The U.S. Women’s National Team began its 2017 campaign and the SheBelieves Cup with a 1-0 victory against Germany in front of 16,318 fans at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester. PA.
As was expected with the top two teams in the world, the affair was an evenly played match throughout the entire 90 minutes, but the Americans did have the advantage in possession and scoring chances. The USA’s first moment of danger came in the 10th minute following a throw-in by Becky Sauebrunn on the right flank. Samantha Mewis brought the ball down and it bounced to Crystal Dunn, who fired a shot from the right side of the six-yard box straight at Germany’s goalkeeper. Amulth Schult did well to push it out for a USA corner. In the ensuing corner kick, Tobin Heath sent a corner kick to the far side that found the head of Carli Lloyd, but she sent it just over the crossbar.
Germany responded with a chance of its own in the 12th minute when Sara Däbritz’s rocket seemed to be heading into the upper right corner, but U.S. ‘keeper Alyssa Naeher responded with a diving save and pushed the ball out of danger.
In the second half, the USA came out energized and in the 56th minute, Lynn Williams finally broke through to give the USA a 1-0 lead after Christen Press‘ shot hit the crossbar and Heath’s follow up was blocked by a German defender. The ball then rolled to Williams and she finished smoothly to make it 1-0.
The U.S. took control of the match and missed several close chances in the latter part of the second half that would have sealed the game. Lloyd created a particularly dangerous chance as she dribbled around several defenders in the left side of the box and was one-on-one with the German goalkeeper, who made a great save to pin the ball with her legs.
The USA’s team defense was excellent over the entire 90 minutes and for the most part kept the Germans out of dangerous spots to earn the shutout.
Up Next: The USA now travels to Harrison, New Jersey to take on England on Saturday, March 4 in a primetime matchup at 5 p.m. ET that will air live on FOX. Additionally, the WNT will also honor legendary defender and former captain Christie Rampone before the match on Saturday. In the first game of today’s doubleheader, France took the 2-1 victory with a dramatic game-winning goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.
2017 SheBelieves Cup Standings
Goal Scoring Rundown
USA – Lynn Williams 56th minute: Christen Press stole the ball from Isabel Kerschowski on the right flank and raced down the right wing, before cutting smartly into the penalty box while beating several defenders. She made enough space to fire a left-footed shot that hit the crossbar. The ball rebounded to Tobin Heath in the left side of the penalty area and her shot hit Kerschowski before settling for Lynn Williams to finish first-time with her right foot from eight yards out past another German defender and into the open net. It was her second career goal in her fifth international appearance. USA 1, GER 0.
- The USA played in a 3-4-1-2 formation to kick off 2017 with Casey Short, Allie Long and Becky Sauerbrunn in the back, Samantha Mewis and Morgan Brian in the middle; Crystal Dunn and Tobin Heath on the wings; Carli Lloyd playing behind Lynn Williams and Christen Press up top.
- Williams earned her fifth cap for the WNT and scored her second international goal. She earned her first cap on Oct. 19 against Switzerland in Utah, where she came into the game in the second half, played the entire second 45 minutes and scored 49 seconds into her debut (a record until Kealia Ohai broke it four days later). She became the 20th player in WNT history to score in her first international appearance.
- Alyssa Naeher made her 11th appearance tonight, her eighth start and earned her seventh career shutout for the USA.
- The three-person backline of Becky Sauerbrunn, Allie Long and Casey Short started together for the fifth consecutive time (first time was on Oct. 19, 2016). Sauerbrunn earned her 120th cap, Long her 21st cap and Short her fifth. All three played all 90 minutes of the match.
- Both Morgan Brian, who just turned 24 years old earlier this week and earned her 64th international appearance, and Samantha Mewis, who earned her 19th cap, played all 90 minutes tonight.
- Mallory Pugh made her first appearance for the USA since the game against Sweden on Aug. 12 at the 2016 Olympic Games. Pugh came in for Crystal Dunn in the 58th minute.
– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –
Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany
Date: March 1, 2017
Competition: SheBelieves Cup
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m. ET
Weather: 64 degrees; cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
GER 0 0 0
USA – Lynn Williams 56th minute
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 20-Allie Long, 7-Casey Short; 19-Crystal Dunn (2-Mallory Pugh, 58), 6-Morgan Brian, 3-Samantha Mewis, 17-Tobin Heath 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.); 12-Lynn Williams (13-Alex Morgan, 79), 23-Christen Press (9-Lindsey Horan, 79)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 11-Ali Krieger, 14-Jessica McDonald, 15-Emily Sonnett, 16-Rose Lavelle, 18-Jane Campbell, 22-Brianna Pinto, 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
GER: 1-Almuth Schult, 2-Josephine Henning, 4-Leonie Maier, 5-Babett Peter, 9-Alexandra Popp, 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan, 11-Anja Mittag (15-Mandy Islacker, 74), 13-Sara Däbritz, 14-Anna Blässe (7-Pauline Bremer, 69), 17-Isabel Kerschowski (29-Felicitas Rauch, 74), 18-Lena Petermann (23-Verena Faißt, 45)
Subs not used: 3-Kathrin Hendrich, 12-Laura Benkarth, 20-Lina Magull, 21-Lisa Weiß, 24-Kristin Demann, 26-Hasret Kayikci, 27-Sara Doorsoun, 31-Linda Dallman
Head coach: Steffi Jones
Stats Summary: USA / GER
Shots: 15 / 11
Shots on Goal: 3 / 4
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 4
Fouls: 7 / 6
Offside: 2 / 0
GER – Elizabeth Kerschowski (caution) 42nd minute
GER – Anna Blasse (caution) 63
USA – Lindsay Horan (caution) 90
Referee: Carol Ann Chenard (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
4th Official: Cardella Samuels (JAM)
Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long