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Ryan Names 18-Player Roster for Sunday Match Against Canada

Friday, June 24, 2005
U.S. Women’s National Team
Notes from Virginia Beach, Virginia

RYAN NAMES 18 TO SUIT UP FOR CANADA MATCH: U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 18 players who will suit up against old rival Canada on Sunday, June 26, at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex.  The match will be televised live on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET and is being hosted by the Virginia Beach Mariners of the USL First Division and the City of Virginia Beach. Fans can also follow the game on’s MatchTracker presented by Philips Electronics.  Headlining the roster is forward Abby Wambach, the USA’s leading scorer in 2004 with 31 goals, and team captain Kristine Lilly, who will earn her 296th career cap on Sunday.  Lilly has also scored 103 career goals and is just five away from becoming the world’s second all-time leading scorer. Angela Hucles, the all-time leading scorer for her high school, Norfolk Academy, and the University of Virginia, will get the chance to play in her hometown in front of a legion of family and friends.  The roster also marks the return of Tiffeny Milbrett to the U.S. team.  The 5-foot-2 dynamo has not played for the USA in 16 months, but will be going for her historic 100th career goal in the match.  If she plays, it will also be her 200th career cap, moving her into a unique group that currently includes just four other players (all Americans) who have played 200 times for their country.  The roster also includes four other players who weren’t on the 2005 Algarve Cup team that took the title last March in Portugal: goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, the back-up on the 2004 Olympic Team, 29-year-old forward Danielle Fotopoulos, a 1999 Women’s World Cup Team member and mother of two who has not played for the USA since 2002, 23-year-old defender Amy LePeilbet, a 2004 Olympic Residency camp member who earned her first six caps last year, and midfielder Marci Miller, a 29-year-old WUSA veteran for the Atlanta Beat who will be looking for her first cap.

United States WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Hope Solo; DEFENDERS (5): Lori Chalupny, Amy LePeilbet, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Cat Reddick; MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Lorrie Fair, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Aly Wagner; FORWARDS (5): Danielle Fotopoulos, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather O’Reilly, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.

Canada WNT Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Karine LeBlanc, Taryn Swiatek; DEFENDERS (7): Sasha Andrews, Candace Chapman, Randee Hermus, Charmaine Hooper, Isabelle Morneau, Sophie Schmidt, Melissa Tancredi; MIDFIELDERS (6): Amanda Cicchini, Kara Lang, Diana Matheson, Andrea Neil, Brittany Timko, Amy Walsh; FORWARDS (3): Christine Latham, Christine Sinclair, Katie Thorlakson.

SO LONG C-VILLE: The U.S. team wrapped up its five days of practice in Charlottesville, Va., on the campus of UVa on Thursday morning, conducting some functional training and finishing along with some set plays.  The team returned to the hotel, packed up, had lunch and hopped on the bus for an uneventful and snack-filled three hour-plus bus ride to Virginia Beach.   The team enjoyed dinner out at a local restaurant, where they got their first and highly amusing look at the 2005 U.S. WNT Yearbook, which will be on sale on all U.S. games. The U.S. team conducted its first training in Virginia Beach on Friday afternoon at Old Dominion University, finding much more humidity than in the Charlottesville, but a much smoother pitch.

HUCLES IS HOME: Hometowns love their own and Angela Hucles has been getting a warm Virginia Beach reception.  The midfielder made the rounds of the local radio shows on Friday and was interviewed by the local TVs upon arrival and after training.  The 2004 Olympic gold medallist was a high school All-American at Norfolk Academy, scoring a mind-boggling 204 goals with 106 assists, and should earn her 50th cap for the USA on Sunday. 

USA vs. CANADA PREVIEW: The USA and Canada renew a rivalry today that has become as heated as any in the world. While it was one-sided for the first 15 years the team played, as the USA racked up 21 straight wins and 22 victories in 23 games from 1986-2000, Canada has experienced a resurgence in the new millennium, one that has seen them move up to No. 11 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Canada picked up its first win over the USA in a decade and half in November of 2000, but the USA has won six of nine games with two ties since then. The one loss came with a very young team at the 2001 Algarve Cup.  All of the matches in the last two years have been highly competitive (outside of a game in Washington, D.C., when Canada brought a young team) and Sunday’s match will no doubt be a difficult one for both sides.  Canada is coming off not one, but two, European tours, which produced just two wins, but more importantly provided some excellent competition and preparation for the Maple Leafs. 

U.S. Women's National Team Results vs. Canada from 2000-2004
Date                 Score        U.S. Goal Scorers                       City                       The Skinny
May 7, 2000      4-0 W        Parlow, Foudy, Welsh, Milbrett    Portland, Ore.         Nike U.S. Women’s Cup
June 2, 2000      9-1 W        Fair (2), MacMillan, Parlow (3),    Sydney, Australia   Ouch
                                         Milbrett (3) 
July 1, 2000      4-1 W        Milbrett, MacMillan (2), Hamm      Louisville, Ky.         Women’s Gold Cup
Aug. 20, 2000   1-1 T          Lilly                                            Kansas City, Mo.    Pre-Olympic tussle
Nov. 11, 2000    1-3 L          Milbrett                                       Columbus, Ohio     40th game in 2000
March 11, 2001 0-3 L           --                                               Lagos, Portugal      Young team at Algarve
June 30, 2001   2-2 T          MacMillan, Milbrett                      Toronto, Canada      First of two-game series
July 3, 2001      1-0 W        Milbrett                                       Blaine, Minn.          During WUSA season
Nov. 9, 2002      2-1 W (ot)  Milbrett, Hamm                           Pasadena, Calif.      Final of Gold Cup
March 14, 2003 1-1 T          Wagner                                      Olhao, Portugal       Algarve Cup
April 26, 2003    6-1 W       Foudy, Lilly, MacMillan (4)            Washington, D.C.    Canada had “B” team
Oct. 11, 2003    3-1 W       Boxx, Lilly, Milbrett                      Carson, Calif.          WWC 2003 3rd Place
Feb. 3, 2004     2-0 W        Tarpley, Fawcett                          Shenzhen, China     Four Nations
July 3, 2004      1-0 W       Mitts                                           Nashville, Tenn.       Mitts’ first goal

A LOOK AT CANADA: Canada is currently ranked 11th in the world and features some of the world’s top young players (and perhaps the world’s top old player).  Canadian legend Charmaine Hooper, still going strong at 37 despite the recent birth of her first child, is her team’s emotional leader and always force to be reckoned with due to her competitive fire.  While Hooper may be past her prime, young Christine Sinclair is just entering hers.  The rising senior at the University of Portland already has 53 career goals and won the Golden Ball (MVP) and Golden Boot (top scorer) at the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship in her home country.  Sinclair’s most recent goal was against Sweden during Canada’s tour of Europe in late May. The lethal finisher won the MAC Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player last season and will look to lead the Pilots to the NCAA title this fall as a senior.  Canada’s strike force also features thundering forward Christine Latham.  The former University of Nebraska star was the 2003 WUSA Rookie of the Year with the San Diego Spirit and has 15 goals in her 40 caps.  Canada has two more talented attackers in the UCLA-bound Kara Lang, a 5-foot-10 banger with 21 goals in 47 games, and Katie Thorlakson, who only has seven caps, but was a key player on the 2002 U-19 squad and led Notre Dame to the NCAA title last season with a remarkable 23 goals and 24 assists. In the midfield, the Maple Leafs feature veteran Andrea Neil, who has 105 caps and 21 goals and Brittany Timko, who has to be considered one of the brightest young stars in the world after her performance at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship where she won the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the competition.  She has 41 caps with the full team, but has yet to score at the senior level.  Canada’s midfield also features former WUSA player Amy Walsh, U-19 star Amanda Cicchini and the diminutive Diana Matheson, who helped lead Princeton to the NCAA Final Four last season.  At the back, Canada is led by Hooper, who made a successful transition from forward to central defender, physical markers Randee Hermus, Sasha Andrews and Melissa Tancredi and speedy outside backs Candace Chapman and Isabelle Morneau.  In goal, Canada has a pair of quality players in WUSA veteran Karina LeBlanc, who has 46 caps and young Taryn Swiatek (18 caps), who played well at the 2003 Women’s World Cup.

CANADA - WELL PREPARED FOR USA: Canada is coming off not one, but two recent tours of Europe.  On Canada’s most recent tour of Scandinavia, they picked up a huge win over Denmark, 4-3, on May 25, roaring back from a 3-1 deficit to claim victory.  Amazingly, Canada fell behind 3-0 in just 12 minutes before star forward Christine Sinclair got them on the board in the 22nd minute.  Down 3-1 at the half, Canada got goals from Sasha Andrews (55th), Charmaine Hooper (76th) and then a dramatic winner from Sinclair in the 83rd.  The win would prove to be the highlight of the tour, as Canada fell 3-1 to Sweden (Sinclair scored after Canada was down 3-0) on May 28 and 3-0 to Norway on May 31.  In Canada’s earlier tour, they fell 3-1 to Germany on April 21 as Amber Allen scored her fourth career goal in the loss, then fell to the powerful Germans again on April 24, this time 3-2.  A Randee Hermus goal gave Canada the lead, but then Germany scored three times before Sinclair made it close with a 90th minute strike.  On the same trip, Canada tied Holland 1-1, as Andrea Neil tallied in the 81st minute, but the Dutch pulled off the draw with a 90th minute equalizer.  The highlight of the tour was a 2-0 win over France as Sophie Schmidt scored in the 78th and Neil iced it with a goal in the 89th on April 27 in the final game of the trip.

Stat of Note:
Canada is probably not enthused about the return of Tiffeny Milbrett to the U.S. team.  Milbrett has scored 10 goals against Canada in the last 14 meetings between the two teams and 17 total goals over her career, the most scored by Milbrett against any team.

Quote of the Day:
U.S. forward Danielle Fotopoulos, in hysterical laughter, commenting on former Florida teammate Heather Mitts’ youth soccer picture in the new 2005 U.S. WNT Yearbook.

“You had a perm, bangs that started in the middle of your head and the side ponytail!  And you had summer teeth.  Some’ar here, some’ar there! This is by far the best picture in here!”

Editor’s Note: Mitts turned out okay.

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