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Natasha Kai

Women's National Team
National Teams

WNT vs Japan Highlights July 28 2007

The U.S. Women’s National Team got a powerful header from Shannon Boxx in the first half, and second half strikes from Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach to record a rousing 4-1 win over Japan.

Sweden Edges U.S. Women on Penalties in Algarve Final

FARO, Portugal (March 11, 2009) – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell in a penalty kick shootout to Sweden in the championship game of the 2009 Algarve Cup after the match ended dramatically with a 1-1 score in regulation.

Shannon Boxx equalized in the 90th minute and the match went directly to penalty kicks, where the USA lost 4-3 after seven shooters.

Boxx’s goal came after an intense second half of searching for a tying goal to answer Lotta Schelin’s tally in the 18th minute. The Americans finally got it with seconds left in regulation time.

Carli Lloyd slipped past a player in midfield with a nice cut move and played a perfect ball into the left side of the penalty area to the streaking Natasha Kai. The Hawaiian ran the ball down at the end line, but was knocked down by a retreating Swedish defender. From a sitting position, Kai managed to knock the ball back to Megan Rapinoe in the left side of the penalty area. Rapinoe struck a hard cross on the ground through the goal mouth to Boxx at the far post where she slammed it first-time into the net from two yards away.

The dramatic goal, the USA’s second 90th-minute score of the tournament, led to an even more dramatic penalty kick shootout.

Sweden’s Louise Fors started her country out with a hard shot into the lower left corner. Boxx answered with a perfect blast into the upper right corner. Lisa Dahlkvist also found the lower left corner, setting the stage for Rapinoe, whose driven shot was almost directly at Swedish goalkeeper Kristin Hammarstrøm and she batted the ball away.

Linda Sembrandt hit her shot off the left post and in, followed by Lloyd tucking her chance away into the left corner as well to make it 3-2 Sweden after three shots each. The USA then got new life as Anna Paulson skied Sweden’s fourth shot over the bar. The Americans didn’t take advantage as Christie Rampone clanged her shot off the inside of the left post and behind the Swedish ‘keeper, but it didn’t cross the goal line.

Schelin then stepped to the spot on her team’s fifth kick with a chance to win the match, but Solo acrobatically pushed her shot away with a full-extension dive to left post. The miss meant that late substitute Tina DiMartino had to convert the USA’s fifth kick to send the shootout into sudden death. DiMartino’s shot was seemingly saved by Hammarstrøm with a dive to the left post, which would have ended the game, but somehow the ball squeezed through the goalkeeper’s hands and rolled across the goal line.

Emelie Ölander then blasted her shot over the goal and incredibly, Sweden had missed its fourth, fifth and sixth kicks, giving 88th minute sub Angie Woznuk a chance to win it for the USA. Unfortunately, Hammarstrøm guessed correctly and pushed Woznuk’s shot away with a dive to the left post.

Stine Segerstrom then finished smartly into the lower left corner on her team’s seventh penalty and Heather Mitts cracked her shot off the left post and out to give Sweden the victory.

Mitts earned her 100th cap for the USA in the match, becoming the 25th female player and eighth defender in U.S. history to reach that career milestone.

The Americans had gifted Sweden the lead off a give-away in USA’s defensive third by Boxx, who hit her back-pass too lightly to Rampone and created a 3-v-1 situation. Caroline Seger swooped in to control the ball, dribbled hard at Rampone and then played a pass to her left to the wide-open Schelin. The lanky Swedish striker had plenty of time to pick her corner and rolled her shot into the lower right corner past the charging Solo. It would be the last time Schelin would beat Solo, her former teammate on the Swedish club side Kopparbergs/Goteborg, although she had plenty of chances.

In the 24th minute, Sara Thunebro got around the left side of the U.S. defense and cut a cross back to Schelin who was making a hard run to the top of the six-yard box. She swiped at the ball from almost point blank range, but somehow Solo, who was moving across the goal, stuck her foot out and saved the shot. The rebound bounced off the fallen Schelin and over the end line.

In the 52nd minute, Schelin was back terrorizing the U.S. defense as she tussled with Boxx on a through ball. Boxx went down, giving Schelin another one-on-one with Solo, but the U.S. ‘keeper flung herself at the ball and gobbled it up as Schelin tried to dribble around her.

In the 67th minute, Schelin got behind the U.S. defense once again, but this time Solo held her ground and timed her challenge perfectly, stealing the ball right off her feet.

Sweden was certainly the better team in the first half, attacking with fervor and creating a few chances that were either saved by Solo or scrambled away by the defense, while exerting intense defensive pressure in the midfield that precluded the Americans from developing any sort of rhythm. Sweden forward Victoria Svensson did a great job of finding the space between the U.S. midfield and backline, then combining with her teammates, but the U.S. backs held strong after giving up that 18th minute goal.

Sweden’s goal marked the only one allowed by the USA in the tournament.

The Swedes may also have done enough to win the match in the second half, but the U.S. team never gave up its search for an equalizer while playing much better in the final 45 minutes.

Sundhage sent on forward Amy Rodriguez at halftime and moved Rapinoe to the left midfield slot where she created all kinds of danger. Boxx also moved into more of a midfield role.

The USA started to make a real push midway through the second half, and Rampone’s run from the back in the 63rd minute almost produced a goal, but her bending ball behind the defense from the left side of the penalty area was just a bit too far for Rodriguez.

Three minutes later, Rapinoe slipped a pass through the Sweden defense to the streaking Rodriguez, but she fired her breakaway chance at Hammarstrøm who pulled off the kick save.

Three minutes after that, the USA sent a looping ball into the penalty area that bounced hard over the onrushing Hammarstrøm and a defender had to clear it out of the six-yard box with an overhead kick.

In the 75th minute, Rapinoe was taken down above the left side of the penalty area, but Lloyd ripped her free kick right at the Swedish ‘keeper from 30 yards away. Lloyd had another chance two minutes later as she played a short corner to Rodriguez, got it back as she dribbled centrally and ripped a shot that a Swedish defender headed out of the hands of her own ‘keeper at the left post.

Solo had to come up big again with five minutes left as Sweden’s counterattack continued to threaten. The U.S. ‘keeper flew to her left to snag a shot from Madelaine Edlund that could have snuck inside the left post. Solo’s phenomenal performance in her three starts at the Algarve Cup earned her Best Player of the tournament honors. It was first time in 14 Algarve Cups that a goalkeeper has won the award.

The USA only had one or two good chances in a lackluster first half, but one came right after Sweden’s goal as Lloyd found a bit of space to win a long throw-in into Sweden’s penalty area. She got a good strike on the ball, but hammered her shot off the legs of Hammarstrøm from about 10 yards away.

The match marked the USA’s seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game. The USA won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, but fell in penalty kicks to the Germans in the 2006. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000.

The U.S. played without starting defender Lori Chalupny, who missed her second straight game due to illness, but Rachel Buehler filled in admirably at left back.

In the other Algarve Cup placement matches, Poland reversed a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Wales in the final match of Group C play to defeat the Welsh 2-1 and take eleventh place. Norway defeated Austria, 2-0, to take ninth. Finland and Portugal tied 1-1 after regulation before the hosts fell 4-2 in penalty kicks and China PR downed Iceland, 1-0, to take third. A 43rd minute goal from Julie Rydahl Bukh gave Denmark a 1-0 upset win against Germany in the third-place match.

The U.S. players now head back to United States to join their WPS clubs in final preparations for the inaugural season that opens March 29 as the Washington Freedom visit the Los Angeles Sol. The U.S. team will not come together again until this summer for matches that will be announced in the near future.


Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden
Date: March 11, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Championship Game
Venue: Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (Noon ET)
Attendance: 1,200
Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary: 1    2    F    PKs
USA                            0    1    1    3
SWE                           1    0    1    4

SWE – Lotta Schelin (Caroline Seger) 18th minute
USA – Shannon Boxx (Megan Rapinoe) 90

Penalty Summary:
SWE: Fors (goal), Dahlkvist (goal), Sembrandt (goal), Paulson (miss – high), Schelin (saved), Ölander (miss – high), Segerström (goal)
USA: Boxx (goal), Rapinoe (saved), Lloyd (goal), Rampone (miss – left post), DiMartino (goal), Woznuk (saved), Mitts (miss – left post)

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Angie Woznuk, 88), 16-Angela Hucles (19-Tina DiMartino, 83), 10-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46); 15-Megan Rapinoe, 6-Natasha Kai
Subs not used: 13-Kendall Fletcher, 17-Lori Chalupny, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Kacey White
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarstrøm, 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 3-Stina Segerström, 4-Anna Paulson, 6-Sara Thunebro (7-Emelie Ölander, 46); 5-Caroline Seger (19-Linda Sembrandt, 78), 15-Therese Sjögran (16-Louise Fors, 63), 17-Kosovare Aslani (14-Madelaine Edlund, 53), 18-Nilla Fischer (20-Lisa Dahlkvist, 37); 11-Victoria Svensson (capt.) (10-Sara Lindén, 71), 8-Lotta Schelin
Subs not used: 1-Hedvid Lindahl, 9-Anna Lindblom, 13-Alexandra Niilsson
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby

Statistical Summary: USA / SWE
Shots: 11 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 5 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 5 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Fourth Official: Gyongyi Gaal (HUN) Woman of the Match:
Hope Solo

Algarve Cup Final Standings
1. Sweden
2. USA
3. Denmark
4. Germany
5. China
6. Iceland
7. Finland
8. Portugal
9. Norway
10. Austria
11. Poland
12. Wales

Rapinoe Goal Gives U.S. 1-0 Win Against Norway

FERREIRAS, Portugal (March 9, 2009) – Forward Megan Rapinoe scored in the 21st minute to give the U.S. Women’s National Team a 1-0 victory against Norway in the final group game for both teams at the 2009 Algarve Cup.

The U.S. will face Sweden in the Algarve Cup championship game on Wednesday, March 11, at the Stadium Algarve in Faro. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET and fans can follow live on’s MatchTracker. Sweden won Group A by defeating Germany 3-2 after going up 3-0 at halftime, in a game the Scandinavians had to win to make the title match. The championship game match-up pits U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage against her home country.

Coming into the Norway game, the USA had already qualified for the championship by virtue of earlier victories over Denmark and Iceland, but the U.S. put a positive capper on group play with its third straight shutout in a contest that at times turned into a track meet of counter attacks.

Norway fielded a squad with several young players and battled gamely for the entire match with the U.S. goal coming slightly against the run of play. It originated from the left wing as midfielder Kacey White took a hard dribble down the flank before playing a threaded pass to Amy Rodriguez at the top of the penalty area. With her back to the goal, Rodriguez spun a first-time pass to Rapinoe, who took a touch to the inside to beat a player, continued for a few more yards and then smashed her skimming shot across the face of the goal, off the left post and into the net. Norwegian goalkeeper Caroline Knutsen almost got a glove to the ball, but the pace of the shot was enough to beat her.

It was Rapinoe’s third international goal in just her second start after scoring twice off the bench against Chinese Taipei in 2006.

Goalkeeper Hope Solo came up big for USA once again, making an eye-popping save in the 18th minute off a shot from Kristine Lie. The Norwegian forward found space at the top of the U.S. penalty area on the left side and struck a spinning shot that was surely headed into the absolute upper right corner. Solo got a magnificent jump on the ball and executed a fully extended dive to tip the ball over the goal with her right hand. She then punched away the ensuing corner kick.

While the game was end-to-end, and the USA did outshoot Norway 12-9, both teams struggled to consistently test each other’s ‘keeper. Norway did have a golden chance in just the fourth minute as Ingvild Isaksen popped free in front of the goal, but shot wide right from 10 yards away.

The USA almost made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute as White lifted a looping pass over the Norway defensive line to Rodriguez, who powered through a defender to win the ball, but lifted her shot just wide right of the goal.

Lindsay Tarpley, who played in the center of the midfield for the full 90 minutes, had a semi-breakaway chance five minutes into the second half as she ran onto a ball that had been guided on by halftime sub Natasha Kai, but Knutsen got a piece her close range shot to push it wide left.

Norway put excellent defensive pressure on the U.S. backs and midfielders, making it very difficult for the Americans to find an attacking rhythm. The U.S. backs were stellar, matching Norway’s physical play for 90 minutes. On the back line, Sundhage gave a first cap to Kendall Fletcher, who also picked up her first yellow card, while Rachel Buehler, Heather Mitts and Christie Rampone ran down every counter attack and battled for every air ball. Shannon Boxx came into the game in the 62nd minute for Mitts as Fletcher moved to right back and helped keep the Norwegian attack at bay.

Solo pulled off another top class save in the 83rd minute when Norwegian captain Ingvild Stensland rocketed a shot that forced U.S. ‘keeper to spring straight up and tip it off the crossbar and over the goal.

The USA is the only country in the 12-team tournament that has yet to allow a goal.

The USA will be playing in its seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game, having won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The USA fell in penalty kicks to Germany in the 2006 final. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000 and will be going for its sixth overall title.


Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Norway
Date: March 9, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (11 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 400
Weather: 66 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary:    1    2    F
USA                               1    0    1
NOR                              0    0    0

USA – Megan Rapinoe (Amy Rodriguez)          21st minute

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (7-Shannon Boxx, 62), 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 13-Kendall Fletcher, 4-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Angie Woznuk, 83), 16-Angela Hucles (10-Carli Lloyd, 46), 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 21-Kacey White, 15-Megan Rapinoe (19-Tina DiMartino, 70), 8-Amy Rodriguez (6-Natasha Kai, 46)
Subs not used: 17-Lori Chalupny, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

NOR: 12-Caroline Knutsen; 6-Camilla Huse (10-Lindy Melissa Wiik, 60), 7-Trine Rønning, 15-Hedda Strand Gardsjord, 18-Toril Akerhaugen; 4-Ingvild Stensland, 5-Anneli Giske, 17-Maren Mjelde, 21-Lena Storløkken (13-Siri Nordeide Grønli, 80); 19-Ingvild Isaksen (11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 60), 20-Kristin Lie
Subs not used: 1-Ingrid Hjelmseth, 2-Solfrid Andersen, 3-Marita Skammelsrud Lund, 8-Solveig Gulbrandsen, 14-Marthe Johansen, 16-Ingrid Schjelderup
Head Coach: Bjarne Berntsen

Statistical Summary: USA / NOR
Shots: 12 / 9
Shots on Goal: 5 / 5
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 2 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 5 / 7

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Kendall Fletcher (caution)       45th minute
NOR – Trine Ronning (caution)          75

Referee: Gyongyi Gall (HUN)
Assistant: Referee: Yolanda Parga Rodriguez (ESP)
Assistant: Referee: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierres (ESP)
Fourth Official: Kirsi Savolainen (FIN) Woman of the Match:
Megan Rapinoe

Post-Match Quote Sheet: U.S. WNT 1, Iceland 0

U.S. Head Coach Pia Sundhage
On if she was pleased with the match:
“Yes and no. It’s great to be a winner, 1-0, on a fantastic goal by Natasha Kai coming off the bench, but the first half was crap, if I may say so.”

On the match:
“We tried to get numbers around the ball in the middle, but when that didn’t work we wanted to stretch them out a little bit because Iceland plays with such a big heart, and they gave us a hard time in the middle. We struggled with completed passes to get possession, but with the subs, [Heather O’Reilly] on the right and Tarpley on the left, we stretched it out even more. I thought it became a little bit better and the wind might have been a factor in the first 45 minutes. Overall, the best part of this game was a great goal by Natasha Kai.”

On the second half:
“We made some changes, two things. Megan Rapinoe moved central sitting underneath [the other forward] and she stepped up big time compared to her first 45 minutes. The other thing we tried with 10 minutes left, we brought in Rachel Buehler and Shannon Boxx [moved into the midfield]. I think that was a move where you gain some confidence, and you try to push it to get that goal. I felt that it was tactically an interesting game especially in the last 30 minutes.”

On the match:
“When we play against that compact defending, we need to stretch it a little bit more and get to the end line and we didn’t do that. We made some not so good decisions. But that’s all good because we need to learn from every single game, and this is a game where we will talk about how we can improve.”

On Kai’s goal:
“When she turned I felt that it was a goal, and then I heard it. It was brilliant.”

U.S. Forward Natasha Kai
On her goal:
“We talked last night in the meeting about making early runs. I saw [Christie Rampone] with the little head nod and gave me the sign to make that little outside bending run and it worked. She played a great ball behind the back four. I brought it down with my chest, flicked it over the defender and volleyed it with my left foot in the corner. 1-0 we win!”

On the match:
“In soccer, you are not going to score a lot of goals. The weather was a factor, but being professionals, we have to take everything we get. We are all fighters. We fought to the end and came out victorious with one goal and that’s all it takes to win.”

U.S. Midfielder/Forward Megan Rapinoe
On the match:
“It was a hard-fought game. They brought the fight the whole time. The wind was awful. The ball was getting caught up the whole time, but those are things you had to deal with, and we got the win.”

On Kai’s goal:
“Sick. So sick. Right? She brought it down, a little touch over the girl and a sick volley. That was great for her confidence to get a goal like that. It was amazing.”

On moving from left midfield to the withdrawn forward role at the start of the second half:
“She put me up top, kind of holding, and I was able to find the space. I think they were kind of stretched out a little bit more in the second half so space sort of opened up in the middle, and I was playing off Carli and Ang, and it kind of opened up a little bit for the outside middies.”

On how hard it is to play against a bunkering team:
“Very hard. You have to be so patient, especially this team, we love to attack, kind of maybe impatiently sometimes. You just have to be patient and let the play develop. You can’t really force anything.”

U.S. Captain Christie Rampone
On the match:
“It was a very frustrating match. The wind, the field, and not being able to control the ball and get into our rhythm were pretty frustrating. At the end of the day, we kept fighting and fighting and got that last minute goal so it’s something to take away, but we definitely have to do better next game.”

On getting the last minute goal:
“It’s just a good mentality with the USA team. We persevere. Things weren’t going right but we were still trying to bring the ball down and work on things. Some touches were off and some passes were too far with the wind, but we never gave up and that shows character which is what this team is all about.”

Kai's 90th-Minute Winner Puts U.S. Into 2009 Algarve Cup Final

FERREIRAS, Portugal (March 6, 2009) – Forward Natasha Kai scored a spectacular goal in the last minute of regulation time to give the U.S. Women’s National Team a dramatic 1-0 victory over Iceland in the second group game for both teams at the 2009 Algarve Cup.

The U.S. victory, combined with Denmark’s 2-0 win against Norway, clinched Group B and a berth in the championship game on March 11 at Stadium Algarve in Faro against the winner of Group A. The U.S. will face Norway in its final group match on March 9 in Ferreiras (10 a.m. on’s MatchTracker), but that result will have no impact on the USA’s standing in the group.

The USA is currently first in Group B with six points, followed by Iceland and Denmark with three each. Norway has zero points after losing to both Iceland and Denmark. Even if the USA were to lose to Norway and either Iceland or Denmark picked up three points in its final match, both would still finish behind the USA on the first tiebreaker – the head-to-head result – as the USA has already defeated both the Danes and the Icelanders.

Germany has control of Group A after a dominating 3-0 victory against China PR today. The Germans need a win or a tie against Sweden on the final match day to take the group title and earn a match-up with the USA at the beautiful 30,000 seat Stadium Algarve, which was built for the 2004 European Championship. Sweden defeated Finland 1-0 today to keep its championship hopes alive, but it must defeat Germany to book its place in the final.

The USA advances to its unprecedented seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game, having won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The USA fell in penalty kicks to Germany in the 2006 final. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000 and will be going for its sixth overall title. This is the first time in 14 Algarve Cup appearances that the USA has earned a berth to the championship match after two group games.

The wind played a major factor against Iceland with the USA attacking into the teeth of it during the first half. With the wind at its back in the second half, Kai’s goal came after an extended period of U.S. chances during the last 45 minutes.

Iceland was just hanging on at the end of the game, but surely its players were thinking that they had earned a point when a desperate clearance was settled by U.S. captain Christie Rampone on the left edge of the center circle in the USA’s attacking half. She spied Kai making a run into the penalty area and drove an inch-perfect pass over the top of the Iceland defense to the U.S. forward. Kai brought the ball down on her chest just a step inside the penalty area, let it bounce once and then lifted it over an onrushing Iceland defender. Kai then darted past the defender and ripped a left-footed half-volley into the right corner from 12 yards out. A frenzied U.S. celebration ensued.

The Americans struggled mightily in the first half as they tried to create an attacking rhythm, but a committed Iceland team in a compact 4-5-1 formation combined with the swirling winds forced numerous errant passes from the U.S. team.

Iceland took advantage of the wind to create some shots in the first half as both teams fired five with just one on goal, but once the second half started, it was pretty much one-way traffic for the USA.

At halftime, Sundhage sent on Heather O’Reilly at right midfield and Lindsay Tarpley on the left, moving Megan Rapinoe from the outside into the withdrawn forward slot, where she played well, and the Americans started to find the width and create more chances. The USA earned seven of its 10 corner kicks after the break as well sending numerous services into the penalty box after Iceland fouls on the wings.

The match was certainly physical, and at times a bit nasty, but full credit goes to Iceland for staying organized and blocking at least a dozen dangerous-looking U.S. shots and crosses.

Iceland was unwilling to come out of its defensive shell during the first 30 minutes of the second half as the USA pounded away unsuccessfully at their bunker, but then the Europeans put together a few counter attacks that almost won the game.

Iceland got its first chance of the second half in the 72nd minute after stripping the ball from the U.S. midfield, which led to a Dora Maria Larusdóttir hitting a blistering drive from the right side of the penalty area. U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart had to tip the ball over the crossbar, leading to the first of two consecutive Iceland corner kicks that were successfully defended by the USA.

Shannon Boxx and Heather Mitts both made timely tackles inside the U.S. penalty area in the last 15 minutes to defuse Iceland counter-attacks.

In the 87th minute, Barnhart came out to the top of the penalty area to challenge a bouncing ball and collided hard with Rakel Hönnudóttir, but while the Icelandic midfielder got a foot to the ball first, fortunately for the USA it bounced wide right of the goal.

Kai came into the match in the 68th minute and earned several corner kicks with rushes down the wings while almost scoring in the 87th minute after running onto a ball slipped into the right side of the penalty area by O’Reilly. Kai turned to smack her shot high to the near post, but Iceland goalkeeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir pushed it over the crossbar.

With one minute left in regulation, substitute Rachel Buehler, who had come on just five minutes earlier, knifed through the penalty box to get her head on a Carli Lloyd free-kick from the ride side, but sent her chance skimming wide right.

One minute later, Gunnarsdóttir could do nothing with Kai’s world-class strike, her 24th international goal, and Boxx and Mitts then repelled two long Iceland services off free kicks during the three minutes of stoppage time to earn the victory.

The U.S. will now get two days of rest before facing Norway on Monday and then will begin preparing for either Germany or Sweden in the championship game which will be contested at 1:15 p.m. local / 9:15 a.m. ET. Fans will be able to follow the title match on’s MatchTracker.


Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland
Date: March 6, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy, windy

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

USA – Natasha Kai (Christie Rampone)       90th minute

USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny; 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Angela Hucles (4-Rachel Buehler, 84), 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Angie Woznuk (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 19-Tina DiMartino (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 8-Amy Rodriguez (6-Natasha Kai, 68).
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo, 13-Kendall Fletcher, 21-Kacey White.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

ISL: 12-Gudbörg Gunnarsdóttir; 2-Gúdrun Gunnarsdóttir, 3-Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 8-Katrin Jonsdóttir – Capt., 18-Sif Altadóttir (14-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir, 36); 4-Edda Gardarsdóttir, 6- Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir (17-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 64), 7-Dóra Stefansdóttir, 10-Dóra Maria Larusdóttir (16-Erla Steina Arnardóttir, 91+), 11-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (20-Katrin Ómarsdóttir, 45); 9-Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir.
Subs not used: 1-María Bjorg Águstsdóttir, 5-Ásta Árnadóttir, 13-Gudný Björk Odinsdóttir, 15-Hallbera Gudný Gisladóttir, 19-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir
Head Coach: Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson

Statistical Summary: USA / ISL
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Shannon Boxx (caution)                    41st minute
ISL – Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir (caution)    71

Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Kirsi Savolainen (FIN) Woman of the Match:
Natasha Kai

2009 Algarve Cup Standings and Schedule

Called into her first training camp with the Women’s National Team in February of 2006 … Made her debut at the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal, scoring in her first two games against Denmark and France, both as a substitute … Became the fourth player in U.S. WNT history to score in her first two caps … Scored four goals in her first seven WNT matches, including the winner in a 1-0 victory against Japan on May 9, 2006 … Became the first-ever player from Hawaii to play for the WNT and to make a FIFA Women’s World Cup Team… 2009: Played in four games, starting two, and scored one goal, which was one of the best of the year and the best of her career, coming in the final minute of a 1-0 victory against Iceland at the Algarve Cup … Had major shoulder surgery in the fall … 2008: Had her best scoring year with the WNT, leading the team with 15 goals … Played in 28 games, starting 20 … Scored a goal for every 106 minutes she was on the field … Scored one of the most important goals in U.S. history when her diving header defeated Canada, 2-1, in the Olympic quarterfinal match … Played in six matches at the Olympics, five of them off the bench … Scored the winning goal in a 1-0 victory against Brazil in the final pre-Olympic match … Scored against Denmark in the championship game of the 2008 Algarve Cup … Scored four goals in Olympic qualifying, two against Mexico in front of a sell-out crowd in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and two more against Costa Rica in the victory that qualified the USA for the 2008 Olympics … Notched her first career hat trick in a 6-0 win against Canada on May 10 in Washington, D.C. … 2007: Played in 18 games, starting four … Scored two goals with three assists during the year … One of her goals came in a 2-0 win against China at the Four Nations Tournament, giving the USA the tournament title ... Was one of the final three players chosen to the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team … Saw brief action in three Women’s World Cup matches … 2006: Played in 17 games in her first year on the national team, starting four ... Scored six goals, including two at the 2006 Algarve Cup ... She also scored against Japan, Ireland, Canada and Australia ... Her goal against the Matildas came in a 2-0 win at the Peace Cup in South Korea … Youth National Teams: First brought in with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team in 2004, and was the leading scorer on the team with 12 goals, including six in international matches … Helped lead the U-21s to the Nordic Cup title in Iceland, scoring three goals in the tournament including two against Germany … Injured her shoulder in her final college game of 2004, then re-injured it again in her first U-21 camp of 2005, requiring surgery, and did not get called into a U-21 camp again until January of 2006 … First Appearance: March 11, 2006, vs. Denmark ... First Goal: March 11, 2006, vs. Denmark.

2009: Allocated to Sky Blue FC for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Played in 18 games for SBFC, starting 16, and was the team’s leading scorer with six goals … Played a key role in helping Sky Blue earn the fourth and final playoff berth, then played in all three playoff matches, starting just one, while scoring one goal with one assist to help the club to the first-ever WPS title … Youth: Played club for Kailua AA and on occasion for the Leahi Soccer Club during her youth soccer career.

Full name is Natasha Kanani Janine Kai … Nickname is Tasha or TK ... Majored in sociology ... Likes to surf, especially her home beach at the North Shore … Likes to hang out with her friends, go dancing and spend time with her family … Loves to travel and meet new people … Has three younger brothers and two younger sisters ... Has more than 25 tattoos, by far the most ever for a WNT player … Younger sister Krisha played soccer at Hawaii ... Is a great aunt to her pride and joys, nephews Kaizen and Zylaher … Likes to sing and takes after her father Benny Kai, who is a professional singer at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Oahu … Has an addiction to belt buckles and shoes … Her favorite meal is the No. 1 at McDonald’s … Favorite color is pink … Favorite Hawaiian food is poke & poi.

Became the first player in WAC history to earn three Player of the Year awards and First-Team all-conference honors all four seasons … Scored 15 goals with four assists as a senior … One of the top offensive players in the nation during her career, she owns the WAC career shots record (446) and is second in goals (72) and points (162) … She finished her college career with 72 goals in 73 matches … Voted the team’s MVP and Most Outstanding Striker as a sophomore, junior and senior ... As a junior, she led the team in scoring with a team-high 12 goals, while adding five assists … Seven of her goals were game-winners, including three in overtime ... Suffered a broken collarbone in the waning minutes of UH’s finale against Tulsa in the WAC Tournament ... As a sophomore, she led the nation in goals scored (29) and set or tied 13 new school and conference records, including UH records for goals in a match (5 vs. Morehead St.), and season (29) … Scored seven game-winning goals and also scored a goal in nine straight matches ... Scored multiple goals in eight matches, including four hat tricks ... Scored four goals against Nevada, tying the WAC record for goals in a conference match ... As a freshman, she completed record-breaking rookie campaign by setting or tying eight school records, three freshman records, and four conference records ... Named WAC Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, becoming the first player in conference history to accomplish the feat ... A 2001 graduate of Kahuku High School in Kahuku, Oahu, she was regarded as perhaps the top female high school athlete in the state ... Earned four letters each in soccer and track, two in volleyball and one each in basketball and cross country ... A two-time Oahu Interscholastic Association soccer all-star ... Earned All-State and Gatorade Player of the Year honors her senior season ... Led the Red Raiders to the division title her senior season, the first title in the school’s history … Voted to the OIA East first team in volleyball her senior season and earned OIA first team and all-state second team honors in basketball her senior season ... A two-time state champion and record holder in the 300 hurdles ... Also captured state titles in the 110 hurdles, high jump and long jump.