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USA Downs Georgia 5-1 in First Match of 2016 Slovakia Cup

TRNAVA, Slovakia (April 25, 2016) – The U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team defeated Georgia 5-1, in the first match of the 2016 Slovakia Cup. With five different scorers, the USA will look to establish a victorious run in Group B against Ukraine on April 26 at 7 a.m. ET.

The U.S. tallied first in the 10th minute with defender Danny Barbir scoring from a Brandon Vazquez assist. Nearly 10 minutes later, Nelson Hunsinger got on the board with the help of Pierre Da Silva. Just before halftime, Vazquez stepped up to take a penalty shot, slotting the ball past Georgia goalkeeper Giorgi Chochishvili.

The second half started much the same when U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie received an assist from Hugo Arellano to increase the score to 4-0. In the 50th minute, Georgia was awarded a penalty kick with Temur Chogadze rising to the occasion, placing the ball past U.S. keeper Ben Hale to get Georgia on the board. However, the U.S. wasn’t done scoring; Ernesto Espinoza struck a 78th-minute corner kick toward the box that curled into the net for an olímpico goal.

-U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team vs. Georgia
Date: April 25, 2016
Competition: Slovakia Cup 2016 – Group B
Venue: Modranka Stadium – Trnava, Slovakia
Kickoff: 5 a.m. ET
Attendance: 200
Weather: 48 degrees, overcast

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               3      2      5
GEO                               0      1      1

USA – Danny Barbir (Brandon Vazquez)                 10th minute
USA – Nelson Hunsinger (Pierre Da Silva)              23
USA – Brandon Vazquez (penalty kick)                   38
USA – Weston McKennie (Hugo Arellano)            45
GEO – Temur Chogadze (penalty kick)                    50
USA – Ernesto Espinoza                                                74

Lineups:
USA: 12-Ben Hale; 2-Marlon Fossey, 5-Hector Montalvo (21-Nabilai Kibunguchy, 51), 4-Danny Barbir, 3-Hugo Arellano; 10-Luca De La Torre (6-Eric, Calvillo, 40) (14-Sebastien Des Pres, 64), 9-Weston McKennie (capt.); 17-Pierre Da Silva (7-Isaiah Young, 59), 23-Nelson Hunsinger (19-Joe Gallardo, 40), 11-Ernesto Espinoza; 8-Brandon Vazquez (20-Colby Agu, 40)
Substitutions Not Used: 22-Benny Diaz
Not Dressed: 1-Will Pulisic, 15-Alexis Velela, 16-Ander Egiluz
Head coach: Brad Friedel

GEO: 1-Giorgi Chochishvili; 15-Nikoloz Mali, 3-Omar Bulukhadze, 4-Luka Lockoshvili (capt.), 14-Luka Lakhvekheliani (5-Daviti Kobouri, 40); 6-Girogi Kutsia (16-Giorgi Kochorashvili, 64), 8-Luka Pochkhua (18-Merabi Megreladze, 40); 20-Temur Chogadze, 7-Gabriel Sagrishvili (17-Iosebi Molashvili, 74), 10-Giorgi Chakvetadze (18-Merabi Megreladze, 63); 11-Beka Kavtaradze
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Shalva Burjanadze, 12-Levan Isiani, 13-Tonma Khubashvili
Not Dressed: 9-Irakli Bugridze, 19-Tornike Tchuradze
Head coach: George Kipiani

Stats Summary: USA / GEO
Shots: 12 / 7
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 18 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA– Isaiah Young (caution)                       65th minute
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution)                   79

Officials:
Referee: Machalek (Czech Republic)
Assistant Referee 1: M. Roszbeck (Slovakia)
Assistant Referee 2: M. Strbo (Slovakia)
Fourth Official: Folstad Skarsem (Norway)

* Match was played in 40 minute halves.

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U-19 MNT Apr 25, 2016

-U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Under-19 Men’s National Team vs. Georgia
Date: April 25, 2016
Competition: Slovakia Cup 2016 – Group B
Venue: Modranka Stadium – Trnava, Slovakia
Kickoff: 5 a.m. ET
Attendance: 200
Weather: 48 degrees, overcast

Scoring Summary:   1      2      F
USA                               3      2      5
GEO                               0      1      1

USA – Danny Barbir (Brandon Vazquez)                 10th minute
USA – Nelson Hunsinger (Pierre Da Silva)              23
USA – Brandon Vazquez (penalty kick)                   38
USA – Weston McKennie (Hugo Arellano)            45
GEO – Temur Chogadze (penalty kick)                    50
USA – Ernesto Espinoza                                                74

Lineups:
USA: 12-Ben Hale; 2-Marlon Fossey, 5-Hector Montalvo (21-Nabilai Kibunguchy, 51), 4-Danny Barbir, 3-Hugo Arellano; 10-Luca De La Torre (6-Eric, Calvillo, 40) (14-Sebastien Des Pres, 64), 9-Weston McKennie (capt.); 17-Pierre Da Silva (7-Isaiah Young, 59), 23-Nelson Hunsinger (19-Joe Gallardo, 40), 11-Ernesto Espinoza; 8-Brandon Vazquez (20-Colby Agu, 40)
Substitutions Not Used: 22-Benny Diaz
Not Dressed: 1-Will Pulisic, 15-Alexis Velela, 16-Ander Egiluz
Head coach: Brad Friedel

GEO: 1-Giorgi Chochishvili; 15-Nikoloz Mali, 3-Omar Bulukhadze, 4-Luka Lockoshvili (capt.), 14-Luka Lakhvekheliani (5-Daviti Kobouri, 40); 6-Girogi Kutsia (16-Giorgi Kochorashvili, 64), 8-Luka Pochkhua (18-Merabi Megreladze, 40); 20-Temur Chogadze, 7-Gabriel Sagrishvili (17-Iosebi Molashvili, 74), 10-Giorgi Chakvetadze (18-Merabi Megreladze, 63); 11-Beka Kavtaradze
Substitutions Not Used: 2-Shalva Burjanadze, 12-Levan Isiani, 13-Tonma Khubashvili
Not Dressed: 9-Irakli Bugridze, 19-Tornike Tchuradze
Head coach: George Kipiani

Stats Summary: USA / GEO
Shots: 12 / 7
Shots on Goal: 8 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 18 / 14
Offside: 1 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
USA– Isaiah Young (caution)                       65th minute
USA – Hugo Arellano (caution)                   79

Officials:
Referee: Machalek (Czech Republic)
Assistant Referee 1: M. Roszbeck (Slovakia)
Assistant Referee 2: M. Strbo (Slovakia)
Fourth Official: Folstad Skarsem (Norway)

* Match was played in 40 minute halves.

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Alex Morgan is Scoring Goals and That’s Good for Everyone (Except Those Playing Against Her)

Alex Morgan is in the business of scoring goals. And business is booming.

In her last 26 games playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team, Morgan has scored 25 times. They’ve come in a multitude of ways – from the penalty spot, headers, blistering drives and breakaways. She’s scored game-winners and braces, against Japan on July 26 at the 2018 Tournament of Nations, she bagged a hat trick. It was the fourth of her career.

Morgan then added not one, or two, but three braces during the 2018 Concacaf Women's Championship, one in each group game she played in, and another against Jamaica in the crucial semifinal win that booked the U.S. a spot in France 2019. A single goal vs. Canada in the title game on Oct. 17 would give her 7 total - the most of any player - and would make her the Golden Boot winner as the tournament's leading scorer.

She’s been scoring for the USA since 2010, and since scoring goals is perhaps the most difficult part of the game, there have been periods of great form and a few dry spells. But the past year has been impressive even by the high standards we’ve come to expect from the 29-year-old.

It’s always been clear that when Morgan is in the zone, opposing defenses are in for a long night.

This 26-game run – in which the USA has not lost – began in the latter half of 2017 after she returned from her six-month stint at Olympique Lyonnais, lasted through the final seven games of 2017, then continued into 2018.

The current streak began in the final game of the 2017 Tournament of Nations and now more than a year later, she’s still on a roll. She closed 2017 with seven goals in seven games (which made her the team’s top scorer for the year) and finished 2018 with a team-leading 18 goals in the 19 games in which she played. The 18 goals in the a calendar year are the second most of her career. The only year in which she scored more was in 2012 - an Olympic year - when she netted 28.

In a span of a few months, Morgan put herself within striking distance of 100 goals. Currently at 98, she would become the seventh woman in U.S. history to reach the century mark and join a highly exclusive club which features Abby Wambach, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett and Carli Lloyd. Even more impressively, she is on pace to achieve this feat in less caps (currently at 153 after the Scotland game on Nov. 13) than four of those six legends (Wambach and Akers scored goal No. 100 in their 129th cap; Hamm scored in her 155th cap) and could become the third youngest player in WNT history to reach 100. Wambach scored her 100th goal just after her 29th birthday and Hamm reached 100 when she was 26-and-a-half-years old.

Morgan’s first WNT goal came on Oct. 2, 2010 against China PR. She played in eight games that year and scored four goals. She followed that up with six goals in 2011 and had a breakthrough performance at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

In 2012, Morgan had one of the best scoring years in U.S. history, tallying a remarkable 28 goals with 21 assists to lead the team in both categories. Her goal total was the third-best in U.S. history behind only Michelle Akers (39 in 1991) and Wambach (31 in 2004) and her assist total was tied for second-best in U.S. history behind only Hamm (22 in 2004) and tied with Carin Gabarra (21 in 1991). She also helped the USA to the gold medal at the London Olympics, scoring the epic 123rdminute game-winner in the semifinal final that is still the latest goal in FIFA history, and earned personal recognition when she finished third for the FIFA Player of the Year award and was named the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year for the first time.

The next two years for Morgan were unfortunately plagued by injuries. In 2013, she missed a few games but still played 811 minutes in 12 games and scored six goals with four assists. She spent much of 2014 finishing her recovery but returned to play in seven matches, starting four, while scoring five goals with four assists before she suffered an ankle injury in the second match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship that kept her out for the rest of the year.

She rounded into shape just in time to participate in her second World Cup at the senior level and she was a key member of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions. She came off the bench in the first two games as she regained her fitness, but then got the start in the final group game against Nigeria and started all four knock-out round games. She played in 22 of the USA’s 26 games that year and scored seven goals. She got back to her old self in 2016 when she found the net 17 times, including what was probably the best goal of the year on March 9 against Germany in the SheBelieves Cup.

Her 2017-18 has been even more impressive, and not just because of her scoring rate, but because the goals are coming against elite talent at a time when the level of play worldwide is increasingly competitive.

With a trip booked to France, the intensity of play is only increasing. And while the U.S. Women know that nothing is given and everything is earned, with Morgan in her current form, fans are surely looking forward to an entertaining few months ahead.

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WNT Nov 13, 2018
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