CHICAGO (Thursday, October 16, 2003) – Fresh off a third-place finish at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team heads to Kansas City, Mo., to face Italy on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at Arrowhead Stadium in the first leg of the two-game tour. Kickoff for the match, which is being presented by Hershey, is at 7 p.m. ET (live on ESPN).
The USA will be looking to duplicate the success of the primary resident of Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL who have the best record in the league so far, but the American women have had success of their own at the stadium. The USA has played twice in Kansas City, defeating Finland 6-0 in 1999 and tying Canada, 1-1, in 2000. The USA is 16-2-3 in 2003 and will play one more match after K.C., facing Mexico in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 2.
Ticket prices for the Italy match are Club Level: $30 for adult and youth (15 and under); Lower Level Sideline: $22 adult/$20 youth and Lower Level Endline: $15 adult/$13 youth. Groups of 20 or more can purchase Club Level seating for $30, Sideline for $20 and Endline for $13. Fans may purchase tickets through TicketMaster by calling 816-931-3330 or online at www.ticketmaster.com.
U.S. head coach April Heinrichs will bring the same roster to Kansas City that played in the 2003 Women’s World Cup, minus forward Mia Hamm, who is resting and rehabbing several nagging injuries picked up during the month-long tournament. The U.S. team will train just once in Kansas City, that coming on the afternoon of Oct. 21st before facing Italy the next day.
U.S. forward Tiffeny Milbrett, who scored the clinching goal in the USA’s 3-1 victory over Canada in the third-place match of the Women’s World Cup, comes into the match needing just one more goal to become the fifth player in the history of international soccer to score 100 goals. U.S. Soccer will also honor defender Kate Sobrero in a pre-game ceremony as the 17th female player to play 100 times for the USA. Sobrero earned her 100th cap against North Korea on Sept. 28 in Columbus, Ohio, as the USA finished first round play at the Women’s World Cup.
Defender Cat Reddick, the only college player on the Women’s World Cup Team, played her first college game of the season last Tuesday for UNC, and scored a goal in a 6-0 win over Wake Forrest. She will face Virginia and Clemson this weekend before joining the USA in Kansas City.
The U.S. roster also includes the two players that made the FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team in co-captain Joy Fawcett and midfielder Shannon Boxx. Fawcett was once again a rock in the middle for the USA and was the only player besides goalkeeper Briana Scurry to play every minute of all six games. Boxx, who came into the Women’s World Cup with only two caps, started five of the six games and scored two goals.
Italy will also have to deal with towering forwards Cindy Parlow and Abby Wambach, both 5-foot-11, who combined for five goals in the Women’s World Cup. Wambach has scored 12 goals in her 20 appearances for the USA while Parlow has 64 goals in 133 games.
Italy, which has a long history in women’s soccer, is one of the best teams in the world that did not play in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Head coach Carolina Morace, herself a legend with 105 career international goals for Italy, tied with Michelle Akers for third-best all-time, has talented players at almost every position, including leading scorer Patrizia “The Scorpion” Panico and veteran striker Rita Guarino.
The USA has a 6-4-0 all-time record against Italy, losing the first three meetings in the 1980s before recording five straight wins, interrupted only by a 1-0 loss in Rieti, Italy, on March 7, 2001, as the U.S. played with a mostly Under-21 side. The last meeting between the two teams was at the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, a resounding 4-0 victory where teenager Heather O’Reilly scored her first international goal while Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Joy Fawcett also added scores.
Italy is currently competing in 2005 European Women’s Championship qualifying, having taken seven points from four games and recorded a big 1-0 win over Switzerland on Sept. 27 as Pancio scored the winning goal in the 30th minute. Italy sits in second place behind 2003 Women’s World Cup runner-up Sweden in its quest to make the 2005 European Championships in England. Italy opened the group with an 8-0 trouncing of Serbia and Montenegro, as Guarino and Panico scored twice each, but then had the tables turned in a 5-0 loss to Sweden. Italy tied Finland, 1-1, in its other qualifying match.
U.S. Women’s National Team
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||126/0|
|2||Bivens, Kylie||D||5'5"||10/24/78||Upland, Calif.||Santa Clara||14/0|
|3||Pearce, Christie||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Pt. Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||106/4|
|4||Reddick, Cat||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina||42/3|
|5||Roberts, Tiffany||M||5'3"||05/05/77||San Ramon, Calif.||North Carolina||103/7|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||172/30|
|7||Boxx, Shannon||M||5'8"||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame||7/4|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland||157/58|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||51/12|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||01/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford||237/42|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina||133/64|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina||261/93|
|14||Fawcett, Joy||D||5'6"||02/08/68||Huntington Beach, Calif.||California||222/26|
|15||Sobrero, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||103/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5'3"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland||197/99|
|17||Slaton, Danielle||D||5'6"||06/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||41/1|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina||40/0|
|19||Hucles, Angela||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia||24/1|
|20||Wambach, Abby||F||5'11"||06/02/80||Rochester, N.Y.||Florida||20/12|
GOALKEEPERS (2): Siri Mullinix, Briana Scurry;
DEFENDERS (7): Kylie Bivens, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Christie Pearce, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton, Kate Sobrero;
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Tiffany Roberts, Aly Wagner;
FORWARDS (4): Shannon MacMillan, Tiffeny Milbrett, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Ct.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Chicago)
Team Administrator: Heather Walles (Chicago)
Medical Trainer: Lynn Bigelow (Chicago)
Massage Therapists: Nestor Battung (Chicago)
Scott Street (Chicago)
Equipment Coordinator: James Armstrong (Chicago)
Logistics Coordinator: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (San Diego, Calif.)