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U.S. Women Look To Face Brazil for Gold Medal on August 21

United States Women’s National Team
Notes from Beijing, China
Aug. 19, 2008

GOLD MEDAL ON THE LINE FOR U.S. WOMEN AGAINST RIVAL BRAZIL: The U.S. Women are one victory away from earning their third gold medal when they face Brazil in the final at Beijing Workers’ Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 21 at the 2008 Olympics. The match kicks off at 9 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on USA Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow on’s MatchTracker.

GOLD MEDAL REMATCH: The gold medal match is a repeat of the 2004 Athens final, in which the U.S. won, 2-1, in overtime on a header from Abby Wambach. A dramatic affair, the match is not only remembered for the gold medal victory, but also as the last world championship event for some of the U.S. veterans, including Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Joy Fawcett. During the match, the U.S. got a crucial goal on a strike by then 20-year-old Lindsay Tarpley, but Brazil tied the game in the 73rd minute. With Brazil attacking in waves the U.S. went to overtime where Kristine Lilly served a perfect corner kick to Wambach to head home the winner in the 112th minute and the U.S. held on for the historic victory.

2008 Olympic Women’s Soccer Bronze Medal and Gold Medal Matches
Aug. 21 
Bronze Medal Match 
Germany vs. Japan             Beijing       6 a.m. ET

Gold Medal Match
United States vs. Brazil      Beijing        9 a.m. ET

U.S. Women’s National Team
2008 Olympic Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 14-Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 2-Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 13-Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (3): 12-Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.).

Brazil Women’s National Team
2008 Olympic Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Andeia, 12-Barbara
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Simone, 3-Andreia Rosa, 4-Tania, 5-Renata Costa, 16-Erika, 18-Rosana
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6-Maycon, 7-Daniela, 8-Formiga, 9-Ester, 13-Francielle, 17-Maurine
FORWARDS (4): 10-Marta, 11-Cristiane, 14-Pretinha, 15-Fabiana

Current FIFA World Ranking: 4
Olympic History: 1996 (Semifinals, Fourth Place), 2000 (Semifinals, Fourth Place), 2004 (Final, Silver)
Overall Record vs. USA: 2-22-2
Last Meeting vs. USA: July 16 in San Diego, Calif. (a 1-0 U.S. victory)
Head Coach: Jorge Barcellos

Key Players: G Barbara, D Tania, D Erika, M Maicon, M Formiga, M Daniela, M Renta Costa, F Marta, F Cristiane

USA vs. Brazil Fast Facts: This will be the fourth meeting between the U.S. and Brazil since the USA’s crushing loss in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal, a match in which the U.S. scored an own goal and saw Shannon Boxx sent off at the end of the first half … All three previous matches have been played during the past two months … The U.S. has won all three of those matches by the score of 1-0, with the first meeting at the 2008 Peace Queen Cup in South Korea on June 17, followed by two Send-Off matches in Commerce City, Colo., on July 13 and San Diego, Calif., on July 16 … All three of those wins were against an under-strength Brazilian team that was missing their top European-based players including 2007 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta, who was in Sweden playing for her club team Umea … Brazil was the final team to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, defeating Ghana 5-1 in a playoff match in Beijing on April 19 … Marta scored one goal in that match, Cristiane had two and Rosana and Aline also added scores … Brazil was forced into the playoff due to a stumble in qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which also served to give Argentines South America’s automatic berth to Beijing … Brazil lost to Argentina for the first time ever in the final of that qualifying tournament … Brazil’s win over the U.S. at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup broke the USA’s 14-game unbeaten streak against the Brazilians dating back to 1998, 13 of which were wins with one tie ... Since 2000, the U.S. and Brazil have played 13 times and they’ve all been either blowouts (4-0 and 5-1 U.S. wins and a 4-0 Brazil win) or very close games (seven one-goal wins for the U.S., one draw and two two-goal wins).

Quick Hits

  • Three players have or may hit cap milestones during the 2008 Olympics. Christie Rampone hit 200 career caps in the victory over New Zealand, Shannon Boxx hit 100 in the victory over Canada and Heather O’Reilly could hit 100 in the gold medal match against Brazil.
  • The USA’s 11 goals have come from seven different players: Angela Hucles (4), Heather O’Reilly (2), Lori Chalupny (1), Natasha Kai (1), Carli Lloyd (1), Amy Rodriguez (1) and Lindsay Tarpley (1). Hucles sits alone in second place for goals scored during the tournament.
  • Brazil has also scored 11 goals through their first five games. Cristiane leads all scorers in the tournament with five goals.
  • Along with her two goals, O’Reilly leads the team during the Olympics with three assists. Seven other players have one assist.
  • Hucles has already scored four goals, exactly half her career total coming into the 2008 Olympics. Three of those eight career goals were scored earlier this year, meaning she only had five total goals before 2008, and none of those came after 2004.
  • Hucles two-goal performance against Japan in the semifinals was just the second multi-goal game of her career. The first came in a 5-1 victory against France on March 14, 2004 at the Algarve Cup in Ferreiras, Portugal.
  • Hope Solo has played every minute of every game, with a goals-against average of less than a goal a game (0.94). In five games, Solo has two shutouts against Japan and New Zealand.
  • Brazil has earned the most cautions in the Olympics, being shown the yellow card seven times. Formiga and Marta for Brazil are two of the three players to have more earned more than one yellow card (Birgit Prinz of Germany is the other). The U.S. has only seen the referee reach into her pocket three times.
  • Before Brazil dropped four goals on Germany in the Olympic semifinal, Germany hadn’t given up a single goal in the Olympics. Germany also didn’t give up a single goal in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • Five U.S. players have been iron women during the 2008 Olympics, playing every minute of every game: Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Carli Lloyd, Christie Rampone and Hope Solo. That’s a total of 480 minutes including 30 minutes of overtime in the quarterfinals against Canada.

WNT ON BRAZIL: With the gold medal match nearing, the Olympic media on hand got the chance to sit down with a number of the U.S. players to find out their thoughts on facing Brazil. Click here to read quotes from Angela Hucles, Lori Chalupny, Shannon Boxx and others.

HUCLES THE HERO: Angela Hucles has scored four goals in the 2008 Olympics. Before 2008, she had scored five. That’s just one of the many ways to explain how the former University of Virginia star has stepped in in place of the injured Abby Wambach. A long time substitute for the WNT, Hucles now leads the team in scoring at the Olympics, but the team player isn’t basking in the glory of her success as she knows that the most important aspect about her move from substitute to starter is how it’s helped the team earn a spot in the gold medal match.

USA-BRAZIL TAKE SIMILAR PATH: While the U.S. and Brazil might be bitter rivals, they’re more similar than one might think…or want to know. In this exclusive short feature, find out how the teams’ have made it to Beijing Workers’ Stadium and the Olympic gold medal match.

BE ALL-KNOWING JUST BY READING: That’s right, you can know everything you want to know about the U.S. Women’s National Team and their journey through the 2008 Olympic Games in China. All you need to do is click on the WNT Blog and you’ll be enraptured by entry after entry of in-depth, creative, funny, interesting updates on your favorite players. Oh, and you have to be able to read. You can!? That’s great. Enjoy!

Stat of Note
Brazil has never finished out of the top four in the Olympics, but has also never won the gold medal. In the first two Olympics, Brazil fell in the semifinals, first to China, 3-2, in 1996 and then to the U.S., 1-0, four years later in Sydney.