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Global Apr 03, 2015

USWNT ramps up final run toward World Cup against New Zealand

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(Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin a run of four domestic matches leading into the Women’s World Cup when it faces New Zealand on April 4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The match has sold more than 32,000 tickets for what will be the U.S. WNT’s first game in St. Louis since 2007 and first appearance at Busch Stadium. The match will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 at 3 p.m. CT.

The ticket amount sold so far puts the match within striking distance of the largest stand-alone crowd for a U.S. WNT home friendly in the history of the program. The current record is the 36,405 that turned out at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, to watch the USA defeat Finland 6-0 on Oct. 7, 1999, following the USA’s historic run to the 1999 Women’s World Cup title. The U.S. Women are coming off a victorious turn at the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal, where the Americans triumphed 2-0 against France in the championship game to win its 10th title. The USA comes into the match against New Zealand – its first domestic match of the year – with a 4-1-1 record so far in 2015.

BACK TO ST. LOUIS WITH A SPLASH: The U.S. Women’s National Team returns to St. Louis for the first time in seven and a half years (10/13/07 vs. Mexico; 5-1 win in front of 10,861) and U.S. Soccer has partnered with Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals for this event. Over 32,000 tickets have been sold, putting the match within striking distance of the largest stand-alone crowd for a U.S. WNT home friendly in the history of the program. The current record is the 36,405 that turned out at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, to watch the USA defeat Finland 6-0 on Oct. 7, 1999, following the historic run to the 1999 Women’s World Cup title.

Date                Opponent       Result                         Location                     Attendance
7/10/1999        China PR*       0-0 T (5-4 PK)           Pasadena, Calif.          90,125
10/7/1999        Finland            6-0 W                         Kansas City, Mo.        36,405
10/10/1999      Brazil              4-2 W                          Louisville, Ky.            35,211
9/21/2003        Sweden*         3-1 W                          Washington, D.C.       34,144
4/4/2015          New Zealand                                      St. Louis, Mo.             32,000+
*FIFA Women’s World Cup match

U.S. Soccer is looking to build on the successful soccer events Busch Stadium has hosted in recent years:

  • Man City 4-3 Chelsea, 5/23/13 in front of 48,263 (sellout)
  • Argentina 2-0 Bosnia, 11/18/13 in front of 30,397 (Messi didn’t play; 95% supporting Bosnia)

Games at Edward Jones Dome:

  • Real Madrid 3-0 Inter Milan, 8/10/13 in front of  54,184
  • Bosnia 2-1 Ivory Coast, 5/30/14 in front of 14,101

WELCOME HOME: There are two St. Louis natives on the roster who could get to play in front of their hometown crowd: defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who was an All-American at Ladue High School and the 2003 Missouri Player of the Year, and defender Lori Chalupny, who was an All-American at Nerinx Hall High School.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Rachel Van Hollebeke (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), Abby Wambach (unattached)

U.S. ROSTER NOTES:

  • U.S. head coach Jill Ellis called up the same 25 players for this event as she did for the 2015 Algarve Cup. She will choose 18 of those players to suit up against New Zealand.
  • U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe is sitting on 99 caps and if she plays against NZL will become the 31st American female player to reach the century mark.
  • Lori Chalupny is on 98 caps and could be the 32nd player to reach 100 caps in the near future.
  • U.S. captain Christie Rampone will miss the match with a minor MCL strain suffered during training in Los Angeles last week. She is currently the second most-capped player in U.S. and world history with 304 appearances.
  • Hope Solo comes into the tournament with a U.S. record 81 career shutouts.
  • Solo currently boasts the most starts by a WNT goalkeeper with a 160, surpassing Briana Scurry’s 159 (from 1994-2008). Solo is tied in 11th place on the WNT’s all-time starts list with Brandi Chastain (160 games from 1988-2004).
  • At the Algarve Cup, veteran midfielder Shannon Boxx saw her first game action since April of 2013 when she played against Germany during a 3-3 tie in Offenbach. Boxx’s long layoff was due to injuries, but also pregnancy; she gave birth to a baby daughter a little more than one year ago. Boxx played in three Algarve Cup matches off the bench and now has 27 goals in 189 caps for the USA. She has played in the past three Women’s World Cups and three Olympic tournaments.
  • Carli Lloyd was the only player to log all 450 minutes during the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. She was named MVP of the tournament after scoring five goals.
  • Nine players on the roster are trying to make their first Women’s World Cup squad: Ashlyn Harris, Alyssa Naeher, Crystal Dunn, Whitney Engen, Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg, Morgan Brian, Sydney Leroux and Christen Press.
  • Christen Press’ four-goal performance against Argentina in Brazil last December was the ninth such game in U.S. history and second of 2014 after Wambach scored four times against Costa Rica in the final of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship. It was the first-career hat trick for Press.
  • Brian, the USA’s youngest player at age 22, was the 2014 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year.
  • While Abby Wambach is the USA’s top scorer on the roster with 178 goals, Lloyd is next with 63 career international goals and Morgan has 51. Heather O’Reilly has scored 41.
  • All nine NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. 

Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux
Megan Rapinoe celebrates scoring in the second of two matches vs. New Zealand in 2013 with Sydney Leroux.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS:

  • With three goals against Argentina on Dec. 18, Carli Lloyd upped her career total to 61 and moved into sole possession of seventh place on the U.S. WNT’s all-time goal scoring list, passing Shannon MacMillan who scored 60 goals in her career. Lloyd, now with 63 goals, is the highest-scoring player in U.S. history who has played exclusively as a midfielder.
  • Heather O’Reilly is the ninth player to hit 200 caps in U.S. history after reaching the milestone against Korea DPR on March 12, 2014. Now with 217, she is seventh on the USA’s all-time list. Abby Wambach (238) and Christie Rampone (304) are the only active players ahead of her.
  • O’Reilly is the second-youngest player to hit 200 caps for the USA. Lilly was 28 years, 9 months and 15 days old when she earned cap No. 200 on May 7, 2000. O’Reilly was 29 years, 2 months and 10 days old when she earned her 200th cap.
  • O’Reilly is currently sixth all-time in assists with 52 and is 13th all-time in goals with 41.
  • In addition to breaking Mia Hamm’s world scoring record, Wambach’s June 20, 2013, performance against the Korea Republic also made her the USA’s all-time leader in multiple-goal games with 39 for her career. She has since added four more and now sits at 43. She has 35 two-goal games, five hat tricks, two four-goal games and one five-goal game.
  • Sydney Leroux is 15th on the all-time U.S. WNT goal scoring list with 33 goals.
  • With her game-winning goal against England on Feb. 13, Alex Morgan became the 10th player in U.S. history to score 50 or more goals. She now has 51.

BY THE NUMBERS:
0.50           Goals per game the USA has allowed in 2015
2                USA’s FIFA ranking
1.33           Goals per game the USA scored in 2015
6                Number of different U.S. players to score a goal in 2015
8                Assists by Carli Lloyd to lead the team in 2014
20              Goals in 41 career games for Christen Press, a goal in slightly less than every two games
63              Career goals by Lloyd, most ever for a WNT player who has played exclusively as a midfielder
81              Career shutouts by Hope Solo, an all-time U.S. WNT record
82              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Sydney Leroux in her career
96              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Alex Morgan in her career
99              Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Abby Wambach in her career
112            U.S. victories when Wambach scores a goal (112-2-8 overall)
130            Minutes on the field per goal averaged by Mia Hamm in her career
304            Caps by Christie Rampone, second all-time to Kristine Lilly (352)

SEND-OFF SERIES BRINGS U.S. WNT TO NORCAL, SOCAL AND NJ: The USA will play just 360 more minutes of international soccer before the Women’s World Cup kicks off this summer. Three of the final four remaining matches will be part of the USA’s Send-Off Series. These three games will take the WNT to the new Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, to face Ireland on May 10; the familiar surroundings of StubHub Center in Carson, California, on May 17 to face Mexico; and Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, on May 30, to play the Korea Republic. The USA’s 23-player Women’s World Cup roster will likely be named before the squad begins the Send-Off Series.

The U.S. Women’s National Team was drawn into Group D at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where it will face Australia, Nigeria and Sweden. The seventh edition of the tournament will take place from June 6-July 5 in Canada. The U.S. will open the tournament against Australia on June 8 at Winnipeg Stadium, face Sweden on June 12 in Winnipeg, and finish Group D play against Nigeria on June 16 at BC Place in Vancouver. The USA, Nigeria and Sweden have competed in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

2015 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE:

Date Opponent Time TV/Result Venue
Feb. 8 France 0-2 L Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France
Feb. 13 England 1-0 W stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England
March 4 Norway* 2-1 W Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
March 6 Switzerland* 3-0 W Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
March 9 Iceland* 0-0 T Lagos, Portugal
March 11 France* 2-0 W Faro, Portugal
April 4 New Zealand 3 p.m. CT FOX Sports 1 Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.
May 10 Ireland 11:30 a.m. PT FOX Sports 1 Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.
May 17 Mexico 6 p.m. PT FOX Sports 1 StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.
May 30 Korea Rep. 4:30 p.m. ET ESPN, WatchESPN Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
June 8 Australia 6:30 p.m. CT FOX Sports Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada
June 12 Sweden 7 p.m. CT FOX Sports Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada
June 16 Nigeria 5 p.m. PT FOX Sports BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada

* Algarve Cup

Lauren Holiday
WNT Midfielder Lauren Holiday evades New Zealand’s Helen Collins in the teams’ last meeting in 2013.

USA VS. NEW ZEALAND SERIES

  • The U.S. has a 10-1-1 overall record against New Zealand. New Zealand won the first match between the two sides 1-0 on Dec. 15, 1987, in Taipei, Taiwan, and earned a tie in the teams’ most recent game, a 1-1 draw in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 30, 2013. Sydney Leroux opened the scoring for the USA in the 42nd minute, but Hannah Wilkinson equalized with just three minutes left, although the USA out-shot the Kiwis 14-6. Prior to that game, the USA defeated New Zealand 4-1 on Oct. 27 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Heather O’Reilly tallied for the USA in one of the last games played at Candlestick, while Wilkinson was the scorer for the Kiwis.
  • Since the series opening loss, the USA has an 11-game unbeaten streak against New Zealand, posting seven shutouts with a 43-4 scoring advantage during that stretch.
  • Before the Oct. 27 match in San Francisco, the USA had last played New Zealand in the quarterfinal of the 2012 Olympics in Newcastle, England, a 2-0 victory in which Abby Wambach scored early and Sydney Leroux added a late goal to send the Americans to the semifinal.
  • The U.S. also played New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics, earning a 4-0 victory during group play to advance to the quarterfinals. Heather O’Reilly scored a goal 40 seconds into the match, which at the time was the fastest goal scored for the U.S. WNT before Wambach’s 38-second goal to open a 14-0 victory against the Dominican Republic on Jan. 19, 2012, in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. O’Reilly’s goal is still the fastest goal in Olympic history.
  • New Zealand came as close to defeating the USA as it ever has since that first match on Feb. 11, 2012, in sub-freezing temperatures in Frisco, Texas. Forward Hannah Wilkinson, who currently plays at the University of Tennessee, scored in the 49th minute (she now has NZ’s last three goals against the Americans) and the USA needed two very late goals from Alex Morgan in front of a crowd of more than 20,000. Morgan scored in the 88th minute and then bagged a game-winner three minutes into stoppage time. Both were on headers. New Zealand’s goal came on its only shot on goal during the match.

LAST TIME

On the field for the USA vs. NZL:
Oct. 30, 2013 – Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio

USA                1          Leroux 42
NZL                1          Wilkinson 87 

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.) (16-Rachel Buehler, 46), 8-Kristie Mewis; 7-Yael Averbuch (10-Carli Lloyd, 70), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 12-Lauren Holiday; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 20-Abby Wambach, 2-Sydney Leroux (23-Christen Press, 78)
Substitutions Not Used: 13-Alex Morgan, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 22-Meghan Klingenberg, 26-Leigh Ann Robinson
Head coach: Tom Sermanni

NZL: 21-Erin Nayler (1-Jenny Bindon, 46); 5-Abby Erceg (capt.), 2-Ria Percival, 7-Ali Riley, 15-Rebekah Stott; 11-Kirsty Yallop (13-Rosie White, 79), 4-Katie Hoyle, 16-Annalie Longo (12-Betsy Hassett, 60); 10-Sarah Gregorius (20-Hellen Collins, 67), 9-Amber Hearn, 17-Hannah Wilkinson (18-Megan Lee,90+2)
Substitutions Not Used: 3-Anna Green, 6-Meikayla Moore, 14-Elizabeth Milne, 19-Stephanie Skilton
Head coach: Tony Readings

IN FOCUS: NEW ZEALAND
Current FIFA World Ranking: 17
2015 Women’s World Cup Qualifying: Won the 2014 OFC Women’s Championship (3-0-0; 30 GF, 0 GA)
Women’s World Cup Finals Appearances: 4 –1991 (11th), 2007 (15th), 2011 (12th), 2015
Record vs. USA: 1-10-1
Head Coach: Tony Readings
Championship Honors: Oceania Champions (1983, 1991, 2007, 2010, 2014)
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Amber Hearn (7), Helen Collins (5), Sarah Gregorius (3), Annalie Longo (3), Rosie White (3)
Key Players: Abby Erceg (Jena), Ali Riley (FC Rosengard), Amber Hearn (Jena), Hannah Wilkinson (University of Tennessee), Katie Hoyle (Notts County)

NEW ZEALAND ROSTER NOTES

  • After New Zealand’s performance at the 2012 London Olympics when it became the first New Zealand soccer team to reach the quarterfinals of a major tournament at any level, the Kiwis’ women’s soccer was seen as a genuine medal prospect for Rio 2016 and received funding of $800,000 NZD ($650,000 on current exchange rates) into the women’s program for both 2014 and 2015.
  • New Zealand has had many players play college soccer in the United States, including two key players on this roster: forwards Rosie White (formerly of UCLA) and Hannah Wilkinson (currently at Tennessee). Midfielder Katie Bowen plays for the University of North Carolina.
  • Defender Ali Riley is an American from Pacific Palisades, California, who starred at Stanford and played in the WPS with the Bay Area FC Gold Pride and the Western New York Flash, winning league titles in both seasons. She was the WPS Rookie of the Year in 2010 with the Gold Pride. She is currently playing with Malmo in the Swedish First Division and won the league title there, as well.
  • New Zealand’s journey to Canada 2015 lasted a mere five days as the Football Ferns topped its four-nation Oceania qualifying tournament without any trouble. A perfect three-match record saw 30 goals scored and none allowed. Key striker Amber Hearn scored seven goals in the tournament, while an even more notable milestone was achieved at the other end of the field as captain and central defender Abby Erceg became the first male or female New Zealander to reach 100 caps.
  • Coach Tony Readings assumed the reins in the wake of John Herdman’s departure in 2011 with the latter taking over the coaching role with Canada. Readings successfully led the team at the 2012 Olympic Games where it reached the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time. English-born Readings enjoyed several years at the helm of the nation’s U-20 side and thus has a strong background in New Zealand women’s football. Readings has continued to slowly reinvigorate the team, adding youth to help the depth of the squad and helping the side develop a modern brand of football while still boasting the nation’s traditional strengths. 

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