U.S. Soccer

WNT Punches Ticket to Rio With 5-0 Win Against Trinidad & Tobago

HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 19, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a berth to its sixth consecutive Olympic Games with a 5-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinal of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship at BBVA Compass Stadium.

Canada earned CONCACAF’s other spot with a 3-1 victory against Costa Rica in the other semifinal and will meet the United States in the tournament’s championship game on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. CT live on NBC Universo and NBC Live Extra, and on replay at 10 p.m. CT on NBCSN.

Alex Morgan’s third career hat trick led the way for the USA as she scored once in the first half and twice in the second while Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd also tallied. Lloyd increased her goals in Olympic Qualifying to 12 and is two goals away from tying Abby Wambach’s record of 14 goals career goals in this tournament.

Hope Solo earned her 94th shutout and recorded her 143rd win, further extending her U.S. records.

On the other end, T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes made more than a few excellent saves to keep the score down.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh), 12th minute:
Mallory Pugh sprinted past a defender down the left flank and cut a pass on the ground back into the middle. Heath made a hard run into the box and beat her defender to the ball to send a powerful spinning left-footed strike into the right side of the net. The goal was Heath’s first since the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final against Japan, USA1, TRI 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsey Horan), 30th minute: Kelley O’Hara sent a fantastic cross from the right side that Lindsey Horan got under near the far post and headed the ball back into the middle where Alex Morgan was waiting. Morgan used the inside of her left foot to tap it home for her 60th international goal. USA 2, TRI 0. (SEE GOAL)

USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian), 43rd minute: Morgan Brian took a USA corner kick from the right and Carli Lloyd met the cross in the middle of the box to send a powerful header that slipped through the arms and legs of kneeling T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes, who up until then had a fantastic game. USA 3, TRI 0 (SEE GOAL).

USA – Alex Morgan, 71st minute: Samantha Mewis headed the ball on goal but T&T defender Jennelle Cunningham was able to clear the ball off the goal line. Alex Morgan jumped on the clearance inside the six-yard box and again headed it on goal but Cunningham once again cleared it out, this time with her head. Morgan then pounced on the second rebound and this time to blasted home a left-footed shot for her second goal of the match. USA 4, TRI 0. (SEE GOAL)

USA – Alex Morgan (Morgan Brian), 72nd minute: Julie Johnston passed the ball to Morgan Brian who was just outside the penalty area. Brian the crossed it to the middle of the area where Alex Morgan volleyed it inside of the right post to complete her third career hat trick. USA 5, TRI 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL.

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 3rd minute:
Meghan Klingenberg slipped a pass into the penalty area for Alex Morgan on the left side. Morgan fired hard and low, but Kimika Forbes did a great job to put her body in front of the ball and blocked the attempt with her legs to keep the game scoreless early on.

TRI – Kimika Forbes, 22nd minute: Carli Lloyd outran a pair of defenders into the box and blasted a powerful attempt to the middle of the net but Kimika Forbes was once again alert batted the ball away.

TRI – Kimika Forbes, 29th minute: Carli Lloyd fed Alex Morgan into the left side of the penalty area, but Forbes once again used her body well to block the shot with her legs.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT will face Canada in the title game of the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. CT. The U.S. has qualified for its sixth consecutive Olympics and will attempt to win the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship for the fourth consecutive time. The championship final will match can be viewed live NBC Universo and NBC Live Extra, and on replay at 10 p.m. CT on NBCSN.

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp);FacebookInstagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. WNT extended its streak to nine consecutive games in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying without allowing a goal, dating back to the Final of the 2008 Qualifying tournament when the U.S. tied Canada 1-1 on April 12, 2008 and went on to win in penalty kicks 6-5.
  • The USA has never lost a match in Olympic Qualifying, but did tie Canada 1-1 in the title game of the 2008 tournament before prevailing in penalty kicks. It remains unbeaten in all-time CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying with a 17-0-1 record.
  • Tonight’s match was the second consecutive start for Kelley O’Hara and Mallory Pugh after both were in the starting XI against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15. It was also Pugh’s second career start.
    • Johnston and Horan played in their third Olympic qualifier. They both made their Olympic Qualifying debut against Costa Rica on Feb. 10. Samantha Mewis played in her second Olympic Qualifying match when she came in for Horan in the 60th minute.
    • With tonight’s start, five players in the lineup have now seen action in every game so far in the tournament: Lloyd, Morgan, Brian, Klingenberg and Pugh. Lloyd is the only one to have started every match so far in the tournament. Dunn and Press, who came in as subs in the second half in the 66th and 59th, have also played in all four matches.
    • Lloyd and Brian, who play for the NWSL’s Houston Dash, played in their home venue, BBVA Compass Stadium and combined for the USA’s third goal.
    • Lloyd is the only player at this year’s Olympic Qualifying tournament to have scored in all four games.
    • Morgan’s hat trick was her first since Nov. 28, 2012, against Ireland.
    • Seven players on the roster have scored a goal in an Olympic Qualifying match for the USA: Lloyd (12), Morgan (9), Dunn (6), Heath (4), Press (3), O’Hara (1) and Mewis (1).
    • Heath’s goal marked her 13th international score.
    • Dunn, Morgan and Lloyd lead the scoring in this year’s tournament with six, five and four goals, respectively.
    • Sauerbrunn made her 99th appearance for the WNT, and could hit the century mark if she plays on Sunday’s championship match.
    • Pugh is the youngest player ever named to a U.S. Olympic Qualifying roster. She also became the youngest female player in WNT history to play in an Olympic qualifier match at 17 years, 9 months and 12 days old when she came on for Dunn in the 68th minute against Costa Rica on Feb. 10. She recorded her first career assist against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15. She assisted on another goal in tonight’s match.

Milestone Watch:

  • Carli Lloyd leads the team with 13 all-time Olympic Qualifying appearances. With 12 Olympic Qualifying goals scored, Lloyd is two goals behind Abby Wambach’s U.S. record of 14 goals in Olympic Qualifying. Alex Morgan has nine tallies and Crystal Dunn has six.
  • Lloyd earned her 216th cap tonight while Hope Solo recorded her 189th, extending her own record for a U.S. goalkeeper.
  • Lloyd has now scored 86 international goals and remains in sixth place on the WNT’s all-time scoring list. Lloyd has scored 23 goals in the USA’s last 18 matches starting with the Round of 16 game vs. Colombia at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
  • With her tally in the 30th minute, Morgan tied Shannon MacMillan for eighth on the USA’s all-time scoring list. She then scored two more and with 62 goals now has sole possession of eighth place.
  • Solo played in her 11th Olympic Qualifying match, earning her 94th shutout tonight and 143rd wins.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: Feb. 19, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying – Semifinals
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Attendance: 5,561
Weather: 69 degrees, clear

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

USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                            12th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsay Horan)                         30
USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian)                              43
USA – Alex Morgan                                                    71
USA – Alex Morgan (Morgan Brian)                          73

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (3-Samantha Mewis, 60), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (16-Crystal Dunn, 66), 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Christen Press, 59); 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 6-Emily Sonnett, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

TRI: 1-Kimika Forbes; 2-Jenelle Cunningham, 4-Danielle Blair, 5-Arin King, 6-Khadidra Debesette, 8-Victoria Swift (11-Janine Francois, 68), 9-Maylee Attin-Johnson (capt.), 10-Tasha St. Louis (3-Mariah Shade, 72), 12-Ahkeela Mollon, 14-Karyn Forbes, 19-Kennya Cordner
Subs Not Used: 7-Kayla Taylor, 13-Naomie Guerra, 15-Lian Hinds, 16-Jo Marie Lewis, 17-Anastasia Prescott, 18-Shalette Alexander, 20-Saundra Baron
Head coach: Richard Hood

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 27 / 1
Shots on Goal: 15 / 0
Saves:  0 / 9
Corner Kicks: 10 / 0
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 7 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
TRI – Tasha St. Louis (caution)                27th minute

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayling Chavarria (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Princess Brown (JAM)
4th Official: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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WNT Feb 19, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: Feb. 19, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying – Semifinals
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Attendance: 5,561
Weather: 69 degrees, clear

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

USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                                  12th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsay Horan)                                30
USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian)                                    43
USA – Alex Morgan                                                       71
USA – Alex Morgan (Morgan Brian)                                 73

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (3-Samantha Mewis, 60), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (16-Crystal Dunn, 66), 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Christen Press, 59); 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 6-Emily Sonnett, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

TRI: 1-Kimika Forbes; 2-Jenelle Cunningham, 4-Danielle Blair, 5-Arin King, 6-Khadidra Debesette, 8-Victoria Swift (11-Janine Francois, 68), 9-Maylee Attin-Johnson (capt.), 10-Tasha St. Louis (3-Mariah Shade, 72), 12-Ahkeela Mollon, 14-Karyn Forbes, 19-Kennya Cordner
Subs Not Used: 7-Kayla Taylor, 13-Naomie Guerra, 15-Lian Hinds, 16-Jo Marie Lewis, 17-Anastasia Prescott, 18-Shalette Alexander, 20-Saundra Baron
Head coach: Richard Hood

Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 27 / 1
Shots on Goal: 15 / 0
Saves:  0 / 9
Corner Kicks: 10 / 0
Fouls: 10 / 9
Offside: 7 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
TRI – Tasha St. Louis (caution)                     27th minute

Officials:
Referee: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayling Chavarria (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Princess Brown (JAM)
4th Official: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Alex Morgan

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Five Things About U.S. WNT Defender Sofia Huerta

On Sept. 14, FIFA approved a change of national association for Sofia Huerta, making her eligible to represent the United States at the international level. Huerta had previously represented Mexico at the youth and senior levels. The very next day, Huerta made her U.S. WNT debut, coming on in the 51st minute of the match against New Zealand in place of Taylor Smith. Here are five things you should know about the newest member of the U.S. WNT player pool:

The Gem State
Sofia Huerta was born and raised in Boise, Idaho, making her the first player from the state of Idaho to earn a cap with the USA.

Huerta grew up as the youngest of three children, with her sister Andrea (six years older), and brother Alex (four years older) and their parents Jody, a Wisconsin native, and Mauricio, who was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico.

“I lived in Boise until I left for Santa Clara in 2011,” said Huerta. “Boise is such a beautiful place. It’s outdoorsy, people are very active and everyone is really nice. I try to go back whenever I get a chance. My parents still live there.”

A Love for the Ages
While Huerta’s childhood may seem relatively normal and All-American, Huerta’s parents story is a fascinating one, and one that the 24-year-old is very proud of and loves to share.

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WNT Oct 17, 2017

U.S. U-17, U-20 MNTs Reach World Cup Quarterfinals in Same Year

A hat trick from Tim Weah and comprehensive 5-0 win by the USA in Monday’s Round of 16 match against Paraguay at the U-17 World Cup in India perhaps overshadowed a significant achievement for the USA’s Youth National Team program.

The win pushed head coach John Hackworth’s U-17 side into the tournament Quarterfinals, matching the finish that head coach Tab Ramos’ U-20 team achieved at their World Cup in Korea Republic earlier this year.

The USA joins England, who the U-17s will face in Saturday’s Quarterfinal, as the only two nations to accomplish the feat in 2017. The U.S. U-20 MNT took Venezuela to extra time where they eventually fell 2-1 in their Quarterfinal defeat in June, while England advanced to the Final, where they eventually downed La Vinotinto 1-0 to win their first youth World Cup. Notably, U-17 MNT captain Josh Sargent (below) also took part in the USA's run at the U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.

The U.S. and England are far from the first two teams to reach the Quarterfinals of both tournaments in the same year. Since 1985 it’s happened 45 times, with the U.S. previously doing it in both 1993 and 2003.

That number decreases significantly when counted from 2007, the year in which the FIFA U-17 World Cup expanded to 24 teams and added an earlier knockout match before the Quarterfinals.

Prior to this year’s instances, it’s taken place just nine times and on eight occasions, at least one of the nation’s representative teams moved on to the Semifinals. 

See below:

Nations That Have Advanced to U-17 & U-20 World Cups in Same Year (since 2007)

Year

Country

Notes

2017

USA

U-17s Quarterfinal vs. England (Saturday); Lost U-20 Quarterfinal

2017

England

U-17s Quarterfinal vs. USA (Saturday); Won U-20 World Cup

2015

Brazil

Lost in U-17 Quarterfinal; Lost in U-20 Final

2015

Mali

Lost in U-17 Final; Finished Third in U-20 World Cup

2013

Uruguay

Lost in U-17 Quarterfinal; Lost in U-20 Final

2011

Brazil

Finished Fourth at U-17 World Cup; Won U-20 World Cup

2011

France

Lost in U-17 Quarterfinal; Finished Fourth at U-20 World Cup

2011

Mexico

Won U-17 World Cup; Finished Third in U-20 World Cup

2009

Italy

Lost both Quarterfinals

2007

Nigeria

Won U-17 World Cup; Lost in U-20 Quarterfinal

2007

Spain

Lost in U-17 Final; Lost in U-20 Quarterfinal

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U-20 MNT U-17 MNT Oct 17, 2017

GALLERY: U-17 MNT Takes Down Paraguay 5-0 to Advance to Quarterfinals

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team continued its impressive performance at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, advancing to the Quarterfinal Round with an emphatic 5-0 win against Paraguay before 34,895 fans at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

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U-17 MNT Oct 16, 2017

PREVIEW: U.S. WNT Takes on Korea Republic Twice in October

CHICAGO (Oct. 16, 2017) – There are only four games remaining on the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2017 schedule, with a pair of friendlies against Korea Republic coming up next, on Oct. 19 (7 p.m. CT; FS1) at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana and on Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET; ESPN) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The USA is 7-0-2 all-time against Korea Republic, which is ranked 15th in the world.

The two teams most recently met in 2015, a 0-0 draw in New Jersey in the final game before the USA traveled to Canada for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. All nine games between the teams have taken place on U.S. soil even though the USA has played two friendly tournaments in South Korea in its history, but did not meet the hosts at either one.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash;1/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 13/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 20/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 9/0), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars: 53/11), 11-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 1/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 101/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 131/0), 7-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC, 39/4), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 242/97); 20-Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 31/5), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 30/5), 6-Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 4/0)
FORWARDS (6): 19-Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 55/22), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride: 130/77); 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 92/43), 2-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 28/6), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 125/33), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 11/3)

Both of the draws between the teams have been 0-0 affairs, the first coming in 2008 during the USA’s post-Olympic tour following the gold medal win in Beijing, and the second was the most recent meeting in 2015 in Harrison, N.J. The USA’s most recent win against Korea Republic came in 2013, a 5-0 result at Red Bull Arena. (The teams also played five days before that, a 4-1 U.S. win in Foxborough, Mass.). That match at RBA was a historic night for the USA as forward Abby Wambach became the greatest goal scorer in women’s international soccer as she scored four goals – all in the first half.  It was the third strike in the 29th minute that gave her 159 in her career and moved her past former teammate Mia Hamm to become the all-time leader in international goals. Lauren Cheney scored the fifth and final goal in that match. Only six players on the U.S. roster were a part of the team that played against Korea Republic in 2015: Julie Ertz, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O'Hara, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and Christen Press. Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher were on the bench, but did not play.

Fans can follow all the action from #USAvKOR on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and follow the team along its journey on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

STORYLINES

Milestones: On Sept. 15, defender Kelley O’Hara started and captained the USA against New Zealand to earn her 100th cap, becoming the 36th player in U.S. WNT history to play 100 or more times for her country. O’Hara debuted as a forward for the USA in 2010 against Mexico in San Diego and switched to playing primarily defender in 2012 when she played a key role in the USA winning the Olympic gold medal in London. While O’Hara reached her 100th cap last month, there is another player on the roster who is now approaching a milestone of her own and could reach it this upcoming camp. U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd is the two-time reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. She is the all-time active caps leader with 242 and is sitting on 97 goals, three away from becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more goals for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th.

One Year to Qualifying: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be contested from June 7-July 7, 2019, in nine cities in France is still on the distant horizon, as is the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament, which will be held about a year from now. The tournament host and teams have not been solidified, but the USA, Canada and Mexico will earn automatic berths into the final eight-team tournament, while the other five nations will have to go through pre-qualifying in their respective regions. From that eight-team tournament, three teams will qualify directly to France while a fourth will enter a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. With just four games left on the 2017 schedule, the USA is focused squarely on the end-goal of 2018, a place among the 24 teams in France.

Consistent Starters: Only two players this year have started every game the USA has played so far: Samantha Mewis and Becky Sauerbrunn. Mewis has played 980 minutes so far, the most besides Becky Sauerbrunn’s 1,035. Mewis has 30 caps, has started all 12 matches and scored her fifth WNT goal against Brazil on July 30, tying the score at 1-1 with a grass-cutter from outside the penalty area. U.S. co-captain Sauerbrunn had her sixth career assist on Christen Press’s goal against Norway on June 11. With 131 caps, Sauerbrunn has moved ahead of Alex Morgan into 24th place on the all-time caps list (tied with Aly Wagner). She is one of 28 female players to play 125 or more times for the USA.

NWSL Championship: On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Portland Thorns defeated the North Carolina Courage, 1-0, to claim their second NWSL title and first since the league’s inaugural season in 2013. Lindsey Horan scored the game’s lone goal. Horan and Tobin Heath started and played all 90 minutes for the Thorns, while Long entered in stoppage time to help close out the win. On North Carolina’s side, Abby Dahlkemper, Samantha Mewis, Taylor Smith and Lynn Williams all started the match.

Heath and Smith Out With Injuries: Forward Tobin Heath (ankle) and defender Taylor Smith (shoulder) had to withdraw from training camp after suffering injuries in the NWSL Championship match on Saturday, Oct. 14. At this time, the players will not be replaced and the USA will have 20 players on the roster of which 18 will suit up for each match.

Success for Club and Country for Morgan: Alex Morgan comes into the matches with 77 goals after moving past Cindy Parlow into sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She scored three goals during the September matches and has now scored in her last three games for the U.S. after scoring her first WNT goal of the year in the 3-0 victory against Japan at the Tournament of Nations on Aug. 3, followed by one on Sept. 15 and twice on Sept. 19.

Morgan also ended her NWSL season on a scoring streak, scoring nine goals in her last 12 games for the Orlando Pride. In August, she was directly involved in nine of the 13 goals scored by Orlando and scored in all five matches, which earned her the NWSL Player of the Month recognition. She finished the season with nine goals (tied for fifth in the league with Lynn Williams) and four assists in 14 games (including the playoff semifinal) after rejoining the Pride midseason following a successful spell with French club Olympique Lyonnais that saw her win both a league title and the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League.

South Korea Continues Road to France 2019: South Korea took a huge step towards earning a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it won its group at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifying tournament. At that qualifying tournament, South Korea and North Korea tied 1-1 and both defeated Uzbekistan by 4-0 scores. That meant that winning the group and earning a berth to the final qualifying tournament came down to the goals scored against India and Hong Kong. South Korea beat Hong Kong 6-0 while North Korea beat them 5-0 and South Korea beat India 10-0 while North Korea beat them 8-0, which accounted for the three-goal difference which eventually sent South Korea to the final round of the 2018 Asian Cup, while North Korea, which won both the U-17 and U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2016, will not be participating in the next World Cup.

Korea Republic will now compete in the final eight-team 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup tournament that will be held in Jordan and will serve as the final World Cup qualifying tournament for France 2019. At that tournament, the top five teams will punch their tickets to the main event. The teams competing will be: Host Jordan, Japan, Australia, China PR, Korea Republic, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. READ: Five Things About Korea Republic.

In New Orleans and Cary: The U.S. WNT last played in New Orleans in the final game of 2015, which was also the farewell game for U.S. legend Abby Wambach, a 1-0 loss to China PR. The USA’s only other match in Louisiana was in New Orleans in July of 2003, a 1-0 victory against Brazil. The U.S. WNT will be playing its seventh game all-time at WakeMed Soccer Park, now named after long-time women’s soccer supporter Joe Sahlen, who owned the Western New York Flash in the NWSL before selling the club as it moved to North Carolina and became the Courage for the 2017 season. The Flash won the NWSL title in 2016. The USA has won all six previous games played at the venue.

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WNT Oct 16, 2017

More on Tim Weah's Historic Hat Trick vs Paraguay at the FIFA U-17 World Cup

The U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team stamped its ticket to the World Cup Quarterfinals with an emphatic 5-0 victory against Paraguay on Monday in New Delhi, and while offensive leaders Josh Sargent and Andrew Carleton both found the back of the net, the hat-trick performance from Tim Weah stood out in the USA’s first Knockout Round win at the tournament since 1999.

The son of 1995 World Player of the Year George Weah got the scoring started with a nifty 18th minute finish off a pass from Ayo Akinola, which took the USA into halftime leading 1-0. That set the stage for what could be the goal of the tournament thus far. After receiving a pass from Indiana Vassilev on the left, Weah cut inside and hit a swerving shot that he made look effortless as it whipped past sprawling Paraguay ‘keeper Diego Huesca in the 53rd minute.

“I don’t know what to say,” Weah remarked when asked about the goal. “I just cut back and my striker instinct told me to hit it. It ended up being a beautiful strike. Without the pass coming from [Indiana Vassilev], I wouldn’t have created the space to score this goal. I really thank him. I don’t score a lot of beautiful goals, most of my goals are tap ins – a striker’s real goal – but today I’m just so excited to have scored a brilliant goal.”

After Carleton and Sargent helped put the game out of reach, Weah then buried the game’s final strike in the 77th minute.

“This young man did it all,” head coach John Hackworth said of Weah following the match, “and the [second] goal by the way is not ‘brilliant’, it’s world class. I’m sure a lot of people are taking notice.”

If they weren’t already, they are now. Having signed his first professional contract with French giants Paris Saint-Germain in June, the younger Weah has begun to make his own name. On Tuesday, he became the first U.S. male player at any level to record a hat trick during a Knockout Round game at a FIFA World Cup. He’s also just the third American player to score a hat trick at the U-17 event, following in the footsteps of Judah Cooks (1993) and Freddy Adu (2003).

The performance came on the heels of the USA’s disappointing 3-1 defeat to Colombia on Friday, a game in which Weah played just the final three minutes after starting the side’s first two group matches.

“Sometimes if I don’t start, I come off the bench and do my job, so whenever I’m out there, whenever I’m starting, I come out there and try to give it my all,” said Weah. “I praise God today and I thank Coach Hackworth for starting me because if not for all of that, I would not have gotten the hat trick, which gives me three goals in four matches. I thank Andrew Carleton and the whole team for working with me and getting the win.”

For his part, Hackworth was pleased with how the team bounced back from last Friday’s loss.

“I alluded to the fact yesterday that I thought my team had played five [out of six] really good halves,” he said. “I always thought they’ve had a really good response when they come back from a performance that’s not up to our standards.”

Hackworth’s side now awaits the winner of Tuesday’s match between England and Japan in Saturday’s Quarterfinal in Goa. A victory in that match would see the USA move on to the Semifinals for just the second time and first since the 1999 team, featuring the likes of Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, achieved the feat.

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YNT U-17 MNT Oct 16, 2017
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