The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Chile on Friday, Aug 31 in Carson, California, putting together a dominant 3-0 victory in which 19-year-old defender Tierna Davidson scored her first goal at the senior level in just her 11th cap, the USA benefited from a Chile own goal and Christen Press tallied in her 100th cap celebration game. The result was a positive one for the USA, but the bigger takeaways were how the match helped prepare the USA for the upcoming Concacaf Women’s Championship that will send three countries directly to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Chileans, while physically outmatched, possessed the ball well and were disciplined in their low-pressure defense. While Chile was a brand-new adversary for the USA, they played a style that the USA is likely to see in qualifying: a group of skillful players playing with a lot of heart and pride dedicated to limiting the USA’s space in the attacking third.
The match also had some wild twists and turns, presenting the USA with some unexpected situations, which in retrospect were “teachable” moments to help prepare for the sometimes unpredictability of Concacaf qualifying. The game was an intense one played in front of a loud and boisterous crowd. Chile battled hard and tried to push the USA’s buttons with some gamesmanship. There were also more than a few calls that did not go the USA’s way – the USA was denied not one, not two, but three goals that likely should have been allowed – which highlighted the need for the U.S. players to remain calm even when things don’t go their way and continue to stay focused on the game plan.
“It was definitely a chippy game,” U.S. WNT defender Crystal Dunn said. “Chile plays with a lot of pride and they’re a really good team. It was tough to break them down at times. This is the kind of competition we want heading into qualifiers. It was a good win for us and we’re going to build on it for the second game.”
The USA also faced a goalkeeper that was in the zone, a place that Christiane Endler seems to live. The game should have, and would have, featured a far larger score line had it not been for some excellent play from Endler, who plays her club soccer at Paris Saint-Germany in France.
Endler’s performance in the South American qualifying tournament was one of the main reasons Chile earned its first berth a Women’s World Cup and against the USA, she had a stand-out game. The USA out-shot Chile 24-1, but Endler made nine saves – on the USA’s 11 shots on goal – several of the spectacular variety. She surely impressed the U.S. team and crowd 23,544 fans, the second largest crowd to watch the USA play this year.
“It’s really good for us to have these kinds of games where we have to bring the quality in our final passes, and in our finishes and in our execution,” U.S. WNT forward Christen Press said. “Hopefully we carry this momentum into World Cup Qualifying.”
With qualifiers only a month away, and the World Cup on the horizon for next summer, the USA will have one more chance to face Chile, build on what they learned from Friday’s match and finish the run up to the Concacaf tournament on a high note as the most important competition of this cycle nears. Friendlies of this kind, where the play can get rough and frustration can quickly build, are valuable to have now. On the big stage, when it’s becomes win to advance, maintaining level-headiness is key, even when things aren’t going your way.
“It’s always a god thing when you can play a team again, and for us it’s about composure,” Dunn said. “We need to take advantage of what they give us and we have to move the ball quicker.”
A crowd of around 14,000 will see if the USA can accomplish those goals in the capper to the two-game set vs. Chile on Tuesday night Sept. 4 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2 & UDN). The games are also extremely valuable for Chile, which will be a Women’s World Cup debutante next summer after qualifying for the tournament for the first time by finishing second in the 2018 Copa América Femenina.Read more
Photos from the U.S. Women’s National Team's 3-0 victory vs. Chile. The WNT played in front of 23,544 fans on a wild night at StubHub Center in what was the first match between the countries in women’s soccer.Read more
The U.S. Women’s National Team will finish its two-game set vs. Chile – the first matches between the countries in women’s soccer – with a Tuesday night clash on Sept. 4 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2 & UDN). The USA is coming off a dominant 3-0 victory against Chile on Aug. 31 that would have featured a far larger score line had it not been for some excellent play from Chile goalkeeper Christiane Endler and a few calls by the referee that did not go the USA’s way.
Nineteen-year-old Tierna Davidson scored her first goal at the senior level in just her 11th cap, the USA benefited from a Chile own goal and Christen Press tallied the third after getting a penalty kick strangely disallowed at the end of the first half. The USA out-shot Chile, 24-1, but Endler made nine saves, several of the spectacular variety in front of 23,544 fans, the second largest crowd to watch the USA this year. The match in San Jose will be the final game before the USA enters World Cup qualifying in October. Chile will be a Women’s World Cup debutante next summer after qualifying for the tournament for the first time by finishing second in the 2018 Copa América Femenina.
The USA has not lost since the 2017 Tournament of Nations last summer, a 1-0 setback to Australia, and has gone 17-0-3 over the past 13 months, which includes an 10-0-2 mark in 2018. The USA’s 2018 has so far featured wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil and Chile, along with ties vs. France and Australia.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position (Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21- Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 16/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 33/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 22/0), 12- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 11/1), 26- Hailie Mace (UCLA; 2/0), 5- Kelly O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 107/2), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 142/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 24/0), 22- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 21/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 78/6), 2- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 65/16); 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 55/6), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 12/3), 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 258/100); 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 38/7); 25- McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 6/0)
FORWARDS (6): 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 68/23), 17- Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 137/20), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 146/90), 23- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 104/45), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 36/11), 8- Amy Rodriguez (Utah Royals FC; 131/30)
Return to the Bay Area: The match at Avaya Stadium will be the fourth for the USA at the venue where it ended its 2017 schedule with a 3-1 victory against Canada on Nov. 12. The U.S. roster features numerous players with ties to the Bay Area. Defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Tierna Davidson both grew up in Menlo Park and attended the same high school – Sacred Heart Preparatory – but not at the same time. Julie Ertz was a star at Santa Clara University and Alex Morgan was a star at UC Berkeley across the bay. Kelley O’Hara and Press both won the MAC Hermann Trophy at Stanford while Davidson is currently staring for the Cardinal after leading them to the NCAA championship last season.
U.S. Soccer Partners With Megan Rapinoe to Raise Funds For Victims of Carr Fire: U.S. Soccer is partnering with U.S. Women's National Team forward Megan Rapinoe and the Shasta Regional Community Foundation to raise awareness and funds for relief efforts to aid the victims of the Carr Fire that severely affected a large swath of Northern California. Rapinoe, who has 140 caps and 38 goals for the USA, is a native of Redding, California, a town located 250 miles north of San Jose in an area heavily impacted by the Carr Fire. The Carr Fire, which is 90 percent contained, began west of the Redding area on July 23, 2018. At the peak of evacuations, more than 35,000 people were displaced (nearly 20 percent of Shasta County's population). U.S. Soccer will support the Shasta Regional Community Foundation on www.ussoccer.com, U.S. Soccer social media channels, in-stadium public address announcements and LED field boards for both games against Chile in California. Fans are encouraged to donate at www.ussoccer.com/CarrFund. One hundred percent of the donations (excluding online credit card processing fees) will go to the Carr Community Fund for the Carr Fire recovery efforts. In addition, at the U.S. Women's National Team match in San Jose on Sept. 4, U.S. Soccer will host a group from the Redding area who were impacted by the fire, and honor a first responder, representing all those who battled the blaze that was the seventh largest in California history and most destructive in Shasta County history.
10 More for Morgan: After scoring in the opening match of the year against Denmark, twice each in both April games against Mexico, scoring the game-winner against China PR on June 7, getting a hat trick against Japan on July 26, and then tallying a crucial goal against Brazil on Aug. 2 in the ToN, Alex Morgan has 90 goals and at age 29 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 17 goals over her last 19 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and start deep into 2018. With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now fourth all-time in multi-goal games (23) behind Abby Wambach (45), Mia Hamm (38) and Michelle Akers (25). Morgan has scored three goals at both the StubHub Center and Avaya Stadium during her career.Home Sweet, West Coast: The U.S. WNT program started in 1985, but the team did not play a full international match in California until 1996. Since then, the U.S. Women have played 42 total games in California – 30 in Southern California, one in Central California and 11 in Northern California. The match at StubHub Center at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center will mark the USA’s 14th match at the venue, marking the most games ever at one stadium for the U.S. Women. The USA last played at StubHub Center in August of 2017 during a 3-0 victory against Japan to conclude the Tournament of Nations. The 14th match at the StubHub Center moves the venue past the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., where the U.S. Women have played 13 times, as the most frequent venue in U.S. WNT history.
World Cup Qualifying Nears: The 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship will take place from Oct. 4-17 and will qualify three teams to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with Argentina, the third-place team from South America. The tournament will be played in three host cities: Cary, N.C., Edinburg, Texas, and Frisco, Texas, home of the new National Soccer Hall of Fame, which is set to open just three days after the completion of the qualifying tournament. The competition will feature eight countries divided into two groups of four. After round-robin play within the groups, the top two finishers from each group will move on to the all-important semifinals. The USA, which is ranked first in the world, will be seeded into Group A while Canada, which is ranked fourth, will be seeded into Group B. The USA, Canada and Mexico have automatic berths into the tournament. All three first round doubleheaders in Group A – which will take place on Oct. 4, 7 and 10 – will be played at the 10,000-seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. All three doubleheaders in Group B – which will be played on Oct. 5, 8 and 11 – will take place at H-E-B Park in Edinburg, Texas. The top two finishers in each group will then cross over to meet in the on Oct. 14 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The Third-Place Match and Championship Game will be at Toyota Stadium on Oct. 17.
The official draw for the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship will be held on Sept. 4 in Miami, Fla. and will be conducted live from Univision Studios at 10 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to follow the event through Concacaf.com, Univision Deportes and Fox Sports in the United States, and Yahoo Sports in Mexico and Central America. FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will show 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship across the FOX Sports family of networks. Tickets for the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship Group A doubleheaders featuring the U.S. Women's National Team on Oct. 4, 7 and 10 in Cary, N.C., are on sale. Tickets for the games at Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Tickets will not be sold at the stadium except on the day of each event. Groups of 20 or more can order directly at ussoccer.com.Read more