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Global Oct 02, 2018

U.S. WNT kicks off World Cup Qualifying on Thursday vs. Mexico

(Via U.S. Soccer) – With a ticket to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on the line, the U.S. Women’s National Team will kick off the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship on Oct. 4 against Mexico at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 & UDN.

The USA joins seven other countries in the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship with three direct berths available to France. FOX Sports, the home of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will show the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship across the FOX Sports family of networks. For viewers on the go, matches can be streamed live via FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports app. FOX Sports will open the authentication level on the FOX Sports App to FS1 authentication, meaning you don’t need to have FS2 on your cable or satellite TV service to watch the USA matches.

+READ: FOX Sports to televise all Concacaf Women’s Championship matches

The U.S. team is coming off two dominant wins against South American World Cup qualifier Chile (3-0 on Aug. 31 and 4-0 on Sept. 4) and heads into the tournament with an 11-0-2 record in 2018.The USA has not lost since the 2017 Tournament of Nations, a 1-0 setback to Australia, and has gone 18-0-3 over the past 14 months. Since the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, the USA has failed to score in a game just once (against Australia), a 26-game span. The WNT’s 2018 has so far featured wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil and Chile (twice), along with ties vs. France and Australia.

Follow all the #USWNT and tournament action on Twitter using #OneNationOneTeam and #CWC on @ussoccer_wnt and @ussoccer_esp, and on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt).

U.S. Women’s National Team WCQ Roster By Position (Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 17/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 33/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 23/0), 19- Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 69/23), 20- Hailie Mace (UCLA; 2/0), 5- Kelly O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 108/2), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 143/0), 14- Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 25/0), 2-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 21/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6- Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 79/6), 8- Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 66/16); 9- Lindsey Horan(Portland Thorns FC; 56/6), 16- Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 13/3), 3- Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 38/7)
FORWARDS (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 138/21), 10- Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 259/102), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 147/90), 12- Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 104/45), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 37/12), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 140/38)

STORYLINES

USA vs. Mexico: The USA has faced Mexico 36 times in its history, most recently in April of this year during a pair of friendlies that the USA won 4-1 and 6-2. In the 6-2 victory on April 8, the USA was down 2-1 in the 24thminute, but equalized one minute later through a Lindsey Horan header and then stormed back to score four unanswered goals. Across the 36 all-time meetings, Mexico has defeated the USA once and drawn once. The win came in the semifinal of Concacaf Qualifying for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, a 2-1 victory in Cancun, Mexico. The setback forced the USA to win the tournament’s third-place match and then a two-leg playoff with Italy to qualify for the Women’s World Cup in Germany. Eleven of Carli Lloyd’s 102 goals have come against Mexico, while seven of Alex Morgan’s 90 goals have come against Mexico. This will be the seventh meeting between the teams in Concacaf World Cup qualifying. The others were in 2010 semifinal (3-0 U.S. win), 2010 semifinal (2-1 Mexico win), 2007 semifinal (2-0 U.S. win), 2002 group play (3-0 U.S. win), 1994 group play (9-0 U.S. win) and 1991 group play (12-0 U.S. win).

100 Goals Watch: After scoring in the opening match of the year against Denmark, twice each in both April games against Mexico, scoring the game-winner against China PR on June 7, getting a hat trick against Japan on July 26, and then tallying a crucial goal against Brazil on Aug. 2 in the ToN, Alex Morgan has 90 goals and at age 29 sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. She has scored 17 goals over her last 20 WNT matches through the end of 2017 and start deep into 2018. With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now fourth all-time in multi-goal games (23) behind Abby Wambach (45), Mia Hamm (38) and Michelle Akers (25). Morgan has scored 7 goals vs. Mexico in her career, with four of those coming in the two friendly games between the teams this past April. She’s also earned 4 assists vs. Mexico.

Ticket to France 2019 on the Line: The 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship will qualify three teams to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and a fourth into a two-game playoff with Argentina, the third-place team from South America. The USA will play all its group matches at the 10,000-seat Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. After round-robin play, the top two finishers from Group A, as well as the top two from Group B which will be playing its group games in Edinburg, Texas, will move on to the all-important semifinals in Frisco, Texas. The winners of the semifinals qualify for France, along with the winner of the Third-Place Match. The loser of the Third-Place Match heads into the two-game playoff.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifiers: The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held from June 7-July 7 in nine cities in France. So far, 15 countries have qualified with teams from Concacaf, Africa and Oceania still to be determined. The Final Draw for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be conducted in Paris on December 8. This will be the second World Cup with 24 nations, up from 16 that were in Germany in 2011. The qualified nations are: host, France; England, Germany, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Sweden from UEFA. Brazil and Chile from CONMEBOL, and Australia, China PR, Japan, Korea Republic and Thailand from the AFC.

Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifying History: The USA is 27-1-0 all-time in CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying, including 13-0-0 at home. This will be the seventh Concacaf Cup qualifying tournament that USA has contested. The U.S. women have won five of six of those tournaments, finishing first in the qualifying competitions for the 1991, 1995, 2003, 2007 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups. The USA finished third in the qualifying tournament for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and had to go through a two-game playoff against Italy to qualify for Germany 2011. The USA played Canada in the championship game of each of the first four tournaments in which both participated (the USA did not have to qualify as host in 1999). The USA has scored 158 goals in WWC qualifying (an average of 5.6 per game) while allowing five, and has played nine different countries in World Cup qualifying with Mexico being the most common opponent with six games between the teams.

An Even Split of Experience: In the WNT’s 20-player roster, 10 players have previous World Cup qualifying experience, while 10 do not. The players participating in their first World Cup qualifying tournament are Alyssa Naeher, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Hailie Mace, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis and Mallory Pugh. Of the ten players with previous Women’s World Cup qualifying experience, four have played in multiple tournaments. This will be the fourth for forward Carli Lloyd, and third for forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. The other players who were on the team for the 2014 qualifying tournament are: Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Ashlyn Harris, Tobin Heath, Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press. Crystal Dunn was named to the roster for the 2014 tournament before an injury ruled her out. On that 2014 roster, Dunn was replaced by Julie Johnston, now Ertz, but she did not see action in the tournament. The average age of the U.S. roster for this tournament is 27.9.

Qualifying Goal Scorers: Six players on this U.S. roster have scored in Women’s World Cup qualifying: Carli Lloyd (7), Megan Rapinoe (3), Tobin Heath (2), Alex Morgan (2), Christen Press (2) and Morgan Brian (1). With one more goal, Lloyd would tie Brandi Chastain, April Heinrichs and Tiffeny Milbrett for sixth all-time in World Cup qualifying. Since the start of 2017, four players have been directly involved (goals or assists) in more than 10 goals: Morgan (22), Rapinoe (16), Pugh (13) and Horan (10). Since the start of 2016, six players have at least 20 goals+assists for the U.S. in international play:

Player G+A Goals Assists
Alex Morgan 42 34 8
Carli Lloyd 33 23 10
Megan Rapinoe 32 12 20
Crystal Dunn 28 19 9
Christen Press 27 16 11
Mallory Pugh 23 12 11

Caps in Cary: The U.S. WNT has played seven matches at Salhen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, home to the 2018 NWSL Champion North Carolina Courage. The USA has won all seven games in Cary and allowed just three goals over those games, two in a dramatic 3-2 win vs. Australia in 2008 that was played in the pouring rain and featured a last gasp game-winner from Carli Lloyd. The most recent match in Cary came last fall, a 6-0 victory vs. Korea Republic on Oct. 22, 2017

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