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.

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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

GALLERY: U-20 MNT Falls 1-0 to Panama in First Match of 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship

Photos from the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team's 1-0 loss against Panama at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Tibas, Costa Rica, in the opening group stage game of the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. A 37th minute goal from Panama’s Leandro Ávila assisted by Ronaldo Córdoba marked the difference in the game. The U-20 MNT plays its second match against Haiti, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose.

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U-20 MNT Feb 19, 2017

Five Things to Know About the Germany SheBelieves Cup Roster

Germany has announced its 2017 SheBelieves Cup roster while France and England will soon follow suit. The USA announced a 25-player pre-tournament training camp roster on Feb. 8 and head coach Jill Ellis will name the final 23-woman roster closer to the start of the tournament.

As Germany was first out of the gate, here are five things to know about the roster that will represent the current Olympic champions in the U.S. from March 1-7.

Germany Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Laura Benkarth (SC Freiburg), 1-Almuth Schult (VfL Wolfsburg), 21-Lisa Weiß (SGS Essen)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Josephine Henning (Olympique Lyonnais), 3-Kathrin Hendrich (1. FFC Frankfurt), 5-Babett Peter (VfL Wolfsburg), 7-Pauline Bremer (Olympique Lyonnais), 14-Anna Blässe (VfL Wolfsburg), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (VfL Wolfsburg), 23-Verena Faißt (Bayern München), 24-Kristin Demann (1899 Hoffenheim), 29-Felicitas Rauch (1. FFC Turbine Postdam)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 4-Leonie Maier (Bayern München), 9-Alexandra Popp (VfL Wolfsburg), 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan (Olympique Lyonnais), 13-Sara Däbritz (Bayern München), 27-Sara Doorsoun (SGS Essen), 31-Linda Dallman (SGS Essen)
FORWARDS (5): 11-Anja Mittag (VfL Wolfsburg), 15-Mandy Islacker (1. FFC Frankfurt), 18-Lena Petermann (SC Freiburg), 20-Lina Magull (SC Freiburg), 26-Hasret Kayikci (SC Freiburg)

Steffi Takes the Reins

For the first time in more than a decade, Germany will have a new coach roaming the sidelines. Steffi Jones, a legendary international player and 2003 Women’s World Cup champion, has replaced Silvia Neid – also a legend as a player and a coach – as the head coach of the Germany Women’s National Team. Neid, who took the positon in 2005, finished her highly successful 11-year tenure by winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. She also won the 2007 Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Olympic bronze medal. She was named the FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year in 2010, 2013 and 2016. Neid has transitioned into a player development position with the DFB.

Germany Women's National Team

Jones received much praise for her work as president of the organizing committee for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. It was a ground-breaking event for women’s soccer and especially women’s soccer in Europe. As a player, Jones played the majority of her career for her hometown FFC Frankfurt team, but also played in the USA with the Washington Freedom in 2002-2003, helping the club to the championship in 2003. Jones is a dual German and American citizen as she is the daughter of a German mother and an American father. Germany has yet to lose under Jones, winning four games (including two Euro qualifiers and two friendly matches) and drawing one so far, a 1-1 tie with Norway in a friendly on Nov. 29, 2016 in Germany’s most recent match.

Replacing Nadine

After the retirement of legendary goalkeeper and captain Nadine Angerer, the 2013 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year, Germany has been looking for her successor. Angerer was the first goalkeeper, male or female, to win the award, and as a two-time FIFA Women’s World champion she leaves some big shoes to fill. Angerer, who is currently on the coaching staff for the Portland Thorns in the NWSL, retired from international play in late 2015, but Germany has some excellent young net-minders coming up.

Germany Women's National Team

Twenty-six-year-old Laura Schult has been getting most of the caps. She back-stopped Germany to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title on home soil and was in goal for both the 2016 SheBelieves Cup and Germany’s 2016 Olympic gold-medal run, where she only allowed five goals in six matches. In her 38 caps, Schult has amassed a 32-3-3 record. She is being pushed by both 24-year-old Laura Benkarth, who played against the USA in the final of the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan (along with three other players on the German roster), and 29-year-old veteran Lisa Weiss. Both have played three times for the senior side.

Always Anja

The Germany roster includes a plethora of talent, but perhaps no one is more lethal than striker Anja Mittag. Mittag has played 149 times for her country and has scored 49 goals. She is tall, fast, strong, determined and has a knack for finishing goals from difficult spots. Mittag comes into SheBelieves as the most experienced player on the roster who throughout her 149 games has been part of 111 wins for Germany, 20 draws and only 18 losses. She scored five goals at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, including a hat trick in Germany’s opening match vs. Ivory Coast.

Mittag started all three games at the 2016 SheBelieves Cup and scored the first goal of the game in the de facto final against the United States on March 9. Despite not scoring at the 2016 Olympics, Mittag started every game and was a crucial piece of the team’s run to its first Olympic gold medal. 

Germany Women's National Team

Young Stars

Besides Angerer’s retirement, in the past two years Germany has also said farewell to veterans Célia Šašić, Melanie Behringer and Saskia Bartusiak, all integral members of Germany’s success in the last decade. But just like the USA’s infusion of young and new talent, Germany has welcomed tremendously talented youngsters Pauline Bremer, Sara Däbritz, Leonie Maier, Dzsenifer Marozsan, Alexandra Popp and Lena Petermann – all players born in or after 1991, who have quickly established themselves as a powerful group in the new era of Germany women’s soccer. Popp and Marozsan were two of the stars on Germany’s team that won the 2010 FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup at home. Popp won the Golden Boot in that tournament, scoring 10 goals, and was the tournament MVP. 

Bremer, who is 20 years old, has played for Germany since she was part of its U-15 WNT. For the senior team, she has seen action in 11 games and has already scored three goals, a solid ratio for a defender.

Germany Women's National Team
Däbritz battles for the ball with France’s Eugenie Le Sommer

Twenty-two-year-old Däbritz played in two games at last year’s SheBelieves Cup and was part of the German team at the 2015 Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. She scored two goals at the World Cup and three goals at the Olympics, one in Germany’s opening game against Zimbabwe, one in its second game against Australia, and one in Germany’s 2-0 semifinal win against Canada. Overall, she has 38 caps with Germany (32 of those are wins), and has scored eight international goals, five coming at major tournaments.

Peterman, who is 23 years old, led Germany to the title at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and is one of five players on the German roster for the SheBelieves Cup who played on that team. She is another playing starting to find her footing in the highly competitive Germany Women’s National Team. Despite having only played in nine games with the senior squad, she has already scored four goals – two at the 2015 World Cup.

WATCH: Maroszán scores; Germany Wins 2016 Olympic Gold

A trio of young German players can already be called world class in Leonie Maier (24-years-old), Dzsenifer Maroszán (24) and Alexandra Popp (25). All three were members of Germany’s 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster as well as the 2016 SheBelieves and Olympic Games squads. Marozsán and Popp, who have long been hailed as two of the top young players in the world after performing so well for Germany’s U-20 WNT, both scored at the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. In Canada, Popp scored against Ivory Coast, while Maroszán tallied her goal in the knockout stage against Sweden. In Brazil, Popp scored against Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament and Maroszán scored a crucial goal in the gold-medal game against Sweden, helping Germany take the title with the 2-1 win. Despite their young age, Marozsán and Popp have played 69 and 77 times and have scored 35 and 30 goals, respectively. Maier, who has recovered from a major knee injury, has 37 caps and seven goals to her name, including one at last year’s SheBelieves Cup.

Germany Women's National Team
Dzsenifer Maroszán

A EURO Scoring Machine

Germany has long been a European power, but its dominance has been extremely impressive. During UEFA Women’s EURO qualifying, Germany scored 35 goals and allowed zero. Ten of the players on the 2017 SheBelieves Cup roster scored a combined 25 goals, with Alexandra Popp leading the way with five goals in four games.

Anja Mittag, Isabel Kerschowski, Leonie Maier and Pauline Bremer each added three, while Sara Säbritz, Lina Magull and Mandy Islacker had two each. Lena Petermann and Dzsenifer Marozsán round out the goal scoring group with a goal apiece.

Germany has won six consecutive European titles. The last time Germany wasn’t reigning European champion was in 1994. 

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WNT Feb 19, 2017

Five Things to Know About 2017 SheBelieves Cup

From March 1-7, 2017, U.S. Soccer will host the second annual SheBelieves Cup, the most elite four-team international women’s soccer tournament of the year. Three doubleheaders will be staged in the northeast region of the United States as we welcome back three of the best teams in the world: Germany, France and England. Here are five things to know about this year’s SheBelieves Cup.

Top of the FIFA Rankings
The participants of the SheBelieves Cup – just like last year – make up four of the top five ranked women’s national soccer teams in the world. The USA, the reigning World Cup champions, sit atop the rankings followed by current Olympic champions Germany. France is third and England is fifth. 

Those Elusive Goals
In last year’s SheBelieves Cup, the USA defeated England and France by 1-0 scores and downed Germany, 2-1, in the de facto championship game to take the inaugural tournament title. Germany finished second, England was third and France was fourth. In fact, none of of the games were decided by more than one goal with the results coming down to three 1-0 victories, two 2-1 victories and one 0-0 draw. Even though the USA only scored a total of four goals in the three games during the tournament, the quality made up for the quantity, providing plenty of excitement and thrilling games. Scoring important goals on the biggest of stages can define a player or a team and that was proven out as three of the four goals the USA scored in the tournament finished ranked in the top five of the WNT’s Top 10 Goals of 2016.

Dunn vs. England
Against England, Crystal Dunn scored the game-winning goal with a perfect shot to the upper 90. After a competitive first half, Dunn came in as a substitute in the 67th minute and in the 72nd minute, Meghan Klingenberg did some nice work on the ball to the left of the penalty area, then slipped a pass between two England defenders to Dunn, who took two touches into the left corner of the box and ripped a shot into the top right corner for an incredible finish to propel the USA to a 1-0 U.S. victory.

Morgan vs. France
Few things are more exciting than scoring a game-winning goal in second half stoppage time and Morgan electrified the crowd of 25,363 fans in Nashville when she did exactly that. Against France in a game that been a display of excellent soccer for 90 minutes, Mallory Pugh brought the ball down at midfield, took a few touches as she sprinted forward and then played Morgan in behind the defense with a perfectly-weighted pass. She out-sprinted her defender and cut her left-footed shot into the lower right corner from just inside the penalty area for a slick game-winning finish at 90+1.

Morgan vs. Germany
Voted as U.S. Soccer’s Best Goal of 2016, the game-tying score against Germany brought the USA back into the game after an early strike from Anja Mittag had given the European champions the lead in the de facto SheBelieves Cup final. In the 35th minute, Meghan Klingenberg evaded a defender near midfield and lofted a ball over the top of the German defense down the left side into the path of the sprinting Morgan. She let the ball bounce twice, as she muscled out a first defender, before deftly lifting it over Saskia Bartusiak with her left foot and ripping a right-footed shot into the net in two fluid steps. 

Schedule Format and How to Watch
The tournament format will be the same as last year as the four teams will each participate in three doubleheader events at three different venues over a seven-day period. The USA's match vs. Germany will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on FS1; USA vs. England will be televised at 5 p.m. ET on the main FOX network, and USA vs. France will be live at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.

Replacing Algarve Cup
Before the SheBelieves Cup was established in 2016, the U.S. WNT’s early year competition for most of the last 20 years included the Algarve Cup in Portugal. A 10-time champion of the tournament, the Algarve Cup is an important part of the history of the program, but for 2016, U.S. Soccer the decisions to develop its own tournament where the best female soccer players in the world would come to test their mettle in a four-team, seven-day tournament.

The SheBelieves Cup then replaced the Algarve Cup for the WNT, while providing a chance for soccer fans in the Unites States to watch the bests teams in the world on U.S. soil. 

The Best Players in the World
Probably the most exciting prospect of the SheBelieves Cup, not only for teams and players but also for fans in the United States, is that the tournament provides the opportunity to watch some of the most talented women’s players on the planet. 


France's Eugine le Sommer at the inaugural SheBeleives Cup.

This doesn’t just include the 2015 and 2016 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year in Carli Lloyd, or the speedy and technical Tobin Heath, but also forward Eugenie Le Sommer and midfielder Amandine Henry; Germany forwards Alexandra Popp and Anja Mittag and England defender Stephanie Houghton and attacking Karen Carney – all considered among the best in the world at their respective positions -- just to name a few. 

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WNT Feb 19, 2017

Steve Cherundolo Celebrates Half a Lifetime in Hannover

If you’re sitting back on Steve Cherundolo’s birthday and asking yourself, “I wonder where that guy is?”, rest assured he’s spending his birthday in the exact same place he’s been the past 19 years.

Dubbed the “Mayor of Hannover” thanks to playing the entirety of his 15-year career with German side Hannover 96, the three-time World Cup veteran MNT defender retired in 2014 as the club’s leader in Bundesliga appearances with 300. When he finally hung up his boots, he moved immediately into Die Roten’s management ranks, where he began as an assistant in the club’s academy.

“I’m working towards earning my [UEFA PRO] coaching licenses here in Germany and am currently the head coach of the U-17 Academy team,” Cherundolo told ussoccer.com this week. “I’m just trying to get as much experience as I can, at as many levels as I can.”


The Hannover 96 U-17 Academy Team with head coach Steve Cherundolo (pictured far left)

While most of his management experience has come at the youth level, the former Hannover captain did take a short stint as a first-team assistant in April of 2015. He temporarily joined newly named head coach Michael Frontzeck’s staff as the club rallied to stay up in the Bundesliga that season.

“That was a great experience, a successful one where we ended up staying in the top division. That was fun, that was good and then I decided to go on my own route. I wanted to coach my own team and to do my own things, so then I started with the Under-17s and this is my second season. I’m enjoying it a lot."

A mainstay at right back for much of his time with the MNT, Cherundolo is one of only 17 U.S. players all-time to be part of three or more FIFA World Cup rosters. A near automatic choice at right back for three different National Team coaches, Cherundolo’s 87 career caps surely would have pushed passed 100 if he spent even a few years of his club career stateside.


Steve Cherundolo celebrates a goal for Hannover against Wolfsburg in October 2004

Instead, the San Diego native continues to be a rarity in the game’s modern era, happily continuing his reign as a “one club man” with Hannover.

“It’s not something you envision. I think every young American, every soccer player who starts somewhere at a club hopes that they have a long career and certainly that was something I was able to achieve. That was great, but I had no idea I’d spend my entire career here in Hannover. It just seemed to work out that every contract extension it seemed to be the right decision for both the club and myself. I’m fortunate it did work out that way as a player, and it’s continued now for me as a coach.”

While his main focus is towards helping develop young talent for Hannover, Cherundolo says he still keeps tabs on the only other team he’s played for, and praised the recent hiring of Bruce Arena as MNT head coach.


Steve Cherundolo and Landon Donovan stand for the National Anthem ahead of the USA's 2010 World Cup match vs. Slovenia

“From my standpoint, he’s the right guy for the job,” Cherundolo said about the man that handed him his MNT debut in 1999. “Bruce brings a ton of experience, and as a player I was able to learn an unbelievable amount about always being competitive not only on game day, but in training as well.”

Part of Arena’s rosters at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Cherundolo said the veteran manager’s ability to motivate players combined with his knack for fielding a starting XI that gives his team the best chance to win has made Arena the most successful coach in MNT history.

“It may not have been the best 11 players, but it was certainly the group that mixes well together and is the strongest side to be successful at the end of the game. I think that’s something that Bruce does very, very well, and I think that’s one of his strongest traits as a coach.”

Due to be eligible for the entry into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2018, Cherundolo looks back fondly on the memories made during his international career. From Landon Donovan’s game-winner against Algeria in 2010 and the matches in which the U.S. clinched qualification to his three different World Cups, above all the 38-year-old counts the time he got to spend with his fellow U.S. teammates as his favorite moments from a 13-year international career.


Cherundolo and U.S. teammates celebrate finishing atop the 2009 Hexagonal on Oct. 14, 2009

“On the road, on the planes, in the hotels – those are moments that for me were very personal, gratifying and moments that I cherished very much. There were some fabulous memories and there wasn’t one camp that I can recall that I wasn’t happy while I was there.

“There were amazing experiences and amazing players. U.S. Soccer has done a great job of creating atmospheres in camp where it was enjoyable for players, but also very professional at the same time. I think it’s a privilege to have been involved in the program for so long and every training camp was something special.”

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MNT Feb 19, 2017

U-20 MNT Edged 1-0 by Panama in 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Group B Opener

TIBÁS, Costa Rica (Feb. 18, 2017) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team pushed heavily for a second half equalizer before falling 1-0 to Panama by virtue of Leandro Ávila’s deflected effort in the 37th minute in its opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.  

The first half largely lacked opportunities for both sides until Ávila collected the ball in the area, turned inside and saw his shot deflect off Marlon Fossey before floating inside the top right corner to give Los Canaleros a 1-0 half-time advantage.

Playing up a man after Panama’s Justin Simons was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Tyler Adams in the 18th minute, the U.S. pushed things early on in the second half when Jeremy Ebobisse’s header clanged off the crossbar in the 48th minute.

With Panama content to pack the area in defense of their 1-0 lead, the U-20 MNT found it hard to break through, but came close again when a Justen Glad laser was pushed out for a corner kick in the 82nd minute before Panama ‘keeper Charles Taylor smothered Ebobisse’s 88th minute effort on the goal line to preserve the 1-0 result.

The U-20 MNT plays its second group stage match against Haiti, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose (5:30 p.m. ET; UDN, CONCACAF Facebook Page). Haiti defeated St. Kitts and Nevis 5-1 in Saturday’s first Group B match.
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Goal Scoring Rundown:
PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba), 37th minute:
Going against the run of play, Panama got on the board towards the end of the first half when Ronaldo Córdoba swung a looping ball into the box for Leandro Ávila. The Panama forward took it down with his knee before cutting back inside and curling an effort that took a slight deflection off USA defender Marlon Fossey and into the top right corner.
USA 0, PAN 1 [WATCH] FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
USA – Marlon Fossey, 15th minute:
The first clear-cut opportunity came on the quarter-hour mark when Leandro Ávila broke through down the right and sent a penetrating ball into the box for Ronaldo Córdoba only to have Marlon Fossey slide through to clear the ball out for a corner kick.

USA – Tommy Redding, 25th minute: As the U.S. worked to move the ball forward, pressure from Andrés Andrade forced a turnover at the back, allowing the San Francisco FC winger a free run up the left where he centered looking for Córdoba, only to have the cross well-read by Tommy Redding who calmly cleared to safety.

PAN – Crossbar, 48th minute: Looking for the equalizer right out of halftime, Marlon Fossey quickly threw the ball in for Eric Palmer-Brown who laid off for Brooks Lennon just outside the box. Lennon then swung a cross to the six-yard box where Jeremy Ebobisse’s header beat Charles Taylor, but careened off the cross bar before being cleared.

PAN – Charles Taylor, 80th minute: Continuing to press for the equalizer, the U.S. had a sustained period of possession and moved the ball around just outside the penalty area before Justen Glad unleashed a low rocket from 22 yards that saw Taylor dive to palm it out for a corner kick.

PAN – Charles Taylor, 87th minute: Still full of steam, Fossey paraded up the right side, sending a long cross for Sebastian Saucedo at the back post where the Real Salt Lake midfielder centered for Jeremy Ebobisse whose first-time shot was smothered on the goal line by Taylor.

NOTES:

  • With the result, Tab Ramos moves to 8-3-1 all-time in CONCACAF U-20 Championship play
  • The USA U-20s moves to 3-2-0 all-time vs. Panama in U-20 World Cup Qualifying
  • Panama played a man down after midfielder Justin Simons was shown a straight red card in the 18th minute for a late challenge on USA midfielder Tyler Adams.

- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Panama
Date: Feb. 18, 2017
Competition: 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship – Group B
Venue: Estadio Ricardo Saprissa; Tibas, Costa Rica
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Attendance: TBA
Weather: 77 degrees; partly cloudy

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

PAN – Leandro Ávila (Ronaldo Córdoba)                    37th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 2-Marlon Fossey, 4-Tommy Redding (7-Eryk Williamson, 69), 6-Justen Glad, 3-Danny Acosta; 8-Tyler Adams (18-Emmanuel Sabbi, 31), 
5-Erik Palmer-Brown (Capt.), 11-Sebastian Saucedo; 10-Luca De La Torre (19-Coy Craft, 69), 9-Jeremy Ebobisse, 17-Brooks Lennon
Subs not used: 12-JT Marcinkowski, 13-Auston Trusty, 14-Aaron Herrera, 15-Jonathan Gonzalez, 16-Jeremiah Gutjahr, 20-Jonathan Lewis
Head coach: Tab Ramos

PAN: 12-Charles Taylor; 20-Josue Vergara (13-Jorge Gutiérrez, 90+3), 6-Javier Rivera (Capt.), 2-Jiovany Ramos, 3-Andrés Andrade; 11-Justin Simons, 5-Ricardo Ávila, 14-José Tejada, 17-Leandro Ávila (18-Isidoro Hinestroza, 79); 8-Cristian Martínez (16-Yair Jaen, 72), 9-Ronaldo Córdoba
Subs not used: 1-Aldo Ciel, 7-Chamell Asprilla, 10-Andrés Peñalba, 19-Oliver Beckles
Head coach: Nelson Gallego

Stats Summary: USA / PAN
Shots: 9 / 10
Shots on Goal: 2 / 2
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 22 / 16
Offside: 2 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
PAN – Justin Simons (sent off)                         18th minute
USA – Luca de la Torre (caution)                    41
PAN – Cristian Martínez (caution)                45+1
USA – Sebastian Saucedo (caution)              74

Officials:
Referee: Armando Castro (HON)
Assistant Referee 1: Melvin Cruz (HON)
Assistant Referee 2: Geovany Garcia (SLV)
4th Official: Melvin Matamoros (HON)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Justen Glad

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U-20 MNT Feb 18, 2017
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