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WNT Ties Brazil 0-0 in Title Game at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 21, 2014) – Playing in steady rain on a saturated pitch, the U.S. Women’s National Team tied Brazil 0-0 in the championship match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. As Brazil accumulated more points than the USA during the group stage (nine points to the U.S. WNT’s four), Brazil was awarded to the tournament title. 

The U.S. finishes runner-up after posting a 1-1-1 record in group play. 

The match marked just the second time the USA and Brazil have played to a scoreless draw in their storied history. The previous occasion was on June 27, 2000, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. 

In the USA’s final match of 2014, its two best scoring chances came in the second half. The first came off a 59th-minute cross from Tobin Heath on the left wing. She picked out Abby Wambach, who was making a run to the far post, but the pass was just a bit too high and the 5-11 striker sent her header just outside the upper right corner of the goal. 

In the 86th minute, a Becky Sauerbrunn header off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana and Brazil fended off the USA’s late attack to secure the draw. 

The USA did put the ball in the net in extra time as Carli Lloyd finished into the lower left corner from close range, but the goal was waved away for offside. After Heather O’Reilly played a cross in from the left side, the ball was headed up in the air by Morgan Brian. Amy Rodriguez was in an offside position on the header, but did not touch the ball, which bounced off a Brazilian defender straight to Lloyd, who slotted home. 

Brazil had the better overall possession in the match, but its scoring chances were few. Brazil’s best chance came in the 38th minute off of a Marta corner kick from the right side. Monica, who did not play against the USA in the teams’ previous tournament matchup, rose from eight yards out and headed the ball just wide left of the frame. 

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was forced to make just one save on a shot from distance, but she was tremendous controlling her penalty area and had several excellent punches during the match. 

In the third-place game, China PR and Argentina played to a scoreless draw. With more points in group play, China (1-1-1, 4 points in the group stage) was awarded third place over Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points in group). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
(None) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 30th minute: Just after Morgan Brian was issued a yellow card for a foul against Andressa Alves, Brazil’s Marta delivered a dangerous free kick toward the penalty spot. Solo confidently read the ball and punched it toward the edge of the box for the USA defense to clear it out of harm’s way. 

BRA – Luciana, 60th minute: The USA played the ball from the midfield behind Brazil’s defense in the direction of Tobin Heath, who was in a one-on-one against Brazil goalkeeper Luciana but the net-minder won the foot race, beating Heath by one step to prevent a potential U.S. goal.

USA – Hope Solo, 83rd minute: Brazil’s corner kick was whipped in and Solo punched the ball away. Though Brazil did follow with a volley from the top of the box, it sailed over the goal as the USA continued to maintain its clean sheet.

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: Off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick, U.S. center back Becky Sauerbrunn rose for the header at the back host and directed back across toward the center bar. However, Luciana rose up to palm the shot away.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone earned her 304th-career cap. She is second on the USA’s all-time list behind only Kristine Lilly’s 352 appearances.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo, the USA’s all-time leader in career shutouts, earned her 78th clean sheet. It was her 11th shutout in 2014.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT begins 2015 with a January camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, followed by two matches in in Europe in early February. The USA faces France on Feb. 8 in Lorient, followed by England on Feb. 13 at a venue to be determined.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA wraps up its 2014 schedule with a 16-3-5 record.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-5 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • After Alyssa Naeher played in the last match against Argentina, earning her first cap, Hope Solo returned to the goal, anchoring a defense featuring right back Meghan Klingenberg, left back Lori Chalupny and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and team captain Christie Rampone.
  • The starting midfield of the USA’s 4-3-3 included Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian.
  • The front line included Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Kelley O’Hara from left to right. O’Hara has played as an outside back for the WNT since 2012, but she returned to forward, a position at which she won the MAC Hermann Trophy at Stanford.
  • Three U.S. forwards were unavailable for Sunday’s final. Sydney Leroux served her suspension after receiving a red card late in the second half against Argentina on Thursday. Christen Press returned to the United States because of a death in her family. Alex Morgan is still not cleared to play as she completes her recovery from an ankle injury.
  • Outside back Ali Krieger replaced Chalupny in the 55th minute. Chalupny started in three of the tournament’s four games.
  • In the 74th minute, Megan Rapinoe entered for O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez replaced Wambach. Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament.
  • Heather O’Reilly was the USA’s fourth and final sub in the 80th minute as she took over from Heath.
  • Lloyd caps off the year as the U.S. WNT’s leader with 15 goals and eight assists. Wambach was second on the team with 14 goals and Rapinoe was second in assists with seven.
  • Lloyd and Press tied for the team lead with 23 appearances in the USA’s 24 matches. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Final
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 11,000
Weather: 72 degrees; Steady rain 

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

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 56); 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday; 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 81), 20-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 74), 5-Kelley O’Hara (15-Megan Rapinoe, 73)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn, 22-Samantha Mewis
Suspended: 2-Sydney Leroux
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana, 3-Bruna (capt.), 14-Monica, 11- Andressa Alves (17-Andressinha, 89), 7-Maurine (6-Tamires, 57), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (21-Beatriz, 57), 10-Marta, 9-Debinha
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 4-Tayla, 13-Camila, 15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene, 22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 4 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Morgan Brian (caution)                       30th minute
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)                         51
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   72 

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian 

U.S. WNT Meets Brazil in Tournament Final in Brasilia

2014 International Tournament of Brasilia
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Mane Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Dec. 21, 2014

U.S. WNT FACES BRAZIL IN TOURNAMENT TITLE GAME: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Brazil in the title match of the four-game International Tournament of Brasilia on Sunday, Dec. 21. The match comes a week to the day after the USA fell 3-2 to Brazil in group play as Brazilian star Marta scored all three goals. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET for what will be the USA’s 24th and final match of the year. In group play, the USA drew 1-1 with China PR, fell 3-2 to Brazil and smashed Argentina 7-0. Those results were good for second in the group and a place in the championship match. China, a 4-1 loser to Brazil in the group finale, will play Argentina for third place. Fans can follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp and full highlights will be available on ussoccer.com.

BRAZIL TOPS GROUP: Brazil enters the match coming off a dominant 4-1 victory against China in a match in which it started numerous reserves. Brazil got an early goal from Darlene via a goalkeeper gaffe by China and then went up 2-0 off a brilliant free kick from Andressinha. Brazil’s two goals in the second half came from Debinha and Andressa. Brazil’s 4-0 victory against Argentina featured a brace from veteran midfielder Formiga. Debinha opened up the scoring with a first-half header and Formiga pushed the lead to 2-0 just before halftime with a header off of a set piece. In the second half, Argentina’s defense broke down and allowed an own goal, and Formiga capped off the scoring with a 20-yard strike, placing her shot in the lower left of the frame.

International Tournament of Brasilia Group Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Brazil

3

3

0

0

11

3

+8

9

USA

3

1

1

1

10

4

+6

4

China PR

3

1

1

1

8

5

+3

4

Argentina

3

0

0

3

0

17

-17

0

International Tournament of Brasilia Schedule

Date

Opponent

Kickoff/Result

Dec. 10

USA vs. China PR

1-1

Brazil vs. Argentina

4-0

Dec. 14

Argentina vs. China PR

0-6

Brazil vs. USA

3-2

Dec. 17

USA vs. Argentina

7-0

Brazil vs. China PR

4-1

Dec. 21

Argentina vs. China PR (third place)

1 p.m. ET

USA vs. Brazil (championship)

4 p.m. ET

LLOYD LEADS WAY: Carli Lloyd has scored in all three games of this tournament, finding the net once against China PR and Brazil and three times against Argentina. Lloyd has now scored in seven consecutive matches, pounding in 10 goals over that time. She is just two games away from tying Michelle Akers for the most consecutive games with a goal. Akers scored a remarkable 17 goals over those nine games.

DOWN A FEW FORWARDS: The USA will head into the match with Brazil with an unusual lack of numbers at the forward position as three of the USA’s most pacey strikers are unavailable. Alex Morgan, who has been training hard to recover from her ankle injury suffered during Women’s World Cup qualifying, is doing very well, but is still not cleared for game action. Sydney Leroux, who received a red card in stoppage time against Argentina on Dec. 18, is suspended. Christen Press, the scorer of four goals against Argentina, has returned to the United States due to a death in the family.

WNT LOOKS FORWARD TO 2015 SCHEDULE: The U.S. WNT will begin 2015 with an extended training camp in January at StubHub Center in Carson, California, and then will travel to Europe in early February to face France on Feb. 8 in Lorient and England on Feb. 13 at venue to be determined. The USA will also participate in the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal in early March. The USA’s domestic schedule for 2015 leading into the Women’s World Cup will be announced when finalized.

TIE GOES TO BRAZIL: There will be no overtime or penalty kicks should the match against Brazil on Dec. 21 end tied after regulation. The tournament rules state that a draw would give Brazil the tournament title based on the fact that it had more points in group play. Teams are allowed four field player substitutions per match, and a fifth if the team needs to change a goalkeeper.

24 TO BRAZIL: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis named 24 players to travel to Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia. Ellis named all 20 players who helped the USA win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition, she named Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who was initially on the qualifying roster before suffering an injury in the lead-up, Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, former UCLA midfielder and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Samantha Mewis and Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny. The official tournament roster is 23 players so one player per game will not suit up for the matches.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

USA DRAWN INTO GROUP D AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: After the Final Draw was conducted on Dec. 6 in Ottawa, Canada, the U.S. Women’s National Team learned it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, taking place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium. The USA then faces Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, followed by Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

U.S. 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D Schedule
  • June 8: vs. Australia at Winnipeg Stadium; 6:30 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
  • June 12: vs. Sweden at Winnipeg Stadium; 7 p.m. / 8 p.m.
  • June 16: vs. Nigeria at BC Place; Vancouver; 5 p.m. / 8 p.m.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of the year after Abby Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the championship game of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
  • Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
  • Carli Lloyd’s hat trick was the second of her career.
  • With the three goals, Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties Lloyd’s career high in a calendar year. She also scored 15 in 2012.
  • Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
  • Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut against Argentina and became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
  • Naeher also became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
  • Wambach, who assisted Press’ second goal against Argentina, now has 69-career assists, which ranks third all-time in U.S. WNT history.
  • The USA is 16-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • Left back Lori Chalupny has played in two matches of the tournament since her return to the U.S. team for the first time since the fall of 2010. She now has 94 caps while Megan Rapinoe has 95 as those two potentially could reach 100 in the spring of 2015.
  • Sydney Leroux’s red card in stoppage time against Argentina was the first ejection for the USA since the last match of 2013 when Lloyd was sent off against Brazil in Orlando, Florida, also in stoppage time.
  • The USA is currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind Germany, dropping into second place for the first time in seven years in the latest FIFA rankings released on Dec. 19. Brazil is eighth, China PR is 13th and Argentina is 36th.
  • The USA, China PR and Brazil have qualified for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Among the seven 2014 FIFA World Cup matches played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha last summer were Argentina's 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Belgium and Brazil's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place match.
  • The National Stadium Mane Garrincha cost $900 million to build, making it the second-most expensive soccer stadium in the world after England's Wembley Stadium. It opened during the summer of 2013.
  • Wambach was the top scorer in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with seven goals and holds a world record with 177 goals in her career. She has yet to score in this tournament, but has scored seven goals vs. Brazil in her career.
  • Lauren Holiday was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year on Dec. 6, and was also voted the Young U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 as Lauren Cheney. The 2013 NWSL MVP and 2014 NWSL Championship Game MVP became the 30th American female player to earn 100 caps when she played against Canada on May 8. She currently has 113 caps.
  • Morgan Brian was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She had two assists vs. Argentina to up her career assist to four.
  • Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 177 goals. After Wambach, Lloyd is the top scorer with 61-career international goals. Alex Morgan has 49 and Heather O’Reilly has scored 41. Leroux is quickly climbing the charts with 33. Rapinoe has 29 and Amy Rodriguez has 28.
  • Wambach has now reached double figures in goals in eight different calendar years. Mia Hamm still holds the record with nine years in double figures.
  • Lloyd’s eight assists are best on the team this year and she is followed by Megan Rapinoe with seven.
  • Thirty players have seen game action for the USA in 2014, including first-cappers Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagan, Allie Long and Naeher.
  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 303rd cap on Dec. 14. She rested against Argentina and now trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Kelley O’Hara earned her 50th cap against China PR, making her the 48th player to reach that number for the U.S. WNT.

ON USSOCCER.COM:
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Releases

WNT vs. Argentina: Highlights - December 18, 2014

Christen Press (four goals) and Carli Lloyd (three goals) accounted for all of the goal scoring as the U.S. WNT defeated Argentina 7-0 in its final group match of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The victory, combined with Brazil’s win against China later in the evening, gave the USA a berth to the tournament’s title game.

WNT Defeats Argentina 7-0 in Group Finale of International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team needed to win big to put itself in position to potentially advance to the final of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia, and its offense came through. Led by four goals from Christen Press and a Carli Lloyd hat trick, the USA defeated Argentina 7-0 in its third group match at Mane Garrincha Stadium. 

Press scored three goals in the first half and the seventh of the game while Lloyd notched her second-career hat trick (the other came against Mexico on Jan. 24, 2012) and also moved into seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 61. 

With Brazil defeating China PR 4-1 in Thursday's later match, that sets up a final between the USA and host Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 21 (4 p.m. ET). Brazil went 3-0-0 in group play (9 points, plus-8 goal differential). The U.S. is second (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-6). China (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-3) will play Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points, minus-17) in the third-place game at 1 p.m. ET.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her full WNT debut and made one save to earn the clean sheet, becoming the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to post a shutout in her first cap. 

Thursday’s USA-Argentina game originally was scheduled for Wednesday and was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Morgan Brian), 7th minute: The U.S. struck quickly when Brian dribbled down the right side and forced Argentina goalkeeper Elisabeth Minnin to make the save, pushing the ball to her right. Press was on the spot to slam home the rebound. USA 1, ARG 0

USA – Christen Press (Abby Wambach), 23rd minute: In a combination on the right side of the box, Wambach played the ball to Press who took a couple dribbles and shot from 10 yards out. Elisabeth Minnin got a piece of the ball but was unable to parry it away. USA 2, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian), 30th minute: From the left side, Brian chipped in a perfect cross to Lloyd who headed it home for the three-goal cushion. The goal gave Lloyd a score in every match of the tournament. USA 3, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger), 41st minute: Right back Ali Krieger crossed the ball in to Press who flicked her shot into the net at the near post for a first-half hat trick. It was Press’ first hat trick of her WNT career. USA 4, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny), 44th minute: The outside backs continued to make an offensive impact as Chalupny dribbled up the left side of the box, beat her defender and crossed the ball in to Lloyd, who finished from close range for her second tally of the opening half. USA 5, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly), 47th minute: To open the second half, Megan Rapinoe crossed the ball in from the left side. Halftime substitute O’Reilly kept the attack alive with a high touch near the goal line and Lloyd hit a full volley into the lower left corner for her third goal of the match. USA 6, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Megan Rapinoe), 78th minute: Megan Rapinoe dribbled into the penalty area and smashed a shot that the Argentina goalkeeper could not handle cleanly. That opened the door for Press, who tapped her shot in for her fourth goal of the match and her 11th of the year. USA 7, ARG 0 (FINAL) 

Milestone Watch:

  • With at least one goal in seven consecutive games, Carli Lloyd is now two games away from matching the U.S. WNT record of nine set by Michelle Akers from April 5 to May 25, 1991. Lloyd has 10 goals during that seven-game stretch.
  • Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
  • Alyssa Naeher became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
  • Abby Wambach now has 69-career assists (third all-time). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will look ahead to the tournament's championship game against Brazil at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 21, to cap off the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. The championship game is preceded by the third-place game between China PR and Argentina at 1 p.m. ET.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 16-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • With three goals, Carli Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties her career high in a calendar year when she also scored 15 in 2012.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five starting lineup changes following the team’s 3-2 loss to Brazil.
  • Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut. She became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
  • The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, earning her second consecutive start, right back Ali Krieger and center backs Whitney Engen and Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn has started in four straight games.
  • The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured Carli Lloyd at attacking midfielder with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian behind her.
  • The front three feature Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Christen Press from left to right. Wambach wore the captain’s armband.
  • Heather O’Reilly replaced Chalupny and Megan Rapinoe entered for Heath to open the second half.
  • The USA switched to a 3-5-2 for the latter part of the game.
  • In the closing minutes, Sydney Leroux subbed for Wambach in the 81st minute and Kelley O’Hara replaced Lauren Holiday in the 84th minute.
  • Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
  • Leroux picked up a red card in second-half stoppage time and will be unavailable for the USA’s placement match on Sunday.

Dunn Preps Brian and Mewis for NWSL

With young U.S. WNT players Morgan Brian and Samantha Mewis having completed their college eligibility and set to be high picks in the 2015 NWSL Draft, Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who played her rookie season in 2014, sits down with the up-and-coming midfielders to discuss turning pro.

Unexpected Soccer Tennis

A heavy storm in Brasilia, Brazil, the night before the U.S. WNT’s scheduled match with Argentina on Dec. 17 forced the postponement of the game just hours before kickoff. Undeterred, the U.S. team got in a few highly competitive games of soccer tennis just to get the legs moving.

USA-Argentina Match Rescheduled for Dec. 18

CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team’s game against Argentina at the International Tournament of Brasilia was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions at Mane Garrincha Stadium. The match will now be played on Thursday, Dec. 18, with kickoff set for 4:20 p.m. ET. 

In addition to the cancellation of Wednesday’s USA-Argentina game, the match between China PR and host Brazil was also postponed to Thursday. The two group leaders will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The USA’s game against Argentina will be the team’s third group match before the placement stage on Sunday, Dec. 21. Brazil leads the four-team field with a 2-0-0 record, followed by China (1-1-0) and the USA (0-1-1). China holds a seven-goal advantage over the U.S. WNT on goal difference (China is plus-6, compared to the USA’s minus-1). Argentina is 0-2-0 at the International Tournament.

WNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - Dec. 14, 2014

The U.S. WNT was edged out 3-2 by Brazil in its second match at the International Tournament of Brasilia. After early goals by Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Marta responded with a hat trick to give the hosts the win.

WNT Edged 3-2 by Brazil in Second Match at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 14, 2014) – Despite taking an early two-goal lead, the U.S. Women’s National Team lost 3-2 to Marta and  Brazil in the USA’s second match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored early goals for the USA in an action packed game, but Brazilian ace Marta replied with a hat trick for the hosts. 

Brazil sits atop the tournament table with six points, followed by China PR – which beat Argentina 6-0 earlier in the day – with four. The USA is third with one point and faces last-place Argentina on Wednesday on the final day of round-robin play. The top two teams at the end of group play will meet for the championship while the third- and fourth-place teams will meet for third place. Both placement games will be on Dec. 21. The USA can still reach the championship match, but it must hope that China loses to Brazil and then make up the gap in goal difference; China is currently at +6 while the USA is at -1. 

In sharp contrast to the USA’s opening game against China, the match between the USA and Brazil was a wide open, flowing affair that featured end-to-end attacking throughout the game. Both teams carved out chances that had the crowd at Mané Garrincha Stadium regularly rising to its feet. The Americans had the better of the scoring chances, but Brazil had Marta, who made her three shots on goal count. 

The USA was unlucky to twice hit the woodwork on shots by Rapinoe and second-half sub Christen Press in the final minutes of each half, and were also thwarted on multiple occasions during the second stanza by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana, whose performance was outshone only by that of Marta. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 6th minute: End-to-end action in the opening five minutes led to a USA corner that Megan Rapinoe whipped into the heart of the Brazil penalty area. Tobin Heath was on hand to knock down an attempted Brazil clearance right to the feet of Lloyd, who controlled the ball in the middle of the six-yard box, swiveled her hips towards goal and snapped a shot into the left hand side of the frame. USA 1, BRA 0  

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach), 9th minute: Rapinoe collected the ball from Abby Wambach wide on the right flank and beat her defender with a burst of pace. As she cut toward goal, Rapinoe unleashed a stinging shot from near the top of the box that caught Brazil goalkeeper Luciana off her line and dipped into the far left side netting. USA 2, BRA 0

BRA – Marta, 19th minute: The Brazilian ace got loose in midfield and put the USA center backs under pressure with a weaving run up the middle and then across the top of the USA box. With a defender and USA goalkeeper Hope Solo closing in, Marta blasted a shot from near the penalty spot into the right side of the goal. USA 2, BRA 1 

BRA – Marta, 55th minute: Against the run of play, Marta scored a spectacular solo goal. Picking the ball up just inside her own half, the Brazil forward drove toward the top of the USA penalty area. Cutting behind a diverting run from Debinah, Marta touched the ball wide left of the net and angled a hard, low shot back across the face of goal and into the far right hand netting. USA 2, BRA 2 

BRA – Marta (Beatriz), 65th minute: Beatriz seized on a USA turnover in its own half and slipped a pass to Marta in the right channel. Marta once again carried through a crowd of players before unleashing a dipping drive from distance that squeezed past Solo at her near right post. USA 2, BRA 3 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 24th minute: With Brazil growing in confidence after scoring in the 19th minute, Klingenberg was alert to the run of Marta, tracking the Brazil attacker across the box and getting in a leaping block to deny the five-time World Player of the Year’s overhead kick attempt. 

USA – Hope Solo, 57th minute: Christie Rampone tried to guide the ball back to Solo in the USA box, but Debinha was able to slip around the veteran center back and send a strong toe poke toward goal that Solo did well to smother. 

BRA – Luciana, 75th minute: Forward Christen Press worked herself some room  to shoot from outside the top of the box and let fly with a hard shot but it was not far enough outside Luciana’s range as she dived to her left to gather the shot. 

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: The USA had numbers up on a counter attack as Press carried the ball in from the left flank. Press smacked a dipping drive while in full stride that was headed for the left upper-90, but Luciana was able to recover her momentum and made a soaring stop to keep Press from equalizing. 

BRA – Luciana, 90th minute: The USA won a free kick just outside the top middle of Brazil’s penalty area after Tobin Heath was taken down and Carli Lloyd stepped up to send a well-placed free kick toward the right-hand roof of the net, but Luciana got in a strong leaping parry to send the shot over the crossbar. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 303rd cap. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd’s 58th goal put her just two shy of Shannon MacMillan for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is also just three goals shy of her career best 15 goals she scored in a calendar year for the USA in 2012.
  • Lloyd moved past Julie Foudy into ninth place on the WNT’s all-time points list with 148 (58 goals, 32 assists). Foudy had 145-career points (45 goals, 55 assists). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will close out group play at the International Tournament of Brasilia against Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET) before playing a final placement match on Dec. 21.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 15-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT falls to 25-3-3 all-time against Brazil.
  • Outside back Lori Chalupny made her first appearance for the U.S. WNT since October of 2009, playing 31 minutes and then as planned, exited the match and was replaced by Ali Krieger.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made all of her allowed four substitutes in the match, beginning with Krieger. In the second half, Christen Press came on for Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian entered for Lauren Holiday and Samantha Mewis made her first appearance for the WNT since March 10 against Denmark in the Algarve Cup when she subbed on for Sydney Leroux with 10 minutes to play.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 90-9-14 in the 111 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
  • The match marked the first loss under head coach Jill Ellis. The U.S. is 15-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 14, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Group Play
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 5,421
Weather: 72 degrees, cloudy 

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath)                                6th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach)                   9                    
BRA – Marta                                                               19
BRA – Marta                                                               55
BRA – Marta (Beatriz)                                                65        

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 31);  12-Lauren Holiday (7-Morgan Brian, 65), 10-Carli Lloyd, 20-Abby Wambach; 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (22-Samantha Mewis, 79), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana,  3-Bruna (capt.),  4-Tayla,  11- Andressa Alves, 7-Maurine (21-Beatriz, 59), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (6-Tamires, 71), 9-Debinha, 10-Marta (17-Andressinha, 88)
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 13-Camila, 14-Monica,  15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene,  22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 20 / 8
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution)                   31st minute
USA – Hope Solo (caution)                            41
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   68
BRA – Tayla (caution)                                                89 

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a 

Budweiser Woman of the Match:   Meghan Klingenberg

Bem-Vindo A Brazil

While South America has produced nine Men’s World Cup champions since 1934, the women’s game has lagged far behind. Sure, the Brazilian women – led by five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta – has had some great success, but the rest of the continent is just recently starting to throw more support behind its Women’s National Teams.

It’s for that reason that the trips to South America for the U.S. WNT have been rare. In fact, in its 29-year history, the USA has visited South America just twice – both to Brazil – in 1996 and 1997. The USA’s trip to the International Tournament of Brasilia, a four-team competition played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha (a 2014 World Cup venue) is a bit of a novelty.

The WNT has played six matches in Brazil, which is also its total games played in South America, and hasn’t been to Brazil in 17 years. The last time was for a pair of games against Brazil in December of 1997, a 2-1 win in Taubaté and a 1-0 loss in São Paulo.

The only player still active from that trip is U.S. captain Christie Rampone who was then competing in her first year of international soccer. As Christie Pearce, she played 90 minutes in both games.


U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone helps the USA collect a 2-0 win against Brazil on June 23, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J.

As the USA winds down 2014 and gets ready for an exciting 2015, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis wants to play as many top teams as possible, and it remains a given that a game against Brazil in Brazil is one of the toughest challenges a team can face. The USA will get one match against Brazil, and possibly two, as this tournament pits the top two teams after group play in the championship game.

“We are looking forward to playing against the different styles that each of the three teams present,” said Ellis. “China and Brazil are also preparing for the World Cup, and to get games against World Cup teams prior to the tournament is one of our goals. Knowing the history with Brazil, games against them are always exciting for the players and fans.”

The USA will open the tournament Dec. 10 against China PR (4:20 p.m. ET), face Brazil on Dec. 14 (3:45 p.m.) and finish group play on Dec. 17 against Argentina (4:20 p.m.). The final match day on Dec. 21 will feature the top two teams after round-robin play squaring off for the tournament championship while the two countries that finished third and fourth will battle for third place. The USA, Brazil and China PR will be participating in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup next summer in Canada.

Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha is also one of five venues for the 2016 Olympics. With qualifying for that tournament beginning shortly, this trip will be valuable on multiple levels.

“It’s a chance to travel to a new environment and play international matches in unfamiliar territory, which is always valuable when getting ready for a World Cup,” said Ellis. “It’s pretty exciting to get to play in a World Cup stadium and many of our players have never played or even been to Brazil before. It’s a unique opportunity to go to a fantastic soccer country, have a great cultural experience and get four competitive games to end the year on a high note.”

Women’s World Cup Rewind: The Game Reaches New Heights in 2011

The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup was the best-ever by numerous measurements: fan support, atmosphere, media attention, TV ratings and of course the quality of play on the field. Germany put on a fantastic event in world class stadiums that showcased competitive, entertaining matches, which impressed fans around the globe.

The USA rebounded from a loss to Sweden in its final game of the opening round to defeat Brazil in an epic quarterfinal match that some say was the most exciting match in the history of the Women’s World Cup. The USA played more than an hour with just 10 players, equalized in the 122nd minute of overtime on Abby Wambach’s now famous header off a Megan Rapinoe cross before winning the ensuing penalty kick shootout.



“I launched it with all my might. There wasn’t a lot of technique behind it; I just put all I had into that cross,” said Rapinoe. “I didn’t see Abby when I first kicked it. I just knew she was going to be there. She’s always in the box.

“It happened so quickly and it was in the back of the net. I was running over there, but then I was so far away, that I stopped halfway because I just had to start celebrating. I was 50 yards away by the time she got all the way to the corner. So I had to stop and do these crazy fist pumps. I was yelling so loud and aggressively that I literally got light-headed. Then I ran over to Abby and nearly knocked her over because I jumped on her without decelerating at all. It was just one of those amazing sports moments. I don’t think I’ll have another moment like that in my career.”

Wambach’s equalizer still stands as the latest recorded goal in Women’s World Cup history.

“I just started making a run and put my hand up. [Rapinoe] just put this ball literally on my head. It took forever for the ball to get from her to me,” said Wambach. ‘Get over the defender’s head, get over the goalkeeper’s hands;’ that’s what I was thinking. It did and I was wide open and then I was thinking, ‘don’t miss this.’ It was close. Anything at that moment is possible. I didn’t see it hit the back of the net, but I knew it went in when I heard the crowd.”

The USA went on to defeat France 3-1 in a hard-fought semifinal and agonizingly fell to Japan in a shootout in the World Cup Final. Yet, the impact the tournament had on fans in the USA and around the world continues to produce positive effects on the game’s development in the lead up to the 2015 tournament in Canada.

Women’s World Cup Rewind: USA Captivates the World in 1999

For the first time, the tournament was expanded to 16 teams and was staged in huge stadiums across the United States, raising expectations for attendance, media coverage and television audiences; expectations that were reached, surpassed and then crushed.

The U.S. captured its second Women’s World Cup championship while winning the hearts and minds of a nation and becoming the sports story of the year. The Women’s National Team played in front of packed houses across the country, and advanced to the final after five straight victories, which included a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Germany in the quarterfinals and a nail-biting 2-0 victory against Brazil in the semifinals. 

“We battled through every match and it just got bigger and bigger,” said Tony DiCicco, head coach of the 1999 Women’s World Cup team. “The final match in Pasadena, unfortunately it was 0-0, but it was one of those incredibly exciting, tense nil-nil matches. The penalty kicks only added to the excitement.”

In the final, the U.S. battled China PR for a grueling 120 minutes before pulling out a breathtaking 5-4 penalty kick victory in front of a sellout crowd of 90,185 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on July 10. The winning penalty kick goal for the U.S. has become a pop culture moment in American history, with Brandi Chastain scoring and celebrating waving her jersey above her head before sinking to her knees and being mobbed by her teammates.

Chastain’s heroics were made possible by U.S. goalkeeper Brianna Scurry, who stepped up to make a crucial save on China’s third penalty kick taker Liu Ying.

“It was bizarre,” said Scurry. “I didn’t look at any of the other kickers, but for some reason, when I was walking into the goal, I looked at (Liu) and I heard something in my head, ‘this is the one.’  It was just a feeling.  Something just came over me, a sort of calmness.  It was an instinctual thing, an intuitive thing.  It was very, very strange. Quite honestly, I think no matter where that ball was going to go, I was going to get it.”

With the championship, the U.S. became the first nation to win the Women’s World Cup on its home soil.

“There was a lot of pressure on us as a team because as big as it was, if we lost, the momentum [of women’s soccer] would have petered out,” said DiCicco when remembering the USA’s most memorable soccer achievement. “I think our 1999 team set the stage for women’s athletics, women’s soccer and the next generation to have something to aspire to.” 

Women’s World Cup Rewind: USA Claims Inaugural Crown in 1991

The first FIFA Women’s World Cup, held in 1991 in China, was a tremendous success. Large crowds flocked to the stadiums to see some of the pioneers of the women’s game as the United States announced its presence on the world’s stage.

The USA won all six of its games in the tournament, beginning with its first-ever Women’s World Cup match, a 3-2 victory against a Sweden side that featured future U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage. The USA would go on to defeat Norway, 2-1, in the World Cup Final in Guangzhou. The great Michelle Akers scored both goals in the championship game and 10 goals overall in the tournament, a record that still stands ahead of the 2015 tournament. Future stars Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly won their first of several world titles that they collected throughout their illustrious careers.

Hamm scored twice in the tournament while Jennings had six goals (including a hat trick in the somewhat surprising 5-2 semifinal victory against Germany) and Heinrichs scored four times (including the other two goals in the semifinal). Wendy Gebauer, Joy Biefeld and Julie Foudy also scored their first World Cup goals.

After accomplishing such a remarkable achievement, the U.S. players returned to the U.S. to relative anonymity, but the roots were set for what would grow into the most successful international women’s soccer program in history.

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: CONCACAF

CONFEDERATION OF NORTH, CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL

CANADA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 8
FIFA Trigram: CAN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Tournament Host
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 – 1995 (10th), 1999 (12th), 2003 (4th), 2007 (9th), 2011 (16th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 3-47-6  
Head Coach: John Herdman
Championship Honors: Pan-American Games Champions (2011), CONCACAF Champions (1998, 2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: N/A
Key Players: Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns), Erin McLeod (Chicago Red Stars), Jonelle Filigno (Sky Blue FC), Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia), Melissa Tancredi (Chicago Red Stars), Desiree Scott (Notts County)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: Canada began preparing for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, when it was named the host of the quadrennial tournament … It will be Canada’s sixth appearance at a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament … Head coach John Herdman led the squad to the 2011 Pan-American Games title for the first time, as well as to a third place finish at the London 2012 Olympic Games … Read more.

COSTA RICA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 40
FIFA Trigram: CRC
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship (3-1-1; 10 GF, 9 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 – 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-10-0
Head Coach: Carlos Avedissian
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Carolina Venegas (4), Raquel Rodriguez (3)
Key Players: Carolina Venegas (Saprissa), Raquel Rodriguez (Penn State), Dinnia Diaz (Moravia), Shirley Cruz (PSG), Katherine Alvarado (Saprissa)
Language: Spanish 

Fast Facts: One name has become synonymous with Costa Rica's feat of qualifying for the Women’s World Cup tournament for the first time: Dinnia Diaz … The goalkeeper's penalty shoot-out heroics earned her side victory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship semifinal against Trinidad and Tobago and in the process clinched a spot for Las Ticas at Canada 2015 …  Not even a 6-0 defeat by USA in the final was enough to rain on the team's parade, as coach Carlos Avedissian confirmed: "Being crowned champions wouldn't bring us the joy that booking our ticket has" … The achievement was a fitting way to cap what has been a booming last year or so for Costa Rican football, particularly on the women's side, as evidenced by a hat-trick of wins over Mexico, Jamaica and Martinique in group-stage action prior to that decisive last-four encounter .. Paris Saint-Germain's Shirley Cruz is a talismanic figure within Costa Rican football and the 29-year-old is the leader of the dressing room alongside fellow midfielder Katherine Alvarado … Their experience and nous provide a counterpoint to the recent injection of young blood into the squad, embodied by the likes of wunderkinds Gloriana Villalobos and Melissa Herrera. Read more.

MEXICO
Current FIFA World Ranking: 25
FIFA Trigram: MEX
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished in third place at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship (3-2-0; 17 GF, 7 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 3 – 1999 (16th), 2011 (11th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-30-1
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Championship Honors: CONCACAF Runner-Up (2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Charlyn Corral (4), Monica Ocampo (3), Stephany Mayor (3), Luz Duarte (2)
Key Players: Charlyn Corral (Merilappi United), Cecilia Santiago (Boston Breakers), Monica Ocampo (Sky Blue FC), Stephany Mayor (Universidad de las Americas Puebla)
Language: Spanish 

Fast Facts: Mexico lost its first game of the 2014 CONCACAF Championship to Costa Rica, but bounced back with a dominant 10-0 performance to remain alive … After losing the semifinal game to the eventual champion USA, El Tricolor Femenil battled it out with Trinidad & Tobago for the third and final automatic qualification spot … Trailing 2-1 with just over ten minutes to go, they equalized and then Charlyn Corral popped up with an extra-time brace to seal victory ... Canada 2015 will mark Mexico's third appearance at the tournament, having also competed at Germany 2011 and USA 1999... While their debut outings on the world stage all ended in defeat, last time out Las Tri managed two draws (against England and New Zealand), although this wasn't enough to advance beyond the group stage… Read more.

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: CONMEBOL and CAF

SOUTH AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

BRAZIL
Current FIFA World Ranking: 6
FIFA Trigram: BRA
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won the 2014 Copa America Femenina (5-1-1; 22 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (9th), 1995 (9th), 1999 (3rd), 2003 (5th), 2007 (2nd), 2011 (5th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 2-25-3
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez
Championship Honors: South American Champions (1991, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Cristiane (6), Andressa (3), Maurine (3)
Key Players: Marta (FC Rosengård), Cristiane (WFC Rossiyanka), Andressa (Boston Breakers), Formiga (São José), Maurine (Western NY Flash)
Language: Portuguese

Fast Facts: Brazil will travel to their seventh FIFA Women’s World Cup as reigning six-time Copa America champions, having drawn on their much-vaunted attack to win their latest continental title in Ecuador … Veteran striker Cristiane ended the competition as its leading goal scorer, helping her side to first-round victories over Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile before the second string went down to Argentina … In the final four-team round the Brazilians cruised to respective 4-1 and 6-0 victories over Ecuador and the Argentinians before making the trophy theirs with a draw against Colombia …Though they secured their latest South American crown without her, Brazil will be only too happy to have five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year winner Marta back in the fold in Canada … A star of the global scene for the last decade, she will have the support of a raft of similarly seasoned performers, among them Cristiane, goalkeeper Andreia and midfielder Formiga … Read more 

COLOMBIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 31
FIFA Trigram: COL
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second at the 2014 Copa America Femenina (5-0-2; 12 GF, 2 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 2 – 2011 (14th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-2-0
Head Coach: Felipe Taborda
Championship Honors: South American Runner-Up (2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Rincon (3)
Key Players: Yoreli Rincon (New Jersey Wildcats), Lady Andrade (PK-35 Vantaa), Sandra Sepulveda (Club Formas Intimas Medellin), Katherin Arias (Generaciones Palmiranas), Natalia Gaitan (Houston Aces), Diana Ospina (Club Formas Íntimas Medellin)
Language: Spanish

Fast Facts: Colombia will make its second straight appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup after making its debut in 2011 and having an early exit after failing to advance from the group stage… Four victories in four games had Las Cafeteras storm through their group stage with an undefeated record at the 2014 Copa America Femenina scoring nine goals and allowing only two… Draws against Argentina and to eventual Copa champion Brazil led Colombia to finish as the only undefeated side, racking 17 points and booking its trip to the World Cup with a runners-up finish… Colombia proved to be a defensive power, eventually only allowing two goals in the whole tournament, a tournament-best, while scoring 12 … 10 different Colombia players scored a goal during Copa qualifiers… Read more

ECUADOR
Current FIFA World Ranking: 49
FIFA Trigram: ECU
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won a two-legged intercontinental playoff 1-0 against CONCACAF entrée Trinidad & Tobago.
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 – 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Vanessa Arauz
Championship Honors: 3rd Place 1998 Copa Sudamericana
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Giannina Lattanzio (3)
Key Players: Erika Vásquez, Mónica Quinteros, Andrea Pesantes, Ingrid Rodríguez
Language: Spanish

Fast Facts: 2015 will mark Ecuador’s first appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup … The Tricolors finished third in the final round of South American qualifying, which sent the team into a two-legged playoff against fourth-place CONCACAF finisher Trinidad & Tobago … After a 0-0 draw in Quito, Ecuador’s Mónica Quinteros bagged the play-off winning goal in the dying moments of the second leg in Port-of-Spain … Ecuador’s qualification to the second round of South American World Cup Qualifying is the first time the team has escaped elimination in the first round of a major tournament since 1998 when the Tricolors placed third at the Copa Sudamericana.

CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL

CAMEROON
Current FIFA World Ranking: 51
FIFA Trigram: CMR
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 2nd in 2014 African Women’s Championship (5 GF, 4GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Ngachu Enow
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Gaëlle Enganamouit (3)
Key Players: Gaelle Enganamouit (Eskilstuna United), Annette Ngo Dom (Nove Zamky)
Language: English, French 

Fast Facts: Qualified for Canada with a second-place finish at the 2014 African Women’s Championship, losing to Nigeria 2-0 in the final … Annette Ngo Dom was the goalkeeper of the tournament in the 2014 African Women’s Championship and plays her club soccer in Slovakia … Ngachu has a highly experienced squad, most of whom play their club football outside Cameroon and many of them have already appeared on the world stage after representing Les Lionnes at the London Olympics … Read more 

COTE D’IVOIRE
Current FIFA World Ranking: 64
FIFA Trigram: CIV
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 3rd in 2014 African Women’s Championship (6 GF, 4 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Clementine Toure
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Tia Vino Ines N'Rehy (3)
Key Players: Jose Nahi (Zvesda Perm), Tia N'Rehy (Spartak Subotica)
Language: French 

Fast Facts: Finished third at 2014 African Women’s Championship with a late goal from Ida Guehai against South Africa … Les Elephantes are a team without any real star players and are known for their team effort … Most players play their club soccer in Ivory Coast … Head coach Clementine Toure was a member of the Equatorial Guinea coaching staff … Read more 

NIGERIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 35
FIFA Trigram: NGA
2015 Women's World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in 2014 African Women’s Championship (16 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 - 1991 (10th), 1995 (11th), 1999 (7th), 2003 (16th), 2007 (12th), 2011 (9th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-4-0
Head Coach: Edwin Okon
Championship Honors: African Women’s Championship (1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Desire Oparanozie (5)
Key Players: Desire Oparanozie (Guingamp), Azizat Oshoala (Rivers Angels)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: Nigeria are the dominant women’s side of Africa and have qualified for the Women’s World Cup every year it’s been held … The Super Falcons are also the most decorated side of the African Women’s Championship, which they’ve won seven times … Nigeria's best World Cup performance was in 1999 when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Brazil after finishing second in their group and seventh overall … Read more

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: AFC and OFC

ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

AUSTRALIA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 10
FIFA Trigram: AUS
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (3-1-1; 9 GF, 5 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 –1995 (12th), 1999 (11th), 2003 (13th), 2007 (7th), 2011 (8th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-22-2
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1995, 1998, 2003. Note: Australia moved to the AFC on Jan. 1, 2006); Asian Football Confederation Champions (2010)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Katrina Gorry (3), Kate Gill (2)
Key Players: Lisa De Vanna (Washington Spirit), Caitlin Foord (Sky Blue FC), Katrina Gorry (FC Kansas City), Kate Gill (Perth Glory)
Language: English

Fast Facts: With five Asian berths up for grabs, Australia comfortably won through to Canada by virtue of a runners-up finish at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup … The team had endured a tumultuous preparation with Alen Stajcic filling the coaching role on an interim basis following the sudden departure of Hesterine De Reus just prior to the qualifying tournament in Vietnam  … Australia saw off Jordan and Vietnam, as well as drawing 2-2 with Japan in the group stage, before defeating Korea Republic 2-1 in the semifinals .. The Matildas came within a whisker of retaining their Asian crown only to fall 1-0 against world champions Japan in the final … The current team defy the traditional stereotype of Australian teams and a pacy youthful side boasts a host of talented ball-players including experienced forwards Lisa De Vanna and Kate Gill … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882891/index.html

CHINA PR
Current FIFA World Ranking: 14
FIFA Trigram: CHN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished third at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (3-1-1; 13 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 6 – 1991 (5th), 1995 (4th), 1999 (2nd), 2003 (6th), 2007 (5th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 8-32-12
Head Coach: Hao Wei
Championship Honors: Asian Champions (1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006) 
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Yang Li (6)
Key Players: Zhang Yue (Beijing), Yang Li (Jiangsu), Wu Haiyan (Sportstoto), Zhang Rui (Army), Li Ying (Dalian)
Language: Chinese

Fast Facts: China made it through to the knockout stage in their past five appearances, including finishing runners-up at USA 1999, but the Asian qualifiers for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup proved to be a redemptive campaign for China PR after missing out on a place in the global showpiece at Germany 2011 for the first time in history … The eight-time champions opened with a 7-0 rout of Thailand which was followed by a 3-0 defeat of Myanmar during the group phase as China finished in the top two to progress to the semifinals, despite also being held by Korea Republic to a goalless draw … With their qualifying mission already completed, the Steel Roses switched their sights to the continental champions but their hopes were shattered losing 2-1 to Japan … Despite the setback, the Chinese went on to edge out Korea Republic by an identical score line in the third-place play-off … The current team are youthful and on the upswing after a long down period for Chinese women’s soccer, with the majority of players born after 1990 … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882892/index.html

JAPAN
Current FIFA World Ranking: 3
FIFA Trigram: JPN
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: First Place at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup (4-0-1; 16 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (12th), 1995 (8th), 1999 (13th), 2003 (10th), 2007 (10th), 2011 (1st), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-24-6
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki
Championship Honors: Women’s World Cup (2011); Asian Football Confederations Champions (2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Azusa Iwashimizu (2), Nahomi Kawasumi (2), Emi Nakajima (2), Mizuho Sakaguchi (2), Yuki Ogmi (2)
Key Players: Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), Nahomi Kawasumi (Seattle Reign FC), Mizuho Sakaguchi (NTV Beleza), Yuki Ogmi (Chelsea)
Language: Japanese

Fast Facts:
Japan was crowned World Cup champions for the first time in its history in 2011 after defeating the United States in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in regulation and extra time was completed … With the win, Japan also became the first Asian country to claim a World Cup… Despite their triumph in 2011 however, Japan had never won the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but that finally changed in May 2014 as it secured two tight wins to end the eight-nation tournament as victors despite missing several key players … The Nadeshiko enjoyed comfortable wins over Jordan and Vietnam in the group stage, while also drawing 2-2 against Australia. They edged China PR 2-1 in the semi-final, before a hard-fought 1-0 win in the final against Australia with defender Azusa Iwashimizu the unlikely scorer of the historic goal. Read more-- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1883723/index.html

KOREA REPUBLIC
Current FIFA World Ranking: 17
FIFA Trigram: KOR
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished fourth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (2-2-1; 18 GF, 4 GA)
World Cup Finals Appearances: 2 – 2003 (14th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-8-1
Head Coach: Yoon Deokyeo 
Championship Honors: None
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Park Eun-sun (6), Jeon Ga-eul (3), Cho So-hyun (3)
Key Players: Cho Soh-hyun (Suwon FMC), Park Eun-sun (Rossiyanka), Ji So-yun (Chelsea Ladies), Kim Jung-mi (Hyundai Steel)
Language: Korean 

Fast Facts: Korea Republic booked passage to their second FIFA Women’s World Cup by finishing fourth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam … Pitted against China PR, Thailand and Myanmar in Group B, the Taeguk Ladies opened their qualifying campaign with a 12-0 demolition of Myanmar with both Jeon Ga-eul and Cho Soh-yun recording hat-tricks … Park Eun-sun then struck three times and set up another as the Koreans beat the Thais 4-0 to claim top-two in the group and a ticket to Canada  … Although a goalless draw with China PR was enough for them to top their group on goal difference, defending champions Australia proved too strong for the women in red as they lost 2-1 in the semifinals … They subsequently lost the third-place play-off by the same score against China PR … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1885010/index.html

THAILAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 30
FIFA Trigram: THA
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished fifth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Cup (2-2-0; 3 GF, 11 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Nuengruethai Sathongwien
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Kanjana Sungngoen (3)
Key Players: Kanjana Sungngoen, Darut Changplook, Nisa Romyen, Naphat Seesraum, Taneekarn Dangda   
Language: Thai 

Fast Facts: Thailand qualified for its first FIFA Women’s World Cup thanks to a fifth-place finish in the AFC Women's Cup held in Vietnam in May of 2014 … However, their odyssey to Canada 2015 began a year earlier in the unlikely setting of Dhaka, Bangladesh where they secured a clean sweep of their preliminary stage group with comfortable wins over Iran and the hosts, as well as a tough 1-0 win over Philippines … In Vietnam they suffered defeats against China PR and Korea Republic, however a 2-1 win against Myanmar put them into the decisive fifth-place play-off … Once again they prevailed in a crucial match with a narrow one-goal margin as a historic double from Kanjana Sungngoen edged out the hosts 2-1 in a tense encounter … Thailand's main strength is their familiarity as many of the side boast lengthy careers in the international arena, either at senior or youth level … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1885009/index.html

OCEANIA FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

NEW ZEALAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 19
FIFA Trigram: NZL
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won the 2014 OFC Women’s Championship (3-0-0; 30 GF, 0 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 4 –1991 (11th), 2007 (15th), 2011 (12th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-10-1
Head Coach: Alen Stajcic
Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1983, 1991, 2007, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Amber Hearn (7), Helen Collins (5), Sarah Gregorius (3), Annalie Longo (3), Rosie White (3)
Key Players: Abby Erceg (Jena), Ali Riley (FC Rosengard), Amber Hearn (Jena), Hannah Wilkinson (Univ. of Tennessee), Katie Hoyle (Notts County)
Language: English 

Fast Facts: New Zealand’s journey to Canada lasted only five days as the Football Ferns topped their four-nation Oceania qualifying tournament with a perfect three-match record that accrued 30 goals and saw none conceded … Key striker Amber Hearn scored seven goals in the tournament while an even more notable milestone was achieved at the other end of the field as captain and central defender Abby Erceg became the first male or female New Zealander to reach 100 caps … New Zealand have come a long way on the international in recent years and it is no coincidence that the quantity of players plying their trade overseas has massively increased during the same period … Coach Tony Readings assumed the reins in the wake of John Herdman’s departure in 2011 with the latter taking over the coaching role with host nation Canada … He successfully led the team at the 2012 Olympic Games where the team reached the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time. Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1883725/index.html

Women's World Cup Opponent Breakdown: UEFA

ENGLAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 7
FIFA Trigram: ENG
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished first in UEFA Group 6 (10-0-0; 52 GF, 1 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 4 – 1995 (7th), 2007 (7th), 2011 (7th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 7-3-1
Head Coach: Mark Sampson
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Eniola Aluko (13)
Key Players: Stephanie Houghton (Manchester City), Karen Carney (Birmingham City), Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies), Lianne Sanderson (Arsenal), Alex Scott (Arsenal), Fara Williams (Liverpool)
Language: English

Fast Facts: England qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup by virtue of winning all 10 of their qualifying games in Group 6 of UEFA qualifying … England outscored its qualifying opponents 52-1 … The Three Lionesses had a head coach change four games into their qualifying campaign, with Mark Sampson succeeding Hope Powell in December of 2013 ... England has reached the quarterfinals in each of its previous FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances …England kicked off its qualifying campaign with a 6-0 win against Belarus in September 2013 and closed it out with a10-0 dismantling of Montenegro one year later… Reach more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1883720/index.html

FRANCE
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
FIFA Trigram: FRA
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won Group 7 in UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying (10-0-0; 54 GF, 3 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 3 – 2003 (9th), 2011 (4th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-14-2
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Gaëtane Thiney (13), Marie-Laure Delie (9), Eugénie Le Sommer (7), Wendie Renard (5)
Key Players: Gaëtane Thiney (Juvisy), Louisa Necib (Lyon), Wendie Renard (Lyon), Eugénie Le Sommer (Lyon), Marie-Laure Delie (PSG), Laura Georges (PSG)
Language: French

Fast Facts: Boasting a strike force that includes the top scorer Gaëtane Thiney (13 goals) and playmaker Louisa Necib (13 assists) from its European qualifiers, as well as a steely defense marshalled by former Boston College player Laura Georges and the six-foot Wendie Renard, France are no longer regarded simply as a team capable of upsetting the favorites – they are now major contenders … In October of 2014, France achieved its first-ever victory over two-time world champions Germany with a 2-0 triumph in Offenbach … Read more - http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1884761/index.html

2014 US WNT vs France Tampa

GERMANY
Current FIFA World Ranking: 2
FIFA Trigram: GER
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won Group 1 in UEFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying (10-0-0; 62 GF, 4 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 – 1991 (4th), 1995 (2nd), 1999 (8th), 2003 (1st), 2007 (1st), 2011 (6th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 4-18-7
Head Coach: Silvia Neid
Championship Honors: Women’s World Cup Champions (2003, 2007); European Champions (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2013)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Anja Mittag (11), Célia Šašić (9), Dzsenifer Marozsán (8)
Key Players: Nadine Angerer (Portland Thorns), Célia Šašić (FFC Frankfurt), Dzsenifer Marozsán (FFC Frankfurt), Simone Laudehr (FFC Frankfurt), Nadine Keßler (VFL Wolfsburg)
Language: German

Fast Facts: Germany romped through its qualifying campaign for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, winning all 10 of their games in Group 1 … The eight-time European champions booked their ticket to Canada by scoring 62 goals and conceding just four … As usual, Germany have found an ideal blend of experienced veterans and talented youngsters, as was evident at the UEFA Women’s EURO in 2013 when head coach Silvia Neid was forced to find replacements for six first team regulars at the tournament but the side still went on to be crowned champions, and increasing numbers of new players are still being introduced into the squad with great success … Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882879/index.html

NETHERLANDS
Current FIFA World Ranking: 15
FIFA Trigram: NED
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished second in Group 5 (8-1-1; 43 GF, 6 GA); Defeated Scotland (4-1 on aggregate) in the UEFA playoff semifinal and defeated Italy (3-2 on aggregate) in UEFA Playoff final
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 – 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-5-0
Head Coach: Roger Reijners
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Anna Miedema (16)
Key Players: Dyanne Bito (Telstar), Manon Melis (Göteborg), Vivianne Miedema (Bayern Munich), Sherida Spitze (Kvinner)
Language: Dutch

Fast Facts: The Netherlands finished second in group 5 in heartbreaking fashion after they gave up a late equalizer to rival Belgium … The draw left them in second place, two points behind Norway, and needing to run the UEFA playoff gauntlet to get to Canada … They kept their nerve and dispatched Scotland and Italy in consecutive two-leg playoffs to book a place at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time … Vivianne Miedema is only 18 but hit 16 goals during qualifying, the most in UEFA … The Dutch have also been reaping the rewards of the 2012 merger between the national championship and the Belgian league, which led to the creation of the BeNe League, comprising the top teams from both countries … In building on the third place they achieved at the 2009 UEFA European Women’s Championship and gaining valuable experience on the domestic front, the ambitious Dutch have now muscled their way into the global elite. Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1884883/index.html

NORWAY
Current FIFA World Ranking: 9
FIFA Trigram: NOR
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in UEFA Group 5 (9-1-0; GF 41, GA 5)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 7 - 1991 (2nd), 1995 (1st), 1999 (4th), 2003 (7th), 2007 (4th), 2011 (10th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 19-27-13
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
Championship Honors: Women’s World Cup (1995), Olympics (2000), UEFA Women’s Championship (1987, 1983)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Caroline Hansen (8)
Key Players: Caroline Hansen (Wolfsburg), Isabell Herlovsen (Kvinner), Ingrid Hjelmseth (Stabaek), Trine Bjerke Ronning (Stabaek)
Language: Norwegian

Fast Facts: Norway have qualified for every tournament and have frequently been among the favorites … Won the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Sweden under current head coach Even Pellerud in his second stint with the team … Now into their 30s, Trine Bjerke Ronning, Ingvild Stensland and Ingrid Hjelmseth are still at their peak and bring valuable experience to a side spearheaded by the prolific Isabell Herlovsen, with the likes of Ada and Andrine Hegerberg, Caroline Hansen, Emilie Haavi and Guro Reiten providing the new blood … Read more - http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882882/index.html

SPAIN
Current FIFA World Ranking: 16
FIFA Trigram: ESP
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished first in UEFA Women’s World Cup qualifying Group 2 (9-0-1; 42 GF, 2 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-0-0
Head Coach: Ignacio Quereda
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Natalia Pablos (12), Sonia Bermudez (10), Jennifer Hermoso (7)
Key Players: Vero Boquete (Portland Thorns), Natalia Pablos (Bristol), Sonia Bermudez (Western New York Flash), Jennifer Hermoso (FC Barcelona), Adriana Martin (Western New York Flash)
Language: Spanish 

Fast Facts: Drawn in Group 2 of European qualifying, Spain finished atop the group -- just three points ahead of Italy – after recording nine wins and a draw from their ten matches … Leading the way as 12-goal scorer Natalia Pablos, while overall La Roja struck 42 times and conceded just twice, to end the qualifying campaign as Europe’s fourth-most prolific attack and fourth-best defense … Spearheaded by the attacking talent of Veronica Boquete, a candidate for FIFA Women’s World Player 2014, much of Spain’s strength comes from the togetherness of a players that have grown up together since their time in the national youth set-up … The years of dedication put in by a group of talented, committed and hard-working footballers, in a country where life in the women’s game still contains many obstacles, is reaping rewards. Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1884823/index.html

SWEDEN
Current FIFA World Ranking: 5
FIFA Trigram: SWE
2014 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished 1st in UEFA Group 4 (10-0-0); 32 GF, 1 GA
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearance: 7 – 1991 (3rd), 1995 (5th), 1999 (6th), 2003 (2nd), 2007 (10th), 2011 (3rd), 2015
Record vs. USA: 6-20-9
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage
Championship Honors: UEFA Women’s Championship (1984)
Leading World Cup Qualifying Scorer: Lotta Schelin (12)
Key Players: Nilla Fischer (Wolfsburg), Lotta Schelin (Lyon), Caroline Seger (PSG), Therese Sjögran (FC Rosengard), Kosovare Asllani (PSG)
Language: Swedish

Fast Facts: Former U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage is the head coach of her native Sweden … Canada 2015 will be Sweden's seventh appearance at the Women's World Cup, maintaining their perfect record of qualifying … Lost to Germany in the Final in 2003 on a golden goal … Sundhage is highly decorated (two gold medals and FIFA World Coach of the Year Awards while with the USA) but has never coached a team to the World Cup title, finishing second with the USA in 2011 … Read more - http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1882883/index.html

SWITZERLAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 18
FIFA Trigram: SUI
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Finished first in UEFA Women’s World Cup qualifying Group 3 (9-0-1; 53 GF, 1 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 1 - 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-1-0
Head Coach: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Lara Dickenmann (10), Ana Maria Crnogorčević (9), Ramona Bachmann (8), Fabienne Humm (8)
Key Players: Martina Moser (Hoffenheim), Lara Dickenmann (Lyon), Ramona Bachmann (FC Rosengard), Ana Maria Crnogorčević (Frankfurt), Caroline Abbé (Bayern Munich)
Languages: German, French, Italian, Romansh 

Fast Facts: In June of 2014, Switzerland made history by reaching the finals of a Women's World Cup for the first time thanks to their 9-0 thrashing of Israel, coupled with the simultaneous draw between their closest challengers Denmark and Iceland … Head Coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's charges finished top of Group 3 ahead of that duo, as well as Serbia, Israel and Malta, having recorded nine wins and one draw over the course of their campaign … Switzerland have benefitted from having a core of experienced players who are contracted to foreign clubs, including Ramona Bachmann, who consistently showcased her extraordinary talents throughout qualifying …A former German international, Voss-Tecklenburg took charge of Switzerland in February 2012 … As a player Voss-Tecklenburg won the German championship six times, the German cup four times and was crowned European champion with the national team on four occasions. Read more -- http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/teams/team=1884203/index.html

A Look at the Nominees for 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year

Here are the five nominees for 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year. The winner will be announced live on Saturday, Dec. 6, on Fox Sports 1 during its coverage of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw, which will air from 12-1 p.m. ET. Post-draw coverage continues for an additional 30 minutes on FOX Sports 2, and viewers will have access to the full 90-minute Draw Show via the FOX Sports GO app.

U.S. WNT Midfielder LAUREN HOLIDAY:

  • 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 16 caps; 15 starts; 1255 minutes; 2 goals; 3 assists
  • 204 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying stats: 5 games; 5 starts; 434 minutes
  • 2014 Highlights: Holiday has played for the USA at forward, flank midfield and attacking midfielder in her career, but in a testament to her talent and versatility, she was one of the best and most consistent players for the USA this year as her role switched to that of a holding midfielder. She was one of four players to start all five games of the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament and her two goals this year came against Russia and China PR. She earned her 100th career cap on June 14 of this year in a 1-0 victory vs. France. She had a tremendous NWSL season, scoring eight goals with seven assists while leading FC Kansas City to the league title and was named the MVP of the championship game after setting up both goals in the 2-1 win vs. host Seattle Reign.
  • Previous Honors: Holiday was the 2007 winner of the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year award. She was also nominated for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2011 and 2013.

U.S. WNT Forward SYDNEY LEROUX:

  • 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 18 caps; 13 starts; 1130 minutes; 9 goals; 5 assists
  • 2014 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying stats: 5 games; 2 starts; 245 minutes; 1 goals; 4 assists
  • 2014 Highlights: Leroux was the third-leading scorer on the U.S. team in 2014 with nine goals and five assists. She opened the year with the game-winner against Canada in a 1-0 victory and was consistently dangerous whether starting or coming off the bench. She scored the USA’s lone goal in a 1-1 tie with Japan at the Algarve, and also scored the team’s lone goals in a 1-1 tie with Canada and a 1-0 victory vs. France. She also scored against Russia, Denmark, China PR and Mexico, and against Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship Final. She scored five goals for the Seattle Reign during NWSL play, helping lead her club to a regular season championship and a berth in the title game.
  • Previous Honors: Leroux was named U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2011, after previously being nominated for the award on two previous occasions (2009, 2010). She received her first U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year nomination in 2013. 

U.S. WNT Midfielder CARLI LLOYD:

  • 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 19 caps; 19 starts; 1683 minutes; 10 goals; 8 assists
  • 2014 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying stats: 5 caps; 5 starts; 450 minutes; 5 goals; 4 assists
  • 2014 Highlights: Lloyd has been a dynamic two-way midfielder in 2014, and is the second on the U.S. team in 2014 with 10 goals and eight assists, reaching double figures in goals during a calendar year for the second time in her career. She put in a tremendous performance at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship as the only U.S. player to play every minute of the competition while scoring five goals with four assists and was named tournament MVP. Her two goals in a 3-0 semifinal victory vs. Mexico helped the USA clinch its berth to the 2015 Women’s World Cup and she had a goal and two assists in the championship game. In NWSL play, she was the second-leading scorer for the Western New York Flash, finding the net eight times with five assists.
  • Previous Honors: Lloyd won the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year award in 2008. In addition, she was nominated three other times, including in 2005 for U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year, and in 2012 and 2013 for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.

U.S. WNT Forward CHRISTEN PRESS:

  • 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 20 caps; 12 starts; 1115 minutes; 7 goals; 5 assists
  • 2014 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying stats: 5 games; 4 starts; 344 minutes; 2 goals; 1 assist
  • 2014 Highlights: In just her second full year of competition with the U.S. Women’s National Team, she is the only player to play in all 20 matches so far while scoring seven times with five assists to keep up her pace of scoring a goal for just over every two matches she’s played. She has shown the ability to score in multiple ways and found the net twice during the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament. She also scored against Russia and Switzerland during the year. Press arrived late to this NWSL season after helping lead her Swedish club Tyresö to the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, scoring nine Champions League goals during that run after becoming the top scorer in the Damallsvenskan with 23 goals in 2013. In her 12 games with the Chicago Red Stars, she scored six times and played every minute of each match.
  • Previous Honors: Press was nominated on two previous occasions. She was one of the finalists for the 2010 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year award and in 2013 was nominated for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.

U.S. WNT Forward ABBY WAMBACH:

  • 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 16 caps; 9 starts; 909 minutes; 14 goals, 1 assist
  • 2014 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying stats: 4 games; 3 starts; 256 minutes; 7 goals; 1 assist
  • Defining Moments: Wambach once again led the USA in scoring, pounding in 14 goals so far including a team-leading seven during the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament. She scored four times – three with her head -- in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship against Costa Rica, and also scored against Russia, Korea DPR, Mexico and Switzerland during the year. She has had four multiple-goal games this year, upping her record to 43 games for the USA in which she has scored two or more goals. In NWSL played, she missed numerous games due to injury, starting just 10 matches for the Western New York Flash, but still scored six times with four assists.
  • 2014 Highlights: A six-time winner, Wambach was the 2003, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2013 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year. She was also nominated for this honor in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

Twenty Four Teams, Only One Trophy: The Women’s World Cup Expands

The long-time rumblings towards FIFA Women’s World Cup expansion have finally come to fruition. For the 2015 tournament in Canada, 24 nations will pursue soccer’s ultimate prize.

After starting as a 12-team tournament in 1991 and 1995, the tournament grew to 16 teams for the historic 1999 event in the USA. The number of participants remained the same for the subsequent three competitions, but the increased number of berths for next summer’s competition reflects a significant growth for the women’s game worldwide, the reverberations of which will be felt for years to come.

Although the expansion of the field could lead to a few lopsided scores, the impact of new opportunities for the women’s game and the inclusion of numerous competitive teams far outweigh the potential for a few goal-fests.

“There might be some teams not quite up to par with the top countries in the world during this World Cup, but that’s part of the process of growing the sport,” said U.S. forward Alex Morgan, who played in her first Women’s World Cup in 2011 and played in the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile in 2008. “The expansion only continues to develop the women’s game internationally and will encourage more federations to fund their women’s sides because they see what can be achieved. Every team has to take that first step, and I think things will start to even out more and more over the years.”

Europe is the biggest benefactor with four much-needed additional direct berths, but each Confederation (outside of Oceania) was awarded at least one additional spot, giving players, fans and media from even more countries the chance to enjoy everything about the world’s biggest sporting event for women.

The impact of a country qualifying for the Women’s World Cup can be felt at many different levels. Increased media attention is assured and helps supplement vital financial and commercial support, but most importantly, it gives young players a very real picture of what it looks like to play at the highest levels for their country. It’s a dream that can inspire in many different ways, not only for the emerging soccer nations but also for the established ones.

The USA will be competing in its seventh Women’s World Cup, but for the likes of debutantes Switzerland, Spain, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica and Thailand, 2015 represents a whole new world of opportunity.

“Every European Championship and World Cup has a positive effect, especially on the host countries,” Swiss coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg told FIFA.com. “I’m happy that there will be 24 teams participating at Canada 2015 instead of 16. That is a reflection of the positive developments in the game and the esteem it is held in.”

Perhaps the biggest news of qualification was Thailand making its first Women’s World Cup. Thailand defeated host Vietnam 2-1 in May for fifth place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and became the first team to wholly benefit from the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams.

Thailand’s long road to Canada actually started a year before in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where they secured a spot in the Asian finals with easy wins over Iran and the hosts, as well as a 1-0 victory against the Philippines. In Vietnam, Thailand lost to China PR and Korea Republic but gutted out a 2-1 win vs. Myanmar that put them into the fifth-place match. Kanjana Sungngoen scored both goals to qualify her team for its first Women’s World Cup.

“It's already beyond overwhelming to have the chance to participate in the World Cup,” said Sungngoen to FIFA.com. “We will do our best without pressuring ourselves too hard."

The expansion of the field of course means a change in the format and a longer road to the Final. Instead of four groups of four, there will be six groups of four. Instead of six games to win the World Cup, it will now take seven, with a new Round of 16 match inserted. That means that the top two teams in each of the group will advance to the knockout round along with the best four third-place teams. With 52 total matches to be played next summer, it is sure to be a delicious smorgasbord of women’s soccer for fans. And with FOX Sports going all-out to cover the tournament for the fans in the USA, everyone will get an up-close look at teams and players from all over the world.

The 24 Nations of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Host: Canada
CONCACAF: USA, Mexico, Costa Rica
UEFA: Switzerland, England, Spain, France, Norway, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.
CONMEBOL: Brazil, Colombia
CAF: Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast
OFC: New Zealand
AFC: Japan, Australia, China PR, Korea Republic and Thailand
CONCACAF/South America Playoff: Either Trinidad & Tobago or Ecuador

A Look at the Expanded Field and Additional Berths by Confederation
Confederation           2015 Berths              Change from 2011 Berths
CONCACAF                  3.5 + host,                  Up from 2.5
UEFA                            8                                  Up from 4.5 + host  
CONMEBOL                 2.5                               Up from 2
CAF                              3                                  Up from 2      
OFC                              1                                  Same
AFC                              5                                  Up from 3                  
Host:                           Canada           

 

WNT Ties Brazil 0-0 in Title Game at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 21, 2014) – Playing in steady rain on a saturated pitch, the U.S. Women’s National Team tied Brazil 0-0 in the championship match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. As Brazil accumulated more points than the USA during the group stage (nine points to the U.S. WNT’s four), Brazil was awarded to the tournament title. 

The U.S. finishes runner-up after posting a 1-1-1 record in group play. 

The match marked just the second time the USA and Brazil have played to a scoreless draw in their storied history. The previous occasion was on June 27, 2000, in Foxborough, Massachusetts. 

In the USA’s final match of 2014, its two best scoring chances came in the second half. The first came off a 59th-minute cross from Tobin Heath on the left wing. She picked out Abby Wambach, who was making a run to the far post, but the pass was just a bit too high and the 5-11 striker sent her header just outside the upper right corner of the goal. 

In the 86th minute, a Becky Sauerbrunn header off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick was saved by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana and Brazil fended off the USA’s late attack to secure the draw. 

The USA did put the ball in the net in extra time as Carli Lloyd finished into the lower left corner from close range, but the goal was waved away for offside. After Heather O’Reilly played a cross in from the left side, the ball was headed up in the air by Morgan Brian. Amy Rodriguez was in an offside position on the header, but did not touch the ball, which bounced off a Brazilian defender straight to Lloyd, who slotted home. 

Brazil had the better overall possession in the match, but its scoring chances were few. Brazil’s best chance came in the 38th minute off of a Marta corner kick from the right side. Monica, who did not play against the USA in the teams’ previous tournament matchup, rose from eight yards out and headed the ball just wide left of the frame. 

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was forced to make just one save on a shot from distance, but she was tremendous controlling her penalty area and had several excellent punches during the match. 

In the third-place game, China PR and Argentina played to a scoreless draw. With more points in group play, China (1-1-1, 4 points in the group stage) was awarded third place over Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points in group). 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
(None) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Hope Solo, 30th minute: Just after Morgan Brian was issued a yellow card for a foul against Andressa Alves, Brazil’s Marta delivered a dangerous free kick toward the penalty spot. Solo confidently read the ball and punched it toward the edge of the box for the USA defense to clear it out of harm’s way. 

BRA – Luciana, 60th minute: The USA played the ball from the midfield behind Brazil’s defense in the direction of Tobin Heath, who was in a one-on-one against Brazil goalkeeper Luciana but the net-minder won the foot race, beating Heath by one step to prevent a potential U.S. goal.

USA – Hope Solo, 83rd minute: Brazil’s corner kick was whipped in and Solo punched the ball away. Though Brazil did follow with a volley from the top of the box, it sailed over the goal as the USA continued to maintain its clean sheet.

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: Off of a Megan Rapinoe corner kick, U.S. center back Becky Sauerbrunn rose for the header at the back host and directed back across toward the center bar. However, Luciana rose up to palm the shot away.

Milestone Watch:

  • U.S. WNT captain Christie Rampone earned her 304th-career cap. She is second on the USA’s all-time list behind only Kristine Lilly’s 352 appearances.
  • Goalkeeper Hope Solo, the USA’s all-time leader in career shutouts, earned her 78th clean sheet. It was her 11th shutout in 2014.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT begins 2015 with a January camp at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, followed by two matches in in Europe in early February. The USA faces France on Feb. 8 in Lorient, followed by England on Feb. 13 at a venue to be determined.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA wraps up its 2014 schedule with a 16-3-5 record.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-5 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • After Alyssa Naeher played in the last match against Argentina, earning her first cap, Hope Solo returned to the goal, anchoring a defense featuring right back Meghan Klingenberg, left back Lori Chalupny and the center back duo of Becky Sauerbrunn and team captain Christie Rampone.
  • The starting midfield of the USA’s 4-3-3 included Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian.
  • The front line included Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Kelley O’Hara from left to right. O’Hara has played as an outside back for the WNT since 2012, but she returned to forward, a position at which she won the MAC Hermann Trophy at Stanford.
  • Three U.S. forwards were unavailable for Sunday’s final. Sydney Leroux served her suspension after receiving a red card late in the second half against Argentina on Thursday. Christen Press returned to the United States because of a death in her family. Alex Morgan is still not cleared to play as she completes her recovery from an ankle injury.
  • Outside back Ali Krieger replaced Chalupny in the 55th minute. Chalupny started in three of the tournament’s four games.
  • In the 74th minute, Megan Rapinoe entered for O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez replaced Wambach. Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament.
  • Heather O’Reilly was the USA’s fourth and final sub in the 80th minute as she took over from Heath.
  • Lloyd caps off the year as the U.S. WNT’s leader with 15 goals and eight assists. Wambach was second on the team with 14 goals and Rapinoe was second in assists with seven.
  • Lloyd and Press tied for the team lead with 23 appearances in the USA’s 24 matches. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 21, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Final
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 11,000
Weather: 72 degrees; Steady rain 

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

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 56); 7-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Holiday; 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 81), 20-Abby Wambach (8-Amy Rodriguez, 74), 5-Kelley O’Hara (15-Megan Rapinoe, 73)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn, 22-Samantha Mewis
Suspended: 2-Sydney Leroux
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana, 3-Bruna (capt.), 14-Monica, 11- Andressa Alves (17-Andressinha, 89), 7-Maurine (6-Tamires, 57), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (21-Beatriz, 57), 10-Marta, 9-Debinha
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 4-Tayla, 13-Camila, 15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene, 22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 4 / 4
Shots on Goal: 1 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 18 / 9
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Morgan Brian (caution)                       30th minute
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)                         51
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   72 

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian 

U.S. WNT Meets Brazil in Tournament Final in Brasilia

2014 International Tournament of Brasilia
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Mane Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Dec. 21, 2014

U.S. WNT FACES BRAZIL IN TOURNAMENT TITLE GAME: The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Brazil in the title match of the four-game International Tournament of Brasilia on Sunday, Dec. 21. The match comes a week to the day after the USA fell 3-2 to Brazil in group play as Brazilian star Marta scored all three goals. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET for what will be the USA’s 24th and final match of the year. In group play, the USA drew 1-1 with China PR, fell 3-2 to Brazil and smashed Argentina 7-0. Those results were good for second in the group and a place in the championship match. China, a 4-1 loser to Brazil in the group finale, will play Argentina for third place. Fans can follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp and full highlights will be available on ussoccer.com.

BRAZIL TOPS GROUP: Brazil enters the match coming off a dominant 4-1 victory against China in a match in which it started numerous reserves. Brazil got an early goal from Darlene via a goalkeeper gaffe by China and then went up 2-0 off a brilliant free kick from Andressinha. Brazil’s two goals in the second half came from Debinha and Andressa. Brazil’s 4-0 victory against Argentina featured a brace from veteran midfielder Formiga. Debinha opened up the scoring with a first-half header and Formiga pushed the lead to 2-0 just before halftime with a header off of a set piece. In the second half, Argentina’s defense broke down and allowed an own goal, and Formiga capped off the scoring with a 20-yard strike, placing her shot in the lower left of the frame.

International Tournament of Brasilia Group Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Brazil

3

3

0

0

11

3

+8

9

USA

3

1

1

1

10

4

+6

4

China PR

3

1

1

1

8

5

+3

4

Argentina

3

0

0

3

0

17

-17

0

International Tournament of Brasilia Schedule

Date

Opponent

Kickoff/Result

Dec. 10

USA vs. China PR

1-1

Brazil vs. Argentina

4-0

Dec. 14

Argentina vs. China PR

0-6

Brazil vs. USA

3-2

Dec. 17

USA vs. Argentina

7-0

Brazil vs. China PR

4-1

Dec. 21

Argentina vs. China PR (third place)

1 p.m. ET

USA vs. Brazil (championship)

4 p.m. ET

LLOYD LEADS WAY: Carli Lloyd has scored in all three games of this tournament, finding the net once against China PR and Brazil and three times against Argentina. Lloyd has now scored in seven consecutive matches, pounding in 10 goals over that time. She is just two games away from tying Michelle Akers for the most consecutive games with a goal. Akers scored a remarkable 17 goals over those nine games.

DOWN A FEW FORWARDS: The USA will head into the match with Brazil with an unusual lack of numbers at the forward position as three of the USA’s most pacey strikers are unavailable. Alex Morgan, who has been training hard to recover from her ankle injury suffered during Women’s World Cup qualifying, is doing very well, but is still not cleared for game action. Sydney Leroux, who received a red card in stoppage time against Argentina on Dec. 18, is suspended. Christen Press, the scorer of four goals against Argentina, has returned to the United States due to a death in the family.

WNT LOOKS FORWARD TO 2015 SCHEDULE: The U.S. WNT will begin 2015 with an extended training camp in January at StubHub Center in Carson, California, and then will travel to Europe in early February to face France on Feb. 8 in Lorient and England on Feb. 13 at venue to be determined. The USA will also participate in the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal in early March. The USA’s domestic schedule for 2015 leading into the Women’s World Cup will be announced when finalized.

TIE GOES TO BRAZIL: There will be no overtime or penalty kicks should the match against Brazil on Dec. 21 end tied after regulation. The tournament rules state that a draw would give Brazil the tournament title based on the fact that it had more points in group play. Teams are allowed four field player substitutions per match, and a fifth if the team needs to change a goalkeeper.

24 TO BRAZIL: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis named 24 players to travel to Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia. Ellis named all 20 players who helped the USA win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition, she named Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who was initially on the qualifying roster before suffering an injury in the lead-up, Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, former UCLA midfielder and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Samantha Mewis and Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny. The official tournament roster is 23 players so one player per game will not suit up for the matches.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

USA DRAWN INTO GROUP D AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: After the Final Draw was conducted on Dec. 6 in Ottawa, Canada, the U.S. Women’s National Team learned it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, taking place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium. The USA then faces Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, followed by Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

U.S. 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D Schedule
  • June 8: vs. Australia at Winnipeg Stadium; 6:30 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
  • June 12: vs. Sweden at Winnipeg Stadium; 7 p.m. / 8 p.m.
  • June 16: vs. Nigeria at BC Place; Vancouver; 5 p.m. / 8 p.m.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of the year after Abby Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the championship game of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
  • Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
  • Carli Lloyd’s hat trick was the second of her career.
  • With the three goals, Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties Lloyd’s career high in a calendar year. She also scored 15 in 2012.
  • Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
  • Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut against Argentina and became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
  • Naeher also became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
  • Wambach, who assisted Press’ second goal against Argentina, now has 69-career assists, which ranks third all-time in U.S. WNT history.
  • The USA is 16-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • Left back Lori Chalupny has played in two matches of the tournament since her return to the U.S. team for the first time since the fall of 2010. She now has 94 caps while Megan Rapinoe has 95 as those two potentially could reach 100 in the spring of 2015.
  • Sydney Leroux’s red card in stoppage time against Argentina was the first ejection for the USA since the last match of 2013 when Lloyd was sent off against Brazil in Orlando, Florida, also in stoppage time.
  • The USA is currently ranked No. 2 in the world behind Germany, dropping into second place for the first time in seven years in the latest FIFA rankings released on Dec. 19. Brazil is eighth, China PR is 13th and Argentina is 36th.
  • The USA, China PR and Brazil have qualified for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Among the seven 2014 FIFA World Cup matches played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha last summer were Argentina's 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Belgium and Brazil's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place match.
  • The National Stadium Mane Garrincha cost $900 million to build, making it the second-most expensive soccer stadium in the world after England's Wembley Stadium. It opened during the summer of 2013.
  • Wambach was the top scorer in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with seven goals and holds a world record with 177 goals in her career. She has yet to score in this tournament, but has scored seven goals vs. Brazil in her career.
  • Lauren Holiday was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year on Dec. 6, and was also voted the Young U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 as Lauren Cheney. The 2013 NWSL MVP and 2014 NWSL Championship Game MVP became the 30th American female player to earn 100 caps when she played against Canada on May 8. She currently has 113 caps.
  • Morgan Brian was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She had two assists vs. Argentina to up her career assist to four.
  • Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 177 goals. After Wambach, Lloyd is the top scorer with 61-career international goals. Alex Morgan has 49 and Heather O’Reilly has scored 41. Leroux is quickly climbing the charts with 33. Rapinoe has 29 and Amy Rodriguez has 28.
  • Wambach has now reached double figures in goals in eight different calendar years. Mia Hamm still holds the record with nine years in double figures.
  • Lloyd’s eight assists are best on the team this year and she is followed by Megan Rapinoe with seven.
  • Thirty players have seen game action for the USA in 2014, including first-cappers Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagan, Allie Long and Naeher.
  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 303rd cap on Dec. 14. She rested against Argentina and now trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Kelley O’Hara earned her 50th cap against China PR, making her the 48th player to reach that number for the U.S. WNT.

ON USSOCCER.COM:
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WNT Defeats Argentina 7-0 in Group Finale of International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 18, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team needed to win big to put itself in position to potentially advance to the final of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia, and its offense came through. Led by four goals from Christen Press and a Carli Lloyd hat trick, the USA defeated Argentina 7-0 in its third group match at Mane Garrincha Stadium. 

Press scored three goals in the first half and the seventh of the game while Lloyd notched her second-career hat trick (the other came against Mexico on Jan. 24, 2012) and also moved into seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 61. 

With Brazil defeating China PR 4-1 in Thursday's later match, that sets up a final between the USA and host Brazil on Sunday, Dec. 21 (4 p.m. ET). Brazil went 3-0-0 in group play (9 points, plus-8 goal differential). The U.S. is second (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-6). China (1-1-1, 4 points, plus-3) will play Argentina (0-3-0, 0 points, minus-17) in the third-place game at 1 p.m. ET.

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher made her full WNT debut and made one save to earn the clean sheet, becoming the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to post a shutout in her first cap. 

Thursday’s USA-Argentina game originally was scheduled for Wednesday and was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Christen Press (Morgan Brian), 7th minute: The U.S. struck quickly when Brian dribbled down the right side and forced Argentina goalkeeper Elisabeth Minnin to make the save, pushing the ball to her right. Press was on the spot to slam home the rebound. USA 1, ARG 0

USA – Christen Press (Abby Wambach), 23rd minute: In a combination on the right side of the box, Wambach played the ball to Press who took a couple dribbles and shot from 10 yards out. Elisabeth Minnin got a piece of the ball but was unable to parry it away. USA 2, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Morgan Brian), 30th minute: From the left side, Brian chipped in a perfect cross to Lloyd who headed it home for the three-goal cushion. The goal gave Lloyd a score in every match of the tournament. USA 3, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Ali Krieger), 41st minute: Right back Ali Krieger crossed the ball in to Press who flicked her shot into the net at the near post for a first-half hat trick. It was Press’ first hat trick of her WNT career. USA 4, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Lori Chalupny), 44th minute: The outside backs continued to make an offensive impact as Chalupny dribbled up the left side of the box, beat her defender and crossed the ball in to Lloyd, who finished from close range for her second tally of the opening half. USA 5, ARG 0 

USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly), 47th minute: To open the second half, Megan Rapinoe crossed the ball in from the left side. Halftime substitute O’Reilly kept the attack alive with a high touch near the goal line and Lloyd hit a full volley into the lower left corner for her third goal of the match. USA 6, ARG 0 

USA – Christen Press (Megan Rapinoe), 78th minute: Megan Rapinoe dribbled into the penalty area and smashed a shot that the Argentina goalkeeper could not handle cleanly. That opened the door for Press, who tapped her shot in for her fourth goal of the match and her 11th of the year. USA 7, ARG 0 (FINAL) 

Milestone Watch:

  • With at least one goal in seven consecutive games, Carli Lloyd is now two games away from matching the U.S. WNT record of nine set by Michelle Akers from April 5 to May 25, 1991. Lloyd has 10 goals during that seven-game stretch.
  • Lloyd moves ahead of Shannon MacMillan for seventh place on the WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd has 61 goals in 184 matches. MacMillan scored 60 goals in 176 games.
  • Alyssa Naeher became the seventh U.S. WNT goalkeeper to earn a shutout in her first appearance. The others are Gretchen Gegg (1986), Amy Allmann (1987), Mary Harvey (1989), Briana Scurry (1994), Hope Solo (2000) and Emily Oleksiuk (2001).
  • Abby Wambach now has 69-career assists (third all-time). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will look ahead to the tournament's championship game against Brazil at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 21, to cap off the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. The championship game is preceded by the third-place game between China PR and Argentina at 1 p.m. ET.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 16-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. is 16-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.
  • With three goals, Carli Lloyd takes over the team lead in scoring this year from Abby Wambach with 15 goals. That ties her career high in a calendar year when she also scored 15 in 2012.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five starting lineup changes following the team’s 3-2 loss to Brazil.
  • Alyssa Naeher, the 2014 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year for the Boston Breakers, made her USA debut. She became the 22nd goalkeeper to suit up for the U.S. WNT.
  • The back line featured Lori Chalupny at left back, earning her second consecutive start, right back Ali Krieger and center backs Whitney Engen and Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn has started in four straight games.
  • The midfield in the USA’s 4-3-3 formation featured Carli Lloyd at attacking midfielder with Lauren Holiday and Morgan Brian behind her.
  • The front three feature Tobin Heath, Abby Wambach and Christen Press from left to right. Wambach wore the captain’s armband.
  • Heather O’Reilly replaced Chalupny and Megan Rapinoe entered for Heath to open the second half.
  • The USA switched to a 3-5-2 for the latter part of the game.
  • In the closing minutes, Sydney Leroux subbed for Wambach in the 81st minute and Kelley O’Hara replaced Lauren Holiday in the 84th minute.
  • Press is the only WNT player to appear in all 23 games this year.
  • Leroux picked up a red card in second-half stoppage time and will be unavailable for the USA’s placement match on Sunday.

USA-Argentina Match Rescheduled for Dec. 18

CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team’s game against Argentina at the International Tournament of Brasilia was postponed because of inclement weather and poor field conditions at Mane Garrincha Stadium. The match will now be played on Thursday, Dec. 18, with kickoff set for 4:20 p.m. ET. 

In addition to the cancellation of Wednesday’s USA-Argentina game, the match between China PR and host Brazil was also postponed to Thursday. The two group leaders will kick off at 7 p.m. ET. 

The USA’s game against Argentina will be the team’s third group match before the placement stage on Sunday, Dec. 21. Brazil leads the four-team field with a 2-0-0 record, followed by China (1-1-0) and the USA (0-1-1). China holds a seven-goal advantage over the U.S. WNT on goal difference (China is plus-6, compared to the USA’s minus-1). Argentina is 0-2-0 at the International Tournament.

WNT Edged 3-2 by Brazil in Second Match at International Tournament of Brasilia

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 14, 2014) – Despite taking an early two-goal lead, the U.S. Women’s National Team lost 3-2 to Marta and  Brazil in the USA’s second match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia. Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe scored early goals for the USA in an action packed game, but Brazilian ace Marta replied with a hat trick for the hosts. 

Brazil sits atop the tournament table with six points, followed by China PR – which beat Argentina 6-0 earlier in the day – with four. The USA is third with one point and faces last-place Argentina on Wednesday on the final day of round-robin play. The top two teams at the end of group play will meet for the championship while the third- and fourth-place teams will meet for third place. Both placement games will be on Dec. 21. The USA can still reach the championship match, but it must hope that China loses to Brazil and then make up the gap in goal difference; China is currently at +6 while the USA is at -1. 

In sharp contrast to the USA’s opening game against China, the match between the USA and Brazil was a wide open, flowing affair that featured end-to-end attacking throughout the game. Both teams carved out chances that had the crowd at Mané Garrincha Stadium regularly rising to its feet. The Americans had the better of the scoring chances, but Brazil had Marta, who made her three shots on goal count. 

The USA was unlucky to twice hit the woodwork on shots by Rapinoe and second-half sub Christen Press in the final minutes of each half, and were also thwarted on multiple occasions during the second stanza by Brazil goalkeeper Luciana, whose performance was outshone only by that of Marta. 

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 6th minute: End-to-end action in the opening five minutes led to a USA corner that Megan Rapinoe whipped into the heart of the Brazil penalty area. Tobin Heath was on hand to knock down an attempted Brazil clearance right to the feet of Lloyd, who controlled the ball in the middle of the six-yard box, swiveled her hips towards goal and snapped a shot into the left hand side of the frame. USA 1, BRA 0  

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach), 9th minute: Rapinoe collected the ball from Abby Wambach wide on the right flank and beat her defender with a burst of pace. As she cut toward goal, Rapinoe unleashed a stinging shot from near the top of the box that caught Brazil goalkeeper Luciana off her line and dipped into the far left side netting. USA 2, BRA 0

BRA – Marta, 19th minute: The Brazilian ace got loose in midfield and put the USA center backs under pressure with a weaving run up the middle and then across the top of the USA box. With a defender and USA goalkeeper Hope Solo closing in, Marta blasted a shot from near the penalty spot into the right side of the goal. USA 2, BRA 1 

BRA – Marta, 55th minute: Against the run of play, Marta scored a spectacular solo goal. Picking the ball up just inside her own half, the Brazil forward drove toward the top of the USA penalty area. Cutting behind a diverting run from Debinah, Marta touched the ball wide left of the net and angled a hard, low shot back across the face of goal and into the far right hand netting. USA 2, BRA 2 

BRA – Marta (Beatriz), 65th minute: Beatriz seized on a USA turnover in its own half and slipped a pass to Marta in the right channel. Marta once again carried through a crowd of players before unleashing a dipping drive from distance that squeezed past Solo at her near right post. USA 2, BRA 3 (FINAL) 

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 24th minute: With Brazil growing in confidence after scoring in the 19th minute, Klingenberg was alert to the run of Marta, tracking the Brazil attacker across the box and getting in a leaping block to deny the five-time World Player of the Year’s overhead kick attempt. 

USA – Hope Solo, 57th minute: Christie Rampone tried to guide the ball back to Solo in the USA box, but Debinha was able to slip around the veteran center back and send a strong toe poke toward goal that Solo did well to smother. 

BRA – Luciana, 75th minute: Forward Christen Press worked herself some room  to shoot from outside the top of the box and let fly with a hard shot but it was not far enough outside Luciana’s range as she dived to her left to gather the shot. 

BRA – Luciana, 86th minute: The USA had numbers up on a counter attack as Press carried the ball in from the left flank. Press smacked a dipping drive while in full stride that was headed for the left upper-90, but Luciana was able to recover her momentum and made a soaring stop to keep Press from equalizing. 

BRA – Luciana, 90th minute: The USA won a free kick just outside the top middle of Brazil’s penalty area after Tobin Heath was taken down and Carli Lloyd stepped up to send a well-placed free kick toward the right-hand roof of the net, but Luciana got in a strong leaping parry to send the shot over the crossbar. 

Milestone Watch:

  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 303rd cap. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd’s 58th goal put her just two shy of Shannon MacMillan for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is also just three goals shy of her career best 15 goals she scored in a calendar year for the USA in 2012.
  • Lloyd moved past Julie Foudy into ninth place on the WNT’s all-time points list with 148 (58 goals, 32 assists). Foudy had 145-career points (45 goals, 55 assists). 

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will close out group play at the International Tournament of Brasilia against Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET) before playing a final placement match on Dec. 21.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram 

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 15-3-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT falls to 25-3-3 all-time against Brazil.
  • Outside back Lori Chalupny made her first appearance for the U.S. WNT since October of 2009, playing 31 minutes and then as planned, exited the match and was replaced by Ali Krieger.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made all of her allowed four substitutes in the match, beginning with Krieger. In the second half, Christen Press came on for Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian entered for Lauren Holiday and Samantha Mewis made her first appearance for the WNT since March 10 against Denmark in the Algarve Cup when she subbed on for Sydney Leroux with 10 minutes to play.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 90-9-14 in the 111 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
  • The match marked the first loss under head coach Jill Ellis. The U.S. is 15-1-4 under head coach Jill Ellis. 

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Date: Dec. 14, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Group Play
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7 p.m. local / 4 p.m. ET
Attendance: 5,421
Weather: 72 degrees, cloudy 

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath)                                6th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Abby Wambach)                   9                    
BRA – Marta                                                               19
BRA – Marta                                                               55
BRA – Marta (Beatriz)                                                65        

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 16-Lori Chalupny (11-Ali Krieger, 31);  12-Lauren Holiday (7-Morgan Brian, 65), 10-Carli Lloyd, 20-Abby Wambach; 15-Megan Rapinoe (23-Christen Press, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (22-Samantha Mewis, 79), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 13-Alex Morgan, 14-Julie Johnston, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn
Head Coach: Jill Ellis 

BRA: 12-Luciana; 2-Poliana,  3-Bruna (capt.),  4-Tayla,  11- Andressa Alves, 7-Maurine (21-Beatriz, 59), 5-Thaisa, 20-Formiga, 8-Rosana (6-Tamires, 71), 9-Debinha, 10-Marta (17-Andressinha, 88)
Subs Not Used: 1-Andreia Suntaque, 13-Camila, 14-Monica,  15-Erika, 16-Rafaelle, 18-Fernandes, 19-Darlene,  22-Gabi, 23-Barbara
Head Coach: Oswaldo Alvarez 

Stats Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 11 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 4
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 20 / 8
Offside: 3 / 2 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution)                   31st minute
USA – Hope Solo (caution)                            41
USA – Abby Wambach (caution)                   68
BRA – Tayla (caution)                                                89 

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a 

Budweiser Woman of the Match:   Meghan Klingenberg

U.S. WNT Faces Host Brazil in Brasilia on Dec. 14

2014 International Tournament of Brasilia
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Brazil
Mane Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Dec. 14, 2014

U.S. WNT FACES HOST BRAZIL IN SECOND GAME OF TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Women’s National Team prepares for host Brazil in its second match of the four-game International Tournament of Brasilia on Sunday, Dec. 14. Kickoff against Brazil is set for 4 p.m. ET. The USA is coming off a 1-1 draw against China PR on Dec. 10 that featured Carli Lloyd’s 11th goal of the year and 57th of her career. After Brazil, the USA then faces Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET). Following round-robin play, the four teams will compete in either the championship (the top two teams in group play) or third-place (third- and fourth-place teams in group play) matches on Dec. 21. All the games are played at Mane Garrincha Stadium, which hosted seven matches during last summer’s World Cup. Fans can follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp and full highlights will be available on ussoccer.com.

BRAZIL TOPS GROUP: Brazil enters the match coming off a dominant 4-0 victory against Argentina, highlighted by a brace from veteran midfielder Formiga. Debinha opened up the scoring with a first-half header and Formiga pushed the lead to 2-0 just before halftime with a header off of a set piece. In the second half, Argentina’s defense broke down and allowed an own goal, and Formiga capped off the scoring with a 20-yard strike, placing her shot in the lower left of the frame.

International Tournament of Brasilia Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts

Brazil

1

1

0

0

4

0

4

3

USA

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

1

China PR

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

1

Argentina

1

0

1

0

0

4

-4

0

International Tournament of Brasilia Schedule

Date

Opponent

Kickoff/Result

Dec. 10

USA vs. China PR

1-1

Brazil vs. Argentina

4-0

Dec. 14

Argentina vs. China PR

1 p.m. ET

Brazil vs. USA

4 p.m. ET

Dec. 17

USA vs. Argentina

4:20 p.m. ET

Brazil vs. China PR

7 p.m. ET

Dec. 21

Third-Place Match

1 p.m. ET

Championship

4 p.m. ET

24 TO BRAZIL: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis named 24 players to travel to Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia. Ellis named all 20 players who helped the USA win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition, she named Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who was initially on the qualifying roster before suffering an injury in the lead-up, Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, former UCLA midfielder and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Samantha Mewis and Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny. The official tournament roster is 23 players so one player per game will not suit up for the matches.

TOURNAMENT RULES: Should teams be even on points after the complete of group play, the tiebreakers are as follows: goal differential, goals scored, lowest number of red cards, lowest number of yellow cards and a drawing of lots. A player can only be suspended for the championship or third-place match if they received a yellow card in each of the three group matches or a red card in the third group match. Teams are allowed four field player substitutions per match, and a fifth if the team needs to change a goalkeeper.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

USA DRAWN INTO GROUP D AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: After the Final Draw was conducted on Dec. 6 in Ottawa, Canada, the U.S. Women's National Team learned it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, taking place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium. The USA then faces Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, followed by Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

U.S. 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Group D Schedule
Date; Opponent; Venue; Local; Kickoff / ET
June 8; Australia; Winnipeg Stadium; 6:30 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
June 12; Sweden; Winnipeg Stadium; 7 p.m. / 8 p.m.
June 16; Nigeria; BC Place; Vancouver 5 p.m. / 8 p.m.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

  • The USA is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. Brazil is sixth, China PR is 14th and Argentina is 37th.
  • The USA, China PR and Brazil have qualified for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Among the seven 2014 FIFA World Cup matches played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha last summer were Argentina's 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Belgium and Brazil's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place match.
  • The National Stadium Mane Garrincha cost $900 million to build, making it the second-most expensive soccer stadium in the world after England's Wembley Stadium. It opened during the summer of 2013.
  • In its history, the U.S. WNT has played seven total matches in Brazil – four at a tournament in 1996 in Campinas (two against Brazil and matches against Ukraine and Russia), two against Brazil in 1997 and Wednesday’s opening 1-1 draw against China PR at the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia.
  • The USA won the championship of the 1996 event in penalty kicks after drawing Brazil 1-1 in regulation.
  • The U.S. Women have never played anywhere in South America outside of Brazil.
  • The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team did participate in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 getting to the final of a tournament that featured full Women's National Teams before losing 5-0 to Brazil. That U-20 team featured current U.S. WNT players Lauren Holiday, Tobin Heath, Alyssa Naeher and Kelley O’Hara.
  • The USA has not played Argentina since 1998 when the countries played twice in three days in Southern California. The USA earned 8-1 and 7-0 victories on April 24 and 26, respectively. Those were the only matches between the two teams.
  • China PR is one of the most frequent opponents in U.S. history with 53 meetings.

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Midfielder Morgan Brian arrived in Brazil a few days after the rest of the team on Dec. 8 after playing in the NCAA Championship Game with the University of Virginia, where her team fell 1-0 to Florida State.
  • The USA is coming off a highly successful run at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship where the USA won all five games by shutout, including a 3-0 win against Mexico in the semifinal that earned the team a berth to the Women’s World Cup, and a 6-0 win in the championship game against Costa Rica.
  • Abby Wambach was the top scorer in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with seven goals and holds a world record with 177 goals in her career.
  • Carli Lloyd won the CONCACAF Women’s Championship tournament MVP after notching five goals and four assists. Hope Solo was named the top goalkeeper in the tournament.
  • Lauren Holiday was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year on Dec. 6, and was also voted the Young U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 as Lauren Cheney. The 2013 NWSL MVP and 2014 NWSL Championship Game MVP became the 30th American female player to earn 100 caps when she played against Canada on May 8. She currently has 111 caps.
  • Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 177 goals. After Wambach, Lloyd is the top scorer with 57 career international goals. Alex Morgan has 49 and Heather O’Reilly has scored 41. Sydney Leroux is quickly climbing the charts with 33.
  • Wambach has now reached double-figures in goals in eight different calendar years. Mia Hamm still holds the record with nine years in double-figures.
  • Lloyd’s eight assists are best on the team this year and she is followed by Megan Rapinoe with six and Leroux and Christen Press with five apiece.
  • Lloyd’s 57th goal puts her just three shy of Shannon MacMillan for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd also moved past Julie Foudy into ninth place on the WNT’s all-time points list with 146 (57 goals, 32 assists). Foudy had 145-career points (45 goals, 55 assists).
  • Twenty-nine players have seen game action for the USA in 2014, including first-cappers Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagan and Allie Long.
  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 302nd cap on Dec. 10. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Kelley O’Hara earned her 50th cap against China PR, making her the 48th player to reach that number for the U.S. WNT.

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Video and Features
Dec. 10 - WNT vs. China PR: Highlights – Dec. 10, 2014
Dec. 9 - WNT Sights and Sounds: Brasilia
Dec. 7 - WNT Watches World Cup Draw from Brazil
Dec. 7 - Lauren Holiday - 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year
Dec. 6 - Holiday, Leroux, Press and Rampone React to Women's World Cup Draw
Dec. 6 - Jill Ellis Gives Thoughts on U.S. Group Opponents at 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
Dec. 6 - Jill Ellis' Message to the Fans after Women's World Cup Draw
Dec. 5 - Bem-Vindo A Brazil

Releases
Dec. 10 - U.S. WNT Opens International Tournament of Brasilia with 1-1 Tie against China PR
Dec. 6 - U.S. WNT to Face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Dec. 6 - Lauren Holiday Voted 2014 U.S. Female Athlete of the Year
Dec. 5 - Ellis Names WNT Roster for International Tournament of Brasilia
Dec. 4 - DeAndre Yedlin, Morgan Brian and Gavin Sibayan Earn 2014 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year Honors
Oct. 1 - U.S. WNT to Play in Four-Nations December Tournament in Brazil

U.S. WNT Opens International Tournament of Brasilia with 1-1 Tie vs. China PR

BRASILIA, Brazil (Dec. 10, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team tied China PR 1-1 in its first match of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia as Carli Lloyd scored the USA’s lone goal in the 23rd minute. The match was the first of four that the USA will play in this tournament that also features Brazil and Argentina.

The top two teams at the end of round-robin play will meet for the championship while the third- and fourth-place teams will meet for third place. Both games will be on Dec. 21.

This third USA-China meeting of the year was played in front of a sparse crowd at the mammoth Mané Garrincha Stadium that hosted seven matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and a sluggish U.S. team had a hard time creating chances against a compact and organized China defense.

The USA limited China to just one shot on goal, that coming on a tremendous strike from Hang Peng in the 67th minute, which produced China’s score.

China possessed the ball well, but could not get behind a stingy U.S. back line. While the USA sent numerous dangerous crosses into the China penalty area, and had five corner kicks to China’s zero, the U.S. only tested goalkeeper Wang Fei on a few occasions during the evening.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe), 23rd minute: After a slow 20-minute stretch to open the game, China’s first foul of the game led to the U.S. goal. The USA took the free kick quickly down the right side to Rapinoe, who drove to the end line and crossed hard on the ground. The cross found Lloyd unmarked and she pushed her shot home from close range to give the USA the lead. USA 1, CHN 0

CHN – Hang Peng, 67th minute: An increase in energy in the China attack paid off as the first (and as it turned out only) shot on goal of the game went in. Peng collected a long switched pass from the left in the right side of the box and struck a brilliant shot into the upper left corner past flying USA goalkeeper Hope Solo. USA 1, CHN 1 (FINAL)

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CHN – Wang Fei , 60th minute: Sydney Leroux powered forward by herself on a counter with a defender in tow. She drifted to the right side of the box and fired a hard shot across the goal that Fei did well to push away on a full-out five.

Milestone Watch:

  • Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 302nd cap. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
  • Carli Lloyd’s 57th goal put her just three shy of Shannon MacMillan for seventh on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list.
  • Lloyd moved past Julie Foudy into ninth place on the WNT’s all-time points list with 146 (57 goals, 32 assists). Foudy had 145-career points (45 goals, 55 assists).
  • Kelley O’Hara earned her 50th cap, becoming the 48th player to do so in WNT history.

Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will continue its group play in the International Tournament of Brasilia against host Brazil on Dec. 14 (4 p.m. ET) and finish group play with Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET).

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

Additional Notes:

  • The USA is now 15-2-4 in 2014.
  • The U.S. WNT moves to 32-8-13 all-time against China PR. The USA has outscored China 93-35.
  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made all of her allowed four substitutes in the match, three of them at halftime. At the break, Abby Wambach came on for Megan Rapinoe, Kelley O’Hara replaced Meghan Klingenberg and Heather O’Reilly came in for Tobin Heath.
  • The U.S. WNT is now 90-8-14 in the 111 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
  • The U.S. is 15-0-4 under head coach Jill Ellis.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: Dec. 10, 2014
Competition: 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia; Group Play
Venue: Mané Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Kickoff: 7:20 p.m. local / 4:20 p.m. ET
Attendance: 300
Weather: 73 degrees, overcast

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

USA – Carli Lloyd (Megan Rapinoe)   23rd minute
CHN – Hang Peng                                 67

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 25-Meghan Klingenberg (5-Kelley O’Hara, 46); 12-Lauren Holiday (14-Julie Johnston, 59), 10-Carli Lloyd; 15-Megan Rapinoe (20-Abby Wambach, 46); 23-Christen Press, 2-Sydney Leroux, 17-Tobin Heath (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46)
Subs Not Used: 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Morgan Brian, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 13-Alex Morgan, 16-Lori Chalupny, 18-Alyssa Naeher, 19-Crystal Dunn, 22-Samantha Mewis
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

CHN: 12-Wang Fei; 2-Liu Shanshan, 3-Wang Shanshan, 5-Wu Haiyan (capt.), 8-Li Dongna, 11-Zhao Rong (18-Han Peng, 44), 15-Wang Shuang (17-Gu Yasha, 73), 19-Tan Ruyin, 23-Ren Guixin, 24-Tang Jiali (14-Goa Qi, 71), 25-Zhang Rui (10-Li Ying, 87)
Subs Not Used: 1-Zhang Yue, 4-Lu Jiayue, 6-Lyu Siqi, 9- Lou Jiahue, 16-Lei Jiahue.
Head Coach: Hao Wei

Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 6 / 6
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 0 / 3
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 15 / 5
Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Tobin Heath (caution)  24th minute
CHN – Goa Qi (caution)          89

Officials:
Referee: n/a
Assistant Referee 1: n/a
Assistant Referee 2: n/a
Fourth Official: n/a

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Becky Sauerbrunn

WNT Opens Four-Game Brasilia Tournament Wednesday against China PR

2014 International Tournament of Brasilia
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Mane Garrincha Stadium; Brasilia, Brazil
Dec. 10, 2014

U.S. WNT FACES CHINA PR TO BEGIN FOUR-GAME TOURNAMENT: The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish its 2014 schedule at the four-team International Tournament of Brasilia, taking place from Dec. 10-21 in the Brazilian capital. Host Brazil, China PR and Argentina join the USA in the tournament that will feature round-robin play followed by a championship game pitting the top two teams in the group and a third-place match between the third and fourth place finishers. The USA will face China PR first on Dec. 10 (4:20 p.m. ET), then take on Brazil on Dec. 14 (4 p.m. ET) and finish group play with Argentina on Dec. 17 (4:20 p.m. ET). The championship and third-place matches will be played on Dec. 21. All the games will be played at Mane Garrincha Stadium, which hosted seven matches during last summer’s World Cup. Fans can follow along on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp and full highlights will be available on ussoccer.com. 

International Tournament of Brasilia Schedule

Date

Opponent

Kickoff

Dec. 10

USA vs. China PR

4:20 p.m. ET

Brazil vs. Argentina

7 p.m. ET

Dec. 14

Argentina vs. China PR

1 p.m. ET

Brazil vs. USA

4 p.m. ET

Dec. 17

USA vs. Argentina

4:20 p.m. ET

Brazil vs. China PR

7 p.m. ET

Dec. 21

Third-Place Match

1 p.m. ET

Championship

4 p.m. ET

24 TO BRAZIL: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis named 24 players to travel to Brazil for the International Tournament of Brasilia. Ellis named all 20 players who helped the USA win the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship in October to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup. In addition, she named Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who was initially on the qualifying roster before suffering an injury in the lead up, Boston Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, former UCLA midfielder and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Samantha Mewis and Chicago Red Stars defender Lori Chalupny. The official tournament roster is 23 players so one player will not suit up for the matches.

TOURNAMENT RULES: Should teams be even on points after the complete of group play, the tie-breakers are as follows: goal difference, goals scored, lowest number of red cards, lowest number of yellow cards, a drawing of lots. A player can only be suspended for the championship or third-place match if they received a yellow card in each of the three group matches or a red card in the third group match. Teams are allowed four field player substitutions per match, and a fifth if the team needs to change a goalkeeper.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Virginia), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (WNY Flash), Samantha Mewis (UCLA), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Seattle Reign FC), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (WNY Flash)

USA DRAWN INTO GROUP D AT 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: After the Final Draw was conducted on Dec. 6 in Ottawa, Canada, the U.S. Women's National Team learned it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden in Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, taking place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open Group D play against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium. The USA then faces Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, followed by Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

U.S. 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Group D Schedule
Date                Opponent       Venue                                     Local Kickoff / ET
June 8              Australia          Winnipeg Stadium      6:30 p.m. / 7:30 p.m.
June 12            Sweden           Winnipeg Stadium      7 p.m. / 8 p.m.  
June 16            Nigeria            BC Place; Vancouver 5 p.m. / 8 p.m.  

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

  • The USA is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. Brazil is sixth, China PR is 14th and Argentina is 37th.
  • The USA, China PR and Brazil have qualified for next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Among the seven 2014 FIFA World Cup matches played at the National Stadium Mane Garrincha last summer were Argentina's 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Belgium and Brazil's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the third-place match.
  • The National Stadium Mane Garrincha cost $900 million to build, making it the second-most expensive soccer stadium in the world after England's Wembley Stadium. It opened during the summer of 2013.
  • In its history, the U.S. WNT has played six total matches in Brazil, four at a tournament in 1996 in Campinas (two against Brazil and matches against Ukraine and Russia) and two against Brazil in 1997.
  • The USA won the championship of the 1996 event in penalty kicks after drawing Brazil 1-1 in regulation.
  • The U.S. Women have never played anywhere in South America outside of those six games in Brazil.
  • The U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team did participate in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 getting to the final of a tournament that featured full Women's National Teams before losing 5-0 to Brazil. That U-20 team featured current U.S. WNT players Lauren Holiday, Tobin Heath, Alyssa Naeher and Kelley O'Hara.
  • The USA has not played Argentina since 1998 when the countries played twice in three days in Southern California. The USA earned 8-1 and 7-0 victories on April 24 and 26, respectively. Those were the only matches between the two teams.
  • China PR is one of the most frequent opponents in U.S. history with 52 previous meetings. Most recently, the sides met twice last April with the U.S. winning both games: a 2-0 victory in Colorado and a 3-0 win in San Diego.

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Midfielder Morgan Brian arrived in Brazil a few days after the rest of the team on Dec. 8 after playing in the NCAA Championship Game with the University of Virginia, where her team fell 1-0 to Florida State.
  • The USA is coming off a highly successful run at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship where the USA won all five games by shutout, including a 3-0 win against Mexico in the semifinal that earned the team a berth to the Women’s World Cup, and a 6-0 win in the championship game against Costa Rica.
  • Abby Wambach was the top scorer in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with seven goals and travels to Brazil with a world-record 177 and counting.
  • Carli Lloyd won the CONCACAF Women’s Championship tournament MVP after notching five goals and four assists. Hope Solo was named the top goalkeeper in the tournament.
  • Lauren Holiday was named the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year on Dec. 6, and was also voted the Young U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year in 2007 as Lauren Cheney. The 2013 NWSL MVP and 2014 NWSL Championship Game MVP, became the 30th American female player to earn 100 caps when she played against Canada on May 8. She currently has 110 caps.
  • Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 177 goals. After Wambach, Lloyd is the top scorer with 56 career international goals. Alex Morgan has 49 and Heather O’Reilly has scored 41. Sydney Leroux is quickly climbing the charts with 33.
  • Wambach has now reached double-figures in goals in eight different calendar years. Mia Hamm still holds the record with nine years in double-figures.
  • Lloyd’s eight assists are best on the team this year and she is followed by Leroux, Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe, all with five.
  • Twenty-nine players have seen game action for the USA in 2014, including first-cappers Samantha Mewis, Sarah Hagan and Allie Long.
  • Kelley O’Hara’s next cap will be her 50th, making her the 48th female to reach that number for the U.S. WNT.

ON USSOCCER.COM:
Video and Features
Dec. 7 - WNT Watches World Cup Draw from Brazil
Dec. 7 - Lauren Holiday - 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year
Dec. 6 - Holiday, Leroux, Press and Rampone React to Women's World Cup Draw
Dec. 6 - Jill Ellis Gives Thoughts on U.S. Group Opponents at 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup
Dec. 6 - Jill Ellis' Message to the Fans after Women's World Cup Draw
Dec. 5 - Bem-Vindo A Brazil

Releases
Dec. 6 - U.S. WNT to Face Australia, Sweden and Nigeria in Group D at 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Dec. 6 - Lauren Holiday Voted 2014 U.S. Female Athlete of the Year
Dec. 5 - Ellis Names WNT Roster for International Tournament of Brasilia
Dec. 4 - DeAndre Yedlin, Morgan Brian and Gavin Sibayan Earn 2014 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year Honors
Oct. 1 - U.S. WNT to Play in Four-Nations December Tournament in Brazil

Holiday, Leroux, Press and Rampone React to Women's World Cup Draw

2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw: Players’ Reactions and Comments:

U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder LAUREN HOLIDAY
Overall thoughts on Women’s World Cup Draw:
“It’s exciting. It feels real now that we have the draw. It’s a challenging group but we’re up for it and we’re all so excited. You always prepare for hard games at the World Cup and if we get out of this group we’ll be prepared for the rest of the tournament.” 

Her initial reaction to being in Group D with Australia, Sweden and Nigeria:

“I think we were all laughing in a good way. The draw was finally over and there was just excitement to hear Sweden’s name. We’re going to play some really hard teams but we’re confident we’re good enough to get out of the group. We were all just really excited.” 

On drawing Sweden and facing former U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage:
“Sweden’s a great team and Pia knows us pretty well, but at this point I think we’re a different team and we’ve grown a lot. It’s a challenge that will be fun for us. It’s going to be a really good game.” 

On the three opponents in Group D:
“I think our group has some of the top teams. Nigeria brings it in every world championship. They’re so athletic and they keep getting better and better. They’ll be tough to play against. Australia also gets better in every world tournament they play in and they’ve really tried to come together and play some great soccer.” 

U.S. Women’s National Team forward SYDNEY LEROUX
On how the team is feeling now after knowing where they are:
“We’re happy to know where our fate lies. Now that the teams are drawn and we know where we’re going to be playing and we who our opponents are, we’re definitely happy about that. You have to beat the best to be the best and we’re willing to do that.”

On playing Sweden in a World Cup:
“It’s a different beat when it comes to a World Cup. Everyone plays their best game, so it will be a tough one. They’re a strong team physically, so we’ve got some stuff to work on, but we’re definitely excited and we’ll be ready.” 

On the team’s mentality now after the draw is done:
“It is a ‘bring it on’ attitude, 100 percent. Everyone says that we got the hardest group drawn and it probably is, but for us that’s just another obstacle, and we love pressure. We’re very excited and we’re ready to play.” 

U.S. Women’s National Team forward CHRISTEN PRESS
On how the team was feeling before the draw began:
“I think the overwhelming feeling is excitement. The World Cup has been at the forefront of our minds for a while now and it’s always the end goal and the motivation for the team, but it’s still so far away. And just coming together and all going through all the emotion during the draw just made the whole event more real and seemed a lot closer to today.”

On the team’s reaction after the draw was complete and the opponents revealed:
“There was some laughter, excitement and a little bit of tension that we got three really tough and different teams. I have a feeling that’s a good thing. We have to play and beat the best competition to win the World Cup and we have a group that can prepare us for a really intense playoff and knockout play as well. I think it’s a huge advantage to meet great competition at the beginning and not being surprised when you get to the quarterfinals or something like that. I think our team really quickly embraced it. Our journey was never going to be easy one and I don’t think anyone has that hope or expectation. It’s a challenge but we’re a team that accepts the challenge.” 

On the team’s mindset:
“It’s absolutely ‘bring it on.’ There’s so much energy and motivation to prepare. We know what we have, what lies ahead, and we have a lot of work to do between now and June 8, but were going to do it and I think that the draw and the excitement before this camp have given us a little bit of a boost because we know we’re going to get the work done and it starts today.” 

On drawing Australia and Sweden, two countries with ties and that are very familiar with the USA:
“It made me smile when we drew both of them because of course there are quite a few Australia players in the NWSL, so we have a good familiarity with them. We also played them recently. They’re a good team and play a good brand of soccer and they’re different form both Nigeria and Sweden. Then of course for me personally and several of the girls, we played in Sweden so we know that team so well on and off the field; the connection is there with Pia. Swedish football kind of has a special place in my heart so it’s an exciting and kind of funny matchup for us to have because it’s the team I know best. There’s always an extra motivation and incentive when you’re playing against some of your best friends.” 

On how to be ready to face Nigeria, which the USA is not as familiar with:
“I think just with preparation, watching video seeing how they match with competition and trying to predict their tactics. We have a lot more we have to do and focus on ourselves to make sure we’re the best team we can be. We’ll be prepared for whatever they have to throw at us.” 

U. S. Women’s National Team defender CHRISTIE RAMPONE
Overall thoughts following the completion of the 2015 WWC Draw:
“We’re glad it’s done and we know who we’re playing. We’re pretty excited. You have to play the best to win a World Cup and we’re in a tough group. I think being able to play good soccer, get out of the group and build momentum into the next round will be good for us.”

On drawing Sweden:
“We know Sweden is a big challenge for us; they’ve proven that in the past. They’re a great squad and with Pia being their leader and their coach, so we know them very well. We’ll need to stay focused and be ready physically and mentally to play against them.” 

On Group D opponents:
“We have played Australia a few times and a lot of their players are in the NWSL. Nigeria’s done well. We haven’t seen them as much, but we’ll need to be ready. All three are difficult teams with different challenges. We’ll need to be prepared and focus on ourselves to have the right game plan for each opponent.” 

On what the team was saying and thinking during the draw:
“There was an overall sense of us calling it before it even started. We were all saying we were going to draw Sweden. It’s exciting because you want to play teams that challenge you. In a World Cup it means even more. We’re excited because now the wait is over and the preparation starts.”

Lauren Holiday Voted 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year

CHICAGO (Dec. 6, 2014) - Midfielder Lauren Holiday has been voted the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, with the announcement taking place earlier today live on FOX Sports 1’s coverage of the Final Draw for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This is Holiday's second AOTY award as she was previously honored as U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2007.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist becomes the first player in U.S. Soccer history to win both the Female and Young Female Athlete of the Year awards in her career. This year, Holiday became the 30th Women’s National Team player to reach the 100-cap milestone in her career when she suited in the USA’s 1-1 draw against Canada in Winnipeg on May 8. She now has 110 caps.  

WNT vs. Argentina: Highlights - December 18, 2014

Christen Press (four goals) and Carli Lloyd (three goals) accounted for all of the goal scoring as the U.S. WNT defeated Argentina 7-0 in its final group match of the International Tournament of Brasilia. The victory, combined with Brazil’s win against China later in the evening, gave the USA a berth to the tournament’s title game.

Dunn Preps Brian and Mewis for NWSL

With young U.S. WNT players Morgan Brian and Samantha Mewis having completed their college eligibility and set to be high picks in the 2015 NWSL Draft, Washington Spirit defender Crystal Dunn, who played her rookie season in 2014, sits down with the up-and-coming midfielders to discuss turning pro.

Unexpected Soccer Tennis

A heavy storm in Brasilia, Brazil, the night before the U.S. WNT’s scheduled match with Argentina on Dec. 17 forced the postponement of the game just hours before kickoff. Undeterred, the U.S. team got in a few highly competitive games of soccer tennis just to get the legs moving.

WNT vs. Brazil: Highlights - Dec. 14, 2014

The U.S. WNT was edged out 3-2 by Brazil in its second match at the International Tournament of Brasilia. After early goals by Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe, Marta responded with a hat trick to give the hosts the win.

WNT Takes On Brazil

A match against Brazil in Brazil is one of the most difficult in women's soccer. Coming off a 1-1 draw with China, the USA will take on the hosts of the International Tournament of Brasilia on Dec. 14 on the second match day of this four-team competition.

WNT vs. China PR: Highlights - Dec. 10, 2014

The U.S. WNT drew with China PR, 1-1, in the opening game of the 2014 International Tournament of Brasilia as midfielder Carli Lloyd scored the USA’s lone goal midway through the first half.

WNT Visits Mané Garrincha

The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish its 2014 campaign at the International Tournament of Brasilia against China PR, Brazil and Argentina. All the matches will be played at Mané Garrincha Stadium in the Brazilian capital, a 70,000-seat venue that hosted seven matches of the 2014 World Cup.

WNT Sights and Sounds: Brasilia

The U.S. WNT is training in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, in preparation for the International Tournament of Brasilia that will pit the Americans against China PR, Brazil and Argentina.

WNT Watches World Cup Draw from Brazil

After arriving in Brazil on the morning of Dec. 6, the U.S. Women’s National Team players watched the Final Draw for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup together at their hotel in Brasilia and learned that Australia, Sweden and Nigeria will join them in Group D.
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