- Alex Morgan Becomes Only Second Player in U.S. History to Record at Least 20 Goals and 20 Assists in Calendar Year, Following Mia Hamm in 1998
- Amy Rodriguez Earns Her 100th Cap for U.S. WNT
- Fan Tribute Tour Presented by Panasonic Resumes Dec. 12 when U.S. WNT Faces China at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston Live on FOX Soccer at 7:30 p.m. CT
DETROIT (Dec. 8, 2012) – The U.S. Women’s National Team put together an excellent second half and scored twice after the break through Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux to record a 2-0 victory against China PR in the eighth match of the 2012 Fan Tribute Tour, presented by Panasonic.
A crowd of 17,371 at Ford Field roared its approval as the USA moved to 26-1-3 in 2012. The match was the 12th all-time played indoors by the U.S. Women who have a perfect 12-0-0 record under a roof.
Forward Alex Morgan, who started on the bench for the first time since Jan. 27 against Costa Rica at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Vancouver, B.C. (a span of 25 straight starts), came into the game at halftime for Amy Rodriguez and had several good scoring chances. However, it was her assist to Leroux in the 84th minute that made history as she notched her 20th of 2012. Along with her 28 goals so far that assist made her just the second player in U.S. history to score at least 20 goals and record 20 assists in a calendar year. Mia Hamm was the first – and before Saturday the only – player to achieve that feat, doing so in 1998 when she had exactly 20 goals and 20 assists.
The USA moved to 6-0-2 on the Fan Tribute Tour, a celebration of the team’s run to a fourth gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics. The USA will be in action next on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston in the bridge match of the three-game series against China. That match will be broadcast live on FOX Soccer at 7:30 p.m. CT. The USA will also face China on Dec. 15 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla., to end the tour in a match broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network and Univision Deportes Network at 7 p.m. ET.
The match was the 100th career international game for Rodriguez who became the 28th player to achieve that mark. As is tradition on the U.S. team, she captained the side for the match. She was replaced by Tobin Heath in the 48th minute.
Heath made an impact in the second half and was in the center of numerous dangerous attacking sequences. She set up the first goal in the 50th minute after halftime substitute Becky Sauerbrunn had received a pass down the left flank and played Heath running into the middle of the field. Heath initially was tackled and dispossessed, but dug in hard to win the ball back, evaded several defenders with a swerving dribble and slipped a pass into the center of the penalty area to Lloyd.
Lloyd also pulled off a nice dribble to her left to avoid a defender and then slid to drill her left-footed shot into the near post at the lower left corner from 12 yards out. Lloyd, who deserved a goal against the Republic of Ireland in the USA’s last match on Dec. 1 in Glendale, Ariz., only to be stopped several times by Ireland’s goalkeeper, recorded her 42nd career goal in her 149th game.
Leroux came into the match in the 71st minute and, as she has done many times this year, scored off a one-on-one chance. Morgan collected a ball near the top of the penalty area and slipped a pass into the left side of the box where Leroux latched on to it and beat her defender before baring down on goal and calmly rolling the ball past China goalkeeper Zhang Yue into the lower right corner. It was Leroux’s 13th goal of 2012, all of them off the bench, as she extended her team record for most goals as a substitute in a calendar year.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo had some work to do on the afternoon, making several excellent saves while taking the danger out of a few tough crosses. Solo made quality back-to-back saves during a period of China pressure about 12 minutes into the match, first pushing away a hard angled shot from the right side of the penalty area from Zhang Rui and then moments later gobbling up a hard shot from 18 yards that was struck low and hard by China captain Pu Wei.
Solo came up huge in the 42nd minute after a miscue in the back led to forward Ma Xiaoxu getting a one-on-one chance, but the U.S. goalkeeper made a great diving save to her left. Solo earned her 66th career shutout.
Rodriguez had a chance to score just seconds into her 100th cap, but after she latched onto a flicked header from Abby Wambach, she shot straight at the goalkeeper from 12 yards out.
Lauren Cheney hit a bouncing volley off the post in the 4th minute and Morgan came just a few feet from scoring on almost her first touch when she intercepted a back pass in the 48th minute and lifted it over the onrushing goalkeeper, only to see it drop just wide left of the goal. Second-half substitute Heather O’Reilly, who did some fine work down the right flank in the final 45 minutes, hit the outside of the right post in the 69th minute with a low driven shot.
- The USA extended its unbeaten streak to 21 games.
- The match marked the first time since the Olympic gold medal game in which Alex Morgan or Abby Wambach did not score a goal.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone earned her 274th career cap. She sits behind only former teammates Kristine Lilly (352) and Mia Hamm (275) on the U.S. and world’s all-time caps list. If Rampone plays in the final two games of the year against China, she will move past Hamm, as well.
- If Lloyd plays against China on Dec. 12 in Houston, she will earn her 150th career cap and become the 17th player to reach that mark for the U.S. Women.
- U.S. interim head coach Jill Ellis made all six of her allowed subs, also giving Heather Mitts a run in the 71st minute in place of Amy LePeilbet.
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Date: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Ford Field; Detroit, Michigan
Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 72 degrees, indoors
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
CHN 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 50th minute
USA – Sydney Leroux (Alex Morgan) 84
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 6-Amy LePeilbet (2-Heather Mitts, 71), 3-Christie Rampone, 16-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara (4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 46), 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney (11-Sydney Leroux, 71); 8-Amy Rodriguez (capt.) (17-Tobin Heath, 48), 14-Abby Wambach (13-Alex Morgan, 46)
Subs Not Used: 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CHN: 1-Zhang Yue; 2-Wang Lingling, 4-Li Jiayue (6-Lin Yuping), 14-Wang Dongni (20-Huang Yini), 26-Wu Haiyan; 7-Bi Yan (18-Han Peng, 59), 11-Pu Wei (capt.), 21-Wang Lisi (16-Wang Chen, 72), 23-Ren Guixin, 25-Zhang Rui (27-Li Ying, 66), 10-Ma Xiaoxu (13-Wang Shanshan, 55)
Subs Not Used: 12-Wang Fei, 19-Liu Shanshan, 33-Zhang Xin
Head coach: Hao Wei
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 21 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 4 / 6
Fouls: 8 / 14
Offside: 4 / 1
CHN – Zhang Rui (caution) 20th minute
CHN – Li Jiayue (caution) 79
Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Marlene Duffy (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Fourth Official: Katja Koroleva (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Hope Solo