The USA’s qualifying road to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was not without drama or difficulty, but in the end the Americans once again swept through a CONCACAF tournament and booked their tickets to Canada.
The 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship was staged in four U.S. cities – Kansas City, Kan., Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia – with the top three finishers earning automatic berths to the Women’s World Cup.
The USA opened its competition in Kansas City against a tough and determined Trinidad & Tobago side that held the Americans to a lone goal, scored by Abby Wambach in the 54th minute. The USA did have a 29-7 advantage in shots, but T&T goalkeeper Kimika Forbes had an excellent match to keep the score down while her teammates executed their tactics extremely well in forming a bunker in front of her.
A bit of frustration and adversity can add steel to a team, and a focused USA headed to Chicago for its second group match against a Guatemala side that also sat way back in its defensive third. The WNT could produce only one goal in the first half, that coming from Tobin Heath in the 7th minute, but found its legs after the break and smashed in four more goals for a 5-0 win. Heath added another along with single goals from Carli Lloyd, defender Whitney Engen and Megan Rapinoe.
The USA did suffer a setback in the match as forward Alex Morgan badly sprained her ankle in the first half. She was ruled out of the tournament and, unable to replace an injured player after the start of the tournament, the USA continued on with a 19-player roster.
Carrying momentum from the victory against Guatemala, the USA traveled to Washington, D.C. to face Haiti in its final group match, and the Caribbean side dropped even deeper into its own defensive third than the USA’s first two opponents. Despite facing 11 defenders often within 40 yards of the Haiti goal, the USA managed to break the bunker with an early strike from Lloyd, while Wambach scored seven minutes before the break. The USA then put away the Haitians in the second half with another goal from Wambach, a goal-of-the-year worthy strike from defender Meghan Klingenberg (her first in a U.S. uniform) and single scores from Christen Press and Morgan Brian to win 6-0.Read more
CHICAGO (Oct. 16) - Focused on earning a berth to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup set to be hosted in Canada next summer, the U.S. Women’s National Team played its first qualifying match in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship – at the end of which, the top three teams automatically qualify for the World Cup – with a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis acknowledged her team’s difficulty in the breaking down its opponent, but took the positive of opening tournament play with a win.
“Obviously, pleased that we got three points,” Ellis said after the match. “Credit to Trinidad, we don’t often see teams that sit as organized and put so many numbers behind the ball, so for us it was an excellent challenge. Defensively, we gave up some big mistakes, but for us right now, it literally is about regrouping and getting ready for Friday.”
The USA’s lone goal came in the 54th minute after forward Alex Morgan broke out on the left side of the box, was able to get past the goalkeeper, and sent a beauty of a pass to Abby Wambach, who knocked a header into the net to give the USA the advantage and eventual victory. The goal was the 171st of Wambach’s career with the National Team.
Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team's 1-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago in its opening match of the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.Read more
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (Oct. 15, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned a 1-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago to open Group A play at the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship at Sporting Park, home of Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City.
Trinidad & Tobago managed to withstand the USA’s heavy attack with plenty of defenders behind the ball, but the U.S. eventually found the back of the net when all-time leading goal scorer Abby Wambach scored her 171st international goal in the 54th minute.
After the tournament’s opening day, the USA shares first place in Group A with Haiti as both teams earned 1-0 wins. In Wednesday’s earlier match, a shorthanded Haiti side defeated Guatemala at Sporting Park as Lindsey Zullo scored the game’s only goal. Haiti goalkeeper Cynthia Chery was given a red card early in the first half.
With the victory against Trinidad & Tobago, the USA moves to an impressive 23-1-0 all-time in Women’s World Cup Qualifying. All eyes are on qualification for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, and the U.S. is also looking to win its fifth CONCACAF Women’s Championship, having previously won the title in 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2006. The USA hosted the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and did not have to go through the qualification process heading into that event.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan), 54th minute: After dominating the game with heavy possession and numerous scoring chances, the USA finally broke through when Morgan dribbled to her left to elude Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes. From the end line, Morgan crossed to Wambach perched at the edge of the six-yard box, and Wambach headed the ball past defender Lauryn Hutchinson and into the right side of the frame for her eighth goal this year and a one-goal U.S. advantage over Trinidad & Tobago. USA 1, TRI 0 (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 14th minute: The USA was lurking in the final third with frequent set piece opportunities. Megan Rapinoe delivered a corner kick from the right side and connected well with the onrushing Christen Press, who headed the ball toward the left side of the frame. Forbes parried the well-struck shot straight up and was able to collect.
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 38th and 39th minutes: In the 38th minute, Carli Lloyd unleashed a shot from 21 yards out after a quick give-and-go with Megan Rapinoe, but Forbes denied Lloyd with a diving save to her right at the near post to surrender a corner kick. In the following sequence, Rapinoe’s corner from the left side bounced around the box, and Abby Wambach, with her back to goal, attempted a flicked header. Wambach put the shot on frame, but it lacked pace and power as Forbes collected her third save.
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 52nd minute: Several minutes after pushing a high-percentage header chance wide right of the net, Abby Wambach was back on the attack when Christen Press set her up inside the top of the box. From 14 yards out, Wambach tried to chip the ball over Forbes, but the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper closed the distance and made the right-handed save.
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 62nd and 81st minutes: Though the shots on goal were not in succession, Forbes had a knack for coming up with big saves against Rapinoe. Rapinoe’s 62nd-minute attempt from the left side was stopped by the Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper, and then her low, 81st-minute drive was smothered at the near right post.
TRI – Kimika Forbes, 90th+2 minute: USA second-half sub Sydney Leroux got behind Trinidad & Tobago’s defense with a run down the left side. Leroux shot right-footed, hoping to slot the ball to the far right post, but Forbes made the save with her left leg.
- Abby Wambach, the U.S. WNT’s all-time leader with 171 goals, recorded her 11th-career goal in Women’s World Cup Qualifying, tying her for fourth on the USA’s all-time list with Joy Fawcett.
- U.S. captain Christie Rampone appeared in her 298th match as she nears the 300-game milestone. She is second only to Kristine Lilly (352 caps from 1987-2010) in all-time WNT caps.
- With her 177th cap, Carli Lloyd moved past Shannon MacMillan (176 games from 1993-2005) for 12th on the WNT’s all-time caps list.
- Abby Wambach and second-half sub Heather O’Reilly have now appeared in four different CONCACAF Women’s Championships (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014). That mark ties for second place among U.S. WNT players, trailing only Lilly’s five (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2010).
- Hope Solo added to her U.S. WNT record with her 74th-career shutout, making one save on the night.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT continues Group A play in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship against Guatemala on Friday, Oct. 17, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. The game kicks off at 8 p.m. CT.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 and multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOXSportsGo.com.
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- The USA is now 11-2-3 in 2014.
- The U.S. WNT is 8-0-0 all-time against Trinidad & Tobago and 4-0-0 in World Cup qualifying. Wednesday’s game was the USA’s closest margin of victory between the two sides. The previous mark was the USA’s 3-1 win on April 10, 1994.
- The USA has outscored Trinidad & Tobago 55-2 in the all-time series.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis’ starting lineup included a defensive group featuring goalkeeper Hope Solo, right back Ali Krieger, left back Meghan Klingenberg and center backs Becky Sauerbrunn and Christie Rampone. Rampone wore the captain’s armband.
- The U.S. midfield included Lauren Holiday on the left, Carli Lloyd on the right and Abby Wambach playing centrally in a 4-3-3 formation.
- The front line included Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Christen Press from left to right.
- Sydney Leroux replaced Press in the 61st minute.
- Heather O’Reilly entered the game in the 77th minute for Wambach, who departed with well-earned chants from the USA fan base.
- Ellis’ final sub was Amy Rodriguez, who replaced Rapinoe in the 87th minute.
- Nine of the USA starters had played in a previous World Cup qualifier heading into the match, while Klingenberg and Press made their first appearances and starts in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
- Wambach is the USA’s active leader in World Cup qualifying appearances, earning her 11th cap. Rampone, Lloyd and O’Reilly earned their 10th caps in the qualifying tournament.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Trinidad & Tobago
Date: Oct. 15, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
Venue: Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kansas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT
Weather: 60 degrees, cool
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
TRI 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (Alex Morgan) 54th minute
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (8-Amy Rodriguez, 87), 14-Christen Press (2-Sydney Leroux, 61); 20-Abby Wambach (9-Heather O’Reilly, 77), 13-Alex Morgan
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 7-Morgan Brian, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
TRI: 1-Kimika Forbes; 4-Rhea Belgrave, 5-Arin King, 15-Liana Hinds (18-Khadisha Debessette, 79), 16-Brianna Ryce; 20-Lauren Hutchinson, 9-Maylee Attin Johnson (capt.), 8-Patrice Superville (14-Karyn Forbes, 82), 10-Tasha St Louis (3-Mariah Shade, 46); 12-Ahkeela Mollon, 19-Kennya Cordner
Subs Not Used: 2-Ayanna Russell, 6-Khadidra Debessete, 7-Dernelle Mascall, 11-Janine Francois, 13-Anique Walker, 17-Tenesha Palmer
Head Coach: Randy Waldrum
Stats Summary: USA / TRI
Shots: 29 / 7
Shots on Goal: 9 / 1
Saves: 1 / 8
Corner Kicks: 10 / 1
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 1 / 0
TRI - Maylee Attin Johnson (caution) 16th minute
Referee: Marianela Araya (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Kimberly Moreira (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lauren HolidayRead more