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Williams Goal Steers USA to 1-0 Win vs. Germany in 2017 SheBelieves Cup Opener

CHESTER, Pa. (March 1, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team began its 2017 campaign and the SheBelieves Cup with a 1-0 victory against Germany in front of 16,318 fans at Talen Energy Stadium.

As was expected with the top two teams in the world, the affair was an evenly played match throughout the entire 90 minutes, but the Americans did have the advantage in possession and scoring chances. The USA’s first moment of danger came in the 10th minute following a throw-in by Becky Sauebrunn on the right flank. Samantha Mewis brought the ball down and it bounced to Crystal Dunn, who fired a shot from the right side of the six-yard box straight at Germany’s goalkeeper. Amulth Schult did well to push it out for a USA corner. In the ensuing corner kick, Tobin Heath sent a corner kick to the far side that found the head of Carli Lloyd, but she sent it just over the crossbar.

Germany responded with a chance of its own in the 12th minute when Sara Däbritz’s rocket seemed to be heading into the upper right corner, but U.S. ‘keeper Alyssa Naeher responded with a diving save and pushed the ball out of danger.

In the second half, the USA came out energized and in the 56th minute, Lynn Williams finally broke through to give the USA a 1-0 lead after Christen Press’ shot hit the crossbar and Tobin Heath’s follow up was blocked by a German defender. The ball then rolled to Williams and she finished smoothly to make it 1-0.

The U.S. took control of the match and missed several close chances in the latter part of the second half that would have sealed the game. Lloyd created a particularly dangerous chance as she dribbled around several defenders in the left side of the box and was one-on-one with the German goalkeeper, who made a great save to pin the ball with her legs.

The USA's team defense was excellent over the entire 90 minutes and for the most part kept the Germans out of dangerous spots to earn the shutout.

Up Next: The USA now travels to Harrison, New Jersey to take on England on Saturday, March 4 in a primetime matchup at 5 p.m. ET that will air live on FOX. Additionally, the WNT will also honor legendary defender and former captain Christie Rampone before the match on Saturday. In the first game of today’s doubleheader, France took the 2-1 victory with a dramatic game-winning goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

2017 SheBelieves Cup Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GD

Points

France

1

1

0

0

+1

3

USA

1

1

0

0

+1

3

England

1

0

1

0

-1

0

Germany

1

0

1

0

-1

0

Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Lynn Williams 56th minute: Christen Press stole the ball from Isabel Kerschowski on the right flank and raced down the right wing, before cutting smartly into the penalty box while beating several defenders. She made enough space to fire a left-footed shot that hit the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Tobin Heath in the left side of the penalty area and her shot hit Kerschowski before settling for Lynn Williams to finish first-time with her right foot from eight yards out past another German defender and into the open net. It was her second career goal in her fifth international appearance. USA 1, GER 0. WATCH

Key Saves and Defensive Stops
GER – Amult Schult, 10th minute:
Early in the first half, Crystal Dunn ran onto a ball that Samantha Mewis had knocked down into the right side of the six-yard box and fired a shot straight at goal, which Germany’s Amult Schult did well to push out for a USA corner.

USA – Alyssa Naeher, 12th minute: Germany’s Sara Däbritz received a pass from the left side and ripped a shot from about 18-yards towards the U.S. goal. Naeher came up big, diving to her left and pushing the ball out for a Germany corner. Josephine Henning’s cross was then easily controlled by Naeher to maintain the scoreless draw.

GER – Amult Schult, 24th minute: After some nifty moves on the left side of the box, Christen Press slid a pass to Crystal Dunn who shot it to the upper 90, much like her goal from last year’s tournament against England, but this time Schult timed it well and jumped to catch the ball to keep the game scoreless.

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Additional Notes:

  • The USA played in a 3-4-1-2 formation to kick off 2017 with Casey Short, Allie Long and Becky Sauerbrunn in the back, Samantha Mewis and Morgan Brian in the middle; Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath on the wings; Carli Lloyd playing behind Lynn Williams and Christen Press up top.
  • Williams earned her fifth cap for the WNT and scored her second international goal. She earned her first cap on Oct. 19 against Switzerland in Utah, where she came into the game in the second half, played the entire second 45 minutes and scored 49 seconds into her debut (a record until Kealia Ohai broke it four days later). She became the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first international appearance.
  • Alyssa Naeher made her 11th appearance tonight, her eighth start and earned her seventh career shutout for the USA.
  • The three-person backline of Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long and Casey Short started together for the fifth consecutive time (first time was on Oct. 19, 2016). Sauerbrunn earned her 120th cap, Long her 21st cap and Short her fifth. All three played all 90 minutes of the match.
  • Both Morgan Brian, who just turned 24 years old earlier this week and earned her 64th international appearance, and Samantha Mewis, who earned her 19th cap, played all 90 minutes tonight.
  • Mallory Pugh made her first appearance for the USA since the game against Sweden on Aug. 12 at the 2016 Olympic Games. Pugh came in for Crystal Dunn in the 58th minute.

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 1, 2017
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. ET
Attendance: 16,318
Weather: 64 degrees; cloudy

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

USA – Lynn Williams               56th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 19-Crystal Dunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 58), 6-Morgan Brian, 3-Samantha Mewis, 17-Tobin Heath 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 79), 23-Christen Press (9-Lindsey Horan, 79)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

GER: 1-Almuth Schult, 2-Josephine Henning, 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Babett Peter, 9-Alexandra Popp, 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 11-Anja Mittag (15-Mandy Islacker, 74), 13-Sara Däbritz, 14-Anna Blässe (7-Pauline Bremer, 69), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (29-Felicitas Rauch, 74), 18-Lena Petermann (23-Verena Faißt, 45)
Subs not used:  3-Kathrin Hendrich, 12-Laura Benkarth, 20-Lina Magull, 21-Lisa Weiß, 24-Kristin Demann, 26-Hasret Kayikci, 27-Sara Doorsoun, 31-Linda Dallman
Head coach: Steffi Jones

Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
GER – Elizabeth Kerschowski (caution)                42nd minute
GER – Anna Blasse (caution)                        63
USA – Lindsay Horan (caution)                      90

Officials:
Referee: Carol Ann Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Cardella Samuels (JAM)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long

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WNT Mar 1, 2017

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

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 1, 2017
Competition: 2017 SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. ET
Attendance: 16,318
Weather: 64 degrees; cloudy

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

USA – Lynn Williams                           56th minute

Lineups:
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 19-Crystal Dunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 58), 6-Morgan Brian, 3-Samantha Mewis, 17-Tobin Heath 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 79), 23-Christen Press (9-Lindsey Horan, 79)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis

GER: 1-Almuth Schult, 2-Josephine Henning, 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Babett Peter, 9-Alexandra Popp, 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 11-Anja Mittag (15-Mandy Islacker, 74), 13-Sara Däbritz, 14-Anna Blässe (7-Pauline Bremer, 69), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (29-Felicitas Rauch, 74), 18-Lena Petermann (23-Verena Faißt, 45)
Subs not used:  3-Kathrin Hendrich, 12-Laura Benkarth, 20-Lina Magull, 21-Lisa Weiß, 24-Kristin Demann, 26-Hasret Kayikci, 27-Sara Doorsoun, 31-Linda Dallman
Head coach: Steffi Jones

Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 2 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
GER – Elizabeth Kerschowski (caution)        42nd minute
GER – Anna Blasse (caution)                         63
USA – Lindsay Horan (caution)                      90

Officials:
Referee: Carol Ann Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Cardella Samuels (JAM)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long

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US Soccer

WNT Plays Its Own Euros

Since September 2016, the U.S. Women’s National Team has played 10 different opponents -- nine teams from Europe plus Thailand. 

The USA’s list of European opponents since last fall includes the Netherlands, two sets of matches each against Switzerland and Romania, tough tests against England, France and Germany at the 2017 SheBelieves Cup and another double-dip against Russia in April. Most recently of course, there were the two big wins against Sweden in Gothenburg on June 8, and against Norway in Sandefjord on June 11. 

So, besides belonging to the same Confederation, what do eight of these nine European countries have in common? They make up half of the field for the 2017 UEFA Women’s EURO tournament taking place this July in the Netherlands. Romania nearly made it into the last 16 as well but fell to Portugal in the playoff for the final spot.


WNT vs. Netherlands, this year's EURO hosts.

The UEFA Women’s EURO is the most prestigious competition for women’s international soccer in Europe and, after the Women’s World Cup and the Olympic Games, the biggest and most competitive women’s international tournament in the world.

And facing the best is precisely what U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis committed to do coming out of the recent Olympic cycle.

“I said it last year, we want our schedule to be aggressive,” Ellis told ussoccer.com. “We’re always trying to play top-10 teams and elite teams. It’s a priority and our Federation knows it’s a priority for our team because it’s in those games where we will see growth. The games against European teams are critical.

With the next Women’s World Cup in France, surely the European nations – especially France and Germany – will be favorites to lift the trophy in Lyon. By then, the USA clearly will have cut its teeth on European competition.

Including the games against Sweden and Norway, the U.S. has now played exactly half of the EURO field in less than a year, a rarity for most countries both in terms of the high level of opposition and the short amount of time in which the games have taken place.

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WNT Jun 28, 2017
US Soccer

WNT Donates Proceeds from Autographed 2017 SheBelieves Cup Jerseys to Benefit Girls Inc.

CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will autograph and donate authentic jerseys from the SheBelieves Cup tournament for an online auction to benefit Girls Inc., a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through direct service and advocacy. Conceived and developed by the U.S. Women’s National Team players, SheBelieves is a Read more
WNT Mar 31, 2017
US Soccer

Jill Ellis Q&A: Looking Back and Forward

Coming out of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, and in advance of the next set of matches for the U.S. Women’s National Team against Russia in April, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis shares her thoughts on the team’s evolution, giving chances to young players, formations, and keeping focused on the big picture. ussoccer.com: Looking back at the SheBelieves Cup, what were the big picture points o Read more
WNT Mar 13, 2017
US Soccer

Naeher and U.S. Defense Come Up Big Against Germany

The U.S. Women’s National Team did not ease into its 2017 schedule, taking on No. 2-ranked and Olympic champion Germany at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Penn. on Wednesday, March 1, during the first night of the SheBelieves Cup.

Alyssa Naeher started in goal for the USA and made her 11th appearance and eighth start. With her 10 previous caps coming against Argentina, China PR, Colombia, Costa Rica, Haiti, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico, the game against Germany was first time Naeher was facing a team ranked in the top-10 in the world.

In front of Naeher was the three-player back line of Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long and Casey Short. Those three were playing in their fifth game together in a formation that head coach Jill Ellis first rolled out on Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland, and one that she wanted and needed to see in a highly competitive environment against a team like Germany. The four previous occasions in which the three-back was deployed had been in friendly matches.

The trio of Long, who played in the middle of Sauerbrunn on the right and the left-footed Short on the left, were organized, composed and aggressive over the entire 90 minutes, as was the entire U.S. defense, which put pressure on the Germans from the forwards all the way to the back. The USA did the work to win numerous balls in the midfield and earned a shutout against a supremely talented German side.

“I think this was obviously our biggest test playing in that three-back and there was a lot of energy on the field,” Naeher said after the match. “I thought we had a lot of good communication and a lot of good moving parts and I’m very happy about how it worked out against a top team.”

As Ellis resumes her evaluation of the goalkeepers, Naeher’s performance was a solid line on her resume as she continues to compete with Ashlyn Harris, as well as a slew of younger goalkeepers – led by Jane Campbell – for playing time in the U.S. net.

While the USA kept Germany out of dangerous areas for most of the game, Naeher needed to come up big in the 12th minute when she was tested on a rocket from one of Germany’s youngest and most promising stars in Sara Däbrmtz.

“From looking at Germany, we knew they like to hit shots from distance and we put focus into that this week in training,” Naeher said. “So, any time they were anywhere in their shooting range I just tried to keep my feet balanced and ready to react to a shot, which helped me get a good read and my feet underneath me enough to get a good push on the ball.”

Däbritz received a pass from the left side and had time to turn towards goal before ripping a shot from about 18 yards that seemed headed into the upper right corner. Naeher was well-positioned and flew to her left to push the ball out for a Germany corner. Josephine Henning's cross was then easily controlled by Naeher to maintain the scoreless draw. 

The diving save was timely, sharp and it allowed the USA to maintain the 0-0 score line early in a hotly contested match. The U.S. went on get a game-winner in the 56th minute from Lynn Williams to win the opening match of the SheBelieves Cup. With three points in hand, the USA heads to New Jersey next to face England on March 4 (5 p.m.; FOX) at Red Bull Arena in Harrison.

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WNT Mar 2, 2017
US Soccer

GALLERY: WNT Defeats Germany 1-0 in Opening Match of 2017 SheBelieves Cup

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team's opening match of the 2017 SheBelieves Cup in Chester, Pa. The WNT defeated Germany 1-0 with a goal from forward Lynn Williams in the 56th minute. The team will now travel to Harrison, N.J. to take on England on March 4 in the second fixture of the tournament.

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WNT Mar 2, 2017
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