The two games will end what has been an historic year for the U.S. women, who have compiled a 31-1-2 mark in 2008, setting records for wins and best winning percentage in a calendar year.
The matches mark the return to the U.S. roster of long-time legend Kristine Lilly, the only woman to play in all five FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments. Lilly took most of 2008 off as she gave birth to her first child, a daughter, last June. Lilly is by far the world’s all-time leader in caps at 340, but has not played for the U.S. in over a year, last appearing on Oct. 20, 2007, in a 1-1 draw with Mexico.
Two of the youngest members of the 2008 Olympic gold medal team also return to the roster after finishing their college seasons. Forward Amy Rodriguez, who recently finished her senior season at USC, played a key role in the USA’s gold medal triumph, starting the last five games of the Olympics. Forward Lauren Cheney, who last weekend helped UCLA to its sixth consecutive NCAA Final Four, played a key role for the USA in China, coming off the bench in the final three games to give valuable minutes to the team.
All of the players who were on the field during the historic win against Brazil in the gold medal game are on the 22-player roster.
The match at The Home Depot Center will be the fifth at the stadium for U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx, who grew up just minutes away in Torrance, Calif. Boxx has scored in all four appearances with the U.S. Women’s National Team at The HDC. She was recently named to the short list for FIFA Women’s Player of the Year along with U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo.
Tickets for the match at The Home Depot Center ranging in price from $18 to $60, plus special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150, are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy’s, FYE and Ritmo Latino). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
The match in Detroit, which will be the USA’s first in Michigan in 15 years, will also be a homecoming for Michigan natives Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo) and Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills). Tickets starting at $18 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at 248-645-6666 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Detroit area (including Macy’s and FYE). Tickets can also be purchased at the Ford Field ticket office Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats are available for $150.
Markgraf, formerly Kate Sobrero, was a three-time all-state selection as a forward at Detroit Country Day. Markgraf scored her first goal in 193 appearances with the U.S. team on Sept. 20 of this year, converting a penalty kick in an Achieve Your Gold Tour match against Ireland. Her 193 appearances are the seventh-best all-time for a U.S. player, and she was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, as well as the title-winning 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Tarpley grew up in Kalamazoo, starring at Portage Central High School as a first-team all-state selection all four years. As a senior she was named Michigan’s Miss Soccer and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. She led her club team, the Michigan Hawks, to the Under-18 National Championship after winning three state titles. She also helped the Michigan Under-18s to back-to-back ODP National Championships. Tarpley has appeared more than 100 times for the U.S. team since 2003, and has two gold medals (2004, 2008). This year she scored a career-high 12 goals, including one against New Zealand in the Olympics. In December of 2007, she married Kalamazoo native and UCLA Women’s Soccer assistant coach B.J. Snow in their hometown.
These will be the USA’s third and fourth matches against China this year, having faced them in the final game of the Four Nations Tournament last January and the opening game of the Algarve Cup last March with the USA winning 1-0 and 4-0, respectively.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster
Acheive Your Gold Tour
|1||Solo, Hope||GK||5-9||07/30/81||Richland, Wash.||Washington||St. Louis Athletica||77|
|2||Mitts, Heather||D||5-5||06/09/78||Cincinnati, Ohio||Florida||Boston Breakers||94/2|
|3||Rampone, Christie||D||5-6||06/24/75||Point Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||Sky Blue FC||209/4|
|4||Buehler, Rachel||D||5-5||08/26/85||Del Mar, Calif.||Stanford||FC Gold Pride||21/0|
|5||Tarpley, Lindsay||M||5-6||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||North Carolina||Chicago Red Stars||111/29|
|6||Kai, Natasha||F||5-8||05/22/83||Kahuku, Hawaii||Hawaii||Sky Blue FC||63/23|
|7||Boxx, Shannon||M||5-8||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame||Los Angeles||108/18|
|8||Rodriguez, Amy||F||5-4||02/17/87||Lake Forest, Calif.||USC||--||29/6|
|9||O'Reilly, Heather||F||5-5||01/02/85||East Brunswick, N.J.||North Carolina||Sky Blue FC||106/24|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5-5||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||Los Angeles||131/21|
|11||Lloyd, Carli||M||5-8||07/16/82||Delran, N.J.||Rutgers||Chicago Red Stars||77/19|
|12||Cheney, Lauren||F||5-8||09/30/87||Indianapolis, Ind.||UCLA||--||15/3|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||F||5-4||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina||Boston Breakers||340/129|
|14||Cox, Stephanie||D||5-6||04/03/86||Elk Grove, Calif.||Portland||Los Angeles||54/0|
|15||Markgraf, Kate||D||5-7||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||Chicago Red Stars||196/1|
|16||Hucles, Angela||F||5-7||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia||Boston Breakers||100/12|
|17||Chalupny, Lori||D||5-4||01/29/84||St. Louis, Mo.||North Carolina||St. Louis||85/7|
|18||Barnhart, Nicole||GK||5-10||10/10/81||Gilbertsville, Pa.||Stanford||FC Gold Pride||16|
|19||Dalmy, Marian||D||5-10||11/25/84||Lakewood, Colo.||Santa Clara||Chicago Red Stars||8/0|
|20||Ellertson, Tina||D||5-9||05/20/82||Vancouver, Wash.||Washington||St. Louis||32/0|
|21||White, Kacey||M||5-4||04/27/84||Arlington, Texas||North Carolina||Sky Blue FC||13/0|
|22||Scurry, Briana||GK||5-8||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||--||173|
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM ACHIEVE YOUR GOLD TOUR ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.)
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Asst. Coach: Jillian Ellis (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Asst. Coach: Erica Walsh (State College, Pa.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon (Syracuse, N.Y.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Ian Feuer (Calabasas, Calif.)
Athletic Trainer: Cecelia Gutierrez (Torrance, Calif.)
Equipment Manager: Andrew Dessert (Kansas City, Mo.)
Massage Therapist: Jarrod Fritz (Charleston, S.C.)
Security: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Cypress, Calif.)