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USWNT Jul 15, 2022

USWNT advances to Concacaf W Championship Final with 3-0 win over Costa Rica

MONTERREY, Mexico – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Costa Rica 3-0 to advance to the Concacaf W Championship Final as defender Emily Sonnett scored her first career goal while forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Ashley Sanchez also tallied to lead the team to its 14th championship game in a Concacaf qualifying tournament.

The USWNT will face the winner of tonight’s contest between Canada and Jamaica on Monday, July 18 at 10 p.m. ET (Paramount+ and ViX). The tournament winner will earn a berth to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, while the loser will face the Third-Place finisher in a playoff series in September of 2023. The Third-Place match will precede the Final at 7 p.m. ET and both games will be played at Estadio BBVA, which will host matches of the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The USA was in total control of the match from start to finish as Costa Rica played a very deep 4-5-1 formation on defense to deny the USA space in front of the goal. The Americans dominated the first half, posting eight shots with three on target while entering the opponents’ attacking third 45 times. Forward Alex Morgan came close to opening the scoring in the third minute after connecting with a cross from right back Sofia Huerta, but her attempt bounced off the outside of the right post for a goal kick. Morgan came close again in the 17th following a long-range set piece service from Pugh, but her volley from deep inside the penalty box went wide left.

The Americans got their much-deserved opening goal in the 34th minute following a corner kick from the right side. A deflection off a Costa Rica defender sent the ball off the upper left post and back into play. Sonnett, in the middle of the goal mouth scramble, stretched out to beat several surrounding defenders to the ball and poked it through a defender’s legs and across the goal line from two yards for her first career score. Morgan nearly doubled the lead just two minutes later, but her goal was waved off by the offside flag.

The USA struck again just before the halftime whistle after forward Sophia Smith picked a defender’s pocket in the attacking third and poked the ball to midfielder Rose Lavelle’s feet just outside the box on the left side. Lavelle reacted quickly and played a clever backheel into the box to meet Pugh’s darting and well-timed run. Pugh then finished clinically from 10 yards out to cushion the lead.

The second half was much of the same story as the USA registered four shots on target while a solid defensive performance denied Costa Rica of any shots on frame throughout the entire match. The U.S had close chances as Lavelle and forward Andi Sullivan placed shots on goals in the 61st and 67th minutes, the latter of which required an outstanding diving save from goalkeeper Noelia Bermúdez.

In the final moments of the match, a quick attacking play by the USA up the right wing resulted in Morgan bringing down a long pass inside the box that deflected off a defender and toward Sanchez, who was positioned right at the penalty spot. She fired on her first touch across her body and placed her shot in the left side netting to seal the match in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:

  • USA – Emily Sonnett, 34th minute – On a USA corner from the right side, Pugh sent the ball into the heart of the box. A deflection off a Costa Rica defender sent the ball off the left post and back into play, where Sonnett stretched to poke the ball in from two yards out. USA 1, CRC 0
  • USA – Mallory Pugh (Rose Lavelle), 45+3 minute – As Costa Rica tried to break down pressure from the Americans on the left side, forward Sophia Smith picked a defender’s pocket just outside the box and the ball rolled to midfielder Rose Lavelle’s feet with her back to the end line. She cleverly backheeled a pass into the box to meet forward Mallory Pugh on the run and she finished low from eight yards out. USA 2, CRC 0
  • USA – Ashley Sanchez, 90+5 minute – The USA sparked a quick attack up the right side in the final moments of the night. Morgan got on the end of a long pass inside the box then a deflection off a defender sent it toward Sanchez, who was positioned right at the penalty spot. She took a first-time shot with her right foot that found the left side netting to seal the match. USA 3, CRC 0

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

  • Defender Emily Sonnett’s first career goal came in her 69th
  • With her goal, Sonnett becomes the seventh different player to score for the USWNT during the 2022 Concacaf W Championship. Pugh and Sanchez followed suit, giving the USA 12 goals from nine different goal scorers over the course of this Concacaf W Championship.
  • Forward Mallory Pugh’s goal marked her first of the tournament, sixth of the year and 24th of her career.
  • Pugh’s six goals in 2022 are tied for the most she’s scored in any calendar year in her National Team career. With a team-high seven assists in 2022, Pugh has a career-best 13 goal involvements, totaling six goals and seven assists through 10 matches played this year.
  • With her 24 goals, Pugh is one goal away from becoming the 25th player in USWNT history to score 25 or more goals, which would also tie her with Horan for 24th all-time in USWNT goal scoring.
  • Midfielder Rose Lavelle tallied her sixth assist of the year to set up Pugh’s goal, marking her most in a calendar year for the USWNT. She has now been directly involved in nine goals in the USA’s last eight matches, with three goals and six assists.
  • Midfielder Ashley Sanchez’s goal marked her third career goal as well as the latest goal of the tournament. All three of Sanchez’s goals have come in 2022 and all three have been scored in the 90th minute or later.
  • The USA has won all five Olympic qualifying tournaments in which it has participated and has won the eight of the nine World Cup qualifying tournaments in which it has played, only failing to do so in 2010 when the USWNT fell to Mexico in the semifinal round.
  • The matchup was the 17th meeting all-time between the USA and Costa Rica and the 10th between the countries in World Cup or Olympic Qualifying. The USA has now won all 17 matchups against Costa Rica.
  • The USA has an overall combined record of 59-1-1 in World Cup and Olympic Qualifying matches, the lone loss coming in 2010 vs. Mexico in the semifinals of World Cup Qualifying. The USA’s only draw in World Cup or Olympic Qualifying officially came in the final of the 2008 Olympic Qualifying Tournament against Canada, though the USA prevailed on penalty kicks to win the tournament.
  • Head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 38-2-6 in 46 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020, 24 in 2021, and 11 so far in 2022).

-U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-

Match: United States Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
Date: July 14, 2022
Competition: Concacaf W Championship
Venue: Estadio Universitario de Nuevo Leon; Monterrey, Mexico
Attendance: 2,537
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)
Weather: 93 degrees; partly cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F
USA                             2          1          3
CRC                            0          0          0

USA – Emily Sonnett                                     34th minute
USA – Mallory Pugh (Rose Lavelle)              45+3
USA – Ashley Sanchez                                  90+5

Lineups:

USA: 18-Casey Murphy; 8-Sofia Huerta, 3-Alana Cook (12-Naomi Girma, 63), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Capt.), 14-Emily Sonnett; 17-Andi Sullivan, 10-Lindsey Horan (2-Ashley Sanchez, 63), 16-Rose Lavelle (22-Kristie Mewis, 81); 9-Mallory Pugh (15-Megan Rapinoe, 63), 13-Alex Morgan, 11-Sophia Smith (6-Trinity Rodman, 81)

Substitutes not used: 1-Alyssa Naeher, 21-Aubrey Kingsbury, 5-Kelley O’Hara, 20-Taylor Kornieck, 23-Midge Purce, 24-Sam Coffey

Unavailable: 19-Emily Fox

Head coach: Vlatko Andonovski

CRC: 1-Noelia Bermudez; 2-Gabriela Guillen, 4-Mariana Benavides, 5-Valeria Del Campo, 6-Carol Sanchez, 12-Lixy Rodriguez; 10-Shirley Cruz (Capt.) (21-Viviana Chinchilla, 88), 16-Katherin Alvarado (15-Cristin Granados, 46), 13-Emilie Valenciano (8-Daniela Cruz, 69), 14-Priscila Chinchilla (7-Melissa Herrera, 46); 9-Carolina Venegas (17-Michelle Montero, 88)

Substitutes not used: 23-Daniela Solera, 24-Genesis Pérez, 3-Maria Paula Coto, 11-Raquel Rodriguez, 19-Maria Paula Salas, 20-Fabiola Villalobos, 22-Cristel Sandi

Head coach: Amelia Valverde

Stats Summary: USA / CRC
Shots: 15 / 2
Shots on Goal: 7 / 0
Saves: 0 / 4
Corner Kicks: 6 / 2
Fouls: 17 / 9
Offside: 3 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
CRC – Shirley Cruz (Caution)                                  53rd minute
USA – Rose Lavelle (Caution)                                  70
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Caution)                             84

Officials: 
Referee: Astrid Gramajo (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Karen Diaz (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Ivett Santiago (CUB)
4th Official: Odette Hamilton (JAM)
VAR: Tatiana Guzman (NIC)
AVAR: Mayte Chavez (MEX)

Woman of the Match: Emily Sonnett

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