U.S. Soccer

U.S. WNT Second-Half Effort Comes Up Short as Australia Secures 1-0 Win

SEATTLE, Wash. (July 27, 2017) – In a tightly-contested match, the U.S. Women’s National Team could not create an equalizer despite a furious second-half push and fell 1-0 to Australia in the first match of the Tournament of Nations for both teams.

The U.S. WNT opened the game with a strong effort and almost created the game’s first goal in the 11th minute after some nice footwork from forward Christen Press outside the box found Megan Rapinoe on the left side. Rapinoe’s shot went to the near post but Australia and Houston Dash ‘keeper Lydia Williams did well to push it out for a corner kick.

Australia found its stride in the second frame with some excellent defensive pressure and their efforts paid off in a goal that came from a corner kick. In the 67th minute the USA failed to clear a bouncing ball in the penalty are despite chance to sweep it out of danger and the ball fell to Tameka Butt, who finished from close-range after the penalty area scramble to give Australia the lead.

The USA had three excellent changes to equalize late in the game, but Williams came up huge each time, none bigger than a flying save in the 64 th minute when second half substitute Carli Lloyd ripped a 20-yard shot that was headed into the upper right corner before it was pushed away by the ‘keeper.

In the day’s earlier match, a late equalizer from Camila in the 87 th minute helped Brazil earn a 1-1 tied with Japan after Yuka Momiki had given them a second half lead.

2017 Tournament of Nations Standings

Team

GP

W

L

T

GF

GA

GD

Pts.

Brazil

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

1

Japan

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

1

Australia

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

United States

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Up Next: The U.S. WNT will travel to San Diego, California, for its second match of the 2017 Tournament of Nations against Brazil on July 30 at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

Goal Scoring Rundown
AUS – Tameka Butt (Elise Kellond-Knight), 67th minute: An Australia corner kick led to a scramble in the box and while several U.S. players tried to clear the ball, it unfortunately bounced to Elise Kellond-Knight’s, who then flicked it to Tameka Butt in front of the goal, allowing her to smash home the game-winning goal from close range. USA 0, AUS 1 FINAL 

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Additional Notes:

  • Becky Sauerbrunn captained the USA in her 127th cap and eight start of the year. Sauerbrunn is the only player to have played all 720 minutes for the WNT so far in 2017.
  • North Carolina Courage defender Taylor Smith earned her first cap and first start for the USA. The Tournament of Nations marks Smith’s second call-up after participating in the 2017 January Camp earlier this year, and her first game roster.
  • Kelley O’Hara earned her 97th cap tonight, inching closer to the century mark.
  • Abby Dahlkemper earned her fifth cap for the WNT in her second career start. She made her debut for the U.S. on Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland in Utah, and her first start against Norway on June 11, playing all 90 minutes.
  • Alyssa Naeher made her 17th appearance for the USA and 15th start. It was her third consecutive start.
  • Casey Short made her 11th start in her 11th cap. She has played 90 minutes in in all but one game.
  • Megan Rapinoe played 90 minutes in her fourth appearance of 2017 and first start since Aug. 9, 2016 against Colombia during the 2016 Olympics.
  • Samantha Mewis made her 14th career start and earned her 25th cap. Alongside Sauerbrunn, she is the only other player to be in the starting lineup of every game the WNT has played in 2017. She has played 687 minutes in 2017, trailing only Sauerbrunn.
  • U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis used all six allotted substitutions in the game. 

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

Match: Women’s National Team vs. Australia
Date: July 27, 2017
Competition: Tournament of Nations
Venue: CenturyLink Field; Seattle, Wash.
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. PT
Attendance: 15,748
Weather: 68 degrees; Partly sunny

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

AUS – Tameka Butt (Elise Kellond-Knight) 67th minute

Lineups:
USA : 1-Alyssa Naeher; 16-Taylor Smith (5-Kelley O’Hara, 76), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 14-Casey Short; 22-Mallory Pugh (19-Crystal Dunn, 58), 20-Allie Long (6-Morgan Brian, 77), 3-Samantha Mewis, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 9-Lindsey Horan (10-Carli Lloyd, 64), 23-Christen Press (13-Alex Morgan, 64)
Subs not used : 2-Sydney Leroux, 8-Julie Ertz, 11-Ali Krieger, 12-Lynn Williams, 17-Margaret Purce, 18-Jane Campbell, 21-Abby Smith
Head coach: Jill Ellis

AUS : 1-Lydia Williams (capt.); 7-Steph Catley, 14-Alanna Kennedy, 21-Ellie Carpenter; 8-Elise Kellond-Knight, 9-Caitlin Foord (15-Emily Gielnik, 81), 10-Emily Van Egmond, 13-Tameka Butt (6-Chole Logarzo, 73) 19-Katrina Gorry; 11-Lisa De Vanna (16-Hayley Raso, 53) 20-Sam Kerr (17-Princess Ibini, 90+2)
Subs not used: 18-Mackenzie Arnold; 2-Gema Simon, 3-Caitlin Cooper, 4-Clare Polkinghorn, 5-Laura Alleway
Head coach: Alen Stajcic

Stats Summary: USA / AUS
Shots: 12 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 3 / 3
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 11 / 14
Offside: 4 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
AUS – Katrina Gorry (caution) 89th minute
AUS – Lydia Williams (caution) 90+1

Officials:
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudeau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Marie-Han Gagnon-Chretien (CAN)
4th Official: Maurees Skeete (CAN)

Budweiser Women of the Match: Megan Rapinoe

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WNT Jul 27, 2017
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Takeaways from the 2017 Tournament of Nations

Excellent opponents and exciting games, that was the 2017 Tournament of Nations as U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis continued her evaluation of players as she goes through the process of building the team towards 2019.

Some notables from the inaugural tournament:

  • Defender Taylor Smith earned her first three caps and two starts. 
  • She picked up her first two assists against Japan in the finale.
  • Megan Rapinoe earned her first 90-minute game since 2015, and her first start since Aug. 9, 2016. 
  • She also scored her first WNT goals since the 2015 Women’s World Cup.
  • Ellis gave minutes to 18 of the 20 field players on the roster.
  • Alyssa Naeher played every minute of all three games in goal for the USA.
  • Allie Long started at defensive midfielder against Australia, followed by Becky Sauerbrunn playing in that slot against Brazil, and then Julie Ertz against Japan.
  • Ellis used all six of her substitutions in all three matches.
  • The USA had six different scorers during the tournament: Samantha Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press, Alex Morgan, Mallory Pugh and Julie Ertz.
  • The USA scored three goals in nine minutes during a comeback to defeat Brazil 4-3.
  • Kelley O’Hara played in her 99th game for the USA and could become the 36th American fe
    male player to reach 100 caps.

U.S. WNT - Megan Rapinoe
Megan Rapinoe scored two goals and had two assists during the 2017 Tournament of Nations.

The USA finished the tournament in second place following a loss to Australia, a thrilling 4-3 comeback win against Brazil, and a 3-0 shutout victory against Japan. While Australia played excellent attacking soccer in all three games and lifted the trophy with three victories, including its first against the USA, what the U.S. did achieve was the continuing evolution of the team and the deepening of the player pool. Now, Ellis is ready to take the next steps.

“Now it’s about building connections,” Ellis said after the Japan match. “I know what I’ve put the players through in terms of making it a challenge and playing them in different positions, playing them with different people. I get that. It’s a long run up to 2019 but I want to do that now. Look at Australia, they are a seasoned team because they’ve been together so long that they know each other so well. That’s the next step in our process; establishing our starting lineup and working on our chemistry and connections and our team play.”

The U.S. WNT is set to play six more games this year in the fall against three opponents to wrap up 2017. It will face New Zealand twice in September, another pair of soon-to-be-announced friendlies in October, and will end its 2017 campaign with two matches against Canada, on Nov. 9 in Vancouver, and on Nov. 12 in a U.S. venue which will also be announced soon.

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WNT Aug 11, 2017

Building Towards 2019

It was not the result the U.S. WNT had in mind to kick off the 2017 Tournament of Nations, but despite the 1-0 loss to Australia in a hard-fought game on Thursday night in Seattle, U.S. head coach Jill Ellis found a lot of good to focus on as the long road to 2019 continues.

“It’s the process I’m in, in terms of looking at other players to make sure that we have a good core moving forward,” Ellis said following the match at CenturyLinkField. “It is about giving opportunities to people like Taylor Smith. We came out on the unfortunate side, and congratulations to Australia, and we’re obviously disappointed with the result, but this is part of a process were in. We’re still a year and a bit away from qualifying, so it is about giving players experience and putting them in the pressure cooker. That’s why tournaments like these are so important for us, it’s why we need to bring in these great teams to play against.”


Abby Dahlkemper got her second career start against Australia on July 27.

Against Australia, Ellis gave defender Taylor Smith her first cap and first start. She gave Abby Dahlkemper her second consecutive start, and had Alyssa Naeher in goal for the third consecutive time, a first for the Connecticut native.

“It’s important to check boxes,” Ellis said about her objectives during games at this point in the cycle. “This is about giving Alyssa Naeher more minutes. It’s giving Abby Dahlkemper her fifth cap and giving Taylor Smith her first start. It’s giving Megan Rapinoe her first 90 minutes in a long time. She played really well.”

Rapinoe got her first start since the final group game of the 2016 Olympics Games on Aug. 9, 2016 against Colombia.

With 24 hours to go before its next game, the U.S. WNT will now take the lessons learned, shake off the loss, and direct all focus towards its next two opponents as the chance to lift the ToN trophy remains in sight. The experience gained by several new and younger players will continue to play a crucial part in the development of the depth on the team.

The U.S. WNT will next face Brazil on Sunday, July 30 (5 p.m. PT; ESPN2) at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Australia faces Japan in the first game at 2:15 p.m. PT on ESPN3).

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WNT Jul 29, 2017

GALLERY: WNT Drops Tight Loss 0-1 to Australia in #ToN2017 Opener

In a tightly-contested match, the U.S. Women’s National Team could not create an equalizer despite a furious second-half push and fell 1-0 to Australia in the first match of the Tournament of Nations for both teams.
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WNT Jul 27, 2017
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