U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Falls to France 3-0 in SheBelieves Cup Finale

WASHINGTON D.C. (March 7, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell to France 3-0 in its final game of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup at RFK Stadium. With the victory, France won the second edition of the tournament.

The game was played in rainy conditions which contributed to a fast-paced match that saw the teams combined for 25 shots, but it was France who was more clinical inside the penalty area and had the USA chasing the game after scoring twice in two minutes early on.

France took the lead in the eighth minute off a penalty kick and just a minute later, Eugénie Le Sommer used her speed to sprint onto a long ball by Wendie Renard. She out-ran the U.S. defense, cut back skillfully to beat another retreating defender and slid the ball past Alyssa Naeher to go up 2-0.

U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis made two changes to start the second half, bringing on Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn and the USA did not suffer for scoring chances during the game. In the 56th minute, Pugh hit a fantastic shot from the left corner of the box that looked destined for the near post, but France goalkeeper Meline Gérard did well to punch it clear.

Later in the half, France again found space deep on the USA’s right sideline when Eve Perisset got free and hit a hard cross into the six-yard box for Camile Abily and she spun her shot home for the third and final goal.

Up Next: The USA will play a pair of friendlies against Russia in Texas, on April 6 in Frisco, Texas and on April 9 in Houston. Tickets are now on sale on ussoccer.com.

2017 SheBelieves Cup Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GD

Points

France

3

2

0

1

+4

7

Germany

3

1

1

1

0

4

England

3

1

2

0

-1

3

USA

3

1

2

0

-3

3

Goal Scoring Rundown
FRA – Camille Abily (penalty kick), 8th minute: Amel Majri got a through-ball to Eugenie Le Sommer, who beat two defenders to get into the box. U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher came out to clear the ball but instead collided with Le Sommer. Abily stepped up to take the penalty and calmly slotted it to the left side of the goal to give France the 1-0 lead. WATCH GOAL

FRA – Eugénie Le Sommer (Wendie Renard), 9th minute: Renard sent a long ball from her own half over the top of the U.S. defense to the streaking Le Sommer in transition and the speedy forward ran into the U.S. box. Le Sommer was able to slip by two U.S. defenders to get in a one-on-one situation with Naeher and slid the ball past the U.S. ‘keeper into the right side of the goal. WATCH GOAL

FRA – Camile Abily (Eve Perisset), 63rd minute: France released Eve Perisset down the right sideline with a nice series of touches and she crossed from the end line to a well-positioned Abily. Abily got inside position on her defender and was able to spin her shot home from inside the six-yard box. WATCH GOAL

Social: Facebook; Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • Only five of the players in the U.S. lineup started the last time the WNT met France on Aug. 6, 2016 at the Olympic Games in Rio: Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long, Morgan Brian, Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd. Additionally, Christen Press also saw some action against France in Brazil as a second-half substitute.
  • Ellis made all six available subs during the second half, with Mallory Pugh and Crystal Dunn coming in the 46th minute, Julie Johnston, Alex Morgan and Lindsey Horan in the 70th and Kelley O’Hara in the 78th minute.
  • Four players in this year’s starting XI started against France in last year’s tournament (Sauerbrunn, Brian, Heath and Lloyd). For Alyssa Naeher, Casey Short, Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams, this was their first meeting against France.
  • Last year’s SheBelieves Cup matchup between these sides was a tight one with the USA firing 10 shots to France’s eight. The USA had four shots on goal to France’s three. This year it was similar, with the USA taking 13 to France’s 12, but this time around France was able to convert in the final third.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis sent out almost the same lineup as in the first game against Germany on March 1, with only one change being Rose Lavelle in place of Crystal Dunn.
  • Defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielders Samantha Mewis and Carli Lloyd are the only three players who started all three SheBelieves Cup games.
  • Alyssa Naeher made her 12th appearance for the USA and 10th start.
  • The backline of Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long and Casey Short returned to the field against France. It was only their fifth game together in the three-back line. Sauerbrunn earned her 122nd cap, Long her 23rd and Short her sixth.
  • Mewis made her ninth career start and earned her 20th cap.
  • Carli Lloyd captained the U.S. for the 35th time through 235 international appearances. Lloyd, the most capped player on the USA, is also the top active goal scorer with 96 career goals. Lloyd is just four away from becoming the sixth player in WNT history to score 100 or more goals.
  • Midfielder Rose Lavelle earned her second cap for the U.S. tonight. She became the first player to earn a first cap in 2017 and the 14th player to earn a first cap from Ellis. Lavelle was the first overall pick in the 2017 NWSL College Draft by the Boston Breakers.
  • Morgan Brian, who just turned 24 years old a few days ago, earned her 66th cap.
  • Williams earned her eight cap for the USA. She earned her first cap on Oct. 19 against Switzerland in Utah, where she came into the game in the second half, played the entire second 45 minutes and scored 49 seconds into her debut (a record until Kealia Ohai broke it four days later). She became the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first international appearance.
  • Press made her 83rd international appearance. She has scored 40 international goals, including 11 in 2016. She most recently scored her fourth career hat trick against Romania on Nov. 10, 2016.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: March 7, 2017
Competition: 2017 SheBelieves Cup
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 21,638
Weather: 64 degrees; rain showers

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                             0          0          0
FRA                             2          1          3

FRA – Camille Abily (penalty kick)                             8th minute
FRA – Eugenie Le Sommer (Wendie Renard)           9
FRA – Camille Abily (Eve Perriset)                             63                   

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 16-Rose Lavelle (2-Mallory Pugh, 45), 3-Samantha Mewis (9-Lindsey Horan, 70), 6-Morgan Brian (8-Julie Johnston, 70), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (5-Kelley O’Hara, 78); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 70), 23-Christen Press (19-Crystal Dunn, 45)
Subs not used: 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 21-Meline Gerard; 2-Eve Perisset (5-Assatou Tounkara, 68), 3-Wendie Renard (capt.), 4-Laura Georges, 6-Amandine Henry, 7-Sandie Toletti (15-Elise Bussaglia, 53), 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (18-Marie Laure Delie, 65), 10-Camille Abily (17-Gaetane Thiney, 81), 12-Elodie Thomis (11-Clarie Lavogez, 70), 22-Amel Majri (14-Camille Catala, 81), 23-Sakina Karchaoui
Subs not used: 1-Laetitia Philippe, 16-Sarah Bouhaddi, 13-Kadidiatou Diani, 20-Grace Geyoro
Head coach: Olivier Echouafni

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 13 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 7
Fouls: 9 / 15
Offside: 5 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alyssa Naeher (caution)         7th minute
FRA – Sandi Toletti (caution)              18
FRA – Laura Georges (caution)         74

Officials: 
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantel Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (CAN)
4th Official: Gillian Martindale (BRB)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Casey Short

Read more
WNT Mar 7, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: March 7, 2017
Competition: 2017 SheBelieves Cup
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Attendance: 21,638
Weather: 64 degrees; rain showers

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                             0          0          0
FRA                             2          1          3

FRA – Camille Abily (penalty kick)                             8th minute
FRA – Eugenie Le Sommer (Wendie Renard)           9
FRA – Camille Abily (Eve Perriset)                             63                   

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 16-Rose Lavelle (2-Mallory Pugh, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (9-Lindsey Horan, 70), 6-Morgan Brian (8-Julie Johnston, 70), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (5-Kelley O’Hara, 78); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 70), 23-Christen Press (19-Crystal Dunn, 46)
Subs not used: 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 21-Meline Gerard; 2-Eve Perisset (5-Assatou Tounkara, 68), 3-Wendie Renard (capt.), 4-Laura Georges, 6-Amandine Henry, 7-Sandie Toletti (15-Elise Bussaglia, 53), 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (18-Marie Laure Delie, 65), 10-Camille Abily (17-Gaetane Thiney, 81), 12-Elodie Thomis (11-Clarie Lavogez, 70), 22-Amel Majri (14-Camille Catala, 81), 23-Sakina Karchaoui
Subs not used: 1-Laetitia Philippe, 16-Sarah Bouhaddi, 13-Kadidiatou Diani, 20-Grace Geyoro
Head coach: Olivier Echouafni

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 13 / 12
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 9 / 7
Fouls: 9 / 15
Offside: 5 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Alyssa Naeher (caution)         7th minute
FRA – Sandi Toletti (caution)              18
FRA – Laura Georges (caution)         74

Officials: 
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantel Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (CAN)
4th Official: Gillian Martindale (BRB)

Budweiser Woman of the Match:  Casey Short

WNT Plays Its Own Euros

Since September 2016, the U.S. Women’s National Team has played seven European nations (and Thailand). In less than a month, that list will grow to nine as the USA takes on Sweden in Gothenburg on June 8 and Norway in Sandefjord on June 11.

The USA’s list of European opponents since last fall includes the Netherlands, two matches each against Switzerland and Romania, tough tests against England, France and Germany at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup and another double-dip against Russia in April.  

So, besides belonging to the same Confederation, what do eight of these nine European countries have in common? They make up half of the field for 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO tournament taking place this July in the Netherlands. Romania nearly made it into the last 16 as well but fell to Portugal in the playoff for the final spot.


WNT vs. Netherlands, this year's EURO hosts.

The UEFA Women’s EURO is the most prestigious competition for women’s international soccer in Europe and, after the Women’s World Cup and the Olympic Games, the biggest and most competitive women’s international tournament in the world.

And facing the best is precisely what U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis committed to do coming out of the recent Olympic cycle.

“I said it last year, we want our schedule to be aggressive,” Ellis told ussoccer.com. “We’re always trying to play top-10 teams and elite teams. It’s a priority and our Federation knows it’s a priority for our team because it’s in those games where we will see growth. The games against European teams are critical.

With the next Women’s World Cup in France, surely the European nations – especially France and Germany – will be favorites to lift the trophy in Lyon. By then, the USA clearly will have cut its teeth on European competition.

Including the games against Sweden and Norway, the U.S. will have played exactly half of the EURO field in less than a year, a rarity for most countries both in terms of the high level of opposition and the short amount of time in which the games have taken place.

Read more
WNT Jun 6, 2017

WNT Donates Proceeds from Autographed 2017 SheBelieves Cup Jerseys to Benefit Girls Inc.

CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will autograph and donate authentic jerseys from the SheBelieves Cup tournament for an online auction to benefit Girls Inc., a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy.

Conceived and developed by the U.S. Women’s National Team players, SheBelieves is a movement to inspire young girls and women and encourage them to accomplish their goals and dreams, athletic or otherwise. The campaign was originally launched in the run-up to the 2015 Women’s World Cup but has since evolved and grown into a special bond between the team and its fans, taking its powerful message of empowerment and that of believing in yourself into communities across the nation.

As one of the most popular women’s teams in the world, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team is the prime example that dreams are attainable if you set your mind to it and go after what you want. Through dedication, teamwork, perseverance and success, the players in the U.S. team inspire new generations of young girls and women to be better and strive for better; they inspire them to believe.

Fans can participate in the online auction for the jerseys at http://auction.ussoccer.com. The auction will run until the U.S. WNT game against Russia on Sunday, April 9, at 1 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas. U.S. Soccer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Winning bids are a donation to U.S. Soccer, part of which is tax-deductible. Auction proceeds will be granted to Girls Inc. to support its mission. Fans can also support U.S. Soccer directly at any time by making a donation to the U.S. Soccer Development Fund. Click here to learn more or donate.

With the U.S. WNT players as the driving force of the SheBelieves campaign, the movement serves as an inspiration for young girls to feel empowered in any endeavor. The donation of the proceeds from the jerseys to benefit Girls Inc. further extends the movement into the community.

“We are excited to collaborate with the U.S. Women’s National Team to empower more girls to believe in themselves and set high expectations for their futures,” said Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO of Girls Inc. “It takes all of us, working across public, private, and nonprofit sectors, to provide girls the resources and support to lead healthy lives and become role models in their communities.”

Girls Inc. is dedicated to empowering individual girls from underserved communities and improving the conditions in which all girls live. Through a network of 82 local organizations, Girls Inc. delivers out-of-school time programming that addresses all areas of a girl’s development: her physical health and self-perception, her education and career aspirations, and her life skills and independence. Girls Inc. also advocates for legislation and policies to advance the rights of girls, increase opportunities for all girls, and improve their chances to succeed.

The 2017 SheBelieves Cup took place from March 1-7 across three U.S. venues. The four-team tournament was played in a round-robin format, with France emerging victorious after finishing in last place in the 2016 inaugural edition of the tournament.
Read more
WNT Mar 31, 2017

Jill Ellis Q&A: Looking Back and Forward

Coming out of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, and in advance of the next set of matches for the U.S. Women’s National Team against Russia in April, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis shares her thoughts on the team’s evolution, giving chances to young players, formations, and keeping focused on the big picture.

ussoccer.com: Looking back at the SheBelieves Cup, what were the big picture points of emphasis in terms of what you and your staff wanted to see on the field?

Jill Ellis: The priority in every game plan was having the confidence to trust our passing game, to play out of tight spaces with numbers, to show patience and try to control the game with the ball. Of course, coaches and fans know that on a certain day ball possession does not always translate to a win, but long term we will give ourselves a higher chance to get a positive result if we can control the ball. In the 2015 Women’s World Cup we found ways to win, but in almost every game except the Final our opponent was often in the driver’s seat for long periods of time. We want to change that, and I believe we have the players and the vision to evolve our style of play. Does change sometimes come at a cost? At times, it does. Losing for us can be an unfamiliar experience, but internally we know we are not close to being a finished product and these growing pains will pay off.

ussoccer.com: The roster for the SheBelieves Cup was one of the youngest you have selected for a competitive event and one of the most inexperienced in terms of caps. Why was it so important to field such a young squad in a big tournament?

JE: In 90% of our matches, we won’t experience the pressure on the field that these three opponents can generate. Going back 10 to 12 years, our matches against the top three teams in the world have been extraordinarily tight. That is exactly the pressure cooker you want a young player to feel, and to experience that two and a half years away from a World Cup is fantastic for us. The European teams get to go through another major event by having the European Championships. By hosting SheBelieves Cup, we give ourselves a big, but important, challenge. For players like Rose Lavelle, Lynn Williams or Sam Mewis to play in front of 25,000 people against Germany or France is vital on so many levels. The playing time gained, the evaluation opportunity, the test of character, we only get these experiences in a format like this event. So yes, I prioritized looking at players that I am not as familiar with in these types of situations, and although they are not young players, Alyssa (Naeher) and Ashlyn (Harris) are also players that needed to get experience against top teams outside of a “friendly” type atmosphere.   

WNT - Rose Lavelle

ussoccer.com: You have been playing a three-back formation in recent months, and stuck with it against three very attacking-minded teams. Is this something we can continue to see out of the U.S. side?

JE: We’ve played in a 4-4-2 for about eight to ten years, so it was important, on both sides of the ball, to evaluate our flexibility and get answers against top teams in a different shape. When we looked at our personnel, we felt it was important to look at more numbers in midfield and a shape that we can aggressively press out of, but every system has strengths and weaknesses and you only find those out against the best teams in the world. France looked at our build-up shape and matched up to try and nullify what we have been working on. Couple that with the fact that they played as direct as they have ever played against us, and it became an excellent challenge for us. A shape doesn’t win or lose games – if it did everyone would play the same – but it’s about figuring out what gives you the best chance to have your individual players in the best position for them to be successful and help the team. The reality is the first two goals came off a tough turnover in our own end and a long ball in behind, scenarios we have dealt with before and been punished by before. So, in short, am I married to a system? No, but I am committed to finding out more about our players and then building a framework in which we can be successful against every team in the world.

ussoccer.com: After the France game, what were your messages to the players moving forward?

JE: These are extremely competitive and prideful women, so nothing you can say in the moment numbs the sting of losing, but they are also professionals and they know where we are in our cycle and that we are a work in progress. At the end of last year, we let them know that evaluation and deepening the roster is the priority. Right now, it’s not as much about building chemistry between the same two players on the pitch, it’s about getting answers about them and challenging ourselves to get better. Consistency in good performances is what we seek, and that’s tough for even a seasoned player and team to pull off, so I reminded them to keep perspective in the big picture and stay focused on what our end game is: 2019. I think in 80-90% of our matches, the WNT makes it look easy, and that’s a credit to all who have worn the jersey, but in reality it is very hard work to win as consistently as this team has over the years. In the World Cup Final in ‘91, we beat Norway 2-1 and in the ‘99 Final we tied China 0-0 before winning in penalty kicks. Games at the highest level have always been very close, and now with global investment in our game the landscape has changed dramatically. It would be naïve to think results are going to be easy or guaranteed. Winning consistently at the highest level takes investment and commitment. It must be built, and that is the process we are in right now. 

WNT - Tobin Heath

ussoccer.com: The next two games coming up are against Russia in April in Texas. What would be the main areas of focus for the team as you head into the next FIFA window?

JE: The Russia games will be a combination of player evaluation and post-assessment from SheBelieves Cup. For sure our focus will again be on ourselves and the areas we want to see continued growth; some areas being our decision making and execution close to goal, outplaying pressure, and individual defending. We learned a lot from seeing what our opponents would try to “take away” from us, so problem-solving within the game and reliance on our core principles to do so will be ongoing. In terms of personnel, once the NWSL league play begins, we will have a chance to evaluate the players in another environment, but until then looking at a player’s performance and positional options in international competition is a critical component of the friendlies.


Read more
WNT Mar 13, 2017
×