CARSON, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team finished strong in 2016 with a 5-0 win vs. Romania in front of 20,336 fans at StubHub Center.
With the win, the WNT completes 2016 with a 22-0-3 record, marking the third time the team has gone unbeaten in regulation in a calendar year in which it has played 10 or more matches. The USA went 18-0-4 in 2006 and 13-0-3 in 2013. The penalty kick loss to Sweden in the 2016 Olympics officially counts as a tie.
The U.S. dominated possession from start to finish and out-shot Romania 31-0, but it was Romania who put the ball into its net first via an own-goal from Teodora Meluta, who chested a Crystal Dunn cross into her own goal to give the USA a well-deserved lead into the 20th minute. Dunn got on the scoresheet herself in the final seconds of the first half with a crisp finish between the goalkeeper’s legs from 10 yards out.
Christen Press scored in her fourth consecutive game after finishing an excellent pass from Tobin Heath. Press’ tally marks her 41st career goal in her 80th cap.
Morgan Brian converted a penalty kick with ease in the 88th minute to mark her second goal in as many games and Samantha Mewis finished the scoring with a header from the top of the six-yard box in second half stoppage time.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Own Goal (Teodora Meluta) 20th minute: Crystal Dunn dribbled down the right flank, held off a defender and sent a cross into the goal box where Romania defender Teodora Meluta chested the ball toward the net. Goalkeeper Roxana Oprea got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out of the goal. USA 1, ROU 0 WATCH
USA – Crystal Dunn (Christen Press) 45th minute: Christen Press settled a ball in the middle of the Romania half and found Dunn on a diagonal run into the right side of the penalty box. Dunn took two touches toward goal before sending a low right-footed shot between the ‘keeper’s legs and into the back of the net. USA 2, ROU 0 WATCH
USA – Christen Press (Tobin Heath) 55th minute: From the middle of the attacking third, Press sent a through ball on the ground to a charging Tobin Heath on her left. Heath used her first touch to cut the ball back to the crashing Press in the middle of the penalty area and she finished from about 14 yards out with a strong right-footed shot past Romania’s diving goalkeeper. USA 3, ROU 0 WATCH
USA – Morgan Brian (penalty kick) 88th minute: A Romania handball gifted the U.S. a penalty kick in the final minutes of the match. Morgan Brian stepped up to take the attempt, sending a driven shot to the left while the ‘keeper dove the opposite direction. USA 4, ROU 0 WATCH
USA – Samantha Mewis (Kelley O’Hara) 90+1’ minute: Heath played a short corner kick to Kelley O’Hara, who possessed the ball on the left flank. As a trio of Romanian defenders closed in, O’Hara sent an in-swinging cross to the middle of the box. Samantha Mewis met the ball at the top of the six-yard box and headed the ball inside the right post to complete the scoring. USA 5, ROU 0 WATCH FINAL
- The USA began the match in a 3-4-3 formation with Casey Short, Allie Long and Becky Sauerbrunn in the back, Andi Sullivan and Morgan Brian in the middle; Kealia Ohai and Tobin Heath on the wings; and Crystal Dunn, Lynn Williams and Christen Press up top.
- Dunn’s goal was the 18th of her career goal, 14 of which came in 2016.
- Her 14 goals scored are third on the team in 2016 behind Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan both of whom have 17.
- Press found the back of the net for the fourth consecutive game. She scored 12 goals this year, including a hat trick last Thursday vs. Romania. Press improved her career total to 41 goals in 80 caps. She finishes fourth on the team in scoring for 2016.
- Dunn and Press finished tied for the team lead with 25 appearances each this year.
- After scoring her first goal of the year on Thursday, Morgan Brian converted a penalty kick in the 88th minute for her second goal in as many games and the sixth of her career.
- Samantha Mewis’ goal was her fourth of the year and of her career.
- Heath earned her eighth assist of 2016, good for second on the team behind Carli Lloyd (11).
- Allie Long made her 14th start of 2016 and 16th appearance of the year. Since re-joining the WNT in April, she has more than quadrupled her career caps. Long came into this year with only four WNT appearances but with today’s start, she earned her 20th cap. She has three goals and two assists this year as well.
- Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and Chicago Red Stars’ Casey Short both earned their fourth caps and fourth consecutive starts. Short has played all 90 minutes in the last three games.
- Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher improved to 5-0-0 on the year with four shutouts.
- The USA scored goals in the final seconds of both halves.
- In the two games against Romania, the USA had a 61-4 edge in shots, 24-0 in corner kicks and piled up a 13-1 margin in goals.
- Romania earned seven yellow cards over the two games, three in San Jose and four in Los Angeles, two of which came on nasty fouls on Alex Morgan.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis used all six subs in the second half, sending on Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, and Julie Johnston at halftime, Lindsey Horan in the 61st minute, and Kelley O’Hara and Samantha Mewis in the 70th.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Romania Women’s National Team
Date: November 13, 2016
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. PT
Weather: 71 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
ROU 0 0 0
USA – Own Goal (Teodora Meluta) 20th minute
USA – Crystal Dunn (Christen Press) 45+1
USA – Christen Press (Tobin Heath) 55
USA – Morgan Brian (Penalty Kick) 88
USA – Samantha Mewis (Kelley O’Hara) 90+1
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) (5-Kelley O’Hara, 70), 20-Allie Long (3-Samantha Mewis, 70), 2-Casey Short (11-Ali Krieger, 46); 7-Kealia Ohai (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 12-Andi Sullivan, 6-Morgan Brian, 17-Tobin Heath; 19-Crystal Dunn (9-Lindsey Horan, 61), 16-Lynn Williams (8-Julie Johnston, 46), 23-Christen Press
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
ROU: 12-Roxana Oprea, 4-Ioana Bortan (capt.), 5-Adina Giurgiu (13-Beatrice Tarasila, 79), 6-Maria Ficzay, 8-Ştefania Vătafu, 9-Laura Rus (3-Lidia Havristiuc, 63), 10-Andreea Voicu (19-Loredana Popa, 88), 15-Teodora Meluta, 16-Ana Maria Gorea (2-Andreea Corduneanu, 52), 17-Mara Batea (14-Alexandra Lunca, 46), 18-Mihaela Ciolacu (21-Cristina Carp, 82)
Subs not used : 1-Linda Kajtar, 7-Raluca Sarghe
Head Coach: Mirel Albon
Stats Summary: USA / ROU
Shots: 31 / 0
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 14 / 0
Fouls: 5 / 15
Offside: 3 / 0
ROU – Adina Giurgiu (caution) 16th minute
ROU – Ioana Bortan (caution) 52
ROU – Teodora Meluta (caution) 59
ROU – Andreea Voicu (caution) 68
Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Amanda Ross (USA)
4th Official: Christina Unkel (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Christen Press