CHICAGO (June 11, 2007) – U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team head coach Greg Ryan will bring 24 players on a two-week road trip as the world’s top-ranked team opens the 2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series with games against China on June 16 at Cleveland Browns Stadium (7 p.m. ET on ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS) and Brazil at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.Y., on June 23 (5 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
Ryan will name 18 players to suit up for each match as he continues the processes of paring down the squad to the 21-player Women’s World Cup eam, which will compete in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup from Sept. 10-30 in China. The U.S. team arrives in Cleveland on Monday from its base at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., where the USA has held Residency Training Camp since the beginning of April. The USA team will train in Cleveland from Tuesday through Friday, face China on Saturday, and then on Sunday travel to New Jersey, where the team will spend Monday and Tuesday before moving to New York City in final preparations for Brazil.
Tickets for USA-China are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Cleveland area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Macy’s), at the Cleveland Browns Stadium box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 216-241-5555. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com.
Tickets for the USA-Brazil match, which is the first meeting between the two teams since the 2004 Olympic gold medal game, are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino, Coconuts Music & Movies), at the Continental Airlines Arena Box Office (Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and by phone at 201-507-8900 or 609-520-8383. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by calling (312) 528-1290 or visiting ussoccer.com.
The USA-China clash at Cleveland Browns Stadium marks the first-ever game for the U.S. women in Cleveland, although the team has played eight times previously in Ohio, four of those at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus.
The USA-Brazil match at Giants Stadium rekindles special feelings for the four players on the U.S. roster who were members of the 1999 Women’s World Cup Team that opened that historic tournament with a 3-0 win over Denmark there. The most recent match for the U.S. women at Giants Stadium was a 1-1 tie with the Danes in early November of 2004 on the “Fan Celebration Tour” after the Olympic triumph.
Just nine of the 24 players on the preliminary roster have previous experience in Women’s World Cup tournaments and the rising young talent of the U.S. team will be on display in both matches. The young talent includes forwards Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly and Natasha Kai, midfielders Lori Chalupny and Leslie Osborne and defenders Stephanie Lopez and Marian Dalmy, who earned her first-ever senior team cap on April 14 of this year against Mexico.
Two-time Women’s World Cup veteran Kate Markgraf (157 caps) is almost back to full fitness after missing the 2007 Algarve Cup and the April 14 Mexico match due to injuries, further strengthening an experienced back line that also features Christie Rampone (162) and Cat Whitehill (108).
China is currently ranked 11th in the world, having tumbled down the FIFA rankings due to a string of poor results, but under new head coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors, who previously coached her native Sweden for over a decade, China has put together a four-game unbeaten run and heads to the USA with a fresh outlook, meaning this could be one of the more competitive USA-China matches of late.
Brazil is eighth in the FIFA World Rankings, and the match against the USA should prove an interesting litmus test for the long-time South American power, who have been basically absent from the world stage since the 2004 Olympics, playing only at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea last October and then in their Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament soon after. At that tournament, Brazil lost to Argentina for the first time ever, but still qualified for China.
Following the Brazil match, the U.S. team will go on an extended break before re-grouping in Hartford, Conn., on July 6 to prepare for the match against Norway on July 14 in East Hartford, Conn., as team captain Kristine Lilly returns to her home state. The USA will then play Japan on July 28 in San Jose, Calif. The team hits the stretch run with a game on Aug. 12 against New Zealand in Chicago, Ill., before playing the Send-Off match in Carson, Calif., at The Home Depot Center against Finland on Aug. 25. Of the USA’s six Send-Off Series opponents, only Finland will not compete in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM
USA vs. China – June 16 in Cleveland, Ohio
USA vs. Brazil – June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J.
Players Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
Barnhart, Nicole GK 5-10 10/10/81 Gilbertsville, Pa. Stanford 3
Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Notre Dame 64/14
Chalupny, Lori M 5-4 01/29/84 St. Louis, Mo. UNC 38/4
Dalmy, Marian D 5-10 11/25/84 Lakewood, Colo. Santa Clara 2/0
Ellertson, Tina D 5-9 05/20/82 Vancouver, Wash. Washington 21/0
Hucles, Angela M 5-7 07/05/78 Virginia Beach, Va. Virginia 64/5
Jobson, Marci M 5-7 12/04/75 St. Charles, Ill. SMU 14/0
Kai, Natasha F 5-8 05/22/83 Kahuku, Hawaii Hawaii 24/7
Lilly, Kristine F 5-4 07/22/71 Wilton, Conn. UNC 325/122
Lloyd, Carli M 5-8 07/16/82 Delran, N.J. Rutgers 30/5
Lohman, Joanna M 5-5 06/26/82 Silver Spring, Md. Penn State 9/0
Lopez, Stephanie D 5-6 04/03/86 Elk Grove, Calif. Portland 18/0
Markgraf, Kate D 5-7 08/23/76 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 157/0
O’Reilly, Heather F 5-5 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.J. UNC 59/10
Osborne, Leslie M 5-8 05/27/83 Brookfield, Wis. Santa Clara 38/2
Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Point Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 162/4
Scurry, Briana GK 5-8 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 160
Solo, Hope GK 5-9 07/30/81 Richland, Wash. Washington 44
Tarpley, Lindsay F 5-6 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC 67/15
Trotter, India D 5-8 03/10/85 Plantation, Fla. Florida State 2/0
Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 112/21
Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 90/71
Welsh, Christie F 5-10 02/27/81 Massapequa Park, N.Y. Penn State 39/20
Whitehill, Cat D 5-5 02/10/82 Birmingham, Ala. UNC 108/11
WNT Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (7): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (6): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.)
Head Coach: Greg Ryan Colorado Springs, Colo.
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall St. Charles, Ill.
Asst./GK Coach: Phil Wheddon Monroe, Conn.
Asst. Coach: Billy McNicol Huntington Beach, Calif.
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey Redondo Beach, Calif.
Equipment Manager: Jeanine Avila Eagle Rock, Calif.
Medical Trainer: Gigi Garcia Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Medical Trainer: Michele Gould Wilmington, Del.
Massage Therapist: Scott Street East Troy, Wis.
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi Long Beach, Calif.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Cypress, Calif.
Team Security: Mark Pharris Atlanta, Ga.