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U.S. and England Set for Quarterfinal Match Up at 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup


U.S. Women’s National Team Notes
2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Tianjin, China
Sept. 21, 2007

USA TO FACE ENGLAND IN QUARTERFINAL AT 2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The USA heads into its quarterfinal match in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup having won Group B, perhaps one of the most difficult ever, and now faces up-and-coming England on Saturday, Sept. 22 for a place in the semifinals. The match, which has the makings of a classic, will be played at 8 p.m. local time at the magnificent Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 7:55 am. ET. A crowd of more than 30,000 is expected in what will likely be the first match in the Women’s World Cup for the USA played in good weather and on a pitch in excellent condition. The USA and England have never met in a FIFA competition before at the senior level, although the U.S. U-19s did defeat England in the first round at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada. Four players currently on the U.S. WWC roster played in that match in Lori Chaulpny, Lindsay Tarpley, Leslie Osborne and Heather O’Reilly, with the latter three scoring. The first two quarterfinals will be played on Saturday, the USA vs. England in Tianjin and Germany vs. North Korea in Wuhan (which kicks off at 5 p.m. local). Wuhan will host China vs. Norway on Sunday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m. and Tianjin will host Brazil vs. Australia that same day at 8 p.m. The winner of the USA-England match will face the winner of the Brazil-Australia match in the semifinals. For a complete, schedule, scores and standings, fans can log onto the special Women’s World Cup page on www.ussoccer.com.

2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal Schedule
Date          Match-Up                                Venue         Kickoff    (local)
Sept. 22    Germany vs. North Korea    Wuhan        5 p.m.
Sept. 22    USA vs. England                   Tianjin         8 p.m.
Sept. 23    China vs. Norway                  Wuhan        5 p.m.  
Sept. 23    Brazil vs. Australia                Tianjin         8 p.m.    

2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
The Road to the Quarterfinals
USA (First in Group A)
Date          Opponent         Venue (City)                                                                   Result    U.S. Goal Scorers
Sept. 11    North Korea    Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          2-2 T      O’Reilly, Wambach
Sept. 14    Sweden           Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          2-0 W    Wambach (2)
Sept. 18    Nigeria             Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 1-0 W    Chalupny

ENGLAND (Second in Group B)
Date    Opponent         Venue (City)                                                                     Result    England Goal Scorers
Sept.  11    Japan        Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium)   2-2 T      Smith (2)
Sept.  14    Germany   Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium)   0-0 T      --
Sept.  17    Argentina   Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          6-1 W     Smith (2), Jill Scott, Fara Williams, Vicky Exley, Own Goal

2007 U.S. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.); DEFENDERS (6): 2-Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), 8-Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), 14-Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.); MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 19-Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.); FORWARDS (5): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

2007 ENGLAND WOMENS WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Rachel Brown, 13-Siobhan Chamberlain, 21-Carly Telford: DEFENDERS (7): 2-Alex Scott, 3-Casey Stoney, 5-Faye White, 6-Mary Phillip, 12-Anita Asanta, 14-Rachel Unitt, 20-Lindsay Johnson; MIDFIELDERS (5): 4-Katie Chapman, 8-Fara Williams, 10-Kelly Smith, 16-Jill Scott, 19-Vicky Exley; FORWARDS (6): 7-Karen Carney, 9-Eniola Aluko, 11-Rachel Yankey, 15-Sue Smith, 17-Jodie Handley, 18-Lianne Sanderson:

USA vs. ENGLAND PREVIEW

England on a Roll
On paper, these are two pretty evenly matched teams as the England squad is certainly not short on experience, as 12 of their players have played 29 games or more for their country, with nine playing 50 or more. England has speed all over the field, as does the USA, and both teams have players recognized among the top goal scorers in the world, Kelly Smith for England and Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly for the USA. Smith, who has struck four times already in this tournament, has seen her international and club career hampered by injuries, but is fit and healthy at the right time for England and surely is the Lionesses most clear and present danger. England has excellent speed on the flanks with dynamic left-footer Rachel Yankey and 20-year-old star-in-the-making Karen Carney. England will be without playmaking midfielder Fara Williams in the match tomorrow after she received her second yellow card of group play in the 61st minute of England’s 6-1 win over Argentina. Williams, who has scored more international goals than anyone on England’s WC roster besides Kelly Smith, adds skill and intensity the midfield, and someone will have to step up to replace her. The USA will no doubt be looking to build a bit more rhythm to create scoring chances,

Last Time Out, Also in China
The two teams last met at the Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou on January 28 in the second match of the year for the U.S. team, a 1-1 tie that saw goals from Heather O’Reilly (17th minute) and England’s Alex Scott (47). It was an evenly played match, with England maybe getting the slightest edge as both teams took 10 shots, but England earned seven corner kicks to the USA’s two. Still, the USA played without four players likely to start tomorrow (Abby Wambach, Kristine Lilly, Christie Rampone and Hope Solo) the first three of whom did not make the trip to China. Four players who are not even on the Women’s World Cup roster also saw time in that match. The game was a great test for the young Americans players who gutted out the tie against an almost full-strength English side that was without just team captain Faye White.

White vs. Wambach?
From the pre-game media hype surrounding the match, it seems that England captain and center defender Faye White, who also captains Arsenal, will be primarily charged with marking U.S. striker Abby Wambach. At 5-foot-10, White is one of the few defenders in the world who rivals Wambach in terms of size, so the U.S. forward will be in for a physical battle, but what’s new? The well-spoken and amiable White tore her ACL in 2006 (her second such injury), but has recovered strongly and is one of England’s inspirational leaders and is great role model for young English girls. This past summer, she played about seven or eight games in the W-League for the Ottawa Fury before re-joining the England side.

Friends and Foes
Several of the U.S. and English players know each other well, as Rachel Yankey and Rachel Unitt won the W-League title in 2005 with the New Jersey Wildcats along with Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O'Reilly and Cat Whitehill. The year before on the Wildcats, O’Reilly was a teammate of Kelly Smith, who played her college ball at Seton Hall (South Orange, N.J.) and in the WUSA with the Philadelphia Charge, which also featured Hope Solo. Smith suffered some injuries in the WUSA, but still was one of the best players to play in the league during its three-year run.

ENGLAND (ENG)
Current FIFA World Ranking: 12
2007 Women’s World Cup qualifying: Won Group 5 in UEFA Qualifying without a loss (6-0-2, GF 29, GA 2).
Women’s World Cup Finals appearances: 2 – 1995, 2007
Overall Record in Women’s World Cup: 2-2-0 (before 2007)
Record vs. USA: 2-6-1
Last Meeting vs. USA: January 28, 2007, in Guangzhou, China (0-0 tie)
Coach: Hope Powell
Championship Honors: None
Leading Women’s World Cup Qualifying Scorers: Kelly Smith (7), Fara Williams (4), Sue Smith (2), Rachel Yankey (2), Eniola Aluko (2), Alex Scott (2), Jodie Handley (2).
Other Key Players: Rachel Brown, Rachel Unitt, Mary Phillip, Katie Chapman, Karen Carney, Vicky Exley.
Language: English

ABBY TO HIT 100: The England match will be the 100th career cap for U.S. forward Abby Wambach, making her the 20th U.S. player to hit the century mark, which ironically, also her jersey number. The 27-year-old has the best goals per game ratio in U.S. history, having found the net 80 times in her 99 matches, and averages a goal for about every 90 minutes she plays for the National Team.

U.S. WNT QUOTE SHEET – Previewing Quarterfinal: U.S. head coach Greg Ryan, forward Abby Wambach and defender Christie Rampone met with the media today during a press conference at the team hotel. See what they had to say about the upcoming match against England in this quote sheet on ussoccer.com.

U.S. WNT Quick Hits
•The referee for the USA-England match will be Jenny Palmqvist of Sweden. One of the top female refs in the world, she was in the middle for the USA’s Olympic gold medal game against Brazil, but in an odd turn of events, had to leave the match with a calf injury and the fourth official filled in for the remainder of the game.
•The England roster is made up almost entirely from three of England’s top female clubs. Nine of England’s players, headed by Kelly Smith, play their club soccer for Europe’s top club, the Arsenal Ladies, which won four trophies last season, including the European Women’s Champions League. Six players play for Everton and three play for Chelsea. Two players play for Leeds and one for Doncaster Belles.
•Nine players who started England’s final group match also started against the USA in January.
•Kelly Smith is currently in the running for the Golden Boot as one of the leading scorers in the tournament with four goals in three matches. Ragnhild Gulbrandsen of Norway has five goals, while Marta and Birgit Prinz each have four.
•Abby Wambach is one of five players on three goals in the tournament. The only one of the top 10 scorers at this Women’s World Cup not still in China is Christine Sinclair, meaning the race for the scoring title is on.
•Forward Heather O’Reilly is one of two players on the U.S. roster to have a goal vs. England, scoring in the 1-1 Four Nations draw earlier this year. The other? Kristine Lilly, of course, but that goal came 10 years ago in a 1997 friendly in Portland, Ore.
•Just five players to have starts at the 2007 Women’s World Cup started against England in the 1-1 draw in January’s Four Nations: Cat Whitehill, Kate Markgraf, Lori Chalupny, Leslie Osborne and Heather O’Reilly.
•Cat Whitehill has played 90 minutes in eight consecutive World Cup games, and a total of 765 minutes after coming in at halftime for Brandi Chastain in the opening match of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Carla Overbeck holds the all-time U.S. record for field players with 12 games – every game of the 1995 and 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Goalkeeper Briana Scurry played 15 straight complete games.

ROCK IN THE BOXX: Shannon Boxx has been a physical force in the midfield, as usual, for the USA at the Women’s World Cup. Find out a bit more about Boxxy’s thoughts on the Women’s World Cup so far as she answers 11 questions for ussoccer.com.

TWO SEMIFINALISTS GONE: If there was ever an indication of the increased strength of women’s international soccer, please consider this: Two of the semifinalists from the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup did not make it out of their groups. Sweden, which advanced to the Women’s World Cup Final in 2003, finished third in Group B, and Canada, which lost to Sweden in the semifinal in 2003, failed to advance out of Group C. Sweden, had the misfortune of being drawn into the toughest group in the tournament, but Canada could only manage a win over Ghana as the Aussies, who had never before won a Women’s World Cup match, went 1-0-2 in group play, which was good enough to edge out the Maple Leafs (1-1-1). Also, with Brazil’s stoppage time goal against Denmark that gave them a 1-0 win, Brazil emerged from group play as the only team to win all three matches.

CHALUPNY SECOND, NOW THIRD: When Lori Chalupny scored 53 seconds into the match against Nigeria was the second fastest goal to start a game in Women’s World Cup history. It was quickly (pun intended) eclipsed by Canada’s Melissa Tancredi, whose brilliant volley from the top of the penalty area beat Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri just 32 seconds into the game.

FAIR PLAY DAY: FIFA will hold World Fair Play Days during the quarterfinal matches to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Peace (21 September), an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities around the world. Shortly before kick-off, both team captains will read a declaration to support fair play on the pitch and in society. The special activity will be broadcast to 200 territories across all six confederations. FIFA has celebrated Fair Play Days since 1997 and this year is the fourth time that the events will be linked to the International Day of Peace.

STUDIO 90: CHINA ‘07 IS ONLINE: You can check out “Studio 90: China ’07” on ussoccer.com as the popular web show rolls on in China. Check out the latest episode that includes an interview with U.S. midfielder Lori Chalupny.

FAN FEEDBACK: Let's hear from you. The Studio 90 crew is working hard over here in China to bring you the story of the U.S. Women's National Team, so if you want to offer some advice or have a random thought or just want to send a note of support to the team, we want to hear from you. Drop us a note at studio90@ussoccer.org.

I WANNA BE A BLOGSTAR: Check out the WNT Blog on ussoccer.com. It’s daily, it’s fun and it only takes a few minutes to read. It might even make you famous (well, only if you write a really good posting comment).

EURO OLY PLAYOFF: Since the European nations have extended qualifying competitions for both the Women’s World Cup and the European championships, there is no time to hold Olympic qualifiers. Therefore, the Women’s World Cup serves as Europe’s qualifying for next year’s Olympics, meaning the top three finishers will move through to Beijing ‘08. England, which is not eligible for one of the three European Olympic berths because English athletes compete as part of the United Kingdom in the Olympics. As Norway and Germany have advanced to the quarterfinals, they have also earned spots in the Beijing ’08 Women’s Football Tournament. As Denmark and Sweden both went out in group play, they will play a two-game qualifying series to see who gets the last spot.

Stat of Note
The USA has won the last two Women’s World Cup quarterfinal matches it has played by one goal, defeating Germany, 3-2 in 1999 and Norway, 1-0, in 2003.

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