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U.S. Women’s National Team Ready to Face Mexico with First Place in Group B on the Line

The U.S. Women’s National Team caps off Group B play in the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament when it faces Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET) at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada.

© STEPHEN BRASHEAR/isiphotos.com

U.S. Women

IN THE IMAGE: The U.S. will look to top Group B with a win against Mexico

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

BC Place; Vancouver, Canada
Jan. 23, 2012

The U.S. Women’s National Team caps off Group B play in the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament when it faces Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET) at BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. The U.S. and Mexico have already qualified to the semifinal stage, but both teams are looking to win Group B and earn the right to take on the No. 2 team in Group A team in the semifinals on Friday, Jan. 27. The winners of the semifinal matches earn this region’s two berths to the London Olympics. The U.S. holds a plus-15 goal differential over Mexico, and the USA can win its group by virtue of a victory or a draw. The USA is coming off a 13-0 win against Guatemala on Sunday, while Mexico dispatched of the Dominican Republic with a 7-0 victory. Tuesday’s match is available live on the Universal Sports Network. Fans can also follow the games via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt and via online video at Universalsports.com and CONCACAF.com.

On Monday night, the Group A winner will be determined as Canada and Costa Rica square off in their final group match. Both teams are unbeaten in group play, with Canada holding a plus-four goal differential advantage against the Ticas. Canada can win its group with either a victory or a draw. The Group B winner faces the Group A runner-up at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, followed by the Group A winner and Group B runner-up at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET. The championship game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29 (5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET). Individual event tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster.

U.S. WNT Schedule – 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
Group B

* U.S. and Mexico have already clinched semifinal berths

Group B Standings

Top two teams advance to semifinals

Read about the USA’s 13-0 victory against Guatemala and watch the players’ post-game remarks.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (out of contract), Hope Solo (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Atlanta Beat), Amy LePeilbet (Atlanta Beat), Heather Mitts (out of contract), Kelley O’Hara (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbrunn (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Tobin Heath (out of contract), Lori Lindsey (Western NY Flash), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (out of contract), Amy Rodriguez (out of contract)
Lauren Cheney (out of contract), Sydney Leroux (Atlanta Beat), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Abby Wambach (out of contract)


·         The U.S. Women’s National Team has scored 27 goals in its first two matches against the Dominican Republic (14-0 on Friday) and Guatemala (13-0 on Sunday), setting a program record for most goals in back-to-back games. The massive goals total during Women’s Olympic Qualifying already exceeds the U.S. WNT’s goal production from January through June 2011 (25 goals in that 12-game span).

·         There are seven players on the roster with 100 or more caps, led by Christie Rampone’s 246, good for fourth all-time in U.S. history.

·         After Abby Wambach (129), the U.S. player on this roster who has the most career goals is Heather O’Reilly with 33. Carli Lloyd has 30, making her one of just 15 U.S. women to reach the 30-goal mark.



  • Abby Wambach is the most successful American woman in Olympic qualifying history with 12 total goals. She is also the only player on the roster to score in all three Olympic qualifying tournaments in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
  • The USA has never lost an Olympic qualifying match (10-0-1). The tie was in the championship game of the 2008 tournament that ended 1-1 through regulation and overtime before the USA prevailed over Canada in penalty kicks.
  • The USA is 81-2-5 all-time when Wambach scores a goal. The most recent of those two losses came in the Women’s World Cup against Sweden.
  • Heather O’Reilly’s career has 33 goals and 33 career assists, making her one of just ten 30-30 players in U.S. history. The others? Julie Foudy, Carin Gabarra, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Michelle Akers, Tiffeny Milbrett, Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm.


0          Number of goals allowed by the U.S. in 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
1          World ranking of the U.S. Women’s National Team
5          Number of goals scored in a game by Sydney Leroux (Jan. 22, 2012), Amy Rodriguez (Jan. 20, 2012), Abby Wambach (Oct. 23, 2004), Tiffeny Milbrett (Nov. 2, 2002), Michelle Akers (Nov. 24, 1991) and Brandi Chastain (April 18, 1991)
6.7       Number of minutes per goal during the 2012 Olympic Qualifying (27 goals in 180 minutes)
8          Number of players who tallied a goal against Guatemala on Sunday
10        Number of players who tallied a goal or an assists against Guatemala on Sunday
28        Number of shots on goal by the USA on Sunday
37        Number of shots by the USA on Sunday
55        The current unbeaten streak for the USA in domestic matches in which they are 49-0-6.
98.9     Number of minutes Wambach averages between goals
129      Career goals by Wambach, putting her third on the USA’s all-time list at age 30 and fourth all-time in world history – she is three goals behind Kristine Lilly (130)
130      Number of minutes that Mia Hamm averaged between goals
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
212      Number of goals scored during head coach Pia Sundhage’s 84 games as U.S. WNT head coach


  • Tuesday marks the 28th matchup between the U.S. and Mexico. The USA has posted a 25-1-1 record against Mexico since the two sides first squared off against each other on April 18, 1991, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The USA won that match 12-0.
  • The USA outscored Mexico 41-0 in the first five matches from 1991 to May 2000. Mexico’s first goal against the USA came during the U.S. Women’s 3-2 win on Dec. 10, 2000, in Houston.
  • Mexico has only one win to its name against the U.S., but it has certainly narrowed the gap over the years. The past three matches have been decided by one goal, with the U.S. earning 1-0 victories on March 31, 2010 (in a match played on a field covered in snow), and June 5, 2011, with Mexico capturing a 2-1 win on Nov. 5, 2010.
  • The Mexicans’ 2-1 win on Nov. 5, 2010, came during the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament that pushed the USA into a third-place match against Costa Rica, and ultimately a two-game playoff against Italy to qualify for the World Cup. Mexico’s Maribel Dominguez and Veronica Perez were the first-half goal scorers.
  • Last year the U.S. needed a second-half stoppage time goal from Lauren Cheney to earn a 1-0 victory on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

Vancouver native Sydney Leroux gave her hometown its money’s worth on Sunday. The 21-year-old Leroux saw the pitch in the second half of the USA’s Group B match against Guatemala, and she matched a U.S. WNT program record with five goals in her 45 minutes of work. It was only her second cap for the full U.S. National Team after debuting against Sweden in January of 2011 at the Four Nations Tournament in China in a match in which she saw just five minutes of action. The 2012 WPS Draft’s No. 1 selection by the Atlanta Beat finished with regularity on Sunday, posting a hat trick within 15 minutes during the USA’s 13-0 win and scored four consecutive goals from the 48th through 70th minutes. Born in Canada to a Canadian mother and an American father, Leroux played for Canada as a 14-year-old in the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup before coming to the United States for high school and to pursue her dream of earning a college scholarship and playing for the United States. Leroux switched international affiliations in 2008 and played in two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups for the USA, scoring 10 goals over those two tournaments to become the all-time leading scorer for the USA at the U-20 level and in U-20 Women’s World Cups. She won the Golden Ball and Golden Boot in 2008 in Chile as the best player and top scorer at the tournament.

With 27 goals in two matches, the U.S. has had its share of offensive contributors during group play at the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Here is the breakdown of the goals and assists leaders:

  • Goals: Amy Rodriguez (6); Sydney Leroux (5); Abby Wambach (4); Heather O’Reilly (3); Lauren Cheney and Carli Lloyd (2 each); Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe (1 each)
  • Assists: Lauren Cheney (5); Alex Morgan (4); Kelley O’Hara, Heather O’Reilly, Amy Rodriguez and Abby Wambach (3 each); Ali Krieger, Carli Lloyd, Heather Mitts and Megan Rapinoe (1 each)

U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team defender Ali Krieger sustained tears to the Medial Collateral and Anterior Cruciate ligaments in her right knee late in the first half of the USA’s victory against the Dominican Republic on Friday, Jan. 20, in the USA’s first game of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic Women’s Qualifying Tournament. An MRI on the morning of Jan. 21 confirmed the injuries. Krieger, who fell victim to a reckless tackle, will be sidelined for 6-8 months and will almost certainly miss the London Olympic Games should the USA qualify. Krieger recently left the team to return home to Virginia to prepare for surgery and start her rehabilitation.

The U.S. is attempting to qualify for a fifth consecutive Olympic Games and finish in first place at CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying for the third consecutive time. In 2008, the USA won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico and went on to win the gold medal in Beijing. In 2004, the U.S. won the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Costa Rica and went on to win gold in Athens, Greece. The U.S. qualified for the 1996 Atlanta Games as host and for the 2000 Sydney Games as a top-seven finisher at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA was the lone CONCACAF representative at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, the first two that featured women’s soccer. Mexico qualified along with the USA for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, while the Canadians claimed the second spot behind the U.S. in 2008 in Beijing.

Nine teams have already qualified for the 12-team Olympic Football Tournament: host Great Britain; Japan and North Korea from Asia; Cameroon and South Africa from Africa; Brazil and Colombia from South America; and Sweden and France from Europe. New Zealand will likely earn Oceania’s lone berth, which leaves just the CONCACAF entrants to be decided.

Head coach Pia Sundhage is in the midst of her fourth full year in charge of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Below are some of her accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Sundhage is the sixth official coach and second female coach in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team program.
  • Sundhage’s record as head coach of the Women’s National Team is 70-5-9, with 212 goals for and 43 against.
  • As a player, Sundhage was one of the game’s best-ever players, finishing sixth in the voting for FIFA Women’s Player of the Century. A legendary player in Sweden, she played for her country in the 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups and 1996 Olympics. She scored four goals for Sweden at the 1991 Women’s World Cup, helping the Swedes to a third-place finish. She scored one goal in the 1995 Women’s World Cup (against Germany) and played every minute of all three matches at the Atlanta Olympics.
  • Sundhage started her coaching career while still playing, serving as player-coach for Hammarby from 1992-1994. She also coached Sweden’s Youth National Teams for 11 years from 1990-2001, coaching the U-16s, the U-19s and U-21s.
  • After her retirement from the international game in 1996, she became head coach of the Sweden Under-19 Women’s National Team, leading the team to one gold medal and two bronze medals at the European Championships. She served as a scout for Sweden during the 1997 European Championships, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. Sundhage has also worked for FIFA on its Technical Study Group staff for the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand.
  • Since taking over as head coach, Sundhage has given 18 players their first senior team caps.


Federacion Mexicana de Futbol Asociacion AC / Mexican Football Federation
Founded: 1927 (Joined FIFA in 1929)
Head Coach: Leonardo Cuellar
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: 0-1-2 record in Group B play in 2011
Best CONCACAF Championship finish: 2nd place, 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament


  • Nine Mexican players are currently playing collegiately in the U.S., including Stanford teammates Teresa Noyola and Alina Garciamendez who won the NCAA title this past season.
  • Several other players competed collegiately including Mexican-Americans Marlene Sandoval (Cal State Fullerton), Jenny Ruiz (UNLV) and Veronica Perez (Univ. of Washington).
  • Noyola was the seventh overall selection by the Western New York Flash in the first round of the 2012 Women’s Professional Soccer Draft, which was held on Jan. 13. The Flash had two first-round picks, selecting Stanford’s Lindsay Taylor ahead of Noyola at No. 6. Noyola was the 2011 Hermann Trophy winner and the 2011 College Cup’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player as Stanford won its first College Cup against Duke.
  • Noyola represented the U.S. at the 2010 CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship and the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup before switching associations.
  • Garciamendez played for the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Girls National Teams before playing for Mexico at the U-17 level and beyond.
  • Mexico advanced to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, finishing as the runner-up in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying. But Mexico did not reach the 2008 Olympics as the U.S. and Canada qualified from the CONCACAF. Mexico lost to the U.S.3-1 in the group stage and dropped a 1-0 decision to Canada in the semifinals.


GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Cecilia Santiago (Laguna), 12-Anjuli Ladron De Guevara (ITESM)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Arianna Romero Rowold (Nebraska), 3-Marlene Sandoval (LA Vikings), 4-Alina Garciamendez (Stanford), 5-Bianca Sierra (Auburn), 6-Natalie Garcia Mendez (San Diego), 8-Marylin Diaz (Andrea’s Soccer), 13-Jennifer Ruiz (Bay Area Breeze), 15-Rosario Saucedo (unattached), 18-Christina Murillo (Michigan)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Teresa Noyola (Stanford), 10-Dinora Garza (UANL), 16-Anisa Guajardo (Pepperdine), 17-Veronica Perez (unattached), 19-Monica Alvarado (Texas Christian)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Maribel Dominguez (L’Estartit), 11-Monica Ocampo (unattached), 14-Renae Cuellar (Arizona), 20-Chrystal Martinez (American River College)

Studio 90 Extra Time is covering the WNT in Vancouver as the team looks to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. ussoccer.com’s popular video series gives a unique look at the team with interviews and off-the-field fun. Extra Time has already put up seven segments while in Canada, including a memorable snowball-throwing contest between Shannon Boxx and Christie Rampone as well as the debut of a game show called “Who Knows Megan Best?” Be sure to watch Studio 90 Extra Time throughout the tournament in Vancouver and follow @studio_90 on twitter.

Studio 90 Extra Time in Vancouver
Abby Wambach: Pt. 1 – Interview | Pt. 2 – Childhood Memories
Shannon Boxx: Pt. 1 – Interview | Pt. 2 – Snowball Throwing Contest
Lori Lindsey Megan Rapinoe: Pt. 1 – Interview | Pt. 2 – Who Knows Megan Best?
Christie Rampone: Pt. 1 – Interview

ussoccer.com’s one-of-a-kind look at the U.S. National Teams has returned in 2012. After debuting last summer during the Men’s National Team’s run through the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Women’s World Cup in Germany, “Behind the Crest” is back to follow the WNT through its qualifying tournament in Canada. The first episode goes behind the scenes of the team’s preparations for the first game against the Dominican Republic, with the players eager to begin 2012 on the right foot with the goal of making it to London.

Behind the Crest: WNT in Vancouver

Ep. 1: Ready to Compete
Ep. 2 (airs Jan. 24)
Ep. 3 (airs Jan. 27)


On the field for USA:

Jan. 22, 2012 – BC Place Stadium – Vancouver, Canada – CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying

U.S. 13, Guatemala 0

GUA               0

USA                13        Abby Wambach, 12; Wambach, 14; Lauren Cheney, 24; Amy Rodriguez, 29;

                                    Carli Lloyd, 33; Lori Lindsey, 34; Sydney Leroux, 48; Leroux, 51; Leroux, 57;

                                    Leroux, 70; Megan Rapinoe, 75; Alex Morgan, 83; Leroux, 87


USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 5-Kelley O’Hara; 15-Megan Rapinoe, 10-Carli Lloyd (7-Shannon Boxx, 46), 16-Lori Lindsey, 8-Amy Rodriguez, 12-Lauren Cheney (13-Alex Morgan, 46); 20-Abby Wambach (14-Sydney Leroux, 46)
Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 19-Rachel Buehler
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

GUA: 1-Maricruz Lemus; 3-Marilyn Rivera, 4-Shannon Brooks, 14-Coralia Monterroso, 20-Katherine Ramos; 11-Rocio Sosa, 17-Ana Lucia Martinez (16-Alejandra De Leon, 68), 19-Andrea Tobar; 7-Wendy Pineda (capt.), 8-Maria Monterroso (18-Idania Perez, 78), 13-Maria Pelayes (6-Amarilis Lohaiza, 46)
Subs not used: 2-Jeymi Hernandez, 5-Londy Barrios, 9-Cinthya Lopez, 10-Gladys Suriano, 12-Mariandre Rodas, 15-Kimberly De Leon
Head coach: Raul Calderon

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