U.S. Soccer
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WNT Downs Korea Republic 3-1 in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a convincing 3-1 win against the Korea Republic on Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the first of a pair of friendlies against the AFC foe.

The USA controlled the tempo from the get-go and out-shot Korea Republic 11-3 in the first half. Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan continued their excellent form as both found the net in the first half, their fourth and fifth goals of 2017, respectively. South Korea created its only shot on goal of the first half deep into stoppage time with debutante Han Chaerin scoring a fantastic strike from 23 yards out to pull her team within one.

The Korea goal came after referee had added three minutes of stoppage time, but added two more after Mallory Pugh went down with a hamstring injury at the end of the half and the visitors ended up scoring in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The U.S. maintained its organized play on the field after the break and earned a penalty kick following a foul committed against Megan Rapinoe in the 52nd minute. Rapinoe took the spot kick, scoring her third goal of the year to once again extend the USA lead to a two-goal advantage, which ultimately stood for the final 3-1 scoreline.

The U.S. WNT will now travel to Cary, North Carolina for a second match against Korea Republic on Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET; ESPN) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe), 24th minute: Megan Rapinoe’s well-struck corner kick from the left side was directed to the near post where the diving Ertz sent a low skidding header through the goalkeeper’s legs for the USA’s first goal of the game and her fourth of 2017. USA 1, KOR 0. GOAL.

USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara), 40th minute: Kelley O’Hara made a fantastic dribbling run into the penalty box on the right side, beating her defender to the end line before cutting a cross back for Morgan who held off a defender, spun toward goal, and finished with a blistering left-footed shot. USA 2, KOR 0. GOAL.

KOR – HAN Chaerin, 45+5 minute: A late push from the Korea Republic proved successful after a long clearance landed at the feet of Han Chaerin whose shot from distance found the upper left-hand corner to bring the visitors within one with her first career goal in her first cap. USA 2, KOR 1. GOAL.

USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick), 52nd minute: The USA started the second half well, putting pressure on the Korean goal and earned a penalty kick when Rapinoe was chopped down in the box by Ji Soyun. Rapinoe took the kick herself and slammed it home for her third score of 2017. USA 3, KOR 1. GOAL.

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Additional Notes:

  • Alex Morgan made her 11th appearance of 2017 and 10th start. She scored in the 40th minute tonight to record her fifth goal of 2017, getting on the score sheet for the fourth consecutive game this year. Now with 78 career goals, Morgan is in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT. This is the third time in her career that she has scored in four straight WNT games.
  • Playing defensive midfield, Julie Ertz scored tonight to make it four goals in 2017 and up her total to 12 career goals for the WNT. She earned her 54th cap tonight and is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps. All of her 12 goals have come or originated from set plays.
  • Megan Rapinoe earned her 126th cap today and sixth start of the year. She made her ninth appearance of 2017 and became the 29th player to play 125 or more times for the USA. Rapinoe scored the 34th goal of her career tonight on a penalty kick. Rapinoe is now within one goal of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goal scoring list. She assisted on Ertz’ goal tonight, her third of the year and 42nd of her career.
  • One of Ertz, Morgan, and Rapinoe have scored in each of the last five games for the USWNT.
  • The U.S. had 13 different players take a shot during the match.
  • Midfielder Andi Sullivan made her first start since Nov. 13, 2016, when she started against Romania in Carson, Calif. Sullivan made her WNT debut last October (coincidently, exactly a year ago on Oct. 19, 2016) and played in the final four games of the year for the U.S. – all starts – before an ACL tear during a college playoff match in December sidelined her for the following months.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn made her 13th start and appearance this year, one of only two players – Samantha Mewis being the other – to be in every starting lineup this year. She has played the most minutes of any player on the team with 1,125.
  • Kelley O’Hara, earned her 102nd cap tonight after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country. It was her ninth start of the year and she played all 90 minutes.
  • Abby Dahlkemper entered double digits in caps tonight, making her 10th career appearance for the WNT in what was her seventh career start. The 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year made her debut for the U.S. exactly one year ago, on Oct. 19, 2016, against Switzerland in Utah, and earned her first start against Norway on June 11, playing all 90 minutes to help the U.S. defense claim a shutout in Sandefjord.
  • In fact, four players that saw action tonight all made their U.S. WNT debuts exactly one year ago on Oct. 19, 2016 in Utah: Dahlkemper, Casey Short, Sullivan and Lynn Williams.
  • Tonight’s six U.S. WNT subs were: Lynn Williams in for Mallory Pugh; Lindsey Horan in for Andi Sullivan; Sofia Huerta for Casey Short; Crystal Dunn for Megan Rapinoe; Christen Press in for Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd in for Samantha Mewis.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis named a 22-player roster to the training camp for this pair of friendlies, but after suffering injuries in the NWSL Championship, both Taylor Smith and Tobin Heath withdrew from camp, taking the roster number down to 20.
  • Jane Campbell and Allie Long did not dress for tonight’s match.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 9,371
Weather: Indoors

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

USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe)         24th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara)       40
KOR – HAN Chaerin                              45 +5
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick)     52                                                                                                       

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14-MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo

Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
KOR – HAN Chaerin (Caution)               61st minute
KOR – PARK Chorong (Caution)            74

Officials:
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)                                                                                 
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)                                                 
4th Official: Cecile Hinds (TRI)  

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz

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WNT Oct 19, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Attendance: 9,371
Weather: Indoors

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

USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe)         24th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara)       40
KOR – HAN Chaerin                              45 +5
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick)     52                                                                                                       

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14-MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo

Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
KOR – HAN Chaerin (Caution)               61st minute
KOR – PARK Chorong (Caution)            74

Officials: 
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA) 
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)                                                                                 
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)                                                  
4th Official: Cecile Hinds (TRI)  

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz

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Breaking Down the WNT's Top 10 Goals of 2017

1. Julie Ertz vs. Korea Republic (International Friendly; Oct. 19): Something everyone can agree on is that Julie Ertz was dangerous in the penalty area this year. All six of her goals came from set pieces, but her goal against Korea Republic on Oct. 19 had a little extra mustard on it as Ertz nutmegged the goalkeeper with a diving header. The goal came off a well-struck corner kick by Megan Rapinoe from the left side that flew towards the near post. The diving Ertz sent a low, skidding header through the legs of the goalkeeper. The celebration afterwards was equally as fun.

2. Megan Rapinoe vs. Brazil (Tournament of Nations; July 30): She had just assisted Christen Press on the goal that ignited the comeback, making the score 3-2 in favor of Brazil, but then Rapinoe took the reins, scoring one of the best goals of her career to tie the game, 3-3. She settled a well-placed lofted pass from Press with a perfect touch inside the penalty area and then, with Brazil goalkeeper Barbara cheating ever so slightly for the cross, blasted her shot from a stiff angle so hard towards the near post that Barbara couldn’t react in time. Her reaction and the reaction of her teammates (as well as the pumped-up crowd inside Qualcomm Stadium) showed just how big a goal it was. 

3. Alex Morgan vs. New Zealand (International Friendly; Sept. 15): This was another beauty from Alex Morgan. Sofia Huerta, playing in her first cap, sent a long cross from the right wing into the left side of the box, where Morgan brought it down with her left foot, evaded a closing defender and then ripped her shot into the roof of the net for her second goal of the yearIt was vintage Morgan.

4. Megan Rapinoe vs. Japan (Tournament of Nations; Aug. 3): Breaking ankles inside of the six-yard box is how Megan Rapinoe added her name to the scoring sheet. The goal came when Christen Press found space between two defenders to slip a beautiful pass to Rapinoe, who was cutting into the right side of the penalty box. Rapinoe latched onto the pass, faked a shot to force the Japanese defender into a slide and then hesitated long enough for the defender to move out of the way as she got to her feet. Rapinoe then had enough space to slot her shot into the lower left corner from close range. The goal was worthy of a classic Rapinoe celebration, and that’s exactly what she gave to the fans.

5. Christen Press vs. Korea Republic (International Friendly; Oct. 22): This much we know: Press can be lethal shooting from outside the 18-yard box. On a nice U.S. build-up through the midfield, Alex Morgan found Press with a threaded pass near the top of the penalty area. She squared up on a defender, made space for a shot with a quick move to her right and whipped the ball brilliantly into the upper right corner for her third goal of 2017.

6. Julie Ertz vs. Brazil (Tournament of Nations, July 30): After two goals in five minutes brought the USA back to life against Brazil, the game was now tied 3-3 at the 85-minute mark. Ertz completed the incredible comeback with her game-winning goal in the 89th. Rapinoe was once again involved in the goal, playing Kelley O’Hara down the right side on the overlap. O’Hara’s cross bounced off the sliding Carli Lloyd and back to Ertz, who blasted the loose ball into the back of the net from six yards out for the victory. It was Ertz’ first goal of 2017…. but it wouldn’t be her last.

7. Christen Press vs. Brazil (Tournament of Nations, July 30): After Brazil made it 3-1 in the 78th minute on well-placed free-kick goal, ESPN commentator Ian Darke was understandably gloomy about the USA’s prospects. “The U.S., surely sunk here….”, said Darke, but then something amazing happened. The USA scored three goals in nine minutes, starting with this Christen Press rocket. Megan Rapinoe slipped a perfectly weighted pass into the left side of the penalty box for Press, who collected, spun toward goal and smacked a right-footed shot into the upper left corner from 14 yards away to make it 3-2.

8. Alex Morgan vs. Canada (International Friendly; Nov. 9): Of her team-leading seven goals this year, one of Morgan’s best came against a familiar opponent: Canada. The play began when Casey Short did well to take advantage of some poor clearances by Canada and headed the ball back into the mixer. Morgan kept a U.S. attack alive by bravely heading the bouncing ball past a defender and then drilling a half-volley with her right foot between three Canada defenders. The shot bounced hard past the outstretched arm of Stephanie Labbé and into the lower right corner for a timely and stylish finish.

9. Allie Long vs. Russia (International Friendly; April 6): In classic Allie Long fashion, she scored on a header in the 70th minute (her second of the night) after Mallory Pugh crossed into the middle of the six-yard box. Long beat a pair of players with a powerful falling header for her fifth career goal (all of which had come on headers, although she did go on to score her sixth with her foot on Oct. 22) and her second multi-goal game for the USA, which coincidentally enough came exactly a year after her first (April 6, 2016, against Colombia in East Hartford, Connecticut).

10. Mallory Pugh vs. Japan (Tournament of Nations; Aug. 3): Pugh hadn’t scored for the WNT so far in 2017, and after suffering an injury during warmups on June 11 in Norway, she made her return to game action in the Tournament of Nations. Against Japan in the 60th minute, Pugh received a perfect ball from Taylor Smith and swiftly ran into the box, charging at the ‘keeper all alone before calmly finishing with a low shot. The classy finish by the 19-year-old showcased her decision-making as well as her growth over the last year. 

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WNT Dec 1, 2017

Alex Morgan Scores Six Goals in WNT's Final Six Games of 2017

The Alex Morgan that has become familiar to fans worldwide is the one who is constantly creating danger in front of the net. Fortunately for the USA and the Orlando Pride, and unfortunately for opponents, that’s the Alex Morgan everyone has been seeing over the past several months.

Since Aug. 3 she scored, or had an assist, in almost every game she played for a total of 15 goals in 17 matches for club and country combined.

“I feel really good,” Morgan said following the USA’s 3-1 win against Korea Republic in New Orleans. “I don’t know that I’m at the peak of my career, but I’m definitely in form and I feel really good with where I am right now. It’s been a positive year for me and I want to continue to build off that these next three games that we have to end this 2017.”

U.S. WNT - Alex Morgan

After spending the first half of the year in France playing for Olympique Lyonnais where she scored 12 goals in 14 games and helped the club win league, Cup and Champions League titles, Morgan returned to the Pride in late June and played her first NWSL minutes of the season on July 1 as Orlando faced Chicago. Morgan came in the second half to play the final 25 minutes.

She scored her first two goals of the 2017 NWSL season on July 15 in a 4-1 Pride win vs. FC Kansas City, but her six-week run of goals began on Aug. 3 against Japan in the final game of the WNT at the 2017 Tournament of Nations. The Southern California native scored once to put the finishing touch on a terrific 3-0 performance in front of 23,161 fans at StubHub Center in Carson.

Two days later, she pulled on the purple jersey of Orlando and scored the lone goal in a 1-1 draw against the Red Stars to earn a point and keep the Pride in playoff contention.

Since then, Morgan featured on the score sheet – whether with a goal or an assist – for every game Orlando played in August and in three out of the six games the club played in September and October.

She scored once against Washington on Aug. 8 in a 3-0 Orlando triumph, and then went on to score back-to-back braces on Aug. 13 and Aug. 19 against Sky Blue FC and Boston, respectively.

On Aug. 26, Morgan scored a dramatic game-winner against FC Kansas City in the 87th minute, picked up an assist on Sept. 2 against Boston, and then scored another late-game score on Sept. 7 when her tally in the 92nd minute had won the game before Jess Fishlock tied it up for Seattle in the 94th minute.

During the six WNT fall friendlies, Morgan continued her terrific form. She scored against New Zealand on Sept. 15 in Colorado, and then had a brace on Sept. 19 in Cincinnati. On Oct. 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Morgan scored yet again, this one a spectacular shot off a gif-able spin move that came when she took down a short cross from Kelley O’Hara and blasted a left-footed shot into the roof of the net. She did not score but had an assist on Oct. 22, and then was back at it in November, scoring the lone U.S. goal in Vancouver against Canada on Nov. 9, and then earning an assist and scoring another goal on Nov. 12 in San Jose to finish with a team best seven goals in 2017. Morgan has now upped her career total to 80, passing Cindy Parlow, and is in sole possession of seventh place in the all-time WNT scoring list.

MORGAN FROM AUG. 3 - NOV. 12

DATE

TEAM

GOALS

ASSISTS

FINAL SCORE

Aug. 3

U.S. WNT vs. JPN

1 GOAL

--

3-0 W

Aug. 5

Orlando Pride vs. Chicago

1 GOAL

--

1-1 D

Aug. 8

Orlando Pride vs. Washington

1 GOAL

1 ASSIST

3-0 W

Aug. 12

Orlando Pride vs. Sky Blue

2 GOALS

1 ASSIST

5-0 W

Aug. 19

Orlando Pride vs. Boston

2 GOALS

--

2-1 W

Aug. 26

Orlando Pride vs. Kansas City

1 GOAL

--

2-1 W

Sept. 2

Orlando Pride vs. Boston

--

1 ASSIST

4-2 W

Sept. 7

Orlando Pride vs. Seattle

1 GOAL

--

1-1 D

Sept. 15

U.S. WNT vs. NZL

1 GOAL

--

3-1 W

Sept. 19

U.S. WNT vs. NZL

2 GOALS

--

5-0 W

Sept. 23

Orlando Pride vs. Portland

--

--

0-0 D

Sept. 30

Orlando Pride vs. Courage

--

1 ASSIST

3-2 W

Oct. 7

Orlando Pride vs. Thorns

--

--

4-1 L

Oct. 19

U.S. WNT vs. KOR

1 GOAL

--

3-1 W

Oct. 22

U.S. WNT vs. KOR



1 ASSIST

6-0 W

Nov. 9

U.S. WNT vs. CAN

1 GOAL

--

1-1 D

Nov. 12

U.S. WNT vs. CAN

1 GOAL

1 ASSIST

3-1 W

While she has struggled with a few injuries over the past year, the latter part of this 2017 has seen a healthy and lethal Morgan finding her goal-scoring form. U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis says there’s no sight more encouraging than having an in-form Morgan running at opponents’ back lines.

“I’m incredibly proud of Alex,” Ellis said following the match on Oct. 19. “She dealt with a lot early on in this year in terms of injuries and she has over the past couple of years. I think [her success] is a combination. She’s getting valuable minutes, she’s growing into the tempo of games and getting more touches. Her time with the Orlando and getting her regular minutes there, I think that helped. But it’s also her mindset. Alex is hungry to prove herself. She is a predator, she tries to get on the end of balls and she’s battling for balls and working hard to regain. She generates a lot of her attack from her defensive pressure. I’m incredibly proud that she’s got back to this point. When Alex is moving and aggressive on both sides of the ball, I see the types pf performances that you’re seeing, someone who’s incredibly hungry to score goals.”

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WNT Nov 17, 2017
US Soccer

Five Things to Know About Julie Ertz

On October 19, 2017, U.S. Women’s National Team defender Julie Ertz scored her 12th career goal, and fourth of 2017, finishing a spectacular diving header against the Korea Republic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Three days later, she scored her fifth of the year and 13th of her career, once again vs. Korea Republic. She went on to close 2017 by scoring her 14th career goal against Canada on Nov. 12 in San Jose. Here are five things to know about the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup champion from the desert.

Developing in Arizona and California
Julie Ertz (neé) Johnston, known to fans and friends as JJ, was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. The youngest of two – her sister Melanie also played soccer in college – Ertz always dreamed of becoming a professional player. While many young athletes aspire to play at the top levels, most have other various ideas of what they might want to be when they grow up. For Ertz, that was never the case.

“The most common question I always get is, ‘What would you do if you weren’t a soccer player?’,” said Ertz. “And I make up stuff every single time. I never say the same thing, because honestly I have never thought about not playing.”


For Julie Ertz, it's always been about soccer.

From 2004-10, Ertz played for Sereno Soccer Club in Phoenix, where she played on the U-13 through U-19 teams, winning nine state titles and captaining of the team.

Ertz attended Dobson High School in Mesa from 2006-10, where she volunteered as a student athletic trainer all four years. Following her graduation, Ertz went on to play at Santa Clara University, where she majored in Communications and played on all three lines for the Broncos. She was a three-time First Team All-American.

U-20 World Champion in 2012
In 2012, Julie Johnston was selected to the roster for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan. She was also named the team’s captain. At that tournament, JJ not only started every game (and played all but 32 minutes of the tournament), but she also marshalled a defense that defeated three extremely talented group winners in the knockout rounds of the tournament -- Korea DPR in the quarterfinal, Nigeria in the semifinal and Germany in the championship -- while allowing just one goal. She also won the Bronze Ball as the third-best player in the tournament, a rare honor for a defender.


In 2012, Ertz not only captain the U-20 WNT to a U-20 WWC title, but she also won the Bronze Ball as the third best player of the tournament. She then went on to win the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, this time with the full U.S. WNT.

New Role, Always Versatile
Ertz, who has always been known for her heavy tackles and overall aggressiveness on the field, has spent most of her professional career as a center back, scoring eight of her first nine U.S. WNT goals from that position. In the latter part of this year she has embraced a new role for the National Team, though for Ertz it’s more of a return to her college roots.

U.S. WNT - Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan
It's been a terrific year for Ertz, who so far has score five goals in 2017.

Back during her years at Santa Clara University, she played multiple positions, including many a shift in the center of midfield. In 20017 in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars, Ertz played primarily defensive midfielder, and since Aug. 3, that’s where she’s played with the WNT. She’s looked extremely comfortable, in part because she’s played there before, but also in part because the qualities needed to play both positions are quite similar.

“There are definitely a lot of similarities between playing as a center back and as a defensive midfielder,” Ertz said. “They’re both more defensive-minded positions. I’ve learned both and I’ve always appreciated the value of being a versatile player. I think my mindset every year is that I want to get better. Playing different positions is definitely challenging, but it’s also been extremely fun.”

Part of the fun of course, is scoring goals. Ertz scored six goals in the final eight games in 2017 – which included her game-winning goal against Brazil at the Tournament of Nations on July 30, a brace against New Zealand on Sept. 15, a goal against Korea Republic on Oct. 19 and again on Oct. 22 and most recently against Canada on Nov. 12.

Set Piece Queen
The most interesting aspect out of Ertz' 14 tallies so far? 13 have come on or originated from set pieces.

While Ertz had always been a threat inside the box during set pieces, her “new” role in the midfield has given her more opportunity to go forward and get into goal scoring positons. So far, it’s proven to be a boost for the U.S. and a problem for opposing defenses.

“She fills that role perfectly,” U.S. co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn said of Ertz following the game against Korea Republic on. Oct. 19. “We want that kind of a pivot player, someone who is going to break up plays and has that physicality.”

The Ertzs: Futbol & Football
In pro sports, there are many athletic couples, and then there are power athletic couples. Julie Ertz and her husband are the latter. Julie Ertz, 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup Champion, 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion and 2016 Olympian, is married to Zach Ertz, a former Stanford All-American and starting tight end for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

Julie has been on the U.S. WNT for almost six years now, while Zach is currently in his fifth season with the Eagles. In 2017, Julie scored six goals for the USA, while Zach has eight touchdowns for Philly (so far). Each gives credit to the other for helping them navigate the ups and downs of professional sports (they both turned pro around the same time) while pushing each other to be their best physically and mentally. It’s a combination that makes them one of the most competitive, successful and dominant couples in sports.


#GoUSA and #FlyEaglesFly are common sayings in the Ertz household.

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WNT Nov 17, 2017
US Soccer

PREVIEW: WNT Takes on Korea Republic on Sunday in Cary, N.C.| 2pm ET | ESPN

CHICAGO (Oct. 21, 2017) – There are only three games remaining on the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2017 schedule, with a second friendly against Korea Republic coming up next on Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET; ESPN) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The USA is 8-0-2 all-time against Korea Republic, which is ranked 15th in the world.

The two teams most recently met on Thursday, Oct. 19 in New Orleans, La. where the USA came out on top with a 3-1 score line with goals courtesy of Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Before this week's game, the two teams had last met in 2015, a 0-0 draw in New Jersey in the final game before the USA traveled to Canada for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. All 10 games between the teams have taken place on U.S. soil even though the USA has played two friendly tournaments in South Korea in its history, but did not meet the hosts at either one.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash;1/0), 24-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 13/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 20/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 9/0), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars: 53/11), 11-Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 1/0), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC; 101/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City; 131/0), 7-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 15/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC, 39/4), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 242/97); 20-Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 31/5), 3-Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 30/5), 25-McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage, 0/0)
FORWARDS (5): 19-Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC; 55/22), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride: 130/77); 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars; 92/43), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 125/33), 12-Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 11/3)

Both of the draws between the teams have been 0-0 affairs, the first coming in 2008 during the USA’s post-Olympic tour following the gold medal win in Beijing, and the second was the meeting in 2015 in Harrison, N.J. Besides the game on Thursday, the USA’s most recent win against Korea Republic came in 2013, a 5-0 result at Red Bull Arena. (The teams also played five days before that, a 4-1 U.S. win in Foxborough, Mass.). That match at RBA was a historic night for the USA as forward Abby Wambach became the greatest goal scorer in women’s international soccer as she scored four goals – all in the first half.  It was the third strike in the 29th minute that gave her 159 in her career and moved her past former teammate Mia Hamm to become the all-time leader in international goals. Lauren Cheney scored the fifth and final goal in that match. 

Fans can follow all the action from #USAvKOR on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and follow the team along its journey on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

STORYLINES

One Year to Qualifying: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be contested from June 7-July 7, 2019, in nine cities in France is still on the distant horizon, as is the CONCACAF Qualifying tournament, which will be held about a year from now. The tournament host and teams have not been solidified, but the USA, Canada and Mexico will earn automatic berths into the final eight-team tournament, while the other five nations will have to go through pre-qualifying in their respective regions. From that eight-team tournament, three teams will qualify directly to France while a fourth will enter a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. With just four games left on the 2017 schedule, the USA is focused squarely on the end-goal of 2018, a place among the 24 teams in France. 

Milestones: On Sept. 15, defender Kelley O’Hara started and captained the USA against New Zealand to earn her 100th cap, becoming the 36th player in U.S. WNT history to play 100 or more times for her country. O’Hara debuted as a forward for the USA in 2010 against Mexico in San Diego and switched to playing primarily defender in 2012 when she played a key role in the USA winning the Olympic gold medal in London. While O’Hara reached her 100th cap last month, there is another player on the roster who is now approaching a milestone of her own and could reach it this upcoming camp. U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd is the two-time reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. She is the all-time active caps leader with 243 and is sitting on 97 goals, three away from becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more goals for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th.

Heath, Smith and Pugh Out with Injuries, Sullivan Returns to the Farm: Forward Tobin Heath (ankle) and defender Taylor Smith (shoulder) had to withdraw from training camp prior to its start after suffering injuries in the NWSL Championship match on Saturday, Oct. 14. Forward Mallory Pugh injured her hamstring at the end of the first half of the USA’s 3-1 victory against South Korea on Oct. 19 in New Orleans and did not travel to North Carolina with the team. In addition, midfielder Andi Sullivan, who saw her first WNT action in almost a year when she played the first half against Korea on Oct. 19, has returned to Stanford to play in her college game this weekend.

Zerboni Gets Nod: North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni, who plays her club’s home games at Sahlen’s Stadium where the USA will face South Korea on Oct. 22, has been called up to give the USA 19 players on the roster, of which 18 will suit up for the match. This is the first WNT call-up for the 30-year-old Zerboni, who has played for seven different professional clubs in the USA during the WPS and the NWSL. Zerboni has played a crucial role in her club's success over the past two seasons while partnering in the center midfield with Samantha Mewis. Zerboni helped the Western New York Flash to the NWSL league title in 2016 and after the club moved to North Carolina for this season, helped the Courage win the NWSL Shield and earn a place in the championship game. She was named to the 2017 NWSL Best XI. She played her college soccer at UCLA and was a member of the USA's Youth National Teams as a teenager.

Consistent Starters: Only two players this year have started every game the USA has played so far: Samantha Mewis and Becky Sauerbrunn. Mewis has played 980 minutes so far, the most besides Becky Sauerbrunn’s 1,035. Mewis has 30 caps, has started all 13 matches and scored her fifth WNT goal against Brazil on July 30, tying the score at 1-1 with a grass-cutter from outside the penalty area. U.S. co-captain Sauerbrunn had her sixth career assist on Christen Press’s goal against Norway on June 11. With 131 caps, Sauerbrunn has moved ahead of Alex Morgan into 24th place on the all-time caps list (tied with Aly Wagner). She is one of 28 female players to play 125 or more times for the USA.

NWSL Championship: On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Portland Thorns defeated the North Carolina Courage, 1-0, to claim their second NWSL title and first since the league’s inaugural season in 2013. Lindsey Horan scored the game’s lone goal. Horan and Tobin Heath started and played all 90 minutes for the Thorns, while Long entered in stoppage time to help close out the win. On North Carolina’s side, Abby Dahlkemper, Samantha Mewis, Taylor Smith, Lynn Williams and McCall Zerboni all started the match.

Success for Club and Country for Morgan: Alex Morgan comes into the match on Sunday with 78 goals after moving past Cindy Parlow into sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She scored three goals during the September matches and this past Thursday, and has now scored in her last four games for the U.S.

Morgan also ended her NWSL season on a scoring streak, scoring nine goals in her last 12 games for the Orlando Pride. In August, she was directly involved in nine of the 13 goals scored by Orlando and scored in all five matches, which earned her the NWSL Player of the Month recognition. She finished the season with nine goals (tied for fifth in the league with Lynn Williams) and four assists in 14 games (including the playoff semifinal) after rejoining the Pride midseason following a successful spell with French club Olympique Lyonnais that saw her win both a league title and the 2017 UEFA Women's Champions League. U.S. WNT’s Alex Morgan Continues Goal Scoring Streak.

South Korea Continues Road to France 2019: South Korea took a huge step towards earning a spot at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup when it won its group at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifying tournament. At that qualifying tournament, South Korea and North Korea tied 1-1 and both defeated Uzbekistan by 4-0 scores. That meant that winning the group and earning a berth to the final qualifying tournament came down to the goals scored against India and Hong Kong. South Korea beat Hong Kong 6-0 while North Korea beat them 5-0 and South Korea beat India 10-0 while North Korea beat them 8-0, which accounted for the three-goal difference which eventually sent South Korea to the final round of the 2018 Asian Cup, while North Korea, which won both the U-17 and U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cups in 2016, will not be participating in the next World Cup.

Korea Republic will now compete in the final eight-team 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup tournament that will be held in Jordan and will serve as the final World Cup qualifying tournament for France 2019. At that tournament, the top five teams will punch their tickets to the main event. The teams competing will be: Host Jordan, Japan, Australia, China PR, Korea Republic, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. READ: Five Things About Korea Republic.

In New Orleans and Cary: The U.S. WNT last played in New Orleans in the final game of 2015, which was also the farewell game for U.S. legend Abby Wambach, a 1-0 loss to China PR. The USA’s only other match in Louisiana was in New Orleans in July of 2003, a 1-0 victory against Brazil. The U.S. WNT will be playing its seventh game all-time at WakeMed Soccer Park, now named after long-time women’s soccer supporter Joe Sahlen, who owned the Western New York Flash in the NWSL before selling the club as it moved to North Carolina and became the Courage for the 2017 season. The Flash won the NWSL title in 2016. The USA has won all six previous games played at the venue.

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WNT Oct 21, 2017
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