WNT Puts on a Show in 6-0 Defeat of Korea Republic in Cary, N.C.

CARY, North Carolina (Oct. 22, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team completely dominated from start to finish in front of a near-sellout crowd at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday evening to shutout Korea Republic 6-0 in the second game of a two-match series.

Five different players scored for the U.S. with midfielder Samantha Mewis tallying her first career brace by the 20th minute in the home stadium for her club team, the North Carolina Courage. Shortly after, Christen Press continued the party and made it 3-0. Julie Ertz also continued her fantastic goal-scoring form and added one in stoppage time to make it 4-0 at the half.

It was much of the same in the second 45 minutes and the five U.S. substitutions at the half quickly got to work with Megan Rapinoe and Lynn Williams combining for a fifth goal, and Lindsey Horan and Allie Long for a sixth.

Next, the U.S. WNT will conclude its 2017 schedule with a pair of friendlies against Canada on Nov. 9 (7 p.m. PT; ESPN2, UDN) at BC Place in Vancouver and Nov. 12 (6 p.m. PT, FS1) at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Samantha Mewis (Abby Dahlkemper), 3rd minute: Dahlkemper took a corner kick from the left side and sent a driven ball all the way to the far post where Mewis freed herself from a defender and powered a header into the back of the net to give the USA an early lead. USA 1, KOR 0. GOAL.

USA – Samantha Mewis, 20th minute: Lindsey Horan whipped in a cross from outside the penalty area and her attempt was punched out by Korea’s goalkeeper Kang Gaae. The ball bounced right to the charging Mewis, who hit first-time half-volley into the vacated net to seal her first career brace.
USA 2, KOR 0.

USA – Christen Press (Alex Morgan), 35th minute: On a nice U.S. build-up through the midfield, Morgan found Press near the top of the penalty area. She squared up on a defender, made space for a shot and whipped the ball brilliantly into the upper right corner for her third goal of 2017. USA 3, KOR 0. GOAL.

USA – Julie Ertz (Lindsey Horan), 45+1st minute: Abby Dahlkemper took a corner kick from the right side that was won by Lindsey Horan in the center of the box. She sent her header towards the right post and Ertz separated from her defender to nod a header down into the lower left corner from a sharp angle just seconds before the halftime whistle. USA 4, KOR 0. GOAL.

USA – Lynn Williams (Megan Rapinoe), 61st minute: Following a Korea defensive mishap, Rapinoe dribbled down the left side, glided past her defender, pulled the goalkeeper out and rolled the ball to Williams in the middle of the box for an easy tap-in to make it 5-0. USA 5, KOR 0. GOAL.

USA – Allie Long (Lindsey Horan), 83rd minute: Rapinoe saved a ball from going out of bounds on the right side and sent a shot parallel to the goal that the goalkeeper cleared towards the opposite side where Horan got a first touch and passed it towards an incoming Long inside the box who did well to send it to the back of the net for her third goal of the year. USA 6, KOR 0. GOAL. FINAL.

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Additional Notes:

  • Thirty-year-old McCall Zerboni earned her first WNT cap after entering the game at halftime. She joined the team on Saturday after forward Mallory Pugh suffered an injury on Oct. 19 and midfielder Andi Sullivan returned to Stanford to play in her weekend game. Zerboni, a veteran of seven professional clubs over two professional leagues, has been a key part of the success of the Western New York Flash in 2016 and the NC Courage in 2017. Zerboni is the 20th player to earn a first cap under U.S. head coach Jill Ellis.
  • Samantha Mewis scored her first career brace, with both goals coming in on the first half in her home stadium for the North Carolina Courage. She earned her 33rd cap today. Alongside Sauerbrunn, she is the only other player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017. She has played 1,102 minutes so far in 2017, the most besides Sauerbrunn.
  • Christen Press scored her third goal of 2017 today and 44th career score in her 94th career cap. She made her 14th appearance and seventh start of 2017. Press’ other two goals this year were the game-winner in Norway and then the goal that began the comeback for the U.S WNT against Brazil on July 30 at the Tournament of Nations. She hasn’t been in the starting lineup for every game, but along with Mewis and Sauerbrunn, she is the only one to have seen action in all 14 games for the WNT this year.
  • Julie Ertz scored her fifth goal of 2017 today – tied for the team lead with Alex Morgan. She earned her 55th cap. Ertz, who is playing as defensive midfielder, has excelled at the role. Ertz has 13 career goals for the WNT, all originating on or from set pieces. In the second half of today’s match, Ertz moved center back while Zerboni earned her first appearance as a defensive midfielder.
  • Allie Long scored her third goal of 2017 and her sixth career goal today – it was also the sixth of the game. Her two most recent goals before today came against Russia on April 6 of this year. This is her first goal scored with her feet; all previous ones had been on headers. She earned her 32nd cap after today. She did not dress for Thursday’s match against Korea Republic on Oct. 19.
  • Lynn Williams scored her third goal of the year and fourth of her career. It was her fourth career start in her eighth appearance of 2017.
  • Lindsey Horan earned her third and fourth assists of 2017 today in her fourth start of the year. It was her 11th appearance. She most recently scored for the U.S. on Sept. 19 against New Zealand in Cincinnati. She is tied with Mallory Pugh and Megan Rapinoe for the team lead in assists (4).
  • Rapinoe earned her fourth assist on Williams’ goal today, tied for the team lead with Pugh and Horan. She played 63 minutes against Korea on Oct. 19, getting the assist on the first goal of the game to Julie Ertz and scoring the third off a penalty kick after she was taken down in the box. It was her 34th career goal, pulling her to within one goal of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux on the all-time goals list.
  • Goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who took over the starting spot for the Dash and is playing well in her rookie year in the NWSL, earned her second cap today, coming in on the 46th minute to play the entire second half and maintain the shutout. She had earned her first cap on April 9 in Houston.
  • Alex Morgan earned her first assist of 2017 on Press’ goal. She made her 12th appearance of 2017 and 11th start.
  • Abby Dahlkemper earned her first career assist today on Mewis’ first goal of the day. She entered double digits in caps on Thursday and made her 11th career appearance today for the WNT in what was her eighth career start. The 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year made her debut for the U.S. about 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.
  • Captaining the USA today was Becky Sauerbrunn who made her 14th start and appearance of the year. She is one of only two players – Samantha Mewis being the other – to feature in every starting lineup this year. She has played the most minutes of any player on the team with 1,170.
  • Ashlyn Harris earned her 14th cap today and third start of 2017. It was her first start since April 9 in Houston when she played for 74 minutes before being substituted for Jane Campbell. Harris was sidelined for much of the summer due to a quad injury but returned to action for her club in August and helped lead them into a first playoff appearance.
  • Sofia Huerta earned her first career start today. She made her debut and got her first assist for the U.S. WNT on Sept. 15 in Colorado after entering the match in the 51st minute. FIFA approved her change of association on Sept. 14, making her available for immediate selection to the U.S. This was her third cap.
  • Casey Short made her 12th start of this year and 13th appearance. It was her 17th career cap. She made her debut for the USA just about a year ago on Oct. 19, 2016.
  • Not dressing for this match: G Alyssa Naeher.

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WNT Oct 22, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 22, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Attendance: 9,727
Weather: 77 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:      1          2          F
USA                             4          2          6                                 
KOR                             0          0          0                                 

USA – Samantha Mewis (Abby Dahlkemper)      3rd minute       
USA – Samantha Mewis                                    20                   
USA – Christen Press (Alex Morgan)                  35
USA – Julie Ertz (Lindsey Horan)                       45 +1   
USA – Lynn Williams (Megan Rapinoe)              61       
USA – Allie Long (Lindsey Horan)                      83                                                                                                                                                                                               

USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris (18-Jane Campbell, 46); 11-Sofia Huerta, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (25-McCall Zerboni, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 14-Casey Short (10-Carli Lloyd, 64); 8-Julie Ertz, 9-Lindsey Horan, 3-Samantha Mewis (20-Allie Long, 46); 12-Lynn Williams, 13-Alex Morgan (19-Crystal Dunn, 46), 23-Christen Press (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O'Hara
Head coach: Jill Ellis

KOR: 1- KANG Gaae (21-KIM Minjung, 68); 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (12-YOO Younga, 63), 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 46), 17-JANG Seulgi; 13-JI Sunmi, 22-HAN Chaerin (18-SON Hwayeon, 52), 9-JEON Gaeul (14-MOON Mira, 56), 7-LEE Mina, 23-JANG Chang (15-LEE Sodam, 46); 11-LEE Geummin
Subs not used: 20-KIM Hyeri, 3-SHIN Damyeong, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 10-JI Soyun, 16-CHOE Yuri
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo

Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 18 / 9
Shots on Goal: 10 / 3
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 10 / 2
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Lynn Williams (caution)                     68th minute

Referee: Sheena Dickson (CAN)           
Assistant Referee 1: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)                                                                               
Assistant Referee 2: Caleb Wales (TRI)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)         

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lindsey Horan


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
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

U.S. WNT’s Samantha Mewis Shines in Front of North Carolina Crowd

No matter what the level, and no matter the stage, one constant in soccer is that scoring is fun.

Now imagine scoring twice in an international game for the first time while playing for your country in the stadium where you play professionally for your club. That’s really fun. Just ask Samantha Mewis.

“I give so much credit to my teammates for setting me up and always having my back,” Mewis said after scoring her first WNT career brace on Sunday, Oct. 22 in front of 9,727 fans at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, home of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage. “I’m super grateful for every opportunity I get but today was just really rewarding and cool to play here, in front of my home fans and at our home stadium.”

While both her goals were terrific, the first one was a little extra special because it came off a corner kick served by the newly crowned 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year, Abby Dahlkemper, a long-time friend and teammate since their college days together at UCLA, and now a teammate on the National Team and on the Courage. They joke that they haven’t been able to get rid of each other for the past seven years.

“The service on the corner was perfect,” Mewis said. “I feel like I didn’t have to do anything because Abby’s ball was so good. It was so cool to have that Courage-to-Courage connection in there, so when that ball went in I ran straight to her.”

As for her second tally, Mewis said the goal was a product of training and preparation, and it’s always satisfying to see hard work come to fruition.

“The second goal came off a second ball, which we have been working on that all week, if you believe that,” she said. “It’s cool when something that the team has been working on and the coaching staff has been saying is important happens and works out for us. I give the coaching staff so much credit for continuing to have us work on things like that because it pays off.”

Fourteen games into 2017 with the National Team, and it’s clear that this has been a special cycle so far for Mewis, who along with Becky Sauerbrunn, is the only player to have started every match for the U.S. WNT this year while playing the second most minutes on the team.

Mewis and the USA will next wrap up the 2017 schedule in November with two more friendlies against familiar CONCACAF opponent Canada. The games are set for Nov. 9 (7 p.m. PT; ESPN2; UDN) at BC Place in Vancouver and Nov. 12 (6 p.m. PT; FS1) at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

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WNT Oct 23, 2017