"Tiffeny Milbrett was the show tonight," said U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco. "She almost single-handily dismantled their defense. Not only was she a threat to score every time she touched the ball, but she made some of the best passes of her career."
Milbrett's performance almost overshadowed Mia Hamm's 106th career goal, putting her just one shy of tying the world scoring record of 107, held by long-retired Italian legend Elisabetta Vignotto. The USA meets Holland again on Sunday, May 16, at Soldier Field in Chicago (Kickoff -- 1 p.m. CT), giving Hamm a good shot to tie or break the record in front of a national television audience on espn2.
The USA should have gone ahead just four minutes into the game after Cindy Parlow was fouled in the penalty box by Dutch defender Liesbeth Migchelsen, but Brandi Chastain's penalty kick was turned away on a diving save from goalkeeper Marleen Wissink, who played a solid match.
The USA and Milbrett broke through in the 14th minute as the diminutive but powerful forward took control of the ball at midfield and penetrated on the dribble through the middle of Holland's defense. She then lofted a deft pass out to Julie Foudy on the left wing. Foudy beat her defender and turned the corner toward the goal before rolling a cross on the ground back to the trailing Milbrett, who stroked her left-footed shot into the right corner under the foot of a sliding Dutch defender. Milbrett's 56th international score was the only goal of the first half despite some classy ball movement by the U.S. team that had Holland on the run.
Holland caught a second wind at the beginning of second half, putting pressure on the U.S. goal and forcing Saskia Webber to make three saves, but then the Americans took the game to another level, scoring five goals in a 17-minute span to put the game away. Webber, whose mother is Dutch, picked up the shutout.
In the 60th minute, Brandi Chastain's crafty pass popped Milbrett free in the penalty box. Milbrett side-stepped the last defender, took a touch to the goal and then faked Wissink to the ground before unselfishly feeding Parlow, who slid to slot the ball into a wide open net from two yards out for her 20th international score.
Six minutes later, Milbrett set up the third goal as well, springing Kristine Lilly behind the defense with a beautifully weighted pass. Lilly had time to compose herself before bending her left-footed shot around Wissink and tucking it into the left corner from 15 yards out. It was Lilly's 71st international goal.
Three minutes after that, Hamm got goal 106 after defender Christie Pearce, who entered the game at halftime for Michelle Akers, picked up the ball just over midfield and streaked down the left sideline. Pearce drew Wissink out and then rolled a cross to Hamm at the far post, who slid to knock the ball toward the net. Wissink got a solid hand on the ball, but couldn't turn it away.
"I did some good things tonight, but I would like to do more," said Hamm, whose goal delighted the Uihlein Soccer Park record crowd of 6,767 fans. "It was a good result because the Dutch have played some quality games against World Cup teams recently. We're excited about where we are, but it was nice to see the players off the bench play so well because to win this summer, it will take all of us."
Milbrett was the architect of the final goal as well, dancing through three defenders at the top of the penalty box before feeding MacMillan with a pass that left her one-on-one with Wissink. MacMillian bent her shot around Wissink with the outside of her right foot, burying the ball in the left corner and then took off running towards the U.S. bench, where she slid on her stomach and was engulfed under a pile of teammates.
"I was impressed with Holland," said Milbrett. "They've improved a lot since we played them three years ago. They have good ball movement and very good players. I know the game on Sunday will be much more difficult."
U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco, who is in the final stages of his decision-making process for his 20-player Women's World Cup roster that he will announce on Monday, May 17, at press conference at NIKETOWN Chicago, was impressed once again by the play of his team.
"Overall, it was a great performance," said DiCicco. "We were solid in the back, the substitutes played very well and we our finishing in the second half showed me that we are getting close to where we want to be."
1999 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||United States National Team vs. Holland National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE Road to Pasadena / International Friendly|
|Venue:||Uihlein Soccer Park (Milwaukee, Wisc.)|
|Date:||May 13, 1999; Kickoff 7:00 p.m. CT|
|Attendance:||6,767 (Uihlein Soccer Park Record)|
|Weather:||Cold, windy - 52 degrees|
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett, (Julie Foudy), 14,
USA - Cindy Parlow, (Tiffeny Milbrett), 60,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Tiffeny Milbrett), 66,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Christie Pearce), 69,
USA - Shannon MacMillan, (Tiffeny Milbrett), 77.
USA - 18-Saskia Webber, 4-Carla Overbeck (2-Lorrie Fair, 77th), 20-Kate Sobrero, 6-Brandi Chastain, 14-Joy Fawcett, 10-Michelle Akers (Christie Pearce, 46th), 11-Julie Foudy (15-Tisha Venturini, 75th), 13-Kristine Lilly, 12-Cindy Parlow, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 9-Mia Hamm (8-Shannon MacMillan, 75th).
HOL - 1-Marleen Wissink, 2-Liesbeth Migchelsen, 3-Sandra van Tol, 4-Daphne Koster, 5-Cindy Burger (12-Willemijn Lodder, 85th), 6-Gilanne Louwaars, 7-Sabine van Eijk, 8-Sarina Wiegman (17-Jessica Torny, 86th), 9-Lisan Goudena (18-Minke van der Waals, 90th), 10-Annemieke Griffioen, 11-Shirley Smith (13-Miranda Noom, 46th).
|Daphne Koster (caution)||70.|