Leroux strike gives U.S. women win over Canada

Sydney Leroux (#2) celebrates after scoring the only goal in the United States' 1-0 victory over Canada in a women's international friendly on January 31, 2014, in Frisco, Texas. (Photo: Matt Garnett/isiphotos.com)


FRISCO, Texas – The United States extended its unbeaten streak at home to 78 games, posting a 1-0 victory over Canada on Friday in a women’s friendly before a crowd of 20,862 at Toyota Stadium.

Sydney Leroux, who was born in Canada and has been capped 44 times by the U.S., netted the game-winner in the 79th minute with her 25th career goal.

In the 2014 opener for each, the Americans allowed only one shot on goal, while the Canadians accumulated three yellow cards during a 10-minute stretch in the first half.

Leroux proved to be a threat throughout the encounter.  Her 13th minute shot from the left side of the box off a sparkling feed from Megan Rapinoe was suffocated by goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who charged out fearlessly.  In the 22nd minute, Ali Krieger delivered a right-sided cross that the Seattle Reign forward bounced directly at McLeod.

Canada’s best chance came five minutes before the interval.  A neat passing sequence between Christine Sinclair and Josee Belanger resulted in Diana Matheson pulling a shot wide of the left post from nine-yards out.

With 12 minutes remaining in normal time, Leroux struck for the evening’s only goal.  After a give-and-go with second-half substitute Christen Press, defender Becky Sauerbrunn crossed from the right of the six-yard box for an unmarked Leroux to lunge at with her left foot and direct into the open net.

Nine minutes later, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo protected the victory, diving right to save a curling left-footed effort from 13-yards-out by Jonelle Filigno.

Next up for the Americans is a two-game series with Russia that starts on February 8 at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, and moves on to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome four days later.

NOTES:  Canada’s Josee Belanger (29’), Kadeisha Buchanan (33’) and Lauren Sesselmann (38’) were issued cautions … the U.S. is now unbeaten in 52 of 55 all-time meetings with Canada (47-5-3) … Leroux also scored in the USA’s last meeting against Canada, a 3-0 win on June 2, 2013, at BMO Field in Toronto.