CHICAGO (July 26, 2006) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 18-player roster that will face Canada on July 30 at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., in the USA’s third domestic match of the year. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Both teams are deep into preparations for the regional qualifying tournament, to be held in late November, which will determine CONCACAF’s participants in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The match will mark the 36th meeting between the two teams, the second most of any opponent in U.S. Women’s National Team history. Only Norway (39) has played the USA more times.
Tickets are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all Cary area Ticketmaster outlets (including Hechts, FYE, and Publix Stores) and by phone at 919-834-4000. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by logging onto ussoccer.com or calling (312) 528-1290. On the day of the game, ticket sales will be cash only at SAS Soccer Park.
Ryan made no changes from the roster that defeated Ireland, 5-0, last weekend in San Diego in a match that saw former University of North Carolina star Cat Whitehill (nee Reddick) score twice. The two-goal game was the second of her career, the first coming in the 2003 Women’s World Cup against North Korea, which marked the only time a U.S. defender has ever scored twice in a Women’s World Cup match.
Current UNC star Heather O’Reilly, dominating forward Abby Wambach and speedy Hawaiian Natasha Kai scored the other goals for the USA. O’Reilly, who is one of two players on the U.S. roster with college eligibility remaining, will enter her senior season for the Tar Heels in the fall. O’Reilly has fond memories of SAS Soccer Park, as she scored her first-ever full National Team goal there in 2003, won the ACC Tournament there and a NCAA title as well. The USA’s other collegian, forward Megan Rapinoe, earned her first cap with the full Women’s National Team against Ireland.
The contest brings the U.S. women back to North Carolina for the first time since the Nike U.S. Women’s Cup games were held at SAS Stadium in 2002. The USA defeated both Australia and Italy, 4-0. The USA has played eight matches in North Carolina since 1995 including two in Cary, two in Charlotte, three in Davidson and one in Greensboro, winning seven of those games with one tie.
The USA will bring eight members of its 2004 Olympic gold medal winning team to North Carolina, including Wambach, who has scored 56 goals in her first 74 games, the best strike rate in U.S. history. The other gold medallists are former UNC star Lindsay Tarpley, Briana Scurry, Christie Rampone, Heather Mitts, Aly Wagner, O’Reilly and Whitehill. Tarpley will get her 50th cap if she sees action against Canada.
Wagner is poised to make her 100th appearance for the USA. Should she play, she will become the 18th female to play 100 or more times for the USA.
The U.S. goalkeepers are Scurry, the most capped net-minder in U.S. history, and Hope Solo, who has started 17 of the 20 matches since Ryan took over the helm of the American team. During that time, Ryan has not lost a match in regulation, going 16-0-4.
Canada is ranked 12th in the most recent FIFA rankings and, under head coach Even Pellerud, has shown its ability to compete with any team in the world. Canada is stocked with talented attacking players, almost all of whom played their college soccer in the United States. Leading the way is two-time Hermann Trophy award winner Christine Sinclair from the University of Portland, who led the Pilots to the NCAA championship in 2005 with an amazing 39 goals.
Former WUSA Rookie of the Year Christine Latham, a striker in the 2003 Women’s World Cup, has been seeing time in the central defense, while ageless captain Charmaine Hooper is still going strong. Hooper has 71 career goals for Canada, including three in her country’s 4-2 win vs. Sweden on July 17.
Both the U.S. and Canada rosters have four players from the teams that met in the championship game of the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, won by the USA, 1-0, on a dramatic golden goal from Tarpley. The USA’s veterans from that game are O’Reilly, Tarpley, Lori Chalupny and Leslie Osborne while Canada has defender Sasha Andrews, midfielder Brittany Timko, Sinclair, and goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who was in the net for Tarpley’s game-winning strike.
The last meeting between the two teams was in a rainy Virginia Beach, Va., on June 26, 2005, as the USA defeated Canada 2-0 in Ryan’s first official match as head coach. The USA is 29-3-3 all-time against the Canadians and have won seven out of the last eight meetings after a streak of four matches in 2000 and 2001 when the Maple Leafs earned two ties and two wins.
Wambach, who also wore the captain’s armband last week against Ireland, will captain the USA in Kristine Lilly's absence. The USA will arrive in North Carolina late on Thursday night, July 27, and train at SAS Soccer Park on Friday and Saturday.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (5): Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.)
Head Coach: Greg Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall (St. Charles, Ill.)
GK Coach: Mark Dougherty (Littleton, Colo.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Manhattan Beach, Calif. )
Team Physician: Dr. Steve Lucey (Greensboro, N.C.)
Team Physician: Dr. Becky Bassett (Greensboro, N.C.)
Medical Trainer: Cody Malley (Apex, N.C.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Atlanta, Ga.)