FRISCO, Texas (May 12, 2007) – Wearing special pink uniforms in support of breast cancer awareness, the U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past Canada on a steamy evening at Pizza Hut Park, winning 6-2 on two goals from Abby Wambach and single scores from Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Lori Chalupny and Heather O’Reilly.
All of the pink jerseys worn by the U.S. players during the match are up for auction on ussoccer.com until Wednesday, May 16, when the auctions will end, one-by-one, throughout the afternoon. The money raised will be donated to benefit the cause.
The win upped the USA’s record in 2007 to 7-0-2 and stretched the team’s unbeaten streak to 41 games, 40 of those under head coach Greg Ryan. The U.S. team now has six domestic games remaining before heading to China for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The regional rivals last met on November 26, 2006, a 2-1 U.S. victory in the championship game of the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, but this match would not be as dramatic. The first half, however, was extremely eventful as goals were scored on the first four shots of the game, three by the USA and one by Canada. Only when U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx fired high in the 30th minute did a shot fail to find the net. The USA scored its six goals on just 12 total shots, a phenomenal strike rate.
The USA’s win over the world’s 10th-ranked team was made even more impressive considering the U.S. had not beaten Canada’s top group of players by such a large margin since the summer of 2000, a 9-1 demolition at the Pacific Cup in Australia. The USA did defeat Canada 6-1 in April of 2003, but that was against a very young and inexperienced Canadian side that was thrown together at the last minute to replace Nigeria, who pulled out of a match in Washington, D.C.
“They threw a lot of numbers forward and that's why you saw a lot of goals in this game,” said Ryan. “They threw numbers forward, and then we countered and had great chances. Our set plays were very good tonight as well. We scored off two long balls and a great cross from Kristine Lilly, as well as a long throw that Abby flicked on to Carli, who layed it in to Lil. Set pieces are always a big thing and we produced tonight.” [Listen]
The goal explosion started early in the game when, after just two minutes, the USA got a free kick on the left side as Wambach was knocked down from behind. Cat Whitehill, whose long service was menacing all match, drove a long ball into the penalty box. As midfielder Carli Lloyd settled under the ball, Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod crashed into her, then grabbed her and pulled her down with a football style tackle. Referee Sandra Serafini pointed to the penalty spot and Wambach ripped her shot up the middle to make it 1-0 just three minutes into the match.
To Canada’s credit, they came back just eight minutes later to tie the match as a goal kick was won in the midfield by Christine Sinclair, who sent a header behind the U.S. defense. Christie Rampone couldn’t corral the skipping ball and Rhian Wilkinson snuck in behind her to slide and slot her shot into the lower left corner from 12 yards out. It was the only shot of the first half for Canada and one of just six in the match.
The USA responded even more quickly, taking the lead two minutes later as right back Heather Mitts ran down a Canada clearance on the right flank and bent a cross into the near post. Tarpley beat a pulled up Canada back line, and the onrushing McLeod, to re-direct her first-time volley into the right side of the net from six yards away. It was Tarpley’s 15th career international goal.
The USA made it 3-1 in the 28th minute as Whitehill once again struck a long free kick into the penalty area. McLeod came flying out to punch, but didn’t get a good piece of the ball and it bounced down and only a few yards away. Tarpley worked the ball free from the pack of players and poked it back to Chalupny, who deftly lifted her 23-yeard shot over the pack of players and the stranded McLeod, settling the ball into the middle of the net. It was Chalupny’s fourth career goal.
The fourth goal came in the 35th minute as Wambach used her head to flick a long-throw-in down the right wing to Lloyd, who pulled off a nifty dribble to beat Randee Hermus. She drove to the end line and then cut a perfect pass back into the path of Lilly, who smacked her first-time left-footed shot hard into the near post from eight yards out past a wrong-footed and frozen McLeod. It was Lilly’s 122nd career goal, second all-time in women’s international soccer only to Mia Hamm.
Lilly almost added a spectacular goal in the 40th minute as she spied McLeod far from her net and unleashed a shot from midfield, but she didn’t get a good strike on the ball and it sailed wide right of the net.
“This team has been working hard for the last two and a half years and you see things starting to come together,” said Lilly. “Players are stepping up now. Carli Lloyd is finishing, Heather O'Reilly finished, Lori Chalupny finished a goal tonight. These younger players are making things happen and feeling good about themselves and that's what we need going into the World Cup.”
Canada pulled another goal back five minutes into the second half, off yet another set play, as McLeod sent a free kick into the U.S. penalty box and midfielder Amy Walsh got a head to the ball, sending it into the pack of players. Sinclair did well to dig out the ball, took a square dribble and slipped her shot past U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo into the lower right corner from eight yards away.
“They scored two goals, but we kept finishing and that was the difference,” said Lilly. “Canada is a great team, they are a World Cup team and they are a destructive team and you saw that tonight. Once we started to calm the ball down and play our game we finished some great goals.”
The USA sealed the win in the 65th minute after Chalupny was chopped down on the left flank by Brittany Timko. On yet another set play, Lilly bent a perfect cross into the penalty area and Wambach, who was actually moving away from the net, lost Martina Franko and re-directed the ball with her head back into the lower right corner. The two goals upped Wambach’s career total to an amazing 71 in 90 career games. Wambach needs just four more goals to tie Cindy Parlow for fifth on the U.S. all-time scoring list.
Wambach just missed the hat trick in the 71st as Chalupny blazed down the left flank and played a perfect spinning pass behind the defense. Wambach slid at the far post, but couldn’t get enough of the ball to turn it on goal.
The USA put a capper on the match in the 73rd minute as Heather O’Reilly, who had come on just 11 minutes earlier, added the sixth goal. It came off a poor Canada clearance as Lilly sent a header back to the top of the penalty area. Midfielder Aly Wagner, who had come into the match just a minute earlier, toe-poked it free to O’Reilly on the right side of the penalty area. The speedy U.S. forward then turned on the ball and smacked her 18-yard shot across the face of the net, sticking it into the left right corner on what Ryan called “the best goal of her career.” It was O’Reilly’s 10th goal of her career, making her the 21st player to score in double-figures in U.S. history.
U.S. defender Kate Markgraf started and played the first 53 minutes after coming back from injuries that caused her to miss the last five matches. Defender Marian Dalmy came on for Markgraf to earn just her second cap with the senior national team.
The excitement of the big win was dampened a bit by an injury to Mitts, who went down about 25 minutes into the game and had to be replaced by Stephanie Lopez. Mitts, playing in her 71st game for the USA, injured her left knee in a clash at midfield and will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
The U.S. women, who are currently involved in a four-month Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., return to the field on June 16 against China in Cleveland as the six-game 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Send-Off Series begins. After facing the Women’s World Cup hosts at Cleveland Browns Stadium, the USA will play Brazil on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J., in a re-match of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game.
The USA will then travel to East Hartford, Conn., and Rentschler Field to play Norway on July 14 as team captain Kristine Lilly makes a triumphant return to her home state. After facing Norway, the USA will travel to northern California to face Japan at Spartan Stadium in San Jose on July 28, before taking on New Zealand in Chicago on Aug. 12 at Soldier Field. The U.S. team will finish up against Finland in Los Angeles on Aug. 25 at The Home Depot Center in the final match before the team heads to China. For complete details and ticket information for the entire Send-Off Series, visit to ussoccer.com.
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pizza Hut Park; Frisco, Texas
Date: May 12, 2007; Kickoff – 6:30 p.m. CT
Weather: Humid, breezy – 80 degrees
1 2 F
USA 4 2 6
CAN 1 1 2
USA – Abby Wambach (penalty kick) 3rd minute.
CAN – Rhian Wilkinson (Christine Sinclair) 11.
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Heather Mitts) 13.
USA – Lori Chalupny (Lindsay Tarpley) 28.
USA – Kristine Lilly (Carli Lloyd) 35.
CAN – Christine Sinclair (Amy Walsh) 50.
USA – Abby Wambach (Kristine Lilly) 65.
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Aly Wagner) 73.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (14-Stephanie Lopez, 27), 4-Cat Whitehill, 15-Kate Markgraf (22-Marian Dalmy, 53), 3-Christie Rampone; 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny (10-Aly Wagner, 72), 11-Carli Lloyd (12-Leslie Osborne, 58); 5-Lindsay Tarpley (9-Heather O’Reilly, 62), 20-Abby Wambach (6-Natasha Kai, 82), 13-Kristine Lilly – Capt.
Subs not used: 24-Nicole Barnhart.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
CAN: 22-Erin McLeod; 16-Katie Thorlakson (2-Kristina Kiss, 72), 11-Randee Hermus, 10-Martina Franko, 17-Brittany Timko; 8-Diana Matheson (6-Sophie Schmidt, 79), 5-Andrea Neil (15-Kara Lang, 46), 13-Amy Walsh; 9-Candace Chapman, 12-Christine Sinclair – C, 7-Rhian Wilkinson (18-Jodi-Ann Robinson, 85).
Subs not used: 4-Caroline Vanderpool, 14-Amber Allen, 20-Taryn Swiatek.
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
Statistical Summary: USA / CAN
Shots: 12 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 2 / 1
Corner Kicks: 2 / 1
Fouls: 10 / 15
Offside: 7 / 1
CAN – Erin McLeod (caution) 3rd minute.
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution) 9.
CAN – Martina Franko (caution) 79.
USA – Shannon Boxx (caution) 80.
CAN – Amy Walsh (caution) 85.
Referee: Sandra Serafini (USA)
AR 1: Margaret Domka (USA)
AR 2: Kim Oberle (USA)
4th Official: Shelley Finger (USA)
Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Abby Wambach