NEW ORLEANS (Oct. 19, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a convincing 3-1 win against the Korea Republic on Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the first of a pair of friendlies against the AFC foe.
The USA controlled the tempo from the get-go and out-shot Korea Republic 11-3 in the first half. Julie Ertz and Alex Morgan continued their excellent form as both found the net in the first half, their fourth and fifth goals of 2017, respectively. South Korea created its only shot on goal of the first half deep into stoppage time with debutante Han Chaerin scoring a fantastic strike from 23 yards out to pull her team within one.
The Korea goal came after referee had added three minutes of stoppage time, but added two more after Mallory Pugh went down with a hamstring injury at the end of the half and the visitors ended up scoring in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
The U.S. maintained its organized play on the field after the break and earned a penalty kick following a foul committed against Megan Rapinoe in the 52nd minute. Rapinoe took the spot kick, scoring her third goal of the year to once again extend the USA lead to a two-goal advantage, which ultimately stood for the final 3-1 scoreline.
The U.S. WNT will now travel to Cary, North Carolina for a second match against Korea Republic on Oct. 22 (2 p.m. ET; ESPN) at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe), 24th minute: Megan Rapinoe’s well-struck corner kick from the left side was directed to the near post where the diving Ertz sent a low skidding header through the goalkeeper’s legs for the USA’s first goal of the game and her fourth of 2017. USA 1, KOR 0. GOAL.
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara), 40th minute: Kelley O’Hara made a fantastic dribbling run into the penalty box on the right side, beating her defender to the end line before cutting a cross back for Morgan who held off a defender, spun toward goal, and finished with a blistering left-footed shot. USA 2, KOR 0. GOAL.
KOR – HAN Chaerin, 45+5 minute: A late push from the Korea Republic proved successful after a long clearance landed at the feet of Han Chaerin whose shot from distance found the upper left-hand corner to bring the visitors within one with her first career goal in her first cap. USA 2, KOR 1. GOAL.
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick), 52nd minute: The USA started the second half well, putting pressure on the Korean goal and earned a penalty kick when Rapinoe was chopped down in the box by Ji Soyun. Rapinoe took the kick herself and slammed it home for her third score of 2017. USA 3, KOR 1. GOAL.
- Alex Morgan made her 11th appearance of 2017 and 10th start. She scored in the 40th minute tonight to record her fifth goal of 2017, getting on the score sheet for the fourth consecutive game this year. Now with 78 career goals, Morgan is in sole possession of seventh place on the all-time scoring list for the WNT. This is the third time in her career that she has scored in four straight WNT games.
- Playing defensive midfield, Julie Ertz scored tonight to make it four goals in 2017 and up her total to 12 career goals for the WNT. She earned her 54th cap tonight and is the 54th American player to earn 50 or more caps. All of her 12 goals have come or originated from set plays.
- Megan Rapinoe earned her 126th cap today and sixth start of the year. She made her ninth appearance of 2017 and became the 29th player to play 125 or more times for the USA. Rapinoe scored the 34th goal of her career tonight on a penalty kick. Rapinoe is now within one goal of tying April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goal scoring list. She assisted on Ertz’ goal tonight, her third of the year and 42nd of her career.
- One of Ertz, Morgan, and Rapinoe have scored in each of the last five games for the USWNT.
- The U.S. had 13 different players take a shot during the match.
- Midfielder Andi Sullivan made her first start since Nov. 13, 2016, when she started against Romania in Carson, Calif. Sullivan made her WNT debut last October (coincidently, exactly a year ago on Oct. 19, 2016) and played in the final four games of the year for the U.S. – all starts – before an ACL tear during a college playoff match in December sidelined her for the following months.
- Becky Sauerbrunn made her 13th start and appearance this year, one of only two players – Samantha Mewis being the other – to be in every starting lineup this year. She has played the most minutes of any player on the team with 1,125.
- Kelley O’Hara, earned her 102nd cap tonight after reaching the century mark on Sept. 15 in Colorado. She became the 36th woman in U.S. history to play 100 or more games for her country. It was her ninth start of the year and she played all 90 minutes.
- Abby Dahlkemper entered double digits in caps tonight, making her 10th career appearance for the WNT in what was her seventh career start. The 2017 NWSL Defender of the Year made her debut for the U.S. exactly one year ago, on Oct. 19, 2016, against Switzerland in Utah, and earned her first start against Norway on June 11, playing all 90 minutes to help the U.S. defense claim a shutout in Sandefjord.
- In fact, four players that saw action tonight all made their U.S. WNT debuts exactly one year ago on Oct. 19, 2016 in Utah: Dahlkemper, Casey Short, Sullivan and Lynn Williams.
- Tonight’s six U.S. WNT subs were: Lynn Williams in for Mallory Pugh; Lindsey Horan in for Andi Sullivan; Sofia Huerta for Casey Short; Crystal Dunn for Megan Rapinoe; Christen Press in for Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd in for Samantha Mewis.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis named a 22-player roster to the training camp for this pair of friendlies, but after suffering injuries in the NWSL Championship, both Taylor Smith and Tobin Heath withdrew from camp, taking the roster number down to 20.
- Jane Campbell and Allie Long did not dress for tonight’s match.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 1 3
KOR 1 0 1
USA – Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe) 24th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Kelley O’Hara) 40
KOR – HAN Chaerin 45 +5
USA – Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick) 52
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14-MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo
Stats Summary: USA / KOR
Shots: 21 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 1
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 5 / 0
Fouls: 6 / 14
Offside: 1 / 3
KOR – HAN Chaerin (Caution) 61st minute
KOR – PARK Chorong (Caution) 74
Referee: Christina Unkel (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Amanda Ross (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicholas Anderson (JAM)
4th Official: Cecile Hinds (TRI)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Julie Ertz