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Following its historic run to the championship of the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, the United States Women’s National team has embarked on a 10 game Victory Tour across the country that will serve the dual purpose of celebrating the USA’s third Women’s World Cup title with the fans, while also preparing the team for the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that will take place in early February of next year.
The Victory Tour hit its mid-point on Oct. 21 when the USA faced Brazil at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The Americans gave up a third-minute goal to Monica off a corner kick, but as she has done all year, Carli Lloyd scored a clutch goal in the 85th minute to earn a 1-1 draw. The teams then traveled to Florida on Oct. 22 for the second match of the two-game set and the sixth game of the Victory Tour on Oct. 25 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
U.S. Soccer fans are invited to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team public training session on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl at 11 a.m. ET.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. ET and fans must enter through Gates D and E. Parking is free in the Tinker Lot, Lot G and Lot H.
U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members in the Star Club and above receive field level access at the public training session. If fans wish to take part in this exclusive priority, they can join the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club Star Club or upgrade their membership at ussoccer.com/supporters. Memberships must be purchased and RSVPs made by 12 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 23.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup champions will play Brazil at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The game can be seen on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO.
After the Brazil matches, the USA has four games remaining on the Victory Tour – all in December. The USA will play Trinidad & Tobago on Dec. 6 in Honolulu and Dec. 10 in San Antonio, and then will finish the tour on Dec. 13 at the University of Phoenix Stadium against China PR before playing the 10th and final game of the Victory Tour against China on Dec. 16 in New Orleans. The U.S. team has lost just one match this year, that being its first game of 2015 against France in Lorient, a 2-0 defeat in early February that the USA flipped one month later when the teams met in the championship game of the 2015 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA is 17-1-4 this year, including a record of 7-0-2 on home soil.
2015 U.S. WNT SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
|Feb. 8||France||—||0-2 L||Stade du Moustoir; Lorient, France|
|Feb. 13||England||—||1-0 W||stadiummk; Milton Keynes, England|
|March 4||Norway@||—||2-1 W||Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal|
|March 6||Switzerland@||—||3-0 W||Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal|
|March 9||Iceland@||—||0-0 T||Lagos, Portugal|
|March 11||France@||—||2-0 W||Faro, Portugal|
|April 4||New Zealand||—||4-0 W||Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Mo.|
|May 10||Ireland||—||3-0 W||Avaya Stadium; San Jose, Calif.|
|May 17||Mexico||—||5-1 W||StubHub Center; Carson, Calif.|
|May 30||Korea Rep.||—||0-0 T||Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.|
|June 8||Australia*||—||3-1 W||Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada|
|June 12||Sweden*||—||0-0 T||Winnipeg Stadium; Winnipeg, Canada|
|June 16||Nigeria*||—||1-0 W||BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada|
|June 22||Colombia*||—||2-0 W||Commonwealth Stadium; Edmonton, Canada|
|June 26||China*||—||1-0 W||Lansdowne Stadium; Ottawa, Canada|
|June 30||Germany*||—||2-0 W||Olympic Stadium; Montreal, Canada|
|July 5||Japan*||—||5-2 W||BC Place Stadium; Vancouver, Canada|
|Aug. 16||Costa Rica >||—||8-0 W||Heinz Field: Pittsburgh, Pa.|
|Aug. 19||Costa Rica >||—||7-2 W||Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|Sept. 17||Haiti >||—||5-0 W||Ford Field; Detroit, Mich.|
|Sept. 20||Haiti >||—||8-0 W||Legion Field; Birmingham, Ala.|
|Oct. 21||Brazil >||—||1-1 T||CenturyLink Field; Seattle, Wash.|
|Oct. 25||Brazil >||2:30 p.m. ET||FS1||Citrus Bowl; Orlando; Fla.|
|Dec. 6||T&T>||3 p.m. local/8 p.m. ET||FS1||Aloha Stadium; Honolulu, Hawaii|
|Dec. 10||T&T>||8 p.m. CT||ESPN2||Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas|
|Dec. 13||China >||4:30 PT||ESPN2||Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.|
|Dec. 16||China >||7 p.m. CT||FS1||Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.|
@ Algarve Cup * Women’s World Cup> Victory Tour
BOXX SAYS GOODBYE IN SEATTLE; HOLIDAY AND CHALUPNY BID ADIEU IN ORLANDO: Three members of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team have officially announced their retirements from the National Team: midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Holiday and defender Lori Chalupny. Boxx played her 195th and final match for the USA against Brazil on Oct. 21 in Seattle and was honored before the match. She played 40 minutes before exciting to a standing ovation. She will travel to Orlando with the team, but will not play in the final four matches in December. Holiday and Chalupny will play their final match in Orlando against Brazil on Oct. 25. Boxx is 38, Holiday is 29 and Chalupny is 31. All three have played crucial roles in some major achievements in U.S. WNT history and all three will retire as Olympic and Women’s World Cup champions. Holiday really goes out on top after winning the Women’s World Cup and her second consecutive NWSL title with FC Kansas City.
EIGHT PLAYERS ADDED TO ROSTER: U.S. head coach Jill Ellis has added eight players to join the 23-player Women’s World Cup roster that will be together for the two Brazil matches. One of those eight is NWSL Golden Boot winner and league MPV Crystal Dunn, who started both games against Haiti in September and scored two goals with three assists. Dunn also got the start against Brazil, her third in a row, and played 71 minutes before giving way to Samantha Mewis, who earned her fourth cap. Dunn was among the final 25 players vying for Women’s World Cup spots before the roster was trimmed to the 23 players that represented the USA in Canada. She took advantage of the increased opportunities with her club to lead the league in scoring with 15 goals (along with three assists) while starting in 19 of the Washington Spirit’s 20 games. She doubled the number of shots of her next closest teammate, firing 84, which led the league. She also led the NWSL in shots on goal with 48. The two games in September marked Dunn’s first WNT action of the year since a 12-minute stint against England last February.
FEW CAPPERS: Four of the players called up that were not members of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Team previously have earned caps with the senior side: forward Lindsey Horan (two caps at the 2013 Algarve Cup), who is currently playing professionally in France with Paris Saint-Germain; Samantha Mewis (three caps in 2014), a NWSL Rookie of the Year finalist with the Western NY Flash who started 20 games while scoring four goals with four assists; midfielder Christine Nairn of the Washington Spirit (two caps and a goal in 2009 when she was 18) who had five goals and four assists this past NWSL season; and Crystal Dunn, who is up to 15 caps to go with her two scores.
NEWBIES: Three players were called to their first WNT camp in 22-year-old defender Jaelene Hinkle, who played every minute of all 20 matches last season with the Western NY Flash; 22-year-old defender Emily Sonnett, a senior captain at the University of Virginia; and 30-year-old defender Gina Lewandowski, currently of FC Bayern Munich, who has played in Germany since 2007 and won a UEFA Champions League title with Ali Krieger and FFC Frankfurt in 2008. Lewandowski and Krieger are the only Americans to win a UEFA Champions League title. Sonnett will not be available for the Oct. 25 match as she will return to UVA for its weekend game. Hinkle earned her first cap on Oct. 21 against Brazil, coming on at left back and playing well in the last 20 minutes.
WELCOME BACK, STEPH: Twenty-two year-old forward Stephanie McCaffrey, who started 17 of the 19 matches she played this past season with the Boston Breakers while scoring three goals with three assists, previously trained with the U.S. team during an extended training camp last January.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), 1- Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (12): 16-Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), 25-Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 6-Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash),Jaelene Hinkle (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), 11- Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Gina Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Emily Sonnett (Univ. of Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (9): 7-Shannon Boxx (unattached), 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash),Samantha Mewis (Western NY Flash), Christine Nairn (Washington Spirit), 9- Heather O’Reilly (FC Kansas City), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (7): Lindsey Horan (Paris Saint-Germain), 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash),Stephanie McCaffrey (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20- Abby Wambach (unattached)
WNT EXTENDS HOME UNBEATEN STREAK TO 101 GAMES: With the draw against Brazil on Oct. 21, the USA extended its current home unbeaten streak to 101 games (89-0-12) which is a team record. The last loss at home came to Denmark on Nov., 6, 2004, in Philadelphia during the team’s post-Olympic tour to celebrate the winning the gold medal in Athens, Greece. The 3-1 loss was one of just two games the USA has lost in which Abby Wambach scored a goal. The next-highest streak is 50 games (48-0-2) from Feb. 10, 1996, through April 22, 1999. The USA tied the record on May 14, 2011 (2-0 win against Japan at Columbus Crew Stadium) and broke the record with the 51st game on May 18, 2011 (another 2-0 win against Japan at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina). The USA’s current streak started on Dec. 8, 2004, in a 5-0 win against Mexico at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., which was also the final match for Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett and Brandi Chastain. The U.S. women are 231-16-25 all-time on home soil. Nine of those 16 losses came from 1985 (the program’s inception) through 1993, meaning the USA has lost just seven games at home over the past 22 years. The most home wins in a calendar year came in 1999 when the USA went 23-1-1 in domestic games. The U.S. WNT went 18-1-1 at home in 1996. Not coincidentally, those were two years when the USA hosted world championships. The USA has gone unbeaten at home in 19 years of its 31-year existence.
LONG HISTORY IN ORLANDO: Orlando is an important city in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team as the USA was in residency training here for the 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cups and 1996 Olympics, two of which were won by the Americans. The U.S. WNT holds a 9-0-0 all-time record in Orlando, Fla., at four different venues, with its most recent match a 4-1 victory against Brazil Nov. 10, 2013, at the Citrus Bowl. The USA is 5-0-0 at the Citrus Bowl, which includes two matches at the 1996 Olympics, and has outscored its opponents 16-2 in that venue. The USA’s first match in Orlando took place on Feb. 24, 1995, with a 7-0 win against Denmark at Showalter Field. Sunday’s match will be the U.S. WNT’s 22nd in the state of Florida, having also played in Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tampa and Miami (also during the 1996 Olympics). This will be the third match against Brazil in Orlando. The USA also played Brazil in Orlando on May 22, 1999, a match in which Mia Hamm broke what was at the time the world’s all-time scoring record with her 108th career goal in the 3-0 win.
WELCOME PRIDE: The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Oct. 20 the founding of its tenth club and second expansion team, the Orlando Pride. The Pride is owned and operated by Orlando City SC of Major League Soccer (MLS) and will begin play with the start of the 2016 NWSL season. The NWSL is preparing for its fourth season in 2016, a milestone that the two previous women’s professional leagues did not achieve. The roster for the Pride will be constructed using the following mechanisms, including Discovery Signings (domestic and international), Expansion Draft and 2016 NWSL College Draft. Orlando will also receive the first pick in each round of the 2016 NWSL College Draft as well as the top spot in the Discovery and Waiver Tie-Breakers.
CROWDS ARE FAN-TASTIC: During its run in Canada, the USWNT played in front of what felt like seven straight home crowds, averaging 37,732 fans per game, all of which it seemed were wearing red, white and blue.The knock-out round matches were the most impressive, with electric atmospheres at each game including crowds of more than 50,000 for the semifinal in Montreal and championship game in Vancouver.
The USA opened the Victory Tour on Aug. 16 against fellow Women’s World Cup participant Costa Rica at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and rolled to an 8-0 victory in front of 44,028 fans, which set a record for a stand-alone domestic friendly for the U.S. WNT. The teams played again on Aug. 19 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in front of a crowd of 20,535 that was, at the time, largest ever to watch the U.S. Women in a stand-alone friendly match in the southeastern United States. The Victory Tour continued against another CONCACAF opponent when Australia pulled out of two September matches due to a dispute with its players. Haiti agreed to be a replacement and the USA won 5-0 on Sept. 17 in front of 34,538, the largest ever to watch a soccer game in Detroit, and 8-0 on Sept. 20 in Birmingham, Alabama, in front of 35,753 that set a new record for a stand-alone WNT friendly match in the southeastern United States. The crowd of 23,603 for the mid-week 1-1 draw with Brazil at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 21 was the largest to ever watch the U.S. WNT in the state of Washington.
HUGE TV RATINGS FOR WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup was record setting for TV ratings and increased for every U.S. match. FOX scored a new high for its soccer coverage when an average audience of 5.7 million tuned in to watch the United States beat China in the quarterfinal match on June 26. The match was also the third most-watched women’s soccer match on record in the United States, after the 1999 and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals. Four days later, that record was broken as the USA vs. Germany semifinal on June 30 hit an average of 8.4 million viewers, establishing yet another soccer record as the most viewed semifinal ever in the U.S. (men or women) and third-most watched women’s soccer match of all time. The first six USA matches on FOX and FOX Sports 1 averaged 5.3 million viewers, 121% better than the 2011 tournament averaged through the semifinals (2.4 million).
The USA’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the World Cup Final averaged 25.4 million viewers, making it the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen and an increase of 88% from the 2011 WWC Final (13.5 million) and up 41% from the USA-China on ABC in 199 (18 million). The match posted a 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers and peaked at 30.9 million in the second half between 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET. The previous U.S. viewing record was 18,220,000 for the USA-Portugal game on ESPN at the 2014 World Cup. The average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals and pushed the 2015 tournament average to 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament’s 52 matches across all networks (FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2), up 21 percent over 1,511,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 for the 32 matches played in 2011. The match earned the second-largest soccer audience ever in the U.S. – trailing only last year’s Germany/Argentina World Cup Final on ABC and Univision (26.5M).
At the end of the Women’s World Cup, the USA-Japan match ranked as the fifth-most watched sporting event outside of the NFL. Only the three-game College Football Playoff and the Duke/Wisconsin NCAA Basketball Tournament title game (28.2M) scored larger numbers. The match had a larger audience than every NBA game since Spurs-Heat Game 7 in 2013 (26.6M on ABC and ESPN Deportes), every Major League Baseball game since Rangers-Cardinals Game 7 in 2011 (25.4M on FOX), and every hockey game since the Canada-United States final in the 2010 Olympics (27.6M on NBC).