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
Photos from the U.S. WNT's 6-0 win against Haiti in its final Group A game at the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship.Read more
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 20, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team is one victory away from booking its spot in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
USA all-time goal scoring leader Abby Wambach scored two goals and the United States soundly defeated Haiti 6-0 at RFK Stadium to earn first place in Group A and a top seed heading into the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. The U.S. will face the Group B runner-up on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Morgan Brian each scored a goal, and defender Meghan Klingenberg added her first international tally.
The top three teams in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship earn automatic qualification to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, while the fourth-place team enters a two-leg playoff against South American third-place finisher Ecuador for the final berth.
The USA’s semifinal opponent will be determined Tuesday with the conclusion of Group B play, and the U.S. WNT will take on the runner-up from that group. Costa Rica (2-0-0, 6 points) currently holds the top spot, followed by Mexico (1-1-0, 3 points) and Jamaica (1-1-0, 3 points). Martinique (0-0-2, 0 points) is in last place, but could not qualify for the semifinal stage anyway as it is not recognized as a FIFA country.
Trinidad & Tobago was the Group A runner-up, holding off Guatemala for a 2-1 win earlier Monday to conclude the group stage with a 2-1-0 record and six points. Trinidad & Tobago will face the Group B winner in the semifinals.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Carli Lloyd, 9th minute: USA left back Meghan Klingenberg crossed the ball to the top of the six-yard box, where Abby Wambach and Haiti goalkeeper Geralda Saintilus met for a 50-50 challenge. Saintilus stepped in front of the pass and batted it away; however, she was unable to clear the ball out of the box and was well off her line when the USA retained possession. Lloyd collected the deflection, chested down to her foot and slotted into the net for her second goal of the tournament. USA 1, HAI 0
USA – Abby Wambach, 38th minute: Christen Press cut to her left foot and lofted a dangerous ball into the middle of the box with Wambach running straight at the goal. Haiti defender Roselord Borgella stretched with her right foot to intercept, but instead of clearing the danger, the deflection stayed in line with Wambach’s run. The all-time goal scoring leader headed the ball into the net without breaking stride to push the USA lead to two heading into halftime. USA 2, HAI 0
USA – Meghan Klingenberg, 57th minute: Second-half sub Heather O’Reilly brought some high energy from the right flank and had ample space on this sequence to cross into the box. Haiti’s defense cleared the ball about eight yards above the box, where Klingenberg stepped up with a laser of a right-footed shot that was out of the reach of Saintilus and into the right side of the frame. It was Klingenberg’s first goal in 19 international games. USA 3, HAI 0
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 60th minute: Lloyd won the header at the top of the box and her pass found its way between two Haiti defenders at the edge of the six, where Wambach volleyed it home with her right foot past Saintilus. With her brace, Wambach now leads the U.S. WNT with 10 goals in 2014. USA 4, HAI 0
USA – Christen Press, 65th minute: A couple minutes after they entered the match Sydney Leroux and Morgan Brian created the USA’s next scoring chance, with Leroux crossing from the right side and Brian redirecting the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Haiti’s defense once again got a deflection but could not clear, and Press rushed a left-footed shot into the left side of the goal. USA 5, HAI 0
USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press), 82nd minute: Press dribbled to the end line to elude her defender and crossed toward the penalty spot, where Brian shot from about eight yards out into the right side of the frame. It was Brian’s third goal in 14 appearances. USA 6, HAI 0 (FINAL) (Highlights)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 5th minute: Just several minutes after Carli Lloyd saw a goal disallowed because of an offside call, the USA attacked again with veteran striker Abby Wambach threatening the net. Wambach struck left-footed from the left side of the box, searching for the far right post. Saintilus secured the save on the low attempt and did not allow a rebound to keep the match scoreless in the early stages.
USA – Whitney Engen, 33rd minute: The USA had a bad giveaway in midfield that opened a window for Haiti. Marie Jean Pierre collected the loose ball and rushed toward the net. The U.S. WNT’s back line recovered and Engen blocked Jean Pierre’s shot attempt a couple yards outside the area.
HAI – Geralda Saintilus, 72nd and 74th minutes: In the first of these sequences, Sydney Leroux nearly had a highlight reel effort when she attempted a diving header on Heather O’Reilly’s cross from the right. Though Leroux missed on the header, the ball fell to her between a pair of Haiti defenders and Leroux managed to get a left-footed shot off, only to have Saintilus come away with the save. Two minutes later, O’Reilly threatened the net, and her attempt deflected off of a defender and was headed to the right side of the frame. Saintilus dove to her left to again limit the damage of the USA’s heavy attack.
- Abby Wambach added to her all-time goal scoring record, notching goals No. 172 and 173 of her 226-game international career.
- Wambach scored her 13th and 14th goals in World Cup qualifying, passing Mia Hamm (12) for second place on the USA’s all-time list. Michelle Akers holds the U.S. WNT record with 17 goals in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
- Wambach made her 12th appearance in a World Cup qualifying match, which ties her with Julie Foudy and Hamm for second on the U.S. WNT’s all-time list. Kristine Lilly is the USA’s all-time leader with 17 games in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
- Carli Lloyd scored the 53rd goal of her career, tying Carin Gabarra (53 goals from 1987-96) for eighth-place on the U.S. WNT all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd is the WNT’s top scorer among players who have exclusively played as midfielders.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will face the Group B runner-up in the semifinals of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Friday, Oct. 24, at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. 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.
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- The USA is now 13-2-3 in 2014.
- The U.S. WNT is 4-0-0 all-time against Haiti. The USA has outscored Haiti 29-0 in its four meetings.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made five changes to her starting lineup following the team’s 5-0 victory against Guatemala. Three changes were on the defensive side of the ball, including the first start of the tournament for goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris. Harris earned her fourth-career cap and her second of 2014.
- The back line included two returning starters in left back Meghan Klingenberg and center back Whitney Engen. Kelley O’Hara got the call ahead of Ali Krieger at right back, and center back and team captain Christie Rampone returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the Guatemala match. Rampone is now one cap away from 300 for her career.
- The USA’s midfield remained unchanged from the Guatemala game with returning starters Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe.
- The front three of the USA’s 4-3-3 formation included returning starter Tobin Heath, fresh off her two-goal effort against Guatemala, along with Abby Wambach and Christen Press. Wambach had started and scored the lone goal in the USA’s 1-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago and sat out the Guatemala game. Press was a first-half sub for Alex Morgan when she injured her ankle against Guatemala.
- Heather O’Reilly entered the game to start the second half, replacing Rapinoe.
- After the USA pushed its lead to four goals, Ellis utilized her final two subs with Sydney Leroux replacing Wambach in the 62nd minute and Morgan Brian entering for Heath in the 63rd minute. Brian made her first appearance in the tournament.
- The USA could have added to its lead on several occasions, the most noteworthy being Sydney Leroux’s 80th-minute shot ricocheting off the right post.
- Press is now the only USA player to have made an appearance in all 18 games this year.
- Harris earned her first-career clean sheet in four appearances.
- The U.S. WNT is now 88-8-13 in the 109 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Haiti
Date: Oct. 20, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
Venue: RFK Stadium; Washington, D.C.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: 62 degrees, cool
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 2 4 6
HAI 0 0 0
USA – Carli Lloyd 9th minute
USA – Abby Wambach 38
USA – Meghan Klingenberg 57
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 61
USA – Christen Press 65
USA – Morgan Brian (Christen Press) 82
USA: 18-Ashlyn Harris; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Whitney Engen, 16-Meghan Klingenberg; 12-Lauren Holiday, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46); 14-Christen Press, 20-Abby Wambach (2-Sydney Leroux, 62), 17-Tobin Heath (7-Morgan Brian, 63)
Subs Not Used: 1-Hope Solo, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
HAI: 1-Geralda Saintilus; 4-Kencia Marseille (capt.), 6-Kimberly Boulos (8-Kensie Bobo,56), 9-Lindsay Zullo, 11-Woodlyne Robuste (10-Wisline Dolce, 60), 13-Marie Jean Pierre, 14-Samantha Brand, 15-Shanna Hudson (3-Generve Charles, 84), 17-Yvrose Gervil, 18-Roselord Borgella, 19-Clorene Rateau
Subs Not Used: 2-Natacha Cajuste, 5-Dieunise Jean Baptiste, 7-Manoucheka Pierre-Louis, 12-Cynthia Chery, 16-Sindy Jeune, 20-Schmid Charles
Head Coach: Shek Borkowski
Stats Summary: USA / HAI
Shots: 20 / 1
Shots on Goal: 12 / 0
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 12 / 0
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 6 / 1
Referee: Quetzali Alvarado (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Stacy-Ann Greyson (JAM)
Fourth Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Lauren Holiday