NEW ORLEANS, La. (Sunday, July 13, 2003) - The U.S. Women's National Team got a late strike from second-half substitute Tiffeny Milbrett to overcome Brazil 1-0 in a physical battle played in the stifling heat at Tad Gormley Stadium.A festive sun-drenched crowd of 15,074 came out on a humid summer day to watch the U.S. women in their third-to-last match before the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup and their first-ever game in Louisiana. The match also marked the 100th game for U.S. defender Christie Pearce, who captained the squad for the first time.
The match was played on a constrictive, narrow 62-yard wide field, making it difficult for either team to get any rhythm in the tight spaces, which also led to numerous crunching tackles from both sides.
While the USA out-shot the young Brazil team, 16-10, there were few great chances for either team in the match. The winning goal came with seconds left in regulation time off a booming punt from Briana Scurry. The ball was flicked on by second-half substitute Abby Wambach, then was kept alive by Mia Hamm, before dropping to Milbrett, who smashed a left-footed half volley from 19 yards out into the right corner that froze Brazilian goalkeeper Andreia and set off a wild celebration among the U.S. players and fans. It was Milbrett's 98th career international goal, putting her just two away from the magical 100 mark.
"It feels so good to get an important goal against such a good team like Brazil," said Milbrett, who earned Chevrolet Player of the match honors for her game-winning goal. "I haven't scored many goals this year so it makes getting a quality goal even better."
"This is the first time we have played a World Cup opponent in a while so this is great for us to kind of measure ourselves see where we are at," said Parlow. "Obviously, we saw some things tonight that we need to work on and we will go back and fix those things and get ready for the World Cup."
The first U.S. chance came early in the game as Aly Wagner put Cindy Parlow behind the defense with a long ball on the right flank. Parlow dribbled by a defender and into the penalty area, but Andreia made a brave sliding save at her feet. Parlow also ripped a volley from 35 yards out just before halftime that Andrea knocked down and smothered.
Kristine Lilly, who played an excellent match in the midfield for the USA, danced through two defenders in the left side of the penalty box in the 18th minute, but her hard shot was blocked.
Brazil suffered a big loss in the 25th minute when star forward Pretinha went down with an injury to her right knee. She was carried off the field and was replaced four minutes later.
Brazil's best chance came in the 40th minute as Katia popped free in the left side of the penalty box and shot from a poor angle, but U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry came up with a big kick save to keep the game scoreless. Scurry made four saves on the day and was extremely solid in picking up her 61st career international shutout.Defender Cat Reddick had a stellar game in the middle of the U.S. defense filling in for Brandi Chastain, who was out with a quad strain, as the 21-year-old earned her 33th cap. Reddick, along with midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, who played 18 minutes, and midfielder Leslie Osborne, who did not play, will leave tomorrow to play with the U.S. Under-21 National Team at the Nordic Cup in Denmark.
"Cat did a great job," said Scurry. "Katia is a very crafty forward and Cat had her man-to-man a lot of the time. Katia got by her once or twice, but Katia gets by everyone once or twice."
Brazil had a golden opportunity to get on the board in the 52nd minute when Maycon beat her defender in the left side of the penalty box and sent in a dangerous cross. Scurry came out and got a hand on it, but the ball rolled away and to the feet of Marta, who was crashing in at the far post, but she sent her point-blank shot high over the crossbar.
Both teams played tough defense throughout the match, which was played a decent pace considering the heat. Milbrett had a chance to win it in the 80th minute after Wambach played her free behind the Brazil defense. Milbrett rounded Andreia but lost her balance as the goalkeeper clipped her, and she shot high as she fell backward. The USA had another chance soon after when Wambach flicked a throw-in with her head that might have dropped in the goal, but Andreia parried it away for a corner kick with great backwards dive.
"I think most importantly, we learned something about Brazil today," said U.S. head coach April Heinrichs. "We haven't played them in three and a half years and they are an unbelievable team. They had two chances to put the game away, but today it went our way."
The win was the 6th of the year for the U.S. women over a team that will participate in the Women's World Cup and moved the USA to 9-1-3 in 2003. The U.S. will play its last two matches before the Women's World Cup on Sept. 1 against Costa Rica (8 p.m. PT on ESPN2) at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles and on Sept. 7 against Mexico (10 a.m. PT on ESPN) at Spartan Stadium in San Jose.
The U.S. Women's National Team debuted their new Nike uniforms on Sunday during an exciting 1-0 victory over Brazil at Tad Gormely Stadium in New Orleans in front of a national ESPN television audience. The dynamic uniforms will be seen throughout the remainder of the U.S. Women's National Team competition this year, including the upcoming 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup being played in six venues across the country from Sept. 20 to Oct. 12.
The great new home and away uniforms are available right now for the first time anywhere at ussoccerstore.com. The white home jersey features a number of distinctive features, including blue side-panels and two angular blue triangles on the shoulder blades. The red road jersey features blue paneling on the hips and underarms. Both uniforms feature two stars on the right sleeve to indicate the U.S. Women's FIFA Women's World Cup championship victories in 1991 and 1999.
- U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -
Teams: USA vs. Brazil
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Tad Gormley Stadium - New Orleans, La.
Date: July 13, 2003; Kickoff - 3 p.m. CT
Weather: Hot, humid; 92 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
BRA 0 0 0
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett (unassisted) 90th minute.
USA: 1-Briana Scurry; 15-Kate Sobrero (19-Danielle Slaton, 46), 4-Cat Reddick, 14-Joy Fawcett, 3-Christie Pearce (Capt.); 5-Tiffany Roberts (17-Angela Hucles, 46), 11-Julie Foudy (20-Lindsay Tarpley, 72), 10-Aly Wagner (22-Abby Wambach, 66), 13-Kristine Lilly; 12-Cindy Parlow (16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 57), 9-Mia Hamm.
Subs not used: 2-Lorrie Fair, 8-Leslie Osborne, 18-Siri Mullinix, 21-Thori Bryan.
BRA: 1-Andreia; 2-Tatiana, 3-Juliana (Capt.), 14-Tania, 17-Maycon (13-Michelle, 77); 5-Daniela, 8-Renata, 11-Formiga (15-Rafaela, 80); 10-Marta, 7-Pretinha (18-Cristiane, 29).
Subs not used: 6-Rosana, 12-Giselle, 16-Kelly, 19-Elaine, 20-Janaina.
Corner Kicks: 8/5
BRA - Renata (caution) 62nd minute.
BRA - Marta (caution) 71.
Referee: Sonia Denoncourt (Canada)
Referee Asst.: Karalee Sutton (USA)
Referee Asst.: Michelle Tubre (USA)
4th Official: Jennifer Bennett (USA)
Chevrolet Woman of the Match: Tiffeny Milbrett