CHICAGO (Sept. 8, 2010) – Briana Scurry, who will forever be remembered for her dramatic save during the penalty kick shootout at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, has retired from professional soccer.
Scurry made the announcement today during a press event at the Maryland SoccerPlex, home of her current and final club, the Washington Freedom.
Scurry was the USA’s first-choice goalkeeper for most of the 11 years between 1994 and 2004, during which time she helped the USA to a pair of Olympic gold medals and the 1999 Women’s World Cup title.
Known for her steely mental toughness and her ability to make crucial saves in the biggest of matches, the wonderfully athletic Scurry earned 173 caps for the USA, but far the most for any goalkeeper in U.S. history. She started 159 of those games and finished her international career with a record of 133-12-14. She also earned 71 shutouts.
During the three Women’s World Cup tournaments and two Olympic Games in which she played, Scurry was in goal for just two losses, compiling a record of 22-2-5 over those competitions. Her 19 matches in World Cup play are by also far the most ever for a U.S. goalkeeper.
While she locked down the starting spot in the U.S. goal for the better part of a decade, she will probably be most remembered for saving China’s third penalty kick during the dramatic shootout victory at the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final. In a match watched by 90,185 fans, still the most to ever view a women’s sporting event, she dove to her left to push away the attempt of Liu Ying while the USA made all five of its kicks, culminating in Brandi Chastain’s famous World Cup winning kick and the ensuing shirt removing celebration.
Scurry was just 22 years old and fresh out of the Univeristy of Massachusetts, where she was the consensus top college ‘keeper in the country, when she debuted for the USA against Portugal at the 1994 Algarve Cup in Portugal. Scurry saw a dip in her national team career following the 1999 Women’s World Cup, lost her job for the 2000 Olympics and did not play for the USA in 2001, but, bolstered by a strong performance for the Atlanta Beat in the WUSA, she returned to the National Team in 2002 and started for the USA in both the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2004 Olympics. She also played two matches for the USA in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was the alternate goalkeeper on the 2008 Olympic Team. Her last match for the USA came on Nov. 5, 2008, against the Korea Republic.
Scurry was a founding player for the Atlanta Beat in the Women’s United Soccer Association where she was the starting goalkeeper for the three seasons (2001-2003) of the league. She helped the Beat to two WUSA Championship Games and was the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2003.
Scurry was one of a handful of players from the WUSA to also play in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) where she has played the last two seasons with the Freedom. She only played sparingly during the 2010 season, and early on in the campaign suffered a season-ending injury.
The retirement of Scurry leaves just four players from the 1999 Women’s World Cup Team still active in professional soccer: defenders Kate Markgraf and Christie Rampone, forward Tiffeny Milbrett and midfielder Kristine Lilly.
The match is already sold-out as more than 29,000 fans will pack the stadium in the first international match played at the venue. It will also be the biggest crowd ever at Impuls, as the German Second Division team that plays there, FC Augsburg, has yet to fill it up during its inaugural season in its new home.
It will be an environment worthy of the two titanic adversaries, who are certainly the two most successful nations in the relatively short history of women’s international soccer. The USA has won two Women’s World Cup titles and three Olympic gold medals, plus two youth Women’s World Cup titles. Germany has won two Women’s World Cup titles, five straight European championships and one youth Women’s World Cup.
The Germans will try to make it three World Cup titles in a row come 2011 on their home soil during a tournament in which they will be heavily favored. For now, the two teams will write a new chapter in their historic rivalry in what is surely the biggest women’s international friendly of the year.
While the USA holds a 16-4-4 all-time record against the Germans, which includes two wins over the former West Germany, there have been several epic encounters in the history between the teams. ussoccer.com takes a look back at our top-five USA-Germany games in history, in chronological order:
Nov. 27, 1991 – Guangzhou, China (5-2 Win)
The first big match the teams played came in the semifinal of the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Germany came in as the favorite but was stunned, 5-2, by the upstart Americans as Carin Gabarra scored a hat trick and April Heinrichs added two goals. The USA would use that momentum to win the first-ever World Cup, 2-1, against Norway in the championship game.
It would be eight more years until the teams would meet again in World Cup action, but when they did, it was one of the most dramatic games in U.S. history.
July 1, 1999 – Landover, Md. (3-2 Win)
The USA was riding a wave of patriotic pride in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup when they entered the quarterfinal match at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Maryland. With President Clinton in the stands and a crowd of more than 54,000 whipped into a frenzy, disaster struck just five minutes into the match when a miscommunication between goalkeeper Briana Scurry and defender Brandi Chastain led to Chastain passing the ball into her own net.
The USA would battle back and just 11 minutes later, Tiffeny Milbrett pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area and drove it home to tie the game. It looked as if the game would go to halftime tied at 1-1 when legendary German midfielder Bettina Wiegmann hit a blistering drive one minute into stoppage time. The Germans jogged to the locker room with the lead and perhaps a tremendous psychological advantage.
But this was a U.S. team, as history would eventually make clear, that was mentally tough to the highest degree. Just four minutes into the second half, Chastain atoned for her miscue, slapping her curling shot off the left post and in after a goal box scramble. The match was tied at 2-2.
The winning goal, one of the most historic for the U.S. women, came in the 66th minute on the first touch of the match from Shannon MacMillan. Subbed in for Julie Foudy before a corner kick, she raced over to serve the ball and drilled a cross straight to the near post where defender Joy Fawcett powerfully re-directed the ball into the net past the leaping German goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg. A locker room visit from the President, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea was a just reward for such a scintillating match.
Oct. 5, 2003 – Portland, Ore. (0-3 Loss)
With the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup organized in the United States after being moved from China due to the SARS scare, the Americans had the chance to recapture just a small part of the magic they had created four years earlier, but that all came crashing down on a chilly night at PGE Park in Portland.
In the semifinal, the Germans took a 1-0 lead after a corner kick led to a header from towering midfielder Kerstin Garefrekes in the 15th minute and now it was up to the Americans to chase the game. And chase they did. Tiffeny Milbrett came on in the 70th minute and was later denied what looked to be a clear penalty when she was taken down at the top of the penalty box by Rottenberg, but there was no call from referee Sonia Denoncourt.
The Germans held down the fort with tremendous organization and at the end of the game, the Americans went to three backs, throwing everything forward. In clinical fashion, the German counter-attack produced two goals in second half stoppage time to put the match away and the USA was relegated to the third-place game where they would later defeat Canada by a 3-1 score. The win for Germany would launch them to the first of two straight Women’s World Cup titles.
Aug. 23, 2004 – Heraklio, Greece (2-1 Win in OT)
A semifinal of a major tournament was once again the stage for a USA-Germany clash. The U.S., playing some excellent soccer, was in control for the entire match, but Kristine Lilly’s smartly struck shot in the 33rd minute was the only goal the USA could manage. Still, as the match headed into stoppage time in the second half, it seemed the U.S. would gut out the win. Germany had other ideas. Isabell Bachor dramatically tied the game in the 92nd minute on a fluky goal that deflected off the hip of Joy Fawcett and the match was headed to overtime.
Heather O’Reilly, then just 19 years old, had entered in the 75th minute. She would be the main protagonist in overtime. Just minutes into the first extra time period, she used her speed to beat the German goalkeeper to a ball, rounded her and had an open net to shoot at, albeit from a sharp angle. The ball hit the post and bounced away.
In one of the most impressive feats of putting the past behind you, just minutes later O’Reilly made a darting run to the six yard box as Mia Hamm turned the right corner past a defender and slotted a ball back into the seam. O’Reilly ran through the ball and sliced her shot into the lower left corner for what would be the winning goal.
The Americans held on for the last 21 minutes to earn a berth in the Olympic Final, where they would stun Brazil 2-1 on yet another overtime goal, this one from Abby Wambach.
March 15, 2006 – Faro, Portugal (0-0 T, 3-4 in Penalty Kicks)
The USA had defeated Germany the year before in the Algarve Cup Final by a 1-0 score, but only because of a counter attack goal and some brilliant play from Hope Solo, who was just coming into her own. The goal came off a brilliant pass from Aly Wagner that was finished on a second chance from Christie Welsh after her first shot had rebounded off the goalkeeper, but it was the Germans who forced their will on the Americans that night.
Not so one year later, as the USA dominated the Germans in the 2006 Algarve Cup Final, out-shooting them 16-9 and earning 13 corner kicks to Germany’s three with some wonderful attacking play over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime.
Unfortunately for the U.S., German goalkeeper Rottenberg (a frequent antagonist in this matchup) was in world class form, pulling off a handful of spectacular saves to get her team to penalty kicks.
In the first half Wagner spun a shot just wide left from 14 yards out in the 15th minute while Rottenberg swept a ball off the charging Wambach’s feet in the 22nd minute. The USA then hammered two shots off the crossbar in a span of five minutes. Wagner drilled a shot off the bar at the upper left corner and four minutes later Carli Lloyd cranked a 30-yarder with her left foot off the crossbar at almost the same spot that Wagner tattooed.
Right at the end of the half, the USA caught Germany by surprise on a quickly taken free kick that saw Wagner play Lilly into the right side of the penalty area. The U.S. captain cut towards the near post and found Lloyd perfectly in the slot, but her shot was blocked by a defender and bounced out for a corner kick.
That’s pretty much how the game went for the USA, with the Americans just barely misfiring or Rottenberg acrobatically tipping away shots. The match was physical, but not dirty, with 31 total fouls being called as each team went at the other hard. The Germans, who were fortunate to get to penalties, did take care of business in the shootout.
Wagner, Whitehill and Lilly converted for the USA, but Shannon Boxx and Wambach missed the second and fourth penalty kick attempts while the Germans took four excellent spot kicks with the final kick from Petra Wimbersky ending the match.
What will transpire on the field in Augsburg on Oct. 29 no one knows. But if history is any indication, the fans at Impuls Arena should be ready for a wild and entertaining 90 minutes.
U.S. Soccer Federation and Women's Professional Soccer to Recognize 10th Anniversary of 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup
Now, 10 years later, U.S. Soccer and Women’s Professional Soccer will honor the legacy of that tournament and the legends from the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team at WPS games throughout late June and early July. Working with U.S. Soccer, all seven WPS franchises will feature a 10th Anniversary Tribute Day at one of their WPS home games coinciding with the anniversary of the tournament dates of the 1999 Women’s World Cup. Former U.S. Women’s National Team players will make appearances, sign autographs and be recognized for their accomplishments ten years ago. The 1999 World Cup trophy will also travel to WPS venues during this time for photo opportunities with fans and a special collector’s edition 1999 World Cup autograph card will be printed for fans.
“During three weeks in the summer of 1999, fans across the United States got the opportunity to be part of one of the most remarkable women’s sporting events in history and witness our Women’s National Team win the World Cup Final at home,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “Ten years later, this is another chance to celebrate that amazing achievement. We’re looking forward to celebrating the anniversary with as many WPS fans across the country as possible.”
“The 1999 Women’s World Cup is such an important event in the history of our sport in this country and the world,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “We wanted to commemorate it in a special way by bringing back the memories of that great tournament to our WPS fans. We thank US Soccer for their support in this and congratulate all the players from that tournament – some of whom are playing in WPS – on this special 10 year anniversary.”
Remembering ’99 Tribute Schedule
|June 20||St. Louis Athletica vs. Washington Freedom||--||AB Soccer Park|
|June 21||Los Angeles Sol vs. FC Gold Pride||FSC||The Home Depot Center|
|July 4||Sky Blue FC vs. Boston Breakers||--||Yurcak Field|
|July 5||FC Gold Pride vs. St. Louis Athletica||--||Buck Shaw Stadium|
|July 5||Washington Freedom vs. Los Angeles Sol||FSC||Maryland SoccerPlex|
|July 12||Boston Breakers vs. Sky Blue FC||FSC||Harvard Stadium|
|July 12||Chicago Red Stars vs. FC Gold Pride||--||Toyota Park|
Retired players from the 1999 World Cup team making appearances will include: Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, Lorrie Fair, Tiffany Roberts, Tisha Venturini and Danielle Fotopolous among others. WPS currently has five 99ers playing in the league: Brandi Chastain (FC Gold Pride), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Tiffeny Milbrett (FC Gold Pride), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) and Briana Scurry (Washington Freedom).
Beyond the on-site events, the WPS league website (www.womensprosoccer.com) and U.S. Soccer website (ussoccer.com), will feature a unique series called “Remembering ‘99”. Each day from June 19-July 10, a different WPS player or U.S. Soccer legend will provide their memory of the 1999 Women’s World Cup in their own words. Contributions will come from current WPS players – some of whom were not even teenagers yet in 1999 – to others such as Commissioner Antonucci, 1999 WWC CEO Marla Messing, Chinese star Sun Wen and German star Steffi Jones, who is head of the 2011 Women’s World Cup Organizing Committee in Germany. The league site will also feature a special page and message board for fans to post their own memories from the 1999 World Cup.
About U.S. Soccer:
Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a pre-eminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sport’s growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.
About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS):
The mission of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is to be the premier women’s soccer league in the world and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured. The Inaugural Season kicked off on March 29 and runs through August 22, 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league’s eighth franchise, Philadelphia, will begin play next season with Atlanta expected to join as the ninth team in 2010, as well. For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.
CHICAGO (June 23, 2008) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named the 18-player roster for the 2008 Olympic Team. Sundhage made her final selections after the USA’s 1-0 victory over Canada in the 2008 Peace Queen Cup championship game on June 21 in Suwon, South Korea.
Nine players on the roster were members of the U.S. team that won the gold medal four years ago in Athens, Greece, including team co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, who will both be participating in their third Olympic Games.
The USA will open play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Aug. 6 against Norway in Qinhuangdao, China. The USA will then face Japan on Aug. 9, also in Qinhuangdao, before finishing Group G play against New Zealand on Aug. 12 in Shenyang.
After taking over the U.S. team at the end of 2007, Sundhage evaluated 46 players in training camp environments during the past seven months and capped 26 players across 18 international matches before selecting the final roster.
“There are many players that have a lot of experience and are very competitive in practice,” said Sundhage. “They really show up for every training and want to perform every time they are on the field. It’s good to see them train at a level that is close to the game. For all the coaches, we want to make practices as game-like as possible, and I never had to get on them or yell at them to work hard. They push themselves in a very nice way and that is why it is difficult to pick a team.”
In addition to Rampone and Markgraf, the 2008 Olympic roster includes 2004 gold medalists Heather Mitts, Lindsay Tarpley, Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Heather O’Reilly, Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach.
Wambach, who scored the winning goal in overtime in the 2004 Olympic gold medal game, leads the USA in scoring this year with 12 goals. With 98 for her career, she is just two away from the century mark.
Six players who were on the roster for their first-ever world championship at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup have been selected to their first Olympic Team. Those are goalkeepers Nicole Barnhart and Hope Solo, defenders Lori Chalupny and Stephanie Cox, midfielder Carli Lloyd and forward Natasha Kai, who becomes the first Hawaiian to make an Olympic Women’s Soccer Team.
Three younger players, defender Rachel Buehler (22 years old), midfielder Tobin Heath (20) and forward Amy Rodriguez (21) make their first-ever roster for a senior level world championship. All three have extensive youth world championship experience with Buehler having started for the USA at the 2002 and 2004 FIFA Under-19 World Championships, Heath at the 2006 FIFA U-20 World Championships and Rodriguez in both 2004 and 2006.
Heath was the youngest player selected while Rampone, who will be 33 tomorrow (June 24), is the oldest. The average age of the U.S. team is 26. Barnhart, who rebounded from minor knee surgery in early May to earn her spot, is the least capped player on the squad with nine. Rampone is the most capped player with 193.
Two players, Cox and Wagner, made late runs to earn their roster spots. Cox was released at the end of the USA’s early June training camp from the final 22 players in contention for the Olympic Team. After defender Cat Whitehill was injured in training at the Peace Queen Cup, Cox was recalled and played well enough in the tournament to earn her place. Wagner has played in just four matches this year – all at the Peace Queen Cup -- after recovering from double-hernia surgery last January, but also did the job in South Korea to earn a place on her second Olympic Team.
With the naming to her second Olympic Team, Mitts also completes a long road back from injury. She tore her left ACL in May of 2007 which knocked her out of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She returned to the U.S. lineup in late April for the USA’s series of domestic games and has re-established herself as a consistent presence at right back.
Sundhage named four alternates for the Olympic Team: goalkeeper Briana Scurry, defender Ali Krieger, midfielder Kacey White and forward Lauren Cheney. This will be the first U.S. roster for a world championship that does not include Scurry since the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The legendary goalkeeper started for the USA at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cups and won gold medals at the 1996 and 2004 Olympics.
All 22 players – the Olympic Team plus the four alternates – will leave for Europe on June 27 for two matches, the first against Norway on July 2 in Fredrikstad and a second against Sweden on July 5 in Skelleftea. The USA’s two Olympic send-off matches against Brazil, on July 13 in Commerce City, Colo. (2 p.m. MT on ESPN presented by Dodge) and on July 16 in San Diego, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on Fox Soccer Channel), will feature only the 18 players named to the Olympic Team.
“Of course it has been a challenging situation,” said Sundhage of her seven-month period to evaluate players and instill her coaching philosophy. “Everyone was expecting a change, but it couldn’t be too much of a change, we still had to rely on the strengths of the U.S. team. It couldn’t be too little of a change, or no one would notice the difference, but the game plan has gone very well so far.”
Half of the Olympic Team is from either California (five players) or New Jersey (four players). Hawaii, Missouri, Michigan (two players), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington are also represented.
Sundhage named two goalkeepers, six defenders, seven midfielders and three forwards, but midfielders Tarpley and O’Reilly have also seen extensive time on the front line in their U.S. Women’s National Team careers. Chalupny, a defender, played the entire 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the midfield and Heath, who has played exclusively flank midfield for the USA this year, played at outside back in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship.
2008 UNITED STATES OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM
|Barnhart, Nicole*||GK||5-10||10/10/81||Gilbertsville, Pa.||Stanford||9|
|Boxx, Shannon**||M||5-8||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame||92/18|
|Buehler, Rachel*||D||5-5||08/26/85||Del Mar, Calif.||Stanford||11/0|
|Chalupny, Lori*||D||5-4||01/29/84||St. Louis, Mo.||UNC||70/6|
|Cheney, Lauren*||F||5-8||09/30/87||Indianapolis, Ind.||UCLA||12/4|
|Cox, Stephanie*||D||5-6||04/03/86||Elk Grove, Calif.||Portland||42/0|
|Heath, Tobin*||M||5-6||05/29/88||Basking Ridge, N.J.||UNC||12/2|
|Hucles, Angela**||M||5-7||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia||84/7|
|Kai, Natasha*||F||5-8||05/22/83||Kahuku, Hawaii||Hawaii||48/19|
|Lloyd, Carli*||M||5-8||07/16/82||Delran, N.J.||Rutgers||62/15|
|Markgraf, Kate***||D||5-7||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||181/0|
|Mitts, Heather**||D||5-5||06/09/78||Cincinnati, Ohio||Florida||78/2|
|O'Reilly, Heather**||M||5-5||01/02/85||East Brunswick, N.J.||UNC||90/19|
|Rampone, Christie***||D||5-6||06/24/75||Point Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||193/4|
|Rodriguez, Amy*||F||5-4||02/17/87||Lake Forest, Calif.||USC||19/4|
|Solo, Hope*||GK||5-9||07/30/81||Richland, Wash.||Washington||64|
|Tarpley, Lindsay**||M||5-6||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||UNC||96/26|
|Wagner, Aly**||M||5-5||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||121/21|
* First Olympics ** Second Olympics *** Third Olympics
U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.)
FORWARDS (3): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.)
|Krieger, Ali||D||5-6||07/28/84||Dumfries, Va.||Penn State||2/0|
|Scurry, Briana||GK||5-8||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||170|
|Trotter, India||D||5-8||03/10/85||Plantation, Fla.||Florida State||2/0|
|White, Kacey||M||5-4||04/27/84||Arlington, Texas||UNC||8/0|
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage; Redondo Beach, Calif.
Assistant Coach: Jillian Ellis; Los Angeles, Calif.
Assistant Coach: Erica Walsh; State College, Pa.
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon; Monroe, Conn.
Sports Science/Fitness Coach: Helena Andersson; Orebro, Sweden