Amandine Henry

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

USWNT holds on to knock off hosts France (video)

Leave a comment

Megan Rapinoe scored twice as the United States reached its eighth-straight Women’s World Cup semifinal with a 2-1 defeat of hosts France in Paris on Friday.

Wendie Renard scored with an 81st minute header for France, her fourth in five matches.

The reigning champions are two wins away from defending their title, and will have to get past England on July 2 in Lyon.

[ MORE: Player ratings | 3 things ]

Sarah Bouhaddi was called into early duty when Megan Rapinoe tracked down a wayward touch and laid off to Julie Ertz for a hard drive.

It was Rapinoe’s free kick that put the U.S. in front, the left winger set up by an Alex Morgan-drawn foul. Her effort bounded through a sea of players but was untouched on its route to goal.

France was in possession for most of the rest of the half, and their passing only met its mark outside the final third. Targeting the Yanks’ left side, Crystal Dunn was busy.

Aside from the lively Rapinoe, Julie Ertz and Becky Sauerbrunn impressed along with the edgy right back performance of Kelley O’Hara.

The Yanks came out of the gates hard, with Bouhaddi making a pair of saves on Sam Mewis and Tobin Heath in the 46th minute.

France had its best chance of the match a dozen minutes later with Alyssa Naeher unable to reach a back post cross but the hosts missing two decent chances to connect for an equalizer.

Naeher leapt to snare a looping header in the 64th minute, just after Jill Ellis brought on Horan to try and break up the French possession.

Rapinoe finished emphatically moments later, Heath’s cross into the box missing Mewis but finding the goal scorer for her brace.

Heath scored to make it 3-0, but the marker never reached the scoreboard thanks to Crystal Dunn being ruled offside. If she was, it was millimeters:

An O’Hara giveaway allowed Amandine Henry to test Naeher in the 78th, but the keeper got low to collect a shot from distance. And Naeher tipped a dangerous Eugenie Le Sommer side volley over the bar within a minute.

Renard got away from Horan to pound a header home in the 82nd to set up a grandstand finish.

O’Hara could’ve conceded a penalty if the handball rules were consistently enforced this tournament, but the call would’ve been harsh.

France wraps up its SheBelieves Cup with 3-0 win over Germany

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Leave a comment

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Amandine Henry, Eugenie Le Sommer and Valerie Gauvin scored and France wrapped up the SheBelieves Cup with a 3-0 victory over Germany on Wednesday.

The victory was the first for France in the tournament after falling 4-1 to England and drawing 1-1 with the U.S women. But it was costly, with defender Aissatou Tounkara stretchered off at the end of the first half with what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

[ MORE: Spurs 1-2 Juve | 3 things from Wembley ]

Henry scored in the 10th minute. Le Sommer scored her 66th international goal in the 55th minute to give France a 2-0 lead before Gauvin’s goal in the 68th.

France, ranked No. 6 in the world, started veteran Sarah Bouhaddi for her 129th appearance in goal for the national team.

The French are playing under coach Corinne Diacre, a former national team defender, as they prepare for the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

Germany fell 1-0 to the United States in the opening match of the She Believes Cup on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, then played to a 2-2 draw with England in the second match at Red Bull Arena.

Ranked No. 2 in the world, Germany won gold at the 2016 Olympics. Afterward, longtime coach Silvia Neid stepped down and was replaced by former national team defender Steffi Jones.

Women’s Ballon d’Or nominees: Three USWNT players, West Virginia junior

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Leave a comment

We now know the players and coaches nominated for the highest individual honors in women’s soccer, and there are plenty of connections to the 2015 World Cup champions.

Hope Solo, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd are nominees for World Player of the Year, while USWNT coach Jill Ellis is up for World Coach of the Year.

Seattle Reign boss Laura Harvey is also up for the latter honor, and will combat the coaches for Canada and England amongst others.

[ MORE: Giggs, Neville allow homeless to stay winter in hotel ]

Another candidate for POY is plying her trade in the American college game, as West Virginia junior Kadeisha Buchanan is up for the honor.

Surprisingly, World Cup semifinalist England did not have a player on the final list.

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominees
U.S. — Lloyd, Rapinoe, Solo
France — Amandine Henry, Eugenie Le Sommer
Germany — Nadine Angerer, Celia Sasic
Japan — Aya Miyama
Canada — Kadeisha Buchanan
Switzerland — Ramona Bachmann

FIFA Women’s World Coach of the Year nominees
Calle Barring – Sweden U-19
Colin Ball – FFC Frankfurt
Farid Benstiti – Paris Saint-Germain
Jill Ellis – USWNT
Laura Harvey – Seattle Reign
John Herdman – Canada
Gerard Precheur – Lyon
Mark Sampson – England
Norio Sasaki – Japan
Thomas Worle – Bayern Munich.

Carli Lloyd wins Golden Ball; Hope Solo takes home Golden Glove in WWC award ceremony

2 Comments

Signifying the end of the 2015 Women’s World Cup, awards were doled out paying tribute to notable individual efforts.

Following an exceptional hat-trick performance in a 5-2 win over Japan to bring home the 2015 Women’s World Cup, Carli Lloyd won the Silver Boot and Golden Ball.

Lloyd plays for the Houston Dash in the United States’ NWSL and has over 200 appearances for the Stars and Stripes.

She was joined on the shortlist for the Golden Ball by teammates Julie Johnston and Megan Rapinoe, while Celia Sasic beat out Lloyd for the Golden Boot due to the amount of minutes played.

[RELATED: Could England women’s manager be headed to the Premier League?]

The Germany international’s teammate, Anja Mittag, procured the Bronze Boot.

The Golden Glove award was given to USA goalkeeper Hope Solo, displaying her prowess as the best netminder in the world when tested. She faced competition from Germany’s Nadine Angerer and Japan’s Ayumi Kaihori.

19-year-old Canadian defender Kadeisha Buchanan, who attends West Virginia University, won the Young Player Award by anchoring Canada’s back line that gave up only three goals in five games.

The Silver Ball went to Amandine Henry of France and the Bronze Ball to Japan midfielder Aya Miyama.

Japan was given their second-place medals before FIFA executive Issa Hayatou, stepping in for president Sepp Blatter, awarded the United States with the main trophy.