PREVIEW: USWNT Takes on Korea Republic in Kansas CityWatch USA-Korea Republic on Thursday, October 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and TUDN
The U.S. Women’s National Team continues its post-Olympic tour on Thursday, October 21, hosting Korea Republic at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. The match will be broadcast on ESPN2 and TUDN with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Official kickoff is slated for 8:08 p.m. ET.
Thursday’s game will be the first matches for the USWNT since a pair of victories over Paraguay during the September international window and the first in a two-game series with the Korea Republic. With its wins in Cleveland and Cincinnati, the USA extended its home winning streak to 22 consecutive matches, the second-longest home winning streak in USWNT history.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 6), Adrianna Franch (Kansas City NWSL; 9)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash; 76/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 41/1), Emily Fox (Racing Louisville; 4/0), Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars; 36/0), Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 147/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 195/0), Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 60/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 104/23), Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 64/16), Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 10/3), Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 30/4), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 19/2)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Arsenal, ENG; 179/36), Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 314/134), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 188/114), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars; 65/18), Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 185/61), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC; 8/1), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage; 42/13)
All 22 players from the 2020 Olympic Team were invited for the two matches against Paraguay, but due to injuries, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski called up four players who were not on the Olympic Team -- Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan, Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith, Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Pugh and Racing Louisville FC defender Emily Fox.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. KOREA REPUBLIC
The USA is unbeaten in 13 all-time meetings against Korea Republic, owning a 10-0-3 record in the overall series which dates to 1997. While the USA has played eight matches all-time in South Korea – over two Peace Queen Cup tournaments -- ironically, none of them were against South Korea. Every matchup between the USA and South Korea has taken place on American soil.
The nations met most recently in October of 2019 during the USWNT’s Victory Tour following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which also marked the final games for former USA head coach Jill Ellis. The USA won 2-0 in Charlotte, N.C. on October 3 behind goals from Allie Long and Mallory Pugh and drew 1-1 in Chicago on October 6, with Lloyd scoring the USA’s lone goal on the day.
Korea Republic will be the 15th different opponent the USA has faced in 2021 and the second from the Asian Football Confederation, with the U.S. having faced Australia twice during the Tokyo Olympics.
CELEBRATING THE CENTURY MARK
Before Thursday’s game in Kansas City, midfielder Lindsey Horan will be honored for reaching 100 caps. Horan, 27, is the 41st USWNT player to earn that distinction and the 18th youngest. The Colorado native earned her 100th cap during the Olympics on July 24 in a 6-1 victory against New Zealand, a match in which she scored her 23rd international goal. In her now 104 caps, Horan has tallied 22 goals and 33 assists.
#THANKYOUCARLI – THE LAST LEG FOR LLOYD THE LEGENDThese two matches will be the final ones in a U.S. uniform for USWNT legend Carli Lloyd, who will play her Farewell Match on Oct. 26 in Minnesota. Lloyd is currently the second-most capped player in world soccer history with 314 games played and has scored 134 international goals, third in USWNT history and fourth all-time in world history. Against Paraguay on Sept. 16, she got the two goals she needed to pass Kristine Lilly for third all-time on the U.S. list in the first six minutes, and just kept going, scoring five total to also move ahead of former German great Birgit Prinz on the world list. She scored one more on Sept. 26 vs. Paraguay. Following the Oct. 26 match, Lloyd will have at least two more NWSL games before she hangs up her boots for good as NJ/NY Gotham FC finishes the regular season with a match at Racing Louisville on Oct. 28 and then hosting Louisville at Red Bull Arena on Oct. 31.
The match in KC also represents a homecoming of sorts for U.S. goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, who hails from Salina, Kansas -- 162 miles due East from Children’s Mercy Park -- and currently plays in the NWSL with Kansas City. A 2019 World Cup champ and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, Franch is the only player from Kansas ever to make a world championship roster. She was the long-time goalkeeper for the Portland Thorns and in 2017 helped lead the Thorns to the NWSL title and was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, a distinction she also earned in 2018. On Aug. 17 of this year, she was traded from the Thorns to her home state team for goalkeeper Abby Smith and $150,000 in allocation money.
Kansas City is also the adoptive home area of Andonovski, who played indoor soccer for the Kansas City Comets, coached the Comets and then coached FC Kansas City to a pair of NWSL Championships. Becky Sauerbrunn and Kristie Mewis both played for Andonovski in Kansas City earlier in their professional careers.
SUCCESS ON HOME SOIL
The USA enters the matches against Korea Republic on a 60-game home unbeaten streak which includes 55 wins and five draws. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 221-27, including a 91-3 margin during its last 22 matches at home, all of which have been wins. The USWNT's 22-game home winning streak dates back to a 3-2 win over Sweden on November 7, 2019, which was also Vlakto Andonovski’s first match in charge of the USWNT.
The 22-game home win streak is also the second-longest such streak in program history and
is the team's longest since a 20-game home winning streak that spanned from October 2005 to October 2007. The USA's longest home winning streak was 23 games and spanned from April 1993 to February 1996.
U.S. Soccer is planning on a November trip to Australia for the USWNT that would feature two matches in and around Sydney on Nov. 27 and 30 that would be played under strict COVID-19 protocols, provided proper approvals from the Australia government are in place to allow the U.S. team to enter the country and train and play in a highly controlled environment. More information on the possible confirmation of these matches will hopefully be available in the coming weeks.
ONE NATION COMMUNITY EVENTSUnder the umbrella of ‘One Nation,’ U.S. Soccer’s social responsibility platform, the Federation is focused on taking specific actions to inspire greater inclusion and generate real change in the communities it visits.
For the matches in Kansas City, U.S. Soccer has partnered with Kansas Youth Soccer and SAY Soccer for a free Coach for Community event at the U.S. Soccer National Performance Center on Wednesday, October 27. Chioma Atanmo, Manager of Community Programs at Sporting Kansas City, will be recognized as the U.S. Soccer Game Ambassador for the Oct. 21 match vs South Korea in recognition for her work advocating for marginalized communities and her efforts to make soccer more accessible and inclusive for kids that look like her on and off the field.
2023 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ON THE HORIZON
With COVID-19 delaying the Olympics, there is now less than a year until the start of qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted in Australia and New Zealand beginning in July of 2023. The Concacaf qualifying tournament is scheduled to take place in July of 2022, with the top four teams guaranteeing their spot in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Two more Concacaf representatives will advance to a 10-team intercontinental play-off to determine the final teams in the expand 32-team field for 2023.
Also new this cycle is the qualifying format for Concacaf itself. On August 19, the confederation announced the qualifying path to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is now also the path to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and, for a few teams, the newly instituted 2024 W Gold Cup. The newly dubbed 2021 Concacaf W Qualifiers will begin for all teams -- except the USA and Canada -- during the FIFA Women’s Match Windows in November 2021 and April 2022 and will serve as the preliminary round of the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. The eight team Concacaf W Championship will be held in July 2022 and will consist of group play, followed by semifinal and championship rounds. Along with qualifying for the World Cup, at conclusion of the Concacaf W Championship, the winning nation will also guarantee its place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Women’s Football Tournament and the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The runner-up and the third-place nations will progress to a Concacaf Olympic play-in to be played in September of 2023. The winner of the play-in will also guarantee their place in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games and the 2024 W Gold Cup.
2021 USWNT MEDIA GUIDE
The 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Media Guide is available for download. The Media Guide features all the history and statistics of the USWNT, as well as full bios on technical staff and the current top players, information on the USA’s Youth National Teams, and general important information on U.S. Soccer.
USA ROSTER NOTES
As she enters her final four games in a U.S. uniform, Lloyd is by far the most experienced player on the roster with 314 caps and now has the second-most ever caps in USWNT history as she has moved past Christie Pearce Rampone (311). The next most experienced player on this roster -- defender Becky Sauerbrunn – is 119 caps behind her with 195.
The other players on the roster with over 100 caps are forwards Alex Morgan (188), Megan Rapinoe (185) and Tobin Heath (179) and defender Kelley O’Hara (147).
So far this year, 14 players have scored the USA’s 66 goals: Carli Lloyd (11), Megan Rapinoe (9), Alex Morgan (7), Christen Press (6), Samantha Mewis (6), Lindsey Horan (4), Lynn Williams (4), Tobin Heath (3), Kristie Mewis (2), Rose Lavelle (3), Catarina Macario (3), Margaret Purce (2), Andi Sullivan (2) and Sophia Smith (1). Three of the USA’s 66 goals in 2021 have been own goals.
Twenty different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (6), Christen Press (5), Lindsey Horan (5), Rose Lavelle (5), Samantha Mewis (4), Mallory Pugh (3), Lynn Williams (3), Megan Rapinoe (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Crystal Dunn (2), Julie Ertz (2), Tierna Davidson (2), Casey Krueger (2), Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, Emily Sonnett, Sophia Smith, Tobin Heath, Catarina Macario, Andi Sullivan and Sophia Smith.
Overall, 21 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 66 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
Just one player -- Carli Lloyd – has played in every game in 2021. Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle, Lindsey Horan and Alex Morgan have played in 18 matches each while Megan Rapinoe and Becky Sauerbrunn have played in 17 each. Dunn leads the team in starts with 17 this year while Becky Sauerbrunn has 16 starts.
Vlatko Andonovski is 26-2-3 in 31 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and 20 so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
IN FOCUS: KOREA REPUBLIC | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
FIFA World Ranking: 18
AFC Ranking: 5
World Cup Appearances: 3 (2003, 2015, 2019)
Olympic Appearances: N/A
Record vs. USA: 0-10-3
Head Coach: Colin Bell
KOREA REPUBLIC DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Younggeul YOON (Gyeongju KHNP), 18-Jungmi KIM (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 19-Gaae KANG (Sejong Sportstoto)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-Hyojoo CHOO (Suwon UDC), 4-Sohee LEE (Hwacheon KSPO), 3-Yeonga JEONG (Gyeongju KHNP), 5-Hyeji HONG (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 6-Seonjoo LIM (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 7-Hyeri KIM (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 16-Selgi JANG (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 20-Hahnul KWON (Boeun Sangmu)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 8-Sohyun CHO (Tottenham Hotspur, ENG), 9-Minji YEO (Gyeongju KHNP), 10-Soyun JI (Chelsea FC, ENG), 13-Geummin LEE (Brighton & Hove Albion WFC, ENG), 15-Yeeun PARK (Gyeongju KHNP), 17-Youngju LEE (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 21-Seongmi KIM (Sejong Sportstoto), 22-Jeongmin LEE (Boeun Sangmu)
FORWARDS (4): 11-Yuri CHOE (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 12-Hwayeon SON (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 14-Jiyoun SEO (Gyeongju KHNP), 23-Mijin CHO (Korea University)
KOREA REPUBLIC ROSTER NOTES
Korea Republic played the first international match in its history in 1990, against AFC rival Japan. Since the turn of the century, Korea has made significant strides, qualifying for the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it was eliminated after the group stage, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it advanced to the Round of 16 – its best performance to date – before bowing out at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it went out after group play.
South Korea won the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup played in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Japan in the penalty kick shootout in the championship game after tying 3-3 in regulation and overtime.
In addition to winning the 2010 U-17 Women's World Cup, Korea finished third the same year in the U-20 Women's World Cup, losing to eventual champion Germany 5-1 in the semifinal before beating Colombia 1-0 in the 3rd Place match. Soyun Ji, who is on this roster and now leads the squad with 59 goals in 127 caps, won the Silver Ball and the Silver Boot while scoring eight goals in that tournament.
Ji, who plays for Chelsea in the FA WSL, is one of three players on this roster plying her trade in Europe. Fellow midfielder Sohyun Cho currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur after spending three seasons previously at West Ham United. With 129 international appearances, Cho is the most capped player in her Federation’s history. Forward Geummin Lee has two goals on the young season for Brighton & Hove Albion and has 18 goals in 60 caps for Korea Republic.
The remaining 20 players on the roster all play their club soccer domestically in South Korea, eight of them for the Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels and five from Gyeongju KHNP.
South Korea has qualified for each of the past two Women’s World Cups and can make it three in a row should they qualify via the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. The 12-team tournament kicks off in India in late January and serves as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Australia has automatically qualified as a co-host, leaving an additional five World Cup berths to be determined during the Asian Cup, along with two spots in the 10-team intercontinental playoff tournament to determine the last three teams for the World Cup.
Korea Republic qualified for the 2020 AFC Women’s Asian Cup by winning its qualifying group in September, beating Mongolia 12-0 on September 17, followed by a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan on September 23.