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U.S. Women's National Team Ready To Face Japan in First of Two-Game Series

U.S. Women's National Team Game Notes
USA vs. Japan
Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
May 14, 2011

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TEAM HEADS INTO TWO MATCHES AGAINST JAPAN: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage named the 21-player U.S. Women’s World Cup Team on Monday, May 9. That is the squad she takes into a two-game series against Japan, which is currently ranked fourth in the world, and the USA’s Send-Off Match against Mexico. The U.S. team is coming off a three-week training camp in West Palm Beach, Fla., during which the players joined their clubs on the weekends for WPS games. A total of 29 players were called in at some point during the camp before Sundhage settled on the final 21. These will be the USA’s first domestic matches of 2011.

U.S. WNT Roster - Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), 21-Jill Loyden (magicJack), 1-Hope Solo (magicJack)
DEFENDERS (7): 19-Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 11-Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), 3-Christie Rampone (magicJack), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (magicJack), 17-Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), 16-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (magicJack)
FORWARDS (4): 12-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 13-Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (magicJack)

THREE AND OUT: The three domestic games will be the final official internationals before the U.S. women open World Cup play on June 28 in Dresden, Germany, against Korea DPR. All three of the USA’s domestic matches will be televised live. The match on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX Soccer and the match on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The U.S. team will face Mexico on June 5 at Red Bull Arena in a game that kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Fans can also follow the action as it happens on’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. The U.S. team will depart for Austria in mid-June for a pre-Women’s World Cup training camp before arriving in Dresden five days before its opening match.

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV Venue
May 14 Japan 6:30 p.m. FOX Soccer Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio
May 18 Japan 7 p.m. ESPN2 WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
June 5 Mexico 2 p.m. ESPN2 Red Bull Arena; Harrison, N.J.
June 28 Korea DPR 11:45 a.m. ESPN Rudolf-Harbig-Stadium; Dresden, Germany
July 2 Colombia 11:30 a.m. ESPN Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim, Germany
July 6 Sweden 2:30 p.m. ESPN Arena im Allerpark; Wolfsburg, Germany

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN: It is now just six weeks from the start of 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will take place from June 26-July 17 in nine venues across Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. The USA will face Korea DPR on June 28 in Dresden, Colombia on July 2 in Sinsheim and Sweden on July 6 in Wolfsburg during first round play. The 16 nations competing are: host Germany; Korea DPR, Japan and Australia from Asia; Sweden, Norway, France and England from Europe; New Zealand from Oceania; the USA, Canada and Mexico from CONCACAF; Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea from Africa; and Brazil and Colombia from South America.

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster features three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders and four forwards. Since the 2008 Olympics, Sundhage has called up approximately 50 players for training camps and international games before settling on her final roster. Leading the way is U.S. captain Christie Rampone, who will be playing in her fourth Women’s World Cup tournament. Rampone is the last remaining player from the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team. Midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Abby Wambach will be playing in their third World Cup tournaments. Sundhage named 12 players who will be participating in the Women’s World Cup for the first time. Sundhage selected 14 players who were part of the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning team in Beijing, but just nine players on the roster have previous Women’s World Cup experience.

THIRD WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Shannon Boxx, Abby Wambach
SECOND WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo, Stephanie Cox, Carli Lloyd, Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O’Reilly
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROOKIES: Jill Loyden, Rachel Buehler, Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Becky Sauerbrunn, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez

THREE PLAYERS REBOUND FROM INJURIES TO MAKE WWC ROSTER: Hope Solo had perhaps the most difficult route to full fitness in order to make the team, recovering from major shoulder surgery last September to earn her spot. Heather Mitts, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, also won a race to make the final roster, overcoming hamstring issues that have limited her to just one match so far this year. Jill Loyden, who recovered from a broken hand suffered last January, won the battle for the third goalkeeper spot and makes the Women’s World Cup team without ever having been called into a youth national team camp. Amy LePeilbet and Mitts both missed out on the 2007 WWC due to knee injuries, so making this roster is especially sweet for the two defenders.

DEBUT OF THE BLACK KIT: The U.S. Women’s National Team will wear its new World Cup jerseys for the first time against Japan in Columbus, debuting the full black kit. The jerseys are Nike’s most environmentally-friendly and technologically-advanced uniform yet. Each kit is made entirely from recycled polyester, produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles per jersey. Recycled plastic bottles were diverted from landfills sites and then melted down to produce a new DRI-FIT yarn that was ultimately converted to fabric for the jerseys. This process saves raw materials and reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to manufacturing virgin polyester. For this summer’s tournament, the kits were designed to keep players drier, cooler and more comfortable, allowing them to maintain an optimum body temperature and perform at their best. The kit is designed specifically for the female athlete, to enhance the range of motion and create a uniquely feminine silhouette. Capped sleeves and a high neckline with v-neck piping were added to create a striking aesthetic. Improved Nike DRI-FIT fabric, now 15 percent lighter than previous Nike kit fabrications, also helps keep players dry by drawing sweat to the outside of the garment where it evaporates. Ventilation zones have been strategically placed in those areas that are physiologically the most important for cooling. Each side and back of the jersey features enhanced breathability increasing air flow by up to seven percent compared to previous kits. The away kit features a black bodice and red piping inspired by the beautiful but deadly Black Widow spider. The home kit design is white with black piping and the goalkeeper kit will be worn in night purple, wolf grey and vibrant yellow. The U.S. Women’s National Team kit and a collection of styles inspired by the kit are available at, select soccer specialty stores, Niketowns and at

U.S. WNT TO GIVE SHIRTS OFF THEIR BACKS TO BENEFIT JAPANESE TSUNAMI RELIEF: The autographed game-worn jerseys of all 21 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team players from the USA-Japan match on May 14 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, will be available via an Internet auction with all the proceeds going to benefit Japanese tsunami relief. The U.S. will wear the jerseys for the first time and, following the match, the jerseys will be washed and every player will sign each shirt. Information on how fans can bid for the jerseys will be made available following the game. The Japan Women’s National Team is in the United States to prepare for its Women’s World Cup run and these will be the first international games for the squad since a devastating tsunami hit the northeast part of the country on March 11, causing billions of dollars in damage and the loss of at least 18,000 lives. Prior to both upcoming matches against Japan – in Columbus and on May 18 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. – there will be a moment of silence to honor the victims of the disaster.

FIFA YOUTH WWC BENEFITS THE USA: Ten players – almost half the roster – have played in a FIFA youth Women’s World Cup. Rachel Buehler played in two FIFA U-19 FIFA Women’s World Cups, in 2002 in Canada and in 2004 in Thailand. Buehler was a part of the USA’s U-19 Women’s World Cup champions in 2002 with Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley. Tarpley scored the historic golden goal to beat host Canada 1-0 in the final. Becky Sauerbrunn and Megan Rapinoe represented the USA in Thailand while Tobin Heath was one of the youngest players at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia. Stephanie Cox played in Thailand and was the captain of the team in Russia. Amy Rodriguez also played in both Thailand and Russia while Lauren Cheney was on 2006 team in Russia. Alex Morgan helped lead the USA to the title at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.

LAST TIME IN COLUMBUS: The U.S. Women’s National Team has not played in Columbus, Ohio, since Sept. 28, 2003, when it faced North Korea during group play at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA prevailed 3-0 that day as Cat Whitehill scored twice, becoming the first and only U.S. defender to score twice in a Women’s World Cup match, and Abby Wambach bagged the other goal. The USA last played in Ohio in 2010, defeating Germany 4-0 on May 22. Dating back to 1993, the U.S. WNT has played 11 matches in Ohio, including four at Crew Stadium.

50 DAYS: U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage named the U.S. Women’s World Cup roster 50 days before the start of the tournament, which is a bit earlier than past WWC teams. In 1999, Tony DiCicco named his squad a little over a month before the start of the tournament. In 2003, April Heinrichs named the WWC Team 27 days before the tournament kicked off. However, Greg Ryan named his even earlier than Sundhage, naming 18 players about two months before the tournament and three more a few weeks later. While Sundhage has named the roster, the final list of 21 players is not due until ten working days before the tournament starts which is June 10. Women’s World Cup rosters are 21 players and must include three goalkeepers. The replacement of a player may take place if there is a serious injury up until 24 hours before the team’s first match.


  • Pia Sundhage is 12-0-2 all-time against Asian teams during her three and a half years as head coach of the USA. The team has scored 29 goals and allowed 12 against AFC teams under Sundhage. 
  • The USA is 6-2-0 in 2011, winning six straight games after falling to Sweden 2-1 in the first match of the year at the Four Nations Tournament in China, and then fell to England in its most recent match in London April 2, also by a 2-1 score. 
  • The U.S. team has won both tournaments it entered this year, taking the Four Nations in China and the Algarve Cup in Portugal. 
  • The USA’s leading scorer this year is Carli Lloyd with five goals. Amy Rodriguez has the most assists with three. 
  • Since the end of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA is 63-4-6. 
  • The USA is 73-1-2 when Abby Wambach scores a goal. 
  • The USA’s 18 goals this year have been scored by eight different players: Carli Lloyd (5), Alex Morgan (3), Lauren Cheney (2), Megan Rapinoe (2), Amy Rodriguez (2), Lindsay Tarpley (2), Shannon Boxx and Heather O’Reilly. 
  • Goalkeeper Jill Loyden is the least-capped player on the World Cup roster with one game. Becky Sauerbrunn is the only other player in single digits with eight caps. 
  • The 21 players named to the roster have a combined 1,537 total caps and 57 games’ worth of Women’s World Cup experience. 
  • Just three players on the WWC roster have previously scored in a World Cup in Wambach (9 goals), Boxx (3 goals) and O’Reilly (2 goals), but the roster has scored a total of 280 international goals, 117 from Wambach. 
  • Seven players on the WWC roster have surpassed 100 caps with Rampone leading the way with 234. The average for caps on the roster is 72. 
  • Rampone will be the most-capped player at the Women’s World Cup. 
  • Of the 11 players who started the 2008 Olympic gold medal game, eight were named to this Women’s World Cup roster. 
  • The 2011 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team is an experienced side with an average age of just more than 27 years old. 
  • Four players on the WWC roster hail from California while five are from New Jersey. Indiana is the only other state with multiple players in Lindsey and Cheney, both of whom are from Indianapolis. 
  • Heather Mitts is the only player on the U.S. roster from Ohio, hailing from Cincinnati. 
  • Of the WPS clubs, magicJack has the most players on the roster with seven. The Boston Breakers and the Philadelphia Independence have four each, while the Atlanta Beat and Sky Blue FC have two each and the Western New York Flash have one in Morgan. Ali Krieger, who played out her contract with Frankfurt at the end of March, is the only player on the roster not currently signed with a club. 
  • Five of the players who made their first World Cup squad were part of the 2008 Olympic champions in Rachel Buehler, Heather Mitts, Tobin Heath, Lauren Cheney and Amy Rodriguez. The naming of Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Lori Lindsey, Beckey Sauerbrunn, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan represents their first world championship at the senior level. 
  • Lindsay Tarpley has the most career goals on the roster (32) of anyone besides Wambach. 
  • Morgan is the youngest player on the squad at 21 (Heath is 22) while Rampone is the oldest at 35. 
  • It is the first U.S. Women’s World Cup roster made up entirely of professional players. 
  • Oldest U.S. player to debut in World Cup (1991): April Heinrichs (27 years, 263 days) 
  • Youngest U.S. player to appear in a World Cup match (1995): Tiffany Roberts (18 years, 32 days) 
  • Oldest U.S. player to appear in a World Cup match (2007): Kristine Lilly (36 years, 70 days) 
  • 27 players have played in an international match for the USA this year. 
  • Carli Lloyd is being honored before the match for her 100th career cap, achieved in the USA’s most recent domestic match, the 1-0 victory against Italy in Bridgview, Ill, last November that clinched the USA’s berth to Germany.

LAST TIME OUT vs. JAPAN: The USA met Japan just over two months ago in the opening game of the 2011 Algarve Cup in Portugal. The USA won 2-1 on goals from Amy Rodriguez and Megan Rapinoe. Japan’s goal from Aya Miyama came off a set play, a perfectly placed direct free kick that gave Nicole Barnhart no chance.

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: March 2, 2011
Competition: 2011 Algarve Cup
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Vila Real de San Antonio, Portugal
Weather: Sunny, breezy, scattered clouds – 55 degrees

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

USA – Amy Rodriguez (Lauren Cheney)     7th minute
USA – Megan Rapinoe (Heather O’Reilly)    18
JPN – Aya Miyama                                   29

USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 11-Ali Krieger, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 19-Rachel Buehler, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx (16-Lori Lindsey, 71), 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe (11-Tobin Heath, 46); 12-Lauren Cheney (20-Abby Wambach, 46), 8-Amy Rodriguez (13-Alex Morgan, 63)
Subs not used: 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 21-Kelley O’Hara, 22-Becky Sauerbrunn, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 25-Whitney Engen
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

JPN: 12-Miho Fukimoto; 2-Yukari Kinga, 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 5-Kyoko Yano (15-Aya Sameshima, 44); 10-Homare Sawa (capt.), 8-Aya Miyama, 16-Rumi Utsugi (6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 79), 7-Kozue Ando (13-Eriko Arakawa, 56); 9-Shinobu Ohno 20-Nahomi Kawasumi, 76), 11-Yuki Nagasato (19-Megumi Takase, 76)
Subs not used: 17-Megumi Kamionobe, 18-Mami Yamaguchi, 21-Ayumi Kaihori, 22-Asuna Tanaka
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki

Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
USA Overall Record vs. Japan: 20-0-3
Head Coach: Norio Sasaki

USA vs. Japan Fast Facts: The USA faced Japan twice at the 2008 Olympics in China, first in group play (a 1-0 U.S. win on a goal from Carli Lloyd) and again the semifinal (a 4-2 U.S. win on two goals from Angela Hucles, one from Lori Chalupny and one from Heather O’Reilly), but the two countries did not meet again until the Algarve Cup about two months ago where the USA prevailed, 2-1 … Japan qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning the third-place match at the 2010 Asian Women’s Cup 2-0 against China… Japan won its group that featured Korea DPR, Thailand and Myanmar, but then fell in the semifinal to eventual champion Australia, necessitating the victory in the consolation game to make it to Germany … Japan’s long-time captain and greatest player is Homare Sawa, who has played many years in the United States, for the Atlanta Beat in the WUSA and most recently with the Washington Freedom in WPS … Sawa has played 164 times and scored 75 goals for her country … Japan has two players featuring in the German Women’s Bundesliga in forwards Kozue Ando of FCR Duisburg and Yuki Nagasato of reigning German Bundesliga champion FFC Turbine Potsdam … Japan has one other foreign-based player in Rumi Utsugi who plays for Montpellier in France … Midfielder Aya Miyama was a key part of the Los Angeles Sol team that advanced to the first WPS championship game in 2009 and played for the St. Louis Athletica in 2010 … Japan has several veteran defenders in Yukari King (59 caps), Kyoko Yano (67 caps) and Azusa Iwashimizu (61 caps) … Aside from Sawa, Japan’s most accomplished goal scorers on the roster are forward Shinobu Ohno (34 goals) and Nagasato (31 goals) … Japan was drawn into a Group B at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which was tagged as the least challenging group, along with England, New Zealand and Mexico, and will have designs on taking the top spot in the group to earn a berth in the quarterfinals … Japan’s roster features forward Mana Iwabuchi who won the Golden Ball at the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, but she has just three caps and two goals with the senior side.

Japan WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Miho Fukumoto (Okayama Yunogo Belle), 12-Ayumi Kaihori (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
DEFENDERS (5): 3-Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), 4-Saki Kumagai (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 5-Kyoko Yano (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies), 7-Kozue Ando (FCR 2001 Duisburg, GER), 16-Maiko Nasu (INAC Kobe Leonessa
MIDFIELDERS (8): 2-Yukari Kinga (INAC (Kobe Leonessa), 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi (Albirex Niigata Ladies), 8-Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle), 10-Homare Sawa (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 13-Rumi Utsugi (Montpellier HSC, FRA), 14-Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 15-Aya Sameshima (TEPCO Laides FC Mareeze), 11 Nahomi Kawasumi (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
FORWARDS (5): 9-Shinobu Ohno (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 17-Yuki Nagasato (FFC Turbine Potsdam, GER), 18-Karina Maruyama (JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies), 19-Megumi Takase (INAC Kobe Leonessa), 20-Mana Iwabuchi (NTV Beleza)

BRISTOL TO COLUMBUS: will be covering the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup from Germany extensively, but that the all_access video cameras will be following to the team up to the tournament as well. Check out for a two-part series on Abby Wambach and Heather O’Reilly’s trip to the ESPN HQ in Bristol, Conn., for the WWC roster announcement. We also check in with three players who came on strong in 2010 and 2011 to make their first Women’s World Cup roster.

Stat of Note
The USA has played Japan 23 times since the two countries first met in 1986, but only five of those games have been in Japan. The teams have squared off in Italy, Chinese Taipei, China, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Greece and Portugal as well as seven matches in the USA.