Allie Long

Ali Krieger, USWNT

USWNT: Ellis becomes winningest coach, Krieger celebrates 100 caps

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Megan Rapinoe had two assists in her first national team game since the World Cup and the United States beat South Korea 2-0 on Thursday night for its 17th straight victory.

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Coach Jill Ellis earned her 106th victory as coach of the United States, passing Tony DiCicco for most wins with the team. Allie Long and Mallory Pugh each scored in the team’s fifth straight shutout.

Rapinoe, who has been out with an Achilles injury since the United States won the World Cup in France, served up a free kick that Long, her Reign teammate, slotted for the goal in first-half stoppage time. It was Long’s eighth career goal.

Pugh added a goal on a header in the 76th minute. It was her 18th career goal, with Rapinoe collecting the assist before she was subbed out a minute later.

Seven U.S. players were not available for the game because of injury, including Sam Mewis, Kelley O’Hara, Morgan Brian, Ali Krieger, Alex Morgan, Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan.

Before the game the team honored Krieger for 100 appearances with the team. She reached the milestone on May 16 against New Zealand but the ceremony was delayed by the World Cup.

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The moment was especially touching because Krieger’s father, Ken Krieger, was able to attend. Ken Krieger was recently in a serious car accident and spent over a week in intensive care. Also celebrating in a pre-game ceremony was U.S. goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger’s fiance. Harris also started the game in goal.

South Korea played at the World Cup this summer but lost each of its three group stage games.

The game was the second-to-last of the U.S. team’s post-World Cup victory tour. The United States will host South Korea again on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The match in Chicago will be coach Ellis’ last with the team. The two-time world coach of the year is s stepping down after leading the team to back-to-back World Cup titles.

The United States is 18-1-2 this season. The lone loss came to France in the first game of the year.

Allie Long has wedding ring, cash, key to NYC stolen from LA hotel room

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After the USWNT World Cup victory celebrations in New York City and Los Angeles, midfielder Allie Long had valuables – including her newly gifted Key to the City – stolen from her hotel room at the Ritz Carlton in LA.

Long posted on Twitter to confirm the valuables went missing and jokingly (maybe?) appeal to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for another key.

According to a report by TMZ, after a jam-packed day that featured a ticker-tape parade through New York City and an appearance at the ESPY’s across the country, Long departed her hotel room for a stroll “down the hall for an hour to visit with someone else.” In doing so, police believe she propped open the door using the deadbolt chain latch, so the burglar did not need to force its way in. When she returned, the valuables had been snatched from her room.

TMZ identified the wedding ring as valued around $15,000, while there was reportedly $4,000 in cash taken as well. The report states police have not ruled out hotel employees as suspects.

Long has been a part of the USWNT since 2014 and made one appearance during the World Cup in France, coming on as a substitute against Chile in the group stage. She has six international goals in her career and plays her club ball with the Reign FC in Tacoma.

Ellis announces USWNT roster for 2019 World Cup

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Jill Ellis has selected the 23 women who will bid to defend the United States women’s national team’s champion status at this summer’s World Cup in France.

The USWNT begins its tournament on June 11, and is in a group with Chile, Thailand, and Sweden.

Eleven players will make their World Cup debut, with several recent call-ups not on the roster barring injury. McCall Zerboni, Andi Sullivan, and Casey short were all left off the squad.

That means room for Allie Long, Morgan Brian, and Ali Krieger.

Here’s the full lineup

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch* (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris** (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher** (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper* (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson* (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn* (NC Courage), Ali Krieger*** (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara*** (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn*** (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett* (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian** (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz** (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan* (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle* (Washington Spirit), Allie Long* (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis* (NC Courage)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath*** (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd**** (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald* (NC Courage), Alex Morgan*** (Orlando Pride), Christen Press** (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh* (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe*** (Reign FC)

* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup

USWNT carves up Russia in 4-0 bounce-back win

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The United States women bounced back from the disappointing SheBelieves Cup by obliterating 25th-ranked Russia 4-0 in Frisco, TX on Thursday.

Jill Ellis deployed a striker-less lineup, and it worked to perfection as the USWNT launched devastating attack after devastating attack that proved far too much for Russia to handle. Allie Long and Crystal Dunn both picked up a brace in the win.

It took just 10 minutes for the United States to open the scoring, with Dunn striking one from a tight angle that went off Russian goalkeeper Alena Beliaeva’s hand and into the back of the net. Long doubled the lead 18 minutes later with a glancing header from point-blank range that left Beliaeva with no chance.

21-year-old Rose Lavelle was a force to be reckoned with on the right wing, leaving flummoxed defenders in her wake and firing pinpoint crosses into the six-yard box. She nutmegged defenders twice, once on the end-line and once with a ridiculous back-heel pass on Long’s first-half miss. Lavelle did get her first career international assist, feeding Long on her first goal.

The first-half scoreline was not indicative of how dominant the US was through the first 45 minutes, with Long and Mallory Pugh both missing easy chances that would have increased the lead further. They finally tacked on a third before halftime Dunn picked the pocket of Russian defender Daria Makarenko and poked home in the 42nd minute. Carli Lloyd also hit the post seconds before the break.

Through the opening half, the US ripped off 14 shots and held 70% possession, and it felt like far more than that. After halftime, the US continued to pummel Russia with Alex Morgan on for Carli Lloyd, but the finishing disappeared. Long had another glaring miss in the opening minutes of the second half, and then she missed a chance from the penalty spot. Morgan and Pugh combined to earn the spot-kick, but Long blasted it well over the bar. Becky Sauerbrunn also narrowly missed a stunner from acres outside the box, with her low drive missing agonizingly left of the net.

The US finally converted after the break as Long did what she does best, finding herself unmarked in the area and heading home powerfully off a brilliant deep cross from Pugh. Christen Press missed a chance for a fifth moments later, poking wide right on a breakaway.

All told, the US peppered the Russian net with 33 shots, but only got seven on target in what seemed to be an off-night in front of goal even with the lop-sided scoreline. They also earned a massive 16 corners, a huge total compared to Russia’s two. The win sees the USWNT bounce back from the SheBelieves Cup where they lost a pair of games and saw their #1 World FIFA ranking slip away.

Portland Thorns FC win NWSL title: Moments to remember from league’s first championship game

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At the onset of the NWSL season, the Portland Thorns were widely picked to take home the new women’s league’s first title. Somewhere along the way, that favorite’s status waned, with the team finishing the season in third place despite talents like Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, and Tobin Heath.

But on Saturday in Rochester, that talent — along with inspired play from the team’s defense — won out. Heath’s first half bomb from 30-plus yards gave Portland a lead at regular season champion Western New York. In second half stoppage time, their team playing with 10, Portland saw Sinclair ice the club’s improbable title run, a 2-0 win rendering a season of promise and frustration a distant memory.

Portland stayed near the league lead most of the season, but by mid-August, their hopes of winning the regular season title had faded. Ultimately, they’d have to claim their crown on the road, with matches at FC Kansas City and Western New York — thought to be the league’s two best teams — seemingly setting the team up for a disappointing finish.

But forgetting regular season disappointment to find the type of unity that’s eluded them all season, Portland proved the best team over the two weeks that mattered. They overcame injuries (to Heath and Morgan), two excellent teams, and ultimately, doubt. As a result, the team most picked to claim the first NWSL title fulfilled their destiny, shutting out the regular season champions to do so.

Here are the moments to remember from today’s 2-0 result at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, NY:

source: Getty Images1. Goalkeepers come up big, early

Karina LeBlanc (right) and Adrianna Franch were tested high all day, the first major chance coming in the 12th minute. When Abby Wambach went left and lobbed a ball far post, right wing Samantha Kerr had her way with Nikki Marshall, out-jumping the Portland left back to head what could have been a goal. But LeBlanc reacted quickly, pushed the shot onto the bar, and managed to grab a rebound that nearly went in off her back in. The Portland keeper kept it 0-0.

Ten minutes later, it was Franch’s turn. Portland right back Marian Dougherty was given all the room she wanted to fire a cross in from the right. Sinclair, streaking across the face of Western New York’s central defense, redirected a ball toward the top of Franch’s goal. But the rookie for Oklahoma State, called on to make a pure reflex save, pushed it over, matching LeBlanc save-for-save early on.

2. Abby Wambach gets Kathryn Williamson sent off

Pity the rookie her opponent — the first year defender from Florida matching-up up against a former Gator who just happens to be the world’s best player — but Kathryn Williamson knew what she was getting into. In two games against Abby Wambach in the regular season, the Thorns central defender had held her own. On Saturday, Wambach targeted her in the second half, eventually drawing two yellow cards.

The first came in the 49th minute, when Williamson was lucky to avoid a straight red after a ball over the top looked set to send Wambach in on goal. Four minutes later, Williamson deservds a second yellow for a nasty challenge on hte Flash number nine, but the official had pity. In the 56th minute, however, that pity ran out, with Portland defender taking down Wambach at the edge of the area, drawing a second yellow card.

Portland would play the final 34 minutes with 10, eventually bringing on former U.S. international Tina Ellertson to partner Rachel Buehler in central defense. Remarkably, the teams was still able to keep the league’s best attack off the board, maintaining their clean sheer despite Wambach getting Williamson sent off.

source: Getty Images3. Carli Lloyd shoots. Again. And again.

Counting her double in the semifinals, Carli Lloyd scored 10 goals this season, one of four players to reach double-digits this year. In Saturday’s first half, she had numerous opportunities to add her 11th, including a 25th minute chance set up by Adriana Martin that saw her push her shot wide right despite being one-on-one with LeBlanc.

As the game went on, Lloyd seemed to single-mindedly look for that 11th goal. A try from the edge of the area set up by Wambach. Dead balls from distance around the Portland area. Predatory runs into the box. Lloyd was an attacking midfielder with a sniper’s mentality, racking up eight shots by the final whistle.

Every time she let loose, there was a chance she would equalize. It was worth a gasp. She has that kind of talent. And as her Olympics performances have shown, Lloyd also has that kind of timing.

Tonight, however, it never happened. Ultimately, Lloyd’s most important goal of the season was the one that never came.

source: Getty Images4. Tobin Heath wins the title for the Thorns

Watch her in warm ups and you’ll see the power in Heath’s shot. Released quickly with a slightly more topspin than a normal player’s, Heath can be a special kind of trouble when given too much room within 24 yards.

In the 40th minute, she was far beyond 24 yards. After a Western New York foul just inside Portland’s attacking third, Heath was closer to 32 yards from Franch’s goal, but with one of the most spectacular strikes of her career, Heath paved Portland’s title path.

Opting for power over precision, Heath straight-on approach launched the ball above the Flash wall with that typical top spin, her heavy strike dipping below Franch’s cross bar as the rookie goalkeeper leapt under the ball. Having set herself up to defend the left side of goal, Franch had no chance, eventually clattering against the opposite post as Heath’s shot bend the net and recoiled out. The most important goal of the season was also the best.

Heath was scoreless in seven regular season games after joining the Thorns from mid-season Paris Saint-Germain. In two playoff games, she scored twice, each time overcoming an injured right foot to help push Portland to their title.

5. Christine Sinclair seals it

As full time approached, there was something about Portland that made you believe they were going to close this out. Despite being down a player; despite the presence of Wambach and Lloyd; despite being on the road; and despite the occasional lapses of their defense this season, it was hard to imagine the Flash finding and equalizer. In the last game of a tumultuous season, Portland had finally looked the part. They finally looked like a team that would pull away from the pack.

One minute into stoppage time they sealed it. Sinclair — a Portland resident and a University of Portland alum — was put in alone on goal after a long throw in deep in Western New York’s half. The huge gap between right back Katherine Reynolds and the next defender was a complete breakdown by a team pressing for the equalizer, one that left Franch with no chance to stop Sinclair as the former Flash forward pulled up from 15 yards.

With the shot headed far post, Western New York’s only hope was for “Sinc’s” shot to catch the post. No chance. The insurance goal nestled against the left side netting as the 30-year-old Canadian ran for the sideboards, celebrating in front of fans silenced by her title-clinching goal.

It was her ninth of the season, and certainly her most memorable. Seeing her team come together after an inconsistent, often frustrating season, Sinclair had captained her hometown club to the NWSL’s first title, the Thorns’ 2-0 win Saturday in Rochester allowing the preseason favorites to finish an improbable if expected championship run.