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US Soccer

U.S. Women’s National Team Defeats Japan 4-1 in Penultimate Tune-Up for the 2012 Olympics

  • Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan Score Twice Each as USA Rolls Past Women’s World Cup Champions
  • U.S. WNT Heads Into Break Before Regrouping in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Face Canada on June 30 in Olympic Send-Off Match Live on NBC

HALMSTAD, Sweden (June 18, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Team picked up a big win in its second-to-last exhibition match before the 2012 Olympics, defeating Japan 4-1 in a highly entertaining match-up as forwards Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach scored twice each. With two victories in Sweden, the USA takes the title of the Volvo Winners Cup with a match between Japan and Sweden still remaining on June 20 in Gothenburg.

The U.S. team will now head into a week-long break before coming together for its Olympic Send-Off game on June 30 against Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. MT and more than 11,500 tickets have been sold (tickets). The match will be broadcast live on NBC.

Morgan showed early that it would be a great afternoon for the United States in the third match of the year between the two 2011 Women’s FIFA World Cup finalists. Her goal on the cusp of the third minute shocked Japan and set the tone for the rest of the match. Wambach made it 2-0 just six minutes later as the USA scored on two of its first three shots of the game and created a bushel of dangerous chances throughout the 90 minutes. The USA fired 19 shots to Japan’s nine, and while the Japanese had seven corner kicks to the USA’s one, the Americans put 11 shots on goal while Japan had just two.

Japan pulled a goal back on a spectacular diving header in the 28th minute, but the Americans put the game away with two more goals after the break, the first on a splendid individual effort from Morgan and the second on a Wambach header.

“I think we had the ability to play to a lot of strengths today” said U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage. “Abby had a great game, Alex Morgan had a great game as well, and so did the midfield. We changed the wing players a little bit [from the Sweden game] and we dominated the midfield which is a hard thing to do against Japan, who keeps the ball all the time. I think they were dangerous, but we also we controlled the game for the most part and in the defense as well. The back four did a great job with the six up front.”

Sundhage made two changes to the starting lineup that played against Sweden in a 3-1 victory two days ago as Kelley O’Hara returned to the starting lineup at her usual left back spot, moving Amy LePeilbet over to right back. Sundhage also gave Tobin Heath, who scored the USA’s third and clinching goal against Sweden, the nod at left midfield while Megan Rapinoe lined up on the right. Lauren Cheney, Heath and Rapinoe had been on field at the same time this year for only 52 minutes, but that midfield combination along with Shannon Boxx out-played Japan on both sides of the ball. When Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly came on in the midfield during the second half, the Americans didn’t let up.

The first U.S. goal came off a long kick from U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo that was flicked on by Wambach with her head to Heath. The skillful midfielder collected and then played a perfectly weighted pass through to Morgan into the left side of the penalty area. Her first touch took away of bit of her shooting angle, but it didn’t matter when she smashed her left-footed shot over Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, stretching the net from 10 yards out.

The USA doubled its lead in the 10th minute after some great defensive pressure deep in Japan’s defensive third forced a turnover that was followed by a slick series of U.S. possession that got Rapinoe free down the left side. She danced her way free to cross and hit a driven ball on the ground that Wambach slid to meet in the middle of the goal, redirecting her shot past Kaihori and into the net from a few yards out.

The USA controlled the tempo of the match with some of its best ball-possession of the year, which in turn created enough quality chances over the course of the game that the final score line could easily have been higher. The American defensive pressure also helped in creating the numerous scoring opportunities as the U.S. did a fine job of forcing Japan into uncomfortable positions and turnovers all game.

Japan got brief life when it scored off a play that originated from a corner kick. The USA initially cleared the service but it was played back out to Aya Miyama on the left side and she whipped in a perfect first-time cross to the near post that was met by Yuki Nagasato on a flying header. She did well to redirect her shot into the left corner past Solo.

The U.S. team was unperturbed by the goal and two minutes later Wambach brought down a Morgan cross inside the six-yard box. She was able to volley at the goal from close range, but it went right into the gloves of Kaihori.

In the 30th minute, Morgan raced past the Japan defense down the right flank, cut toward goal and shot to the far post. Kaihori got a piece of the ball with her body, but it caromed off the right post. Wambach was following the play and, when several Japan defenders overran the rebound, Wambach was able to strike a volley from close range only to watch it once again stick to the hands of Kaihori.

Two minutes after that, Rapinoe sprinted with the ball down the right flank and hit a heavy shot from the right side of the penalty area that was pushed away with a spectacular leap by Kaihori. Morgan had a chance at the rebound and it was several anxious moments before Japan could clear.

The USA had three chances inside the last three minutes of the first half. In the 42nd minute, Wambach received a throw-in deep on the left sideline and was able to turn and cut past her defender. It seemed that she was tugged down by a defender as she sent her shot into the left-side netting, but got no call.

In the 44th minute, a Japan giveaway allowed Morgan to blaze down the left flank with Wambach open in the middle. But, the young forward got a bit too much power on her cross and it flew past her strike partner and through the goal area.

Just before the halftime whistle, Rachel Buehler won the ball with a hard tackle well inside the Japan half and played Wambach into the left side of the penalty area. She held off a defender and made room for her left-footed shot that pummeled Kaihori in the chest.

Sundhage made two substitutions at halftime, sending on Lloyd for Rapinoe and Becky Sauerburnn for Buehler. Lloyd had a fine half and was dangerous on several occasions while winning several crunching tackles in the midfield, including one that knocked Rumi Utsugi out of the match. In the 59th minute, Lloyd won a ball at the top of Japan’s defensive third, pushed it forward and then played Morgan behind the defense. Morgan had a great look at the goal, but lost her balance and stumbled as she shot high and wide right.

Moments later Morgan made up for that miss when she took advantage of a sloppy Japan pass in the back, latched onto the ball while running horizontally across the back line before burning past three Japan defenders into the right side of the penalty area. She cut her right-footed shot at an angle back across the goal and into the left corner past Kaihori from just outside the right side of the goal box.

At the time of Morgan’s second goal there were than 30 minutes left in the match and the USA had the game in control, but the teams still traded chances.

In the 70th minute, Mizuho Sakaguchi hit a screamer that Solo pushed off the top of the crossbar. Five minutes later, Japan captain Miyama also got some pepper on a shot from distance that Solo had to turn away with a diving save to her right.

With 10 minutes left, Lloyd picked off the ball in the midfield and sprinted at the goal, but she sent her driven shot just outside the right upper corner. Sundhage sent on young forward Sydney Leroux for O’Hara in the 81st minute and the USA went with a 3-4-3 for the final minutes of the game.

O’Reilly, who had come into the game for Cheney in the 68th minute, had an active run during her 20 or so minutes. In the 83rd minute O’Reilly, had a good chance after Wambach had got under a throw-in to send a header to her inside the penalty area, but she bounced her shot right at Kaihori. In the 86th minute, Lloyd hit a searing drive straight into the midsection of Kaihori after running onto a Japan clearance.

The USA got its fourth and final goal more than two minutes into stoppage time as O’Reilly crossed from the right side. Her service was blocked up in the air, but she was able to volley the falling ball first-time, sending it over just over the head of defender Aya Sameshima. The ball bounced in front of the goal and Wambach was able to get inside her defender to head it down, with the ball grazing her left shoulder as it slipped into the lower left corner from just inside the six yard box.

Additional Match Notes:

  • The U.S. win broke a winless streak of three matches against Japan that began in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. Norway remains the only team in the world to have held the USA winless in four consecutive meetings, having beaten the USA four times in a row twice in the ’90s and early ’00s.
  • The USA upped its record to 13-1-1 on the year.
  • Abby Wambach’s goals gave her 138 for her international career in 181 games. She sits only behind Mia Hamm (158) on the USA all-time scoring list.
  • Alex Morgan upped her career goal total to 27 in just 41 caps, moving her into a tie for 16th place on the USA’s all-time scoring list with Joy Fawcett.
  • Morgan’s two-goal game was her sixth multiple-goal game of the year, all coming in the past 11 matches.
  • Morgan leads the team in scoring with 17 goals this year and is gunning to become just the sixth U.S. player to score 20 goals in a calendar year.
  • Morgan is also tied for 11th all-time for goals in a year with Shannon MacMillan (2002) and Wambach (2006).
  • Heather O’Reilly’s 37th career assist moves her past Michelle Akers into ninth all-time on the U.S. all-time assist list.
  • U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage used six substitutions, also giving time to Amy Rodriguez, who came on for Morgan in the 69th minute.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: June 18, 2012
Competition: Volvo Winners Cup
Venue: Örjans Vall Stadium; Halmstad, Sweden
Kickoff: 1 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 1,309
Weather: 63 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         2 2 4
JPN                          1 0 1

USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)              3rd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Megan Rapinoe)     10
JPN – Yuki Nagasato (Aya Miyama)             28
USA – Alex Morgan                                   61
USA – Abby Wambach (Heather O’Reilly)    90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 69), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Sydney Leroux, 81); 15-Megan Rapinoe (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Lauren Cheney (9-Heather O’Reilly, 68), 17-Tobin Heath; 13-Alex Morgan (8-Amy Rodriguez, 69), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 14-Meghan Klingenberg, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Christen Press
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

JPN: 1-Ayumi Kaihori; 2-Yukari Kinga, 5-Aya Sameshima, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 16-Kyoko Yano (14-Asuna Tanaka, 83); 8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (22-Karina Maruyama, 71), 10-Homare Sawa (4-Saki Kumagai, 57), 13-Rumi Utsugi (19-Megumi Takase, 79); 11-Shinobu Ohno (7-Kozue Ando, 58), 17-Yuki Nagasato
Subs not used: 12-Miho Fukimoto, 15-Saori Ariyoshi, 18-Megumi Kamionobe, 20-Ami Ohtaki
Head coach: Norio Sasaki


Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 19 / 9
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 1 / 7
Fouls: 16 / 7
Offside: 3 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Rachel Buehler (caution)     24th minute

Officials
Referee: Linn Andersson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Susanne Borg Pilhamre (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Nyström (SWE)
4th official: Sara Persson (SWE)

Bud Light Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach

 

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WNT Jun 18, 2012

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: June 18, 2012
Competition: Volvo Winners Cup
Venue: Örjans Vall Stadium; Halmstad, Sweden
Kickoff: 1 p.m. local (7 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 1,309
Weather: 63 degrees, partly cloudy

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         2 2 4
JPN                          1 0 1

USA – Alex Morgan (Tobin Heath)              3rd minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Megan Rapinoe)     10
JPN – Yuki Nagasato (Aya Miyama)             28
USA – Alex Morgan                                   61
USA – Abby Wambach (Heather O’Reilly)    90+2

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 69), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 5-Kelley O’Hara (11-Sydney Leroux, 81); 15-Megan Rapinoe (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 12-Lauren Cheney (9-Heather O’Reilly, 68), 17-Tobin Heath; 13-Alex Morgan (8-Amy Rodriguez, 69), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 14-Meghan Klingenberg, 16-Lori Lindsey, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Christen Press
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

JPN: 1-Ayumi Kaihori; 2-Yukari Kinga, 5-Aya Sameshima, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 16-Kyoko Yano (14-Asuna Tanaka, 83); 8-Aya Miyama (capt.), 9-Nahomi Kawasumi (22-Karina Maruyama, 71), 10-Homare Sawa (4-Saki Kumagai, 57), 13-Rumi Utsugi (19-Megumi Takase, 79); 11-Shinobu Ohno (7-Kozue Ando, 58), 17-Yuki Nagasato
Subs not used: 12-Miho Fukimoto, 15-Saori Ariyoshi, 18-Megumi Kamionobe, 20-Ami Ohtaki
Head coach: Norio Sasaki


Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 19 / 9
Shots on Goal: 11 / 2
Saves: 1 / 7
Corner Kicks: 1 / 7
Fouls: 16 / 7
Offside: 3 / 5

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Rachel Buehler (caution)     24th minute

Officials
Referee: Linn Andersson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Susanne Borg Pilhamre (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Anna Nyström (SWE)
4th official: Sara Persson (SWE)

Bud Light Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach 

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US Soccer

USA-Ecuador: Three Tidbits of History

With nearly 700 official matches in the books against 97 different opponents since the U.S. Men’s National Team first started playing in 1916, the MNT has accumulated a rich history of dramatic results, intriguing story lines and interesting anecdotes.

Ahead of Thursday’s match against Ecuador, here are three tidbits of the MNT’s history against La Tricolor:

A Team to Debut Against

This is a completely random and unscientific fact, but did you know that six MNT players who made their senior debut against Ecuador went on to represent the United States in at least one FIFA World Cup?


Future MNT captain Tony Meola around the time of his MNT debut vs. Ecuador in 1988

Why is it significant? Because as international opponents go, that ranks as the second most behind only Canada and Guatemala, who each had seven future U.S. World Cup players debut against them.

Who are the six, you ask? Here’s a grid to lay it all out for you…

Future USA World Cup Players to Debut vs. Ecuador

Player

Debut Date

World Cup Rosters

Total MNT Caps

Mike Windischmann

Nov. 30, 1984

1990

50

Brian Bliss

Dec. 2, 1984

1990

33

Tony Meola

June 7, 1988

1990, 1994, 2002

100

Pablo Mastroeni

June 7, 2001

2002, 2006

61

Tim Howard

March 10, 2002

2006, 2010, 2014

121

Benny Feilhaber

March 25, 2007

2010

44

The seven players on that list combine for a total of 11 World Cup rosters and 409 caps. Two players captained the USA at the World Cup (Mike Windischmann 1990; Tony Meola 1994), while Meola and Tim Howard are two of the MNT’s world-record holding 17 players to attain 100 or more caps.

Landon’s Second Hat Trick

The last MNT World Cup player to debut against Ecuador was Benny Feilhaber, but his first cap in 2007 was understandably overshadowed by the second of Landon Donovan’s MNT record three career hat tricks.

Donovan tallied one of the fastest goals in MNT history, putting back a rebound just 35 seconds into the game. He then completed the feat with goals in the 66th and 67th minutes to cap the scoring in a 3-1 victory at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.


Donovan made his 157th and final international appearance against Ecuador, playing 41 minutes in a 1-1 draw on Oct. 10, 2014 in East Hartford, Conn. 

The Last Meeting

The highest stakes encounter with Ecuador was also the last meeting, coming in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario.

In a chippy match where both teams played much of the second half with 10 men, goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes and a strong defensive effort helped the USA earn a memorable 2-1 victory in front of 47,322 fans at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

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MNT Mar 17, 2019
US Soccer

Jesse Gonzalez Replaces Zack Steffen on MNT Roster for Matches Against Ecuador and Chile

CHICAGO (March 17, 2019) – U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been forced to withdraw from the squad’s upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Chile due to injury.

Following Saturday’s 1-0 shutout win for Columbus Crew SC against FC Dallas, the MNT ‘keeper was diagnosed with a minor right knee injury.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has been added to the roster, keeping the squad at 24 players as the team begins reporting to Orlando on Sunday. Having filed a one-time change of association to represent the United States, Gonzalez was included in the knockout phase roster of the 2017 Gold Cup-winning U.S. side. Still in search of his first cap, Gonzalez appeared on the roster for the USA’s 1-1 draw against then No. 3-ranked Portugal on Nov. 17, 2017 in Leiria.  

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter will continue the evaluation process of the MNT pool this month in his second camp in charge. The team building process takes its next steps with challenges against Ecuador on March 21 at Orlando City Stadium, then five days later against two-time defending South American champion Chile on March 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. [TICKETS] Both matches will be shown live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN.

Fans can follow both matches on U.S. Soccer's official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.

Detailed Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, BEL; 3/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 6/0)

DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg, GER; 36/3), Omar Gonzalez (Atlas, MEX; 48/3), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 2/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 4/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact; 2/0), Matt Miazga (Reading, ENG; 11/1), Tim Ream (Fulham, ENG; 26/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United, ENG; 57/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, GER; 9/1), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, CAN; 143/17), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 7/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke, GER; 7/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, GER; 23/9), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 7/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 13/0)

FORWARDS (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 19/3), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 2/0), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 2/0), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 25/5), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 2/1), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 42/6)

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MNT Mar 17, 2019
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About Ecuador

The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its preparations for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup when it takes on Ecuador on Thursday, March 21 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla. (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN).

Here are five things to know about La Tricolor:

Footballing History
While not a traditional power of South America, Ecuador has raised its game since the turn of the century. Previously, fourth-place finishes in the 1959 and 1993 Copa America tournaments were the country’s most notable feats until La Tricolor qualified for its first FIFA World Cup in 2002. Since that first appearance, Ecuador has been at three of the last five FIFA World Cups, and memorably advanced from the group stage during the 2006 edition in Germany.

The nation’s all-time cap leader is former defender Iván Hurtado, whose 168 appearances also place him sixth worldwide. With 31 career goals, former striker Agustín Delgado is Ecuador’s all-time leading scorer. Both players were part of the team’s pinnacle success in 2006, with Hurtado serving as captain, while Delgado found the back of the net twice in the tournament. 

Here and Now
Ecuador stayed alive throughout qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but faltered in its last few matches and finished seventh in the unforgiving CONMEBOL qualifying format. Ecuador began a new era last fall, as Hernan Dario Gomez returned to take the reins of La Tricolor after previously guiding Ecuador to its first FIFA World Cup in 2002.

The early returns for Ecuador under “El Bolillo” have been positive, with the team going 4-1-1 in its six matches since last fall. Just like MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, Gomez will use his team’s March matches against the USA and Honduras (March 26 in Harrison, N.J.) as final preparation for their own regional tournament, Copa America 2019, to be held this summer in Brazil. 

All-Time Series: USA vs. Ecuador
The USA trails Ecuador ever so slightly, with a 4-5-5 all-time record. However, the MNT has been dominant since the turn of the century, going 4-1-2 in the last seven meetings.

U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter earned two of his 44 caps against Ecuador, helping keep clean sheets in a 0-0 draw on June 7, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio and a 1-0 win on March 10, 2002 in Birmingham, Ala (photo above). Hernan Dario Gomez also coached Ecuador in this match. 

Ecuador Roster
Ecuador manager Hernan Dario Gomez summoned a 23-player roster whose average age of 26 years, 184 days emphasizes a good mix of youth and experience. Highlighting the squad are Manchester United midfielder Antonio Valencia and Tigres UANL attacker Enner Valencia.

With 93 caps, Antonio Valencia is the most experienced played on the roster, while Enner Valencia’s 27 international goals places him just four behind Agustin Delgado’s all-time scoring lead for La Tricolor. Two players from Major League Soccer also feature on the roster – FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo and Orlando City SC midfielder Jhegson Méndez, who will have the chance of facing the USA in his club’s home stadium on March 21.


John Brooks and Ecuador's Enner Valencia during the Copa America Centenario Quarterfinal on June 21, 2016 in Seattle (ISI Photos)

Check out the full roster below:

Goalkeepers (3): Maximo Banguera (Barcelona; 35/0), Alexander Domínguez (Velez Sarsfield, ARG; 47/0), Pedro Ortiz (Delfín; 0/0)

Defenders (8): Gabriel Achilier (Morelia, MEX; 38/1), Xavier Arreaga (Barcelona; 1/0), Beder Caicedo (Barcelona; 2/0), John Narváez (Melgar, PER; 2/0), Juan Carlos Paredes (Emelec; 73/0), Ángelo Preciado (Independiente del Valle; 4/0), Jackson Porozo (Santos, BRA; 0/0), Cristian Ramirez (Krasnodar, RUS; 18/1)

Midfielders (8): Carlos Gruezo (FC Dallas, USA; 20/0), Renato Ibarra (Club América, MEX; 37/1), Romario Ibarra (Minnesota United FC; 6/3), Jefferson Intriago (LDU Quito; 4/0), Jhegson Méndez (Orlando City SC, USA; 5/0), Jefferson Orejuela (LDU Quito; 12/0), Ayrton Preciado (Santos Laguna, MEX; 9/0), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, ENG; 93/11)

Forwards (4): Leonardo Campana (Barcelona; 0/0), Ángel Mena (Club León, MEX; 9/3), Jhohan Julio (LDU Quito; 0/0), Enner Valencia (Tigres UANL, MEX; 46/27)

Ecuador: The Country
Located in the northwest corner of South America, Ecuador is bordered by Colombia (northeast), Peru (south) and the Pacific Ocean (west).

With 16.3 million people, Ecuador is the seventh-most populous country in South America and interestingly, uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency.

The capital of Quito sits 9,350 feet above sea level, making for a significant home-field advantage in World Cup qualifying.

Finally, the national team is referred to as La Tricolor in recognition of the three colors featured on the Flag of Ecuador: yellow, blue and red.

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MNT Mar 15, 2019
US Soccer

2019 FIFA WWC: Five Things to Know About the USA's Group F

On December 8, 2018, at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Official Draw in Paris, the U.S. Women’s National Team was drawn into Group F alongside Thailand, Chile and Sweden.

With the World Cup less than three months away, and the USA’s first group match on June 11 coming into focus, here are five things to know about the USA’s group stage in France.

Good to See You Again

Familiarity will be on the USA’s side in France as the Americans have played all three of its group opponents within the last three years. It faced Thailand in 2016, Sweden in 2017 and Chile (twice) in 2018.

Against Thailand, the U.S. won their only match to date by a score of 9-0 on Sept. 15, 2016. The game was U.S. legend Heather O’Reilly’s final international game. It was also the first game for the U.S. Women following the 2016 Olympics Games.


The USA dominated the game vs. Thailand in 2016.

In the summer of 2017, the U.S. traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden, to face the home side abroad on June 8, winning 1-0 on a goal from Rose Lavelle. Before that matchup, the teams met in Brazil at the Olympics, where the USA fell on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime.

The two matches against Chile were the first matches between the teams. The USA won both games, 3-0 on Aug. 31 in Carson, Calif. and 4-0 on Sept. 4 in San Jose, Calif.

Thailand (vs. USA on June 11 in Reims)

Thailand will feature at a second consecutive World Cup tournament after making its Women’s World Cup debut in 2015, putting in a respectable performance. Thailand qualified for France with some solid play during their regional tournament.

At the 2018 AFC Women’s Cup, Thailand almost pulled off a massive upset when it faced top-ranked Australia in the semifinal as the teams battled to a 2-2 draw, but only after Alanna Kennedy tied it for Australia in second-half stoppage time. Australia then defeated Thailand in a penalty shootout to advance to the championship match while Thailand went to the Third-Place match, where it fell to China PR, 3-1.

Chile (vs. USA on June 16 in Paris)

This summer, Chile will participate in its first Women’s World Cup at the senior level. Chile was a surprise qualifier to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. La Roja Femenina finished second behind Brazil at the 2018 Copa América Femenina, which it hosted last April, to earn its first World Cup berth.

WNT - Tobin Heath
Chile's Endler (above) made several spectacular saves vs. the USA when the teams met in 2018.

One of the main reasons for Chile’s success at the Copa America was the play of their captain, 27-year-old goalkeeper Christiane Endler. The six-foot Endler, whose father is from Germany and whose mother is from Chile, holds both Chilean and German passports. She played college soccer in the USA at South Florida and currently plays for one of the world’s top clubs in Paris Saint-Germain.

Sweden (vs. USA on June 20 in Le Havre)

The USA and Sweden are two of only seven countries to have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria and Norway are the others.

Currently ranked ninth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, Sweden, a U.S. opponent during the past four FIFA Women’s World Cup group stages, was also the USA’s first Women’s World Cup opponent when FIFA’s premier women’s competition began with the 1991 event in China. While the teams have never met in a Knockout Round match, the USA holds a 3-1-1 record vs. Sweden in the teams’ five previous World Cup games.

Bonjour, Northern France

All three cities the U.S. will play its group games in are located across the north of France with Reims located just a 90-minute drive northeast of Paris and Le Havre a little more than a two-hour drive northwest of the French capital.

WNT - Mallory Pugh
The USA will conclude Group F play vs. Sweden on June 20.

The USA opens its 2019 World Cup campaign vs. Thailand in Reims on June 11 (3 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo), then continues on to Paris to face Chile on June 16 (12 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo), and wraps up group play on June 20 (3 p.m. ET, FOX Sports, Telemundo) in Le Havre vs. Sweden.

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WNT Mar 14, 2019
US Soccer

Ramos Calls 20 Players to Spain for Final Pre-U-20 World Cup Training Camp

CHICAGO (March 14, 2019) — U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the team’s final training camp before this summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup. The USA will face two fellow World Cup participants, beginning with France on Friday, March 22 (10 a.m. ET) and Japan on Monday, March 25 (7 a.m. ET). Both matches will be played at Pinatar Arena in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain.

“I’m looking forward to our last camp before the U-20 World Cup,” Ramos said. “With competition against two quality opponents, it’s one more opportunity for us to build a strong core and one more chance for the players to leave a good impression in order to be considered for the final 21-player roster. Japan always has highly skilled youth teams and France is always a World Cup contender.”

The games against France and Japan will serve as the U-20 MNT’s final official international matches before they kick off Group D play at the World Cup in Poland. The USA will open against Ukraine on May 24, take on Nigeria on May 27 and finish the group stage on May 30 versus Qatar.

Eighteen of 20 players on the roster - every player born in the U.S. - have spent at least one season in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Players born on or after Jan. 1, 1999 are age-eligible for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup. For this camp, Ramos has called in six players born in 1999, 12 born in 2000 and two born in 2001.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position (Club or College; Hometown; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): C.J. Dos Santos (Benfica/POR; Philadelphia, Pa.; 1/0), Trey Muse (Seattle Sounders FC; Louisville, Ky.; 0/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED; Almere-Stad, Netherlands; 6/1), Chris Gloster (Hannover 96/GER; South Orange, N.J.; 9/0), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC; Columbus, Ohio; 0/0), Jaylin Lindsey (Sporting Kansas City; Charlotte, N.C.; 5/0), Matthew Real (Philadelphia Union; Drexel Hill, Pa.; 8/0), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; Hoover, Ala.; 6/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati; Santa Ana, Calif.; 11/1), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; Katy, Texas; 2/0); Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United FC; Powder Springs, Ga.; 5/2), , Chris Durkin (D.C. United; Glen Allen, Va.; 0/0), Alex Mendez (Freiburg/GER; Los Angeles, Calif.; 13/8), Juan Pablo Torres (New York City FC; Lilburn, Ga.; 10/4)
FORWARDS (6): Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC/CAN; Detroit, Mich.; 10/9), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjaelland/DEN; Summerville, S.C.; 0/0), Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; Barcelona, Spain; 0/0), Ulysses Llanez (Unattached; Lynwood, Calif.; 9/7), Justin Rennicks (New England Revolution; Hamilton, Mass.; 12/6), Sebastian Soto (Hannover 96/GER; San Diego, Calif.; 3/2)                                                          

Match Schedule

Date

Match-up

Time (ET)

Friday, March 22

U-20 MNT vs. France

10 a.m.

Monday, March 25

U-20 MNT vs. Japan

7 a.m.

The U-20 MNT previously held its second training camp of the 2018-19 cycle in San Pedro del Pinatar, splitting two games with France’s U-21 squad in March 2018. This year’s two matches will serve as part of the Pinatar Arena Football Festival, an event that will feature 14 international friendlies between 14 U-20, U-21 and U-23 national teams from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The U.S. U-23 MNT will play Egypt on Friday, March 22 and the Netherlands on Sunday, March 24 as part of the event.

Twelve players return from the U-20 MNT’s title run at the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship, including U.S. captain Matthew Real and tournament Golden Ball winner Alex Mendez. Mendez also went on to win 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Player of the Year, largely based on his stellar performance at the World Cup qualifying tournament. With 13 U-20 caps, the midfielder enters this training camp as the squad’s most experienced player.

ROSTER NOTES:

  • Eighteen different clubs are represented on the roster, with nine players coming from domestic teams and 10 based internationally in Germany (4), Denmark (2), Canada, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (1 each).
  • FC Barcelona forward Konrad de la Fuente is the lone player to make his first U-20 MNT camp appearance.
  • The two players born in 2001- de la Fuente and forward Ulysses Llanez- are also age-eligible for the 2021 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
  • Forward Justin Rennicks has appeared in seven of eight U-20 training camps this cycle, the most of any player.
  • Ayo Akinola enters this camp as the team’s leading scorer with nine international goals. The Toronto FC forward scored seven of those goals at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
  • Seven of 20 players have seen minutes with their clubs’ first teams in 2019.
  • Goalkeeper Trey Muse recorded a shutout in his first professional start last weekend, manning the net for Seattle Sounders FC’s USL Championship affiliate Tacoma Defiance in a 1-0 victory against Rio Grande Valley.
  • Chris Gloster and Sebastian Soto were recently called up to begin training with the Hannover 96 first team.
  • Soto has been on a tear since the winter break with Hannover’s U-19 squad, scoring four goals in five games.
  • This week, de la Fuente helped FC Barcelona U-19 reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Youth Champions League, starting and going the full 90 against Hertha BSC.

ACADMEY TIES:

  • The roster includes two former Academy Players of the Year: midfielder Christian Cappis and Muse took home the honor in 2017 at the U-16/17 level for the Central and West Conferences, respectively.
  • Seven players were named to 2017-18 Academy Best XIs for their respective conferences- midfielder Frankie Amaya, Llanez, Mendez and Soto in the West plus Cappis, defender Aboubacar Keita and defender Chris Richards in the West.
  • Three players have won Academy national championships, both in 2017- Cappis and Richards with Texans SC Houston U-17/18 and midfielder Andrew Carleton with Atlanta United FC U-15/16.
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U-20 MNT Mar 14, 2019
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