U.S. women’s soccer team thrills crowd in 3-0 victory over Japan

By Damian Calhoun | [email protected] | Daily BreezePUBLISHED: August 3, 2017 at 10:02 pm | UPDATED: August 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm United States’ Casey Short, top, and Japan’s Madoka Haji try to head the ball during the first half of a Tournament of Nations soccer match, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita gives up a goal to United States’ Megan Rapinoe during the first half of Tournament of Nations soccer match, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)United States’ Megan Rapinoe, front, celebrates her goal with Mallory Pugh during the first half against Japan in a Tournament of Nations soccer match, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)United States’ Mallory Pugh, left, takes the ball as Japan’s Miho Manya falls during the first half of a Tournament of Nations soccer match, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Japan’s Yuka Momiki, below, and United States’ Casey Short fall during the first half of a Tournament of Nations soccer match, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stops a Japan shot during the first half of a Tournament of Nations soccer match Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)USA keeper Alyssa Naeher (1) makes a diving save on one of Japan’s few shots on goal in the first half of the final womens soccer game of the Tournament of Nations at the StubHub Center Thursday, August 03, 2017, Carson, CA. USA held a 1-0 lead at halftime. (Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze/SCNG)Japan’s keeper Ayaka Yamashita (18) collides with USA’s Carli Lloyd (10) in front of the goal in the final womens soccer game of the Tournament of Nations at the StubHub Center Thursday, August 03, 2017, Carson, CA. USA held a 1-0 lead at halftime. (Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Continue Reading

US Women’s Soccer Just Scored a Big Win

It’s a remarkable—and remarkably unexpected—thing to write, but female athletes are now leading both the labor movement and the women’s movement for pay equity. It’s happening before our eyes, and it’s worth noting even if you’ve never kicked a soccer ball or hit a puck. First, just last week, we had the staggering victory of the US women’s national hockey team, who went on strike before the world championship and won a series of demands, including salary raises so that they are now paid like the full-time athletes they are. Now comes news that the US women’s national soccer team has, at long last, following public campaigns, lawsuits, and the outspoken expression of their most prominent players, secured a five-year labor deal with USA Soccer.1 The deal warrants much praise, making long strides toward securing equal pay with the men’s squad—fitting for a women’s team that garners ratings during global competition which could make other sports leagues green with envy. It remedies the insult of meager pay and the injury of less rights than their male counterparts. While the deal does not ensure pay equity, the rallying cry of this long campaign, it does ensure raises that will leave players earning as much as $200,000 to $300,000 a year, plus victory bonuses. The deal also guarantees funding and support for parental leave, increased per diems, and more input from players on their working conditions, travel, and accommodations. In addition—and this could become the most important part of the deal—the union won a portion of licensing rights, which will mean more revenue streams for the players.2 This is a grand victory, coming slightly over a year since a high-profile complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued by the highest-profile members of the team: Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Hope Solo. (It is unclear Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan lands cover of EA Sports FIFA 16

Carli Lloyd may be the best women's soccer player in the world right now, but Alex Morgan remains the face of the sport. That much was made clear when the U.S. National Team star landed the cover of EA Sports' popular soccer video game - a first for a female athlete. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS SPORTS ON FACEBOOK. "LIKE" US HERE. “I’m so honored to be featured on the cover of #FIFA16. Thank you @EASPORTSFIFA!” Morgan wrote to her two million Twitter followers shortly after Monday’s announcement. The forward will appear in the official artwork for the U.S. version of FIFA 16 alongside Argentina and Barcelona phenom Lionel Messi, a three-time FIFA Ballon d'Or and World Soccer Player of the Year winner. Morgan's individual achievements include U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and CONCACAF Player of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013, but it's her image more than anything that has catapulted the 26-year-old to international superstardom. Earlier this month, a FIFA.com article profiling Morgan suggested as much by highlighting the player's "good looks" while describing her as "nothing short of a media phenomenon." Lloyd, however, was the main force behind Team USA's recent Women's World Cup victory, sharing Golden Boot honors with Germany's Célia Šašic thanks to her six goals - including a 16-minute hat-trick in a 5-2 blowout win over Japan in the tournament final. Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer team qualifies for World Cup, but Hope Solo case lingers

CHESTER, Pa. — The U.S. women’s soccer team is so much better than its CONCACAF rivals that no American coach has to worry much at these regional matches about being second-guessed on her lineup. So when the Americans officially qualified Friday for the 2015 World Cup in Canada with a 3-0 victory over Mexico in a CONCACAF championship semifinal, Jill Ellis was on safe ground starting without Abby Wambach — the country’s all-time leading goal scorer who had just been nominated by FIFA for Player of the Year, the Ballon d’Or. Ellis’ move, in the biggest match of the year, never was going to blow up in her face the way that Landon Donovan’s omission created a shortcoming for Jurgen Klinsmann in Brazil. “They have so many weapons, so many tools, they can put out two teams and finish top four or five in the World Cup,” said Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar. Even without both Wambach, 34, and injured forward Alex Morgan, the U.S. had few problems generating attacks. Tobin Heath’s cross in the sixth minute from the left side found Carli Lloyd’s brow for a header past goalkeeper Pamela Tajonar, taking all the pressure off the Americans. Lloyd then scored a second goal in the 30th minute on a penalty kick drawn by Heath, and Christen Press finished the scoring in the 56th minute, before Wambach finally entered the already secured game in the 62nd minute. “Not just look at how we start games, look at how we finish,” Ellis said, about her employment of Wambach. The U.S. will next face Costa Rica on Sunday in the CONCACAF final. Both nations have clinched a spot in Canada, regardless of the result. “It means a lot, I’ve been playing so long, especially with this team,” said Christie Rampone, who received a diamond necklace from U.S. Soccer for her 300th cap, under six different U.S. coaches. “Now we have to peak at the right time.” Hope Solo Continue Reading

ESPYs: U.S. women’s soccer team stuns on red carpet in Badgley Mischka, Herve Leger, Prabal Gurung, more

These soccer stars scored some major style points. The U.S. Women’s Soccer team stunned on the red carpet at the ESPY awards Wednesday night as their winning streak continued at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The World Cup champions, whose victory was the first win for America since 1999, took home the award for Best Team. RAISSMAN: OUT OF ESPYs JENNER HYPE, AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE Captain Carli Lloyd, 32, who led the ladies to a 5-2 victory over Japan with her epic hat trick, accepted the award while clad in an elegant black beaded gown with a sweetheart neckline by New York-based designer Matthew Christopher. Goalie Hope Solo showed off her glam in a charcoal sequin, long-sleeved, cowl-backed Badgley Mischka gown. Red, white and blue designs by Prabal Gurung screamed "USA" for other teammates. Ali Krieger rocked a red draped chiffon gown, midfielder Megan Rapinoe kept it white haute in a long-sleeved dress and fashion forward Alex Morgan looked sleek in a short-sleeved navy number. To present the Arthur Ashe Courage award to Olympic champ Caitlyn Jenner, legendary striker Abby Wambach exemplified effortless chic in black J Brand pants and a matching blazer. Continue Reading

U.S. women’s soccer team expects medal test from Canada in Monday’s semifinal match

LONDON — Hope Solo has seen more action on Twitter than in front of the goal lately. “We haven’t been really tested,” Solo said. “I’m waiting to still get tested, but that’s what happens when you’re ranked No. 1.” PHOTOS: DAY 8 AT THE LONDON GAMES The U.S. women’s soccer team enters Monday’s semifinal match against Canada at Old Trafford in Manchester having posted three straight shutouts after conceding two goals in the first 15 minutes against France. Overall, it hasn’t given up a goal in the last 345 minutes and counting. The U.S. also didn’t play attacking-style teams in its last two matches, either. North Korea employed a defensive system, using five backs to presumably just keep the result respectable. New Zealand’s strategy was to play long balls, but it didn’t have the speed or talent up front to create many chances. The Kiwis didn’t have one corner kick in their 2-0 quarterfinal loss. The Canadians, though, feature Christine Sinclair up front and she scored her 140th international goal in a 2-0 win over Great Britain. With the host nation knocked out, the Americans likely won’t face a crowd of 73,000 rooting against them. “The USA is obviously favorites for the tournament and are on fire right now,” Sinclair said. “But we know them very well and we deserve to be there.” Abby Wambach has 142 international goals, including one in each game of the tournament. But Wambach also plays a key role in defending as both she and fellow striker Alex Morgan pressure the opposing team’s backline when they have the ball. Their relentless pressure unnerved New Zealand from the opening minutes. “When we’re scoring goals our defense has the utmost confidence in themselves and I have the utmost confidence in our defense,” Wambach says. “They’ve proven over the last three games that they are Continue Reading

VIDEO: U.S. Women’s Olympic soccer team libdubs Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA’ for YouTube

The U.S. women's soccer team knows how to drum up some patriotic spirit. Showing they are able to have fun and relax off the soccer field, the girls have created a comically bad video to Miley Cyrus' hit "Party in the USA" song. The 3:22 minute YouTube film is a masterpiece of amateur camera work and poor-quality lip-synching but, plenty of amusing moments as they take some time out from their rigorous London 2012 Games training regime. The teammates are captured walking down a hotel corridor miming lyrics, wiggling their hips playing table tennis and dancing in a stairwell with red, white and blue feather boas. There are moments when the team clearly forget the lyrics and break into laughter but, they end with a shout out to their fans: "Enjoy the journey. Don't tell us. Don't show us. MOVE US." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Alex Morgan blossoming into a star as USA women’s soccer team awaits Japan in gold medal game

MANCHESTER, England — In the waning moments of one of the greatest women’s soccer games ever, the sport’s foremost young star made a run toward the goal Monday night, a flurry of thoughts going on beneath her trademark pink hairband. Alex Morgan knew Heather O’Reilly, longtime national-team fixture and energy producer from East Brunswick, N.J., was going to launch a cross, and knew she had to be ready. “Get in front of your player,” Alex Morgan told herself. “Get your head or some body part on the ball.”PHOTOS: DAY 11 AT THE LONDON OLYMPICS This is why. “I knew it was our last chance,” Morgan said. The next thing Alex Morgan knew, the ball was in the net, she was on the ground and her teammates were running to engulf her, embrace her. Thirty seconds or so later, the Olympic semifinals were done and the U.S. had barely escaped Canada, 4-3, in overtime. “Some of the players have a gift of scoring goals when it is most needed,” U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. Midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who had two goals against Canada and created mayhem all game long, has had a better view of Morgan’s emergence than anyone. “We came up with the nickname of ‘Baby Horse’ for her when she first joined the team — just so much talent, obviously very raw, and kind of wild,” Rapinoe said. “Now she’s a beautiful stallion. She has 20 goals this year, and not just goals against the worst teams. Goals against the best teams. She’s always there in the biggest moments. Even early on in her career, that’s kind of her staple. “I think in the beginning, people may have seen her as a pretty face who scored goals, but she’s so much more than that. Her game has developed so much just in the last year.” A 23-year-old Californian, Morgan wrote a note to her mother when she was 5 years old that said she wanted to be a professional Continue Reading

USA women’s soccer shows guts in beating Brazil on anniversary of 1999 World Cup win

The story of the U.S. women's miracle victory ended the same way exactly 12 years ago, with a defender at the penalty spot capitalizing on a landmark moment for her sport. Only this time there was more drama in the leadup to the triumph. There was more heroism and grit required from a team mere seconds from devastation. By the time Ali Krieger clinched Sunday's penalty-kick victory over Brazil in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals - choosing to leave her shirt on and not follow in the footsteps of Brandi Chastain - it was already going down as one of the greatest games in the history of women's soccer. The description was deserved following Abby Wambach's equalizer just seconds before the final whistle, her version of American justice. "I don't know if you can write a better script," Wambach said. Down a goal and down a player for 55 minutes because of a red card on the anniversary of their 1999 World Cup victory, the Americans overcame a controversial call and shameless stall tactics from the Brazilians. They overcame themselves, in some instances, and their inability to stop Brazilian striker Marta, the greatest player of all time. But two minutes into the final stoppage time - precious seconds awarded after Brazil tried to stall out the clock with fake injuries - Wambach leaped at the far post, connected perfectly on the cross from Megan Rapinoe and buried the header into the near side of the net. It gave the U.S. its most memorable moment since Chastain celebrated in her sports bra.USA goalkeeper Hope Solo saves a penalty kick against Brazil. (Jens Meyer/AP)Wambach let out a healthy scream and soon was mobbed by her teammates, with the U.S. hopes restored. "Phenomenal," coach Pia Sundhage said. "Somebody's writing this book. It speaks to the American attitude." With the host and defending champion, Germany, bowing out Friday, the Americans are on a favorable path to their first title since 1999. Next up is a semifinal date on Wednesday with France, Continue Reading

With indomitable spirit, the USA Women’s soccer team overcame bad calls to beat Brazil

It is the refrain of every coach, from the pee-wee leagues to the majors: Never lose heart, because it's not over till it's over.And rarely has a team lived up to the exhortation with such moxie as did the U.S. women's soccer team Sunday against Brazil in a World Cup quarterfinal.This was guts; this was glory.In the second half, Brazil tied the match 1-1 as officials hobbled the Americans with a horrible penalty kick call and, for good measure, forced the U.S. to do combat one player short.No problem. The Americans fought like hell, going shorthanded for a full 55 minutes of regulation and overtime play. Then Brazil's top player scored. No problem. As the clock ticked down, veteran Abby Wambach sprinted and headed a perfect cross from Megan Rapinoe into the net in the 122nd minute, placing the ball mere millimeters from the Brazilian keeper's fingertips.The game ended in a tie, requiring a shootout. No problem. The U.S. outdid Brazil on a fabulous stop by goalie Hope Solo. The team faces France tomorrow.Some say sports are mere games, but we all have our Brazils. We all have felt our legs go out in the 122nd minute. We have all been there; we will all be there again. Next time you're up against it, remember Abby Wambach and her teammates. And fight on. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading