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U.S. WNT Prepares for Second Group C Opponent Colombia in 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup


U.S. WNT vs. Colombia
2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Heidelberg, Germany
July 1, 2011  

ON TO HEIDELBERG: The U.S. Women’s National Team arrived in Heidelberg, Germany, on Wednesday, June 29, a day after opening their 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory against Korea DPR. The players who did not start in the match trained on Wednesday morning before the team and staff took a short 45-minute flight to Frankfurt. The traveling party then boarded a bus for an hour-long ride to their hotel in Heidelberg, which is just north of Sinsheim, the location of Rhein-Neckar-Arena which will host the USA’s second Group C match on Saturday, July 2 against Colombia. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local) and the match is live on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Galavision (ESPN has a pre-game show starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, while Galavision will start at 11:50 ET). The U.S. practiced in Heidelberg on Thursday in front of a nice crowd of U.S. military personnel and their families (check out Studio 90 for a look at this extra-special training session) and then got a first-hand look at Rhein-Neckar-Arena when they conducted their final pre-game training session in the stadium on Friday.

USA-COLOMBIA SOLD OUT: The U.S.-Colombia match is sold out at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, making it the first game not involving hosts Germany to be at capacity during the 2011 Women’s World Cup. The stadium, which is the home of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, holds just over 25,000 for Women’s World Cup matches. For a closer look at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, check out this ussoccer.com video.

OFF TO A GOOD START: In perhaps the most entertaining of the first six matches of the Women's World Cup, the USA picked up a huge win over North Korea 2-0 as Women's World Cup debutantes Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler scored in the second half. Amazingly, and due to the increased competitiveness of the women's game, the USA's win was the first by multiple goals until France’s 4-0 demolition of Canada on Thursday night in Bochum. A fantastic and boisterous crowd of 21,859 came out to Rudolf-Harbig Stadium, many of whom were cheering loudly for the USA, creating an atmosphere that the U.S. players won't soon forget. After one match, the U.S. sits atop group C, equal on points with Sweden but ahead with a plus-2 goal difference.

U.S. GROUP C SCHEDULE
Date         Opponent       Result/Time (ET)   U.S. Goalscorers/TV                    Venue
June 28    Korea DPR      2-0 W                   Cheney, Buehler                          Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden
July 2       Colombia       11:30 a.m.            ESPN, ESPN3.com, Galavision     Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim
July 6       Sweden          2:30 p.m.             ESPN, ESPN3.com, Galavision       World Cup Stadium Wolfsburg; Wolfsburg     

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Jill Loyden (magicJack), Hope Solo (magicJack)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (out of contract), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (magicJack), Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (magicJack), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Kelley O’Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (magicJack)

Detailed Roster

QUICK HITS
U.S. in the World Cup

  • The North Korea match was the 13th Women’s World Cup match for Abby Wambach. She has scored nine goals in those games.
  • Korea DPR was the 10th WWC match for team captain Christie Rampone.
  • The USA will be wearing all white kits against Colombia.
  • U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo earned her fourth Women’s World Cup shutout against Korea DPR.
  • With a start against Colombia, Hope Solo will tie Mary Harvey for second most games ever played by a U.S. goalkeeper in a Women’s World Cup.
  • Lauren Cheney and Rachel Buehler become the 21st and 22nd players respectively to score in a Women’s World Cup for the USA.
  • Buehler become the fifth defender to tally a goal, following Joy Fawcett, Carla Overbeck, Brandi Chastain and Cat Whitehill.
  • Seven players made their Women’s World Cup debuts against Korea DPR: Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Rachel Buehler, Lauren Cheney, Amy Rodriguez, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.
  • Updated stats, lineups and results are available on the U.S. Women’s National Team page on ussoccer.com.

MOST COMPETITIVE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP EVER: This Women's World Cup was supposed to be the most competitive in history and so far the statistics have shown that to be the case. After the first eight games (each of the 16 teams in the tournament had played one match), the average winning margin was the lowest in Women's World Cup history. The USA’s 2-0 victory over Korea DPR was the only match of the first round of games that was decided by more than one goal. France doubled that feat with a 4-0 demolition of Canada on Thursday. Here are the average margins of each team’s opening World Cup match in the six tournaments that have been contested: 

Year    Average
1991    3.0
1995    2.7
1999    1.5
2003    2.6
2007    2.6
2011    1.0

For all of the Women’s World Cup results, visit ussoccer.com.

VIDEOS FROM GERMANY

FROM THE WNT BLOG
A collection of notes, anecdotes and links:

A collection of notes, anecdotes and links:

KRIEGER FEELING RIGHT AT HOME: Defender Ali Krieger has taken the path less traveled to the U.S. Women’s National Team, to say the least. As the USA’s only player who was based abroad in the run-up to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, she’s lived quite an adventure since graduating from college. Krieger means “warrior” in German and she’s proved to be just that as she fought for a spot on the USA’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, bring her back to the country she’s called home for the last four years. For the complete feature, visit ussoccer.com.

ABBY ON GROUP C: U.S. striker Abby Wambach understands that big challenges await in perhaps the tournament’s most difficult first round group. The USA’s leading active goal scorer talks about all three of the USA’s Group C opponents in this feature for ussoccer.com.

WNT PLAYER PROFILES: ussoccer.com pair up the Women’s World Cup players for some rapid fire questions and banter in creating the WNT Player Profiles series. The videos highlight your favorite women’s players, getting some fun facts and information you never knew before in the hopes that you can get to better know the players’ personalities. Check the WNT Blog for the latest editions of the WNT Player Profiles.

BEHIND THE CREST: Get an in-depth look at the U.S. WNT with Behind the Crest, a video series that follows the U.S. WNT during the Women’s World Cup in Germany. Behind the Crest will provide fans with insight into what the players and coaches do to prepare for the most important games of their career, providing access that only ussoccer.com can provide. Visit ussoccer.com’s Media Center for the latest edition.

QUOTEABLE

U.S. MIDFIELDER SHANNON BOXX
On the game against Korea DPR:
“The thing I think about when I look back on the game is how we continued to progress through that game. Obviously when you start the first game of the World Cup, nerves are going on for both sides and it takes a few minutes to get into the game but I think we started out hard, we attacked, and then I think as you saw the game progress, from first half to second half, we did even better. You see how we improved throughout the game and I think that’s going to be huge for us going down the road to continue to improve game by game.”

On the pressure from playing in a World Cup:
“I think there’s pressure on us but I love that we have the pressure to do well. I think we do from back home, our fans back home, and from within ourselves, we feel pressure to do well because the U.S. has always been a top team. I think that’s why we play this game at this level. These are the big events that you want to play for.”

U.S. FORWARD ALEX MORGAN
On being in Germany:
“It’s been great so far. FIFA and Germany have put together a great tournament. The locations are awesome. Heidelberg seems like a very cute town and I’m looking forward to walking around through the town a little bit and seeing more of it.”

On the game against Colombia:
“I heard that it’s a sold-out crowd and I’m not sure how many supporters we’ll have. I know that the troops will hopefully be able to come. We like high energy and as long as the crowd is sold out, it doesn’t matter who they’re rooting for as long as there’s some noise.”

U.S. MIDFIELDER HEATHER O’REILLY
On the game against Colombia:
“We’ve just recently focused our attention on Colombia. We’ve already seen some clips of them, some video. We’re getting ourselves accustomed to the way that they play, and they have been very impressive so far. That was a strong opening match for them, so we’re going to be ready.”

U.S. HEAD COACH PIA SUNDHAGE
On possibly changing the lineup against Colombia:
“We’re always thinking about resting players. We haven’t changed the starting lineup that much from the Japan game.  If there’s a change to be made in the starting lineup, it is likely against Colombia. Further down the line, I don’t think we’d have the chance to do that. It’s so important to have many players playing minutes. I truly believe that if we play many games, it is important to use the whole bench.”

On the increased competition in women’s soccer:
“I think it’s great. That’s the best thing that could happen to the women’s game. Right now if you love soccer and you want to be on the highest level, it’s great to watch the women’s game. The speed of play (is getting better) and you see different teams and different cultures coming up. It’s so interesting and the development is so fast. It’s good because that means we need to be smarter. We need to do different things.”

FIRST EVER MEETING WITH COLOMBIA COMES IN THE WWC: The U.S. Women’s National Team will meet Colombia for the first time in its history when the two countries clash on July 2 at Rhein-Neckar Arena. While the USA has a long history against Brazil (27 matches), the meetings with other South American countries have been sparse. The USA has played Argentina twice, and this game will mark the first against a South American team other than Brazil or Argentina. Colombia has five players with ties to U.S. colleges. Colombia’s top attacker is 17-year-old Yoreli Rincon, who scored five times in the Women’s World Cup qualifying matches.

COLOMBIA USES YOUTH WOMEN’S WORLD CUPS TO BOOST SENIOR SIDE: Colombia is on a nice run in its women’s soccer development after qualifying for the first-ever FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, a squad that provided the core of the U-20 that surprised many by taking fourth place at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s world Cup in Germany last summer.

COLOMBIA’S ROAD TO GERMANY: Colombia qualified for its first Women’s World Cup by finishing second at the South American Women’s Championships last November. Despite losing 2-1 to Brazil, the Colombians picked up big wins over Paraguay, Venezuela and Uruguay that took them to second place in Group B at the South American Women’s Championship. In the final four-team pool, a 1-1 draw with Chile and another loss to the Brazilians left Colombia needing to beat Argentina in their final game and hope for the Chileans to stumble in their final game. All ended well as Colombia edged out the Argentina, 1-0, on a goal from Ingrid Vidal, and Brazil defeated Chile, 3-1, allowing Colombia to slip into the runners-up spot and earn their berth to Germany.

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Colombia
Current FIFA World Ranking:
31 
USA All-time record vs. Colombia: 0-0-0
Last Meeting vs. USA:
None
Head Coach:  Ricardo Rozo
Key Players: D Nataly Arias, F Catalina Usme, F Ingrid Vidal, M Yorely Rincon

COLOMBIA Quick Hits:

  • Colombia finished second at the South American championship to qualify for the Women's World Cup for the first time.
  • Colombia’s coach Ricardo Rozo is a former player for Millonarios and a number of second division sides. The 49-year-old steered Colombia to fourth place at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany before guiding Colombia to second place in the South American Women’s Championship.
  • 11 different players scored for Colombia during South American Women’s World Cup qualifying and the team scored 19 goals, more than any other team.

COLOMBIA WWC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Paula Forero (Gol Star), 12-Sandra Sepulveda (Formas Intimas Medellin), 21-Alejandra Velasco (Gol Star)
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Yuli Munoz (Estudiantes), 3-Natalia Gaitan (Univ. of Toledo), 5-Nataly Arias (Univ. of Maryland), 8-Andrea Peralta (Estudiantes), 14-Kelis Peduzine, 19-Fatima Montano (Aguila Roja)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 4-Diana Ospina (Formas Intimas Medellin), 6-Daniela Montoya (Formas Intimas Medellin), 9-Carmen Rodallega (Sarmiento), 10-Yoreli Rincon (Gol Star), 11-Liana Salazar (Univ. of Kansas), 13-Yulieht Dominguez (Estudiantes), 15-Tatiana Ariza (Austin Peay State Univ.), 20-Orianica Velasquez (Indiana Univ.)
FORWARDS (4): 7-Catalina Usme (Independiente Medellin), 16-Lady Andrade (Liga Bogota), 17-Ingrid Vidal (Generaciones Palmiranas), 18-Katerin Castro (Estudiantes)

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