Rachel Buehler (19) of the USWNT fights for the ball with Mana Iwabuchi (20) of Japan during the game. The USWNT defeated Japan, 2-0.
U.S. Women's Soccer News: U.S. Women's National Team Defeat Japan 2-0 As Rodrigues and O'Reilly Score
• Amy Rodriguez Tallies 17th Career Goal in 28th Minute, O’Reilly Adds Clincher in 69th
• USA Shuts Out World’s Fourth-Ranked Team for Second Game in a Row
• U.S. Women Have One More Match Before 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Taking on Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena Live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET
The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 to win its second game in four days by the same score line against the world’s fourth-ranked team. Heather O’Reilly had an assist and a goal, setting up a goal by Amy Rodriguez in the 28th minute before bagging one herself in the 69th.
“Tonight two different players scored goals and both of them were great goals,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “We gain confidence when we look at the four goals we scored against Japan in these two games. That is something we are going to talk about and watch over and over again. We can gain some confidence just by watching.”
The USA also defeated Japan 2-0 four days ago at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Unlike that match, the USA started strong on a beautiful afternoon in North Carolina and managed some good ball-possession while putting high pressure on Japan’s backs and midfielders.
Japan did earn four corner kicks in the first 22 minutes, but didn’t manage a dangerous shot on goal in the first half before the USA took the lead.
The score came off a brilliant dribble from O’Reilly who ran down a long ball from Shannon Boxx near the end line on the right side of the penalty area. She squared up on Japanese defender Aya Sameshima and pulled off a nifty move to the outside before rolling a pass back into the middle for Rodriguez, who side-footed her shot into the net from 10 yards out. It was the 17th international goal for Rodriguez and second in two games against Japan.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo made three saves on the night, but controlled her penalty area extremely well and had an excellent game with her feet off back passes from her defenders. She did have to come fast off her line in the 34th minute to corral a through ball in front of Ohno and then in the 81st pushed a dangerous looking 25-yard shot from Karina Maruyama over the cross bar.
The Japanese had their best chance in the 41st minute as they wall-passed their way through the U.S. defense inside the penalty box. The sequence ended with an off-balance Shinobu Ohno firing high over the goal from 10 yards away while under pressure from Stephanie Cox.
Like they did in Columbus, the U.S. Women dominated the second half and should have scored a goal or two more. In the 52nd minute, a Rodriguez cross from the right wing found Wambach at the far post, but her full-out diving header flew over the goal.
In the 53rd, Megan Rapinoe got behind the defenders down the left wing through a perfect spinning ball from halftime substitute Amy LePeilbet, then slid a pass on the ground through the six yard box but the crashing Wambach couldn’t connect.
Three minutes later, Boxx squared up on a defender in the left side of the penalty area, nutmegged her and drove straight at the near post before rolling a pass straight across the goal mouth that was cleared.
In the 61st minute, Rapinoe flashed a shot just outside the right post after Wambach had slid a well-weighted pass into the left side of the box.
Young U.S. forward Alex Morgan came into the game for O’Reilly in the 61st minute and just seconds later got free on a breakaway. She beat Kaihori to the ball and took a hard touch into the left side of the penalty area. She had a wide open goal if she had shot with her left, but instead cut the ball back to her right and that gave time for the sliding Azusa Iwashimizu to recover and block the point blank shot.
Just a few minutes later, Morgan got behind the Japanese back line again and got off a shot with her right foot from 10 yards out, but Kaihori stuck up a right hand to bat it away.
With the crowd yearning for a goal, O’Reilly provided it, running onto a pass from Carli Lloyd into the right side of the penalty box. She dribbled inside to her left to lose a defender and struck a left-footed shot from 12 yards out the stuck just inside the left post.
It was O’Reilly’s 29th career international goal and it was scored into the same goal in the same stadium in which she got her first back in 2002 against Italy off an assist from Mia Hamm.
Sundhage also gave time to Lori Lindsey, Lauren Cheney and Tobin Heath in the second half and the Americans could have added to their total. In the 75th minute, Lindsey fired just over the upper right corner from 20 yards after winning a bouncing ball in the penalty area. In the 77th minute, Wambach struck a shot after a counter attack that had to be palmed over the top by substitute ‘keeper Miho Fukumoto.
In the 79th minute, Wambach won a header off a Rapinoe free kick from the right side, but somehow bounced it off the ground and over the goal from close range. The win extended the USA’s domestic unbeaten streak to 50 games with one match remaining before leaving for Europe.
Rachel Buehler captained the USA in the absence of Christie Rampone, who is still recovering from a slight muscle strain, and played an excellent match in the center of the defense along with Becky Sauerbrunn, who went 90 minutes for the second straight match. Ali Krieger also had a solid game at outside back as did Cox, who played on the left before she gave way to LePeilbet at halftime.
The USA’s Women’s World Cup Send-Off Match will take place on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., against Mexico. That match kicks off at 2 p.m. ET and will also be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The USA is preparing for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. The USA will face Korea DPR, Colombia and Sweden in first round play.
The 16 nations competing are: host Germany, Korea DPR, Japan and Australia from Asia and Sweden, Norway, France and England from Europe, New Zealand from Oceania, the USA, Canada and Mexico from CONCACAF, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea from Africa and Brazil and Colombia from South America.
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan - Date: May 18, 2011 Competition: International Friendly - Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C. - Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET - Attendance: 5,323
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 1 2 JPN 0 0 0
USA – Amy Rodriguez (Heather O’Reilly) 28th minute
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Carli Lloyd) 69
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Rachel Buehler (capt.), 14-Stephanie Cox (6-Amy LePeilbet, 46); 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Lauren Cheney, 72), 7-Shannon Boxx (16-Lori Lindsey, 61), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (17-Tobin Heath, 84); 8-Amy Rodriguez (13-Alex Morgan, 61), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 3-Christie Rampone, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden, 22-Whitney Engen, 23-Sinead Farrelly
Head coach: Pia Sundhage
JPN: 12-Ayumi Kaihori (1-Miho Fukumoto, 71); 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 15-Aya Sameshima 2-Yukari Kinga (16-Maiko Nasu, 78); 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (13-Rumi Utsugi, 74), 8-Aya Miyama, 10-Homare Sawa (capt.), 11-Nahomi Kawasumi (18-Karina Maruyama, 63); 9-Shinobu Ohno (7-Kozue Ando, 74), 20-Mana Iwabuchi (14-Emi Nakajima, 78)
Subs not used: 5-Kyoko Yano, 17-Yuki Nagasato, 19-Megumi Takase
Head coach: Norio Sasaki
Bud Light Woman of the Match: Heather O’Reilly
WOMEN's SOCCER STAT OF NOTE
After scoring against Japan with her head on May 14, Abby Wambach has now scored 47 of her 118 goals with her head.
TARPLEY TEARS ACL, WILL MISS Women's World Cup (WWC): U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, a member of the USA’s Olympic gold medal winning team in 2004 and 2008 and was also a member of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee with about 15 minutes remaining in the match against Japan on May 14 in Columbus, Ohio. Tarpley will be sidelined for six to eight months and will be replaced on the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. The final rosters are not due to FIFA until 10 working days before the start of the tournament, which begins on June 26.
FIFA Youth Women World Cup benefits the USA: Nine players on the USA’s 2011 Women’s World Cuproster have played in a FIFA Youth Women’s World Cup. Rachel Buehler played in two FIFA U-19 FIFA Women’s World Cups, in 2002 in Canada and in 2004 in Thailand. Buehler was a part of the USA’s U-19 Women’s World Cup champions in 2002 with Heather O’Reilly. Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe represented the USA in Thailand while Tobin Heath was one of the youngest players at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia. Stephanie Cox played in Thailand and was the captain of the team in Russia. Amy Rodriguez played in both Thailand and Russia while Lauren Cheney was on the 2006 team in Russia. Alex Morgan helped lead the USA to the title at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.
U.S. Women National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), 21-Jill Loyden (magicJack), 1-Hope Solo (magicJack)
DEFENDERS (8): 19-Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 22-Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), 11-Ali Krieger (out of contract), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), 3-Christie Rampone (magicJack), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (magicJack), 23-Sinead Farrelly (Philadelphia Independence), 17-Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), 16-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)
FORWARDS (4): 12-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (magicJack)
THREE AND OUT: The three domestic games in May and June will be the final official internationals before the U.S. women open World Cup play on June 28 in Dresden, Germany, against Korea DPR. All three of the USA’s domestic matches will be televised live. The match on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The U.S. team will face Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., in a game that kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The U.S. team will depart for Austria in mid-June for a pre-Women’s World Cup training camp before arriving in Dresden five days before its opening match.
||Result / Time (ET)
||Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
||WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
||Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
||Rudolf-Harbig-Stadium; Dresden, Germany
|| Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim, Germany
|| 2:30 p.m.
||Arena im Allerpark; Wolfsburg, Germany
U.S. WNT TO GIVE SHIRTS OFF THEIR BACKS TO BENEFIT JAPANESE TSUNAMI RELIEF: The autographed game-worn jerseys of the U.S. Women’s World Cup Team players from the USA-Japan match on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, are available via an internet auction on ussoccer.com with all the proceeds benefiting Japanese tsunami relief efforts. The U.S. wore the new black jerseys for the first time against Japan on May 14 in Columbus, Ohio, and, following the match, the jerseys were washed and every player signed each shirt.
The Japan Women’s National Team is in the United States to prepare for its Women’s World Cup run and are playing the first international games since a devastating tsunami hit the northeast part of the country on March 11, causing billions of dollars in damage and the loss of at least 18,000 lives. A moment of silence was observed prior to the match in Columbus to honor the victims of the disaster, and a similar moment of silence will be observed before the game against Japan on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
GREAT TRIVIA: USA Women's National team by the numbers:
- 0.89 Average goals allowed per game by the USA in 2011
- 1 Number of games the USA has played inside USA so far this year
- 1 World ranking of the U.S. Women’s National Team
- 1 Number of players who have started all nine games for the USA this year (Carli Lloyd)
- 2.22 Average goals scored per game by the USA in 2011
- 3 Number of assists for Amy Rodriguez in 2011, most on the team
- 3 Number of players who have played in all nine games so far this year (Buehler, Lloyd, Morgan)
- 4 Shutouts the USA has earned in eight matches so far this year
- 5 Number of players in the USA’s top-20 on the all-time caps list to get a cap this year
- 6 Number of different goalkeepers who have played for the USA since the end of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup
- 8 Number of games the USA has played outside USA this year
- 9 Number of different players to score a goal for the USA this year
- 26 Number of players who have earned 100 or more caps for the U.S. Women’s National Team
- 28 Career goals for Heather O’Reilly, moving her past Joy Fawcett into 14th on the all-time U.S. scoring list
- 49 The current unbeaten streak for the USA in domestic matches
- 99 Number of minutes that Abby Wambach averages a goal every…
- 118 Career goals by Abby Wambach, putting her third on the USA’s all-time list at age 30 and fourth all-time in world history
- 130 Number of minutes that Mia Hamm averaged a goal every…
- 194 Players who have earned a cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team since the program’s inception in 1985, the most recent being Whitney Engen, who earned her first cap against Norway at the Algarve Cup on March 4