2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Final: USA vs. CanadaMatch Preview
Feb. 9, 2020 | Dignity Health Sports Park
With a 4-0 victory against Mexico on February 7 in the semifinal of the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament, the U.S. Women’s National Team qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. The USA will now face Canada, which also booked its Olympic ticket, downing Costa Rica 1-0 in the other semifinal, for the tournament title. The clash between the long-time regional foes will take place on Sunday, Feb. 9 (6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on FS2 and Galavision) at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. The USA has participated in all six Olympic Games in which women’s soccer has been contested, winning four gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) and earning silver in 2000.
USWNT 2020 Olympic Qualifying Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 3/0), 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 25/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 60/0)
DEFENDERS (6): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 57/0), 19-Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 100/24), 11-Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 106/1), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 128/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 174/0), 2-Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride; 43/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 98/19), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 82/17), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 41/12), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 63/18), 6-Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 16/0)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 165/33), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 291/122), 14-Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 16/4), 20-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 134/56), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 164/50), 13-Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 24/8)
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Both the USA and Canada have not allowed a goal in the tournament with the USA scoring 22 and Canada scoring 23. Canada routed two Caribbean teams in first-time tournament participant St. Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica, before defeating Mexico 2-0 to win Group B. The USA scored no less than four goals in each of its four games, and outside of a tough start against Haiti in the first game, rolled past its next three opponents into the Olympics and the tournament final. Eight different players have scored for the USA, led by Horan and Press, who have five goals each. Nine different players have scored for Canada, led by 18-year-old Jordyn Huitema who leads the tournament with seven goals. Adriana Leon has four and Janine Beckie and Christine Sinclair have three each. Sinclair broke Abby Wambach’s all-time international scoring record in the first game of the tournament to reach a remarkable 185 career goals. She now has 186.
Road to 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Final:
Date Opponent Score U.S. Goal Scorers
Jan. 28 Haiti 4-0 W Press, Williams, Horan, Lloyd
Jan. 31 Panama 8-0 W Horan (3), Williams, Lavelle, Press, McDonald, Heath
Feb. 3 Costa Rica 6-0 W Press (2), Horan, Mewis (2), McDonald
Feb. 7 Mexico 4-0 W Lavelle, Mewis (2), Press
Date Opponent Score Goal Scorers
Jan. 29 St. Kitts & Nevis 11-0 W Sinclair (2), Leon (4), Lawrence (2), Riviere, Fleming, Huitema
Feb. 1 Jamaica 9-0 W Huitema (5), Rose, Beckie (3)
Feb. 4 Mexico 2-0 W Sinclair, Zadorsky
Feb. 7 Costa Rica 1-0 W Huitema
U.S. ROSTER NOTES TEAM
The USA is riding a 27-game unbeaten streak and have scored two or more goals in 24 of those games.
All 20 players selected to the roster were part of the USA’s January training camp in Tampa, Florida that concluded on Jan. 15. The Olympic Qualifying roster features three goalkeepers (a requirement by tournament regulations) and 17 field players. Eighteen of the 20 players chosen by U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski were on the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team and 13 players were on the USA’s roster for 2016 Olympic Qualifying.
The 13 players on this roster who were a part of the 2016 Olympic Qualifying team are goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher and Ashlyn Harris, defenders Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, Crystal Dunn, Emily Sonnett and Ali Krieger, midfielders Samantha Mewis, Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan, and forwards Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Tobin Heath. Sauerbrunn, O’Hara and Krieger and Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Heath were a part of the team that qualified for the 2012 Olympics. Heath and Lloyd are the only players on the roster who also participated in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics.
The two players on the roster who were not a part of the 2019 Women’s World Cup Team are forward Lynn Williams, who scored 12 goals in the NWSL last season (second in the league) for the North Carolina Courage and has been playing on loan in Australia for the Western Sydney Wanderers this off-season, and midfielder Andi Sullivan, who was the first pick in the 2018 NWSL Draft and had an excellent second pro season for the Washington Spirit in 2019.
Besides Lloyd, ten other players on the roster have scored in Olympic Qualifying. Dunn has six goals with five of those coming against Puerto Rico in 2016 to tie a U.S. record for most in a game. Heath and Press have six, Horan and Mewis have five each. Williams, Jessica McDonald and Rose Lavelle have two. O’Hara and Rapinoe have one each.
The U.S. roster averages 86.7 caps per player and the average age is 29 years old.
The USA is 22-0-1 all-time in Olympic Qualifying and has scored 120 goals while allowing three. It tied Canada 1-1 in the title game of the 2008 tournament before prevailing in penalty kicks.
In just his fourth event, Andonovski has already looked at 50 different players.
Since its inception in 1985, the USWNT has compiled a record of 525 wins, 66 losses and 77 ties. Over the history of the program, the USA has gone 298-20-31 (90% winning percentage) at home, 53-18-13 away (71%) and 174-28-33 (81%) on neutral ground. Of the USA’s 66 losses, 12 (18%) came at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
The USA has scored in 55 consecutive matches and has averaged more than three goals per game in that time. Since the end of the 2015 World Cup, the USA has played 98 matches and has an 83-5-10 record.
Lloyd has 58 WNT goals since the start of 2015. Morgan, who has 57, is the only other player with more than 30 goals over the four years.
The USA’s 1-1 draw with Korea Republic on Oct. 6, 2019, ended a streak of scoring multiple goals in 16 consecutive matches. The USA had not scored multiple goals in 14 straight games since March 19-June 13, 1995. That draw also ended the USA’s winning streak at 17 consecutive matches, the third-longest winning streak in team history and one short of a team record. The U.S. Women had not won 15 games in a row since Feb. 10-July 23, 1996. That 17-game streak was the longest since July 25, 1990 – May 25, 1991, which included 18 wins.
The U.S. Women are unbeaten on home soil over its last 44 matches, 39 wins and five draws. The last loss at home was July 27, 2017 vs. Australia, a 1-0 setback in Seattle.
Eleven of the USA’s 44 goals in its last 11 games have been headers, including two vs. Haiti, one vs. Panama and one vs. Costa Rica. The U.S. scored 21 goals from set pieces in 2019 (27% of the goals scored), including nine at the Women’s World Cup.
IN FOCUS: CANADA
Canada Soccer Association
FIFA World Ranking: 8
Concacaf Ranking: 2
Olympic Appearances: 4 (2008, 2012, 2016, 2020)
Best Olympic finish: 3rd Place (2012, 2016)
Record vs. USA: 3-49-7
Head Coach: Kenneth Heiner-Møller
Canada Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Stephanie Labbé (NC Courage, USA), 18-Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC, USA), 20-Sabrina D'Angelo (Vittsjö GIK, SWE)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash, USA), 3-Kadeisha Buchanan (Olympique Lyonnais, FRA), 4-Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride, USA), 5-Rebecca Quinn (Reign FC, USA), 8-Jayde Riviere (University of Michigan, USA), 10-Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Julia Grosso (University of Texas, USA), 11-Desiree Scott (Utah Royals FC, USA), 13-Sophie Schmidt (Houston Dash, USA), 14-Gabrielle Carle (Florida State University, USA), 17-Jessie Fleming (UCLA, USA)
FORWARDS (6): 6-Deanne Rose (University of Florida, USA), 9-Jordyn Huitema (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 12-Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 15-Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash, USA), 16-Janine Beckie (Manchester City FC, USA), 19-Adriana Leon (West Ham United FC)
USA VS. CANADA
The USA is 49-3-7 all-time against Canada and while the Americans have had a long history of success in this series, the 13 meetings since the turn of the decade have featured three ties and four one-goal wins for the USA.
The most recent meeting between the teams was at qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the USA won 2-0 in Frisco, Texas, on an early goal from Rose Lavelle and a late score from Alex Morgan.
Before the Nov. 9 and Nov. 12 matches in 2017, a 1-1 draw in Vancouver (Alex Morgan scored) and a 3-1 U.S. victory in San Jose, Calif. (goals by Julie Ertz, Morgan and Carli Lloyd), the most recent meeting had come in the title game of the 2016 Concacaf Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on Feb. 21, 2016, in Houston, Texas, a 2-0 U.S. win on goals from Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan.
Prior to that match, the teams tied 1-1 in Winnipeg in May of 2014, a little more than a year before the start of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Sydney Leroux scored the USA’s lone goal in 78th minute.
The USA and Canada have played each other 59 times, making it the most common USWNT opponent in history.
The USA and Canada have been playing since the second year of the U.S. WNT program in 1986 and met in the fifth and sixth matches in U.S. history, which also were the first domestic games for the U.S. Women.
Multiple meetings in a calendar year between the USA and Canada are far from a rarity. In fact, the teams played five times in both 2000 and 2008, tied for the most meetings in a year for the U.S. team against any opponent.
The teams have met three times in world championship competition, the first coming in the third-place match of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup a 3-1 U.S. victory at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The USA earned a 2-1 overtime win in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Olympics as Natasha Kai scored the game-winner in Shanghai, China, and of course the teams played an epic semifinal in the 2012 Olympics, a match the USA won 4-3 in the last minute of overtime stoppage time on a header from Alex Morgan.
Canada has a very similar roster to the one that faced the USA in the World Cup Qualifying Final in 2018 with 16 players appearing on both rosters.
The teams are of course extremely familiar with each other as many of Canada’s players plays domestically. Fourteen players play in the USA, nine in the NWSL where they are teammates with many U.S. players, and five play in U.S. college programs, including UCLA’s Jesse Fleming who is one of the top players in college soccer.
Of the six Canadians on the roster who play in Europe, three previously played in the NWSL.
The tournament’s leading scorer is 18-year-old Jordyn Huitema. She bagged five goals against Jamaica, one against St. Kitts & Nevis and scored the crucial game-winner in the 1-0 semifinal win against Costa Rica to send Canada to the Olympics.
Canada’s players in Europe are all at top clubs, as goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo plays as Vittsjö GIK in Sweden, midfielder Ashley Lawrence is in France with PSG, defender Kadeisha Buchanan in France with Champions League title holders Olympique Lyonnais and forward Janine Beckie, who played for the Houston Dash and Sky Blue FC, is currently in England with Manchester City. Adriana Leon, who has four goals in this tourney, is at West Ham United FC in England. She played with the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, Western New York Flash, Sky Blue FC and the Seattle Reign.
Canada has a slew of talented young players, including Huitema, who skipped college soccer to turn pro and sign with PSG. Fleming, forward Deanne Rose, who plays at Florida, midfielder Julie Grosso, who plays at Texas, Gabrielle Carle, who plays at Florida State, and Jayde Riviere at Michigan, are all excelling in the U.S. college ranks.
Sinclair, 36, is one of the greatest players in the history of women’s soccer. A living legend in Canada, she is now in her 21st year of playing international soccer. She chased Abby Wambach for quite a while before inevitably scoring goal 185 in her 290th international game and breaking the world’s all-time scoring record. Sinclair surpassed Mia Hamm for the number two spot in February of 2016.
The Portland Thorns FC star, and a legend at the University of Portland (where she played with Megan Rapinoe) is also the third all-time leading scorer in NWSL history with 49 goals, just one behind Lynn Williams.