Press notches goal in fourth consecutive match; Naeher earns shutout
CARSON, CALIF. – The U.S. Women’s National Team completed the 2016 season with a 5-0 win over Romania at StubHub Center.
It was none other than Christen Press who continued to show her ability to find the back of the net and in the 55th minute she attacked after switching to the 10 role to begin the second half. With a through ball to Tobin Heath, Press continued her run into the box and received the cross back, finishing the one-touch 14 yards out to put it past Romania’s diving goalkeeper. The goal followed the Red Stars captain’s assist to Crystal Dunn in first half stoppage time. WATCH
Press finished the 2016 season with astounding numbers, including becoming only the fifth player in U.S. Women’s National Team history to finish with double digit goals in three consecutive seasons. Her goal on Sunday marked her 41st career goal in her 80th cap.
On the other end of the field, Alyssa Naeher earned her fourth shutout, improving to 5-0-0 to close out 2016.
Casey Short started for the fourth consecutive match. After receiving her first call-up to the full team in October, she made the most of her opportunity and impressed head coach Jill Ellis. Short combined for some of the most minutes on the team over the past two months.
Julie Johnston replaced Short as an outside back in the new three-back that the USA has been testing in their friendlies. Johnston, left off the October roster, once again looked like a veteran on the backline at just 24, finishing the year with three goals and one assist in 19 games.
Overall, the Chicago Red Stars saw seven players called into a U.S. WNT camp throughout the 2016 season. Johnston, Press and Naeher have solidified a spot on the roster, as all three were part of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship. Short earned her first call up in October with Danielle Colaprico and Arin Gilliland, but neither earned the ever coveted first cap against Switzerland. Lastly, midseason trade to Chicago, Stephanie McCaffrey, was on the Olympic Qualifying roster, but missed the cut to head to Rio.
The U.S. WNT ends the 2016 season with a 22-0-3 record, marking the third time they have gone unbeaten in regulation in a calendar year in which it has played 10 or more matches.
Every player on the roster for the USA matches, besides collegiate standout Andi Sullivan, play in the National Women’s Soccer League and will visit the Chicago Red Stars at Toyota Park in the 2017 season. Season tickets are currently available here.