U.S. Soccer

WNT Defeats Canada 2-0 to Win 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship

HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada 2-0 on second half goals from Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath to win the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The win marks the fourth consecutive title in this tournament for the USA which has the longest unbeaten streak in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying history and an overall 18-0-1 record. The USA earned its berth to the 2016 Olympics by defeating Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinal on Feb. 19.

Horan opened the scoring on a header in the 53rd minute off an assist from Becky Sauerbrunn, who was celebrating her 100th appearance with the U.S. WNT. Tobin Heath added the second and final goal of the match in the 61st minute with a nifty finish after a weaving dribble and assist from Mallory Pugh. Pugh and Heath had combined for the winning goal against T&T two days earlier on a remarkably similar play.

In addition to winning the tournament title, the U.S. women also swept the individual awards. Hope Solo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper, Crystal Dunn took the Golden Boot as top scorer with six and Morgan Brian won the Golden Ball as best player. The USA also took home the Fair Play Award and had eight players named to the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Best XI: Solo, Kelley O’Hara, Sauerbrunn, Horan, Brian, Heath, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.

Solo earned her 95th shutout and recorded her 144th win, further extending her U.S. records.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn), 53rd minute:
In her 100th cap, Becky Sauerbrunn brought down a clearance inside Canada’s half and lofted a ball back over the defense and deep into the penalty box. Horan beat her defender and the charging goalkeeper to the ball to flick home a header into the open net for her second international score and her first of the tournament. USA 1, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh), 61st minute: In a similar combination of players and events as the USA’s first goal in the competition’s semifinal match two days prior, Mallory Pugh made a dynamic run down the left flank. She beat her defender with a brilliant nutmeg and then raced into the box before playing a square ball on the ground through the penalty area. Tobin Heath made a hard run to the middle of the box and smashed a left- footer inside the near post for her 14th international score. USA 2, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL.

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
USA – Hope Solo, 71st minute:
Canada’s only shot on goal came in the 71st minute when Melissa Tancredi sent a menacing header towards the near post on the left side, but Solo was up to the task, reacting well to make the save and send the ball out of play for a corner kick. She then grabbed the ensuring cross to maintain the clean sheet and earn her 95th shutout.

CAN – Allysha Chapman, 88th minute: Tobin Heath once again had a fantastic opportunity to score from short range but Chapman’s quick reaction to block the shot near the goal line that was headed into the lower right corner kept the score down.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT will face England in the opening match of the inaugural SheBelieves Cup on March 3 (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The She Believes Cup will run from March 3-9 and will take place in Tampa and Boca Raton, Florida, and Nashville, Tenn. The other two nations participating in the four-nation tournament that features a quartet of the world’s top five teams are France and Germany. Click here for the full tournament schedule.

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

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. WNT extended its streak to 10 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. The team remains unbeaten all-time in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying with an 18-0-1 record.
  • This marks the 11th overall CONCACAF title for the WNT, including four Olympic Qualifying tournaments and five Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournaments.
  • Lindsey Horan scored her first goal in an Olympic qualifying match. It was her second international goal and first of 2016. The assist on that goal was the third of Becky Sauerbrunn’s career.
  • Tonight’s match was the third 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 third career start.
  • Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian, who play for the NWSL’s Houston Dash, played in their home club venue – BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Tobin Heath’s goal marked her 14th international score, fifth overall in Olympic Qualifying and second in 2016.
  • Eight players on the roster have now scored a goal in an Olympic Qualifying match for the USA: Lloyd (12), Alex Morgan (9), Crystal Dunn (6), Heath (5), Christen Press (3), Horan (1), Kelley O’Hara (1) and Samantha Mewis (1).
  • Horan and Heath became the sixth and seventh U.S. WNT players to score in a CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament title match. Lindsay Tarpley, Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach, Lloyd and Morgan are the others. Wambach leads the group with three goals scored in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying title games. Morgan has two and the rest, one apiece.
  • 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 against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 19.
  • U.S. head coach used her three subs on Press, who came on for Morgan in the 72nd minute, Dunn, who replaced Horan in the 82nd and Emily Sonnett, who came on for Pugh in stoppage time.

Milestone Watch:

  • Becky Sauerbrunn made her 100th appearance for the WNT, becoming the 35th U.S. woman to do so. She will be honored for her achievement in a pregame ceremony before the SheBelieves Cup game on March 6 against France in Nashville. She will also wear the captain’s armband in that game. 
  • Carli Lloyd has 14 all-time Olympic Qualifying appearances and Hope Solo is next with 12. With 12 Olympic Qualifying goals, Lloyd is two goals behind Abby Wambach’s U.S. record of 14 goals in Olympic Qualifying. Alex Morgan has nine, Crystal Dunn has six and Tobin Heath has five.
  • Lloyd earned her 217th cap tonight, while Hope Solo recorded her 190th, extending her record for a U.S. goalkeeper.
  • With her tally in the 30th minute against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 19, 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.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 21, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Final
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CT
Attendance: 10,119
Weather: 75 degrees; cloudy

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

USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn)               53rd minute
USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                            61

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (16-Crystal Dunn, 82), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 2-Mallory Pugh (6-Emily Sonnett, 90); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Christen Press, 72)
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CAN: 18-Stephanie Labbé; 2-Allysha Chapman, 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (13-Sophie Schmidt, 58); 5-Rebecca Quinn (8-Diana Matheson, 58), 10-Ashley Lawrence, 11-Desiree Scott, 9-Josée Bélanger; 14-Melissa Tancredi,15-Nichelle Prince (12-Christine Sinclair, 61)
Subs Not Used: 1-Erin McLeod, 6-Deanna Rose, 16-Gabrielle Carle, 17-Jesse Fleming, 19-Janine Beckie, 20-Sabrina D’Angelo
Head coach: John Herdman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 2
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Josée Bélanger (caution)            20th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (caution)              79

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Perello (HON)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian

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WNT Feb 21, 2016

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 21, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Final 
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CT
Attendance: 10,119
Weather: 75 degrees; cloudy

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

USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn)               53rd minute
USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                            61

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (16-Crystal Dunn, 82), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 2-Mallory Pugh (6-Emily Sonnett, 90); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Christen Press, 72)
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher 
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CAN: 18-Stephanie Labbé; 2-Allysha Chapman, 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (13-Sophie Schmidt, 58); 5-Rebecca Quinn (8-Diana Matheson, 58), 10-Ashley Lawrence, 11-Desiree Scott, 9-Josée Bélanger; 14-Melissa Tancredi,15-Nichelle Prince (12-Christine Sinclair, 61)
Subs Not Used: 1-Erin McLeod, 6-Deanna Rose, 16-Gabrielle Carle, 17-Jesse Fleming, 19-Janine Beckie, 20-Sabrina D’Angelo
Head coach: John Herdman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 2
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Josée Bélanger (caution)            20th minute 
USA – Mallory Pugh (caution)              79

Officials: 
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Perello (HON)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian

Five Things to Know: Panama

The U.S. Men’s National Team faces Panama on Matchday 4 of the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; beIN Sports, Telemundo, NBC Universo).

Here are five things you should know about Los Canaleros ahead of Tuesday’s match.

Los Canaleros

Few CONCACAF nations have experienced the type of rise that Panama has during the last 12 years. Dubbed Los Canaleros for their connection to the world-famous canal that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Panama went on a Cinderella run to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final where they fell on penalty kicks to a Bruce Arena-led U.S. side.

Also part of CONCACAF’s Final Round World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal for the first time that year, Panama has advanced to the Hex three of the last four qualifying campaigns and came painstakingly close to finishing fourth in 2013 (more on that down the page).

That same year, Panama once again arrived in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, where Brek Shea’s game-winner delivered the U.S. a 1-0 victory at Soldier Field.

Always posing a threat no matter the opponent, Panama’s recent growth is undeniable, moving from being ranked No. 100 in 2004 to 53 in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

The Here and Now

Under the management of former Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala head coach Hernán Darío Gómez since 2014, Panama has continued to make progress. But for some questionable calls against Mexico in the semifinal of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Los Canaleros would have arrived in their second-straight confederation championship match. Instead they faced the United States in the Third Place Match, which they eventually won on penalty kicks.

Since then, Panama qualified for the Hex with ease, finishing second to Costa Rica in Semifinal Round Group B. They began the Final Round quite well, earning a 1-0 away win at Honduras on Nov. 11 before drawing 0-0 at home against Mexico four days later.

Panama comes into Tuesday’s match still in third place after falling 1-0 on the road at Trinidad & Tobago. With the U.S. lurking just one point behind, the game at Estadio Rommel Fernandez has the potential to serve as a six-pointer should either team win.

History with the U.S. MNT

Graham Zusi October 15, 2013 vs. Panama

The U.S. holds a dominant 11-1-4 all-time advantage against Panama, going 5-0-1 in World Cup Qualifying and 2-0-1 in qualifiers played in Panama City. Despite the U.S. edge, the series has been much closer in recent years, with Panama earning its first and only win against the MNT during the Group Stage of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as drawing the team twice at the 2015 tournament. Eight of the meetings have been decided by one goal or less.

Beyond those results, U.S. and Panama fans will best remember the MNT’s last visit to Panama City about three-and-a-half years ago. Playing the last game of the Hex and already qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. traveled to face a Panama side that could earn the region’s berth in an Intercontinental Playoff with New Zealand if they won that night.

Panama thought they got the goal they needed when Luis Tejada gave the home side a 2-1 lead in the 83rd minute.  Unwilling to surrender to a defeat despite not needing a result, the U.S. responded with two goals in stoppage time, one from Graham Zusi in the second minute of added time and then a bullet from Aron Johannsson a minute later. The loss destroyed Panama’s hopes, and instead helped regional rivals Mexico squeak into fourth place.

Connections to M.L.S. 

Michael Bradley and Armando Cooper USA vs. Panama - July 25, 2017

A number of Panama players have been great additions to the M.L.S. clubs over the years. The Panama roster features current Seattle Sounders FC captain Román Torres, as well as fellow defenders Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo) and Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls). In midfield, is Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley’s Toronto FC teammate Armando Cooper, San Jose Earthquakes start Aníbal Godoy and New York City FC’s Miguel Camargo.

Now based with Dynamo Bucharest in Romania, goalkeeper Jaime Penedo played parts of three seasons under current MNT head coach Bruce Arena with the LA Galaxy, while forward Blas Pérez spent time with FC Dallas and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Former U.S. youth international Tony Taylor also played for New England Revolution and New York City FC. 

Panama League Scene

Professional soccer in Panama didn’t get formalized until 1988 when the Asociación Nacional Pro-Fútbol league was started. The league evolved in its competition format through the years and switched to become the Liga Panameña de Fútbol in 2009.

Like many Central and South American leagues, the 10-team LPF holds two competitions to make up the overall season (the Apertura and Clausura), with the top four teams in each campaign advancing to a two-leg semifinal playoff, before holding a one-game final.

Árabe Unido, who MNT players Kellyn Acosta and Walker Zimmerman recently help FC Dallas defeat in the Quaterfinal of the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League, won the Apertura championship in December, while Tauro lead the current Clausura table. 


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MNT Mar 26, 2017

TRIVIA: How Well Do You Know Your MNT History vs. Panama?

The U.S. Men's National Team and Panama play their first match in nearly two years on March 28 at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City. Before catching the game Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on beIN Sports, Telemundo and NBC Universo, take our 10-question quiz centering around the MNT's interesting history against Los Canaleros:



How'd you do? Tell us you score in the comments below.
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MNT Mar 26, 2017

After Statement Game vs. Honduras, MNT Looks to #Get3More vs. Panama

After two tough losses to begin the Final Round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying back in November, the U.S. Men’s National Team came into Friday’s home match against Honduras with a simple message:

#Get3 points.

By the 54th minute, they had peppered six goals in the back of the net and rode that score line to the final whistle, setting a record for the largest margin of victory in the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying since CONCACAF adopted the current format in advance of the 1998 tournament.

The victory not only provided a boost of confidence, but coming after a bitter 4-0 defeat at Costa Rica in November, it also served as a reminder to the rest of the region what the U.S. was capable of all along.

“I think it’s a statement game for sure,” said veteran MNT defender Geoff Cameron. “I don’t think we expected to win 6-0, but I think we just overall finished amazing tonight. Every opportunity we had we finished, and that’s very clinical. I think overall we pressured the ball and made it difficult. It was a great all-around game for everybody. We knew it was a big game for us. It was a must win and we took advantage of that.”

As Cameron points out, the MNT was efficient going forward, converting six of their eight shots on goal. In defense, Tim Howard made four saves while the MNT midfield and back line often frustrated the Honduras attack. The U.S. has yet to surrender a goal during Arena’s current tenure, posting three straight shutouts.

“It’s three points,” said U.S. captain Michael Bradley. “It’s the first step in terms of getting ourselves back in a good position in the table. We’ve waited a long time for tonight, especially given the way the two games went in November. I thought across the board, every guy stepped on the field tonight with the right mentality, ready to give everything to make sure we walked off the field with three points.”

Having begun the day at the bottom of the six-team Hexagonal, the U.S. jumped up to fourth place by the end of the night thanks to the win and other results around the region. Now they head south to Panama in search of a result on the road that can push them even higher.

“We can build off tonight and we know it’s going to be a tough game down in Panama,” said Cameron. “We’re not expecting to win 6-0 like we did tonight, but we know it’s wide open now with the results that happened. We know if we take care of business in Panama, we can climb the table and get back to where we belong.”

Bradley added, “I think tonight’s a good first step in terms of re-establishing a lot of things for our group in terms of who we are and what we’re about. We move on and get ourselves ready for Panama where we want to get three more.”

#Get3More

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MNT Mar 25, 2017

Clint Dempsey Announces MNT Return with Hat Trick vs Honduras

After being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in late August and undergoing two procedures to correct last fall, there were points during the last six months where Clint Dempsey thought he might never play soccer again.

But cleared to resume game action last month, the 32-year-old announced his return to the U.S. Men’s National Team on Friday night, recording his second career hat trick to put an exclamation point on a crucial 6-0 World Cup Qualifying victory against Honduras.

“You don’t know how things are going to work, if you’re going to come back for Seattle or if you’re going to do well enough to get called back for the U.S.,” Dempsey told reporters following the match. “There’s moments where you’re sitting at home and you’re praying that things will work out. I’m just blessed that I can keep going. It’s what I love to do and we’ll see what’s left.”

Given Friday’s performance, there appears to be a lot left for Dempsey, who wasn’t even slated to be part of the MNT roster a month ago as head coach Bruce Arena originally took a cautious approach with his return to the field. 

Needing three points from Friday’s match and seeing Dempsey’s early-season form with Seattle Sounders FC, Arena had a change of heart and elected to bring the veteran forward to camp with the idea that he would play a reduced role. When Bobby Wood and Sounders FC teammate Jordan Morris picked up injuries playing with their clubs last weekend, that plan also changed.

Dempsey told reporters he knew he was starting on Wednesday and when Arena asked how long he would be able to go against Honduras, he replied, “I’ll give you all the minutes I can.”

In the end, he went the full 90 and pushed past Jozy Altidore to re-gain the title as the USA’s goal scoring leader in World Cup Qualifying with 17. His 53rd, 54th and 55th international strikes also pulled him within two goals of Landon Donovan’s MNT scoring record, something he says he’s contemplated breaking.

“Yeah, it’s in your mind -- If it comes it comes, if it don’t, it don’t. I’m going to keep pushing, I’m going to keep trying to be in games and try to help the team. If you’re doing the right things you should get looks and hopefully opportunities in front of goal and be able to break it. The most important thing is to qualify for the World Cup. That’s bigger than me trying to break the record.”

According to midfielder Michael Bradley, Dempsey’s presence provided a big confidence boost for the group going into such a big match.

“Clint’s record is second to none,” said the MNT captain. “He’s been here before on all the toughest days and when you look around the locker room before the game on a night like this and you see him, you know what you’re getting. You’re going to get a guy who’s going to give everything he has for the group and his quality around the goal, nobody can ever argue. “

After getting through a health scare that threatened his career, Dempsey is most proud to simply be helping the team as it rebounds from a tough start to the Final Round of World Cup Qualifying. Friday night’s win was the first step in the turnaround, while Tuesday’s match at Panama provides another opportunity. Should the MNT make its way to Russia, the only U.S. player to score in three different World Cups will have his eye on doing it in a fourth.

“Any time you play in a World Cup it’s a dream come true. It’s one thing to say it and another thing to do it. You’ve got to stay relevant, you’ve got to stay producing and you can’t just say it and that’s going to happen. I have to be on the field and do it. I’m just taking each game as it comes and hopefully I can play a part in helping the team. That’d be great if I can be around for that.”

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MNT Mar 25, 2017
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