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US WNT Set to Face Sweden for Third Time in 2011


START AND FINISH 2011 WITH SWEDEN: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its final match of 2011 when it takes on Sweden on Nov. 19 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. This will mark the first time the USA has started and ended a calendar year against the same opponent since 1992 when the squad just played two matches (both against Norway) and 1989 (when the team played just one game against Poland). The match comes at the end of a two-week camp in Arizona that featured 30 players, of which U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will pick 18 to suit up against Sweden. The USA is in the midst of preparation for the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held Jan. 19-29 in Vancouver, B.C. Fans can follow the USA vs. Sweden clash at 7 p.m. MT live via webcast on ussoccer.com, via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.

RECORD CROWD IN ARIZONA: More than 16,000 tickets have been sold for the match, setting a record for the largest crowd to ever watch the U.S. WNT in Arizona. Fans wanting to attend the game can purchase tickets starting at $22 through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout metropolitan Phoenix (including Fry’s Marketplace), as well as the University of Phoenix Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

RECAPPING 2011: The USA opened 2011 with a 2-1 loss to Sweden at the Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China and now will finish the year with a game against the long-time European power. In between it was quite a dramatic year for the U.S. women. The U.S. team comes into this game with a 13-3-3 overall record this year which of course included the dramatic run to the World Cup Final in Germany. The losses came in the first game of the year to Sweden, in an April friendly to England and in the Women’s World Cup to Sweden. Two ties came in the Women’s World Cup as the USA’s penalty kick win over Brazil and penalty loss to Japan both count officially as ties. The USA two post-Women’s World Cup matches against Canada in September – a 1-1 tie and a 3-0 win for the USA – featured the Women’s World Cup roster so this is the first match this fall that could feature players that were not in Germany.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Val Henderson (Philadelphia Independence), Jill Loyden (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Meghan Klingenberg (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbrunn (out of contract)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Yael Averbuch (Western New York Flash), Brittany Bock (Western New York Flash), Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Becky Edwards (Western New York Flash), 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 (out of contract), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (out of contract)

ROSTER NOTES

  • All 21 players from the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team were on the training camp roster. 
  • Defender Ali Krieger is the only player on the roster that plays her club soccer outside the United States. Krieger arrived in camp on Monday, Nov. 14, after her weekend match in Germany. 
  • Sundhage called in two collegiate players for the training camp, Sydney Leroux of UCLA and Ingrid Wells of Georgetown. Leroux traveled back and forth from Phoenix to Los Angeles twice, the first to play her NCAA playoff match with the Bruins (winning 1-0 over New Mexico). She then came back to participate in Sunday and Monday trainings before returning to UCLA to prepare for her second round game. 
  • Georgetown did not make the NCAA Tournament and thus allowing Wells to attend the entire training camp.
  • The USA is 13-3-3 in 2011. 
  • No one has started all 19 games for the USA this year, but Carli Lloyd leads the team with 18 starts. 
  • Lloyd, Lauren Cheney, Rachel Buehler, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe have played in 18 games. 
  • U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo did not attend training camp in Arizona as she was participating in ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. She will return for the USA’s December training camp in Los Angeles. 
  • The roster included an unusual number of uncapped players – six – with Brittany Bock, Becky Edwards, Ashlyn Harris, Val Henderson, Keelin Winters and Wells looking for their first senior team games. 
  • This is the first U.S. WNT camp ever for Winters, Edwards and Wells.
  • Lauren Cheney received her 50th career cap against Canada on Sept. 22 in Portland, Ore., making her the 40th U.S. player to achieve that mark. 
  • The U.S. roster features six players with 100 caps or more and one with 243, that being Christie Rampone who is fourth all-time in U.S. history.
  • The USA’s leading scorer this year is Abby Wambach with eight goals and four assists. 
  • Cheney and Rapinoe are tied for the team lead with five assists each in 2011. 
  • The USA’s 40 goals this year have been scored by 10 different players: Wambach (8), Lloyd (6), Morgan (6), Cheney (5), Amy Rodriguez (4), Heather O’Reilly (3), Rapinoe (3), Lindsay Tarpley (2), Boxx, and Buehler (plus one own goal by Brazil in the Women’s World Cup). 
  • Five players scored their first Women’s World Cup goals this summer in Germany: Buehler, Cheney (2), Lloyd, Morgan (2) and Rapinoe. 
  • 27 players have played in an international match for the USA this year. 
  • Six players on the training camp roster helped the Western New York Flash to the 2011 WPS title: Yael Averbuch, Bock, Edwards, Engen, Harris and Morgan, who was the only member of the World Cup Team on the Flash.

IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • Abby Wambach has scored in six consecutive games, the final four during the Women’s World Cup and the two matches against Canada in September. That streak ties her all-time best (February to March 2004) so if she scores against Sweden she will set her personal best. The team record is held by Michelle Akers who scored in nine consecutive games in 1991. 
  • Wambach’s 125 career goals puts her just five short of Kristine Lilly’s 130, which is second only to Mia Hamm’s 158 in U.S. history. 
  • There are only two active players on the USA’s top-11 all-time goal scoring list in Wambach and Heather O’Reilly, who has 30 career goals and 30 career assists.
  • Pia Sundhage is 26-4-2 against European teams during her almost four years as head coach of the USA. The team has scored 65 goals and allowed 18 during that time against UEFA nations. 
  • The USA is 79-2-5 all-time when Wambach scores a goal. The most recent of those two losses came in the Women’s World Cup against Sweden.

BY THE NUMBERS:

0.85 Average goals allowed per game by the USA in 2011
1 World ranking of the U.S. Women’s National Team
2.04 Average goals scored per game by the USA in 2011
5 Number of games the USA has played inside the United States so far this year
9 Shutouts the USA has earned in 19 matches so far this year
14 Number of games the USA has played outside the United States this year
54 The current unbeaten streak for the USA in domestic matches in which they are 49-0-5
101 Number of minutes that Abby Wambach averages a goal every…
125 Career goals by Wambach, putting her third on the USA’s all-time list at age 30 and fourth all-time in world history
130 Number of minutes that Mia Hamm averaged a goal every…
194 Players who have earned a cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team since the program’s inception in 1985, the most recent being Whitney Engen, who earned her first cap against Norway at the Algarve Cup on March 4

USA VS. SWEDEN SERIES

  • The USA and Sweden have played many times since the first meeting in 1987 with the USA holding a 18-5-7 all-time record against the Swedes. 
  • Sweden has won the last two meetings by 2-1 scores, in January at the Four Nations Tournament and in the final group game at the Women’s World Cup, its first-ever two-game winning streak vs. the USA. 
  • Just one of the 30 meetings has been in Sweden, a 1-0 victory in Skelleftea on July 5, 2008, with nine meetings in the USA. The U.S. team is unbeaten against Sweden on home soil (7-0-1). The other 16 meetings have been on neutral soil (11 in Portugal at the Algarve Cup and five in China).

SWEDISH CONNECTION : U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will be coaching against her native country for the eighth time since taking over the helm of the American team at the end of 2007. Sundhage is 3-2-2 against Sweden during that time. Sundhage captained Sweden for many years, playing 146 international games while scoring 71 goals, for years a record she held with another Swedish legend, Lena Videkull, until passed by forward Hanna Ljungberg in 2008. Sundhage debuted for Sweden at age 15 in 1975 against England and ended her 22-year international career at the 1996 Olympics in a win against Denmark. She led Sweden to the first European Women’s Championship in 1984, scoring the winning penalty kick against England to give her country its only European title. She also helped Sweden earn two silver medal finishes and one bronze at the European Women’s Championships.

CLUBING IN SWEDEN: Three players on the USA’s training camp roster recently returned from playing the end of the Swedish club season. Whitney Engen (Tryesö), Becky Edwards (Hammarby) and Val Henderson (KIF Örebro) traveled to Scandinavia after the end of the WPS season and each played seven or eight matches.

WNT IN UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: U.S. defender Ali Krieger is currently embroiled in Women’s Champion League with her German club FFC Frankfurt. Last week she helped Frankfurt advance to the final eight of the tournament, playing every minute over two legs in the 4-2 aggregate goals victory against Paris Saint-Germain.

PIA SUNDHAGE FACT FILE: Head coach Pia Sundhage is in the midst of her fourth full year in charge of the U.S. Women’s National Team. Below are some of her past accomplishments as a player and coach.

  • Sundhage is the sixth official coach and second female coach in the history of the U.S. Women’s National Team program. 
  • Sundhage’s record as head coach of the Women’s National Team is 68-5-8, with 184 goals for and 42 against. 
  • As a player, Sundhage was one of the game’s best-ever players, finishing sixth in the voting for FIFA Women’s Player of the Century. A legendary player in Sweden, she played for her country in the 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups, and 1996 Olympics. She scored four goals for Sweden at the 1991 Women’s World Cup, helping the Swedes to a third-place finish. She scored one goal in the 1995 Women’s World Cup (against Germany) and played every minute of all three matches at the Atlanta Olympics. 
  • Sundhage started her coaching career while still playing, serving as player-coach for the Hammarby club from 1992-1994. She also coached Sweden’s Youth National Teams for 11 years from 1990-2001, coaching the U-16s, the U-19s and U-21s. 
  • After her retirement from the international game in 1996, she became head coach of the Sweden Under-19 Women’s National Team, leading the team to one gold medal and two bronze medals at the European Championships. She served as a scout for Sweden during the 1997 European Championships, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. Sundhage has also worked for FIFA on its Technical Study Group staff for the 2004 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. 
  • Since taking over as head coach, Sundhage has given 18 players their first senior team caps.

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING IN VANCOUVER, B.C.: The 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament will be held at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Canada from Jan. 19-29. The tournament will send two countries to the 2012 Summer Olympics. The competition will feature two groups of four teams each with the top two finishers in each group “crossing-over” for the all-important semifinals. The winners of those semifinal matches will earn the region’s two berths to London. The USA was drawn into Group B and will open the tournament against the Dominican Republic, squaring off against the Caribbean nation for the first time ever on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. PT. The USA will then face Guatemala on Sunday, Jan. 22 (4:30 p.m. PT) and finish group play against Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m. PT). The group winners and runners-up will play in the all-important semifinals on Friday, Jan. 27 with the winners of those games qualifying for the Olympics. The championship game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29. Host Canada heads Group A which also features Costa Rica, Cuba and Haiti. Individual event tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster and fans can watch the tournament on Telemundo and Universal Sports Network .

OLYMPIC QUALIFYING HISTORY: This marks the third edition of the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament, held every four years since 2004. The USA won the competition in Costa Rica in 2004 and in Mexico in 2008. The USA was the lone CONCACAF representative at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, the first two that featured women’s soccer. Mexico qualified along with the USA for the 2004 Olympics in Athens while the Canadians claimed the second spot behind the U.S. in 2008 in Beijing.

BACK IN AZ AFTER MORE THAN A DECADE: The U.S. Women’s National Team returns to Arizona for a full international match for the first time since Dec. of 2000 when the team tied Japan 1-1 at Bank One Ballpark in what was the final game for legendary U.S. captain Carla Overbeck. This will mark the USA’s first-ever match at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, although the stadium has hosted the U.S. Men. This will mark just the fourth-ever game for the USA in Arizona as the team played two games against Australia in 1995 on what was basically a youth soccer field.

LAST TIME OUT: The USA played one of its best matches of the year in its most recent match on Sept. 22 in Portland, Ore., dominating Canada on the artificial turf of JELD-WEN Field. Abby Wambach scored two stupdendous goals while Alex Morgan added a tap-in in stoppage time to account for the 3-0 margin. The USA out-shot Canada 21-6 in front of a near sold-out crowd of 18,570.

IN FOCUS: SWEDEN
Svenska Fotbollförbundet / The Swedish Football Association
Founded: 1904 (Joined FIFA in 1904)
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Third (2003 and 2011)
Best European Championship finish: Champion (1984; Runners-up in 1987, 1995, 2001)
Caps Leader: Therese Sjögran (177)
Top Scorer: Hanna Ljungberg (51)
Key Players: G Hedvig Lindahl, D Sara Larsson, D Sara Thunebro, M Nilla Fischer, F Jessica Landstrom, F Lotta Schelin

SWEDEN NOTES

  • Sweden will host the 2013 European Women’s Championships in July of that year and thus doesn’t have to qualify. 
  • Sweden lost 1-0 to Germany in Hamburg on Oct. 27 in a friendly match in its first and only game since the end of the Women’s World Cup.
  • Sweden is ranked fifth in the world in the most recent FIFA rankings and defeated France 2-1 in the third place match of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. 
  • Each group in the 12-team tournament (the second time the competition has featured 12 nations, up from eight in every previous incarnation) will be played at two venues: Group A at Gamla Ullevi (Gothenburg) and Örjans Vall (Halmstad), Group B at Öster Arena (Vaxjo) and Kalmar Arena (Kalmar), and Group C at Nya Parken (Norrkoping) and Linköping Arena (Linkoping). 
  • Before beating the USA twice this year, Sweden hadn’t defeated the USA in regulation time since 2004, a 3-1 win at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

SWEDEN ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 12-Kristin Hammarström (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 1-Hedvig Lindahl (Kristianstads DFF)
DEFENDERS (7): 7-Sara Larsson (KIF Örebro DFF), 2-Emma Berglund (Umeå IK), 19-Jessica Samuelsson (Linköpings FC), 13-Emmelie Konradsson (Umeå IK), 3-Linda Sembrant (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 4-Annica Svensson (Tyresö FF), 6-Sara Thunebro (FFC Frankfurt-GER)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 17-Lisa Dahlkvist (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC), 18-Nilla Fischer (LdB FC Malmö), 22-Louise Fors (Linköpings FC), 5-Marina Pettersson Engström (KIF Örebro DFF), 11-Antonia Göransson (FFC Turbine Potsdam – GER), 14-Johanna Almgren (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC)
FORWARDS (5): 16-Madelaine Edlund (Tyresö FF), 10-Sofia Jakobsson (FC Rossiyanka - RUS), 9-Jessica Landström (FFC Frankfurt - GER), 8-Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyonnais - FRA), 20-Susanne Moberg (Kristianstads DFF)

SWEDEN ROSTER NOTES

  • Sweden features two of the world’s top strikers in Lotta Schelin (Olympique Lyonnais in France) and Jessica Landstrom (FFC Frankfurt in Germany), neither of whom plays their club soccer in Sweden. 
  • Schelin is by far the top scorer on the roster with 40 career goals. Landstrom has 17. 
  • Sweden’s roster for the clash with the USA features 14 players that were on their 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster. 
  • Two players – Landstrom and defender Sara Thunebro – play club soccer in Germany with the USA’s Ali Krieger. 
  • Two of Sweden’s top players – both of whom have WPS experience – will did not travel to the USA due to injuries in Caroline Seger (Philadelphia Independence) and Therese Sjogran (Sky Blue FC).
  • Sara Larsson also played in WPS for the Philadelphia Independence. Landstrom has a brief spell with Sky Blue during the 2010 season before moving to Germany. 
  • Sweden has one other player who plays her club soccer outside of Sweden in Sofia Jakobsson of FC Rossiyanka in Russia.

LAST TIME

On the field for USA:
Sept. 22, 2011 – JELD-WEN Field – Portland, Ore. – International Friendly
USA   3   Abby Wambach 63, 70, Alex Morgan 92
CAN   0

USA: 1-Hope Solo (capt.) (21-Jill Loyden, 52); 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone, 14-Stephanie Cox; 9-Heather O’Reilly (17-Tobin Heath, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx (13-Alex Morgan, 77), 16-Lori Lindsey (12-Lauren Cheney, 60), 15-Megan Rapinoe, 8-Amy Rodriguez (5-Kelley O’Hara, 60); 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 6-Amy LePeilbet, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Ali Krieger, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

CAN : 1-Karina LeBlanc (21-Stephanie Labbé, 46); 7-Rhian Wilkinson (5-Robyn Gayle, 72), 4-Carmelina Moscato, 16-Lauren Sesselmann (3-Melanie Booth, 75), 17-Lexi Marton; 6-Kaylyn Kyle (11-Desiree Scott, 55), 8-Diana Matheson (capt.) (9-Tina Romagnuolo, 81), 13-Sophie Schmidt; 10-Christina Julien, 14-Melissa Tancredi (20-Diamond Simpson, 89), 15-Kelly Parker
Subs not used: 2-Emily Zurrer, 12-Jaclyn Sawicki, 18-Erin McLeod, 19-Chelsea Stewart, 22-Justine Bernier
Head coach: John Herdman

On the field for Sweden:
Oct. 26, 2011 – Millernthor-Stadion - Hamburg, Germany – International Friendly
Germany   1   Alexandra Popp 60
Sweden     0

GER : 1-Nadine Angerer, 2-Bianca Schmidt, 3-Saskia Bartusiak, 5-Annike Krahn, 6-Simone Laudehr, 7-Melanie Behringer (18-Svenja Huth, 68), 8-Inka Grings (9-Alexandra Popp, 46), 10-Linda Bresonik (11-Anja Mittag, 76), 15-Verena Faißt, 19-Fatmire Bajramaj (16-Martina Müller, 87, 20-Lena Goeßling
Subs not used: 12-Almuth Schult, 21-Kathrin Längert, 4-Babett Peter, 17-Viola Odebrecht, 22-Tabea Kemme, 23-Luisa Wensing
Head coach: Silvia Neid

SWE : 1-Hedvig Lindahl, 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 5-Caroline Seger, 6-Sara Thunebro, 7-Sara Larsson (3-Linda Sembrant, 74), 8-Lotta Schelin, 11-Antonia Göransson (10-Johanna Almgren, 56), 13-Lina Nilsson (4-Annica Svensson, 74), 15-Therese Sjögran (14-Susanne Moberg, 87), 16-Madelaine Edlund (9-Jessica Landström, 62), 18-Nilla Fischer (17-Lisa Dahlkvist, 56)
Sub not used: 12-Kristin Hammarström
Head coach: Thomas Dennerby

Against France:
July 6, 2011 – Women’s World Cup Stadium – Wolfsburg, Germany – 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup – Group C
USA   1   Abby Wambach 67
SWE   2   Lisa Dahlkvist 17, Nilla Fischer 35

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 19-Rachel Buehler, 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 6-Amy LePeilbet (14-Stephanie Cox, 59); 15-Megan Rapinoe (5-Kelley O’Hara, 73), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Lauren Cheney; 8-Amy Rodriguez (13-Alex Morgan, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 9-Heather O’Reilly,16-Lori Lindsey, 17-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Jill Loyden
Head coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 1-Hedvig Lindahl; 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 4-Annica Svensson, 6-Sara Thunebro, 7-Sara Larsson; 15-Therese Sjogran (11-Antonia Goransson, 65), 16-Linda Forsberg, 17-Lisa Dahlkvist (20-Marie Hammarstrom,77), 18-Nilla Fischer (capt.) (3-Linda Sembrant, 88); 8-Lotta Schelin, 14-Josefine Oqvist
Subs not used: 5-Caroline Seger, 9-Jessiva Landstrom, 10-Sofia Jakobsson, 12-Kristin Hammarstrom, 13-Lina Nilsson, 19-Madelaine Edlund, 21-Sofia Lundgren
Head coach: Thomas Dennerby

CAPTAIN CHRISTIE: Point Pleasant, N.J. native Christie Rampone is in her fourth year as captain for the USA and will now begin the final stretch of her brilliant career which will end following the 2012 Olympics, should the Americans qualify. The 36-year-old mother of two has announced that she will retire after London and the U.S. players would love nothing more than to send her out on top. She led the team out of the tunnel for the first time as captain on Jan. 16, 2008, against Canada in Pia Sundhage’s first game as head coach and has worn the captain’s armband 63 times (including once when she got her 100th cap), leading the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and to the championship game of the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Rampone is fourth all-time in caps for the USA with 243 and passed Joy Fawcett this summer in Germany. She missed a few games at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 due to pregnancy and recovery from the birth of her second daughter. She is just the fifth women to captain the USA in a Women’s World Cup following April Heinrichs (1991), Carla Overbeck (1995 & 1999), Julie Foudy (2003) and Kristine Lilly (2007).
 
2011 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ALL-STARS: Following the Women’s World Cup, the FIFA Technical Study Group chose an All-Star Team and it features four U.S. players: goalkeeper Hope Solo, midfielders Shannon Boxx and Lauren Cheney and forward Abby Wambach. Several other U.S. players certainly could have been named to the 21-player list, most notably right back Ali Krieger, who had a fantastic tournament in her first world championship at any level, and team captain Christie Rampone, who played every minute while marshaling the defense.
 
 

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