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US Soccer

USA Goes Top of 2016 Women's World Cup Group C with 3-1 Win vs. New Zealand

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 17, 2016) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team earned a 3-1 win against a tough New Zealand side in the second Group C match for both teams at the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

The USA (1-0-1, 4 pts) now leads a tight Group C followed by New Zealand (1-1-0, 3 pts) and France (0-0-2, 2pts), which needed a last-second goal to draw 2-2 with Ghana (0-1-1, 1 pt) in the first Group C match of the day. The USA will face Ghana in its final Group C match on Nov. 21 at Sir John Guise Stadium (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and NBC Universo), while New Zealand takes on France at the same time at Bava Park.

A win or draw against Ghana will qualify the U.S. for the knockout stage while a win would ensure that the USA goes through to the quarterfinals in first place in Group C. The USA would also advance with a 1-0 loss to Ghana no matter the result of the France-New Zealand game.

U.S. head coach Michelle French made three changes from the starting lineup that faced France in the first game. Katie Cousins and Savannah DeMelo got the nod in central midfield, while Emily Fox began on the right flank and Ashley Sanchez moved into a more advanced role up top.

The moves paid off in just the third minute as Sanchez stole the ball from a New Zealand defender and finished easily. Five minutes later, captain Mallory Pugh to put the USA ahead 2-0 with a brilliant individual effort and finish.

The early goals quieted the pro-New Zealand crowd that was cheering for their team playing a World Cup in their own Oceania Confederation.

The early lead also put the U.S. in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game as the team amassed 13 shots (seven on goal) and 12 corner kicks to New Zealand’s five shots and two corners, both of which came late in the game. The USA controlled possession for the lion’s share of the game and created numerous chances to put the game away earlier. Sanchez hit the outside of the left post with a blast in the second half. The U.S. back line was once again stellar, allowing the lone goal of the game off a set play sequence.

The young Football Ferns drew to within 2-1 in the 76th minute after Isabella Coombes scored during penalty box scramble that came from her team’s first corner kick of the game, but the USA bagged a third soon after.

Second half substitutes Jessie Scarpa and Ally Watt reinstated the USA’s two-goal advantage in the 82nd minute when Scarpa played the speedy Watt through behind the defense and she finished for the final 3-1 margin. Watt had entered the match in the 79th minute.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ashley Sanchez, 3rd minute:
As the U.S. pressured New Zealand deep in their own end, Sanchez read a pass to Kiwis’ center back Elizabeth Anton and closed her down quickly, forcing a turnover at the top of the New Zealand penalty area. Sanchez raced in one-on-one and with only goalkeeper Nadia Olla to beat, easily snapped a quick shot into the lower right corner from eight yards out to become the first U.S. Women’s player to score in both a U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup in the same year. USA 1, NZL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Mallory Pugh, 8th minute: An interception at midfield from Pugh got her moving at pace down the left flank. With one defender to beat, Pugh cut inside past her marker, gaining the necessary separation to unleash a dipping blast from the left side of the penalty box sizzled past the diving New Zealand goalkeeper. USA 2, NZL 0 (SEE GOAL)

NZL – Isabella Coombes, 76th minute: After the USA twice failed to clear after a corner kick a headed clearance fell to Coombes at the top center of the penalty box. With a U.S. defender rushing at her, Coombes hit a first -time volley over a goal mouth crowed with players that dipped just underneath the crossbar and into the back of the net. USA 2, NZL 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Ally Watt (Jessie Scarpa), 82nd minute: Scarpa won control of the ball in a crowd of New Zealand players near the midfield center circle then slipped a perfect pass down the right flank for Watt. With the New Zealand defense caught and unable to recover against the speedy Watt, she raced into the right side of the penalty area before placing a firm shot into the lower left corner to ice the game. USA 3, NZL 1 (SEE GOAL) FINAL

Social: Facebook; Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • Neither team made a change at halftime in the hot conditions that hovered around 80 degrees, but the USA made all three of its subs in the second half as head coach Michelle French brought on attackers Jessie Scarpa in the 57th minute, Ally Watt in the 79th and defender Natalie Jacobs in the 90th.
  • With the game’s opening goal, Ashley Sanchez became the first U.S. Youth Women’s National Team player to score in both a FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup in the same year. She also scored against Paraguay and twice against Japan in group play of the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in Jordan this past October. Kristie Mewis is the only other U.S. player to score in both a U-17 and U-20 World Cup, but she did it two years apart. Her two goals in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup came in 2008 in New Zealand and her goal in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup came in Germany in 2010.
  • Sanchez’s goal vs. New Zealand was her fifth at the U-20 level, while Mallory Pugh’s strike was her 18th for the U-20 WNT in 25 caps.
  • Ally Watt’s goal was her sixth at the U-20 level.
  • This was the first meeting between the USA and New Zealand in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

-U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand U-20 Women’s National Team
Date:
Nov. 17, 2016
Competition:
2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Group C
Venue:
PNG Football Stadium; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Kickoff:
4 a.m. ET
Attendance:
2,399
Weather:
80 degrees; windy 

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                            2          1          3
NZL                            0          1          1 

USA – Ashley Sanchez                      3rd minute
USA – Mallory Pugh                           8        
NZL – Isabella Coombes                    76
USA – Ally Watt (Jessie Scarpa)        82                       

Lineups:
USA:
1-Casey Murphy; 5-Madeline Elliston, 6-Taylor Otto, 3-Kaleigh Riehl, 14-Ellie Jean; 16-Emily Fox (11-Ally Watt, 79), 10-Emily Ogle, 20-Katie Cousins, 7-Savannah DeMelo (15-Jessie Scarpa, 57), 9-Mallory Pugh (capt.) (19-Natalie Jacobs, 90); 18-Ashley Sanchez
Subs Not Used: 2-Parker Roberts, 4-Sabrina Flores, 8-Courtney Petersen, 12-Rose Chandler, 13-Marley Canales, 17-Kelcie Hedge, 21-Brooke Heinsohn

Head Coach: Michelle French

NZL: 21-Nadia Olla; 2-Sarah Morton, 3-Sophie Stewart-Hobbs, 4-Elizabeth Anton, 6-Meikayla Moore (capt.); 7-Isabella Coombes, 10-Daisy Cleverley, 18-Grace Jale (16-Tayla Christensen, 69); 8-Jasmine Pereira, 9-Martine Puketapu (11-Emma Rolston, 80), 13-Paige Satchell (19-Jacqui Hand, 87)
Subs Not Used: 1-Tessa Nicol, 5-Samantha Murrell, 12-Malia Steinmetz, 14-Jade Parris, 15-Hannah Blake, 17-Eileish Hayes, 20-Emily Couchman
Head Coach: Leon Birnie
 

Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 13 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 12 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 4
Offside: 2 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Therese Neguel (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tempa Ndah (BEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mona Mahmoud (EGY)
4th Official: Marina Sbardella (ITA) 

ussoccer.com Player of the Match: Mallory Pugh

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U-20 WNT Nov 17, 2016

-U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand U-20 Women’s National Team
Date:
Nov. 17, 2016
Competition:
2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Group C
Venue:
PNG Football Stadium; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Kickoff:
4 a.m. ET
Attendance:
2,399
Weather:
80 degrees; windy 

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                            2          1          3
NZL                            0          1          1 

USA – Ashley Sanchez                      3rd minute
USA – Mallory Pugh                           8        
NZL – Isabella Coombes                    76
USA – Ally Watt (Jessie Scarpa)        82                       

Lineups:
USA: 1-Casey Murphy; 5-Madeline Elliston, 6-Taylor Otto, 3-Kaleigh Riehl, 14-Ellie Jean; 16-Emily Fox (11-Ally Watt, 79), 10-Emily Ogle, 20-Katie Cousins, 7-Savannah DeMelo (15-Jessie Scarpa, 57), 9-Mallory Pugh (capt.) (19-Natalie Jacobs, 90); 18-Ashley Sanchez
Subs Not Used: 2-Parker Roberts, 4-Sabrina Flores, 8-Courtney Petersen, 12-Rose Chandler, 13-Marley Canales, 17-Kelcie Hedge, 21-Brooke Heinsohn
Head Coach: Michelle French
 

NZL: 21-Nadia Olla; 2-Sarah Morton, 3-Sophie Stewart-Hobbs, 4-Elizabeth Anton, 6-Meikayla Moore (capt.); 7-Isabella Coombes, 10-Daisy Cleverley, 18-Grace Jale (16-Tayla Christensen, 69); 8-Jasmine Pereira, 9-Martine Puketapu (11-Emma Rolston, 80), 13-Paige Satchell (19-Jacqui Hand, 87)
Subs Not Used: 1-Tessa Nicol, 5-Samantha Murrell, 12-Malia Steinmetz, 14-Jade Parris, 15-Hannah Blake, 17-Eileish Hayes, 20-Emily Couchman
Head Coach: Leon Birnie
 

Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 13 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 12 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 4
Offside: 2 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Therese Neguel (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tempa Ndah (BEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mona Mahmoud (EGY)
4th Official: Marina Sbardella (ITA) 

ussoccer.com Player of the Match: Mallory Pugh

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US Soccer

Five Things to Know About Mallory Pugh

Mallory Pugh, one of youngest and most exciting players in the U.S. Women’s National Team player pool, has quickly become a fan favorite and one of the top attacking players for the United States.  

Born on April 29, 1998 in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Pugh is the youngest of two children. Her dad Horace ran track in high school and college, where he was an All-American at Western State in Colorado, while mom Karen ran cross country in high school and now runs, bikes, swims and does yoga. Her older sister Brianna, who also played soccer, was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention selection at the University of Oregon.  For Pugh, sports have always been part of her life, but her love for soccer has transcended the rest. 

Here are five things to know about the Colorado native:

Wait, Who's That?
In December of 2015 at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Qualifying Tournament, Pugh scored seven goals in five games, which included a brace in three of them, and recorded four assists to help the USA win the tournament title and qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup. Her performance not only earned her the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament and the Golden Ball as the best player, but it also earned her a call-up to the full WNT, a dream come true for the then 17-year-old. In fact, Pugh got the call from Ellis when she was still at the airport making her way back to Colorado following the tournament win in Honduras.


Pugh captained the USA to the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Qualifying Tournament title in Honduras.

Pugh joined the senior squad in Carson, California that January, and grinded out three weeks of intense training before traveling to San Diego for the USA’s inaugural match of 2016 against the Republic of Ireland on Jan. 23. Coming in for Alex Morgan in the 58th minute, Pugh made her U.S. WNT debut at 17 years, 8 months and 25 days, and thus became the youngest player to debut in the last 11 years of the WNT program. She also became the 19th player to score in her first cap when she added the fifth and final goal of the game in the 83rd minute, a header off an assist from Christen Press.

Breaking Through in 2016
Following that match, things continued to evolve for Pugh as her versatility and confidence began to grow. Pugh earned her second cap with the WNT on Feb. 10, coming in for Crystal Dunn in the second half of the USA’s Olympic Qualifying opening match against Costa Rica. With her appearance, she became the youngest player in WNT history to play in an Olympic Qualifying match at 17 years, 9 months and 12 days old. On Feb. 15, she earned her first start for the USA, playing 66 minutes against Puerto Rico and contributing with an assist, the first one of her international career.

Pugh played in 17 games with the senior team in 2016, and started 12 of them. She scored four goals and had seven assists, third most on the team behind Carli Lloyd (11), Crystal Dunn (8) and Tobin Heath (8).

Pugh missed the final six games of 2016 with the senior squad because it conflicted with a few U-20 training camps and the U-20 WWC in Papua New Guinea. 

Making Olympic History
When Pugh was named to the 18-player U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympic Roster on July 12, 2016, less than six months after making her WNT debut, she became the second youngest women’s soccer Olympian in U.S. history, and the only amateur player on the roster. Pugh featured in three of the four games the USA played in Brazil, starting two. Against Colombia on Aug. 9 in Manaus, Pugh, who came in as sub in the 33rd minute, became the youngest player in U.S. history to score at an Olympic Games when she tallied in the 60th minute of the match.

Crystal Dunn set up the goal with a blistering run down the left flank of Colombia’s defense before sending a low cross through the goal mouth that arrived at the feet of Pugh on the back right post. Pugh attempted a first-time shot but it hit teammate Christen Press and came right back to her. Pugh then dribbled laterally past three defenders to the center of the box and snapped a left-footed shot through a crowd of Colombia players into the back of the net. 


Pugh scored her first Olympic goal against Colombia on Aug. 9, becoming the youngest player in U.S. history to tally at an Olympic Games.

U-20 WNT Veteran
Although she is one of the less experienced players in the full National Team environment, Pugh is the leader and a veteran with the U-20s. She was a starter at the age of 16 in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and captained the group to a fourth-place finish at the U-20 WWC in Papua New Guinea.


Mal Pugh scored the first of three goals in the USA's 3-1 win against New Zealand (Photo Credit: Getty Images/FIFA)

Pugh scored twice at the U-20 WWC. She scored the game-tying goal against Ghana in the group stage finale, and this gorgeous one against New Zealand in the USA 3-1 win.

Despite only being 18-years-old, the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup was the second one at the level for Pugh. As a 16-year-old, Pugh was the youngest player on the U.S. roster that fell short in a penalty shootout against Korea DPR in the quarterfinals of the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. She started all four games for the USA. Even more incredible is that Pugh is eligible for the 2018 U-20 World Cup, which would make her the first player in U.S. history to compete at three U-20 World Cups if she were to make that roster two years from now.

Mal… Pal.
Besides her soccer acumen, Pugh is a fun personality off the field. She likes to joke around, wants to learn how to surf and loves to sing. In fact, Pugh seems to be a very talented singer and has mastered various genres, as seen below.

Pugh's soccer career is still just getting started and she is certainly excited to have much more soccer to look forward to in her future. "2016 was an incredible year. There have been lots of us and downs but it’s been worth it. I’m excited for whatever comes next.”

If that means a few plays like the one below, then we certainly can't wait.


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WNT U-20 WNT Apr 28, 2017

Five Things to Know About Mallory Pugh

Eighteen-year-old Mallory Pugh, the youngest player in the U.S. Women’s National Team player pool, started 12 games for Jill Ellis’s squad in 2016 and is the captain of the U-20 WNT. Pugh had a fantastic year in 2016, and has blossomed into a fan favorite and one of the top attacking players for the United States.

Here are five things to know about the Colorado native:

Breakthrough Year
In December of 2015 at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Qualifying Tournament, Pugh scored seven goals in five games, which included a brace in three of them, and recorded four assists to help the USA win the tournament title and qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup. Her performance not only earned her the Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament and the Golden Ball as the best player, but it also earned her a call-up to the full WNT, a dream come true for the then 17-year-old. In fact, Pugh got the call from Ellis when she was still at the airport making her way back to Colorado following the tournament win in Honduras.


Pugh captained the USA to the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Women's Qualifying Tournament title last December in Honduras.

Pugh joined the senior squad in Carson, California that January, and grinded out three weeks of intense training before traveling to San Diego for the USA’s inaugural match of 2016 against the Republic of Ireland on Jan. 23. Coming in for Alex Morgan in the 58th minute, Pugh made her U.S. WNT debut at 17 years, 8 months and 25 days, and thus became the youngest player to debut in the last 11 years of the WNT program. She also became the 19th player to score in her first cap when she added the fifth and final goal of the game in the 83rd minute, a header off an assist from Christen Press.

Following that match, things continued to evolve for Pugh as her versatility and confidence began to grow. Pugh earned her second cap with the WNT on Feb. 10, coming in for Crystal Dunn in the second half of the USA’s Olympic Qualifying opening match against Costa Rica. With her appearance, she became the youngest player in WNT history to play in an Olympic Qualifying match at 17 years, 9 months and 12 days old. On Feb. 15, she earned her first start for the USA, playing 66 minutes against Puerto Rico and contributing with an assist, the first one of her international career.

Of the 21 games the USA has played so far in 2016 – she missed the last two September friendlies because it conflicted with U-20 training camp – Pugh has played in 17 of them and started 12. She has scored four goals and has seven assists, a number that ties her with Tobin Heath for second-best on the team.

Olympic History
When Pugh was named to the 18-player U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympic Roster on July 12, less than six months after making her WNT debut, she became the second youngest women’s soccer Olympian in U.S. history, and the only amateur player on the roster. Pugh played in three of the four games the USA played in Brazil, starting two. Against Colombia on Aug. 9 in Manaus, Pugh, who came in as sub in the 33rd minute, became the youngest player in U.S. history to score at an Olympic Games when she tallied in the 60th minute of the match.

Crystal Dunn set up the goal with a blistering run down the left flank of Colombia’s defense before sending a low cross through the goal mouth that arrived at the feet of Pugh on the back right post. Pugh attempted a first-time shot but it hit teammate Christen Press and came right back to her. Pugh then dribbled laterally past three defenders to the center of the box and snapped a left-footed shot through a crowd of Colombia players into the back of the net. WATCH: Pugh’s Olympic goal.


Pugh scored her first Olympic goal against Colombia on Aug. 9, becoming the youngest player in U.S. history to tally at an Olympic Games.

From Rookie to Captain
Although she is one of the less experienced players in the full National Team environment, Pugh is the leader and a veteran with the U-20s. She was a starter at the age of 16 in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and is the captain for this cycle. 

“I think being in the last U-20 World Cup helped me in the sense that I know what the expectations are and what I can do to help and hopefully lead my teammates through that. Obviously, I was young a player back then and I looked up to the captains and they helped, so hopefully I can do the same.”

U-20 WNT Veteran
Despite only being 18-years-old, the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup will be the second one at the level for Pugh. As a 16-year-old, Pugh was the youngest player on the U.S. roster that fell short in a penalty shootout against Korea DPR in the quarterfinals of the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Pugh started all four games for the USA. Now in her second cycle with the U-20s, Pugh is the most capped player at this age group. Even more incredible is that Pugh is eligible for the 2018 U-20 World Cup, which would make her the first player in U.S. history to compete at three U-20 World Cups if she were to make that roster two years from now.



Mal… Pal.
Besides her soccer acumen, Pugh is a fun personality off the field. She likes to joke around, wants to learn how to surf and loves to sing. In fact, Pugh seems to be a very talented singer and is able to master various genres, as seen below.

2016 was a whirlwind for Pugh, but she is certainly excited to have much more soccer to look forward to in her future.

"This has been an incredible year. There have been lots of us and downs but it’s been worth it. I’m excited for whatever comes next.”  

 


Read more
U-20 WNT Apr 27, 2017
US Soccer

USA Goes Top of 2016 Women's World Cup Group C with 3-1 Win vs. New Zealand

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Nov. 17, 2016) – The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team earned a 3-1 win against a tough New Zealand side in the second Group C match for both teams at the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

The USA (1-0-1, 4 pts) now leads a tight Group C followed by New Zealand (1-1-0, 3 pts) and France (0-0-2, 2pts), which needed a last-second goal to draw 2-2 with Ghana (0-1-1, 1 pt) in the first Group C match of the day. The USA will face Ghana in its final Group C match on Nov. 21 at Sir John Guise Stadium (1 a.m. ET on FS1 and NBC Universo), while New Zealand takes on France at the same time at Bava Park.

A win or draw against Ghana will qualify the U.S. for the knockout stage while a win would ensure that the USA goes through to the quarterfinals in first place in Group C. The USA would also advance with a 1-0 loss to Ghana no matter the result of the France-New Zealand game.

U.S. head coach Michelle French made three changes from the starting lineup that faced France in the first game. Katie Cousins and Savannah DeMelo got the nod in central midfield, while Emily Fox began on the right flank and Ashley Sanchez moved into a more advanced role up top.

The moves paid off in just the third minute as Sanchez stole the ball from a New Zealand defender and finished easily. Five minutes later, captain Mallory Pugh to put the USA ahead 2-0 with a brilliant individual effort and finish.

The early goals quieted the pro-New Zealand crowd that was cheering for their team playing a World Cup in their own Oceania Confederation.

The early lead also put the U.S. in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game as the team amassed 13 shots (seven on goal) and 12 corner kicks to New Zealand’s five shots and two corners, both of which came late in the game. The USA controlled possession for the lion’s share of the game and created numerous chances to put the game away earlier. Sanchez hit the outside of the left post with a blast in the second half. The U.S. back line was once again stellar, allowing the lone goal of the game off a set play sequence.

The young Football Ferns drew to within 2-1 in the 76th minute after Isabella Coombes scored during penalty box scramble that came from her team’s first corner kick of the game, but the USA bagged a third soon after.

Second half substitutes Jessie Scarpa and Ally Watt reinstated the USA’s two-goal advantage in the 82nd minute when Scarpa played the speedy Watt through behind the defense and she finished for the final 3-1 margin. Watt had entered the match in the 79th minute.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Ashley Sanchez, 3rd minute:
As the U.S. pressured New Zealand deep in their own end, Sanchez read a pass to Kiwis’ center back Elizabeth Anton and closed her down quickly, forcing a turnover at the top of the New Zealand penalty area. Sanchez raced in one-on-one and with only goalkeeper Nadia Olla to beat, easily snapped a quick shot into the lower right corner from eight yards out to become the first U.S. Women’s player to score in both a U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup in the same year. USA 1, NZL 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Mallory Pugh, 8th minute: An interception at midfield from Pugh got her moving at pace down the left flank. With one defender to beat, Pugh cut inside past her marker, gaining the necessary separation to unleash a dipping blast from the left side of the penalty box sizzled past the diving New Zealand goalkeeper. USA 2, NZL 0 (SEE GOAL)

NZL – Isabella Coombes, 76th minute: After the USA twice failed to clear after a corner kick a headed clearance fell to Coombes at the top center of the penalty box. With a U.S. defender rushing at her, Coombes hit a first -time volley over a goal mouth crowed with players that dipped just underneath the crossbar and into the back of the net. USA 2, NZL 1 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Ally Watt (Jessie Scarpa), 82nd minute: Scarpa won control of the ball in a crowd of New Zealand players near the midfield center circle then slipped a perfect pass down the right flank for Watt. With the New Zealand defense caught and unable to recover against the speedy Watt, she raced into the right side of the penalty area before placing a firm shot into the lower left corner to ice the game. USA 3, NZL 1 (SEE GOAL) FINAL

Social: Facebook; Twitter (@ussoccer_ynt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Additional Notes:

  • Neither team made a change at halftime in the hot conditions that hovered around 80 degrees, but the USA made all three of its subs in the second half as head coach Michelle French brought on attackers Jessie Scarpa in the 57th minute, Ally Watt in the 79th and defender Natalie Jacobs in the 90th.
  • With the game’s opening goal, Ashley Sanchez became the first U.S. Youth Women’s National Team player to score in both a FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup in the same year. She also scored against Paraguay and twice against Japan in group play of the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in Jordan this past October. Kristie Mewis is the only other U.S. player to score in both a U-17 and U-20 World Cup, but she did it two years apart. Her two goals in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup came in 2008 in New Zealand and her goal in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup came in Germany in 2010.
  • Sanchez’s goal vs. New Zealand was her fifth at the U-20 level, while Mallory Pugh’s strike was her 18th for the U-20 WNT in 25 caps.
  • Ally Watt’s goal was her sixth at the U-20 level.
  • This was the first meeting between the USA and New Zealand in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

-U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. New Zealand U-20 Women’s National Team
Date:
Nov. 17, 2016
Competition:
2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup – Group C
Venue:
PNG Football Stadium; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Kickoff:
4 a.m. ET
Attendance:
2,399
Weather:
80 degrees; windy 

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                            2          1          3
NZL                            0          1          1 

USA – Ashley Sanchez                      3rd minute
USA – Mallory Pugh                           8        
NZL – Isabella Coombes                    76
USA – Ally Watt (Jessie Scarpa)        82                       

Lineups:
USA:
1-Casey Murphy; 5-Madeline Elliston, 6-Taylor Otto, 3-Kaleigh Riehl, 14-Ellie Jean; 16-Emily Fox (11-Ally Watt, 79), 10-Emily Ogle, 20-Katie Cousins, 7-Savannah DeMelo (15-Jessie Scarpa, 57), 9-Mallory Pugh (capt.) (19-Natalie Jacobs, 90); 18-Ashley Sanchez
Subs Not Used: 2-Parker Roberts, 4-Sabrina Flores, 8-Courtney Petersen, 12-Rose Chandler, 13-Marley Canales, 17-Kelcie Hedge, 21-Brooke Heinsohn

Head Coach: Michelle French

NZL: 21-Nadia Olla; 2-Sarah Morton, 3-Sophie Stewart-Hobbs, 4-Elizabeth Anton, 6-Meikayla Moore (capt.); 7-Isabella Coombes, 10-Daisy Cleverley, 18-Grace Jale (16-Tayla Christensen, 69); 8-Jasmine Pereira, 9-Martine Puketapu (11-Emma Rolston, 80), 13-Paige Satchell (19-Jacqui Hand, 87)
Subs Not Used: 1-Tessa Nicol, 5-Samantha Murrell, 12-Malia Steinmetz, 14-Jade Parris, 15-Hannah Blake, 17-Eileish Hayes, 20-Emily Couchman
Head Coach: Leon Birnie
 

Stats Summary: USA / NZL
Shots: 13 / 5
Shots on Goal: 4 / 2
Saves: 1 / 3
Corner Kicks: 12 / 2
Fouls: 10 / 4
Offside: 2 / 0 

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Therese Neguel (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Tempa Ndah (BEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mona Mahmoud (EGY)
4th Official: Marina Sbardella (ITA) 

ussoccer.com Player of the Match: Mallory Pugh

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U-20 WNT Nov 17, 2016
US Soccer

Five Things to Know: U-20 WNT and the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup

The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team will look to win its fourth U-20 Women’s World Cup at the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. After a scoreless draw against France to kick off the tournament on Monday, Nov. 14, the U-20s will now face group leader, New Zealand on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 4 a.m. ET and then wrap up group play against Ghana on Monday, Nov. 21 at 1 a.m. ET. Both matches will air live on FS1 and in Spanish on NBC Universo. Fans can also follow all the matches of the U.S. U-20 WNT on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt. For full coverage, visit the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup tournament page on ussoccer.com. 

All matches are also available for live and on-demand streaming via the FOX Sports GO app, the FOX Soccer 2GO app and online at FOXSportsGO.com and on-demand at FOXSoccer2GO.com. Fans can enter a free promo code to watch the games on the FOXSoccer2Go.com registration page.  The promo code is “U20WNT” and is valid for entry on foxsoccer2go.com/buy from November 11until December 3 for 14 days of free access to FOX Soccer 2Go without credit card payment required.

Here are five things to know about the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team and the U-20 Women’s World Cup:

U.S. History at the U-20 Women’s World Cup
The USA has competed in all seven previous Women's World Cups held for this age group, winning the inaugural tournament in 2002 in Canada, finishing third in 2004 in Thailand, finishing fourth in 2006 in Russia when it moved to U-20s, winning in 2008 in Chile on the strength of goal scoring from Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, and finishing fifth in 2010 in Germany. The USA returned to the top of the podium in 2012, winning the tournament in Japan on a goal from Kealia Ohai in the championship game, but lost in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal to North Korea in 2014.

The first two editions of the tournament in 2002 in Canada and in 2004 in Thailand were held as U-19 events. The tournament then moved to U-20 in Russia in 2006. The U-19 tournaments featured 12 teams while the last five have had 16 nations. This year’s teams include: host Papua New Guinea and New Zealand from Oceania; Japan, Korea DPR and Korea Republic from Asia; Ghana and Nigeria from Africa; Germany, Sweden, France and Spain from Europe; the USA, Canada and Mexico from North America; Brazil and Venezuela from South America; and New Zealand from Oceania. The USA, Brazil, Germany and Nigeria are the only teams to have qualified for all the tournaments at this age level held to date.

A U-20s to the WNT Connection

Nine members of the U.S. team that won the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup also won a U-20 Women's World Cup. They are Lori Chalupny, Ashlyn Harris and Heather O'Reilly (2002), Meghan Klingenberg, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan and Alyssa Naeher (2008), and Julie Johnston and Morgan Brian (2012). Current U.S. WNT players Samantha Mewis, Kealia Ohai and Crystal Dunn also won a U-20 WWC in 2012. Additionally, U.S. players have won several awards over the years in this tournament. In 2002, Kelly Wilson won the Silver Boot and the Bronze Ball. In 2004, Angie Woznuk won the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot. In 2006, Danesha Adams won the Bronze Ball. In 2008, Sydney Leroux won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot, Alex Morgan won the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot and Alyssa Naeher won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper. In 2010, Sydney Leroux won the Bronze Boot and Bianca Henninger won the Golden Glove, and in 2012, Julie Johnston won the Bronze Ball. Canada '14 marked the first time a U.S. player did not win a tournament award. The USA also won the Fair Play Award in 2002 and 2008.

U-20 WNT captain, Mallory Pugh
USA U-20 WNT captain Mallory Pugh, in her second U-20 WNT cycle, is the most capped player on the roster with 24 U-20 international matches and the top scorer with 17 goals. Pugh was the youngest player on the 2014 U-20 Women's World Cup Team, where she started all four games when she was 16 years old. She is age-eligible to play in the 2018 tournament as well. Pugh is also the most recent example between the close bond between the U-20s and the senior National Team. She currently has 17 caps and four goals for the full WNT, which includes her goal against Colombia in the 2016 Olympics that made her the youngest American soccer player to score in an Olympic Games. 

A Historic Host and Group C
Papua New Guinea is the first Oceanian nation to host a U-20 Women’s World Cup. PNG occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia. Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby, where all the games at the U-20 WWC will take place. The USA was drawn into Group C, alongside France, New Zealand and Ghana and is aiming to advance past the group stage for the eighth consecutive time in its history at this tournament.

Tournament Format
The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup - which is staged every two years - features 16 nations divided into four groups of four teams each. The top two teams in each group advance to the quarterfinal stage being held Nov. 24 and 25. The semifinals will take place Tuesday, Nov. 29, and the Final and Third-Place matches are on Saturday, Dec. 3. All the matches will be staged on grass surfaces over the four stadiums, which are all in the capital of Port Moresby. Players eligible for this age group tournament must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1996.

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U-20 WNT Nov 16, 2016
US Soccer

Perseverance Got Ellie Jean to the World Cup

Five years might not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re not yet 20-years-old, it’s a solid quarter of your life.

That’s how long Ellie Jean has been waiting to play in a World Cup, dating back to when she first started getting called into U.S. Under-17 WNT training camps and the prospect of representing her country on the word’s stage came into focus. And really, she’s been waiting most of her life, ever since she started playing the game on the spongy fields of Coventry, Connecticut when she was five years old.

Jean, a lithe outside back who covers vast swaths of the field like the former cross country champion she is, was a key player on the U.S. team that was hoping to earn a berth to the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

The USA dominated the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, out-scoring its opposition 24-1, but a penalty kick shootout loss in the semifinal to Mexico ended the USA’s World Cup dreams.

Jean and her teammates would defeat eventual U-17 Women’s World Cup champion Japan during the NTC Invitational in Carson, Calif., three months later to gain some redemption and show how talented that group was, but the cycle ended after that tournament without a World Cup appearance.

“After we lost with the 17s, it was really difficult for me, and difficult for a lot of us,” said Jean. “It was the first time any of us had failed on that kind of big stage. We’d lost games before of course, but this was different. We had all worked really hard, and you always think if you do that hard work you usually achieve your goals, but when we didn’t qualify, I realized that isn’t always the case.”

Jean said she took some time off from soccer, and questioned if she wanted to put herself in that position again, with the possibility of such huge disappointment.

The answer was a resounding, yes, with a twist. She was looking at it backwards. She wanted to put herself in a position that had the possibility of amazing success, while also realizing that the true reward was in the journey, not necessarily the final destination.

“It was a turning point for me,” she said. “It was about growing up and realizing what being an elite soccer player was going to be like. There were going to be ups and downs, wins and defeats, amazing highs and crushing losses. To realize that and understand that was the kind of life I wanted to lead was a big point in my life.

“I knew deep down that I wanted to always pursue great things, but I was hurt. Is it worth it if there’s a chance I won’t get to my end goal? Am I doing everything I can? Maybe I can’t be as great as I want to be? I was doubting myself a bit, but I tried to keep those thoughts out of my mind, tried to keep working hard, be a positive person, get in the training sessions and try to get called into the next camp, whatever age group or wherever it was, that my basic goal at that point.”

From the U-17s, she matriculated to the U.S. U-18 WNT during 2014, playing with a group in which most players would soon be going off to college. But when the new U-20 cycle started, she found herself out of the mix. Instead, she got called into the U.S. U-19 WNT events.

“I was always really positive about it and I think (U-19 WNT head coach) Jitka (Klimkova) really helped,” Jean said. “She was just so encouraging and talking about the U-20s and trying to get us there. She gave me motivation to keep me thinking that I was not missing out, and my family and my support system back home were also really important to keeping me on the right track.”

She admitted it was hard seeing other U-19s getting called into U-20 events, but she kept a positive attitude and kept working. She played in one U-20 camp in 2015, but did not play in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament at the end of the year as she was helping Penn State win an NCAA title, an experience she says impacted her greatly when she finally did get the U-20 nod at the beginning of 2016.

“I think my freshman college season helped me a lot,” Jean said. “It kept my mind off the National Team a bit and I feel like I grew up. I left home. I had a lot of fun with my teammates and (Penn State head coach Erica Dambach) is really an amazing coach. She helped me get adjusted to the college game and helped me with my mentality which translated to the international game. Of course, winning the national championship was a big deal and that can’t help but give you confidence.”

Jean was a bit injured at the end of the college season and was not ready for the USA’s January 2016 training camp. She finally got the call for the February trip to Spain and was off and running.

“Ellie has matured in a number of ways at outside back,” said U.S. U-20 head coach Michelle French. “Her understanding of the game defensively has increased tremendously both with her experience at the college level by simply becoming more tactically aware of the responsibilities of the position. She has an incredible engine to get up and down the line. For her to bring that type of athletic presence to the outside back position on both sides of the ball is a huge asset to our team.”

Jean found out that she had made the World Cup Team during a meeting with French at a training camp in North Carolina. She admits that her heart was pounding a bit walking into the room.

“It was really nerve-wracking,” said Jean. “And she told me, ‘I want you to know that you made the World Cup roster.’ I felt a lot of relief when I heard that because I was no longer competing for a spot, now I was on the team, and it was about continuing to get better and grow as a group towards a common goal. I bet a lot girls cried, even though they might not say they did, but I did. I called my mom and I was crying, but It was a really happy moment for me.”

Now, on the cusp of competing in the U-20 Women’s World Cup, the highest level of competition for players her age, Jean heads into the tournament with more perspective than she had as a younger teenager.

“I’m excited and a bit nervous too, as everyone is, but overall I’m just really excited to take on this challenge with this group of players,” Jean said. “I think we can do great in this tournament and I just want to go out there and have a lot of fun, that’s really important, and represent my country by competing really, really hard. You have to have the confidence to leave everything on the field and we are going to do that.”


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U-20 WNT Nov 13, 2016
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