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U.S. Women's National Team Set to Face Norway in Third Place Match


U.S. Women’s National Team Notes
2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Shanghai, China
Sept. 29, 2007

USA SET TO FACE NORWAY IN THIRD PLACE MATCH AT 2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: The U.S. Women’s National Team will re-group and take the field against Norway in the third place match of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday, Sept. 30, at Shanghai Hongkou Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. local and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 4:55 a.m. ET. This game will pit two familiar foes. In addition to playing last July 14, a 1-0 U.S. win in Hartford, Conn., the teams have met 40 times over the years since the first meeting in 1987, the most games against any opponent in U.S. history. Coming off losses in which they scored an own goal, both teams will be looking for redemption after disappointing semifinal defeats. This will be the third time the USA has played in a WWC third-place match, defeating China 2-0 in 1995 and downing Canada, 3-1, in 2003. It will be the fourth meeting with Norway in a Women’s World Cup as the two teams met in the Final in 1991, a 2-1 U.S. win, in the semifinal in 1995, a 1-0 Norway win, and again in the quarterfinal of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 1-0 U.S. win. The teams have also met three times in Olympic competition, once again with the USA winning two of the three matches.

2007 U.S. WOMEN’S WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.); DEFENDERS (6): 2-Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), 8-Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), 14-Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.); MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 19-Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.); FORWARDS (5): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

2007 NORWAY WOMENS WORLD CUP ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Bente Nordby, 12-Erika Skarbo, 13-Christine Nilsen; DEFENDERS (6): 2-Ane Stangeland Horpestad, 3-Gunhild Folstad, 5-Siri Nordby, 6-Camilla Huse, 7-Trine Ronning, 19-Marit Christensen; MIDFIELDERS (5): 4-Ingvild Stensland, 8-Solveig Gulbrandsen, 15-Madeleine Gisk, 18-Marie Knutsen, 21-Lene Storlokken; FORWARDS (7): 9-Isabell Herlovsen, 10-Melissa Wiik, 11-Leni Larsen Kaurin, 14-Guro Knutsen, 16-Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, 17-Lene Mykjaland, 20-Lise Klaveness.

USA vs. NORWAY PREVIEW

40-Game History
The third place match will renew one of the world’s great women’s soccer rivalries as from 1991-2000, either the USA or Norway (and both at the 1991 WWC and 2000 Olympics) made the championship game of every Women’s World Cup or Olympics during that time. The USA holds a slim 20-18-2 all-time record against Norway.

Similar World Cups
The game is a battle of two group winners – Norway won Group C and the USA won Group B – but the road to the group title was not easy for either team, as both won two games and tied one. The USA drew with North Korea, 2-2, defeated Sweden, 2-0, and beat Nigeria, 1-0, while the Norwegians started with a 2-1 win over Canada, got a 1-1 tie with Australia and then routed hapless Ghana by a strange 7-2 score. Norway has been led by Ragnhild Gulbrandsen, a powerful striker who has scored five times in this tournament, including three against Ghana. The former WUSA player was plagued by injuries during her WUSA career, but found her form at just the right time for Norway. She scored in all three first-round games. Norway’s rising star is 19-year-old forward Isabell Herlovsen, who pounced on a China mistake in the quarterfinal to hammer home the winning goal and eliminate the hosts, certainly no easy task. She has scored twice in this tournament. In that match against China, Norway was out-shot 21-8, but as always, the staunch defense led by veteran goalkeeper Bente Nordby held up. Norway, in its usual efficient form, actually put six of its eight shots on goal while China put just five of its 21 on target. Both goalkeepers, the USA’s Briana Scurry and Nordby are playing in their fourth Women’s World Cup. Nordby was on Norway’s roster for the 1991 WWC but didn’t play.

Bouncing Back
Norway usually has a height advantage over the USA and has often tried to play to that strength, launching long balls out of its 4-5-1 formation, hoping for knock downs and opportunistic goals, but against Germany in the semifinal, the Norwegians put together some excellent possession and attacking soccer. The U.S. players will certainly be looking for a better performance with its attacking rhythm than against Brazil, and will be highly motivated to play for each other and their country to close out the Women’s World Cup on a high note. U.S. defender Kate Markgraf, who tweaked her ankle against Brazil, is probable for the match.

USA and Norway: Head-to-Head in FIFA Competitions
Date        City                                Result                     Competition
11/30/91 Guangzhou, China      USA, 2-1                1991 FIFA Women's World Cup China
06/15/95 Vasteras, Sweden      Norway, 1-0           1995 FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden
07/28/96 Athens, Ga.                  USA, 2-1 (OT)       1996 Olympic Football Tournaments Atlanta
09/14/00 Melbourne, Australia  USA, 2-0                2000 Olympic Football Tournaments Sydney
09/28/00 Sydney, Australia        Norway, 3-2 (OT)  2000 Olympic Football Tournaments Sydney
10/0103  Boston, Mass.             USA, 1-0                 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup USA

U.S. WNT QUOTE SHEET: The U.S. team has put the semifinal loss to Brazil and the ensuing controversy behind them, choosing to focus on what’s up next, the Norway match. Goalkeeper Hope Solo will not be a part of the USA’s preparations for the match, and Briana Scurry will start in goal for the USA, which were among the topics discussed by U.S. head coach Greg Ryan and forwards Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach when they spoke met with the media today. You can read quotes, listen or watch on www.ussoccer.com.

GAAL AGAIN: Hungarian Gyoengyi Gaal, who was in the middle for the USA’s 2-0 win over Sweden earlier in the tournament, will officiate the USA-Norway match. Australian Tammy Ogston will handle the Women’s World Cup Final.

BOXX SUSPENDED: After receiving a red card in the USA’s semifinal, midfielder Shannon Boxx will of course be suspended for the third-place match. It was the first red card of Boxx’s international career, coming in her 74th game. In fact, the two yellow cards were just the 10th and 11th of her career, a relatively small amount for such a rugged defensive midfielder.

STUDIO 90: CHINA ‘07 WRAPS UP: The Studio 90 crew is about to yell “that’s a wrap” in China, but for fans who have been loyal Studio 90 watchers, there is still an edition of Studio 90 News left as well as a “Best of Studio 90:China ‘07” video still to come. ussoccer.com will continue to grow its Studio 90 show and all_access video. To give your input, email the show at studio90@ussoccer.org.

EXTRA TIME ONLY FOR STUDIO 90?: If the final of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup 2007 between Germany and Brazil ends in regular time, it will be the first FIFA women’s competition in which all the matches have been decided in regular time. If the USA’s third-place match is tied at the end of regulation, the game will go straight to penalties. In all four previous FIFA Women’s World Cups at least one match went to extra-time, including the Final between Germany and Sweden in 2003 and the USA and China in 1999. Also, all three Olympic Football Tournaments and Under-20 Women’s World Cups have at least one extra-time entry in their record books. Overall, it would only be the fourth out of 52 official FIFA final competitions played in the last 25 years where no extra-time is required to decide a match.

UP NEXT, MEXICO TIMES THREE: The USA will play its final three matches of 2007 in October, all against Mexico. In its first match after the Women’s World Cup, the USA returns to the field on Oct. 13 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., as midfielder Lori Chalupny returns home. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. CT. The USA will then travel back west to face the Tricolors on Oct. 17 at PGE Park in Portland, Ore. with a 7 p.m. PT kickoff. The final match will take place on Oct. 20 at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M. with a 4:30 p.m. MT kickoff. For ticket information for all three matches, fans go to the Schedule & Tickets section of www.ussoccer.com.

CHINA ATTENDENCE TOPS 37,000 PER MATCH: The 2007 Women’s World Cup has done extremely well with attendance as 1,128,971 fans have turned out so far over 30 matches, for an average of 37,632 per game. With the expected sell-out at the 34,000-seat Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium for the third-place match and final, this WWC may just edge out 1999 as the most attended Women’s World Cup ever.

Stat of Note
For the third Women’s World Cup in a row, teams have combined to score more than 100 goals. Currently, 104 goals have been scored over the 30 games. The most goals in a Women’s World Cup was in 1999, when 123 balls found the back of the net.

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