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U.S. WNT to Face Costa Rica with First Place in Group B on the Line


U.S. Women's National Team vs. Costa Rica
Cancun, Mexico
2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying
Nov. 1, 2010

U.S. WOMEN FACE COSTA RICA FOR FIRST IN GROUP B: With the United States and Costa Rica both winning their first two Group B matches at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament, both countries have made the all-important semifinals from which the winners will qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. First place in the group is still to be determined and the Americans will close Group B action against the Ticas on Nov. 2 at Estadio Quintana Roo with a kickoff at 9:30 p.m. ET. Fans can watch live via a free video web stream on CONCACAF.com (the commentary will be in Spanish) or follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. CONCACAF TV is streaming every match of the Women’s World Cup Qualifying tournament. The 16-game event will finish with the championship and third-place matches on Nov. 8. The USA will need a win or a tie against Costa Rica to finish first in the group and earn a semifinal match against the still-to-be-determined second place finisher in Group A. The U.S. has brought a roster of 20 players to Mexico, all of which are healthy and ready for selection, but head coach Pia Sundhage will name 18 to suit up for each match.

TOURNAMENT FORMAT: The 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament is being held from Oct. 28-Nov. 8 at two stadiums in Cancún, Mexico. The eight-team competition, formerly known as the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, will send both finalists to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany while the tournament’s third-place finisher will face Italy, the winner of the playoff for fifth place in Europe, in a home-and-home and series for a final World Cup berth. The USA’s Group B, which also features Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica, is playing all of its matches at Estadio Quintana Roo, home stadium for Atlante of the Mexican First Division. Group A, which features host Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, is playing at Estadio Beto Avila, home to the Quintana Roo Tigres of the Mexican baseball league. After group play, the top two countries in both groups will cross-over to meet in the semifinals (held at Beto Avila), with the winner of Group A facing the second place team in Group B and vice-versa. For a complete schedule and results, go to the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying page on ussoccer.com.

2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying
U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule and Results

Date  Opponent  Venue  Web TV  Kickoff/Result 
Oct. 28  Haiti  Estadio Quintata Roo; Cancun, Mexico  CONCACAF.com  5-0 W 
Oct. 30  Guatemala  Estadio Quintata Roo; Cancun, Mexico   CONCACAF.com  9-0 W 
Nov. 1  Costa Rica    Estadio Quintata Roo; Cancun, Mexico   CONCACAF.com  9:30 p.m. ET 
Nov. 5  TBD  Estadio Beta Avila; Cancun, Mexico  CONCACAF.com  TBD 
Nov. 8  TBD  Estadio Quintata Roo; Cancun, Mexico   CONCACAF.com     TBD 

All the USA’s group matches will kick off at 7:30 p.m. local time. As Mexico has fallen back to Standard Time (and the United States does not change until Nov. 7), the USA’s match on Nov. 1 against Costa Rica will kick off at 9:30 p.m. ET. No matter the result against Costa Rica, the USA will have a match on the final day of the tournament, playing in either the championship game or the match for third place on Nov. 8.

2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying
Group B Standings

Team W
L
T
GF
GA
GD
Pts.

 USA*

 2

0

0

14 

0

+14

 6

 Costa Rica*

 2

0

0

4 

0

+4

 3

 Haiti

 0

2

0

0

8

-8

 0

 Guatemala

 0

2

0

0

14 

-14

 0

*Qualified for semifinals

Oct. 28
Costa Rica 1, Guatemala 0
USA 5, Haiti 0

Oct. 30
Costa Rica 3, Haiti 0
USA 9, Guatemala 0

Nov. 1
Haiti vs. Guatemala
USA vs. Costa Rica

U.S. WNT Quick Hits:
• If the USA finishes first in Group B, it will be play the 8 p.m. local / 10 p.m. ET semifinal on Nov. 5. If the USA finishes second, it will play the first match of the evening at 5 p.m. local / 7 p.m. ET.
• Canada and Mexico have a leg up in Group A right now with both having won their first matches. Canada defeated Trinidad & Tobago, 1-0, and Mexico trounced Guyana, 7-2.
• The USA will not find out its semifinal opponent until the evening of Nov. 2 after the final Group A matches are completed. Mexico will be playing Canada in the second match that day which will likely determine the order of finish in that group.
• The match against Guatemala marked the first Women’s World Cup qualifying experience for defender Becky Sauerbrunn, forward Alex Morgan, who scored, and midfielder Lori Lindsey.
• The hat trick for Amy Rodriguez was her first for the U.S. WNT, and her second multiple-goal game, but first since she scored her first two international goals against Canada in Pia Sundhage’s first game as head coach back in January of 2008.
• Abby Wambach’s two goals against Guatemala upped her career total to 114, tying her with Scotland’s Julie Fleeting for fourth best all-time in women’s soccer history. She also scored her 46th goal with her head.
• Abby’s brace also upped her career Women’s World Cup qualifying goals to eight, moving her past Brandi Chastain, April Heinrichs and Tiffeny Milbrett in U.S. history. She now sits behind only Michelle Akers (17), Mia Hamm (12) and Carin Gabarra (10).
• The USA’s 38 goals this year have been scored by 11 different players – Abby Wambach (13), Lauren Cheney (5), Amy Rodriguez (6), Megan Rapinoe (4), Alex Morgan (2), Carli Lloyd (2), Heather O’Reilly (2), Kristine Lilly, Shannon Boxx, and Rachel Buehler, plus an own goal by Iceland in the Algarve Cup.
• Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart has never lost a match for the United States and is 16-0-3. The shutout against Haiti was the 13th of her career.
• Since the end of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA is 53-1-6.
• As teams can only suit up 18 of the 20 players on their rosters for each game, forward Lauren Cheney and defender Rachel Buehler did not dress in the match against Guatemala. The duo will likely dress for Costa Rica match as U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage juggles her game day roster from match to match.
• The USA’s 9-0 win marked the largest margin of victory since the Americans defeated Chinese Taipei, 10-0, on Oct. 1, 2006. Megan Rapinoe also scored twice in that game, her first two goals for the USA.
• Mexico got a nice crowd for its opening game win over Guyana as a festive gathering of 6,500 filled the 9,000 seat Estadio Beto Avila for the match.
• Costa Rica heads into the match against the USA with a 361-minute shutout streak in World Cup qualifying.
• Costa Rica has three players with the last name of Rodriguez on its roster to the USA’s one. The grandfather of the USA’s Amy came to America from Cuba.

USA AND COSTA RICA MEET AGAIN IN QUALIFYING: The last meeting between the USA and Costa Rica came in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics with the Americans winning 3-0 in the semifinal match to earn their berth to Beijing. The match was actually played in a wild dust storm in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and the weather conditions certainly impacted the match. The game was tied 0-0 at halftime as Costa Rica played low pressure defense and a low defensive restraining line, packing its defensive third with players and making it extremely difficult for the USA to find space in goal scoring positions. The USA prevailed as Natasha Kai scored twice in the second half and Heather O’Reilly scored once. Seven players on the USA’s roster here in Mexico played in that match. The USA is 5-0-0 all-time against the Ticas with three of those matches coming in CONCACAF qualifying tournaments. The USA has played Costa Rica the most, by far, of any Central American country, having met Panama and Guatemala once each.

HOW COSTA RICA GOT HERE: Costa Rica qualified for the final eight of the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup by winning its three-team group in the Central American zone, defeating Honduras and Nicaragua both by 2-0 scores. Costa Rica has firmly established itself as the fourth strongest team in CONCACAF behind the USA, Canada and Mexico and the growth of its youth teams has been impressive. Costa Rica qualified for its first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2008 when it participated in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and then also made the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this year. Costa Rica is led by midfielder Shirley Cruz who plays her club ball for Olympique Lyon in France. She is Costa Rica’s only foreign-based player. Costa Rica heads into the match against the USA having not allowed a goal thus far in four CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying matches. Of the eight goals the Ticas have scored, three each have come from forwards Adriana Venegas and Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno.

Costa Rica Women’s World Cup Qualifying Results

Date  Match  CRC Goalscorer(s) 
April 28*    Costa Rica 2, Honduras 0     Venegas, Sanchez 
April 30*  Costa Rica 1, Nicaragua 0  Cedeno, Venegas 
Oct. 28  Costa Rica 1, Guatemala 0  Venegas 
Oct. 30  Costa Rica 3, Haiti 0  Trana, Cedeno (2) 
*Central American Zone Pre-Qualifying

U.S. WNT CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), 1-Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): 19-Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 16-Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 17-Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), 7-Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), 13-Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), 11-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): 12-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 5-Alex Morgan (California), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

Costa Rica WNT CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Dinnia Diaz, 18-Priscila Tapia
DEFENDERS (6): 20-Wendy Acosta, 3-Hazel Quiros, 6-Carol Sanchez, 8-Daniela Cruz, 2-Silvia Flores, 4-Yahaira Aguilar,
MIDFIELDERS (6): 5-Ivonne Rodriguez, 7-Maria Barrantes, 10-Shirley Cruz, 13-Yuliana Rodriguez, 14-Cristin Granados, 16-Katherine Alvardo
FORWARDS (6): 9-Carolina Venegas, 11-Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, 12-Laura Sanchez, 15-Monica Malvassi, 17-Jacqueline Alvarez, 19-Adriana Venegas

THE GOAL IS GERMANY: The top two finishers at the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament will earn berths to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Hosting on their own soil, the two-time defending champions will be favorites to hoist a third consecutive trophy and there is no doubt that the Germans will run a fantastic Women’s World Cup, scheduled for June 26-July 17, 2011, in nine cities spread out all over the country: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. Almost all of the cities will host four matches, but unlike past Women’s World Cups, there will be no doubleheaders. The largest stadium is in Berlin (74,244), which will host just the opening game featuring the Germans. The smallest stadium is in Bochum, which seats 23,691. The Women’s World Cup Final will take place in Frankfurt (49,240) on July 17. So far, more than half of the field is set. The qualifiers so far are: host Germany, Korea DPR, Japan and Australia from Asia and Sweden, Norway, France and England from Europe and New Zealand from Oceania.

WATCH ALL 14 GOALS ON USSOCCER.COM: You can see all 14 goals that the USA has scored over its first two games in CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying, plus much, much more on ussoccer.com.

CANCUN BLOG: The WNT Blog from Mexico. It’s fun. Read it. Por favor. Gracias.

FOLLOW THE WNT ON TWITTER: Keep up with all U.S. Women’s National Team news (in short form, of course) by following at www.twitter.com/ussoccer_wnt

STAT OF NOTE: The leading scorer in the entire CONCACAF Qualifying tournament for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which includes all the pre-qualifying matches in the Caribbean and Central America, is Yezenia Gallardo of Cuba with seven goals. The USA’s Abby Wambach is close behind with five goals in two games here in Mexico. Mexico striker Maribel “Marigol” Dominguez scored four times against Guyana in the Tricolores’ first match.

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