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CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers USA and Canada Meet Meet For Third Time This Year


Pre-Game Notes
USA vs. Canada
May 9, 2008

CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS USA AND CANADA MEET FOR THIRD TIME THIS YEAR: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will finish its three-game domestic series with a match against Canada on Saturday, May 10, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The match, which kicks off at 7 p.m. ET, will be streamed live on ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS so fans can watch what will be the 42nd meeting between the two teams. Fans can also follow the game as it happens on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. This will be the third match against Canada in 2008 after the two teams played in the first match of the year on Jan. 16 at the Four Nations Tournament in China, a 4-0 U.S. win. The teams met again in the championship of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, tying 1-1 on April 12 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, before the USA prevailed, 6-5 in penalty kicks. The USA is 12-0-1 on the year so far which includes tournament titles at the Four Nations in China in January, the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March and the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico in early April, as well as two close wins over Australia during this domestic series on April 27 and May 3.

2008 Women’s National Team Domestic Games
Date Opponent Venue (City) Score / Kickoff
April 27 Australia WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary, N.C.) 3-2 W
May 3 Australia Legion Field (Birmingham, Ala.) 5-4 W
May 10 Canada RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.) 7 p.m. ET

18 AT RFK: U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has named 18 players to suit up against Canada on Saturday night at RFK Stadium. The USA is at the end of a three-week road trip and has been training hard since hitting the road on April 22. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage used all six allowed subs in the match against Australia on April 27 and used five against the Matildas on May 3. The rosters for both teams are essentially the same that met in Olympic qualifying. Here are the players eligible to play for the USA at RFK Stadium.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 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.), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): 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.), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.);
FORWARDS (3): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 19-Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Canada Women’s National Team Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Karina LeBlanc, 18-Erin McLeod;
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Kristina Kiss, 4-Clare Rustad, 5-Robin Gayle, 6-Sophie Schmidt, 10-Martina Franko, 11-Randee Hermus;
MIDFIELDERS (4): 8-Diana Matheson, 9-Candace Chapman, 13-Amy Walsh, 17-Brittany Timko;
FORWARDS (6): 7-Rhian Wilkinson, 12-Christine Sinclair, 14-Melissa Tancredi, 15-Kara Lang, 19-Jonelle Filigno, 21-Jodi-Ann Robinson.

OPPONENT CAPSULE: Canada
Current FIFA World Ranking: 9
Overall Record vs. USA: 3-34-4
Last Meeting vs. USA: April 12, 2008, in Juarez, Mexico at 2008 Olympic Qualifying (1-1 tie, USA wins 6-5 in PKs)
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
Key Players: G Erin McLeod; D Candace Chapman, D Martina Franko, D Randee Hermus, D Clare Rustad, M Diana Matheson, M Rhian Wilkinson, F Christine Sinclair, F Melissa Tancredi, F Kara Lang.

USA vs. Canada Fast Facts: The USA and Canada met most recently in championship game of the 2008 Olympic qualifying tournament, a thrilling match that saw a fantastic performance from Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who made a bushel of spectacular saves to help the game to overtime and then penalty kicks … Both teams had already qualified for the Olympics with semifinal wins … Carli Lloyd scored on a world-class free kick for the USA in the qualifying final and Melissa Tancredi tallied for Canada with just a few minutes left in overtime … This will be the third meeting between the two teams in 2008 … The first one came in the first match of 2008 for both teams, a 4-0 U.S. win at the Four Nations Tournament in China that was also the first match under new head coach Pia Sundhage … In that game, the USA scored all four goals in the second half, two by Amy Rodriguez and two by Lindsay Tarpley, in just a 27-minute span … Both teams are incorporating young players into the team, but each team is stocked with experienced players that will be their team leaders in the Olympics … Canada’s entry into the Olympics is their first for soccer in 24 years and first-ever for their women’s team … This will be the 42nd meeting between the neighbors, tying Norway for the most-ever games played against the USA … Canada features one of the world’s top strikers in Christine Sinclair, who is fast approaching 100 career goals, but Canada’s has to be pleasantly surprised about the play of former Notre Dame star Melissa Tancredi, whose goal against Mexico in the semifinal of Olympic qualifying was her third game-winner in three matches, and also sent Canada to the Olympics … She then scored against the USA to make it four goals in four games … Canada had not conceded a goal in the qualifying tournament until Lloyd’s blast … Almost the entire Canadian roster played college soccer or will play college soccer in the United States, including Sinclair, who led the University of Portland to two NCAA titles … Canada gutted out two 1-0 wins at Qualifying after opening with a 6-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago … Canada’s nine goals in the tournament were scored by six different players in Jonelle Filigno, Randee Hermus, Kara Lang, Jodi Ann Robinson, Christine Sinclair and Melissa Tancredi … Of the 18 players on Canada’s roster, eight play for the Vancouver Whitecaps in the USL W-League… Several of the Canadian players are or were teammates with the players on the U.S. roster … Robyn Gayle played at UNC, Kara Lang plays at UCLA and Sophie Schmidt plays at the University of Portland.

U.S. WNT Quote Sheet

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo

On the Canada match:
“The key to end this three-game series on the best note possible is to continue our ability to connect passes and have a variety in the attack. We’ve been training very hard the past few weeks and while there have been some excellent moments in both games, we want to put together a great 90 minutes. We are never 100% satisfied if we give up a goal.”

U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd
On looking back at the championship game of Olympic Qualifying and forward to the game on Saturday:
“In Mexico, I thought that’s the best I’ve ever seen (Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod) play. We had a bunch of chances and she just did very well. In this game, it’s going to important for us, on what might be a slick surface depending on the weather, to really focus on finishing our chances. When you’ve got a goalkeeper that hot, there’s not much you can do except keep pounding away. We’re at the end of a hard three-week trip, so we’re really going to have to muster a lot of energy to try to break Canada down.”

NORDIC SUMMER: The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will travel to Europe for friendly matches for the first time since 2001, facing Norway in Fredrikstad on July 2, followed by an intriguing clash with Sweden in Skelleftea on July 5. 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. The match in Norway will be played at the brand new Fredrikstad Stadium, which opened in the spring of 2007 and features 13,000 seats. Fredrikstad is located in southeast Norway about 60 miles below 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. The stadium, which is home to the Swedish women’s First Division side Sunnana, seats only a few thousand, but will be expanded to hold as many as 10,000 for the match that will be played just 100 miles below the Arctic Circle. The U.S. team will leave for Europe on June 27, just six days after returning from the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea, and train for a few days in Norway. The game will be just the third-ever match between the two teams in Norway, an amazing stat considering this will be the 43rd meeting between the historic rivals. This match in Sweden will carry several historic sidebars, not only because Sundhage is returning to the country she once captained, but it will also be the first-ever match between the teams in Sweden. Norway is currently fifth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Sweden is third.

ALL ABOUT all_access: Our videographers have been putting in the long hours on this trip to bring the fans some fun videos. Check out ussoccer.com’s all_access video to Meet The New Kids, get a taste for Southern BBQ and follow along with the team as they do some charity work on their day off.

USA UNBEATEN AT RFK STADIUM: The U.S. Women’s National Team has a long history at RFK Stadium, having first played there in 1995 in what the USA’s first-ever match in a large stadium inside the United States. The USA defeated Norway 2-1 in overtime that day and have won the five matches at the historic venue since, including a 6-1 win over an under-strength Canada side in 2003 when the Maple Leafs were a last-minute replacement for Nigeria, which pulled out of the game. The U.S. women have not been back to RFK since 2003, when they opened the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a rousing 3-1 win over Sweden. The USA has also played three matches in Maryland at three different venues and five matches in Virginia, also at three different venues.

FREEDOM REIGNED: RFK was home for three seasons to the Washington Freedom of the WUSA, which famously featured the partnership of Abby Wambach and Mia Hamm for two of those years. The Freedom won the 2003 WUSA title, which turned out to be the last, but the experience that Wambach had playing professionally in Washington surely played a major role in her development as a international player. She rode a fantastic 2003 club season to a spot on the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team where she lead the USA in scoring. Since then, she has led the USA in goals at the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

UP NEXT: The USA will have a two-week training camp at The Home Depot Center at the end of May to prepare for the 2008 Peace Queen Cup in South Korea, which will be played from June 14-21. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will bring in as many as 27 or 28 players depending injuries.
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