In 2016, the U.S. Women’s National Team scored 92 goals so choosing a Top 10 was not an easy task. We selected our "Top 10 Goals of 2016" based on the quality of the goal, the skill of the finish, the importance of the goal and a dash of sentimental value (#ThanksHAO). Tell us, which is your favorite WNT goal of 2016? Did your favorite make the list?
1. Alex Morgan vs. Germany (SheBelieves Cup; March 9): The game-tying goal brought the USA back into the game after an early strike from Germany’s Anja Mittag had given the European Champions the lead in the de facto SheBelieves Cup Final. Meghan Klingenberg evaded a defender near midfield and lofted a ball over the top of the German defense down the left side into the path of the sprinting Morgan. She let the ball bounce twice, as she muscled out a first defender, before deftly lifting it over Saskia Bartusiak with her left foot and ripping a right-footed shot into the net in two fluid steps. The importance of the goal, the level of difficulty and the skill and style with which she finished takes the top spot in 2016.
2. Carli Lloyd vs. Switzerland (International Friendly; Oct. 23): Lloyd has scored 96 goals in her career including quite a few spectacular strikes from distance, but it’s safe to say this should be among her best. While nothing may ever top her midfield shot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, this rocket against Switzerland comes close. Some swift interplay between Andi Sullivan, Lloyd and Kelley O’Hara resulted in Lloyd receiving a pass from O’Hara and advancing toward the Switzerland goal. Lloyd crushed a lightning bolt strike from 27 yards out for a finish that spurred FOX’s play-by-play announcer Glenn Davis to describe as “hit with no regard for humanity.” It was the equalizing to make it 1-1 in what would be a 5-1 U.S. victory.
3. Crystal Dunn vs. England (SheBelieves Cup; March 3): Dunn had a terrific year for the USA. She scored 14 goals, including her five-goal performance against Puerto Rico, and also scored her first Olympic goal. But it was her game-winning tally against England at the SheBelieves Cup that stood out. After a competitive first half between two of the top teams in the world, Dunn came in as a substitute in the second half. The goal came after Meghan Klingenberg did some nice work on the ball to the left of the penalty area and then slipped a pass between two England defenders for Dunn, who took two touches into the left corner of the box and then ripped a shot into the top right corner for an incredible finish in the 1-0 U.S. victory.
4. Christen Press vs. Costa Rica (Olympic Qualifying; Feb. 10): Press is a prodigious goal scorer. In 80 games with the WNT, she has scored 41 goals, which includes 12 in 2016. There was one however that stood tall amongst the rest as it required a high level of poise and skill. In the opening game of CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying, Tobin Heath found Press with a cross into the penalty area from the left side. With her back to the goal, and just outside the six-yard box, she settled the ball with the outside of her right foot away from a defender, spun around and finished into the roof of the net on the left side. Classy finish and classic Press.Read more
In 2016, the U.S. Women’s National Team played 25 matches and scored 92 goals. More than 65% were scored by four players: Crystal Dunn, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Christen Press.
Here is a breakdown of the performance of each player in 2016:
Crystal Dunn – A Breakthrough Year
Coming of an NWSL MVP season in 2015 with the Washington Sprit, Crystal Dunn had by far her best year as a U.S. WNT player in 2016. In her three previous yearly campaigns combined, Dunn had played in 20 games and scored four goals. In 2016 alone, she played in 25 games and scored 14 goals, more than tripling her tallies from 2013-15. She also played 1,494 minutes in 2016, a number that once again almost tripled the 532 minutes she played in 2013, the most she had been on the field before this year.
Dunn’s 2016 also included a five-goal game performance on Feb. 15 against Puerto Rico. On that day, Dunn became the seventh U.S. player to achieve that feat joining Brandi Chastain (1991), Michelle Akers (1991), Tiffeny Milbrett (2002), Abby Wambach (2004), Amy Rodriguez (2012) and Sydney Leroux (2012). It was also Dunn's first multi-goal game for the WNT.Read more
Photos from the U.S. WNT v Thailand match at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. After a month break from international play following the Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team returned to the field on Thursday, Sept. 15 and delivered a dominant performance. The WNT sent Heather O’Reilly off to international retirement in style, defeating Thailand 9-0 on the strength of a three-goal, four-assist performance from Carli Lloyd in front of 10,490 fans at MAPFRE Stadium.
The USA moves on to Atlanta where they face the Netherlands in a friendly at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, Sept. 18. (7 p.m. ET; FS1).Read more
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept. 15, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team sent Heather O’Reilly off to international retirement in style, defeating Thailand 9-0 on the strength of a three-goal, four-assist performance from Carli Lloyd in front of 10,490 fans at MAPFRE Stadium.
The USA got out to a frantic start, needing just 39 seconds to find the back of the net when O’Reilly’s cross found Lloyd in the penalty area. O’Reilly’s first minute assist was the 55th of her international career, leaving her tied with Julie Foudy for fifth on the WNT’s all-time assist list. After a fourth-minute finish from Christen Press, O’Reilly would score her final international goal off a feed from Lloyd in the fifth minute – O’Reilly finished with 47 international strikes to her name. Two more goals from Lloyd would follow, along with tallies from Tobin Heath, Crystal Dunn and a late brace from Alex Morgan as the WNT gave O’Reilly a final match to remember.
The USA moves on to Atlanta where they face the Netherlands in a friendly at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, Sept. 18. (7 p.m. ET; FS1).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly), 1st minute: Thirty-nine seconds was all that was needed for the USA to get on the board as Heather O’Reilly received the ball on the right before beating her mark to the end line to float a cross for Carli Lloyd. Backing up two steps to meet the cross, Lloyd glanced her header over Thailand goalkeeper Yada Sengyong to give the WNT the early lead. USA 1, THA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd), 4th minute: The USA kept the pedal down early on as Tobin Heath took open space towards the box before chipping a ball into the area for Lloyd. The U.S. captain played a simple volley to Christen Press who calmly slammed it. USA 2, THA 0
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd), 5th minute: Keeping up the pressure, the WNT scored its third goal just seconds later when Lloyd ran on to a misplayed back pass by Thailand midfielder Warunee Phetwiset. Taking the ball into the box on the left, Lloyd drove towards goal before cutting back for O’Reilly who bagged her 47th career international goal with a one-timed effort. USA 3, THA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Tobin Heath (Carli Lloyd), 36th minute: A build-up on the left led to Lloyd playing a well-paced back heel into the area for Tobin Heath. The midfielder latched on to the ball at the end line before measuring a tight-angled chip over Sengyong and just past the line to take the USA into halftime with a four-goal advantage. USA 4, THA 0
USA – Carli Lloyd, 60th minute: O’Reilly propelled the USA to a 5-0 lead when her dangerous cross from the right was misplayed by Pikul Khueanpet in the area. The ball fell for Lloyd, who slammed home her second of the match. USA 5, THA 0
USA – Crystal Dunn (Becky Sauerbrunn) 70th minute: After sustained possession, the WNT would add to its lead when Becky Sauerbrunn played a ball to Crystal Dunn on the right. The 24-year-old drove past her mark to cut inside the area before firing home a powerful blast. USA 6, THA 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan), 81st minute: A long ball played on the left for Megan Rapinoe saw the halftime substitute send a pinpoint cross into the area. The ball was met with a diving header by Lindsey Horan, who saw her effort kept out with a quick reaction save by Sengong, before Lloyd was there to put home the rebound, bagging her seventh career international hat trick in the process. USA 7, THA 0
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd), 86th minute: Catching Thailand on the back foot, Lloyd threaded through some defensive pressure before providing a perfectly timed through ball for Alex Morgan who glided into the area before slotting her shot inside the left post. USA 8, THA 0
USA – Alex Morgan, 92nd minute: Morgan tallied her second in six minutes, running onto a ball on the right before cutting inside and firing a low drive that crept inside the left post. USA 9, THA 0
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
THA - Yada Sengyong, 58th minute – Rapinoe played a beautiful chip over the top for Lloyd, who saw her quick shot saved by Sengyong. The rebound fell for Lindsey Horan who followed up but her shot was parried away again by Sengyong at the left post.
Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT heads to Atlanta to take on the Netherlands in a friendly at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, Sept. 18 (TICKETS). The match will air live on FS1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
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- In her final game with the U.S. WNT, midfielder Heather O’Reilly captained the USA in the team’s first-ever match against Thailand. She retires from international soccer with 231 caps, three Olympic gold medals, a 2002 U-19 FIFA Women’s World Cup title and a 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup title.
- Having already used the allotted six substitutions, O’Reilly departed the field to a standing ovation in the 89th minute, leaving the WNT to play the remainder of the match with 10 players.
- Appearing in her 229 international match, Carli Lloyd was part of seven of the nine goals. Lloyd recorded her seventh international hat trick and added four assists, bringing her international totals to 93 goals and 47 assists respectively. She leads the team with 10 assists this year and has the second-most goals with 14.
- Tied for the team lead in appearances with 20 in 2016, both Christen Press and Crystal Dunn added single tallies in the match. Press now has 35 goals in 75 international appearances, while Dunn recorded the 16th of her international career and 12th of 2016, putting her third behind only Lloyd and Alex Morgan (15).
- Making her 123rd international appearance, Tobin Heath’s 36th minute goal was her fourth of 2016 and 16th of her career.
- Entering the match at halftime, Alex Morgan added two late goals to take her international tally to 71 goals in 117 caps. She has 15 in 2016, a team-leading mark.
- The start was the first appearance in goal in 2016 for Ashlyn Harris and the first since Aug. 16, 2015, against Costa Rica in Pittsburgh, which was the first match following the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup triumph. She earned her third career shutout tonight.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Thailand
Date: September 15, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees, Partly Cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 5 9
THA 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Heather O’Reilly) 1st minute
USA – Christen Press (Carli Lloyd) 4
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd) 5
USA – Tobin Heath (Carli Lloyd) 36
USA – Carli Lloyd 60
USA – Crystal Dunn (Becky Sauerbrunn) 70
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lindsey Horan) 81
USA – Alex Morgan (Carli Lloyd) 86
USA – Alex Morgan 90+2
USA: 22-Ashlyn Harris; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Julie Johnston (16-Crystal Dunn, 64), 11-Ali Krieger (7-Meghan Klingenberg, 46); 3-Allie Long (21-Emily Sonnett, 46), 20-Samantha Mewis (19-Lindsey Horan, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd; 9-Heather O’Reilly (capt.), 12-Christen Press (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 17-Tobin Heath (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46)
Subs not used: 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
THA: 18-Yada Sengyong, 2-Kanjanaporn Saenkhun, 4-Duangnapa Sritala (capt.), 6-Pikul Khueanpet, 7-Silawan Intamee (20-Wilaiporn Boothduang, 82), 9-Warunee Phetwiset, 10-Sunisa Srangthaisong, 11-Alisa Rukpinij (17-Anootsara Maijarern, 65), 12-Rattikan Thongsombut (21-Kanjana Sung-ngoen, 46), 13-Orathai Srimanee (8-Naphat Seesraum, 65), 19-Pitsamai Sornsai (23-Nisa Romyen, 82)
Subs not used: 1-Waraporn Boonsing, 3-Natthakarn Chinwong, 5-Ainon Phancha, 14-Thanatta Chawong, 16-Khwanruedee Saengchan
Head Coach: Spencer Prior
Stats Summary: USA / THA
Shots: 32 / 7
Shots on Goal: 16 / 4
Saves: 2 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 3
Offside: 4 / 0
USA – Lindsey Horan (caution) 90th minute
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Julieann Mc Dougall (TRI)
4th Official: Margaret Domka (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Heather O’ReillyRead more