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U.S. WNT Takes the Field in the Semifinals of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Against France


U.S. WNT vs. France
2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Semifinal
Mönchengladbach, Germany
July 12, 2011  

USA MEETS FRANCE IN WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SEMIFINAL: The USA’s dramatic victory over Brazil in a penalty kick shootout during Sunday’s quarterfinal match in Dresden, Germany, sent the Americans to the Women’s World Cup semifinals for the sixth consecutive time, making the USA the only country to advance to the final four in every FIFA Women’s World Cup ever contested. The match at Borussia Park Stadium will kick off at 12 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local) on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Galavision with the pre-game show on ESPN beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. Fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt. Borussia Park will be the largest stadium the USA has played in so far during the team’s World Cup campaign as the venue seats almost 46,000 fans. The USA’s semifinal will be the first of the day, following by Sweden vs. Japan from Frankfurt at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

FIRST-EVER MEETING WITH FRANCE IN THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The USA has played France 12 times in its history, but just four times since the turn of the century. The teams last met in 2006 when they played twice, a 0-0 tie at the Four Nations Tournament in January in Guangzhou, China, and a 4-1 U.S. victory at the Algarve Cup in Portugal. France has been one of the revelations of the tournament, playing some excellent soccer while finishing second in Group A behind Germany. The French started their run with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria, sent Canada out of the tournament with a 4-0 victory and then rebounded from a 4-2 loss to Germany in their group finale with a dramatic penalty kick victory over England in the quarterfinal after equalizing with just minutes left in regulation.

U.S. WWC ‘11 RESULTS
Date       Opponent        Result/Time (ET)    U.S. Goalscorers/TV                     Venue
June 28   Korea DPR      2-0 W                    Cheney, Buehler                          Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden
July 2      Colombia        3-0 W                   O’Reilly, Rapinoe, Lloyd                Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim
July 6      Sweden          1-2 L                     Wambach                                   World Cup Stadium Wolfsburg; Wolfsburg
July 10    Brazil              2-2 T (5-3 pks)      Own goal, Wambach                    Rudolf-Harbig Stadium; Dresden
July 13    France            11:30 p.m. ET        ESPN, ESPN3.com, Galavision      Borussia Park; Moenchengladbach

FRANCE WWC ‘11 RESULTS
Date        Opponent       Result                     Venue
June 26   Nigeria           1-0 W                     Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Sinsheim
June 30   Canada           4-0 W                     World Cup Stadium Frankfurt; Frankfurt
July 5      Germany        2-4 L                       Borussia Park; Moenchengladbach
July 9      England         1-1 T (4-3 pks)         World Cup Stadium Leverkusen; Leverkusen                                              

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Jill Loyden (magicJack), Hope Solo (magicJack)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (out of contract), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (magicJack), Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (magicJack), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Kelley O’Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (magicJack)

Link to Detailed Roster

QUICK HITS
U.S. in the World Cup

  • The USA’s win was the first time in FIFA Women’s World Cup history that a team has come back to win after falling behind in overtime. In fact, it is just the fourth instance in World Cup history, with the rare feat accomplished just three times before in the men's tournament.
  • Rachel Buehler will not be eligible to play against France after receiving a red card against Brazil. It was the third red card issued to the U.S. in six FIFA Women’s World Cups.
  • The U.S. is the only team to have advanced to the semifinals in every FIFA Women’s World Cup.
  • The 120+2 minute goal from Abby Wambach in the quarterfinals was the latest strike ever in Women’s World Cup history.
  • Wambach’s goal against Brazil was her 11th in the Women’s World Cup, tying her for fourth place all-time behind Marta (14), Birgit Prinz (14) and Michelle Akers (12).
  • Wambach also passed Kristine Lilly with 24 career points in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Wambach has two goals and one assist in 2011, and is behind Akers (26) and Mia Hamm (28) in the U.S. record books.
  • Hope Solo would earn her 100th cap with an appearance against France.
  • France and the U.S. will be playing in a world championship competition for the first time at the senior level.
  • In youth-level tournaments, the USA and France have crossed paths three times since 2006. The Americans prevailed 1-0 in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2006 and 3-0 two years later in the same event, when the opening goal was netted by Alex Morgan. Also in 2008, the sides fought to a 1-1 draw in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
  • USA and France have scored the same amount of goals in their four matches so far, netting eight apiece, while Japan and Sweden both have seven. The most prolific attack still belongs to Brazil, who exited the tournament with nine goals scored.
  • France and USA have had more shots than any other sides in this tournament, with 80 and 76 respectively. They have also managed the most shots on target with 32 each.
  • The U.S. has an 11-0-1 all-time record in 12 previous friendlies against France with each of the last four meetings coming on neutral soil from 2004 to 2006. Wambach, Heather Mitts and Shannon Boxx have featured for the U.S. in each of those last four meetings.
  • The last meeting was a 4-1 win in the 2006 Algarve Cup on March 13 of that year.
  • The lone tie came in the 2006 Four Nations Tournament in China. Hope Solo got the shutout for the U.S. as Mitts, Amy LePeilbet, Boxx, Wambach and Heather O’Reilly also all started for the U.S.
  • An overtime clash in the quarterfinals is nothing new for the U.S., having played 120 minutes in a 2-1 win against Canada in the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. faced Japan three days later and won 4-2.
  • The USA outshot its three group opponents by a 66-34 margin, and was outshot by Brazil just 16-14 despite playing with one less player for 55 minutes.
  • The penalty kick goal for Sweden in the 16th minute of the USA’s Group C final ended Hope Solo’s scoreless streak at 796 minutes, just 47 minutes short of the longest streak in team history, a record that has stood for 20 years. Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner played 843 minutes without allowing a goal from 1988 to 1991, which were the first 843 minutes of her international career. Solo’s streak is the second longest in team history.
  • The seven goals credited to the U.S. in the tournament have been scored by six different players and four of those players – Lauren Cheney, Rachel Buehler, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd – scored their first Women’s World Cup goals.
  • Through 475 all-time U.S. games, there have been eight red cards, or one approximately every 60 games or about 5,300 minutes.
  • Nine players have made their Women’s World Cup debuts in this tournament: Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Buehler, Cheney, Amy Rodriguez, Alex Morgan, Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey and Kelley O’Hara.
  • U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has used 17 of the 21 players on the roster so far, with only the back-up goalkeepers and defenders Heather Mitts and Becky Sauerbrunn yet to see the field.
  • Five players have played every minute so far: Krieger, Lloyd, Christie Rampone, Solo and Wambach.
  • O’Reilly, who sat out the Sweden game, recovered from a minor injury to play 107 minutes against Brazil.
  • Updated stats, lineups and results are available on the U.S. Women’s National Team page on ussoccer.com.

VIDEOS FROM GERMANY

FROM THE WNT BLOG
A collection of notes, anecdotes and links:

A collection of notes, anecdotes and links:

WNT PLAYER PROFILES: ussoccer.com pairs up the Women’s World Cup players for some rapid fire questions and banter in creating the WNT Player Profiles series. The videos highlight your favorite WNT players, releasing some fun facts and information you never knew before in the hopes that you can get to better know the players’ personalities. Check the players’ bio pages on ussoccer.com for the latest editions of the WNT Player Profiles.

BEHIND THE CREST: Get an in-depth look at the U.S. WNT with Behind the Crest, a video series that follows the U.S. WNT during the Women’s World Cup in Germany. Behind the Crest will provide fans with insight into what the players and coaches do to prepare for the most important games of their career, providing access that only ussoccer.com can provide. Visit ussoccer.com’s Media Center for the latest edition.

QUOTABLE
U.S. WNT Midfielder LAUREN CHENEY
On the transition from Sunday's game against Brazil to the semifinal against France:
“That was the craziest game I think any of us have ever been a part of. Emotionaly we have to be proud of what we did, but then put that behind us for the France game and try to not get too high or too low. We'll go into France prepared physically and mentally.”

On looking the preparation for the match on Wednesday:
“Our team has so much experience and we do such a great job with ice baths and recovering our legs. The most important thing is mental preparation right now and emotionally getting off our high. We're excited about what we did but it was only the quarterfinals and we still have two games to go.”

On the team's excitement to take the field again:
“You can feel the energy from all of us. We're excited to practice today in the stadium annd we're excited to play tomorrow. You can just feel it from everybody. We're still amped up from that game but excited for the next one.”

U.S. WNT Defender and Captain CHRISTIE RAMPONE
On moving from the dramatic win to the semifinal against France:
“It's unbelievable and I'm speechless about how that game went. It was amazing and the best game I've ever been a part of. But we had a team meeting last night, told all our great stories, and now it's on to France. Today the focus is going out to training, getting prepared for France, having a good meeting tonight, a good night's sleep and then it's game day.”

On how her experience helps the team transition to the next game:
“Experience is always pretty good. You let everybody know to enjoy that victory, feel that emotion and you have to make sure you're prepared for the next game. It's on to France now and it's focusing remembering those little moments but not letting it take over. We need to get our legs back, get that emotion and have fresh legs to go after France. What I bring to the team is that sense of calmness, composure and making sure the emotions stay in check. We need the momentum in this next game.”

On how the team will prepare for the game against France:
“We need to set the tone right from the start. Right from the very beginning I thought we came out great against Brazil and scored that early goal. This is the same thing; we have to go after France. They're a great team,we respect them tremendously and we know some of their players that play in the WPS. We have to go after this game and finish this whole tournament off.”

U.S. WNT Forward ALEX MORGAN
On putting the win against Brazil behind them:
“I think it's good to keep that confidence and excitement up. Last night we had a good storytelling circle with all the coaches and players. We got all the excitement out of us, told our stories and today we're ready to move on to France.”

On the physical and emotional preparation for France:
“We do have one less day than we've had between the past few games in this tournament. It's important to stay relaxed and get our recovery strategies down. We need to get the ice baths in and do whatever we need to do. Today it's all about preparing for France. We want  to keep the confidence we had in the last game but kind of move forward and start thinking about just France now.”

On the reception back home in the states:
“I've gotten a lot of Twitter and facebook requests, emails and text messages. My family and friends have always been behind me, supporting me but now I feel like the entire country is behind us and supporting us. You can see that throughout the media, all the newspapers and everything.”

On the strength of the squad:
“All 21 players do matter and do count; it showed on Sunday. Everyone on the bench or on the field was up and screaming. We definitely need everyone and it's helped us go througout the tournament. There are a lot of games and we are going to play more than 90 minutes. We need everyone.” 

OPPONENT CAPSULE: France
Current FIFA World Ranking: 7
USA All-time record vs. France: 11-0-1 (38 GF, 8 GA)
Last Meeting vs. USA: March 13, 2006 (a 4-1 U.S. victory in group play at the Algarve Cup)
Head Coach: Bruno Bini
Key Players: D Sonia Bompastor, M Camille Abily, F Gaetane Thiney, F Marie-Laure Delie

France Quick Hits:

  • France won 11 of their 12 qualifying matches, scoring 53 total goals while only conceding two. The only team they did not defeat was Italy, which earned a 0-0 draw against Les Bleus in the first leg of their playoff tie before going down 3-2 in the return match.
  • Midfielder Camille Abily won a WPS championship with FC Gold Pride in 2010, playing alongside U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, defender Rachel Buehler, midfielder Shannon Boxx and midfielder Kelly O’Hara.
  • Sonia Bompastor played on the Washington Freedom in WPS with Abby and Becky Sauerbrunn.
  • Central midfielder Sandrine Soubeyrand is France’s all-time most capped player with more than 150 caps.
  • France’s first appearance at a FIFA Women's World Cup came in 2003 when the tournament was played in the United States. Marinette Pichon and her teammates missed out on a place in the last eight after losing to Norway, beating Korea Republic and drawing with Brazil in the first round.
  • Defender Laura Georges and midfielder Elise Bussaglia are the only two players that have been on the field for every minute of France’s World Cup campaign – a total of 390. Each player has also scored a goal in the tournament.
  • Forwards Gaetane Thiney and Marie-Laure Delie lead the team in goals with two each.
  • French goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz was suspended for the quarterfinal match against England after receiving the first red card of the tournament against Germany for taking down Fatmire Bajramaj in the penalty area, but is eligible for the semifinal.
  • France is appearing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the second time, with its only prior appearance coming with a group stage exit during USA 2003.
  • Bruno Bini has been France’s head coach since February of 2007. He guided Les Bleus to the second round of the 2009 UEFA Women’s EURO competition for the first time before falling to the Netherlands on penalties in the quarterfinals. He has been coaching national women’s teams since 1993 and took France’s U-19 side to the European title seven years ago.

FRANCE WWC ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Celine Deville (Montpellier), 16-Berangere Sapowicz (Paris St-Germain), 21-Laetitia Philippe (Montpellier)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais), 4-Laura Georges (Olympique Lyonnais), 5-Ophelie Meilleroux (Montpellier), 7-Corine Franco (Olympique Lyonnais), 8-Sonia Bompastor (Olympique Lyonnais), 11-Laure Lepailleur (Paris St-Germain), 20-Sabrina Viguier (Olympique Lyonnais)
MIDFIELDERS (6): 3-Laure Boulleau (Paris St-Germain), 6-Sandrine Soubeyrand (Juvisy), 10-Camille Abily (Olympique Lyonnais), 13-Caroline Pizzala (Paris St-Germain), 14-Louisa Necib (Olympique Lyonnais), 15-Elise Bussaglia (Paris St-Germain)
FORWARDS (5): 9-Eugenie Le Sommer (Olympique Lyonnais), 12-Elodie Thomis (Olympique Lyonnais), 17-Gaetane Thiney (Juvisy), 18-Marie-Laure Delie (Montpellier), 19-Sandrine Bretigny (Olympique Lyonnais)

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