- 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.
- 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-
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
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
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
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
PRK – Ra Un Sim (caution) 45th minute
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. 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.”
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.