Pregame Notes: U.S. Women vs Australia, September 19, 2012
The U.S. Women's National Team takes on Australia in the third match of the Fan Tribute Tour presented by Panasonic. The USA gold medal-winning team from the 2012 London Olympics hosts Australia at 8p.m. MT on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, with a live broadcast on ESPN2 and available through WatchESPN. Fans can follow both matches via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. A limited number of tickets are still available (Buy Here).
On Sept. 16, the U.S. WNT earned its 13th consecutive victory dating back to early April of this year in a 2-1 win against Australia in front of 19,851 fans at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. It was the first of two matches between the two countries and the first meeting between the USA and the Matildas since 2008.
Wedneday's contest marks the final match in charge of the U.S. Women's National Team for head coach Pia Sundhage. On Sept. 1, Sundhage announced her decision to step down from the position and has since accepted the head coaching post with the Sweden Women's National Team and will return to her home country. Sweden is preparing to host the Women's European Championships next summer.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Hope Solo, 21-Jill Loyden
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 5-Kelley O'Hara, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 19-Rachel Buehler
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O'Reilly, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 17-Tobin Heath
FORWARDS (5): 8-Amy Rodriguez, 11-Sydney Leroux, 12-Lauren Cheney, 13-Alex Morgan, 20-Abby Wambach
U.S. ROSTER NOTES:
- Five players on the U.S. roster scored in the 2012 London Olympics and eight players on the USA roster for the Fan Tribute Tour have scored in an Olympics: Abby Wambach (4 goals in 2004; 5 goals in 2012), Carli Lloyd (2 goals in 2008; 4 goals in 2012), Heather O'Reilly (1 goal in 2004; 2 goals in 2008), Shannon Boxx (1 goal in 2004), Amy Rodriguez (1 goal in 2008), Alex Morgan (3 goals in 2012), Megan Rapinoe (3 goals in 2012) and Sydney Leroux (1 goal in 2012).
- Rapinoe and Morgan led the team with four assists apiece in the Olympics.
- Morgan, Rapinoe and Wambach each had 10 points in this year's Olympics.
- Only three U.S. WNT players were on the field for all 570 minutes in the 2012 Olympics: goalkeeper Hope Solo, defender and team captain Christie Rampone and defender Kelley O'Hara.
- Boxx's game-winning goal against Australia on Sept. 16 was just her second career goal scored when coming into a match as a substitute. The only other time Boxx scored after coming off the bench was on July 21, 2004 - a 3-1 win against Australia in Blaine, Minn.
- In her next appearance, Boxx will earn her 173rd cap and a tie for 10th place overall on the all-time list with former goalkeeper Briana Scurry.
- Morgan marked her 50th career international cap on Sept. 16 against Australia with her 32nd career international goal. Among the USA's 2012 London Olympics roster, 15 players have already surpassed 50 appearances, and before Morgan, Tobin Heath earned her 50th cap during the thrilling come-from-behind victory against Canada in the Olympic Semifinals on Aug. 6.
- Morgan's game-winning goal against Canada on Aug. 6 is the latest goal ever in a FIFA competition. Her strike hit the back of the net at 122 minutes, 23 seconds. Wambach's memorable game-tying header against Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup crossed the goal line at 121 minutes, 19 seconds.
- Morgan leads the U.S. with 22 goals in 23 games played, and she has seven multi-goal games this year.
- The USA has scored 94 goals in 24 matches this year (which includes two own goals). That 94-goal total currently is the fifth-highest for a calendar year and the most since the USA scored 102 goals in 2004. This year's scoring rate (3.83 goals per game) is currently the third-best, with the record being 4.38 goals per game in 1994 (57 goals in 13 games). Also ahead of the current scoring rate: a mark of 4.35 goals per game in 1991 (122 goals in 28 games).
USA vs. AUSTRALIA SERIES
- The USA is unbeaten against Australia with a 20-0-2 record and a 73-18 scoring advantage.
- In the first 15 meetings, the U.S. won every match while outscoring Australia 58-9.
- The series started with the USA's 6-0 victory on Dec. 16, 1987, in Taipei, Taiwan.
- The U.S. and Australia faced each other for the first time in more than four years on Sept. 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Prior to that match, the USA last defeated Australia 2-1 in the opening match of the Peace Queen Cup on June 15, 2008, with Natasha Kai scoring the opening goal and Abby Wambach tallying the game-winner in the 77th minute.
- In the 2004 Olympics in Greece, the USA played Australia to a 1-1 draw, with the one point giving the U.S. first place in Group G before moving onto the Olympic quarterfinals. Kristine Lilly had the game's first goal in the 19th minute. Though Wambach was suspended for this match because of yellow card accumulation, she would score the winning goals in the quarterfinals (a 2-1 win against Japan) and the gold medal game (2-1 overtime victory against Brazil).
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
- Hope Solo saw her U.S. WNT goalkeeping consecutive minutes played streak end at 1,163 in the USA's 8-0 victory against Costa Rica on Sept. 1. Solo surpassed the previous record set by Briana Scurry (990) during the 2012 London Olympics. Backup goalkeeper Jill Loyden replaced Solo in the 54th minute of the match against Costa Rica.
- Sydney Leroux tied a U.S. WNT record for goals scored off the bench in a year with her ninth of 2012 against Costa Rica. That mark equals Debbie Keller's nine goals off the bench in 1998. U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez is also nearing the record as she has eight goals in a substitute role for 2012.
- U.S. defender and team captain Christie Rampone ranks fourth all-time with 268 caps and is just four behind Julie Foudy (272) and seven behind Mia Hamm (275). Kristine Lilly holds the record with 352 caps.
- Midfielders Shannon Boxx and Heather O'Reilly, both with 172 caps, are just three appearances away from tying Shannon MacMillan for tenth all-time with 176 caps.
- Rampone has 22 career Olympic appearances and moved six ahead of previous USA record holders Joy Fawcett, Foudy, Lilly and Kate Markgraf.
- Abby Wambach scored five goals in five straight games during the London Olympics, which is a U.S. and Olympic record. She has nine career Olympic goals and is atop the USA leaderboard in that category, surpassing the previous record of five held by Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett.
- Morgan's team-leading 57 points this year (22 goals, 13 assists) are the most for a WNT player in a calendar year since 2004, when Wambach had 75 points (31 goals, 13 assists).
- The U.S. WNT recorded its 13th consecutive win on Sept. 16 and is five victories away from tying the all-time overall record of 18 straight wins set from July 25, 1990 - May 25, 1991.
BY THE NUMBERS:
1 USA's FIFA ranking
5 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)
9 Career Olympic goals by Wambach, a U.S. WNT record
9 Australia's FIFA ranking, which ties for its highest ever (also ninth in September 2010)
10 Games this year in which Morgan and Wambach both contributed at least one goal (10-0-0 record)
13 Straight wins for the U.S. (USA drew Japan 1-1 on April 1, 2012, before 13 consecutive victories)
17 Combined goals off the bench this year by Leroux (9) and Rodriguez (8)
22 Career Olympic appearances by U.S. captain Christie Rampone
90 Wins under U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage, who is completing her U.S. WNT tenure on Sept. 19
94 U.S. victories when Abby Wambach scores a goal (94-2-5 overall)
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, 2011