• Wambach Earns 200th Career International Cap
• Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press Add Goals
• Sydney Leroux and Whitney Engen Make First Career Starts
• USA Moves to 2-0-0 in 2013 with Algarve Cup in Portugal Up Next
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 13, 2013) – The U.S. Women’s National Team scored once in the first half and twice in the second, including a diving header from Abby Wambach that was her 153rd career goal, to post a 3-1 win against Scotland in front of 14,224 fans at LP Field. It was the largest crowd ever to watch the U.S. Women in the state of Tennessee.
Wambach earned her 200th cap in the match, becoming the eighth U.S. player to reach that milestone, and her goal puts her just five short of tying Mia Hamm (158 goals) on the world’s all-time scoring list.
Megan Rapinoe opened the scoring in 21st with a superb strike and Christen Press came off the bench to supply a clinical finish of her own, giving the 24-year-old her third goal in just two caps. She is the first player in U.S. history to score three goals in her first two games.
The USA defeated Scotland 4-1 four days ago in Jacksonville, Fla., and this time the Scots came out less intimidated, seeing more of the ball in the first 15 minutes than they did in the entire first half on Saturday.
Rapinoe, who sat out the first match after arriving from France (where she is playing club soccer), scored her 20th-career goal to make it 1-0.
The goal came after Heather O’Reilly beat a defender to the end line on the left wing and got off a cross that was headed up in the air by the Scotland defense. Rapinoe jousted for the ball and as it bounced in the penalty area she brought it under control, weaved away from pressure and spun a perfect shot with the outside of her right foot into the left-side netting from 12 yards out. Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay was nailed to the ground as the ball bent away from her and just inside the post.
Forward Sydney Leroux, who set a U.S. record for goals as a substitute last year, made her first-career start after earning her 29 previous caps off the bench. Leroux was a menace all game long and had numerous chances to score, especially in the second half when she saw two shots from close range kick-saved by Scotland’s back-up goalkeeper Shannon Lynn, who came on for Fay at halftime. Center back Whitney Engen, who earned her first two caps at the 2011 Algarve Cup, also made her first-career start and went 90 minutes alongside Rachel Buehler.
Leroux almost scored a brilliant individual goal in the 48th minute when she beat a defender with a nifty nutmeg on the left end line, then beat another defender with a touch to the inside, but sprayed her shot wide right of the goal.
The Americans dominated the second half, out-shooting Scotland 11-3 after the break and were rewarded with two goals and a slew of close chances. Wambach made it 2-0 in the 51st minute after O’Reilly ran onto a pass slipped down the right wing. She pushed it forward into the penalty box for Leroux, who struck a low cross into the middle that Wambach finished with power on a diving header from close range.
Press came off bench in 61st minute for Wambach and played forward after getting her first start and scoring her first two goals from right midfield on Saturday.
Press made it 3-0 just three minutes after entering the game as midfielder Shannon Boxx led a break up the middle before playing a pass to her right into the penalty area. Press was wide open and had time to settle and choose a corner, crisply side-footing it into the right side of the net from 10 yards out.
Scotland pulled a goal back in the 81st minute as forward Suzanne Grant, who was playing in her 100th match for her country, skillfully volleyed home a cross from the left side, but by that time, the match had been decided.
The attendance at LP Field surpassed the record for most fans to watch a U.S. WNT game in Nashville (previously it was 9,110 for a game in 2004) and broke the record for most fans to see the Women’s National Team in the state of Tennessee which was the 13,081 that came to watch the U.S. team defeat Sweden in Chattanooga back in 1997.
• The U.S. team will now have about two weeks off before re-grouping for the Algarve Cup in Portugal that will take place from March 6-13. The USA will be playing Iceland, China PR and Sweden in group play at the annual tournament on the southern coast of the country. The roster for that tournament will be announced shortly.
• Defender Crystal Dunn, a member of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, earned her first cap at the senior level when she came on for Ali Krieger in the 69th minute.
• Dunn became the fourth player to receive her first cap under new head coach Tom Sermanni, after forward Christen Press, midfielder Kristie Mewis and defender Julie Johnston earned their first caps against Scotland on Feb. 9.
• The USA is riding a 25-game unbeaten streak since the last loss, which came to Japan on March 5 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The U.S. has scored 80 goals while allowing 20 in 22 wins and three ties.
• U.S. forward Alex Morgan did not suit up for the match for precautionary reasons. She trained in the two days prior to the match after twisting her ankle in the first match against Scotland, but the U.S. team will leave for the Algarve Cup in Portugal in less than two weeks and the coaching staff wanted to ensure her health for the highly competitive tournament.
• Defender Ali Krieger made her second-consecutive start after missing a year of action following a major knee injury in January of 2012.
• U.S. captain Christie Rampone sat out the match to give some minutes to Whitney Engen and Rachel Buehler. It was the first U.S. match she had not played in since July 13, 2010 against Sweden in Omaha, Neb.
-U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report-
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Scotland
Date: Feb. 13, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: LP Field; Nashville, Tenn.
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Weather: 43 degrees, cold
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 2 3
SCO 0 1 1
USA – Megan Rapinoe 21st minute
USA – Abby Wambach (Sydney Leroux) 51
USA – Christen Press (Shannon Boxx) 54
SCO – Suzzane Grant (Emma Mitchell) 81
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger (27-Crystal Dunn, 69), 28-Whitney Engen, 19-Rachel Buehler, 5-Kelley O’Hara (Lori Lindsey, 85), 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx (10-Carli Lloyd, 67), 12-Lauren Cheney, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 14-Sydney Leroux (17-Tobin Heath 81), 20-Abby Wambach (Capt.) (22-Christen Press, 61)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Christie Rampone, 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Tom Sermanni
SCO: 1-Gemma Fay (capt.) (12-Shannon Lynn, 46); 2-Rhonda Jones, 10-Jennifer Beattie (17-Frankie Brown, 56), 4-Elish McSorley, 3-Rachael Small; 14-Leanne Crichton (18-Emma Mitchell, 66), 5-Leanne Ross, 7-Hayley Lauder (15-Joelle Murray, 78), 8-Kim Little, 13-Jane Ross9- (Suzanne Malone, 89), 6-Joanne Love (11-Suzanne Grant, 76)
Substitutions Not Used: 16-Lisa Evans
Head coach: Anna Signeul
Stats Summary: USA / SCO
Shots: 19 / 7
Shots on Goal: 10 / 1
Saves: 0 / 6
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 7
Offside: 3 / 2
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Kathryn Nesbitt (USA)
Fourth Official: Maggie Short (USA)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: TBD