- Solo Earns Fourth Consecutive Shutout with U.S. Women
- Milbrett Earns Historic 200th Cap in Return to the U.S. National Team
- U.S Women to Face Ukraine Next on Sunday, July 10 in Portland, Ore.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia (June 26, 2005) – The U.S. Women’s National Team earned its first win on home soil in 2005, defeating Canada, 2-0, on a wet, slippery afternoon at the Virginia Beach SportsPlex. Lori Chalupny and Christie Welsh scored for the USA in the first half as Greg Ryan came out victorious in his first match as the team’s new head coach.
While the field played well, a steady rain fell throughout the game, making for some sloppy conditions that seemed to affect Canada more than the Americans.
After some early Canada pressure, which forced U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo into one confrontation where she had to throw her body into a mix of players to punch the ball clear of the penalty area, the USA took over the game. As the intensity of the rain picked up all throughout the first half, so did the U.S. pressure, and the Americans fired nine shots to just one for Canada before the break.
The U.S. team put together some good possession sequences in the first half, one of which led to the first goal in the 12th minute after the U.S. earned a corner kick on the right side. Aly Wagner lofted the ball inside the six-yard box and it was cleared by a Canadian head, bouncing out to Chalupny at the top of the penalty area. The USA’s left back had just enough time to take a settling touch before skidding a left-footed half volley into the lower right corner past the sprawling Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc from 19 yards out. It was Chalupny’s second career goal and first scored from the back line.
Christie Welsh almost added to the lead in the 22nd minute as Heather O’Reilly cross from right side went bent in dangerously. Welsh got a head on the ball from close range, but fired it just over the crossbar.
The USA would have been up 3-0 at the half after Wagner was brought down in the penalty box after a nifty dribble in the 41st minute, but Wambach missed the penalty kick, clanking her well-struck shot off the right post.
Canada picked up the pressure a bit more in the second half after Christine Latham and Charmaine Hooper were inserted into the game, but none of their five shots after the break troubled U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who picked up her fourth consecutive shutout and now has a 369-minute scoreless streak going.
The USA changed from a 4-3-3 formation to a 4-4-2 after Danielle Fotopoulos and Angela Hucles came on in the 61st minute and settled the match a bit before playing out the last 30 minutes.
The match also marked the return of forward Tiffeny Milbrett to the National Team as she came on in the 63rd minute to earn her historic 200th cap. Milbrett now joins just four other players, all Americans – Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett – in a select group that has played 200 times for their country.
On the other end of the spectrum, 29-year-old Marci Miller, the newly hired head women’s soccer coach at Northern Illinois, earned her first-ever cap when she came on for Shannon Boxx in the closing minute.
The U.S. team will come together again on July 3 in Portland, Oregon, for a week of training prior to the July 10 match against Ukraine at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. PT and be broadcast live on ESPN2.
The U.S. women will finish their three-game summer schedule on July 26, taking on Iceland at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for that match is 2 p.m. PT. It will also be broadcast live on ESPN2. Tickets for both matches are on sale at all local area Ticketmaster outlets and at www.ussoccer.com.
At the beginning of the match, U.S. captain Kristine Lilly and Canadian captain Christine Sinclair read statements as part of FIFA’s “Say No to Racism” campaign, the same campaign featured in U-20 WYC games and Confederations Cup games this weekend.
- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -
Match-up: USA vs. Canada
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Virginia Beach SportsPlex; Virginia Beach, Va.
Date: June 26, 2005; Kickoff - 3 p.m. ET
Weather: Wet, rainy - 74 degrees
1 2 F
USA 2 0 2
CAN 0 0 0
USA - Lori Chalupny (Unassisted) 12th minute.
USA - Christie Welsh (Abby Wambach) 35.
USA: 18-Hope Solo; 14-Amy LePeilbet, 4-Cat Reddick, 15-Kate Markgraf, 6-Lori Chalupny; 7-Shannon Boxx (8-Marci Miller, 91+), 10-Aly Wagner (3-Lorrie Fair, 91+), 13-Kristine Lilly-Capt.; 19-Christie Welsh (16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 63), 9-Heather O'Reilly (11-Angela Hucles, 61), 20-Abby Wambach (22-Danielle Fotopoulos, 61)
Subs not used: 2-Heather Mitts, 24-Kristin Luckenbill
Head Coach: Greg Ryan
CAN: 1-Karina LeBlanc; 3-Sophie Schmidt, 9-Candace Chapman, 11-Randee Hermus, 15-Kara Lang; 8-Diana Matheson (6-Melissa Tancredi, 81), 13-Amy Walsh, 14-Amanda Cicchini (7-Isabelle Morneau, 64), 17-Brittany Timko (2-Christine Latham, 46); 16-Katie Thorlakson (10-Charmaine Hooper, 68), 12-Christine Sinclair
Subs not used: 4-Sasha Andrews, 5-Andrea Neil, 20-Taryn Swiatek
Head Coach: Even Pellerud
USA / CAN
Shots: 16 / 6
Shots on Goal: 7 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 7 / 2
Fouls: 8 / 11
Offside: 5 / 1
CAN - Randee Hermus (caution) 46+
Referee: Rachel Woo (USA)
Assistant Referee: Kim Oberle (USA)
Assistant Referee: Brenda Wright (USA)
Fourth Official: Sandra Serefini (USA)
ussoccer.com Woman of the Match: Lori Chalupny
Post-Game Quote Sheet
June 26,2 005
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan:
Ryan on the game:
“We were more cohesive than I thought we would be, especially in the first half. There was some great stuff going on out there. We had a nice combination early on when we wanted to stretch the field a little bit, play a little bit longer to stretch their defense and then play in front of them and I thought we had a nice balance of that.”
Ryan on the team’s performance after a long layoff:
“For us to come in after a three month layoff with six days of training and to play as well as we did against a team playing their eighth international game in the last two months. For us to do that I was so impressed with our players, to be able to play that well on six days training. Nobody is really in form right now, but it looked awfully good.”
Ryan on if he is looking for personality and leadership from a young team:
“I’ll tell you what. We have great leadership already. At the back it’s Kate Markgraf, in the midfield it’s Shannon Boxx and Kristine Lilly. Up front, Abby is already a great leader. We're good on leadership. We are in the process of developing chemistry between our veteran core of players and the new players we are bringing in around them so that we get more and more creative and more and more difficult to defend. We need to get more understanding, the kind of understanding that Mia and Abby had, where they didn't even look to know where the other one was. We need to create that between all of our players. It's a two-year process, and we've got two years to do it."
Ryan on the wet conditions:
“You know, I love these conditions. A wet day and soccer, they go together. I think the field helped us. Aside from an occasional slip, I thought that both teams played as well as they do when it is dry.”
Ryan on Canada’s second half performance:
“Canada raised the bar in the second half. We knew it was going to come, and I think they were very disappointed in their first half performance. They came back and played high pressure and put us under a little pressure in the first 15-20 minutes of the second half.”
Ryan on changing tactics in the second half:
“We switched systems 15-20 minutes in and that solidified the midfield and just held on. We just played as well as we could and tried to create some more chances.“
Ryan on U.S. captain Kristine Lilly:
“Kristine is just fantastic. Everything she does whether it is helping us with set plays, winning balls in the midfield, creating plays, slipping balls in behind, she does it all.”
Ryan on midfielder Aly Wagner:
“Aly Wagner might be our best passer, but she created the penalty off dribbling in the box.”
Ryan on the missed penalty kick:
“If that penalty goes in, the game is over at that point. At 2-0, Canada is still in the game. I thought they did well, but in the second half we didn’t have the same level of cohesion. We’re a young team and it takes time to build cohesion where we can go 90 minutes and have everything tight.“
U.S. midfielder Aly Wagner:
Wagner on the team's play:
"We had six days to prepare, but I don't think I ever had so much fun on the field. We were just clicking. We had great team chemistry. We came out knowing that we had one game to put it on for national television and I think we stepped up and did pretty well. Our training this week paid off."
Wagner on the new players in camp:
"Every player on the roster that was in training camp was vying for a spot and really raised the level. Everyday was tough competition in practice. I'm really happy with the way that everyone has contributed all week and especially in the game today."
Wagner on not playing a match in three months:
"There's a certain amount of pride when you put on the jersey for your national team. So not playing for three months, you're ready to go out there and put it all together."
U.S. forward Abby Wambach:
Wambach on her missed PK:
"Personally, I feel like I have a lot of improving to do. I missed a PK today. As a goal scorer, it's my job to come onto the field and score goals. And when I don't, I feel like I haven't performed to my ability. And so that is something I need to work on."
Wambach on Greg Ryan:
"He is a player's coach. He wants the team to go out on the field and figure it out on our own. Throughout the whole week, he gives us drills and gives us the proper training to make the decisions that we need to make as the game goes on. So, if we need to change formations or if we need to go into a high-pressured offense, we're the ones that make that call. He trusts we will make the right decisions on the field."
U.S. captain Kristine Lilly:
Lilly on the game:
"I think we played well today. The conditions limited us at times, but they also limited Canada. And with the conditions, we controlled the ball when we had to. I think we could have had more chances on the ball, but we created some things and we got people in the position to score and we were very good at that."
Lilly on the new players:
"I bet the fans missed the ladies that retired, but with this team, there are going to be so many personalities that will come out with this group. These young players are talented.”