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.”
- 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.
- 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-
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
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
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
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
DEN – Joanna Rasmussen (caution) 84th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 87th minute
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
CHICAGO (Feb. 5, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will face world powers Japan, Sweden and Denmark in Group B at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, which is being held from March 5-12.
The USA opens the competition on March 5 against Japan, then faces Sweden on March 7 and finishes group play against Denmark on March 10. Group A will feature Germany, Norway, Iceland and China PR. The Group C nations that will join host Portugal have yet to be finalized.
The 2014 Algarve Cup will be the 21st edition of a tournament that has grown into one of the world’s top competitions for women’s national teams. The tournament features the top three teams in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings in the USA, Germany and Japan, respectively, as well as Sweden (6th), Norway (8th), Denmark (12th), China PR (18th) and Iceland (19th).
The match venues and kickoff times have yet to be confirmed, but all the games will be played at small venues across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country. Placement matches will take place on March 12.
Fans will be able to follow the USA’s intense schedule of four games in eight days via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and can watch highlights on ussoccer.com.
Since expanding to 12 teams 13 years ago, the Algarve Cup format has been as follows: The winners of Groups A and B will compete for the Algarve Cup championship on Wednesday, March 12. The two second-place finishers in Groups A and B will play for third place while the third-place finishers in each group will play for fifth. The Group C teams will be competing for a chance to play for spots 7-12 as the winner of Group C will play the best fourth-place team from Groups A or B for seventh place. The second-place team in Group C will play the worst fourth-place team from Groups A or B for ninth place, and the third- and fourth-place finishers in Group C will play each other for 11th place.
This year will mark the 19th trip to the Algarve Cup for the U.S. Women, who have won the tournament a record nine times, including an unprecedented three straight championships from 2003-05. Last year, the USA defeated Germany 2-0 in the championship game as Alex Morgan scored twice. The USA’s most recent loss in all competitions took place at the Algarve Cup in 2012, a 1-0 setback to Japan in group play (which turned out to be the team’s only loss of the year) and the Americans missed the championship game for the first time in 10 years.
The USA has a 52-10-9 record all-time at the Algarve Cup and has scored 158 goals while allowing 54.