Jill Ellis to coach final game for USWNT on Sunday as Victory Tour concludes
The U.S. Women’s National Team will complete its five-game Victory Tour when it takes on Korea Republic on Sunday, Oct. 6 at Soldier Field in Chicago (1 p.m. CT on ESPN & the ESPN App).
The match will be the final game in charge for USWNT head coach Jill Ellis, who announced on July 30 that she would be stepping down after more than five extremely successful years at the helm of the U.S. team.
The USA has won all four Victory Tour games so far, starting on Aug. 3 at the historic Rose Bowl where it downed Ireland, 3-0. The USA then defeated Portugal twice (4-0 in Philadelphia and 3-0 in St. Paul, Minn.), and downed South Korea, 2-0, on Oct. 3 via set piece goals from Allie Long and Mallory Pugh. The Victory Tour is celebrating the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup title and features the 23 players who helped the USA win the World Cup.
The USA is 18-1-2 so far in 2019 and is riding a 17-match winning streak. The USA is unbeaten in its last 20 matches after dropping the first game of the year, a 3-1 setback to France in Le Havre, a result that was avenged in Paris in the quarterfinal of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
JILL ELLIS BOWS OUT AS ALL-TIME WINNINGEST COACH IN U.S. HISTORY: On July 30, Jill Ellis announced she was stepping down from her post after five-plus years at the helm of the world’s #1 ranked team. She is the third U.S. coach – and the first female American coach – to win a Women’s World Cup at the senior level, following Anson Dorrance (1991) and the late Tony DiCicco (1999). She is the first to win two World Cups (2015 & 2019) after the triumph in France. Ellis was named the 2015 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Soccer on Jan. 11, 2016 and won the award again on Sept. 23, 2019 at The Best FIFA Awards in Milan, Italy.
Ellis coached seven games as interim coach in 2012 (5-0-2) and two games (1-0-1) as interim in 2014, which gave her a 6-0-3 record before she ever was formally named the head coach in May of 2014. She has gone 100-7-15 since then for an overall record of 106-7-18, passing the late great Tony DiCicco for most all-time wins in USWNT history. The WWC match against France on June 28 was her 125th on the bench for the USA, earning her the record for most USWNT games coached and that win was the 100th in her WNT career.
In her time as head coach of the WNT, Ellis has won eight tournaments: the 2015 Algarve Cup, the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the 2016 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, the 2016 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 SheBelieves Cup, the 2018 Tournament of Nations, the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
SWEET HOME CHICAGO: The U.S. Women have made numerous trips to Chicago – home of the U.S. Soccer Federation HQ – and this will be the eighth match in team history at Soldier Field, where the USWNT has never lost. The “old” Solider Field holds a significant place in U.S. WNT history, as the Americans played Nigeria in group play at the 1999 Women’s World Cup there. In that match, the USA fell behind early, but them stormed back to score seven goals in the 7-1 win that helped spur the team to the historic World Cup title. The most recent USWNT game at Soldier Field was a match against South Africa on the road to the 2016 Olympics. The USA won 1-0 on July 9, 2016.
USA VS. KOREA REPUBLIC
- The USA is 10-0-2 all-time against Korea Republic, which is ranked 20th in the world.
- Before the 2-0 victory on Oct. 3 in Charlotte, N.C. via goals from Allie Long and Mallory Pugh, the most recent matches between the teams came in the fall of 2017 as the USA downed South Korea, 3-1, in New Orleans on goals from Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, and 6-0 in Cary, N.C. as Samantha Mewis scored twice in her club’s home stadium, to combine with goals from Christen Press, Ertz, Allie Long and Lynn Williams, who also scored on her home pitch.
- All 12 games between the teams have taken place on U.S. soil. The USA has played two friendly tournaments in South Korea in its history but did not meet the hosts at either one.
- Both draws between the teams have been 0-0 affairs, the first coming in 2008 during the USA’s post-Olympic tour following the gold medal win in Beijing, and the second coming in 2015 in Harrison, N.J.
- South Korea was the opponent on one of the most memorable nights in U.S. history, which came in 2013, a 5-0 victory at Red Bull Arena. That was the historic night that forward Abby Wambach became the greatest goal scorer in international soccer as she scored four goals – all in the first half.It was the third strike in the 29th minute that gave her 159 in her career and moved her past former teammate Mia Hamm to become the all-time leader in international goals. Lauren Holiday scored the fifth and final goal in that match.
2019 U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM VICTORY TOUR ROSTER (CAPS/GOALS)
DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 51/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 24/1); Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 95/24), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride; 104/1), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 125/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 168/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 29/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 38/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 85/7), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 92/19), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 77/12), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 35/10), Allie Long (Reign FC; 49/8), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 59/14), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 12/0)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 159/32); Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 285/117), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 12/2), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 168/107), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 127/49), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 59/18), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 159/50)
U.S. ROSTER NOTES TEAM
- Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan was added to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the two matches against the Korea Republic. Sullivan was added due to several injuries and the overall work load of the 2019 Women’s World Cup Team players as the NWSL season nears its conclusion.
- Prior to the match in Chicago, Red Stars defender Casey Short was also added for the same reasons. Short was called in to add depth and due to injuries for the USA’s two Victory Tour matches against Portugal and saw action off the bench in both.
- Twelve different players have scored the USA’s 67 goals this year. Carli Lloyd leads the team with 12 and Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have nine each. Tobin Heath has eight goals, Samantha Mewis and Mallory Pugh have six and Lindsey Horan have five each. Rose Lavelle has four and Christen Press has three. Allie Long has two and Jessica McDonald, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian and have one each. The USA has benefited from one own goal.
- The U.S. Women’s National Team reached an impressive milestone on Nov. 8, 2018 with its 1-0 victory against Portugal that was the 500th win in program history. Since its inception in 1985, the USWNT has compiled a record of 518 wins, 66 losses and 76 ties. Over the history of the program, the USA has gone 292-28-22 (88% winning percentage) at home, 52-14-17 away (73%) and 174-33-28 (81%) on neutral ground. Of the USA’s 66 losses, 12 (18%) came at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.
- The USA has scored in 48 consecutive matches and has averaged more than three goals per game in that time. Since the end of the 2015 World Cup, the USA has played 91 matches and has a 77-5-9 record.
- Lloyd has 53 WNT goals since the start of 2015. Morgan (57) is the only other player with more than 30 goals over the four years.
- The U.S. has scored multiple goals in 16 consecutive matches. The USA had not scored multiple goals in 14 straight games since March 19-June 13, 1995.
- The USA has now won 17 consecutive matches, the third longest winning streak in team history. The U.S. Women had not won 15 games in a row since Feb. 10-July 23, 1996. This current streak is the longest since July 25, 1990 – May 25, 1991, which included 18 wins.
- The U.S. Women are unbeaten on home soil over their last 37 matches, 33 wins and four draws. The last loss at home was July 27, 2017 vs. Australia, a 1-0 setback in Seattle.
- Half of the USA’s 12 goals in its last four games have been headed goals, one more than the total from their previous 10 matches combined. The USA scored five headed goals in the game prior to that 10-game stretch (April 7, 2019 vs. Belgium).
- The U.S. has scored 20 goals from set pieces in 2019, including nine at the Women’s World Cup – three more than any other team.
USWNT TO FINISH 2019 SCHEDULE AGAINST SWEDEN AND COSTA RICA: The final two matches of the 2019 schedule for the U.S. Women’s National Team will see the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions travel to Columbus, Ohio to face Sweden on Nov. 7 at MAPFRE Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 & TUDN) and Jacksonville, Fla. to face Costa Rica on Nov. 10 at TIAA Bank Field (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & TUDN).
The meeting with Sweden, which is ranked fifth in the world after its third-place finish at the World Cup this summer, comes less than five months after the teams met in the final Group F match at the Women’s World Cup in Le Havre, France, a 2-0 victory for the Americans on goals from Lindsey Horan and a Sweden own goal that was created by Tobin Heath. Sweden has begun its qualifying for the 2021 UEFA Women’s Euro, to be staged in England, downing Latvia 4-1 in the first game of Group F for both countries. Next up for Sweden is an Oct. 4 qualifier at Hungary. [TICKETS]
The USA has faced Costa Rica 14 times, all victories, with nine of those games coming in Concacaf qualifying competitions. The USA has faced Costa Rica in all four of the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying tournaments that have been held, and the countries are once again likely opponents in the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament that will be staged early next year. [TICKETS]
IN FOCUS: KOREA REPUBLIC
FIFA World Ranking: 20
AFC Ranking: 5
World Cup Appearances: 3 (2003, 2015, 2019)
Best Women’s World Cup finish: Round of 16 (2003)
Record vs. USA: 0-10-2
Head Coach: HWANG Insun
KOREA REPUBLIC WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-KANG Gaae (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 18-KIM Minjung (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 21-MIN Yukyeong (Hwacheon KSPO WFC)
DEFENDERS (8): 2-HA Eunhye (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 3-HONG Hyeji (Changnyeong WFC), 4-EO Hee Jin (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 5-KIM Hyeyeong (Gyeongju KHNP WFC), 6-LIM Seonjoo (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 19-LEE Hyokyeong (Albirex Niigata Ladies, JPN), 20-KIM Hyeri (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 24-KIM Jinhui (Changnyeong WFC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): 7-LEE Youngju (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 8-CHO So Hyun (West Ham United WFC(ENG), 9-JANG Selgi (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 11-MOON Mira (Suwon UDC WFC), 12-KIM Soeun (Gumi Sportstoto WFC), 14-LEE Sodam (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 15-JANG Chang (Seoul City WFC), 16-PARK Yeeun (Gyeongju KHNP WFC), 17-LEE Seaeun (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC), 23-KANG Chaerim (Hyundai Steel Red Angels WFC)
FORWARDS (4): 10-JI Soyun (Chelsea FC, ENG), 22-SON Hwayeon (Changnyeong WFC)
KOREA REPUBLIC NOTES
- The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup did not go very well for Korea Republic, but it was in perhaps one of the most difficult groups. Korea was the opponent for host France in the electric opening match of the tournament and gave up three goals in the first half on the way to a 4-0 loss. Korea then dropped its second group match to Nigeria, 2-0, before falling 2-1 to a strong Norway team and exited the tournament. Forward Yeo Minji, who was originally named to the roster but did not travel to the USA, scored her country’s only goal of the tournament, tallying the 78th minute against the Norwegians.
- Four of the eight goals the Korea Republic allowed at the Women’s World Cup came from set pieces, the joint most of any team.
- These matches against the USA will be the first for the Korea Republic since the World Cup.
- Korea played a solid schedule in the lead-up to the World Cup, defeating Romania 3-0 and falling 1-0 to China PR at the Four Nations Tournament in China in January.
- At the Cup of Nations in Australia in March, Korea beat Argentina, 5-0, fell to Australia, 4-1, but then beat New Zealand 2-0.
- In the final three friendlies before the World Cup, the Taeguk Ladies lost to Iceland, 3-2, and drew with Iceland, 1-1, – both in Korea – and lost just 1-0 to Sweden in Gothenburg.
- Korea Republic played the first international match in its history in 1990, against AFC rival Japan. While its rise to prominence in the women’s game has been a bit slow-going, since the turn of the century, Korea has made significant strides, qualifying for the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it was eliminated after the group stage, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it advanced to the Round of 16 – its best performance to date – before bowing out at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, where it went out after group play.
- South Korea won the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup played in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Japan in the penalty kick shootout in the championship game after tying 3-3 in regulation and overtime.
- In addition to winning the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup, Korea finished third the same year in the U-20 Women’s World Cup, losing to eventual champion Germany 5-1 in the semifinal before beating Colombia 1-0 in the 3rd Place match. Ji Soyun won the Silver Ball and the Silver Shoe while scoring eight goals in that tournament.
- Ji is by far the top scorer on this roster with 54 international goals in 120 caps.
- For these matches, South Korea will have an interim head coach – former Women’s National Team player Hwang Insun, who played at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup – as the previous head coach resigned on Sept. 9 amid allegations that he physically and verbally assaulted his players during his first stint as head coach of the National Team and as coach of a women’s club. The Korea Football Association (KFA) said Choi Incheul, 47, offered to step down from the post earlier to take the fall for mounting assault allegations and it promptly accepted the resignation. The KFA had hired Choi as the new women’s team coach on Aug. 29 for his second tour of duty, replacing Yoon Deokyeo who coached the team at the World Cup in France. Choi had earlier coached the Taeguk Ladies from October 2010 to September 2011 and led the country to a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. “I understand the passage of time doesn’t justify or erase what happened, and I am terribly sorry for my actions,” he said. “My apology may not be enough to heal all the wounds. But I am deeply regretting what I did, and hopefully people will see sincerity in my apology.” Kim Pangon, a KFA executive in charge of appointing national team coaches, gave a mea culpa on his failure to run an appropriate background check on Choi.
- Next year, South Korea will try to qualify for the Olympics for the first time when it hosts a four-team third round group in early February. South Korea must finish in the top two in that group to advance to the final round, which will feature a two-leg series on March 6 and 11 with the winners of the two final round series’ advancing to the Olympics to join host Japan from the AFC.
- Almost all the players on this Korea roster play their club soccer inside the country, with the exception of forward Ji Soyun, who plays at Chelsea FC (where she played with U.S. defender Crystal Dunn), midfielder Cho So Hyun who plays at West Hamm in England and defender Lee Hyokyeong, who plays in Japan with Albirex Niigata.
- Veteran midfielder Cho Sohun leads this roster in caps with 125 (while also scoring 20 goals). Kim Jinhui (83 caps/1 goal) and Lim Seonjoo (77/5) are the most experienced defenders on the roster. Midfielder Jang Selgi has 59 caps with 11 goals and midfielder Lee Sodam has 53 caps with 12 goals.