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U.S. Women's National Team Arrives in Germany Ahead of Oct. 29 Match in Augsburg


U.S. Women’s National Team
Munich, Germany
Oct. 22, 2009

U.S. TEAM ARRIVES IN GERMANY TO PREPARE FOR CLASH WITH WORLD CUP AND EUROPEAN CHAMPS: The U.S. Women’s National Team has arrived in Germany for one of the most anticipated friendly matches of the year in the women’s international soccer world as the defending Olympic champion USA squares off against the defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champion Germany on Oct. 29 at the newly constructed Impuls Arena in Augsburg, Germany. The match kicks off at 6 p.m. local (1 p.m. ET) and fans can follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter.com/ussoccer. The U.S. team has played just seven matches this year due to the inaugural season of WPS and carries a 2009 record of 6-0-1 into the Germany match. The only blemish was a 1-1 tie with Sweden in the Algarve Cup championship game, where the USA eventually fell in a penalty kick shootout. The U.S. team traveled to Germany in two groups, one from New York and one from Los Angeles, but all met in Munich on Oct. 21 and now will get about the business of preparing for the match which will pit the top-two teams in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings.

2009 U.S. WNT Results

Date Opponent Result/Time U.S. Goal Scorer(s) Venue
March 4 Denmark 2-0 W Woznuk, DiMartino Lagos, Portugal
March 6 Iceland 1-0 W Kai Ferreiras, Portugal
March 9 Norway 1-0 W Rapinoe Albufeira, Portugal
March 11 Sweden 1-1 T (3-4 PKs) Boxx Faro, Portugal
May 25 Canada 4-0 W Boxx, Rapinoe, Tarpley, Cheney Rochester, N.Y.
July 19 Canada 1-0 W Wambach Toronto, Canada
July 22 Canada 1-0 W Nairn Charleston, S.C.
Oct. 29 Germany 6 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) Augsburg, Germany

ZERO TO 130: The U.S. team brings a wide range of experience to Germany with five players having more than 100 caps and Lori Chalupny on 91, but a full half of the U.S. roster has 30 caps or less including four players who have a combined three caps. Young forward Lauren Cheney (who did not make this trip due to school commitments at UCLA) made her debut against Germany in 2007, starting and playing 45 minutes.  Forward Ella Masar and defender Brittany Bock will also be looking for their first caps against the Germans, although both have extensive youth national team experience. Abby Wambach and Cat Whitehill are the most capped players on the U.S. roster with 130 each.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (6): Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC)
FORWARDS (3): Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

NINE YEARS IN THE MAKING: The USA has not played in Germany since 2000 when the Americans participated in a tournament to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the German soccer federation. The USA defeated Germany in Braunschweig by a 1-0 score. There are no players on the current U.S. roster who played in the match. The USA also tied China PR 1-1 and beat Norway 1-0 during that tournament. The last time the USA played a friendly match in Germany was 1997 when the USA won 3-0 in Salzgitter on Oct. 12 after falling 3-1 in the rain in Duisburg three days earlier.

THEY CALL IT A “FRIENDLY”: USA-Germany friendly matches are rare. The world’s top two women’s soccer nations have met 24 times in their history (which includes two matches against the former West Germany), but only nine have been so-called “friendlies” with the rest taking place in some sort of tournament competition. In fact, friendlies for the U.S. women in Europe are also very rare. Since 2000, the USA has played just four friendly matches in Europe, two in Norway in 2000 and in Sweden and Norway last year. Of course, the U.S. team does play in the Algarve Cup every year in Portugal and did participate in the Olympics in Greece in 2004.

GERMANY HOSTS THE WORLD: The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Germany and the USA will get a good taste of the atmosphere that awaits them as a big crowd is expected at Impuls Arena, which will serve as one of the nine venues for the sixth Women’s World Cup. The two-time defending champions, hosting on their own soil, will be favorites to hoist a third consecutive trophy, but the Americans will hopefully have something to stay about that. There is no doubt, however, the Germans will run a fantastic Women’s World Cup, scheduled for June 26-July 17, 2011, in nine cities: Augsburg, Berlin, Bochum, Dresden, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim and Wolfsburg. The venues are spread out all over Germany. Almost all of the cities will host four matches, but unlike past Women’s World Cups, there will be no doubleheaders. The largest stadium is in Berlin (74,244), which will host just the opening game featuring the Germans. The smallest stadium is in Bochum, which seats 23,691. The Women’s World Cup Final will take place in Frankfurt (49,240) on July 17. The dates and venues for CONCACAF qualifying have yet to be determined, but the competition will likely be held at the end of 2010. Germany will also host the next FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, taking place July 13-Aug. 1, 2010.

ABBY AND BIRGIT: The USA-Germany match will feature two of the world’s top active all-time goal scorers in Abby Wambach (100 goals in 130 games) and Birgit Prinz (125 in 198 matches). Prinz, who is currently third all-time in women’s soccer history, is closing in on Kristine Lilly (129) and certainly has a chance to catch the world’s all-time leading scorer Mia Hamm (158). Both Wambach and Prinz are known for their size, ability to carry their large frames at top speed, their relentlessness in chasing goals, and of course, their finishing. It should be a treat for the fans in Augsburg to have two 100-goal scorers on the field at the same time, a rarity in any international soccer match.

HEATH LEADS U.S. YOUTH MOVEMENT: U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath is the only player on the roster currently still in college and thus the only amateur on the U.S. team. She was the youngest player on the 2008 Olympic Team, and, at 21, is also the youngest player on the roster for the Germany match. She may also feature more prominently in the game than previously thought with Megan Rapinoe sidelined after having minor knee surgery last week. A dynamic flank midfielder for the USA, Heath is playing in the center for her college team at North Carolina, where she has three goals and five assists. She will miss several Tar Heel matches while in Germany, but will return in time to help lead the 12-1-1 Tar Heels into the ACC Tournament and of course the NCAA Tournament.

CHANGE UP: The USA had some last minute roster changes for this Germany trip after midfielder Angela Hucles retired from club and country and midfielder Megan Rapinoe had to undergo a minor knee surgery. Chicago Red Stars forward Ella Masar replaced Hucles and Sky Blue FC midfielder/forward Kacey White replaced Rapinoe. While the USA loses two players who have been starters over the last year, the experience in Germany will give Masar and White, as well as the USA’s other young players, some valuable seasoning. Masar is a former standout for the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team but has yet to earn a full national team cap. She did participate in her first training camp with the senior side last January, ironically called in after an injury to Lauren Cheney. White has 17 caps for the USA. Her two caps this year both came at the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March.

WPS ON DISPLAY: Eight of the nine WPS teams are represented on the U.S. roster, with the freshly minted Atlanta Beat the only team without a player. Defending champion Sky Blue FC leads the way with four players, including newly signed Carli Lloyd, but the Philadelphia Independence are looking less and less like an expansion team with three players on the WNT roster. Four other teams have two players each with the Boston Breakers represented only by WPS Defender of the Year Amy LePeilbet and the Chicago Red Stars represented only by Ella Masar.

Stat of Note
The USA has scored 11 goals in 2009, but players who have accounted for eight of those are not on this roster. The only players to have scored this year are Abby Wambach (one goal) and Shannon Boxx (two goals).

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