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U.S. Women Hit the Training Field in Carson as Gold Cup Preparations Begin

United States Women’s National Team
CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup
Notes from Carson, Calif.
Nov. 15, 2006

The U.S. Women’s National Team will hit the field on Wednesday evening at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for its first training session in preparation for the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, the vehicle by which the USA can earn one of this region’s two direct berths to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S. team will train almost every day at The HDC leading into its first match. The team has not played together since Nov. 4, when it defeated Canada, 1-0, in the championship game of the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea.

WIN AND THEY’RE IN: The USA received a bye to the semifinal round of the Women’s Gold Cup and will play its most important match of the year – and really its most important match since the 2004 Olympic gold medal game – on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. PT at The HDC (tickets) against the winner of the Mexico-Trinidad & Tobago quarterfinal match. The clashes between Mexico and T&T and Panama and Jamaica (with that winner facing Canada at 4:30 p.m. PT on Nov. 22) will be played on Nov. 19 in Miami, Fla. This will be the fourth time the U.S. women have attempted to qualify for a Women’s World Cup, having won CONCACAF qualifying events in 1991, 1994 and 2002 (Qualifying History). Should all go well in qualifying for the USA, this will certainly be the most expeditious route the team has taken to the Women’s World Cup as the team will play just two matches in this tournament. The U.S. team played five matches in qualifying in 1991, four in 1995 and five again in 2002. As the host of the tournament, the USA did not have to qualify in 1999.

2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Schedule
The Home Depot Center - Carson, Calif.

November 22, 2006
Canada vs. Panama/Jamaica 4:30 p.m. PT
USA vs. Mexico/Trinidad & Tobago 7:00 p.m. PT

November 26, 2006
Third Place (Semifinal losers) 3:00 p.m. PT
Championship (Semifinal winners) 5:30 p.m. PT

USA COMING OFF PEACE QUEEN CUP TITLE: The U.S. women are coming off the championship at the 2006 Peace Queen Cup, held in South Korea from Oct. 29-Nov. 4. The USA took home the trophy by going 2-0-1 in group pay to make the title game. The USA tied Denmark, 1-1, then defeated Australia and the Netherlands, both by 2-0 scores. In the championship game, the USA got a spectacular goal from team captain Kristine Lilly to defeat Canada, 1-0, and collect its second tournament title of the year after also winning the Four Nations Tournament in China last January. Lilly won the Golden Ball as the tournament MVP while forward Natasha Kai, who scored a great goal against Australia, won the Bronze Ball. Peace Queen Cup Recap

U.S. WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF TEAM RECORD: The U.S. WNT has gone unbeaten in 30 consecutive matches dating back to the final game of 2004 against Mexico on Dec. 8, 2004, which was also the final match for Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett. Who would have thought that the retirement of some of the legends of women’s soccer would be the starting point for a streak that could be historic if the USA can win its semifinal match on Nov. 22? The U.S. team went unbeaten under Tony DiCicco in 30 matches (29-0-1) from Feb. 10, 1996, through Oct. 9, 1997. The 2006 squad tied that record with the win over Canada at the Peace Queen Cup. During the current streak of 30 matches, the USA is 25-0-5. Twenty-nine of those matches have been under current U.S. head coach Greg Ryan.

LILLY TIES RECORD OF HER OWN: Bolstered by her move from midfield to forward, U.S. captain Kristine Lilly has tied the second-highest goal output of her 19-year international career, an amazing achievement at age 35. Lilly has 12 goals in 2006, including several of the spectacular variety. She found the net three times at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea. Lilly also scored 12 goals in 1995, notched her career-high of 20 in 1999, and with one more score will achieve her second highest goal total ever in a calendar year.

USA HAS DEFEATED 13 NATIONS IN 2006: In the USA’s 16 wins so far in 2006, they have defeated 13 different countries, with eight of those teams ranked in the top-15 in the world. The USA has recorded two wins this year against China, Japan and Canada. Of the USA’s four ties in 2006 – against France, Germany, China and Denmark – the Germans are the only team over which the USA does not also have a win this year.

Stat of Note
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan has used 29 players in game action this year, with five players earning their first-ever caps in 2006: Danesha Adams, Natasha Kai, Megan Rapinoe, India Trotter and Kacey White. Only Adams and Kai were named to the Women’s Gold Cup roster.

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