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U.S. Soccer Announces All-Time Women's National Team Best XI

CHICAGO (Dec. 19, 2013) – U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women’s National Team Best XI was revealed today as the Federation wraps up the celebration of its Centennial anniversary in 2013. The All-Time Men’s National Team Best XI will be revealed on Dec. 20.

The Women’s Best XI features two unanimous ballot selections in defender Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) and forward Mia Hamm. Midfielders Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly were near unanimous ballot selections as both were one vote shy.

Three active players – defender Christie Rampone (Pearce) and forwards Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach – were voted to the Women’s Best XI, with Morgan the youngest selection at 24 years old.

Calculated by total votes, U.S. Soccer’s All-Time Women’s Best XI is arranged in a 4-3-3 formation and listed below in alphabetical order by position:

      Goalkeeper – Briana Scurry 1994-2008 (31 votes)

      Defender – Brandi Chastain 1988-2004 (31)
      Defender – Joy Biefeld (Fawcett) 1987-2004 (56)
      Defender – Carla Werden (Overbeck) 1988-2000 (49)
      Defender – Christie Rampone (Pearce) 1997-present (46)

      Midfielder – Michelle Akers 1985-2000 (55)
      Midfielder – Julie Foudy 1988-2004 (40)
      Midfielder – Kristine Lilly 1987-2010 (55)

      Forward – Mia Hamm 1987-2004 (56)
      Forward – Alex Morgan 2010-present (15)
      Forward – Abby Wambach 2001-present (52)

In an effort to create a fair and reasonable process to determine the All-Time Best XI, U.S. Soccer appointed a committee of soccer historians and former players, coaches, media members and administrators at the National Team level.

The committee determined the list of eligible players for selection to the Best XI, as well as the criteria to be considered by the list of voters. Voters for the Best XI included 56 former players and administrators, as well as media members. The criteria the voters considered in determining their All-Time Best XI:

      1) Starter or key contributor to overall success on the field, especially in World Cups
      2) Longevity, overall performance and talent on the field with the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team
      3) Impact on the legacy of the U.S. Men’s or Women’s National Team program

Members of the voting committee include, in alphabetical order:

Roger Allaway (historian), Christine Brennan (media), Jeff Carlisle (media), Cindy Parlow Cone (former player), Dr. Bob Contiguglia (administrator), John Daly (coach), JP Dellacamera (media), Tony DiCicco (coach), Anson Dorrance (coach), Beau Dure (media), Jill Ellis (coach), Julie Foudy (former player), Carin Gabarra (former player), Jim Gabarra (coach), Leslie Gallimore (coach), Steve Goff (media), Lauren Gregg (coach), Mia Hamm (former player), April Heinrichs (former player/coach), Phil Hersh (media), Ted Howard (administrator), Sandra Hunt (referee), Cobi Jones (former player), Grahame Jones (media), Colin Jose (historian), Jeff Kassouf (media), Paul Kennedy (media), Ann Killion (media), Mark Krikorian (coach), Tracy Leone (coach), Michael Lewis (media), Bob Ley (media), Carli Lloyd (player), Rebecca Lowe (media), Shannon MacMillan (former player), Marcia McDermott (coach), Ridge Mahoney (media), Kevin Payne (administrator), Christie Rampone (player), Tiffany Roberts (former player), Alan Rothenberg (administrator), Steve Sampson (coach), Kari Seitz (referee), Tom Sermanni (coach), Jerry Smith (coach), Hope Solo (player), Hank Steinbrecher (administrator), Rob Stone (media), Jamie Trecker (media), Jerry Trecker (media), Jim Trecker (administrator), Lori Walker (coach), Kelly Whiteside (media), Barry Wilner (media), Mike Woitalla (media) and Mark Ziegler (media).

Listed below are the full voting results for all eligible players. The final vote tally for each player is provided in parentheses.

GOALKEEPERS :
Briana Scurry (31), Hope Solo (24), Mary Harvey (1)

DEFENDERS :
Joy Biefeld Fawcett (56), Carla Werden Overbeck (49), Christie Rampone Pearce (46), Brandi Chastain (31), Kate Markgraf Sobrero (9), Lori Chalupny (5), Ali Krieger (2), Rachel Buehler (1), Linda Hamilton (1), Heather Mitts (1), Cat Reddick Whitehill (1), Stephanie Cox Lopez (0), Lori Henry (0), Amy LePeilbet (0), Kelly O’Hara (0)

MIDFIELDERS :
Michelle Akers (55), Kristine Lilly (55), Julie Foudy (40), Shannon Boxx (13), Carli Lloyd (13), Shannon MacMillan (8), Megan Rapinoe (6), Heather O’Reilly (5), Shannon Higgins (4), Tobin Heath (1), Tiffany Roberts (1), Tisha Venturini (1), Lauren Holiday Cheney (0), Lorrie Fair (0), Angela Hucles (0), Lindsay Tarpley (0), Aly Wagner (0)

FORWARDS :
Mia Hamm (56), Abby Wambach (52), Alex Morgan (15), Carin Gabarra Jennings (13), April Heinrichs (12), Tiffeny Milbrett (10), Cindy Parlow Cone (1), Sydney Leroux (0), Amy Rodriguez (0)

Briana Scurry Retires From Professional Soccer

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.

 

USA vs. Germany: Here We Go Again

One of the world’s greatest women’s soccer rivalries resumes on Thursday, Oct. 29, as the U.S. meets Germany at the new Implus Arena in Augsburg, Germany.

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.

Game on.

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

SAN FRANCISCO (June 11, 2009) – The year was 1999. A team of inspired women and a tournament of historic proportions captured the hearts and minds of an entire nation. The 1999 Women’s World Cup ran from June 19-July 10, 1999, in packed stadiums across the United States, raising the profile of women’s soccer globally, creating new heroes in the sport and setting the bar for future FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournaments. It culminated in an epic final in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

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

Date Match TV Venue
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.

Pia Sundhage Names 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team

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

Players Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
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.)

Alternates Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
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
 
Coaching Staff:
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

U.S. Women Defeat Canada, 1-0, for 2008 Peace Queen Cup Title

SUWON, South Korea (June 21, 2008) – The U.S. Women’s National Team won the 2008 Peace Queen Cup with a 1-0 victory over Canada as midfielder Angela Hucles scored a fortuitous goal two minutes into second half stoppage time.

With the match seemingly headed to overtime, a Canadian defender committed a foul about 35 yards from the goal, a little right of the center of the field. Spying Lauren Cheney open inside the penalty box, Hucles took the free-kick quickly. The ball skipped into the penalty area, but too far for Cheney, whose run might have distracted Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod. The innocuous looking pass then caught McLeod off-balance. She got a piece of the ball, but it skidded by her right leg and under her arms before rolling into the net.

It was the second time this year that Hucles has scored a stoppage-time winner. She also bagged a dramatic goal against Australia on May 3 in Birmingham, Ala., giving the USA the 5-4 victory with a 94th minutes score. Hucles won the Golden Ball as the Most Valuable Player in the tournament. Canada’s Christine Sinclair won the Silver Ball and U.S. forward Abby Wambach won the Bronze Ball.

“It was a battle, but you want to finish in the final, finish with a goal and finish first and we did that,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “It was great for us to come up with a win that way. The energy we got from this game, we will bring to Beijing.”

The win marked the second time the USA has defeated Canada by a 1-0 score to win the Peace Queen Cup, doing the same in the inaugural tournament in 2006.

This was the fourth time the USA and Canada have played in 2008 and it was by far the Maple Leaf’s best performance. Canada played compact defense in its 4-5-1 formation, sending its wingers high to put pressure on the U.S. backs, and did extremely well repelling bushels of U.S. services into their penalty area, both from the run of play and on set plays. The U.S. was also excellent on its set play defense as most of Canada’s danger came from its seven corner kicks.

The match could have changed in the 17th minute as Natasha Kai blew by a defender into the middle of the penalty area and cut a left-footed bouncing shot that got past McLeod. The ball hit the inside of the right post and rebounded into the goal mouth, just a foot from the line. Aly Wagner was crashing the net, but overran the ball, which hit a retreating the Canadian defender and then hit Wagner in the back of the leg. Somehow, the ball never crossed the goal line and Wagner couldn’t get a swing at it before the defender and McLeod were able to clear it out of danger.

The USA gave away far too many balls in the midfield in the first half, but full credit goes to Canada’s pressuring defense. Still, the Americans almost got a goal in stoppage time of the first half when Lori Chalupny collected a short clear at the top of the box after a corner kick and fired through goal mouth traffic. The ball flew through the legs of Wambach and took a small deflection off a Canadian defender, but somehow McLeod was able to stick her leg out to make the kick save.

Canadian captain Christie Sinclair had to leave the game for a few minutes early in the first half after getting a gash on her head in collision with Wambach. She returned and played the rest of the first half with her head heavily bandaged, but Canada started the second half with 10 players as Sinclair was receiving six stitches in her scalp.    

Right before Sinclair evened up the teams five minutes into the half, Kai just missed after she ran under a high ball to volley just past the left post from 10 yards out.

Canada’s first good chance of the game came in the 66th minute as Brittany Timko played a free-kick from the left wing across the top of the penalty area on the ground. Sinclair was able to make good contact, but spun her left-footer over the goal.

The USA had better possession in the second half and put consistent pressure in Canada’s defensive third, but that opened up space for counter-attacks, creating three good chances between the 70th and 80th minutes on fast breaks.

In the 71st minute, Kara Lang got free down the right side and hit an early ball that Melissa Tancredi couldn’t quite reach. Three minutes later, Timko played a ball from the left wing to the far post for Lang, but she hammered her shot into the side netting. In the 79th minute. Timko broke free again down the left wing and Chalupny had to slide to scramble away the dangerous service on the ground.

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo made two game-preserving saves at the end of the match, diving to her left to snag a header from Randee Hermus off a corner kick in the 84th minute. She also pushed a drive from Sinclair over the top in the final minutes of the game.

Before Hucles’ pass-goal, the USA almost won in the 88th minute through an unlikely attacking force as Heather Mitts spun a shot-cross from the top of the penalty area off the crossbar at the upper left corner.

That set the scene for Hucles’ heroics and McLeod’s blunder, which was unfortunate for her given that she had played an excellent match to that point.

The win gave the USA its fourth tournament title of the year after previously downing China in January for the championship of the Four Nations Tournament, defeating Denmark for the Algarve Cup title in March and triumphing over Canada in penalty kicks in the final of CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying in April.

Wambach won the Bronze Shoe as the tournament’s third leading scorer. Sinclair, who tallied five times, won the Golden Shoe. Australia’s Heather Garriock, who like Wambach tallied three times in the tournament, won the Silver Shoe. With the win, U.S. Soccer took home a $200,000 first place prize while Canada earned $50,000 for second.

The win moves the USA to 17-0-1 in 2008 with four friendly matches remaining before the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. team now returns home for a brief break before leaving for Europe on June 27 to play matches against Norway (on July 2 in Fredrikstad) and Sweden (on July 5 in Skelleftea). Sundhage will announce the 18-player Olympic roster on Monday, June 23.

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Match-up:    USA vs. Canada
Competition:      2008 Peace Queen Cup Championship Game
Venue:               Suwon World Cup Stadium, Suwon, South Korea
Date:                 June 21, 2008; Kickoff – 2:00 p.m. Local / 1 a.m. ET
Attendance:       25,280
Weather:    Breezy, cloudy – 78 degrees

Scoring Summary:     
                1    2     F     
USA        0    1     1
CAN       0    0     0    

USA – Angela Hucles (unassisted)    92nd minute.

Lineups:
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 26-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone, – Capt., 17-Lori Chalupny; 7-Shannon Boxx,  11-Carli Lloyd (16-Angela Hucles, 46), 10-Aly Wagner (9-Heather O’Reilly, 75); 5-Lindsay Tarpley (8-Lauren Cheney, 46); 6-Natasha Kai, 20-Abby Wambach.
Subs not used: 13-Tobin Heath, 14-Stephanie Cox, 15-Kate Markgraf, 19-Amy Rodriguez, 21-Kacey White, 24-Nicole Barnhart.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

CAN: 18-Erin McLeod; 3-Emily Zurrer, 4-Clare Rustad, 11-Randee Hermus, 9-Candace Chapman; 8-Diana Matheson, 7-Rhian Wilkinson, 19-Amber Allen (17-Brittany Timko, 30), 12-Christine Sinclair, 14-Melissa Tancredi, 15-Kara Lang.
Subs not used: 1-Karina LeBlanc, 2-Kristina Kiss, 5-Robin Gayle, 13-Amy Walsh.
Head Coach: Even Pellerud

Statistical Summary:           
USA / CAN
Shots: 13 / 7  
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3  
Saves: 3 / 4   
Corner Kicks: 8 / 7  
Fouls: 7 / 15  
Offside: 5 / 3  

Misconduct Summary:   
CAN – Kara Lang (caution)    82nd minute.

Officials:
Referee:     Alexandra Ihringova (ENG)         
Asst. Referee:     Cristina Cini (ITA)       
Asst. Referee:     Seul-Gi Lee (KOR)
4th Official:    Bibiana Steinhause (GER)   
 
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match:  Hope Solo

2008 Peace Queen Cup Awards

MVP
Golden Ball:    Angela Hucles (USA)
Silver Ball:    Christine Sinclair (CAN)
Bronze Ball:    Abby Wambach (USA)

Top Scorer
Golden Shoe:    Christine Sinclair (CAN)
Silver Shoe:     Heather Garriock (AUS)
Bronze Shoe:    Abby Wambach (USA)

Fair Play Award
Italy

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