U.S. Women Take Sixth Trophy of 2000 with 1-0 Victory Over Germany; 57th Minute Goal by Julie Foudy Gives USA Title of DFB Jubilee Tourney
The U.S. win, combined with Norway's 1-0 victory over China in the other match, gave the Americans seven points from three games (two wins and a tie), while Norway finished second with six points (2-1-0) and China finished third with four points (1-1-1). Germany, despite playing better soccer than its results indicated, finished fourth after losing all three games.
The U.S. women have now won all six tournaments they have entered this year. The USA also won the Australia Cup in January, the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March, the NIKE U.S. Cup in April in Portland, Ore., the Pacific Cup in Australia in June and the Gold Cup in Boston earlier this month.
"The most pleasing thing about winning this tournament for the U.S. team was the quality of competition we faced," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "We used this tournament to simulate our first round in the Olympics, and if this was the Olympics, we would be through to the next round. It was three incredibly difficult games. Three games that sapped us of every ounce of energy we had. For us to play Norway and then China, just as we will do in the Olympics, and then finish with Germany, and get the results that we did, was a tremendous accomplishment."
It was the first meeting between the USA and Germany since the historic quarterfinal match of the 1999 Women's World Cup, a match in which the U.S. women came back twice from one-goal deficits to win. The Americans needed no such comebacks in front of 6,050 energetic fans, as goalkeeper Siri Mullinix picked up her 12th shutout of 2000, tying a record held by Briana Scurry and set in 1998.
The match also marked the return to the lineup of Michelle Akers, who had played just 45 minutes this year and was making a comeback from major shoulder surgery. Akers played the final 32 minutes at forward after replacing Brandi Chastain and had two chances to score at the end of the match, including a header that hit side netting.
The USA got a scare in the 38th minute when defender Kate Sobrero was sandwiched between a charging Mullinix, who came out of her goal to punch a free-kick away, and an onrushing German forward. Sobrero, already playing with a mask to protect a broken nose suffered just prior to departure for Europe, was knocked unconscious. She rose and walked off the field under her own power, but was replaced by Danielle Slaton and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
With the U.S. defense putting the clamps on the German forwards, the Americans dominated territorially for most of the match, but had to continually absorb repeated German counter-attacks. The U.S. goal came after the Americans had come out strong after halftime, pinning the Germans inside their own half.
The goal sequence started when defender Christie Pearce, who battled all day long with German forward Birgit Prinz, once again clashed with the 5-10 striker, jamming her body between Prinz and the ball as Prinz tried to beat her on the dribble. Prinz ran up Pearce's back and bundled into her, committing what looked to be an obvious foul, but the referee allowed to play to go on and Pearce recovered to tap the ball backwards to Slaton, who immediately fed Shannon MacMillan on the right flank. With the German players still yelling for a foul on Pearce, and Prinz in a heap on the ground, MacMillan hit a perfect bending ball behind the defense to Foudy at the far post.
The ball flashed by German goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg, who turned to face Foudy, but the U.S. midfielder tapped the ball back across the German goalkeeper's body and it rolled into the goal at the right post.
Germany took just three shots in the match, mostly due to the tremendous closing speed of Joy Fawcett and Pearce, as several times Germans looked to be free behind the defense before being run down.
The USA took just 10 shots, but had several dangerous chances. In just the 5th minute, Lorrie Fair stepped up to win a ball in midfield and played Tiffeny Milbrett through on left side of the penalty box. She cut back to inside and slipped a pass to Lilly, but Rottenberg came out to smother before Lilly could get a solid foot on the ball.
The U.S. team looked much sharper than in the previous two matches, and both teams possessed the ball well in the back and midfield, with Nikki Serlenga sending serving several penetrating passes after coming into the match in the second half. But it was the U.S. team that had the advantage in the attacking third.
In the 15th minute, a long cross from Pearce sailed over the flailing Rottenberg to Milbrett, who deftly touched it back to Mia Hamm, but her first-time volley at the open net was smartly deflected away by the raised cleat of Steffi Jones. In the 21st minute, Milbrett suddenly popped free in the penalty box, but faced only with Rottenberg, her shot hit the right post.
In the 32nd minute, Maren Meinert played a perfect through ball to Prinz, who raced in on goal with the U.S. defense in tow, but on a full sprint, Sobrero ran her down to tackle the ball away and Mullinix came out to smother. In the final 20 minutes, Germany desperately searched for an equalizer through the running and pounding of Prinz and substitute Martina Maller, but the U.S. back line proved inpenetratable. Germany's final chance came in the 80th minute when Sandra Smisek did well to free herself in the penalty box, but her volley hit the side netting wide left of the goal.
"We knew coming into this game that Germany's losses were a lot closer than the scores indicated," said Foudy. "Germany is an excellent team. Every team gives us their best game and Germany certainly did today. But we like that, because it makes us a better team."
The U.S. team now travels north for its first-ever matches in Norway. The USA will be looking to overtake Norway in the all-time series that now favors the Scandinavians at 12-13-1. Norway is the only team in the world with an all-time winning record against the U.S. women. The USA faces Norway in Tromso on July 27 (Kickoff 7:30 p.m. local/1:30 p.m. ET - LIVE on Pay-Per-View) and then finishes the trip on July 30 at Norway's national stadium in Oslo (Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. local/2 p.m. ET - LIVE on Pay-Per-View).
"We're going try to give some playing time to the whole roster in Norway," added Heinrichs. "We are looking forward to the matches to continue our preparations for the Olympics and to make sure our entire team is ready to compete for the gold medal in September."
2000 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Women's National Team vs. Germany National Team|
|Competition:||DFB Jubilee Tournament|
|Venue:||Eintracht Stadium (Braunschweig, Germany)|
|Date:||July 22, 2000 - Kickoff 5:45 p.m. local (11:45 a.m. ET)|
|Weather:||78 degrees - Sunny, warm|
USA - Julie Foudy, (Shannon MacMillan), 57.
USA - 26-Siri Mullinix, 3-Christie Pearce, 14-Joy Fawcett, 20-Kate Sobrero (19-Danielle Slaton, 41st), 6-Brandi Chastain (10-Michelle Akers, 58th), 8-Shannon MacMillan (7-Sara Whalen, 70th), 2-Lorrie Fair (5-Nikki Serlenga, 46th), 11-Julie Foudy (Capt.), 13-Kristine Lilly, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 9-Mia Hamm.
GER - 1-Silke Rottenberg, 4-Steffi Jones (5-Jeanette Gotte, 77th), 13-Sandra Minnert, 3-Ariane Hingst, 2-Kerstin Stegemann, 17-Melanie Hoffman (8-Sandra Smisek, 75th), 10-Bettina Wiegmann (Capt.), 6-Maren Meinert, 16-Renate Lingor, 18-Inka Grings (20-Martina Maller, 63rd), 9-Birgit Prinz.
|Julie Foudy (caution)||58,|
|Shannon MacMillan (caution)||73.|
|DFB Jubilee Tournament Standings|
|United States||3||2||0||1||3||1||7 (+2 GD)|
|Norway||3||2||1||0||5||2||6 (+3 GD)|
|China||3||1||1||1||4||3||4 (+1 GD)|
|Germany||3||0||3||0||2||8||0 (-6 GD)|
China 3, Germany 1
USA 1, Norway 0
Norway 4, Germany 1
USA 1, China 1
Norway 1, China 0
USa 1, Germany 0
|DFB Jubilee Tournament Leading Goal Scorers|
|Christine Boe Jensen||Norway||1|