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U.S. Women Prepare to Face Australia in Second Group B Match at Peace Queen Cup


United States Women’s National Team
Notes from Seoul, South Korea
2006 Peace Queen Cup
Oct. 30, 2006

U.S. WOMEN BACK IN SEOUL TO FACE AUSTRALIA IN KEY MATCH AT 2006 PEACE QUEEN CUP: After tying Denmark, 1-1, in Gimhae on Oct. 29 in a match that saw one of the best performances by a U.S. opponent in the past two years, the U.S. team boarded a short flight back to Seoul on the morning of Oct. 30 to prepare for the Oct. 31 clash with Australia, a match that may determine both teams’ fates in this tournament. With four group games left, the results on the second match day of Group B will go a long way in deciding a place in the Peace Queen Cup championship game, while a loss would put that vanquished squad in a precarious position. After three days of non-stop planes and buses, U.S. head coach Greg Ryan put the team through a light workout on Monday, Oct. 30, at the spectacular hotel gym as the Americans try to regenerate on just one day of rest before facing the Matildas in a Halloween clash at 4 p.m. local time / 2 a.m. ET at Cheonan Stadium outside of Seoul.

BRAZIL TIES, CANADA WINS IN GROUP A: Brazil tied Italy, 1-1, on the second day of matches in Group A while Canada defeated South Korea, 3-1, setting up a match between Brazil and Canada for the group title on Nov. 1. Canada, which has six points from its two matches and a plus-3 goal difference needs just a tie against Brazil to make the championship game. Brazil has four points from its first two games and a plus-one goal difference. Italy scored first on a goal from Giulia Perelli in the 21st minute, but Brazil equalized in the second half through a 54th minute goal from Susana. For complete tournaments standings, visit the Peace Queen Cup competition page on ussoccer.com.

U.S. WNT Peace Queen Cup Schedule – Full Schedule/Results
Date       Opponent        Venue, City                                                             Kickoff / ET
Oct. 31   Australia          Cheonan Stadium Cheonan, South Korea     4 p.m. / 2 a.m. ET
Nov. 2    Netherlands    Suwon WC Stadium Suwon, South Korea      2:30 p.m. / 12:30 a.m. ET

USA vs. AUSTRALIA HISTORY: Australia has not had much success against the USA in the 19-year history between the two teams, losing 15 consecutive matches before drawing 1-1 in group play at the 2004 Olympics and then again, 0-0, on Oct. 16, 2005, meaning the Americans have something to prove in this Peace Queen Cup match. The two teams also played right before the 2004 Olympics in Blaine, Minn., with the USA coming away with a 3-1 victory as Mia Hamm, Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach tallied. Australia had taken a 1-0 lead on a goal from Danielle Small after just five minutes, but the USA stormed back with three unanswered goals. The USA has failed to score at least three goals in just five of the 17 meetings between the two teams, but the Aussies, bolstered by their draws with the USA in the last two matches, their entrance into a new confederation and subsequent qualification for China 2007 from Asia, will be looking to write some new history. The match at the Olympics was a hard-fought affair in which the USA controlled most of the game before allowing a late equalizer. The USA needed a win or a draw to take first place in the group in a match that saw Wambach in the stands after she had been suspended for receiving yellow cards in the first two group games. Australia is playing its first matches since the Asian Women’s Championship in July.

A LOOK AT AUSTRALIA
Oceania to Asia
This year, Australia embarked on the boldest and most difficult challenge in its women’s soccer history as the Matildas changed confederations from Oceania to Asia, and will now battle some of the world’s top teams for a spot in FIFA world championships. The Aussies got off to a great start in their first Asian Confederation championship, which they hosted, finishing second in the 2006 Asian Women’s Championship and qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup in China. It will be Australia’s fourth consecutive Women’s World Cup.

Familiar Face on Aussie Bench
Australia is led by head coach Tom Sermanni, who is in his second stint at the helm of the Matildas after coaching the national team from 1994-97, which included a match against the USA at the 1995 Women’s World Cup in Sweden. Sermanni is very familiar with many of the U.S. players as he coached in the WUSA all three years of its existence. He was an assistant coach for the San Jose CyberRays when they won the inaugural WUSA title in 2001 and was head coach of the New York Power in the final season of the WUSA in 2003.

Former WUSA Players Lead Matildas
Australia has two players on the roster that played in the WUSA in talented midfielder Joanne Peters and towering defender Cheryl Salisbury (Australia’s cap and goals leader with 120 and 30, respectively), one of the few backs in the world who can look down on Wambach. Both Peters, a long-time staple of the Matilda midfield, and Salisbury played for New York under Sermanni. Peters, who has 94 caps and 23 goals, currently plays her club soccer in Sweden for KIF Orebro, the club Kristine Lilly and Kate Markgraf played for in 2005. Eight of the 14 players who played against the USA in the Olympics are on the Australia roster for this match, including captain Salisbury, goal scorer Peters, and Heather Garriock, who set up Peters on the lone Australian tally. Australia’s goalkeeper, Melissa Barbieri, was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team but did not play against the USA.

Youth Movement
Australia has a bunch of young players as Sermanni re-builds his team for the run to the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but 18-year-old rising star Sally Shipard, a revelation for the Matildas at the 2004 Olympics at the age of 16, is not on the roster due to injury. Kate McShea (23 years old) and Alicia Ferguson (25), who has 57 caps, but first played for Australia at the age of 15, are in their primes while the bulldozing Caitlin Munoz (23) is Australia’s version of Abby Wambach. Sarah Walsh (23), who scored the Matildas goal against the Netherlands, Katie Gill (21) and Lisa De Vanna (23) are also young players who add punch to the Aussie attack.

Australia Asian Women’s Championships Qualifying for 2007 FIFA WWC
Date                  Opponent           Score                       Australia Goalscorer(s)
July 16, 2006  South Korea      4-0 W                       Own Goal, Walsh, Munoz, De Vanna
July 18, 2006  Myanmar            2-0 W                       Shipard, De Vanna
July 20, 2006  North Korea       0-0 T                         --
July 24, 2006  Thailand             5-0 W                        Ferguson, Burgess, Walsh, Gill, De Vanna
July 28, 2006  Japan                  2-0 W                       Munoz, Peters
July 30, 2006  China                  2-2 T (2-4 in Pks)   Munoz, Peters

U.S. head coach Greg Ryan on facing Australia:
“Australia has been a very difficult game for us. The last two times we’ve played, we’ve had draws. In the Olympics, 1-1, and then 0-0 last October. Australia may be the best defending team in the world. They are very difficult to get goals from and their opponents don’t score very often. They keep nine players behind the ball…I think the key for us is to go out and play attacking soccer for 90 minutes and hope we can break down a very good defense.”

Australia head coach Tom Sermanni on his team and facing the USA:
“(The 1-0 win over the Netherlands) was the best footballing performance that I have seen from this team in my time in charge. Obviously it would have been nicer to have secured a couple more goals given how many opportunities we created, however I’m very happy with the way things went particularly given it is our first outing in three months. The challenge now for us will be to maintain that level against the USA on Tuesday.”

U.S. Roster (Hometown - caps): 
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn. -- 157), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash. -- 33);
DEFENDERS (7): 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo. -- 25/2), 8-Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash. -- 15/0), 14-Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill. -- 23/0), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich. -- 149/0), 2-Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio -- 58/2), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J. – 151/4), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala. – 94/10);
MIDFIELDERS (6): 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va. – 55/5), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J. -- 17/1), 23-Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md. – 5/0), 21-Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill. – 9/0), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis. – 26/1), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif. – 105/21);
FORWARDS (5): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii – 12/5), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn. – 314/114), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich. – 54/12), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y. – 80/64), 19-Kacey White (Arlington, Texas – 0/0).

Australia Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Melissa Barbieri, 18-Emma Wirkus;
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Kate McShea, 3-Karla Reuter, 4-Kim Carroll, 5-Cheryl Salisbury, 6-Rhian Davies, 7-Heather Garriock, 13-Clare Polkinghorne;
MIDFIELDERS (6): 9-Alicia Ferguson, 10-Joanne Petters, 14-Collette McCallum, 15-Lauren Colthorpe, 17-Danielle Small, 19-Lana Harch;
FORWARDS (5): 8-Sarah Walsh, 11-Lisa De Vanna, 12-Katie Gill, 16-Caitlin Munoz, 20-Joanne Burgess.

KOREANS LOVE HEATHER MITTS: U.S. defender Heather Mitts has proved to be quite popular in South Korea. Mitts has received the kind of media attention not previously afforded to an American player on an international trip since Mia Hamm wore the No. 9 jersey for the USA. In addition to large stories and pictures in the newspapers, Mitts has been interviewed by Korean TV at almost every training and at the airports after the U.S. arrivals. Apparently, Mitts first came to the attention of South Korean fans during the 2004 Olympics when she was featured, along with several other athletes, in a large Korean sports daily that did a story on the best looking athletes of the Athens Olympic Games. Mitts’ gritty play at right back in the 1-1 tie with Denmark as she battled the speedy Johanna Rasmussen likely endeared her even more to the Korean fans. No word on if Mitts will be signing any endorsement deals with Korean companies, but from her volume of interviews, she would likely be an excellent pitch-woman in this growing Asian megalopolis.

CLICK ON ALL_ACCESS VIDEO AND JOIN USA IN SOUTH KOREA: The first-ever trip to South Korea for the U.S. Women’s National Team has been busy and eventful. Check out video of the USA’s journey, including a special trip to the demilitarized zone plus highlights and reaction from the first match against Denmark, exclusively from all_access video on ussoccer.com.

ALOHA FROM KOREA: Natasha Kai has gotten off to a fast start with the U.S. Women’s National Team, scoring five goals in her first 12 matches. But that makes sense, because everything about her game is fast. The speedy striker checks in from Seoul, South Korea, to talk about her development as a player, her search for Hawaiian food in Los Angeles and her goals for the upcoming months, on this exclusive ussoccer.com podcast.

Stat of Note
The U.S. team is 21-0-5 under head coach Greg Ryan, with the first four ties being 0-0 affairs. Last Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Denmark was the first tie under Ryan that featured goals.

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