U.S. Women Take on Brazil In Second Group Match of 2008 Peace Queen Cup
United States Women’s National Team
Notes from Seoul, South Korea
2008 Peace Queen Cup
June 16, 2008
U.S. WOMEN TO FACE BRAZIL IN SECOND GROUP MATCH OF 2008 PEACE QUEEN CUP: The U.S. and Brazil will square off on June 17 at the Suwon Sports Complex at the Peace Queen Cup (2 p.m. local / 1 a.m. ET) in the first meeting between the two teams since the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal, a 4–0 loss for the USA. Fans and insomniacs can follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. Both teams won their first Group B matches by 2–1 scores and the result of this game will go a long way towards determining the champion of the group and thus a berth in the Peace Queen Cup Final to take place on June 21 at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. The U.S. team is 14–0–1 in 2008 after 15 matches under head coach Pia Sundhage, who took over at the end of last year. For the complete Peace Queen Cup schedule and standings, click here.
CANADA TAKES CONTROL OF GROUP A: Canada virtually assured itself the top spot in Group A with a 3–1 victory over host South Korea as Christine Sinclair scored two goals and Kara Lang added one at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. Canada now sits atop the group with six points and a plus-seven goal difference with a match against New Zealand to finish group play on June 18. In the other Group A match, New Zealand defeated Argentina, 1–0, but will have to defeat Canada by four goals to edge them out for the top spot and earn a place in the Peace Queen Cup title game. South Korea’s slim hopes for a spot in the championship game rest on a Kiwi victory over Canada combined with a big win over Argentina, which is needed to overcome Canada’s large lead in goal difference, the first tie-breaker if teams are tied on points.
U.S. WNT Peace Queen Cup Schedule
Date Opponent Venue City Kickoff / ET
June 15 USA 2, Australia 1 Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea —
June 17 USA vs. Brazil Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea 2 p.m. / 1 a.m.
June 19 USA vs. Italy Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea 5 p.m. / 4 a.m.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
2008 Peace Queen Cup – Suwon, South Korea
GOALKEEPERS (3): 24-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 26-Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 14-Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 2-Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 13-Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), 21-Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);
FORWARDS (4): 8-Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 19-Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).
Brazil Women’s National Team Roster
2008 Peace Queen Cup – Suwon, South Korea
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Bárbara, 12-Thaís;
DEFENDERS (10): 2-Danielle, 3-Aline, 4-Tania, 5-Andrea, 6-Rosana, 8-Juliana, 10-Erika, 13-Danielli, 16-Daiane;
MIDFIELDERS (4): 9-Maycon, 14-Ester, 15-Maurine, 17-Francielle Silva;
FORWARDS (5): 7-Daniele, 11-Raquel, 18-Fabiana, 19-Pamele, 20-Francielle.
OPPONENT CAPSULE: Brazil
Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
Overall Record vs. USA: 2–19–2
Last Meeting vs. USA: Sept. 27, 2007 (a 0-4 U.S. loss at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup)
Head Coach: Jorge Barcellos
Key Players: GK Barbara, D Aline, D Rosana, D Tania, D Erika, D Danielle, M Maycon, M Maurine.
USA vs. Brazil Fast Facts: This will be the first meeting between the USA and Brazil since the USA’s crushing loss in the 2007 Women’s World Cup semifinal, a match in which the U.S. scored an own goal and saw Shannon Boxx sent off at the end of the first half … This will be a different Brazil team, however, as they are missing all of their top European-based players including 2007 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta, who is in Sweden currently playing for her club team Umea … Brazil’s only foreign-based player is defender Rosana, who is playing in Austria with her club, Sveneulengbach … Five of Brazil’s players play for the famed Santos FC club, three play for Saad FC, one of the oldest women’s clubs in Brazil, and five play for EC Cepe Caxias … Brazil has eight players from its 2007 Women’s World Cup Team (the USA has 12), along with several young players — three are just 19 years old while nine of the 20 players are 23 years old or younger … Brazil’s two goals against Italy in its first Group B game came from 20 year old Erika and 22 year old Maurine … Brazil does not play many matches so the Peace Queen Cup will be valuable preparation for the Olympics in August … Brazil was the final team to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, defeating Ghana 5-1 in a playoff match in Beijing on April 19 … Marta scored one goal in that match, Cristiane had two, and Rosana and Aline also added scores … Brazil was forced into the playoff due to a stumble in qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which also served to give the tournament winning South America’s automatic berth to Beijing … Brazil lost to Argentina for the first time ever in the final of that qualifying tournament … Brazil’s win over the U.S. at the FIFA Women's World Cup broke Team USA’s 14-game unbeaten streak against the Brazilians dating back to 1998, 13 of which were wins with one tie ... That streak of course included two matches in the 2004 Olympics, a 2–0 U.S. win in the first round that saw Brazil dominate the first half and a 2–1 overtime win in the gold medal game on a dramatic header goal from Abby Wambach … Natasha Kai’s 11 goals this year make her the 11th player in U.S. history to score in double figures in a calendar year, but of course, Mia Hamm did it eight times and Tiffeny Milbrett accomplished the feat four times … Abby Wambach’s 10th goal of the year, coming against Australia on June 15, gives her four 10-plus goal-scoring years in her career … Since 2000, the USA and Brazil have competed 10 times and have either been blowouts (4–0 and 5–1 U.S. wins and a 4-0 Brazil win) or close games (four one-goal wins for the U.S., one draw and two two-goal wins) … The weather in Seoul and its suburb of Suwon has been in the mid-80s the last few days, but the forecast predicts cooler temperatures for the USA-Brazil match – about 10 degrees cooler – with a chance of thunderstorms, conditions that could benefit the USA as the Brazilians surely favor the heat … If U.S. captain Christie Rampone plays against Brazil (she’s started all 15 matches for the USA this year), she will tie Brandi Chastain for sixth in the U.S. all-time caps list at 192 … With Aly Wagner's first appearance of 2008 on June 15 against the Aussies, she has passed legend Carin Gabarra to move into sole possession of 18th on the all-time caps list at 118 international games.
U.S. WNT Quote Sheet
U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage
On playing Brazil:
“No matter where you are, playing against Brazil is a great thing because of the history and the fact that they have some very technical players. One interesting thing for me is that they are not playing strict zonal defending, so that means the movement of the ball and the more sophisticated runs you do, the better the attack will be. So it will be a good test how we can deal with a team like that.”
U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly
On facing Brazil:
“Myself personally, anytime I am going to play Brazil, it’s going to be an emotional match. It’s going to be more than just a friendly preparation match. The loss in the World Cup, I’ve never felt like that after a soccer game. So obviously, those thoughts and emotions don’t just fade nine months later.”
On building on the Australia game:
“We’ve been so happy and confident with our practices lately. We’re really starting to implement some new things, and we were looking forward to displaying that in this tournament. I don’t think we were thrilled with our game against Australia, so I think that we’re still going to be working on putting together what we’ve been working on in traning and I think the Australia result will motivate us even more because we can do better.”
U.S. defender Christie Rampone
On the mentality of the team heading into the Brazil game:
“It’s a mixture of everything, there is some extra emotion (from the World Cup), but it’s also a new year, a new outlook and a new coach. We’re playing such a different style now, so we are just trying to see what’s working for us and what we need to work on. Then we’ll build from there.”
On the difficulty with playing games in the Asian time zones:
“I think this team adjusts really well. The traveling itself is hard, but we adjust pretty quickly. Knowing that it’s a great tournament, you are ready for that first game when you land.”
On what the team needs to improve from its first Peace Cup game to the second:
“Just being more connected offensively and defensively. We need to make sure our spacing and organizing is good from the goalkeeper to the backs to the midfield to the forwards, as well as connecting more passes and having more possession.”
AUSSIE HIGHLIGHTS: Highlights of the USA’s physical 2-1 victory over Australia are available on all_access video. Check out Natasha Kai’s opportunistic goal as well as Abby Wambach’s towering header, her 96th career goal. Forty of Wambach’s 96 career goals have come off her head.
FIRST OF THREE: The match against Brazil in the Peace Queen Cup will be the first of three meetings for the two teams before the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. will face Brazil in its final two matches before leaving for China, starting the two-game set on July 13 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (2 p.m. MT live on ESPN), then traveling to San Diego, Calif., for a July 16 game at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium (7 p.m. PT live on Fox Soccer Channel). The three games will be played in a span of 32 days, an unusual occurrence in that the teams have met only twice in the past four years, both in 2007, before this tournament. For ticket information for both matches, go to Tickets on ussoccer.com.
BUT FIRST, SCANDINAVIA: After returning from Asia following the Peace Queen Cup, the U.S. team will have a few days to rest and recover in the United States before heading to Europe for two matches against Norway in Fredrikstad on July 2 and Sweden in Skelleftea on July 5. The match in northern Sweden will be the USA’s first trip to Sweden since the 1995 Women’s World Cup. This will be just the third-ever visit to Scandinavia for the U.S. women, who lost to Denmark, 0–1, in Odense in 1991 in the USA’s first-ever trip to that region of the world. The Americans did not return again until 1995 for the Women’s World Cup and played two matches in Norway in 2000 (a 1–2 loss and a 1–1 tie). The match in Sweden will mark the return of U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage to her native country and will be the first time she has faced Sweden while coaching the United States. Fredrikstad is located in southeast Norway about 60 miles south of Oslo and just 20 miles west of the Swedish border. The match against Sweden will be played at Norvalla Stadium, a small venue in northern Sweden which sits on the eastern coast, flush on the Gulf of Bothnia between Sweden and Finland, just 100 miles below the Arctic Circle. Norway is currently fifth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Sweden is third.
Stat of Note
Brazil’s four goals scored in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal equaled their total in the previous 10 matches against the USA.