USWNT continues Road to Rio with match against Colombia
USA vs. Colombia
Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
April 10, 2016 (2 p.m. ET on ESPN)
(Via U.S. Soccer) – After winning two tournaments early in the year – taking the title at the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February and the SheBelieves Cup in March, the U.S. Women’s National Team will now have up to five matches (with three yet to be announced) before participating in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Most recently, the USA dominated Colombia on April 6 in East Hartford, Conn., winning 7-0 while scoring four goals in the first half and three in the second, both in 12-minute flurries, and now looks to the second leg of the two-game set against the team it faced in the Round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup in Canada.
U.S. co-captain Carli Lloyd returns home to play on April 10 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa. (2 p.m. ET on ESPN). She hails from Delran, N.J., which is just about 30 miles from the stadium, and will be playing at home for the first time since her historic hat trick in the World Cup Final and since she was named the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
Before these two matches, the U.S. team trained in Orlando, Fla. with 23 players for six days, however only 21 made the trip to chilly Connecticut (where the team experienced a 60-degree drop in temperature) and to Philadelphia, after defender Jaelene Hinkle injured her ankle late in camp and forward Ashley Sanchez, who was brought in to train for a week, left to go back to high school in Southern California. Morgan Brian, who sat out the Colombia game on April 6 with a hamstring injury, will not be ready to play on Sunday, so she has left camp and will continue rehab with her club. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis will name 18 to suit up for the match. The game in Chester is sold out, while 21,792 fans braved icy temperatures in East Hartford on April 6.
- The USA has played 34 matches against Brazil, but has rarely faced other South American teams. This will be the fifth meeting between the USA and Colombia. The USA has also played Argentina three times, but there have been no other U.S. matches against CONMEBOL teams at the senior level.
- Before the April 6 meeting in East Hartford, Conn., the USA and Colombia most recently met in the Round of 16 at the 2015 Women’s World Cup with the USA prevailing 2-0 in Edmonton on goals from Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd.
- Lloyd has scored in all four of the matches she has played against Colombia, which are the only four matches the USA has played against Colombia in its history.
- Before the 7-0 victory on April 6, the three previous meetings saw the USA defeat Colombia 3-0 in group play at the 2011 Women’s World Cup (on goals from Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe and Lloyd), 3-0 in group play at the 2012 Olympics (on goals from Rapinoe, Lloyd and Abby Wambach) and 2-0 in the Round of 16 at the 2015 Women’s World Cup (on goals from Morgan and Lloyd)
In Focus: U.S. Women’s National Team
- The USA is 10-0-0 in 2016, having scored 39 goals while allowing one.
- Goalkeeper Hope Solo has earned wins in nine of those games with eight shutouts. Alyssa Naeher has the other win.
- Alex Morgan (hip) and Morgan Brian (hamstring) sat out the Colombia game on April 6. Brian will not be ready to play on Sunday, so she has left camp and will continue rehab with her club.
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis used all six of her subs against Colombia on April 6 as Samantha Mewis and Christen Press came off the bench at halftime while Heather O’Reilly, Whitney Engen, Ali Krieger and Emily Sonnett all played in the second half.
- Crystal Dunn opened the scoring against Colombia on April 6. It was Dunn’s eighth goal of 2016 and she is now tied with Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd for most on the team so far this year. It was Dunn’s 12th goal in the last 17 games, but five game in one game against Puerto Rico during Olympic qualifying.
- Midfielder Allie Long earned her fifth cap in her third start and scored the first two goals of her international career on April 6. Long scored twice on headers. Her most recent start before last match was also at Pratt & Whitney Stadium, on June 19, 2014, in a 2-2 draw with France.
- Carli Lloyd’s goal against Colombia on April 6 gave her 87 for her career and just 13 from becoming the sixth player in U.S. history to score 100 or more.
- Tobin Heath scored her third goal of 2016, and 15th of her career, on a blistering volley vs. Colombia on April 6.
- Christen Press also scored her third goal of 2016 against Colombia on April 6, upping her total to 32 and tying her with Lindsay Tarpley for 16th on the U.S. WNT all-time goals list. She now has 32 in 65 games giving her an average of scoring a goal for almost every two games she plays (0.49 goals per game).
- On Jan. 23, Alex Morgan became the 34th female player in U.S. history to play 100 times for her country, and she scored her 57th goal. Morgan has an even better average that Press scoring 0.59 goals per game in her international career. She now has 64 in 108 caps.
- Morgan’s goal 12 seconds into the match against Costa Rica on Feb. 10 was the earliest in U.S. WNT history. She also scored the latest goal in U.S. history, tallying after 122 and 22 seconds against Canada in the semifinal of the 2012 Olympics. It was also the quickest in CONCACAF qualifying history, besting Abby Wambach (35 seconds vs. Dominican Republic on Jan. 20, 2012).
- Morgan scored three goals in the Olympic Qualifying semifinal match against Trinidad & Tobago on Feb. 19. It was her third career hat trick and the first since Nov. 28, 2012 against Ireland.
- Tobin Heath’s two goals in the Olympic Qualifying tournament were her first since the Women’s World Cup Final and were remarkably similar, both coming off spinning left-footed blasts after making runs into the box from the right side. Both were also off excellent and similar passes from Pugh who had made dynamic runs down the left side. Heath now has 14 international goals.
- Crystal Dunn, who was among the final 25 players vying for Women’s World Cup spots before the roster was trimmed to the 23 that represented the USA in Canada, returned to the team for the final seven games of the 2015 Victory Tour and started them all, scoring four goals with three assists. Since returning to the team on the Victory Tour, Dunn has started 13 games and has scored 12 goals with five assists, in addition to earning a penalty kick against Costa Rica on Feb. 10. The 12 goals of course include her five-goal game on Feb. 15 against Puerto Rico that tied a U.S. record for goals in a match.
- Before the match against Puerto Rico, Dunn had scored five goals for the U.S. WNT. She doubled that total vs. Puerto Rico, notching five goals to tie a U.S. record for most goals scored in a match. She became the seventh player to achieve that feat. The other six were: Brandi Chastain, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux. It was Dunn’s first multi-goal game for the WNT.
- After earning two caps at the 2013 Algarve Cup, 21-year-old Lindsey Horan got the first three starts of her career at the end of last year, switching positions to holding midfielder where she excelled in the Olympic Qualifying tournament and the SheBelieves Cup. Horan, who was the first American female player to skip college and head overseas to play professionally, left for Europe in July of 2012 after she graduated from high school and spent more than three years in France with Paris Saint-Germain. She scored her first WNT goal against T&T at the end of last year and scored her second to break open a tight match against Canada in the championship of Olympic Qualifying.
- Twenty-three-year old Samantha Mewis made her debut at the 2014 Algarve Cup, played in one match last year and has five caps this year while scoring her first WNT goal during Olympic Qualifying. She scored her second WNT goal, which was the game-winner, in a 2-1 victory against Germany to clinch the SheBelieves Cup title.
- Emily Sonnett, 22, earned her first cap on Oct. 25 against Brazil, playing on 90 minutes in the center of the defense, and has since earned eight more caps including five this year with three starts. She played the entire 90 minutes in the opening game of the SheBelieves Cup against England.
- Mallory Pugh is currently tied with Lorrie Fair for fifth all-time for most U.S. caps before the age of 18 (10). She is third for most goals before the age of 18 (2), fourth in most starts before the age of 18 (6) and first for most assists before the age of 18 (5). The match against Colombia on April 10 will be her last WNT game as a 17-year-old. She turns 18 onApril 29.
- Three players have scored their first WNT goals in 2016: Against Puerto Rico in Olympic Qualifying, Mewis scored her first goal at the senior international level to become the second player to score her first goal in 2016, notching the 10th and final goal in stoppage time. Her older sister Kristie has one international goal for the USA. Pugh became the first player to score her first goal in 2016 for the WNT when she scored in her debut on Jan. 23vs. Ireland. Long scored her first international goal against Colombia on April 6, and added another later in the game, both off headers.
- Of the field players on the roster, only two players do not have an international goal: defenders Emily Sonnett and Becky Sauerbrunn.
- Lloyd’s 18 goals in 2015 were a career high for her in a calendar year and eight more than her closest teammate Press, who had 10. With eight goals in the first 10 games, Lloyd is tied with Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan.
- Lloyd has scored 24 goals in the USA’s last 23 matches starting with the Round of 16 game at the WWC, 20 of them coming while playing in a withdrawn forward position. Lloyd is the 10th woman in U.S. history to reach 200 caps, achieving the feat at the WWC quarterfinal match against China PR on June 26. She is the third active player to reach that mark and 10th overall American. Christie Rampone and Heather O’Reilly are the other two. She also became the third player in U.S. history to score in her 200th appearance. Wambach and O’Reilly are the other two.
- Lloyd is the highest active goal scorer in U.S. history with the players ahead of her, Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly, Tiffeny Milbrett and Michelle Akers all retired. She is in eighth place on the USA’s all-time caps with 221. With her two assists against Colombia on April 6, Lloyd moved into a tie for ninth place on the U.S. all-time assist list with Aly Wagner at 42 each.
- Lloyd is in sixth place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list. Lloyd, now with 87 goals, is the highest-scoring midfielder in U.S. history even though she has scored 20 of her last 24 goals playing as more of a withdrawn forward. She scored her first two goals in the 2015 World Cup from center-midfielder, scored from the penalty spot while playing center-midfield against Puerto Rico on Feb. 15 and scored against Colombia on April 6 while also playing center midfield.
- Hope Solo recorded her 89th career shutout against Germany in the semifinal of the WWC. It was the fifth straight World Cup clean sheet for the USA, and Solo’s 10th in World Cup play, tying the record for most by a U.S. goalkeeper and most in World Cup play with Brianna Scurry. She earned her 98th shutout against Colombia on April 6 and is two away from becoming the first goalkeeper in U.S. history to hit 100.
- Solo earned her 177th cap against Japan in the World Cup Final on July 5. With 194 caps, she is the leader for caps by a goalkeeper in U.S. history and is six away from becoming the first goalkeeper in U.S. and world history to hit 200 caps. Briana Scurry earned 173 caps in her career (1994-2008).
- Solo has the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with 187 and in 8th place on the on the WNT’s all-time starts behind Lloyd, who has moved into seventh place, passing Kate Markgraf, with 191.
- Solo has 148 goalkeeper wins and is the all-time leader in wins for a goalkeeper in U.S. history. Brian Scurry had 133 during her career (1994-2008).
- With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, 2015, Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 64 and is in eighth place on the USA’s all-time goal scoring list. Next up for Morgan is Cindy Parlow’s 75 career goals.
- Against France on March 6, Kelley O’Hara hit 75 caps, making her the 40th U.S. female player to hit that mark. With her 76th cap on March 9 vs. Germany, she moved past Sydney Leroux into 39th on the all-time caps list and now has 77.
In Focus: Colombia
- Colombia, ranked 24th in the world and second in South America behind Brazil, put in a fine performance at the World Cup last summer, drawing 1-1 with Mexico, defeating world power France 2-0, and then falling to eventual third-place finisher England by a 2-1 score to complete group play. The four points were enough to earn Colombia a Round of 16 match with the USA and they put up quite a fight against the eventual world champions before bowing out.
- Colombia made its debut at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012, when drawn in a fiercely tough Group G against holders and eventual champions USA, France (who finished fourth) and Korea DPR. And though conceding just six times in three games, despite being up against some of the sport’s most prolific attackers, Colombia did not score, losing to the North Korea (2-0), the USA (3-0) and France (1-0).
- Las Cafeteras earned their berth to the Olympics after finishing in second behind Brazil at the 2014 Copa America Femenina in Ecuador. Colombia did not lose in the tournament, taking the top spot in Group A with four wins from four games and just one goal conceded, against Venezuela. Colombia went on to take second spot in the four-team final round thanks to a win over Ecuador and draws with Argentina and Brazil.
- The generation that should take the stage in Brazil in 2016 will be a more mature and experienced version of the Chicas Superpoderosas crop that burst onto the global scene with a fourth-place finish at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany, and impressed at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- Holder of a degree in Physical Education, Colombia head coach Fabian Felipe Taborda was brought in by the Colombian Football Association in February 2012 to take charge of the U-17 Colombia Women’s National Team- who he guided to qualification for the 2012 and 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups at Azerbaijan and Costa Rica, respectively. Promoted to senior team coach in July 2014, just a couple of months prior to the Copa America Femenina, his steady hand took Las Cafeteras to the only available qualifying spot for Rio de Janeiro 2016, as well as a place at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
STORYLINES TO FOLLOW
A Different Kind of Spring Training: After a week of training in Orlando, Florida, the U.S. Women’s National Team arrived in Connecticut (where it was met with a near 60-degree drop in temperature) to continue its preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games against Colombia on April 6. It then traveled to Philadelphia where the cold weather continued bringing with it strong snow showers that caused the team’s training on Saturday afternoon to be abandoned early in the session.
Three Players, 24 Goals: Three players have played major roles in the scoring output for the WNT so far this year as forwards Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn, and midfielder Carli Lloyd , have racked up a combined 24 goals of the 39 the team has notched in 2016. Dunn and Lloyd added one each during the game against Colombia on April 6. The combination of Lloyd and Morgan are responsible for five of the USA’s goals this year, with one scoring and the other providing the assist, while Dunn tied a WNT record with five goals in a single match on Feb. 15 against Puerto Rico. The U.S. has compiled an unblemished 10-0-0 record and is outscoring opponents 39-1 so far this year. Lloyd currently has 87 goals in 221 caps, while Morgan has 64 in 108 and Dunn has 12 in 30 caps.
Roster Breakdown: Of the 20 players on the roster for the second Colombia friendly, 17 were on the qualifying squad that earned a spot in the 2016 Olympics and 19 were a part of the SheBelieves Cup-winning side. 2015 Women’s World Cup champions Whitney Engen and Heather O’Reilly, who with 229 caps is the most experienced player on the U.S. roster, were not on the Olympic qualifying roster but were recalled for the SheBelieves Cup. For the April matches, Ellis added Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long, who earned four caps with the WNT in 2014, and scored twice – her first two WNT goals – against Colombia on April 6. Midfielder Morgan Brian, who is doing well in her comeback from a hamstring injury, will not be ready to play on April 10, has left camp, and will continue her rehab with her NWSL club.
12 Nations Set For Brazil: The field for the 12-team Olympic Football Tournament is set and it’s a strong one: the USA and Canada from CONCACAF; Brazil and Colombia from South America; South Africa and Zimbabwe from Africa; New Zealand from Oceania; France, Germany and Sweden from Europe; and Australia and China PR from Asia. Japan and Nigeria, both regular participants in world championships, failed to qualify. The Final Draw for the Olympic Tournaments will be held onApril 14 in Rio de Janeiro and the teams will find out their opponents and venues. With three groups in the women’s tournament and Brazil slated to be in Group E and based in Rio for the first two games, the USA, which will likely be one of three seeded teams, will either be in Group F, which plays its first two group games in Sao Paulo and third in Salvador or Brasilia, or Group G, which plays its first two games in Belo Horizonte and its third in Manaus or Salvador.
At Talen Energy Stadium: The match in Chester will mark the fifth time the team has played at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park, home of MLS’s Philadelphia Union). The USA also played there in 2010, 2012 and twice in 2014 during the Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), 1-Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (7): 6-Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), 8-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 7-Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 6-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 20-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 23-Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), 3-Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), 9-Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): 16-Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 12-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars); 2-Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)
Colombia Women’s National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Paula Forero (Barry University, USA), 1-Catalina Peréz (Univ. of Miami, USA)
DEFENDERS (4): 3-Natalia Gaitán (Valencia Féminas CF, Spain), 14-Nataly Arias (Atlanta Silverbacks, USA), 9-Orianica Velasquez (Club Gol Star), 17-Leidy Asprilla (Generaciones Palmiranas)
MIDFIELDERS (8 ): 5-Isabella Echeverri (University of Toledo, USA), 6-Liana Salazar (Futuro Soccer), 16-Leicy Santos (Club Besser), 4-Diana Ospina (Club Formas Íntimas), 10-Yorely Rincón (Avaldsnes, Norway), 13-Maria Jaramillo (Western Michigan, USA), 2-Carolina Arbelaez (Club Formas Íntimas), 8-Carolina Pineda (Generaciones Palmiranas)
FORWARDS (4): 15-Tatiana Ariza (Houston Aces, USA), 18-Yisela Cuesta (Club Formas Íntimas), 7-Nicole Regnier (Rayo Vallecano, Spain), 11-Catalina Usme (Club Formas Íntimas)