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WNT Defeats Canada 2-0 to Win 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship

HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 21, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Canada 2-0 on second half goals from Lindsey Horan and Tobin Heath to win the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The win marks the fourth consecutive title in this tournament for the USA which has the longest unbeaten streak in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying history and an overall 18-0-1 record. The USA earned its berth to the 2016 Olympics by defeating Trinidad & Tobago in the semifinal on Feb. 19.

Horan opened the scoring on a header in the 53rd minute off an assist from Becky Sauerbrunn, who was celebrating her 100th appearance with the U.S. WNT. Tobin Heath added the second and final goal of the match in the 61st minute with a nifty finish after a weaving dribble and assist from Mallory Pugh. Pugh and Heath had combined for the winning goal against T&T two days earlier on a remarkably similar play.

In addition to winning the tournament title, the U.S. women also swept the individual awards. Hope Solo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper, Crystal Dunn took the Golden Boot as top scorer with six and Morgan Brian won the Golden Ball as best player. The USA also took home the Fair Play Award and had eight players named to the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Best XI: Solo, Kelley O’Hara, Sauerbrunn, Horan, Brian, Heath, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.

Solo earned her 95th shutout and recorded her 144th win, further extending her U.S. records.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn), 53rd minute:
In her 100th cap, Becky Sauerbrunn brought down a clearance inside Canada’s half and lofted a ball back over the defense and deep into the penalty box. Horan beat her defender and the charging goalkeeper to the ball to flick home a header into the open net for her second international score and her first of the tournament. USA 1, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh), 61st minute: In a similar combination of players and events as the USA’s first goal in the competition’s semifinal match two days prior, Mallory Pugh made a dynamic run down the left flank. She beat her defender with a brilliant nutmeg and then raced into the box before playing a square ball on the ground through the penalty area. Tobin Heath made a hard run to the middle of the box and smashed a left- footer inside the near post for her 14th international score. USA 2, CAN 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL.

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
USA – Hope Solo, 71st minute:
Canada’s only shot on goal came in the 71st minute when Melissa Tancredi sent a menacing header towards the near post on the left side, but Solo was up to the task, reacting well to make the save and send the ball out of play for a corner kick. She then grabbed the ensuring cross to maintain the clean sheet and earn her 95th shutout.

CAN – Allysha Chapman, 88th minute: Tobin Heath once again had a fantastic opportunity to score from short range but Chapman’s quick reaction to block the shot near the goal line that was headed into the lower right corner kept the score down.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT will face England in the opening match of the inaugural SheBelieves Cup on March 3 (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The She Believes Cup will run from March 3-9 and will take place in Tampa and Boca Raton, Florida, and Nashville, Tenn. The other two nations participating in the four-nation tournament that features a quartet of the world’s top five teams are France and Germany. Click here for the full tournament schedule.

Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt@ussoccer_esp);FacebookInstagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • The U.S. WNT extended its streak to 10 consecutive games in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying without allowing a goal, dating back to the Final of the 2008 Qualifying tournament when the U.S. tied Canada 1-1 on April 12, 2008 and went on to win in penalty kicks 6-5.
  • The USA has never lost a match in Olympic Qualifying, but did tie Canada 1-1 in the title game of the 2008 tournament before prevailing in penalty kicks. The team remains unbeaten all-time in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying with an 18-0-1 record.
  • This marks the 11th overall CONCACAF title for the WNT, including four Olympic Qualifying tournaments and five Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournaments.
  • Lindsey Horan scored her first goal in an Olympic qualifying match. It was her second international goal and first of 2016. The assist on that goal was the third of Becky Sauerbrunn’s career.
  • Tonight’s match was the third consecutive start for Kelley O’Hara and Mallory Pugh after both were in the starting XI against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15. It was also Pugh’s third career start.
  • Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian, who play for the NWSL’s Houston Dash, played in their home club venue – BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Tobin Heath’s goal marked her 14th international score, fifth overall in Olympic Qualifying and second in 2016.
  • Eight players on the roster have now scored a goal in an Olympic Qualifying match for the USA: Lloyd (12), Alex Morgan (9), Crystal Dunn (6), Heath (5), Christen Press (3), Horan (1), Kelley O’Hara (1) and Samantha Mewis (1).
  • Horan and Heath became the sixth and seventh U.S. WNT players to score in a CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament title match. Lindsay Tarpley, Julie Foudy, Abby Wambach, Lloyd and Morgan are the others. Wambach leads the group with three goals scored in CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying title games. Morgan has two and the rest, one apiece.
  • Pugh is the youngest player ever named to a U.S. Olympic Qualifying roster. She also became the youngest female player in WNT history to play in an Olympic qualifier match at 17 years, 9 months and 12 days old when she came on for Dunn in the 68th minute against Costa Rica on Feb. 10. She recorded her first career assist against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15. She assisted on another goal in against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 19.
  • U.S. head coach used her three subs on Press, who came on for Morgan in the 72nd minute, Dunn, who replaced Horan in the 82nd and Emily Sonnett, who came on for Pugh in stoppage time.

Milestone Watch:

  • Becky Sauerbrunn made her 100th appearance for the WNT, becoming the 35th U.S. woman to do so. She will be honored for her achievement in a pregame ceremony before the SheBelieves Cup game on March 6 against France in Nashville. She will also wear the captain’s armband in that game. 
  • Carli Lloyd has 14 all-time Olympic Qualifying appearances and Hope Solo is next with 12. With 12 Olympic Qualifying goals, Lloyd is two goals behind Abby Wambach’s U.S. record of 14 goals in Olympic Qualifying. Alex Morgan has nine, Crystal Dunn has six and Tobin Heath has five.
  • Lloyd earned her 217th cap tonight, while Hope Solo recorded her 190th, extending her record for a U.S. goalkeeper.
  • With her tally in the 30th minute against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 19, Morgan tied Shannon MacMillan for eighth on the USA’s all-time scoring list. She then scored two more and with 62 goals now has sole possession of eighth place.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report --

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 21, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Final
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CT
Attendance: 10,119
Weather: 75 degrees; cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                         0          2          2
CAN                         0          0          0

USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn)               53rd minute
USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                            61

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (16-Crystal Dunn, 82), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 2-Mallory Pugh (6-Emily Sonnett, 90); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Christen Press, 72)
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CAN: 18-Stephanie Labbé; 2-Allysha Chapman, 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (13-Sophie Schmidt, 58); 5-Rebecca Quinn (8-Diana Matheson, 58), 10-Ashley Lawrence, 11-Desiree Scott, 9-Josée Bélanger; 14-Melissa Tancredi,15-Nichelle Prince (12-Christine Sinclair, 61)
Subs Not Used: 1-Erin McLeod, 6-Deanna Rose, 16-Gabrielle Carle, 17-Jesse Fleming, 19-Janine Beckie, 20-Sabrina D’Angelo
Head coach: John Herdman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 2
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Josée Bélanger (caution)            20th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (caution)              79

Officials:
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Perello (HON)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian

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WNT Feb 21, 2016

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report --

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada
Date: Feb. 21, 2016
Competition: 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship – Final 
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 4 p.m. CT
Attendance: 10,119
Weather: 75 degrees; cloudy

Scoring Summary:   1          2          F
USA                         0          2          2
CAN                         0          0          0

USA – Lindsey Horan (Becky Sauerbrunn)               53rd minute
USA – Tobin Heath (Mallory Pugh)                            61

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian, 9-Lindsey Horan (16-Crystal Dunn, 82), 17-Tobin Heath, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 2-Mallory Pugh (6-Emily Sonnett, 90); 13-Alex Morgan (12-Christen Press, 72)
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 11-Ali Krieger, 15-Stephanie McCaffrey, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Jaelene Hinkle, 20-Alyssa Naeher 
Head coach: Jill Ellis

CAN: 18-Stephanie Labbé; 2-Allysha Chapman, 3-Kadeisha Buchanan, 4-Shelina Zadorsky, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (13-Sophie Schmidt, 58); 5-Rebecca Quinn (8-Diana Matheson, 58), 10-Ashley Lawrence, 11-Desiree Scott, 9-Josée Bélanger; 14-Melissa Tancredi,15-Nichelle Prince (12-Christine Sinclair, 61)
Subs Not Used: 1-Erin McLeod, 6-Deanna Rose, 16-Gabrielle Carle, 17-Jesse Fleming, 19-Janine Beckie, 20-Sabrina D’Angelo
Head coach: John Herdman

Stats Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 11 / 2
Shots on Goal: 4 / 1
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 6 / 3
Fouls: 14 / 16
Offside: 1 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
CAN – Josée Bélanger (caution)            20th minute 
USA – Mallory Pugh (caution)              79

Officials: 
Referee: Quetzalli Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Perello (HON)
4th Official: Tatiana Guzman (NCA)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Morgan Brian

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The Roles

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When speaking about Pulisic, Adams and McKennie can’t go far without dropping some form of the words “Creative, clinical and confident.”

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The way they see each other’s qualities seems likely to translate to how they could line up with the MNT: Pulisic as the creative attacking force, with Adams and McKennie grinding, winning balls and connecting in behind him.

Still, it’s been a few years since they played together, and with that there’s an admission that there may be a learning curve.

“I don’t know what it’s going to look like,” McKennie said, “but that’s what these games are about. Hopefully it looks good and helps out the team a lot if we happen to be on the same field at the same time.”

“We’ve all gone on to do our own things and it’s worked out well in respective ways,” added Adams. “I think a lot of the traits that we have will be able to complement each other well. Now it’s about learning the tactics and seeing how we all fit into it. In the end, you have people you want to play with, people you like being around and I think it will help us progress forward with a lot of the young guys we have around us as well.”

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