Five Things to Know: USA vs. Dominican Republic

The U.S. Women’s National Team takes to the pitch for the first time in 2024 on Tuesday, Feb. 20, kicking off the  Concacaf W Gold Cup with group stage showdown against the Dominican Republic. The sides will square off at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and the match will be broadcast in English on Paramount+ and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.


Get ready for the USWNT’s first match of 2024 with Five Things to Know about USA vs. Dominican Republic.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC JOINS USA IN GROUP A

The Dominican Republic topped Guyana 1-0 on Feb. 17 at the Dignity Health Track & Field Stadium to secure its spot in Group A of the Concacaf W Gold. Squaring off in the first of three preliminary matches to determine the final participants in the 12-team Gold Cup, the Dominican Republic netted the game’s only goal in the 55th minute off a strike from distance by midfielder Kat Gonzalez.

The Dominican Republic dominated the match from the opening whistle, outshooting Guyana 21-8 on the afternoon. Despite dominating play, the Dominican Republic held scoreless in the first half due to some stellar goalkeeping from Guyana netminder and former U.S. Under-17 Women’s Youth National Team goalkeeper Chante Sandiford.

The persistent attack finally paid off in the early stages of the second half, as Gonzalez, who hails from Pennsylvania and played college soccer at East Carolina and Marshall, beat Sandiford from outside the penalty area following a Dominican Republic corner kick. The DR withheld a late charge by Guyana to secure the shutout and their place in the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup.

ROAD TO THE W GOLD CUP

The Dominican Republic, which was selected to host the 2024 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup later this fall, qualified for the W Gold Cup Prelims by winning Group C of League B of the Road to W Gold Cup.

Las Quisqueyanas won five of their six matches during the Qualifying phase, suffering their lone defeat in the group stage opener against Bermuda. Bouncing back from the opening defeat, the Dominican Republic outscored the opposition 24-1 over the final five games of Group C play and avenged the early loss with a 2-0 win over Bermuda on the final matchday to clinch its berth in the Prelims.

Forward Jazmin Jackson led the team in scoring with four goals during the pre-qualifying tournament while Gonzalez, Mia Asenjo and Lucia Marte had three each. Marte, the team captain, also led the squad with three assists.

INSIDE THE ROSTER: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

There is a heavy American influence in the squad selected by head coach Henry Parra for this Concacaf W Gold Cup as twelve of the 23 players on the roster currently play for clubs or colleges in the United States. Asenjo, who had a team-high nine shots against Guyana, is one such player and recently completed her redshirt sophomore season at the University of Central Florida. Playing under former U.S. Women’s National Team defender, assistant coach and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, Asenjo tallied career highs in goals (3) and assists (3) while starting all 18 games for the Knights in 2023.

At 26 years of age, team captain Lucia Marte is one of the older and more experienced players on this roster. A creative and crafty attacking player, Marte currently plays for Watford FC in England and previously spent time with the Under-23 Spain Women’s Youth National Team. She began her club career with Tottenham Hotspur, spending many seasons with the London club followed by a stint with Real Betis.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Odaliana Gomez (Florida International, USA), 12-Carolina Moreno (Cibao FC), 20-Paloma Peña (Univ. of Florida, USA)

DEFENDERS (8): 2-Alexa Pacheco (Goldey-Beacom College, USA), 3-Stella Tapia (Univ. of Michigan, USA), 4-Giovanna Dionicio (Univ. of Connecticut, USA), 5-Nadia Colon (Univ. of Texas, USA), 16-Renata Mercedes (Connecticut FC, USA), 18-Claudia Alcantara (Fundacion Eagles FC), 19-Gabriella Cuevas (Unattached), Brianne Reed (SF Damaiense, POR)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Winibian Peralta (Municipal Perez Zeledon, CRC), 13-Keisla Gil (Central Methodist Univ., USA), 14-Lucia Marte (Watford FC, ENG), 15-Kat Gonzalez (Unattached), 21-Jaylen Vallecillo (Unattached)

FORWARDS (7): 6-Yomerci Brito (5 de Abril), 8-Dahien Cabrera (Edward Waters Univ., USA), 9-Mia Asenjo (Univ. of Central Florida), 10-Vanessa Kara (Unattached), 11-Alyssa Oviedo (Unattached), 17-Jazmin Jackson (Virginia Commonwealth Univ., USA), 23-Angelina Vargas (PDA, USA)

INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Tuesday’s Group A matchup will be the second meeting all-time between the USWNT and the Dominican Republic and the first since 2012, when the teams met in Concacaf Olympic qualifying. The teams squared off in Vancouver, Canada on January 20, 2012, in the group stage of Concacaf Qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics at which the USA would go on to win the gold medal.

The USA defeated the Dominican Republic 14-0 in that match, setting program records for the most goals scored and largest margin of victory in program history. Amy Rodriguez led the USA with a five-goal outburst while Heather O’Reilly also netted a hat trick for the Americans.

Overall, the U.S. is unbeaten in its last 79 matches against Concacaf opposition on home soil, posting a record of 77 wins, two draws and zero losses during this run which dates back to December of 2000.

GOLDEN STATE OF MIND

Drawn into Group A, the USA will play the entirety of the group stage at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. and would play six of the possible games of this Concacaf W Gold Cup in the friendly confines of California. The USWNT has played more matches in California (53) than any other state in the country and has never lost a match in the Golden State, boasting an overall record of 49W-4D-0L.

The U.S. has won 31 of its last 32 games played in the state of California, including both matches played in 2023 – a 2-0 victory over Wales in San Jose on July 9 and a 3-0 win over Colombia in San Diego on Oct. 29.

Yet no venue in California or the country has hosted the USWNT more than the Dignity Health Sports Park. The U.S is unbeaten at the Carson, Calif. venue, going 17W-1D-0L since playing its first game there in September of 2003 shortly after the stadium opened.

The U.S. most recently played at the Dignity Health Sports Park in February of 2022 in the SheBelieves Cup with matches against the Czech Republic and New Zealand.