CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 12, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team used a first-half headed goal from Megan Rapinoe and responded quickly with a Tobin Heath game-winner after China PR had equalized in the second half to record a 2-1 win.
Press, who got her first start of 2018 and had both assists, became the 37th female player in U.S. history to earn 100 caps.
The victory gave the USA a two-game sweep of China who have already qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. China came out a bit more aggressively than it did on June 7 in Sandy, Utah, pressing the USA higher up the field, but still did well to stay compact in the defensive half while challenging the USA to find a way through. The USA out-shot China 16-9, but had to work very hard to create dangerous chances.
The opening goal was a beauty as a quick series of passes got Christen Press free on the right flank and she sent a perfect cross the far post for Rapinoe to finish with a well-placed header in the 35th minute.
China tied the game in the 71st minute on a swift counter as Li TingTing got behind the defense on the left side and raced into the penalty area before playing a square pass to the unmarked Li Ying, who rolled it home.
Ashlyn Harris made a spectacular save in the 74th minute to keep the game tied, pushing away a free-kick that was headed into the upper right corner, before Press connected with Heath – a 64th minute substitute -- on the opposite end for the game-winning score a minute later.
Next Up: The players will now return to their NWSL clubs and the next action for the USA will come at the 2018 Tournament of Nations, featuring the USA, Brazil, Australia and Japan. The round-robin tournament will be comprised of three doubleheaders that will be played on July 26 in Kansas City, Kansas, July 29 in East Hartford, Conn., and Aug. 2 in Bridgeview, Ill.
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Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Christen Press), 35th minute: The USA faced an organized and compact China defense, but broke them down with quick interplay in the midfield that sprung Press open on the right flank. Her long cross to the far post dropped perfectly onto the head of Rapinoe, who struck a powerful header back into the middle of the goal to give the USA the lead. USA 1, CHN 0. WATCH.
CHN – Li Ying (Li Tingting), 72nd minute: China tied the game in the 72nd minute on a swift counter as Li Tingting got behind the defense on the left side and raced into the penalty area before playing a square pass to the unmarked Li Ying and she rolled it home. USA 1, CHN 1.
USA – Tobin Heath (Christen Press), 75th minute: The USA answered right back and it was Heath, who due to injury hadn’t played in a U.S. match since Sept. 19, 2017, that bagged the game-winner. Press nutmegged a defender on the right flank and then drove laterally across the top of the penalty area before playing a give-and-go with Heath. The return pass then bounced off Press’ shoulder and back to Heath, who hit a spinning half-volley from 15 yards that looped over the goalkeeper and settled into the net for the game-winner. USA 2, CHN 1. WATCH.
- The USA is 7-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice) and China PR (twice), along with a tie against France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 16 matches (14-0-2). The USA has outscored its opponents 49-13 over those 16 matches, and has scored in all 16 games.
- Press two assist tonight were her first ones of the year.
- Rapinoe made her 137th international appearance today. She scored her 37th career goal and has moved ahead of April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux into sole possession of 15th on the all-time goals list.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five changes from the starters who lined up against China on June 7, giving nods to forward Christen Press, midfielders Samantha Mewis and Morgan Brian, defender Sofia Huerta, and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.
- Mewis made her first start of 2018 after playing the second half of the June 7 match. Mewis played in every match in 2017.
- Ashlyn Harris earned her 16th cap tonight and made her first start of 2018.
- Tobin Heath and Rose Lavelle played their first minutes for the USA since Sept. 19, 2017. Heath’s goal was her first for the USA since Nov. 13, 2016 vs. Romania.
- Defender Merritt Mathias earned her first cap for the USA. She is the 26th woman to earn a first cap under Jill Ellis.
- Tierna Davidson received the first yellow card of her WNT career.
- Not dressing tonight were Casey Murphy (GK), Abby Smith (GK), Abby Dahlkemper (D) and Savannah McCaskill (F).
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: June 12, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Weather: 77 degrees; Cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2
CHN 0 1 1
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Christen Press) 35th minute
CHN – Li Ying (Li Tingting) 72
USA – Tobin Heath (Christen Press) 75
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris; 14-Sofia Huerta (27-Merritt Mathias, 77), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 12-Tierna Davidson, 19-Crystal Dunn; 2-Julie Ertz (9-Lindsey Horan, 57), 3-Samantha Mewis (16-Rose Lavelle, 65), 6-Morgan Brian (20-Allie Long, 46); 23-Christen Press, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.) (17-Tobin Heath, 64), 15-Megan Rapinoe (10-Carli Lloyd, 57)
Substitutes: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 25-McCall Zerboni
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CHN: 12-Peng Shimeng; 5-Wu Haiyan (capt.), 6-Lin Yuping, 7-Wang Shuang, 10-Li Ying, 11-Wang Shanshan (21-Xiao Yuyi, 66), 16-Yan Jinjin (29-Li Tingting, 59), 18-Han Peng, 23-Ren Guixin (26-Wang Yan, 66), 25-Lou Jiahui, 27-Yao Wei
Substitutes: 24-Yang Yan, 31-Zhou Li, 2-Liu Shanshan, 4-Li Danyang, 9-Tang Jiali, 14-Xu Yanlu, 19-Tan Ruyin, 20-Zhang Rui, 30-Yang Li
Head coach: Jia Xiuquan
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 16 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 6
Saves: 5 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 0
Fouls: 10 / 14
Offside: 2 / 6
USA – Tierna Davidson (caution) 69th minute
CHN – Han Peng (caution) 78
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)}
Assistant Referee 2: Jennifer Garner (USA)
4th Official: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Christen PressRead more
USA vs. China PR
Date: June 12, 2018
Venue: FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Broadcast: ESPN2; UDN
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Today’s Starting XI vs. China PR:
24-Ashlyn Harris, 14-Sofia Huerta, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 12-Tierna Davidson,
19-Crystal Dunn; 2-Julie Ertz, 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Morgan Brian;
23-Christen Press, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe
Subs: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 9-Lindsey Horan, 10-Carli Lloyd, 16-Rose Lavelle, 17-Tobin Heath, 20-Allie Long, 25-McCall Zerboni, 27-Merritt Mathias
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis has made five changes to tonight’s Starting XI from the group that took the field against China PR on Thursday. Christen Press, Samantha Mewis, Morgan Brian, Sofia Huerta and Ashlyn Harris all get starting nods.
- Tierna Davidson, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe are the only three players on the U.S. roster to start every game so far in 2018.
- The USA is 6-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), China PR (in the first meeting of this two-game series on Thursday), along with a tie against France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 15 matches (13-0-2). The USA has outscored its opponents 47-12 over those 15 matches, and have scored in all 15 games.
- Defender Merritt Mathias, who will start on the bench, will have an opportunity to earn a first cap tonight.
- Not dressing tonight are Casey Murphy (GK), Abby Dahlkemper (D), Abby Smith (GK) and Savannah McCaskill (F).
- Ashlyn Harris will earn her 16th cap tonight and make her first start of 2018. She most recently played when she came off the bench against Mexico on April 8 in which she logged 23 scoreless minutes. She has three career shutouts.
- Becky Sauerbrunn makes her third consecutive start in 2018 after starting against Mexico on April 8 and China on June 7. Sauerbrunn was sidelined for the WNT’s January Camp and SheBelieves Cup due to a foot injury, but is back to full health.
- Sofia Huerta will earn her seventh cap and make her second career start for the U.S. WNT tonight. After playing in the final minutes of the game against her former National Team, Mexico, on April 8, she became the first player to play for Mexico against the USA and for the USA against Mexico.
- Crystal Dunn will earn her 64th cap tonight and makes her fifth consecutive start in 2018. Before her start on March 7 against England, Dunn hadn’t started since July 30, 2017 against Brazil at the Tournament of Nations. She will once again start tonight’s game as an outside back, a position she played during the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and at the beginning of her senior WNT career.
- Tierna Davidson is making her eighth consecutive start in as many international appearances. On Jan. 21 in San Diego, she became the 21st woman to make a WNT debut under Jill Ellis. She earned her first career assist on that game. The 19-year-old Davidson helped lead Stanford to the NCAA Championship this past season. She is the third teenager since 2013 to earn a first cap for the U.S. WNT. Mallory Pugh (17 in 2016) and Lindsey Horan (19 in 2013) are the most recent teenagers to debut for the WNT.
- Julie Ertz will earn her 61st cap tonight and has 15 international goals. The 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year got 2018 off to a great start, scoring the game-winner on Jan. 21 vs. Denmark, before the knee injury set her back a bit and caused her to miss a few games.
- Samantha Mewis returns to the U.S. roster for this camp for the first time since suffering a knee injury against Canada in the final game of 2017. Mewis played in every game in 2017 and was second on the team in minutes played behind Becky Sauerbrunn. She played the entire second half on June 7 against China, her first minutes of 2018. She will earn her 36th cap tonight.
- Morgan Brian was hampered by injuries last year and played in just six games, starting two. She made her return to the field in 2018 against Germany on March 1, coming on for Carli Lloyd in the 65th minute to see her first action for the National Team since Sept. 15, 2017, when she came off the bench to play the final 16 minutes against New Zealand. On March 4, she got her first start and went the full 90 minutes. This will be her sixth appearance of 2018 and her fourth start. She will earn her 75th cap tonight and will become the 42nd female player in U.S. history to play 75 or more times. She is still just 25-years-old
- Christen Press will earn cap 100 tonight, becoming the 37th woman in U.S. WNT history to reach the century mark. She has 44 career goals, most recently scoring on a brilliant strike from distance against Korea Republic on Oct. 22 of last year. She is in 14th place on the all-time WNT goals list and with one more goal will tie Julie Foudy for 13th place. She averages just under a goal every two games (0.45 goals per game) and 0.82 goals per every 90 minutes she’s been on the field.
- Alex Morgan comes into the match with 86 goals and will earn her 142nd cap tonight. At age 28, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list. She’s scored 13 goals over her last 14 WNT matches, with her most recent one being the lone goal of the match against China PR on June 7. She leads the WNT with six goals in 2018.
- Megan Rapinoe makes her 137th international appearance today. She has 36 career goals after scoring against Mexico on April 8. She has moved ahead of April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux into sole possession of 15th on the all-time goals list. She leads the USA with six assists on the year and now has 50 for her career, tied with Carli Lloyd and Shannon MacMillan for seventh in U.S. history.
- Rapinoe had a monster game on April 8 vs. Mexico, getting four assists and a goal while also setting up the other goal in the match. Rapinoe’s 50 assists in 136 caps is the best assist to games ratio of anyone ahead of her on the all-time list except for Mia Hamm, who had a remarkable 145 assists in her 276 caps.