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. Women's National Team's 6-0 win against Costa Rica to claim the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship title.Read more
CHESTER, Pennsylvania (Oct. 26, 2014) – The U.S. Women’s National Team held nothing back in closing out the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominee Abby Wambach recorded a first-half hat trick and four goals in all, and the USA rolled to a 6-0 victory against Costa Rica in the title match before 11,625 spectators at PPL Park.
Carli Lloyd added a first-half goal to up her total to five goals in five tournament matches, and Sydney Leroux tallied her first goal of the competition in the second half.
Wambach recorded the eighth hat trick of her international career, and the all-time goal scoring leader now has 177 goals in 228 matches. With her fourth goal, Wambach broke the U.S. WNT record with her 18th goal in World Cup qualifying matches, surpassing the mark of 17 set by Michelle Akers.
Wambach scored seven goals in four games at the CONCACAF Women’s Championship to earn the Golden Boot. Lloyd won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player; and in addition to her five goals, Lloyd contributed four assists. Hope Solo was the Golden Glove winner, posting four shutouts.
As a team, the U.S. outscored its opposition 21-0 in the tournament.
The USA won the CONCACAF Women’s Championship for the fifth time. The WNT previously won the tournament in 1991, 1994, 2002 and 2006. The USA did not participate in the 1998 event because the team was already entered in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the host nation.
As finalists, the U.S. and Costa Rica had already qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada. It will mark the USA’s seventh consecutive appearance in the Women’s World Cup, while Costa Rica is making its first appearance.
Earlier in the day, Mexico defeated Trinidad & Tobago 4-2 in overtime to win the third-place game and automatic qualification to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Mexico is the 21st team to qualify.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Abby Wambach (Morgan Brian), 4th minute: The USA threatened a couple times during this sequence, starting with Megan Rapinoe’s low, driven corner kick from the right side that eventually led to a long-distance shot from Meghan Klingenberg. Klingenberg’s strike was blocked by Costa Rica’s Diana Saenz, but not cleared far enough away as Brian collected on the left side. The USA’s youngest player crossed to Wambach at the edge of the six-yard box and the all-time goal scoring leader finished with a snapped header. USA 1, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Carli Lloyd (Abby Wambach), 17th minute: Rapinoe’s corner kick from the left side reached Wambach on the right side of the box. Because she was too far from the goal to threaten the net with a shot, Wambach nodded the ball to the edge of the six-yard box toward Lloyd. Lloyd deftly flicked a header inside the left of the frame for her fifth goal in five tournament games. USA 2, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 35th minute: Rapinoe played a through ball to Lloyd on the left side of the box. Lloyd eluded Costa Rica’s Carol Sanchez to create some space for a left-footed cross to the six-yard box, and once again Wambach headed the ball into the net. USA 3, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd), 41st minute: A carbon-copy of Wambach’s goal just six minutes earlier. Again, Rapinoe had the initial set-up pass to Lloyd in the left side of the box. This time, Lloyd turned to her right foot for the cross to Wambach, who headed into the right side of the frame. USA 4, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Abby Wambach (Sydney Leroux), 71st minute: From midfield, Leroux’s up-field pass split a pair of Costa Rica defenders to Wambach on the right side of the box. Wambach recognized that Dinnia Diaz was off her line and immediately launched a deft chip over the Costa Rica goalkeeper’s gloves and into the left side of the net. USA 5, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Sydney Leroux (Tobin Heath), 73rd minute: Meghan Klingenberg left the ball to Heath on the left side of the area, and the second-half sub crossed the ball into the middle of the six-yard box. Leroux, who had hit the frame multiple times in this tournament, finally struck with a header into the back of the net. USA 6, CRC 0 (SEE GOAL) (FINAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
CRC – Dinnia Diaz, 12th minute: Midfielder Carli Lloyd, the USA’s most consistent scoring threat throughout the tournament, had an early opportunity when she received the ball in the box with her back to the goal. Lloyd spun counter clockwise to stave off her defender and shot toward the near left side of the frame. Diaz reacted well and got low for the diving save.
CRC – Lixy Rodriguez, 49th minute: Abby Wambach nearly had another opportunity to add to her first-half hat trick. Morgan Brian played the ball toward the U.S. striker, and Rodriguez made a strong sliding effort in the box to disrupt the pass and prevent Wambach from tallying another goal.
CRC – Dinnia Diaz, 89th minute: USA second-half sub Heather O’Reilly attacked from the right side and working the ball into position for a close range shot in the box. O’Reilly’s shot was denied by Diaz with a kick save at the near right post.
USA Leaders at CONCACAF Women’s Championship:
- Goals: Abby Wambach (7), Carli Lloyd (5), Tobin Heath (2), Christen Press (2), five tied with (1)
- Assists: Sydney Leroux (4), Carli Lloyd (4), Tobin Heath (2), five tied with (1)
- Christie Rampone, the active caps leader in the world, earned her 301st cap. She trails only Kristine Lilly (352 games from 1987-2010) on the all-time list.
- Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd each made their 14th appearances in a World Cup qualifying match. They are tied for second place on the USA’s all-time list behind only Lilly (17 games).
- Wambach’s eighth hat trick ties her for second on the U.S. WNT all-time list with Cindy Parlow (eight hat tricks from 1996-2004). Mia Hamm holds the USA record with 10 hat tricks from 1987-2004.
- Sydney Leroux scored her 33rd international goal, moving into sole possession of 15th place on the WNT all-time list past Lindsay Tarpley (32 goals from 2003-2011).
- Goalkeeper Hope Solo, the U.S. WNT’s all-time shutouts leader, upped her record to 77 clean sheets in 159 games.
Next on the Schedule:
The U.S. WNT will prepare for the four-team International Tournament of Brasilia from Dec. 10-21. The USA opens against China PR (Dec. 10), followed by Brazil (Dec. 14) and Argentina (Dec. 17) in group play. Kickoff times and additional tournament information will be announced at a later date.
Social: Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Facebook; Instagram
- The USA is now 15-2-3 in 2014.
- The U.S. WNT moves to 10-0-0 all-time against Costa Rica. The USA has outscored Costa Rica 51-0.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis made three starting lineup changes following the team’s 3-0 semifinal win against Mexico on Friday.
- The majority of the defense returned to the starting lineup, with Hope Solo in goal, Meghan Klingenberg at left back, Ali Krieger at right back and captain Christie Rampone at center back. Becky Sauerbrunn got the call as the USA’s other center back, making her first start since the team’s 5-0 victory against Guatemala on Oct. 17 in the group stage.
- The U.S. midfield featured returning starters Carli Lloyd and Lauren Holiday, while college senior Morgan Brian earned her first start of the tournament.
- In the front of the USA’s 4-3-3 formation, regular starting midfielder Megan Rapinoe was pushed to forward. Christen Press earned her third straight start. Abby Wambach, who came off the bench against Mexico, returned to the starting group.
- Ellis made all three subs in one block. In the 56th minute, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly replaced Brian and Press, respectively. In the 57th minute of that substitution trio, Tobin Heath entered for Rapinoe.
- Lloyd is the only USA player to log the full 450 minutes during this year’s CONCACAF Women’s Championship.
- Klingenberg, who wowed USA fans with her long-distance strike against Haiti, nearly struck with a second international goal in the 37th minute. However, her 17-yard shot rattled off of the crossbar.
- The U.S. WNT is now 90-8-13 in the 111 games that Rampone has been the team captain.
- The U.S. is 15-0-3 under head coach Jill Ellis.
- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: Oct. 26, 2014
Competition: 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship; Final
Venue: PPL Park; Chester, Pennsylvania
Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. ET
Weather: 63 degrees, partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 2 6
CRC 0 0 0
USA – Abby Wambach (Morgan Brian) 4th minute
USA – Carli Lloyd (Abby Wambach) 17
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 35
USA – Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd) 41
USA – Abby Wambach (Sydney Leroux) 71
USA – Sydney Leroux (Tobin Heath) 73
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 16-Meghan Klingenberg, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 11-Ali Krieger; 12-Lauren Holiday, 7-Morgan Brian (2-Sydney Leroux, 56), 10-Carli Lloyd; 14-Christen Press (9-Heather O’Reilly, 56), 20-Abby Wambach, 15-Megan Rapinoe (17-Tobin Heath, 57)
Subs Not Used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 19-Julie Johnston
Head Coach: Jill Ellis
CRC: 1-Dinnia Diaz; 5-Diana Saenz (9-Carolina Venegas, 46), 6-Carol Sanchez, 8-Daniela Cruz, 10-Shirley Cruz (capt.); 11-Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño, 12-Lixy Rodriguez (2-Gabriela Guillen, 76), 15-Cristin Granados, 16-Katherine Alvarado; 17-Daphnne Herrera, 20-Wendy Patricia Acosta (19-Fabiola Sanchez, 74)
Subs Not Used: 3-Mariane Ugalde, 4-Maríiana Benavidez, 7-Gloriana Villalobos, 13-Noelia Bermudez, 14-Yesmi Rodriguez, 18-Yirlania Arroyo
Head Coach: Avedissian Garabet
Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 21 / 2
Shots on Goal: 14 / 0
Saves: 0 / 8
Corner Kicks: 8 / 2
Fouls: 18 / 6
Offside: 1 / 2
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution) 27th minute
USA – Lauren Holiday (caution) 60
Referee: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Emperatriz Ayala (SLV)
Fourth Official: Maurees Skeete (GUY)
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