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
BRIDGEVIEW, Illinois (Oct. 17, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team moved a step closer to securing a spot in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship with a 5-0 victory against Guatemala in Group A play at Toyota Park.
A resurgent USA squad scored four second-half goals. Tobin Heath led the way with two goals, while Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and center back Whitney Engen each tallied a goal.
The USA moves to the summit of Group A with a 2-0-0 record. Earlier in the day in Group A action, Trinidad & Tobago defeated Haiti 1-0. At 1-1-0, both Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti are fighting to also move on from group play, while Guatemala has been eliminated with a 0-2-0 record.
The U.S. wraps up Group A play against Haiti on Monday, Oct. 20, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. (7:30 p.m. ET; FOX Sports 1). A victory or draw would guarantee the USA first place in the group and a top seed to face the Group B runner-up in the semifinals. The U.S. can also win Group A with a loss against Haiti if it retains superior goal differential.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tobin Heath (Sydney Leroux), 7th minute: The USA worked the ball around the right flank to defensive back Ali Krieger, who crossed in toward the center of the box. A couple Guatemala players from the team’s five-player back line could not disrupt the pass, and Leroux reached back with her right foot to flick the ball toward the six-yard box. Heath converged and slotted low into the right side for the goal. USA 1, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Carli Lloyd (Sydney Leroux), 46th minute: Just 30 seconds into the second half, the USA earned a two-goal cushion when Leroux cut back to her right foot from the left flank and crossed to Lloyd making a run toward the far right post. Lloyd rose up over Guatemala’s Kimberly De Leon and headed the ball to the left side of the frame past Alicia Navas. USA 2, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Tobin Heath (Carli Lloyd), 57th minute: Megan Rapinoe had a line-drive corner kick from the right side that Lloyd volleyed from the left side of the box. The shot possibly was headed on goal, but just to make sure, Heath redirected with a cheeky flick of her left foot and her back to the goal, shooting inside the right post for her second goal of the match. Heath now has 11 international goals in 78 games and three goals this year. USA 3, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Whitney Engen (Megan Rapinoe), 58th minute: The USA started to pile things on as Rapinoe’s free kick from the left went directly to Engen running in toward the left post. Guatemala’s defense broke down as Engen had a clear path and took advantage of the opportunity with a header inside the left of the frame. The center back scored her second goal of the year and third of her 20-game international career. USA 4, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Megan Rapinoe, 66th minute: Carli Lloyd’s initial shot at the top of the box was blocked by Guatemala’s Gloria Aguilar, but Rapinoe was at the right place for the rebound. Rapinoe’s curling right-footed shot from 20 yards out struck nothing but net as Alicia Navas had little chance to get to the ball. USA 5, GUA 0 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:GUA – Londy Barrios, 36th minute: Carli Lloyd worked the ball down the left side and crossed in toward Alex Morgan at the six-yard box. Barrios quickly got in the pathway and deflected it out for a USA corner kick as Morgan would have had a clear scoring chance at the near left post.
GUA – Alicia Navas, 41st minute: Megan Rapinoe’s free kick from the right side lined up with both Whitney Engen and Sydney Leroux. Engen just missed getting a flick-header touch, but Leroux was in the way of Rapinoe’s kick and shot toward the goal. However, the ball went directly to Navas, and the Guatemala goalkeeper secured.
GUA – Alicia Navas, 69th minute: Rapinoe’s shot from the left side was destined for the far right post, and Navas stayed on top of it with the save and did not allow a rebound with Sydney Leroux lurking.
- Carli Lloyd now has 52 goals in her career, the most for a WNT player exclusively to play as a midfielder. Lloyd is ninth on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list and is now just one goal behind eighth-place Carin Gabarra (53 goals from 1987-96).
- Lloyd notched her 29th-career assist and Megan Rapinoe her 28th assist. They rank 14th and 15th, respectively, on the U.S. WNT’s all-time assists list.
- Hope Solo added to her U.S. WNT record with her 75th-career shutout.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT wraps up Group A play in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship against Haiti on Monday, Oct. 20, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Broadcast information: FOX Sports 1 and multi-platform devices via FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer 2GO and FOXSportsGo.com.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
- The USA is now 12-2-3 in 2014.
- The U.S. WNT is 3-0-0 all-time against Guatemala. The USA has outscored Guatemala 27-0 in its three meetings.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three changes to her starting lineup from the tournament opener against Trinidad & Tobago. The returning defensive starters included Hope Solo in goal, right back Ali Krieger, left back Meghan Klingenberg and center back Becky Sauerbrunn. Whitney Engen made her first start, getting the call ahead of Christie Rampone.
- The midfield included returning starters Lauren Holiday and team captain Carli Lloyd, while Megan Rapinoe dropped back to the midfield against Guatemala. She had been in the front line in the last match.
- Lloyd wore the armband for the first time since the USA’s 2-2 draw against France on June 19 in East Hartford, Connecticut.
- The USA’s three starting forwards in their 4-3-3 formation featured returning starter Alex Morgan, and Sydney Leroux and Tobin Heath made their first starts, while Abby Wambach and Christen Press came off the bench.
- In the 37th minute, Morgan collided with Guatemala defender Londy Barrios in a shoulder-to-shoulder sequence in Guatemala’s defensive third. Morgan injured her left ankle, attempted to put pressure on it on the sidelines but was eventually forced to exit the game. She was ruled to have sprained her ankle, and Press replaced her in the 42nd minute.
- The USA thought it had a two-goal lead heading into the halftime break when Meghan Klingenberg crossed from the left and connected perfectly with Press in the 45th minute. However, on the Press header, she was ruled to have fouled Marilyn Rivera and the goal was called back.
- Kelley O’Hara was brought into the game for Krieger to open the second half.
- In the 68th minute, Ellis used her final sub with Amy Rodriguez entering for Klingenberg. Heath dropped back to Klingenberg’s spot at left back.
- Lloyd and Rapinoe each scored their third-career goals in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
- Press and Sauerbrunn are the only USA players to have made an appearance in all 17 games this year.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: Oct. 17, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship – Group A
Venue: Toyota Park; Bridgeview, Illinois
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 55 degrees, cool
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 4 5
GUA 0 0 0
USA – Tobin Heath (Sydney Leroux) 7th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Sydney Leroux) 46
USA – Tobin Heath (Carli Lloyd) 57
USA – Whitney Engen (Megan Rapinoe) 58
USA – Megan Rapinoe 66
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (5-Kelley O’Hara, 46), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg (8-Amy Rodriguez, 68), 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 2-Sydney Leroux, 13-Alex Morgan (14-Christen Press, 42), 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 7-Morgan Brian, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston, 20-Abby Wambach
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
GUA: 12-Alicia Navas; 2-Daniela Andrade, 14-Coralia Monterroso, 5-Londy Barrios, 3-Marilyn Rivera; 10-Kimberly De León (7-Alida Argueta, 77), 15-Christian Recinos, 6-Gloria Aguilar, 4-Mia Espino; 8-María Monterroso (19-Diana Barrera, 77), 13-Aisha Solorzano (18-Kellin Mayen, 71)
Subs Not Used: 1-Yoselin Franco, 9-Ana Lucia Martínez, 11-Vilma López, 16-Cinthya Lopez, 17-Jennifer Barrios, 20-Melany Cayetano
Head Coach: Benjamin Monterroso
Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 21 / 0
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 11 / 0
Fouls: 14 / 10
Offside: 7 / 0
USA – Sydney Leroux (caution) 49th minute
Referee: Maurees Skeete (GUY)
Assistant Referee 1: Stacy Ann Greyson (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Kimberly Morera (CRC)
Fourth Official: Marianela Araya (CRC)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Megan RapinoeRead more