, but also really analyzing the performance. I think in the second half, and particularly in the second part of the second half, I was really pleased with the performance.”

On scoring just one goal in two games so far at the Algarve Cup:
“Normally, we’re a team that scores goals. Last year, we averaged between three and four goals a game, and in these last two games against really quality opposition, we created more chances than I thought we probably would have created. But at the moment, we’re just not scoring. So the only thing you can do is keep trying to create them, keep trying to make sure players’ stay positive, keep getting into goal scoring positions and hopefully turn it around.”

On Lotta Schelin’s goal:
"Schelin is an outstanding, world-class player. If you put balls in that area, she’s likely to score. But outside of that, I think it was really the only (significant) shot on goal that Sweden had.”

On Sweden’s defensive organization:
“We knew that was one of the strengths of Sweden. They are very well organized, very disciplined, particularly defensively, like most of the Scandinavian teams. They have a strong structure in that regard and they frustrated us for most of the first half. Obviously, if we had scored the penalty, that would have opened the game up a little bit, but we really managed to test that organization and discipline and tenacity, particularly for the last 30 minutes of the game, and certainly at that time we created enough chances to win the game.”

U.S. WNT midfielder CARLI LLOYD
On the match:

“In the first half, we pressured them really well, creative opportunities and got the PK. It’s just one of those things going on in this tournament, we’re creating chances, we’ve got the work ethic, the desire, the will and for some reason, they are not going into the back of the net. It’s alright, though, we still can work on some things, we still can learn and now is the time to get the kinks out and move forward and prepare for our next game.”

On creating enough chances to tie or win in the second half:
“We had a lot of chances and I think every single sub that came on; the Mewis sisters, Press and Apple, did a fantastic job. We couldn’t’ have asked for anything more from them. We created chances, there some suspects calls, a few could have gone our way, but overall I thought one was going to get in the back of the net. We’re all disappointed, but at the same time, we have to break it down, move on from it, learn from it and get ready for the next game.”

U.S. WNT defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On the match:

“This was a tough one. We definitely had more of the ball, not necessarily the best possession we could have played with, but we definitely made Sweden defend a lot and credit to them, they kept fighting and battling and cutting off the passing channels and blocking shots. We definitely had the run of play, we just didn’t finish, so now it’s back to practice to get ready for the next game.”

On the young players coming off the bench in the second half and making an impact:
“The young players came on and did really well. They brought a lot of energy, were very positive and were making good runs. They gave that effort we needed at the end of the game. It was a good taste for them, we got two first-cappers and hopefully they can get more.

On looking forward to the final group game vs. Denmark:
“We haven’t played our best soccer in the last two games. We need to get back on the field and do what we do best. We need to stay composed, knock the ball around, play with our mentality and have a good game against Denmark.”

U.S. WNT midfielder SAMANTHA MEWIS
On earning her first cap:

“I was excited to get my first cap and it was a lot of fun to get out on the field. I went on at the same time as my sister, which was really cool, and the girls were all really helpful in instructing me and helping me out, but I am really disappointed that we lost.”

On the match:
“It was a game of ups and downs and back and forth. The ball seemed to be in the air a lot, especially when I was on the field. Bit we did some good creating, especially on the flanks, so it was really disappointing to not get a goal or two.”

U.S. WNT forward SARAH HAGEN
On earning her first cap:

“It felt great to get in. I had a few opportunities that I wish I would have been able to finish. To be able to get some playing time was great and coming in in a game like this where it meant a lot for our team to win, it felt good to play a role.”

On having several chances to score in her brief time on the field:
“I felt like when I came in I was able to make somewhat of a difference, getting on a few balls in the air and we had a few dangerous crosses. I wish I could have gotten on the end of one of Carli’s crosses, but we definitely started to create more opportunities, unfortunately toddy we couldn’t finish them.”

U.S. WNT Drops Second Match of 2014 Algarve Cup

  • Lotta Schelin’s Header in 24th Minute Lifts Sweden
  • USA’s 43-Game Unbeaten Streak Comes to an End
  • Samantha Mewis and Sarah Hagen Earn First Caps
  • WNT Finishes Group Play Against Denmark on March 10 in Albufeira, Portugal, Hoping for Spot in Third-Place Match

ALBUFEIRA, Portugal (March 7, 2014) – For the second straight match at the Algarve Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team dominated in possession and scoring chances, but this time fell short in a 1-0 loss to Sweden that knocked the USA out of contention for a place in the championship game.

Coming off a 1-1 draw against Japan on March 3, the USA needed a victory against Sweden to stay on track for the berth to the championship match, which goes to the group winner. However, Sweden star Lotta Schelin’s header in the 24th minute proved to be the only goal.

The loss ends the USA’s 43-game unbeaten streak (36-0-7) that started two years ago to the day with a 4-0 victory against Sweden in the third-place match of the 2012 Algarve Cup. It also marked the first loss under head coach Tom Sermanni, who moved to 16-1-4 since taking over in January of 2013.

Up next for the USA will be Denmark on March 10 in Albufeira, Portugal (10:40 a.m. ET), in the final Group B match for both teams. Denmark lost to Japan 1-0 today, so the USA will be hoping for a win against Denmark, coupled with a loss by Japan to Sweden, and will need to end with a superior goal differential over Japan, to earn a spot in the third-place match. Fans can follow USA-Denmark on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and watch highlights on ussoccer.com.

The USA out-shot Sweden 12-4 and had seven corner kicks to Sweden’s one, while Schelin’s goal was Sweden’s only true dangerous chance of the match. Still, Sweden was tremendous in its defensive organization and made it difficult for the U.S. WNT, which had the majority of possession to create quality chances, especially in the first half.

Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl made several world-class saves and also slapped away a few dangerous crosses to help her side to relieve the U.S. pressure.

The USA missed a golden chance to take an early lead after Amy Rodriguez sprinted into the penalty area on a semi-breakaway, slowed down and then burst toward goal again before she was cut down. Referee Yemi Martinez immediately pointed to the spot and Abby Wambach stepped up to take the penalty kick in the 15th minute.

In the first of several spectacular stops she would make on the day, Lindahl guessed correctly, diving explosively to her left to save Wambach’s low strike that was headed into the lower right corner.

Schelin’s goal came after Sofia Jakobsson blocked a clearance attempt from Ali Krieger in the left corner and managed to swing in a cross. Schelin was flashing across the goal and got her head on the ball to nod it past U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo into the lower right corner. The USA almost got behind Sweden’s compact back line several times in the first half, but was caught offside five times before the break.

The U.S. was the aggressor in the second half, pressuring Sweden into numerous giveaways and causing havoc inside the Sweden penalty box on numerous occasions.

The USA produced an attacking flurry between the 56th and 62nd minutes that included two occasions in which balls were bouncing inside 12 yards in front of the Sweden net, but the USA could not finish. The U.S. also had a series of three consecutive corner kicks. The first two were pushed away by Lindahl and Lloyd headed the third hard, but wide right of the goal.

Sermanni sent on both Mewis sisters – Samantha and Kristie – in the 68th minute, soon followed by forwards Christen Press in the 70th and Sarah Hagen in the 81st, and all contributed to numerous close calls in front of the Sweden net. It was the first cap for the 21-year-old Samantha Mewis and the 24-year-old Hagen.

In the 83rd minute, Kristie Mewis had a one-on-one chance when she ran under a flicked pass inside the penalty area, but Lindahl was quick off the line and saved the half-volley with her legs.

Just after that, a fine U.S. build-up sprung Carli Lloyd into the right side of the box. She hit a bullet cross on the ground that flashed through the middle, but a Hagen slide at an open net was just a step too late.

Lindahl saved the game for her team in the 88th minute after Hagen got in behind the defense on a breakaway, but once again the Sweden goalkeeper came up huge, coming off the line to make the stop with her chest.

Sweden’s only shot of the second half came in the 90th minute as Solo gobbled up a header from Nilla Fischer.

Additional Notes:

  • The USA moved to 3-1-1 on the year.
  • The U.S. WNT fell to 20-6-9 all-time against Sweden.
  • When the Mewis sisters (Samantha and Kristie) entered the match in the 68th minute, it marked just the third time sisters have been on the field together for the full U.S. Women’s National Team and the first time since May 11, 1997, when twins Lorrie and Ronnie Fair played against England in Portland, Ore. The Fair twins also played in the previous match against England on May 9, 1997, in San Jose, Calif.
  • Kristie (23) and Samantha (21) played together on the youth level at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.
  • The match marked the first time that the U.S. Women did not win in consecutive games since Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 of 2012 when it tied Germany twice, in Bridgeview, Ill. and East Hartford, Conn.
  • Kelley O’Hara came on for Meghan Klingenberg at left back following halftime, while Samantha Mewis replaced Morgan Brian and Kristie Mewis replaced Megan Rapinoe, who did some dangerous work on the flank in her 67 minutes.
  • Christen Press came on for Amy Rodriguez and Sarah Hagen replaced Abby Wambach.
  • Heather O’Reilly earned her 198th cap and is now just two games away from becoming the ninth WNT player to reach the 200-game mark.
  • Christie Rampone earned her 290th career cap and is now just 10 away from 300, a mark achieved by only former teammate Kristine Lilly in the history of international soccer.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: March 7, 2014
Competition: 2014 Algarve Cup – Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Albufeira, Portugal
Kickoff: 8:30 a.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. local
Attendance: 2,000
Weather: 63 degrees, sunny

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

SWE – Lotta Schelin (Sofia Jakobsson)                     24th minute

Lineups:
USA:
1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Morgan Brian (12-Samantha Mewis, 68), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Kristie Mewis, 68); 8-Amy Rodriguez (23-Christen Press, 70), 20-Abby Wambach (13-Sarah Hagen, 81)
Substitutions Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 14-Stephanie Cox, 16-Rachel Van Hollebeke, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 2-Charlotte Rohlin (3-Lisa Sembrant, 46), 5-Nilla Fischer, 18-Jessica Samuelsson, 23-Elin Rubensson; 15-Therese Sjögran (14-Hanna Folkesson, 46), 7-Lisa Dahlkvist, 17-Caroline Seger (capt.), 9-Kosovare Asllani (11-Antonia Göransson, 49), 10-Sofia Jakobsson (13-Emmelie Konradsson, 66); 8-Lotta Schelin (19-Emma Lundh, 77)
Substitutions Not Used: 4-Amanda Ilestedt, 12-Carola Soberg, 16-Lina Nilsson, 20-Emilia Appleqvist,  21-Stephanie Öhrström, 22-Olivia Schough                         
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

Stats Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 12 / 4
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 14
Offside: 6 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Yemi Martinez (COL)
Assistant Referee 1: Janette Arcanjo (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Luzmila Gonzalez (COL)
Fourth Official: Olga Miranda Villareal (PAR)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd 

WNT vs. Japan: Highlights - March 5, 2014

The U.S. Women’s National Team tied Japan 1-1 at Belavista Municipal Stadium in Parchal to open Group B play at the 2014 Algarve Cup in Portugal. Despite creating a plethora of scoring chances, the USA found the net just once. That coming on tremendous hustle play by Sydney Leroux, who was in the middle of most of the dangerous situations the USA had on the afternoon.

Results

Date Matchup Result Venue Attendance Goal Scorers
March 5, 2014 WNT vs Japan 1-1 D Estadio Bela Vista; Portugal 500 Leroux
March 7, 2014 WNT vs Sweden 0-1 L Estadio Municipal Albufeira; Albufeira, Portugal 2,000 --
March 10, 2014 WNT vs Denmark 3-5 L Estadio Municipal Albufeira; Albufeira, Portal 750 Press, Leroux, Rapinoe
March 12, 2014 WNT vs Korea DPR 3-0 W Estadio Bela Vista Parchal; Portugal 250 Wambach(2), O'Reilly
PLAYER POS. HT. BIRTHDATE HOMETOWN CLUB/COLLEGE
Morgan Brian M 5-7 2/26/93 St. Simons Island, Ga. Pont Verda Storm
Stephanie Cox D 5-6 4/3/86 Elk Grove, Calif. Seattle Reign FC
Whitney Engen D 5-8 11/28/87 Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. Houston Dash
Sarah Hagen F 5-10 11/18/89 Appleton, Wis. Bayern Munich (GER)
Tobin Heath M 5-6 5/29/88 Basking Ridge, N.J. Portland Thorns FC
Sarah Killion M 5-8 7/27/92 Fort Wayne, Ind.
Meghan Klingenberg M 5-2 8/2/88 Gibsonia, Pa. Houston Dash
Ali Krieger D 5-6 7/28/84 Dumfries, Va. Washington Spirit
Sydney Leroux F 5-7 5/7/90 Los Angeles, Calif. Seattle Reign FC
Carli Lloyd M 5-8 7/16/82 Delran, N.J. Western New York Flash
Jill Loyden GK 5-10 5/25/85 Vineland, N.J. Sky Blue FC
Kristie Mewis M 5-7 2/25/91 Hanson, Mass. Boston Breakers
Samantha Mewis M 5-9 10/9/92 Hanson, Mass. SC Scorpions
Alyssa Naeher GK 5-9 4/20/88 Bridgeport, Conn. Boston Breakers
Kelley O'Hara D 5-5 8/4/88 Fayetteville, Ga. Sky Blue FC
Heather O'Reilly M 5-5 1/2/85 East Brunswick, N.J. Boston Breakers
Christen Press F 5-7 12/29/88 Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Chicago Red Stars
Christie Rampone D 5-6 6/24/75 Point Pleasant, N.J. Sky Blue FC
Megan Rapinoe M 5-7 7/5/85 Redding, Calif. Seattle Reign FC
Amy Rodriguez F 5-4 2/17/87 Lake Forest, Calif. FC Kansas City
Becky Sauerbrunn D 5-7 6/6/85 St. Louis, Mo. FC Kansas City
Hope Solo GK 5-9 7/30/81 Richland, Wash. Seattle Reign FC
Rachel Van Hollebeke D 5-5 8/26/85 Del Mar, Calif. Portland Thorns FC
Abby Wambach F 5-11 6/2/80 Rochester, N.Y. Western New York Flash

Group A

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
GER
3 3 0 0 9 1 +8 9
ISL 3 2 1 0 3 6 -3 6
CHN
3 1 2 0 1 2 -1 3
 NOR 3 0 2 0 2 6 -4 0

Group B

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
JPN 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 7
SWE 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2 6
DEN 3 1 2 0 5 6 -1 3
USA 3 0 2 1 4 7 -3 1

Group C

Team GP W L T GF GA GD Pts.
PRK 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 9
RUS  3 1 2 0 6 6 0 3
AUT 3 1 2 0 5 7 -2 3
POR
3 1 2 0 4 7 -3 3

Group A

Date Match Result/Time (ET) Venue
March 5 Germany vs. Iceland 5-0 Albufeira
March 5 Norway vs. China 0-1 Vila Real Santo Antonio
March 7 Germany vs. China 1-0 Albufeira
March 7 Norway vs. Iceland 1-2 Lagos
March 10 Norway vs. Germany 1-3 Albufeira
March 10 China vs. Iceland 0-1 Lagos

Group B

Date Match Result/Time (ET) Venue
March 5 USA vs. Japan 1-1 T Parchal
March 5 Sweden vs. Denmark 2-0 Albufeira
March 7 Sweden vs. USA 0-1 L Albufeira
March 7

Japan vs. Denmark

1-0 Parchal
March 10 USA vs. Denmark 3-5 L Albufeira
March 10 Japan vs. Sweden 2-1 Estadio Algarve

Group C

Date Match Result/Time (ET) Venue
March 5 Russia vs. Korea DPR 1-2 Lagos
March 5 Portugal vs. Austria 3-3 Parchal
March 7 Portugal vs. Russia 1-3 Parchal
March 7 Austria vs. Korea DPR 0-2 Lagos
March 10 Austria vs. Russia 3-2 Vila Real Santo Antonio
March 10 Portugal vs. Korea DPR 0-2 Estádio Algarve

Placement Matches

Date Match Time (ET) Venue
March 12 China vs. Denmark 1-1 (5-4 pks)

Albufeira

March 12 Portugal vs. Austria
1-2

Estadio Algarve

March 12 USA vs. Korea DPR 3-0 W

Parchal

March 12 Germany vs. Japan 3-0

Estadio Algarve

March 12 Iceland vs. Sweden 2-1 Albufeira
March 12 Russia vs. Norway 1-0

Parchal

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