The United States, ranked second in the world, has one more group stage match on Tuesday in Vancouver, B.C.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Meghan Klingenberg — not Hope Solo — made the biggest stop of the night for the United States.
Klingenberg, a diminutive defender, leapt to head a shot by Sweden’s Caroline Seger. The ball hit the crossbar and caromed away from the goal.
Goal-line technology was used to confirm the ball never crossed the line.
The play in the 77th minute preserved the 0-0 draw with Sweden on Friday night in one of the most anticipated group-stage matches at the Women’s World Cup.
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“Brilliant,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said of Klingenberg’s clearance off the goal line. “Believe it or not, we actually practice that.”
The match had been hyped beforehand as the showdown between the second-ranked United States and former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, the coach of No. 5 Sweden. It did not disappoint in the furious second half.
Abby Wambach came off the bench, but her header in the 72nd minute was popped up and over the crossbar by Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, who made two saves.
Solo, who posted her national-record 85th career shutout, did not have to make a save. The Seattle Reign FC keeper, a former Washington Huskies standout, has six shutouts in World Cup play.
The 5-foot-2 Klingenberg got in the way of Seger’s shot while Solo was on the other side of the goal.
“That was something we practiced this week,” Klingenberg said. “I know that when Hope slides across, I need to tuck in and make sure I’m in position.”
The United States has one more group-stage match, on Tuesday in Vancouver, B.C., against Nigeria.
The U.S. leads Group D with four points. Australia, which beat Nigeria 2-0 Friday, has three points.
Gulati defends U.S. federation
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The head of U.S. Soccer defended the federation’s handling of Solo’s domestic assault case in a letter to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Solo was charged with two misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault stemming from an altercation last June with her half-sister and then-17-year-old nephew at a gathering in Kirkland. A judge dismissed the charges earlier this year on procedural grounds.
Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote to U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati on Thursday regarding Solo, calling domestic violence “unacceptable, particularly for an athlete representing the United States of America on the global stage.”
Gulati’s response said U.S. Soccer investigated the matter as thoroughly as it could at the time, but its approach was guided by limited access to information, contradictory accounts of the incident and applicable state and federal laws.
Blumenthal’s letter came in the wake of an ESPN report that brought new information about Solo’s arrest to light, including allegations the goalkeeper was combative with police officers.
Gulati’s response acknowledged new information was presented in the ESPN report the federation did not have initially.
That information reportedly was in records that were sealed. Gulati said U.S. Soccer is looking at the new information.
Solo, 33, did not speak to reporters after the match.