This week, we present an exclusive interview with Jess Fleming, a Canadian international in her second year at UCLA, discuss the two matches between the U.S. and the Korea Republic as well as the France-England friendly, review some UEFA World Cup qualifiers this past week including Iceland's stunning away defeat of Germany, present the Republic of Ireland's roster for their second World Cup match this coming week and discuss the Round of 16 draw for this month's UEFA Women's Champions League.
Canada's Midfielder Jess Fleming would like to play in Europe.
Jess Fleming of London, Ontario (a few hours west of Toronto) is one of the most celebrated young collegiate players in North America. Now a sophomore at UCLA, she won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics and also played for Canada at the 2015 World Cup and Pan Am Games which Canada hosted and the 2014 U-20 (Canada) and U-17 (Costa Rica) World Cups. Her college team is 12-2-1 (W-D-L) so far this season. They lost their first match in their 15th game against Washington State University away on October 19 (1-0). Fleming has 3 goals and 7 assists for 13 points and trails two teammates for the scoring lead: junior Haillie Mace who has 12 goals and 3 assists for 27 points and sophomore Anika Rodriguez who has 4 goals and 6 assists for 14 points. Both Mace and Rodriguez have U.S. national youth team experience.
TribalFootball.com talked to Fleming after a recent win over Arizona State (2-0) on October 5. UCLA is a perennial power on the college scene and were NCAA champions in 2013. Fleming said that one of their team goals is to: "chase the Pac 12 title and then we want to win the NCAA Championship." Last season crosstown rival University of Sothern California won the title.
Fleming said that she had to balance missing a couple of games for U.S.-Canada friendlies in November (in Vancouver B.C. on the 9th and in San Jose on the 12th). She said that "the timing can be a bit unfortunate but I can't pass up opportunities to play for Canada so that is my priority." Even though she has two more college seasons ahead of her in 2018 and 2019 and "am happy here and like school," she has thought about a professional career and Europe is a target. She explained: "When the time comes I definitely want to go to Europe for a little bit and explore, maybe Spain, England or Sweden. There are more opportunities for girls playing soccer so that is exciting so I definitely want to go to Europe." She did say that if a Canadian franchise joined NWSL (most likely Vancouver but there has been no concrete news on that front for some years) she said that Coach John Herdman and their staff: "would be happier if we stay home and play in the same league if that came to fruition; it is easier to bring us home and have us in camps together." She did say that the Canadian coaches and officials: "encourage us to play in the most competitive environment available we can and replicate what we do in the national team for good physio, good training." She felt that rather than prioritizing certain leagues, it becomes an issue of certain teams abroad that provide those amenities."
U.S. international midfielder Mallory Pugh was originally due to play for UCLA this fall, also as a sophomore, but decided to turn professional and had a strong season with the Washington Spirit, with 6 goals and 1 assist in 16 matches. When asked if Pugh's decision to leave college early is something that her teammates discuss, she said: "Mal set the example for people to do it [turn professionally before completing four college seasons] and there are more competitive teams and more opportunities. For someone as talented for Mal, it makes sense for her to do what she is doing and it is really cool and I back her 100%. It's been fun to watch her this year and she is doing very well.
Canada has always promoted young talent early into their full national side and Jess Fleming is definitely one to watch in the years to come and has the potential to be a standard bearer for her national side. She no doubt will be a top tier draft prospect for NWSL ahead of the 2020 season but it will be interesting to see if she follows fellow Canadians Kadeisha Buchanan (Olympique Lyon) and Ashley Lawrence (Paris St. Germain), who completely bypassed the NWSL College Draft after the 2016 season and played for UEFA Women's Champion League finalists last summer.
Korea Republic drops two games to the U.S.
The Korean Republic is currently rated 15th in the world and advanced to the round of 16 in the 2015 World Cup in Canada, where they fell to France 3-0, only their second WWC appearance after 2003. Korea Republic entered the U.S. matches with only 2 ties and 7 defeats in nine previous internationals.
The U.S. won the first match 3-1 in front of 9,371 on October 19th at New Orleans Mercedes BenzSuperdome on artificial turf ,with first half goals by Julie Ertz (from Megan Rapinoe) and Alex Morgan along with a second half penalty from Rapinoe. Korea Republic's one goal came just before the end of the first half by Han Chaerin. The Americans outshot Korea Republic 21-5 and by an 11-1 margin for shots on goal.
In the second game on October 22 in Cary, North Carolina, the U.S. defeated the Korea Republic 6-0 with two goals by Sam Mewis within the first 20 minutes, and then singles by Christen Press, Julie Ertz, Lynn Williams and Ally Long. The game attracted 9,727 fans, almost a shutout at the home stadium of the North Carolina Courage, who finished second in the NWSL Championship Game to the Portland Thorns last week. Midfielder McCall Zerboni of the Courage made her first ever national team appearance. Zerboni (30) who played all three seasons in WPS as well as all five in NWSL, had spent time with the U.S. U-17 team in 2003 but since then had been overlooked for national team squads. The Americans outshot Korea Republic 18-9 and by a 10-3 margin for shots on goal.
U.S. Women's National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 19, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, La.
USA 2 1 3
KOR 1 0 1
USA - Julie Ertz (Megan Rapinoe) 24th minute
USA - Alex Morgan (Kelley O'Hara) 40
KOR - HAN Chaerin 45 +5
USA - Megan Rapinoe (penalty kick) 52
USA: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O'Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 14-Casey Short (11-Sofia Huerta, 63); 8-Julie Ertz, 6-Andi Sullivan (9-Lindsey Horan, 46), 3-Samantha Mewis (10-Carli Lloyd, 77); 2-Mallory Pugh (12-Lynn Williams, 45 +1), 13-Alex Morgan (23-Christen Press, 63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Crystal Dunn, 63)
Subs not used: 24-Ashlyn Harris
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR: 1- KANG Gaae; 3-SHIN Damyeong (13-JI Sunmi, 45 +3), 17-JANG Seulgi; 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 83), 7-LEE Mina (15-LEE Sodam, 46), 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 16-CHOE Yuri (9-JEON Gaeul, 46), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (23-JANG Chang, 52), 22-HAN Chaerin; 10-JI Soyun, 12-YOO Younga (18-SON Hwayeon, 63)
Subs not used: 21-KIM Minjung; 20-KIM Hyeri, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 14-MOON Mira, 14-MOON Mira; 11-LEE Geummin
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo
Match: U.S. Women's National Team vs. Korea Republic
Date: October 22, 2017
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 4 2 6
KOR 0 0 0
USA - Samantha Mewis (Abby Dahlkemper) 3rd minute
USA - Samantha Mewis 20
USA - Christen Press (Alex Morgan) 35
USA - Julie Ertz (Lindsey Horan) 45 +1
USA - Lynn Williams (Megan Rapinoe) 61
USA - Allie Long (Lindsey Horan) 83
USA: 24-Ashlyn Harris (18-Jane Campbell, 46); 11-Sofia Huerta, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (25-McCall Zerboni, 46), 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 14-Casey Short (10-Carli Lloyd, 64); 8-Julie Ertz, 9-Lindsey Horan, 3-Samantha Mewis (20-Allie Long, 46); 12-Lynn Williams, 13-Alex Morgan (19-Crystal Dunn, 46), 23-Christen Press (15-Megan Rapinoe, 46)
Subs not used: 5-Kelley O'Hara
Head coach: Jill Ellis
KOR: 1- KANG Gaae (21-KIM Minjung, 68); 8-CHO Sohyun (capt.), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (12-YOO Younga, 63), 6-PARK Chorong (2-LEE Eunmi, 46), 17-JANG Seulgi; 13-JI Sunmi, 22-HAN Chaerin (18-SON Hwayeon, 52), 9-JEON Gaeul (14-MOON Mira, 56), 7-LEE Mina, 23-JANG Chang (15-LEE Sodam, 46); 11-LEE Geummin
Subs not used: 20-KIM Hyeri, 3-SHIN Damyeong, 4-SEO Hyunsook; 10-JI Soyun, 16-CHOE Yuri
Head coach: YOON Dukyeo
South Korea earlier this year won its World Cup pre-qualifying group (which doubled as Asian Cup Qualifiers) in North Korea, drawing the hosts 1-1 and finishing with a superior goal difference from their other four matches. South Korea and North Korea tied 1-1 and both defeated Uzbekistan by 4-0 scores. The decider came down to goals scored against minnows India and Hong Kong. South Korea beat Hong Kong 6-0 while North Korea beat them 5-0 and South Korea beat India 10-0 while North Korea beat them 8-0, which accounted for the three-goal difference which eventually sent South Korea to the final round of the 2018 Asian Cup and 2019 World Cup Qualifiers. North Korea, which won both the U-17 and U-20 FIFA Women's World Cups in 2016, will not be participating in the next World Cup. South Korea advanced to the final eight-team 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup tournament that will be held in Jordan next year, along with host Jordan, Japan, Australia, China PR, Korea Republic, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The top five finishers will advance to France WWC 2019.
Korea Republic has had a good year so far. In addition to qualifying for the 2018 Asian Cup, they were runners up in the 2017 Cyprus Cup, losing 1-0 in the final to Switzerland. In group play in Cyprus, they drew 0-0 against Austria, beat Scotland and New Zealand both on 2-0 score lines.
Korea Republic won the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup played in Trinidad & Tobago, defeating Japan in the penalty kick shootout in the championship game after tying 3-3 in regulation and overtime. Korea Republic finished third the same year in the U-20 Women's World Cup, losing to eventual champion Germany 5-1 in the semifinal before beating Colombia 1-0 in the 3rd Place match. Ji Soyun won the Silver Ball and the Silver Shoe while scoring eight goals in that tournament.
The head coach is Yoon Deok-yeo, who has been in charge since 2012 which has resulted in a strong run of results. He is a former player for the Korea Men's National Team and represented his country at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, earning 31 caps from 1989-1991. His contract runs through the 2019 Women's World Cup.
Almost all of the South Koreans on the roster for the U.S. games play their club soccer inside the country, which the exception of forward Ji Soyun, who leads Korea with 45 career goals to go along with her 95 caps. She plays in England with Chelsea FC. Typically, South Koreans who do venture abroad go to the L-League in Japan. Cho Sohyun spent 2016 on loan with INAC Kobe in Japan and Jang Seulgi was with INAC Kobe in 2015 after finishing school, spending a year in Japan before joining Hyundai Steel in 2016.
Jeon Gaeul signed with the Western New York Flash in NWSL in 2016, but struggled with injuries, and only made two appearances (1 start) for 85 minutes total and was waived on June 15, 2016, and returned home to play for Hyundai Steel.
Korea has eight players on this roster from the 2015 WWC: Lee Eunmi, Cho Sohyun, Jeon Gaeul, Lee Geummin, Yoo Younga, Lee Sodam, Kim Hyeri
Korea Republic Women's National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-KANG Gaae (Gumi Sportstoto), 21-KIM Minjung (Suwon FMC FC)
DEFENDERS (7): 20-KIM Hyeri (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 19-KIM Hyeyeong (Icheon Daekyo FC), 6-PARK Chorong (Hwacheon KSPO FC), 4-SEO Hyunsook (Icheon Daekyo FC), 3-SHIN Damyeong (Suwon FMC FC)
2-LEE Eunmi (Suwon FMC FC), 23-JANG Seulgi (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels)
MIDFIELDERS (10): 14-MOON Mira (Icheon Daekyo FC), 11-LEE Geummin (Seoul City FC), 7-LEE Mina (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angles), 15-LEE Sodam (Gumi Sportstoto FC), 23-JANG Chang (Korea University), 9-JEON Gaeul (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 8-CHO Sohyun (Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels), 13-JI Sunmi (Icheon Daekyo FC), 16-CHOE Yuri (Gumi Sportstoto FC), 22-HAN Chaerin (Wideok University)
FORWARDS (3): 18-SON Hwayeon (Korea University), 12-YOO Younga (Gumi Sportstoto FC), 13-JI Soyun (Chelsea FC)
France defeats England in Friendly
Viviane Asseyi (Olympique Lyon) scored on a header in front of goal in the 89th minute from Amel Majri's cross to give host France a 1-0 win over England inValenciennes on October 21.Lucy Bronze headed narrowly wide in the second half, while Jordan Nobbs and Jodie Taylor both went close for the Euro 2017 semi-finalists. England has only defeated France once in 43 years, in the quarterfinals of this summer's Euros. Both sides are rebuilding under new coaches, though former English international player Mo Marley is in charge on an interim basis at this point.
France: 16 Sarah Bouhaddi, 8 Hawa Cissoko, 10 Aminata Diallo, 20 Kadidiatou Diani, 12 Valerie Gauvin, 23 Grace Geyoro, 14 Ines Jaurena, 9 Eugenie Le Sommer (capt), Amel Majri, Wendie Renard, Marion Torrent.
Substitutes: 22 Lea Le Garrec for Jaurema 69, 11 Ouleymata Sarr for Gauvin 69, 18 Viviane Asseyi for Diani 81
Substitutes not used:1 Elisa Launay, 15 Elise Bussaglia, 5 Estelle Cascarino, 13 Camille Catala, 4 Laura Georges, 6 Amandine Henry, 2 Charlotte Lorgere, 19 Griedge Mbock Bathy
Head coach:Corinne Diacre
England (4-3-3): 1 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool); 2 Lucy Bronze (Lyon), 5 Steph Houghton (capt; Manchester City), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 4 Fara Williams (Reading), 10 Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal); 7 Karen Carney (Chelsea), 9 Jodie Taylor (Arsenal), 11 Toni Duggan (Barcelona).
Substitutes: 14 Jade Moore (Reading) for Williams 61, 20 Mel Lawley (Manchester City) for Carney 61, 17 Nikita Parris (Manchester City) for Taylor 83, 18 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City) for Duggan 83
Substitutes not used:12 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool), 13 Carly Telford (Chelsea), 15 Casey Stoney (Liverpool), 16 Gemma Bonner (Liverpool), 19 Jo Potter (Reading), 21 Mary Earps (Reading), 22 Jessica Carter (Birmingham City), 23 Danielle Carter (Arsenal).
Head coach: Mo Marley
France's new head coach Corinne Diacre squad for the England match and also for another friendly against Ghana at home on October 23rd were are all from the Feminine Division 1 except for Élise Bussaglia of FC Barcelona in Spain and Amandine Henry, who just won the NWSL title last weekend with the Portland Thorns. France has upcoming friendlies next month away against Germany on November 24th and at home against Sweden on November 27.
Sarah Bouhaddi – Olympique Lyonnais
Méline Gérard – Montpellier HSC
Elisa Launay – Lille OSC
Estelle Cascarino – Paris FC
Hawa Cissoko – Olympique de Marseille
Laura Georges – Paris Saint-Germain FC
Charlotte Lorgeré – EA de Guingamp
Amel Majri – Olympique Lyonnais
Griedge Mbock Bathy Nka – Olympique Lyonnais
Wendie Renard – Olympique Lyonnais
Marion Torrent – Montpellier HSC
Élise Bussaglia – FC Barcelona
Camille Catala – Paris FC
Aminata Diallo – Paris Saint-Germain FC
Onema Grace Geyoro – Paris Saint-Germain FC
Amandine Henry – Portland Thorns FC
Inés Jaurena – Paris FC
Faustine Robert – EA de Guingamp
Viviane Asseyi – Olympique de Marseille
Kadidiatou Diani – Paris Saint-Germain FC
Valérie Gauvin – Montpellier HSC
Eugénie Le Sommer – Olympique Lyonnais
Ouleymata Sarr – Lille OSC
The only change in Mo Marley's squad from the recent one that beat Russia 6-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 qualifier last month is the absence through injury of Karen Bardsley (Manchester City) and Ellen White (who joined Birmingham City in 2017 after Notts County folded). Laura Bassett is also not available as he is club-tied to Australia Westfield W-League side, Canberra United. (We will discuss Bassett's move down under in our Australia Westfield W-League preview next week.) All of the side is England-based except for Barcelona's Toni Duggan and Lyon's Lucy Bronze. England's next World Cup qualifiers are in Walsall on November 24th against Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Colchester on November 28th against Kazakhstan.
England Squad versus France
Gemma Bonner (Liverpool)
Millie Bright (Chelsea)
Lucy Bronze (Lyon)
Jessica Carter (Birmingham City)
Alex Greenwood (Liverpool)
Steph Houghton (Manchester City)
Demi Stokes (Manchester City)
Casey Stoney (Liverpool)
UEFA World Cup Matches This Week—Iceland stuns Germany
Iceland went to Germany and came home with the early shocking result of the early UEFA World Cup Qualifying matches with a 3-2 win on October 20, with two goals by Dagny Brynjarsdottir (Portland Thorns). Brynjarsdottir also assisted on the other goal by forward Elin Jensen of Valur. Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg) and 19 year old Lea Schuller (SGS Essen) scored for Germany. Germany was thought to be the likely winner, as they hadn't lost a match in World Cup Qualifying since June 1998. Furthermore, the German team had won 26 matches in a row prior to falling to Iceland. Germany has won two Women's World Cups and last summer's Olympic Gold, while Iceland has never been to a World Cup, and only made the last three European Championship Finals, advancing to the quarterfinals in 2013. Iceland next plays the Czech Republic on Tuesday October 24th. Iceland, Czech Republic and Germany are all tied at the top of their 6 team group with 6 points, but Iceland has played one fewer match. A win on Tuesday could place them in the driver's seat of automatic qualification from the group.
The Czech Republic defeated Slovenia by a 4-0 score on the same day with a brace from Slavia Prague forward Petra Divisova. Also on October 20, Belgium defeated Romania 3-2 with two goals from Janice Cayman (Montpellier and ex-Western New York Flash 2016 Champion) with Tessa Wullaert (VfL Wolfsburg) scoring a late winner four minutes from time. For Romania, forward Cosmina Dusa (Konak Belediyesi of Turkey) and Laura Rus (Apollon of Cyprus) scored their consolation goals.
Bosnia-Herzegovina defeated Kazakhstan 2-0 on October 21 with goals by forward Alma Kameric who plays at Sarajevo (2nd minute) and Milena Nikolic of SC Sand in Germany and who previously played with Spartak Subotica of Serbia (63rd). On October 22, Finland defeated visiting Serbia 1-0 on a 79th minute own goal by substitute Mirela Tenkov (Spartak Subotica).
Republic of Ireland Squad versus Slovakia is named
Head Coach Colin Bell selected a 21-player squad for the Republic of Ireland's FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 qualifier against Slovakia in Senec, Slovakia on Tuesday, October 24th. Strikers Stephanie Roche (Sunderland Ladies and ex-ASPTT Albi in France and Houston Dash in the NWSL) and Aine O'Gorman (UCD Waves in Dublin and ex -Doncaster Rovers Belles) have been ruled out of the game following injuries sustained in the 2-0 win over Northern Ireland so Celtic forward Ruesha Littlejohn has been recalled to the squad.
Shelbourne Ladies winger Isibeal Atkinson receives her first senior call-up to the squad following her impressive form for the WU17s in their recent unbeaten qualifying group campaign against Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania and Greece.
Five of the players are based in England, two in Scotland, one in France, one in Germany, one in NWSL and the rest are home based (11).
Marie Hourihan (Manchester City)
Amanda Budden (Cork City WFC)
Amanda McQuillan (Shelbourne Ladies)
Katie McCabe (Arsenal, on loan at Glasgow City)
Amber Barrett (Peamount United)
Claire O'Riordan (Wexford Youths)
Ruesha Littlejohn (Celtic)
Leanne Kiernan (Shelbourne Ladies)
Heather Payne (Peamount United)
Isibeal Atkinson (Shelbourne Ladies)
The Football Association of Ireland will receive €200,000 from the national government that will be used for elite player development in Women's Football. The grant will also be used in the operation of the Senior National team, which should aid the team as it attempts to make its first ever continental or world championships.
Results of the 2017/18 UEFA Women's Champions League round of 16 draw.
Holders Olympique Lyon of France are drawn against BIIK-Kazygurt of Kazakhstan and the French champions are looking to become the first five-time winners and the only club to lift the trophy three years in a row. BIIK lost to Paris St. Germain at this same stage 7-1 on aggregate last season. Of the other teams to advance from the 40 team Qualifying Stage in August, Gintra Univesitetas of Lithuania opens at home against Barcelona of Spain. Though Barcelona made the WCL last four a year ago, they should not overlook this import-loaded Baltic side that could be primed for an upset. Stjarnan of Iceland, who shocked Rossiyanka of Russia with a 4-0 second leg victory away, will face fellow Qualifying Round side Group winner Slavia Prague. This could be a very interesting match, as will be the Chelsea versus Rosengard and Fiorentina versus Wolfsburg ties, with many tipping Wolfsburg to make the final. The matches are scheduled to take place on November 8/9 and 15/16.
UWCL Round of 16 draw result
AC Sparta Praha (CZE) v Linköping (SWE)
Gintra Universitetas (LTU) v FC Barcelona (ESP)
Chelsea (ENG) v FC Rosengård (SWE)
LSK Kvinner (NOR) v Manchester City (ENG)
BIIK-Kazygurt (KAZ) v Lyon (FRA)
Stjarnan (ISL) v Slavia Praha (CZE)
Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey