FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE SET: Due to some adjustments to accommodate Chinese Television, the starting times for the Four Nations Tournament in January have been adjusted slightly. The Four Nations Tournament will give the USA invaluable experience at Women’s World Cup venues as the U.S. team will get a preview of the environments, stadiums and culture that they will encounter in September. This will be the one and only trip to China for the USA before the 2003 Women’s World Cup. Below is the final schedule for the tournament:
FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE (Final)
Date Venue Teams Kickoff
Jan. 23. Yiwu, China USA vs. Norway 5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET
Jan. 26 Wuhan, China USA vs. China 3:35 p.m. local / 2:35 a.m. ET
Jan. 29 Shanghai, China USA vs. Germany 1:55 p.m. local / 12:55 a.m. ET
USA WORKING ON 16-GAME UNBEATEN STREAK: The USA is riding a 16-game unbeaten streak at home, dating back to a 3-2 win over Mexico on Dec. 10, 2000, which was preceded by a 3-1 setback to Canada on November 11, 2000. Sunday's match is the 287th full international match for the U.S. Women. The USA has scored 948 goals over that span. Cindy Parlow scored the 900th goal against Norway on Sept. 8, 2002. Both of the USA’s losses last year came to archrival Norway, but the USA avenged both with a 4-0 win in Blaine, Minn., on July 21, 2002.
FIRST FOR TORERO STADIUM: Sunday' game will be the first-ever international soccer game at Torero Stadium. While the U.S. Women have trained extensively in San Diego at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, they have never played a full international match here. The picturesque stadium, which underwent two phases of renovations to become one of the finest small soccer venues in the country, is the home of the San Diego Spirit of the WUSA.
USA vs. JAPAN HISTORY: While the two teams have met 14 times, the series dates back to 1986 and the 10th game ever played by the U.S. Women. The USA won that game, 3-1, in Jesolo, Italy, on July 25, 1986, and reeled off 13 straight wins over Japan, including one each in the 1991 and 1995 Women’s World Cups, before drawing 1-1 in the last meeting between the teams on December 17, 2000. That match, played indoors at the BOB in Phoenix, Ariz., was the final international match for U.S. legend Carla Overbeck. The game featured goals from Brandi Chastain and Homare Sawa, and was the 41st and final match of the year for an exhausted U.S. team, which set an unofficial record for full women’s internationals in a calendar year, which also featured the Olympic silver medal performance in Sydney, Australia. The meeting at the 1991 Women’s World Cup was a 3-0 U.S. victory in group play that feature a goal from today’s ESPN color commentator, Wendy Gebauer. The USA won 4-0 in the quarterfinal of the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden on two goals from Kristine Lilly and one each from Tiffeny Milbrett and Tisha Venturini.
MILLIE AND LILLY EYE 100 GOALS: Tiffeny Milbrett is just five goals away from the magical 100 mark for her career, helped by a U.S. record-tying five scores against Panama in the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup. Although the U.S. Women’s National Teams schedule has been greatly reduced due to the start of the WUSA, both Milbrett and Kristine Lilly (90 goals) have a shot at hitting the 100-goal mark achieved by just four other women’s players in history. At 30, and in her prime, Milbrett has a good chance to not only reach 100 career goals, but perhaps even catch Elisabetta Vignotto of Italy (107 career goals) to become the second greatest international scorer in history behind Mia Hamm. Currently at 228 caps, Hamm is the second most-capped player in the history of soccer, men or women. She is U.S. Soccer's all-time leading scorer with 136 goals and 114 career assists (by far a team record) for 386 points. Lilly has averaged a goal every 2.7 matches in her career, while Milbrett has average one goal every 1.9 matches, meaning Milbrett, should hit the 100 goal mark in no more than 10 matches, while Lilly may take as many as 30.