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U.S. WNT Ready to Face New Zealand on Aug. 12 at Soldier Field Live on ESPN2


U.S. Women’s National Team Notes
Gatorade Presents the U.S. WNT vs. New Zealand
Chicago, Ill.
Aug. 12, 2007

U.S. WOMEN SET FOR PENTULTIMATE MATCH BEFORE 2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team is just 180 minutes from kicking off the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The U.S. team will play its second-to-last match before leaving for China when it faces New Zealand on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Soldier Field in Chicago. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 12 Noon CT with JP Dellacamera calling the action. Joining the long-time voice of the U.S. Women’s National Team will be former U.S. captain Julie Foudy and former U.S. Women’s National Team coach Tony DiCicco. Jaime Motta will be handling the sideline duties. Fans can also follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The USA-New Zealand match marks the 30-day countdown to the USA’s first match of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. After the match, the U.S. team will have its final break before the Women’s World Cup then re-group in Los Angeles on Aug. 18 for a week of training leading up to the Send-Off Match on Aug. 25 against Finland at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. That match will kick-off live on ESPN2 at 6:30 p.m. PT.

2007 U.S. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3):
21-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 2-Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), 8-Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), 14-Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 16-Angela Hucles, 19-Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

2007 NEW ZEALAND WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: 20-Rachel Howard, 21-Jenny Bindon;
DEFENDERS: 2-Rebecca Smith, 3-Abby Erceg, 4-Maia Jackman, 5-Hannah Bromley, 7-Ria Percival, 11-Marlies Oostdam;
MIDFIELDERS: 12-Hayley Moorwood, 13-Katie Hoyle, 14-Annalie Longo, 15-Emily McColl, 23-Rebecca Sowden, 24-Priscilla Duncan, 28-Emma Humphries;
FORWARDS: 6-Ali Riley, 16-Wendi Henderson, 18-Zoe Thompson, 26-Merissa Smith, 27-Michele Clarke, 30-Rebecca Tegg.

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date         Opponent            Venue (City)                                                                Kickoff TV
June 16   China                   Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)     2-0 W
June 23   Brazil                    Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)                  2-0 W
July 14     Norway                 Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)               1-0 W
July 28     Japan                   Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)                       4-1 W
Aug. 12    New Zealand      Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.)                                     12:00 p.m. CT ESPN2
Aug. 25    Finland                 The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)             6:30 p.m. PT ESPN2

2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Date        Opponent               Venue (City)                                                                    Kickoff TV
Sept. 11  North Korea           Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. / 5 am LIVE TBD
Sept. 14  Sweden                  Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium)          5 p.m. / 5 am LIVE TBD
Sept. 18   Nigeria                   Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) 8 p.m. / 8 a.m. LIVE TBD

MIDWESTERNERS LEAD USA INTO SOLDIER FIELD: The USA heads into the New Zealand match in Chicago with five players from the Midwest, including Marci Miller, who hails from St. Charles, Ill., and is the head women’s soccer coach at Northern Illinois University. Miller attended St. Charles High School, where she won two Illinois state titles. Jobson shares some good news with the good people of Chicago in this latest installment of ussoccer.com’s all_access video. The USA has two Michigan products on the Women’s World Cup Team in Kate Markgraf from Bloomfield Hills and Lindsay Tarpley from Kalamazoo, who went One-On-One with all_access video this week. The U.S. roster also features the greatest ever female players from Wisconsin and St. Louis, in Leslie Osborne and Lori Chalupny. Both are having great years in the U.S. midfield, with Chalupny starting 12 games and Osborne getting the nod in eight.

USA WOMEN AT SOLDIER FIELD: The U.S. Women’s National Team has been a frequent visitor to Soldier Field, having played five previous matches at the historic stadium, but only one since the stadium was totally rebuilt. The USA has won all five matches and scored quite a few goals over those matches, averaging 4.6 goals per game at Soldier, of course helped by a 7-1 win over Nigeria at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The USA played a match in the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup on Sept. 9, 2001, but that turned out to be the first and only match of the tournament. The next one was scheduled for Sept. 11 in Columbus, Ohio, but was obviously cancelled. The USA’s most recent match at Soldier Field was on Oct. 20, 2004, during the Fan Celebration Tour after the Olympics, a 5-1 win over Ireland.

SO FAR, SO GOOD: The U.S. Women’s National Team is 11-0-2 in 2007 and the two ties (against Germany and England) came in the first two matches of the year at the Four Nations Tournament in China. Since then, the U.S. has won 11 straight, including defeating China in the Four Nations championship, four games at the Algarve Cup and victories in six straight domestic matches. The USA has scored 31 goals and allowed just seven this year. Of the 13 games, 11 have been against teams participating in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

USA vs. NEW ZEALAND PREVIEW: The USA last faced New Zealand in a pair of matches after the 2004 Olympics on the “Fan Celebration Tour,” winning 5-0 in Portland, Oregon, and 6-0 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The teams have played just six times since the first meeting 20 years ago in 1987, but that’s no surprise as the geographically isolated Kiwis don’t play a heck of a lot of matches. What is a surprise is that the first match between the teams was a New Zealand victory as the squad pulled off one of its greatest-ever victories, earning a 1-0 win in Taipei, Taiwan, over a U.S. squad that included Kristine Lilly, Joy Biefeld (later Fawcett), Carin Jennings (later Gabarra), Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm and April Heinrichs, among others. The USA has since avenged the defeat several times over with a 3-0 win in 1993, a treble of 5-0 victories, and the 6-0 victory in the most recent match. New Zealand has qualified for its second Women’s world Cup but first since 1991, and it will have to put in a Herculean effort to slow down the U.S. team at Soldier Field. The USA’s experience and athleticism will perhaps be a bit too much for the young Kiwis, who will be playing their 11th match this year, which is actually quite a lot for a team that has been historically starved for full international matches. Four of those games were against Australia, all shutout losses.

A LOOK AT THE KIWIS: New Zealand’s most experienced player is 36-year-old forward Wendi Henderson. While she is the same age as Kristine Lilly, she has played just 54 times for her country, scoring 16 goals, and came out of international retirement in 2006 after temporarily hanging up the boots in 2003. Henderson is the only player still playing who played for NZ in its first appearance at the Women’s World Cup in 1991. She was a non-playing sub during NZ’s victory over the USA in 1987 and played against the USA in the second-ever match between the teams in 1993. Maia Jackman is perhaps the next most decorated player on the NZ side. With 36 caps and 11 goals, Jackman was the Kiwis’ representative on the FIFA Women’s All-Star Team that faced China as part of the Women’s World Cup Final Draw festivities earlier this year and played professionally in China in 2002. Jackman is the only player in the 100-year history of NZ soccer to score hat-tricks in three consecutive internationals (Samoa, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea in the 2003 OFC WWC qualifiers). A physiotherapist by trade, she has a host of nicknames, the best being “Maia-mi Vice” (recognizing her vice-captaincy role). New Zealand has seven players on its roster who represented their country in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship. NZ started that U-20 tournament with a disappointing lost to former Oceania rival Australia, but then put in two inspiring performances, both of which they should have won, in a 3-2 loss to host Russia and a 0-0 tie with Brazil.

NZ IN THE USA: New Zealand has at least seven players with U.S. ties including two who played Division I at Coastal Carolina in Emma Humphries, who played for NZ during a successful run at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, and Emily McColl. Humphries is black belt in Tae Kwon Do, perhaps talents that could help her battle with Abby Wambach. Six-foot defender Hannah Bromley, who plays her college ball at Tennessee Tech, played this summer for former U.S. head coach Tony DiCicco on the SoccerPlus Connecticut WPSL side and forward Ali Riley, who grew up in Southern California, is one of the best college strikers on the West Coast at Stanford University. She scored four goals for the Cardinal last year as a freshman. She too performed well for the U-20s in Russia. New Zealand’s captain is Rebecca Smith, a former star at Duke University who is playing in Sweden with Sunnana SK. Smith, whose mother is from New Zealand, hails from Palos Verdes, California and is a childhood friend of U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx, who played with an against her during their youth careers. Rebecca Sowden is a graduate from William & Mary. Goalkeeper Jenny Bindon, a native of Belleville, Illinois, graduated from Lewis University in 2001, the year she married Grant Bindon, the NZ men‘s volleyball captain, who she met while studying at Lewis. They moved to NZ soon afterwards, and Jenny works for Nike in New Zealand as a Marketing Coordinator. The 34-year old has a son.

DIFFICULT GROUP D FOR KIWIS: New Zealand will head into Women’s World Cup play as a huge underdog in a group with host China, the talented Brazilians and a Danish side that tied the USA earlier this year. New Zealand opens its Women’s World Cup on Sept. 12 against Brazil and will find out quickly if they have what it takes to compete in its return to the international stage.

USA PREPARES FOR MOST DIFFICULT GROUP AT WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The U.S. team will be facing North Korea, Sweden and Nigeria in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Amazingly, those are the same three countries the USA faced in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but in a different order. Four years ago, the USA opened with Sweden, played Nigeria second and finished with North Korea. The USA was drawn into what surely is the most difficult group at the Women’s World Cup as Sweden is ranked third in the world and North Korea is five. All four countries are arguably the top team in their confederation heading into the Women’s World Cup, considering the recent slides suffered by Germany in Europe and China in Asia. All teams will play their first and second matches of group play in the venue to which they are assigned, then all teams will travel for their third (and final) first-round match. The 16-team tournament will be staged at five stadiums in five cities: Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Wuhan. Four of the venues are in the eastern part of China, while Chengdu is in central China. Tianjin is the northernmost venue and is approximately 125 miles southeast of Beijing, host of the 2008 Olympic Games. The Opening Match (Sept. 10) and Women’s World Cup Final (Sept. 30) will both be played in Shanghai at the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium.

HERE COMES THE BRIDE: U.S. defender Stephanie Lopez is the latest U.S. Women’s National Team player to get engaged, as her boyfriend now fiancé Brian Cox, a former pitcher at the University of Portland, popped the question during the USA’s last break. While no date has been set, Cox will definitely be traveling to China to watch his future wife, who at 21 is the youngest player on the U.S. team.

Quote of the Day:
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan on using the match against New Zealand to prepare for the opening game of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup against North Korea:

“We want to play a little more aggressive system (against New Zealand), because by doing that you are going to get after them, but you are also going to create some opportunities for them to counter you. North Korea is just a fantastic counter-attacking team. We’re working very hard at what our defaults are when a team does catch us with too many numbers up the park.”

THAT DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR NEW ZEALAND: In its six games played in the state of Illinois, the U.S. Women’s National Team has never failed to score at least three goals, and five times scored more than that, racking up four twice, five once, six once and seven once.

Stat of Note
The U.S. Women’s National Team has played the most ever games in Women’s World Cup play at 24. The USA is 20-2-2 in those games. Norway has the second best record, going 16-5-1 in 22 games followed by the Germans at 15-5-2 in 22 games.

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