USA 3 - 0 Republic of Ireland | 2015 - Senior Womens Friendlies | 999941530

Senior Women's Friendlies | Avaya Stadium, San Jose / USA
Sunday, May 10, 2015

USA 3 - 0 Republic of Ireland

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Ireland lose to USA in San Jose

USA 3 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 0 - The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team were beaten 3-0 by World No.2 USA in a friendly international at the Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
Ruseha Littlejohn.JPG
11th May 2015

Two goals in the final two minutes of the first-half from veteran striker Abby Wambach left the USA in a comfortable position at half-time and they extended their lead nine minutes after the break through Julie Johnston.

Although the USA dominated possession, in front of a capacity crowd of 18,000, they found it hard to break through a disciplined Irish defence who stuck ridgidly to their task from the first to the last whistle and were helped by a superb performance from goalkeeper Niamh Reid Burke who was only making her second start in what was her fourth appearance between the sticks for Ireland.

Forced to plan without five first team starters, Ireland manager Sue Ronan handed Wexford Youths Women’s defender Jessica Gleeson her first cap and proceeded to cap two more Wexford players Ciara Rossiter and Nicola Sinnott during the game. Gleeson lined up beside Megan Campbell in the heart of the Irish defence with Aine O’Gorman and Meabh De Burca on the flanks. Karen Duggan made her first appearance of 2015 in the centre of midfield alongside Ruesha Littlejohn and Denise O’Sullivan with Julie Ann Russell and Stephanie Roche on the flanks and Fiona O’Connell as the lone striker up front.

The USA actually widened the pitch by a metre on each side which was a backhanded compliment to the Irish as they sought to stretch the visitor’s defence but ably marshalled by skipper O’Gorman, wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in 76 appearances, the Girls in Green stood firm.

They were tested early on when Reid Burke was called into action for the first time in what proved to be a busy afternoon for the Raheny United keeper. Diving full stretch to her right she turned a long-range shot from Amy Rodriguez around the post for a corner and from the resultant flag-kick Rodriguez hit the crossbar.

Wambach went close with two headers before Reid Burke made two superb saves within minutes of each other. First she saved a long range effort from Rodriguez and then she produced a great block to deny American skipper Megan Rapinoe. Earlier she had gone down to save smartly from Christen Press,

The Irish seemed to be heading to the half-time with a clean sheet when disaster struck in the space of two minutes. In the 43rd minute Ruesha Littlejohn’s attempted clearance from a corner struck Meabh De Burca full in the face and with the Irish players distracted for s spit second the Americans took full advantage and Press squared the loose ball to Wambach who slotted home the opening goal.

Two minutes later the Americans doubled their lead when Carli Lloyd crossed to the back post and Wambach headed home with the Irish defenders appealing for a handball that was missed by the referee. It was Wombach's 180th international goal.

Gleeson, who had a super first half, was forced to come off at half-time after shipping a heavy knock and was replaced by Ciara Grant who slotted into midfield with Duggan moving to partner Campbell in the centre of defence.

Reid Burke continued to be busy in the second half and produced another great save when using her feet to deflect a shot from Press onto the crossbar but she had no chance in the 54th minute when Julie Johnston lost her marker at a corner kick and turned home Lauren Holiday’s corner at the unguarded near post

Wambach was denied her hat-trick by Reid Burke after she had sprung the Irish offside trap but the visitors remained solid to the end as they suffered a three goal defeat for the first time in 26 games when USA beat them 5-0 in Oregon in November 2012. 

“You come in every game and you want to win. You don’t want to lose any game but I have to say I am really proud of my players. They were really outstanding today. They gave their all,” said Sue Ronan

Sue Ronan Video Interview:

Niamh Reid Burke:

Ireland now head to Florida to play Haiti at 1am (Irish time) on Thursday.

Republic of Ireland: Niamh Reid Burke (Raheny United); Aine O’Gorman (C) (UCD Waves), Megan Campbell (Florida State University), Jessica Gleeson (Wexford Youths WAFC), Meabh De Burca (Galway WFC); Julie Ann Russell (UCD Waves); Ruesha Littlejohn (Celtic), Karen Duggan (UCD Waves), Denise O’Sullivan (Glasgow City), Stephanie Roche (Houston Dash); Fiona O’Sullivan (Notts County). Subs Used: Ciara Grant (UCD Waves) for Gleeson (46), Katie McCabe (Raheny United) for F O’Sullivan (73), Ciara Rossiter (Wexford Youths WAFC) for Russell (83), Nicola Sinnott (Wexford Youths WAFC) for Roche (90). Unused Subs: Charlottee McCormack (Clayton State University), Emma Beckett (Amazon Grimstad), Emma Hansberry (Castlebar Celtic).

WNT face daunting task against USA

The Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team head into the Lionesses’ Den on Sunday when they take on World Cup bound USA at the Avaya Stadium, San Jose, in a friendly match that will kick off at 20:06 (Irish time) and will be televised live on Setanta Ireland.
WNT Huddle.jpg
9th May 2015

The USA, as World No.2, are favourites along with World No. 1 Germany, to lift the World Cup in Canada and the match against Ireland marks the start of a three-game Send-Off Series as they count down the days to the start of the competition next month. The strong expectation of success next month is evidenced by the fact that the game against Ireland is an 18,000 sell-out and is being broadcast coast to coast on American television.  

It’s a daunting prospect for the Irish team who lost 5-0 and 2-0 when the sides played a double-header in Oregon and Arizona back in November 2012 and they come into this game missing key players such as skipper and record caps holder Emma Byrne, three-times International Player of the Year Niamh Fahey and 2013 Player of the Year Louise Quinn as well the likes of Diane Caldwell and Sophie Perry. They are required by their clubs this weekend so Sue Ronan’s squad contains five uncapped players for whom a great opportunity is definitely knocking according to the Ireland manager.

“A lot of regulars are missing, as we know, because the match fell outside the international calendar so some players are still with their clubs which is unfortunate for them and us. But, it gives an opportunity for others. It is a first taste at this level for a lot of them and is vital for them if they want to break into the team or the squad for the European Championship,” said Ronan.

When the Women’s National Team Squad were last in America in 2012, Ronan had a squad that was in transition between European Championship and World Cup qualifying campaign and the experience certainly helped as the side went on to record their biggest points total in a World Cup qualifying campaign as they finished third behind Germany and Russia.

“Those games came at the start of the World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign. Girls were getting introduced into the team. It was more game time for them and it was a great experience for them to play against one of the top teams in the world in front of a big crowd. I think we have progressed. We have matured as a team. I think a lot of players now have international experience, competitive experience, under their belts. We had a good campaign in the World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to Canada but I would say we acquitted ourselves very well. We had some notable results along the way. We’ve come a long way, but, how far we’ll see on Sunday.

“It is a huge task for us in fairness. It is a mountain for us to climb. In any match, any 11 are capable of doing well against another 11, you just have to have belief. The organisation and the game plan has to go well but you have to have belief when you into the game.”

When the sides last met in 2012, the USA were on a celebratory tour of the country after winning gold at the London Olympics and Ronan expects a more focused mind-set from the home side this time.

“USA are one of the hot favourites for the World Cup. I never look beyond them or Germany to be there or thereabouts. They have been in camp on and off since the start of the year. They are getting stronger, they are getting physically fitter and they are getting shaper as the World Cup looms.”  

Video Interviews

Sue Ronan:

Fiona O’Sullivan:


GOALKEEPERS: CHARLOTTE McCORMACK (Clayton State University), NIAMH REID-BURKE (Raheny United).


MIDFIELDERS: EMMA BECKETT (Amazon Grimstad), JESSICA GLEESON (Wexford Youths Women’s AFC), CIARA GRANT (UCD Waves) EMMA HANSBERRY (Castlebar Celtic), DENISE O’SULLIVAN Glasgow City).