SAN DIEGO (April 10, 2014) – Carli Lloyd became the ninth U.S. Women’s National Team player to reach the 50-goal milestone, scoring twice as the USA defeated China PR 3-0 in front of 12,857 fans at Qualcomm Stadium.
Sydney Leroux added a goal – her 29th career tally – moments after halftime when she found the net 13 seconds into second half. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo made one world-class save to earn her 70th career clean sheet and move within one of Briana Scurry’s USA record of 71.
Interim head coach Jill Ellis began her second stint as interim head coach after Tom Sermanni was relieved of his duties as on Sunday. Ellis is now 6-0-2 all-time after compiling a record of 5-0-2 as the interim coach in 2012 following Pia Sundhage’s departure.
The USA almost got on the board just seconds into the match captain Becky Sauerbrunn launched a long ball over the defense on the right side. Megan Rapinoe ran it down and crossed that ball into the middle where it was deflected to Lloyd. The midfielder had a brief look at an open net, but her shot was deflected wide left off the toe of a China defender.
The USA lost San Diego native Rachel Van Hollebeke early in the game as she suffered a left ankle injury, which forced Ellis to bring in Whitney Engen in the seventh minute.
In the 12th minute, Solo came up with her huge save on Zhang Rui’s right-footed blast, flying to her left to parry the ball away despite being screened by goal mouth traffic.
That was the best effort from China on the night and the USA was the aggressor the rest of the way, led by Lloyd’s finishing prowess. In the 20th minute, the U.S. broke the deadlock when Rapinoe dished to Leroux down the left sideline. Leroux dribbled past her defender to the end line and crossed the ball to Lauren Holiday at the far post. Holiday, who was on the right side of the six-yard box, redirected the ball back to Lloyd, who finished from 12 yards out with a left-footed shot into the right side of the net.
In the 23rd minute, it was Rapinoe again who sparked the initial attack with a shot from the right side that was deflected by China’s Zeng Ying. Wang Shanshan attempted to clear the ball out of harm’s way, but it went to Lloyd, who controlled it from 24 yards out and then smashed another left-footer that flew just inside the left post for a 2-0 advantage. The goal was the 50th of Lloyd’s WNT career and made her the ninth U.S. player to reach that milestone.
The U.S. came out of the halftime break and padded its lead after just 13 seconds. Off the kickoff, the USA sent a long ball into the penalty area, and China was burned by a botched clearance when Wang Shanshan only partly made contact with the ball at the edge of the box. Rapinoe pounced with a short pass to Leroux, who slid from just outside the left corner of the six-yard box to sneak the ball underneath goalkeeper Zhang Yue and into the lower right corner. Leroux now has 29 goals for her WNT career and a team-leading five tallies for the USA in 2014.
The USA pushed for more goals, and only several quality saves from Zhang kept the score down. Among the chances created was a Rapinoe attempt from about 30 yards out in the 55th minute that forced the Chinese goalkeeper to make a tip save over the crossbar. Second-half sub Christen Press had a strong scoring chance nearly two minutes after she entered the game, but her 59th-minute shot was blocked by Wang in the right side in the box.
The U.S. had two chances in the 60th minute when a Leroux header hit the crossbar and then Zhang dove to save an Abby Wambach header off the ensuing corner kick.
The majority of the WNT players will have approximately a month away from international duty as they start the National Women’s Soccer League season this weekend.
Next up for the U.S. WNT is a match against Canada on Thursday, May 8, at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET).
- The USA added to its record home unbeaten streak which is now at 82 games. The U.S. WNT is 72-0-10 during its current streak, which started on Dec. 8, 2004, with a 5-0 victory against Mexico in Carson, Calif.
- Carli Lloyd, who increased her career goals total to 50, is now three tallies behind eighth-place Carin Gabarra on the WNT all-time list.
- Heather O’Reilly passed longtime defender Kate Markgraf to move into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time caps list with 202 appearances. Markgraf earned 201 caps from 1998-2010. O’Reilly is inching closer to seventh-place Tiffeny Milbrett, who played in 204 games from 1991-2005.
- Hope Solo earned her 150th career cap and is the 18th WNT player to reach that milestone. Among USA goalkeepers, Solo is second only to Briana Scurry (173 caps from 1994-2008).
- Lauren Holiday played in her 99th career game, and with her next appearance she would be the 30th player in WNT history to reach the century mark.
- Sydney Leroux made her 50th appearance since debuting for the USA in 2011. She is the 47th WNT player to reach 50 games in her career.
- With her 30th assist, Holiday becomes the 12th WNT player to reach that career mark.
- With her 109th appearance, Amy Rodriguez tied with Angela Hucles for 28th all-time.
- The USA is 6-2-1 in 2014.
- The U.S. is now 32-8-12 all-time against China PR.
- The U.S. WNT moved to 6-0-2 all-time under interim head coach Jill Ellis.
- Thursday’s starting lineup featured Hope Solo in goal, with a defensive line that included right back Ali Krieger, left back Meghan Klingenberg and center backs Rachel Van Hollebeke and Becky Sauerbrunn. Sauerbrunn wore the captain’s armband, while Van Hollebeke enjoyed a homecoming as she hails from northern San Diego suburb Del Mar, Calif.
- The midfield of the USA’s 4-3-3 formation included Megan Rapinoe on the left side, Morgan Brian on the right and Carli Lloyd centrally.
- Lauren Holiday pushed up from her typical midfield role to center forward, flanked beside Heather O’Reilly on the right and Sydney Leroux on the left.
- Rapinoe, O’Reilly, Press and Sauerbrunn are the only WNT players to have appeared in all nine USA matches this year.
- Van Hollebeke picked up an ankle injury just two minutes into the match. After trying to fight through the pain on the sidelines, Ellis decided to sub out Van Hollebeke, bringing in Whitney Engen in the seventh minute.
- Abby Wambach was brought into the match to open the second half as she entered for Brian. It marked Wambach’s 220th career appearance.
- In the 57th minute, Tobin Heath and Christen Press replaced Rapinoe and O’Reilly, respectively.
- Kelley O’Hara replaced Holiday in the 64th minute. O’Hara moved to left back and Klingenberg pushed into the midfield.
- Amy Rodriguez was the USA’s sixth and final sub, entering for Leroux in the 76th minute.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. China PR
Date: April 10, 2014
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 8 p.m. PT
Weather: 62 degrees, mostly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
CHN 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd (Lauren Holiday) 20th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (unassisted) 23
USA – Sydney Leroux (Megan Rapinoe) 46
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 16-Van Hollebeke (6-Whitney Engen, 7), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 25-Meghan Klingenberg, 7-Morgan Brian (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (17-Tobin Heath, 57), 9-Heather O’Reilly (23-Christen Press, 57), 12-Lauren Holiday (5-Kelley O’Hara, 64), 2-Sydney Leroux (8-Amy Rodriguez, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis
CHN: 1-Zhang Yue; 3-Wang Lingling (7-Xu Yanlu, 34), 6-Zeng Ying, 26-Li Dongna, 30-Liu Shanshan; 14-Wang Shanshan, 23-Ren Guixin (capt.), 25-Zhang Rui (13-Gao Qi, 87), 28-Zhang Xin (16-Wan Chen, 63); 10-Li Ying, 29-Yang Li (18-Han Peng, 66)
Substitutions Not Used: 9-Lou Jiahui, 11-Huang Yini, 17-Li Xianglin, 19-Zhou Feifei, 20-Song Duan, 21-Wang Lisi, 22-Wang Yun
Head coach: Hao Wei
Stats Summary: USA / CHN
Shots: 18 / 3
Shots on Goal: 12 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 11 / 9
Offside: 1 / 0
CHN – Li Ying (caution) 59th minute
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd