CHICAGO (Wednesday, October 20, 2004) - The U.S. Women's National Team rolled over Ireland, 5-1, on a chilly night at Soldier Field to move to 26-1-3 in 2004, tying a record for most wins in a calendar year that was set in 2000. Forward Cindy Parlow notched her seventh career hat trick and the U.S. also got goals from defender Cat Reddick and forward Abby Wambach to the delight of the crowd of 12,856 in the sixth match of the 10-game "Fan Celebration Tour."
"What an incredible crowd we had out here tonight," said U.S. forward Mia Hamm, who now has four matches left in her brilliant national team career. "They got to see some fun soccer. Cindy Parlow's first two goals were just spectacular. Hopefully the young girls watching appreciate that and take that back and try it in practice tomorrow and in their games this weekend. They gave us a great atmosphere to express ourselves."
The USA battled a feisty Irish side that showed commitment on defense and some skill into the attack, but could not manufacture a shot in the first half. The U.S. team warmed up as the first half wore on and Parlow opened the scoring with a brilliant shot from distance in the 35th minute after a poor Ireland clearance.
The tally came on a blistering volley as she ran onto a bouncing ball and cracked a dipping shot over Ireland goalkeeper Sarah Peters and into the right corner. Peters was playing her first career match for Ireland.
Parlow added another just minutes before halftime as Julie Foudy chipped a pass to her in the penalty area and she deftly brought it down off her chest before turning and striking a half-volley into the lower left corner from 12 yards out.
The U.S. kept up its relentless attack after halftime, scoring a trio of goals within the first 15 minutes of the second half. The U.S. made it 3-0 in the 54th minute when Foudy sent second-half sub Abby Wambach free behind the Ireland defense with a perfect through ball. Wambach squared up on Peters and calmly rolled her shot just inside left post from eight yards out.
Just two minutes later, Reddick got on the board, rising above a pair of Irish defenders to head home a well-placed corner kick by Hamm from the left side.
Parlow completed the hat trick in the 59th minute when she received a gift from Wambach as the two rushed in behind the defense with just Peters to beat. Like on the pervious goal, Foudy had sent a long ball over the top of the Ireland defense that Wambach timed perfectly. The 5-foot-11 striker drew Peters to the near post and then unselfishly dished a squared ball for Parlow to finish easily into an open net. Parlow's seventh career hat trick put her ahead of retired legend Michelle Akers and one behind Hamm. With three goals tonight, Parlow now has 75 career goals, the fifth most goals in U.S. history.
"It was a very passionate display," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "You can see how dangerous (Cindy) can be when she plays that passionately. The first goal was world class. We've had a bunch of world class goals during this tour and that was one of the top five."
Ireland scored on their first and only shot of the game in the 63rd minute, snapping the 439-minute shutout streak the U.S. had built on the "Fan Celebration Tour." Ireland captain Michelle O'Brien and forward Olivia O'Toole cut loose on a breakaway behind the U.S. defense, with O'Toole drawing U.S. second-half goalkeeper Kristen Luckenbill off her line and laying it off for O'Brien to finish.
The "Fan Celebration Tour" stops next in Houston, Texas, as the USA once against takes on Ireland, this time at Reliant Stadium on Saturday, October 23 at 7 p.m. CT. The tour will finish with two matches on the East Coast against Denmark on Nov. 3 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.Y., (7:30 ET) and on Nov. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., (4 p.m. ET), before ending with yet-to-be confirmed match in early December.
The U.S. has an unblemished 6-0-0 record on the "Fan Celebration Tour" and achieved the 26 wins in just 30 games. In 2000, it took the USA 40 games to win 26.
For each ticket purchased during the 10-game U.S. Women's National Team "Fan Celebration Tour" of cities throughout the country, NikeGO will donate $1 of Nike soccer product to support the increase of girls soccer participation in each city. For Chicago, NikeGO will donate $1 of Nike soccer product to support the increase of girls soccer participation through the Chicago Parks District.
NikeGO is a grassroots community outreach program designed to achieve NIKE's overarching corporate goal of promoting youth health and fitness through sport. Nike has also purchased 50 tickets for each game for youth involved with the recipient organization.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Ireland
Competition: International Friendly - "Fan Celebration Tour"
Venue: Soldier Field; Chicago, Ill.
Date: Oct. 20, 2004; Kickoff - 7:30 p.m. CT
Weather: Cold, clear - 50 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 3 5
IRE 0 1 1
USA - Cindy Parlow (Unassisted) 35th minute.
USA - Cindy Parlow (Julie Foudy) 42.
USA - Abby Wambach (Julie Foudy) 54.
USA - Cat Reddick (Mia Hamm) 56.
USA - Cindy Parlow (Abby Wambach) 59.
IRE - Michelle O'Brien (Olivia O'Toole) 63.
USA: 1-Briana Scurry (18-Kristin Luckenbill, 46); 3-Christie Rampone (2-Heather Mitts, 46), 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Kate Markgraf, 6-Brandi Chastain; 11-Julie Foudy (Capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Aly Wagner (16-Abby Wambach, 46), 13-Kristine Lilly; 12-Cindy Parlow, 9-Mia Hamm.
Subs not used: 8-Angela Hucles, 14-Joy Fawcett.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs.
IRE: 1-Sarah Peters; 2-Ronnie Gibbons, 3-Sharon Boyle, 4-Dolores Deasley, 5-Yvonne Tracy; 6-Elaine O'Conner, 7-Caroline Thorpe (13-Katie Taylor, 56), 8-Michelle O'Brien, 9-Marie Curtin; 10-Michelle Walsh (12-Grainne Kierans, 81), 11-Olivia O'Toole (14-Kacey O'Driscoll, 75).
Subs Not Used: 15-Kariena Richards, 16-Jennifer Kett, 17-Claire Scanlan, 20-Janine Pepper.
Head Coach: Noel King.
Shots on Goal: 10/2
Corner Kicks: 15/0
Referee: Sandra Hunt (USA)
Assistant Referee: Karalee Sutton (USA)
Assistant Referee: Margaret Domka (USA)
Fourth Official: Jennifer Wegner (USA)
Chevrolet Player of the Game: Cindy Parlow
2004 U.S. WNT "Fan Celebration Tour" Results / Schedule