World Champs Begin Victory Tour in Pittsburgh

Following its historic run to the championship of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, the U.S. Women’s National Team embarks on a 10-game Victory Tour across the country that will serve the dual purpose of celebrating the USA’s third Women’s World Cup title with the fans, while also preparing the team for the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that will take place in early February of next year. The USA opens the Victory Tour on Aug. 16 against fellow Women’s World Cup participant Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports Go) and then will travel to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to meet the Ticas on Aug. 19 at Finley Stadium (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and WatchESPN). Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and follow the team along its journey on Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

Six games of the Victory Tour have been confirmed with the USA also playing Australia in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, in September and Brazil in Seattle and Orlando in October. There will be no WNT matches in November and the team will finish its tour with four matches in early to mid-December. The U.S. team has lost just one match this year, that being its first game of 2015 against France in Lorient, a 2-0 defeat in early February that the USA flipped one month later when the teams met in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA is 13-1-3 this year, including a record of 3-0-1 on home soil.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), 1-Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): 16-Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), 6-Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 9-Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20-Abby Wambach (unattached)

WNT LOOKS TO EXTEND HOME UNBEATEN STREAK: The USA’s current 96-game unbeaten streak at home (84-0-12 since Nov. 6, 2004) is a team record. The next-highest streak is 50 games (48-0-2) from Feb. 10, 1996, through April 22, 1999. The USA tied the record on May 14, 2011 (2-0 win against Japan at Columbus Crew Stadium) and broke the record with the 51st game on May 18, 2011 (another 2-0 win against Japan at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina).

CROWDS ARE FAN-TASTIC: During its run in Canada, the USWNT played in front of what felt like seven straight home crowds, averaging 37,732 fans per game, all of which it seemed were wearing red, white and blue. The knock-out round matches were the most impressive, with electric atmospheres at each game including crowds of more than 50,000 for the semifinal in Montreal and championship game in Vancouver.

The buzz has certainly carried over to home soil, as the USA will play in front of more than 40,000 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, setting a record not only for a soccer match in Pittsburgh, but also for the largest crowd ever for a stand-alone domestic friendly for the USWNT. The previous record was set earlier this year when 35,817 turned out to see the USA defeat New Zealand 4-0 at in St. Louis. The all-time record for any friendly match for the U.S. Women is 46,037 for a double-header with the U.S. WNT in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 1998, a 5-0 win vs. New Zealand. The Aug. 19 match in Chattanooga sold out its 20,000 available tickets in a few hours and tickets sold for both of the September matches vs. Australia in Detroit and Birmingham are already over 21,000. 

KLINGENBURGH: The match in Pittsburgh will be a homecoming for U.S. defender Meghan Klingenberg, who grew up in Gibsonia, about 17 miles north of Heinz Field. Klingenberg graduated from Pine-Richland High School in 2007 where she was the captain of her high school team and led the Rams to the 2005 Pennsylvania state high school championship. She was an NSCAA All-America selection and a Parade High School All-American before heading to the University of North Carolina, where she won two NCAA titles.

HISTORY AT HEINZ: The WNT’s match in Pittsburgh marks the team’s second visit to Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. The USA defeated Iceland there by a 3-0 score in 2004 following the Olympic gold medal run in Greece.  The USA has played 15 matches in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but this will be just the second in Pittsburgh.

ACT TWO AT FINLEY: The USA has also played at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium once before, but not since 1997, when it defeated Sweden 3-1 at the home of the National Premier Soccer League’s Chattanooga FC and the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Moccasins football and women’s soccer teams. That trip in 1997 also featured a closed door match that counted as a full international. Played at the Baylor School, it was also a 3-1 win for the USA over Sweden and featured a goal from Kristi DeVert, which was her only one in four career caps that spanned 99 minutes. The Aug. 19 match will be the USA’s fifth game in Tennessee with two having taken place in Chattanooga and two in Nashville.

HUGE TV RATINGS FOR WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was record setting for TV ratings and increased for every U.S. match. FOX scored a new high for its soccer coverage when an average audience of 5.7 million tuned in to watch the United States beat China in the quarterfinal match on June 26. The match was also the third most-watched women’s soccer match on record in the United States, after the 1999 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals. Four days later, that record was broken as the USA vs. Germany semifinal on June 30 hit an average of 8.4 million viewers, establishing yet another soccer record as the most viewed semifinal ever in the U.S. (men or women) and third-most watched women’s soccer match of all time. The first six USA matches on FOX and FOX Sports 1 averaged 5.3 million viewers, 121% better than the 2011 tournament averaged through the semifinals (2.4 million).

The Final

The USA’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the World Cup Final averaged 25.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen and an increase of 88% from the 2011 WWC Final (13.5 million) and up 41% from the USA-China on ABC in 199 (18 million). The match posted a 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers and peaked at 30.9 million in the second half between 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET. The previous U.S. viewing record was 18,220,000 for the USA-Portugal game on ESPN at the 2014 World Cup. The average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals and pushed the 2015 tournament average to 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament’s 52 matches across all networks (FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2), up 21 percent over 1,511,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 for the 32 matches played in 2011. The match earned the second-largest soccer audience ever in the U.S. — trailing only last year’s Germany/Argentina World Cup Final on ABC and Univision (26.5M).

To date for this year, USA-Japan ranks as the fifth-most watched sporting event outside of the NFL. Only the three-game College Football Playoff and the Duke/Wisconsin NCAA Basketball Tournament title game (28.2M) scored larger numbers. The match had a larger audience than every NBA game since Spurs-Heat Game 7 in 2013 (26.6M on ABC and ESPN Deportes), every Major League Baseball game since Rangers-Cardinals Game 7 in 2011 (25.4M on FOX), and every hockey game since the Canada-United States final in the 2010 Olympics (27.6M on NBC).

En Espanol

Telemundo’s broadcast of the Final reached 1.27 million viewers, making it the highest viewed Spanish-language game in Women’s World Cup history. During this broadcast, Argentine announcer Andres Cantor’s famed “Goooooool” call for Carli Lloyd’s fantastic hat-trick goal from midfield went on for just under forty seconds.

ONE NATION. ONE TEAM. 23 STORIES: Prior to the Women’s World Cup in Canada, U.S. Soccer produced its "One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories." series so fans could get to get to know the players U.S. Women’s World Cup Team. Fans certainly know them now, but the videos are still piling up the views. Sprinkled with humor, fun and heartfelt stories, the videos give fans insight into the players’ personalities, families, motivations, and some of the challenges they’ve experienced on the different roads they’ve traveled to earn the right to represent the United States in the ultimate competition for a soccer player.

One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories.: Watch all 23 Videos

CARLI LLOYD AND HOPE SOLO WIN FIFA GOLDEN BALL, SILVER BOOT AND GOLDEN GLOVE: Two U.S. players picked up post-tournament hardware in Canada as Carli Lloyd won the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament. She becomes just the third American to win the award and second at a senior level tournament, following Carin Gabarra at the 1991 Women’s World Cup. Lloyd also won the Silver Boot as the second leading scorer in the tournament. Lloyd and Germany’s Celia Sasic both scored six goals with one assist, but Saskic (who scored three goals in a 10-0 pasting of Ivory Coast in the opening match of the tournament) was awarded the Golden Boot based on less minutes played during the tournament. Lloyd did not get credit for an assist from FIFA for playing the short pass to Megan Rapinoe that she took on an almost half-field run and scored to clinch the USA’s opening match against Australia. The awards and her World Cup performance, which included the historic hat trick in the Final, make Lloyd one of the front-runners for the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who played every minute of the tournament and registered five shutouts, received the Golden Glove as the best net-minder in the tournament, an honor she also won at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Defender Julie Johnston and Rapinoe were also on the short list for the Golden Ball.

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • Midfielder Carli Lloyd has scored in four straight games for the WNT, tallying in all four knock-out matches (Colombia, China, Germany and Japan). Her three goals in the Women’s World Cup Final gave her seven in Women’s World Cup play and 69 overall.
  • Lloyd captained the USA four times at the Women’s World Cup with Abby Wambach serving as captain in the other three matches.
  • Lloyd was the third U.S. WNT player to score in three straight games in a World Cup, joining Michelle Akers (1991) and Abby Wambach (twice; in 2003 and 2011) and the only American to do it in four straight Women’s World Cup games.
  • Lloyd scored both U.S. goals in the 2012 Olympic gold medal game (a 2-1 win over Japan), and the sole goal in the 2008 gold-medal game (1-0 over Brazil). No other American has scored in three major-tournament finals.
  • Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath became just the fourth, fifth and sixth players in U.S. history to score in a Women’s World Cup Final. Michelle Akers scored both goals in the 1991 Final, the 1999 championship game ended 0-0 and went to penalty kicks while Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach scored in the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final.
  • Kelley O’Hara made her debut in the 2015 Women’s World Cup tournament when she started against China PR on June 26. It was O’Hara’s first career start in a World Cup match. She had only played one game before, 18 minutes as a substitute in 2011 vs. Sweden. She made her second appearance at this year’s tournament when she came in as a second half substitute in the match against Germany and scored her first World Cup goal. It came in the 84th minute to seal the game and propel the USA to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, where she came off the bench in her third straight game and played the final 30 minutes in place of Megan Rapinoe.
  • Since allowing a goal against Australia in its opening Women’s World Cup match on June 8 in the 27th minute, the U.S. shut out Sweden, Nigeria, Colombia, China and Germany – a stretch of 513 consecutive minutes. The USA allowed a goal in the 27th minute of the Final to end its shutout streak at 539, falling one minute short of tying a tournament record. Germany did not allow a goal over its six games of the 2007 Women’s World Cup.  
  • Defender Becky Sauerbrunn is the only player on the roster to start and play every game for the USA in 2015. She has played the most minutes (1,509) on the team.
  • Five U.S. players played all 630 minutes of the Women’s World Cup tournament: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Sauerbrunn, midfielder Lloyd, and goalkeeper Hope Solo.
  • In 17 games played this year, the U.S. has surrendered just seven goals and has scored 34. The USA hasn’t lost a match since dropping its opening game of 2015 on Feb. 8 to France.
  • The USA was the fourth country to reach consecutive Women's World Cup finals (2011 and 2015). The other three are Germany (2003, 2007), Norway (1991, 1995) and Japan (2011, 2015).
  • After coming on as a sub in the second half of the Women’s World Cup Final, Abby Wambach played in her 25th and final WWC game, moving into sole possession of second most ever behind Kristine Lilly (30).
  • Alex Morgan scored her first goal in this year’s Women’s World Cup against Colombia. Morgan has three goals in 2015 and 52 international goals in her career. She has three World Cup goals after scoring twice in 2011.
  • Fourteen different players have scored for the USA in 2015: Kelley O’Hara, Morgan, Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press, Johnston, Klingenberg, Megan Rapinoe, Morgan Brian, Lori Chalupny, Sydney Leroux, Lloyd, Lauren Holiday and Tobin Heath.
  • Remarkably, O’Hara’s goal in the semifinal was her first of the year – and first of her international career – and Holiday’s and Heath’s goals in the Women’s World Cup Final were their first scores of 2015.
  • Brian, Klingenberg, Johnston, Leroux and Press all made their World Cup debuts against Australia on June 8. All played against Sweden on June 12 as well, with Brian getting her first start. Klingenberg, Johnston and Leroux all saw action against Nigeria on June 16, while Brian, Klingenberg, Johnston and Press saw action against Colombia on June 22. Brian, Klingenberg and Johnston all started against China and Germany on June 26 and June 30, respectively, and Leroux came in as a second half stoppage time against Germany. Brian, Klingenberg and Johnston all started against Japan in the Final.
  • Press and Leroux also recorded their first World Cup points on June 8, with Press scoring a goal and Leroux an assist. Johnston recorded her first World Cup point against China on June 26 when she assisted on Lloyd’s goal. It was Johnston’s first assist with the WNT.
  • 19 of the 20 field players on the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup saw action in the tournament with only defender Whitney Engen not getting on the field.
  • Amy Rodriguez made her first appearance of the tournament on June 12 against Sweden, and her first start of the tournament on June 26 against China. Defender Lori Chalupny made her first appearance of the 2015 World Cup when she came in for Ali Krieger in the second half against Colombia on June 22. It was the seventh World Cup appearance of her career.
  • Heather O’Reilly played the last 10 minutes of the game against China on June 26 after coming in as a sub for Alex Morgan. It was O’Reilly’s 12th World Cup appearance.
  • Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone made their first appearance of the tournament against Nigeria on June 16. Rampone became the oldest player to appear in a World Cup match at 39 years 11 months and 23 days. Rampone also played the final five minutes of the championship game. This is Boxx’s fourth and final World Cup and Rampone’s fifth and final World Cup.
  • Lloyd leads the USA in scoring this year with eight goals. Wambach has six goals.
  • Chalupny scored against New Zealand in her hometown of St. Louis on April 4, marking it her first goal for the USA since she scored against the Republic of Ireland on Sept. 20, 2008. She scored her second goal of the year against Mexico on May 17, just 45 seconds after coming into the match as a second half sub.
  • Klingenberg scored her second National Team goal on a long-range blast against New Zealand. Her first goal was a similar long-range effort that came against Haiti on Oct. 8, during Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament last year.
  • Johnston has three goals in 2015, all coming in consecutive games. Her three goals were all from set pieces and all assisted by Holiday.
  • Rampone earned her 300th cap against with Mexico on Oct. 24, 2014, and her 308 games are the most of any active player in the world behind only former teammate Kristine Lilly (352).
  • Holiday leads all U.S. players on the rosters in assists with five in 2015. Holiday was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
  • Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year. She was also named the 2013 and 2014 Hermann Trophy winner while playing for the University of Virginia.
  • While Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 183 goals, Lloyd is next with 69 career international goals and Morgan has 52. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
  • Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil last December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
  • The Women’s World Cup Final featured the two oldest teams in the history of the Women’s World Cup tournament with the U.S averaging 29-years-old and six months and Japan having the average age of 28-years-old and five months, giving more empirical proof that older teams tend to win world events, but with the retirements of Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday at the end of the Victory Tour, the U.S. team will begin to take on a different look.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • Carli Lloyd became the 10th woman in U.S. history to reach 200 caps, achieving the feet at the WWC quarterfinal match against China PR on June 26. She is the fourth active player reach that mark and 10th overall American. Christie Rampone, Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly are the other three. She also became the third player in U.S. history to score in her 200th appearance. Wambach and O’Reilly are the other two.
  • Lloyd has sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 69 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder and is well within reach of Cindy Parlow’s 75 scores.
  • Hope Solo recorded her 89th career shutout against Germany. It was the fifth straight World Cup clean sheet for the USA, and Solo’s 10th in World Cup play, tying the record for most by a U.S. goalkeeper and most in World Cup play with Brianna Scurry.
  • Solo also earned her 177th cap against Japan on July 25. She is the leader for caps by a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Briana Scurry earned 173 caps in her career (1994-2008).
  • Solo has the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with 171. Solo is also in 10th place on the WNT’s all-time starts list and behind ninth place Carli Lloyd, who has 174.
  • Solo has 136 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Brian Scurry had 133 during her career (1994-2008).
  • With her first goal of the game against Australia on June 8, U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe became the 13th U.S. female player to score 30 goals and tally 30 assists. She currently has 31 goals and 34 assists. Her brace against Australia were her first tallies of 2015.
  • Rapinoe became the 31st American female player to reach the century mark in caps, achieving that feat against New Zealand on April 4. She currently has 108 caps. Lori Chalupny became the 32nd player to reach 100 caps, against Ireland on May 10.
  • Heather O’Reilly was the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 220, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (248) and Christie Rampone (307) are the only active players ahead of her.
  • O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
  • O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
  • In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013, performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added six more and now sits at 45. She has 37 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
  • Sydney Leroux is tied with April Heinrichs in 14th place on the all-time U.S. WNT goal-scoring list with 35 goals.
  • With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 52.

BY THE NUMBERS:
0.41            Goals per game the USA has allowed in 2015
1                USA’s FIFA ranking
2                Goals per game the USA scored in 2015
3                Goals allowed by the USA in the 2015 WWC, least of any of the four semifinalists
8                Number of different players to score a goal in the 2015 WWC
14               Number of different U.S. players to score a goal in 2015
14               Goals scored by the USA in the 2015 WWC, second most in the tournament
69               Goals by Lloyd, most ever for a WNT player who has played exclusively as a midfielder
89               Shutouts by Hope Solo, an all-time U.S. WNT record
89               Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Sydney Leroux in her career
99               Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Abby Wambach in her career
104             Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Alex Morgan in her career
115             U.S. victories when Wambach scores a goal (115-2-8 overall)
130             Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Mia Hamm in her career
308             Caps by Christie Rampone, second all-time to Kristine Lilly (352)

2015 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP FACTS:

  • After scoring three times against Australia in its opening match of the 2015 FIFA WWC, the USA became the second country to reach and then surpass the century mark of World Cup goals scored. The USA currently has scored 112 WWC goals, surpassing Germany who had reached 111 during the tournament. Christen Press had the honor of scoring the 100th goal in U.S. Women’s World Cup history. Germany scored 10 goals in its opener on June 7 to hit 101 and become the first team to pass 100. The Germans finished the WWC with 111 goals after scoring 20 in the tournament, 14 of which came against Ivory Coast and Thailand.
  • The USA shattered the record for most goals in a Women’s World Cup Final (the previous record was two) and the teams set a record for most goals combined in a WWC Final with seven.
  • The USA allowed 18 shots on goal over the 630 minutes in the Women’s World Cup. The USA six against Australia in the opening game, but never allowed that again, allowing just one against Sweden and Germany, two against Nigeria, Colombia and China and four against Japan.
  • The draw with Sweden was the first scoreless draw in U.S. history during group play in a World Cup. It was the second overall scoreless draw for the USA in a World Cup (0-0 against China in the 1999 WWC Final).
  • The USA made its seventh appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup and is one of seven countries to appear in all seven editions of the tournament, the others being Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway and Sweden.
  • The U.S. is the only country to have reached at least the semifinals of every FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The USA made its fourth appearance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the only country to reach it that many times (Germany has reached it on three occasions: 1995, 2003 and 2007).
  • Abby Wambach has played in 25 WWC matches, the most on the 2015 WWC roster. Christie Rampone has played in 19 Women’s World Cup games while Carli Lloyd has played in 18, Hope Solo has played in 17 and Shannon Boxx played in 16. Other players in double figures in Women’s World Cup matches are Ali Krieger (13), and Heather O’Reilly, Alex Morgan, Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe, all with 12.
  • The U.S. WNT has won its group in the World Cup every year except 2011, when it finished second to Sweden.
  • With her first-half goal against Nigeria during Group D play, Abby Wambach moved into a tie with Germany’s Birgit Prinz for 2nd all-time with 14 World Cup goals. Brazil’s Marta is the leader with 15 goals, including one in the Women’s World Cup. Wambach had a great chance to break the record, but missed a penalty kick against Colombia in the Round of 16 match.

  • Wambach scored in every World Cup group stage in which she has played (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015). She has scored seven goals, tallying three in final group stage matches.
  • Ten players on the U.S. roster have scored in a Women’s World Cup tournament: Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, Lauren Holiday, Heather O’Reilly, Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx, Christen Press, Kelley O’Hara and Tobin Heath.
  • The U.S. WNT is 34-4-5 all-time in the Women’s World Cup, outscoring its opponents 112-35 in 43 games. The 34 wins and 43 games played are FIFA Women’s World Cup records.

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JILL ELLIS FACT FILE: After leading the USA to the Women’s World Cup title, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis was rewarded with a multi-year contract extension on Aug. 5, 2015. She is the third U.S. coach – and first female coach -- to win a Women’s World Cup at the senior level, following Anson Dorrance (1991) and Tony DiCicco (1999). Ellis, who previously served two stints as interim head coach of the U.S. WNT, is the eighth official head coach in U.S. history. She coached seven games as interim coach in 2012 (5-0-2) and two games (1-0-1) as interim in 2014 before she officially came on board, which gave her a 6-0-3 record before she ever was officially named the head coach on May of 2014. She has gone 23-2-6 since then for an overall record of 29-2-9. When named head coach in 2014, Ellis stepped away from her job as Development Director for the U.S. Women’s National Teams, a job she was appointed to in January of 2011, but will still work with U.S. Women’s National Team Technical Director April Heinrichs who oversees the USA’s youth teams.

  • Prior to becoming head coach, Ellis had extensive experience in the U.S. Women’s National Team programs having served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Women’s National Team under Pia Sundhage, helping the team to a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics. She has served two stints as head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, guiding the squad to the CONCACAF title in 2010 and to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.
  • Ellis also had two stints as the head coach of the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team, the second starting in the middle of 2005, after which she guided the team to the Nordic Cup in Sweden. She also coached the U-21s to the Nordic Cup title in Germany in 2000.
  • Ellis was a scout for the USA at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and has served as an assistant coach with the U.S. U-21s and U-16 Girls’ National Teams.
  • Ellis joined U.S. Soccer full-time after a highly successful 12-year run as the head women’s soccer coach for the UCLA Bruins. Ellis led UCLA to eight NCAA Final Fours, including seven in a row from 2003-2009, and won six straight conference titles from 2003-2008. She finished her time in Westwood with a record of 229-45-14. Ellis, who was also head coach at the University of Illinois, has an all-time collegiate coaching record of 248-63-14.
  • She was the 2000 NSCAA National Coach of the Year after leading the Bruins to the NCAA Final in just her second season as head coach.
  • Ellis arrived in Westwood after heading the University of Illinois women's soccer program for two years. In 1998, she brought the Fighting Illini to a 12-8 record and a first Big Ten Tournament berth. Prior to coaching at Illinois, Ellis served as an assistant coach at the University of Virginia for one year (1996-97), at Maryland for three years (1994-96) and at North Carolina State for another three years (1988-90). As an assistant coach at North Carolina State, Ellis helped the Wolfpack secure the 1988 ACC title and an NCAA Final Four appearance.
  • A forward during her playing days at the College of William & Mary from 1984-87, Ellis was a Third-Team All-American in 1987. In 1984, Ellis helped Braddock Road in Virginia to the Under-19 club national championship.
  • Ellis grew up in Portsmouth, England, and came to the United States in 1981 at the age of 15. She also lived in Singapore for two years while her father helped to develop a national soccer program in that country. She earned her B.A. in English Literature and Composition from the College of William & Mary in 1988 and currently resides in Los Angeles. She has a USSF “A” coaching license.

IN FOCUS: COSTA RICA
Costa Rica Football Federation

Current FIFA World Ranking: 34
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 2015
Record vs. USA: 0-10-0
Head Coach: Amelia Valverde  
Key Players: Dinnia Diaz

Costa Rica Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Dinnia Diaz (Moravia), 18-Yuliana Salas (Moravia)
DEFENDERS (5): 2-Gabriela Guillén (Saprissa), 5-Diana Saenz (Univ. of South Florida), 8-Daniela Cruz (Saprissa), 9-Carolina Venegas (Saprissa), 13-Noelle Sanz (Univ. of Alabama)  
MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Mariana Benavides (Moravia), 12-Lixy Rodriguez (UCEM), 10-Katherine Alvarado (Saprissa), 15-Cristin Granados (Saprissa), 17-Karla Villalobos (Moravia), 19-Maria Paula Coto (UCEM), 20-Wendy Acosta (Moravia)
FORWARDS (4): 3-Fabiola Villalobos (AD Dimas Esacazu, 6-Maria Paula Elizondo (Saprissa), 7-Melissa Herrera (Saprissa), 14- Mayra Almazán (Azusa Pacific)

COSTA RICA NOTES

  • Goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz was Costa Rica’s hero in Women’s World Cup qualifying as her penalty shoot-out heroics earned her side victory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship semifinal against Trinidad and Tobago and clinched a spot for Las Ticas at Canada 2015.
  • Costa Rica’s all-time greatest player is 29-year-old captain Shirley Cruz, who plays professionally for one of the world’s top clubs – Paris Saint-Germain in France – but she will not be available for these two matches.
  • Costa Rica’s hosting the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup helped kindle the emergence of up-and-coming prospects and gave them some crucial early international exposure to further their development.
  • Costa Rica did very well at its first Women’s World Cup, and came very close to advancing to the knockout stage, drawing both Spain (1-1) and South Korea (2-2) before falling to Brazil by just a 1-0 score in its third group match. Raquel Rodriguez, who plays her college soccer at Penn State, scored against Spain, while Melissa Herrera and Karla Villalobos scored against South Korea. Herrera and Villalobos are on this roster, but Rodriguez, who is starting he senior season for PSU, is not.
  • Twelver players on this Costa Rica roster were on the 2015 Women’s World Cup roster as well.
  • Ten players on this roster played against the USA in the last meeting between these teams in the title game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship that served as qualifying for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
  • Costa Rica recently competed in the Pan American Games in Canada and 10 players from that roster will face the USA in these two matches. Costa Rica finished third in a group that featured a young Canadian team, a Brazil team with many players from its World Cup team, and Ecuador, and did not advance to the semifinals.
  • At the Pan Ams, Costa Rica lost 3-0 to Brazil, beat Canada 2-0 and then were upset by Ecuador, 2-0. Just a tie against Ecuador would have put Costa Rica into the semis of a tournament eventually won by Brazil.

USA VS. COSTA RICA SERIES

  • The USA has an all-time record of 10-0-0 against Costa Rica dating back to the first meeting in 2000.
  • Seven of the meetings have been in CONCACAF qualifying tournaments, four in Women’s World Cup qualifying and three in Olympic qualifying.
  • Five of the matches have been played in the USA, three in Mexico, one in Canada and just on in Costa Rica, that coming in March of 2004 during Olympic Qualifying, a 4-0 win for the USA.
  • Costa Rica has lost to the USA by 8-0 scores twice and the best results were three 3-0 losses, including one in the semifinal of the Olympic qualifying tournament that qualified the USA for the 2012 Olympic games in London. Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan scored in that match.
  • In Nov. of 2010, the USA had to defeat Costa Rica in the third-place match of the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament played in Cancun, Mexico, just to earn the right to face Italy in a playoff for a final Women’s World Cup berth. The USA won that game 3-0 on a goal from Lauren Holiday and two from Abby Wambach.
  • The most recent meeting between the teams came in the title game of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship after both teams had already qualified for the Women’s World Cup. The USA prevailed 6-0 as Abby Wambach scored four times and Carli Lloyd and Sydney Leroux added goals.

LAST TIME
On the field for the USA vs. CRC:

Oct. 26, 2014 – PPL Park; Chester, Pa.

USA     6          Wambach 4, 35, 41, 71; Lloyd 17; Leroux 73
CRC     0         

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 16-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 11-Ali Krieger; 12-Lauren Holiday, 7-Morgan Brian (2-Sydney Leroux, 56), 10-Carli Lloyd; 14-Christen Press (9-Heather O’Reilly, 56), 20-Abby Wambach, 15-Megan Rapinoe (17-Tobin Heath, 57)
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

CRC: 1-Dinnia Diaz; 5-Diana Saenz (9-Carolina Venegas, 46), 6-Carol Sanchez, 8-Daniela Cruz, 10-Shirley Cruz (capt.); 11-Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño, 12-Lixy Rodriguez (2-Gabriela Guillen, 76), 15-Cristin Granados, 16-Katherine Alvarado; 17-Daphnne Herrera, 20-Wendy Patricia Acosta (19-Fabiola Sanchez, 74)
Subs Not Used: 3-Mariane Ugalde, 4-Maríiana Benavidez, 7-Gloriana Villalobos, 13-Noelia Bermudez, 14-Yesmi Rodriguez, 18-Yirlania Arroyo
Head Coach: Carlos Avedissian