CHICAGO (July 5, 2007) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 18 players he will bring to Connecticut as the world’s top-ranked team continues the 2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series with a match against Norway on July 14 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford (6 p.m. ET live on ESPN2). Fans can also follow the game on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
The U.S. team will begin training in Connecticut on Saturday, July 7, in preparation for the Norway match, which will feature the world’s first and fourth ranked teams, both favorites to win the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup being held Sept. 10-30 in China.
Tickets starting at $19 are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all Hartford area Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy’s and FYE), and by phone at 860-525-4500. Tickets are also available at the Hartford Civic Center box office. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at reduced prices by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com. This will be the USA’s sixth-ever game in Connecticut. The USA has previously won three games in Connecticut and lost two, both to Norway, in 1991 and 1992.
U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, who grew up in Wilton, Conn., returns to her home state for the fourth time in her career that has spanned 20 years and a world-record 327 games. U.S. Soccer will honor “The Queen of Caps” before the match for her remarkable achievements as well as being the only soccer player ever to reach 300 games played for their country.
Lilly earned that historic 300th cap against Norway on Jan. 18, 2006, in the most recent meeting between these two teams, a 3-1 U.S. victory at the Four Nations Tournament in China. The last meeting between the teams in the United States was a 1-0 victory for the Americans in the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Cup in Foxborough, Mass.
Lilly’s first appearance in Connecticut came nearly 16 years ago, a 1-0 loss to Norway at Willowbrook Park in New Britain on Aug. 30, 1991. Lilly’s last appearance in her home state was against China at Rentschler Field in the final domestic match before the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, where the USA would win the gold medal. Overall, Lilly is second to only Mia Hamm among all-time female goal scorers with 123 for her career as she roars toward her fifth Women’s World Cup tournament.
“It’s great for us to come back to Hartford, especially after our game against China before the 2004 Olympics was such a great send-off for us,” said Lilly, who lives in Boston. “The stadium has a wonderful atmosphere and the fans in Connecticut have always been great. I’m glad the people of Connecticut can be a part of our Send-off Series.”
USA and Norway are the two women’s soccer nations with the greatest history of success in world championship events and Norway has always been the most difficult rival for the U.S. women. It took a six-game winning streak from 2002-present for the U.S. to pull ahead in the all-time series at 19-18-2.
“I love playing Norway,” said Lilly, who has faced the Scandinavians 30 times (including her 300th cap). “First, they are a great competitive team and one of our biggest rivals. Second, they are going to be in the World Cup which gives us another preparation game against a World Cup-caliber team, and third, I think it will be great soccer for the Connecticut area to see. Norway is a team that is World Cup champions and Olympic gold medalists. Both teams are respectful of one another’s great tradition and history of women’s soccer and both nations have played a major role in the growth of women’s soccer internationally over the years. It should be one of best games of the Send-Off Series.”
The USA will be without two players due to injury in forward Heather O’Reilly (shoulder) and midfielder Aly Wagner (groin), but a cavalcade of U.S. stars will come to Connecticut, including leading scorer Abby Wambach, who has scored in all four domestic matches so far this year and has an amazing 74 career goals in 92 games. Lilly and Wambach are joined on the forward line by Lindsay Tarpley (15 career goals) and Natasha Kai (seven career goals).
Veteran defenders Kate Markgraf, Christie Rampone and Cat Whitehill, who have five World Cup tournaments between them, will be joined by young defenders Stephanie Lopez (20 caps), Tina Ellertson (22 caps) and Marian Dalmy (two caps).
The U.S. midfield is led by veteran Shannon Boxx, who has returned fully from hip and knee injuries that sidelined her for most of 2006. Young players Carli Lloyd and Lori Chalupny have added tremendous work rate and offensive spark, while Leslie Osborne, Angela Hucles and Marci Jobson add depth in the middle.
Following the Norway match, the USA will have a week off before traveling to northern California to face Japan on July 28 in San Jose, Calif. The team hits the stretch run with a game on Aug. 12 against New Zealand in Chicago, before playing the Send-Off match in Carson, Calif., at The Home Depot Center against Finland on Aug. 25. Of the USA’s six Send-Off Series opponents, only Finland will not compete in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM
USA vs. Norway
July 14 in East Hartford, Conn.
|No.||Name||Pos.||Ht.||DOB||Hometown||College||Caps / Goals|
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5-8||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass||162|
|2||Dalmy, Marian||D||5-10||11/25/84||Lakewood, Colo.||Santa Clara||2/0|
|3||Rampone, Christie||D||5-6||06/24/75||Point Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||164 / 4|
|4||Whitehill, Cat||D||5-5||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||UNC||110 / 11|
|5||Tarpley, Lindsay||F||5-6||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||UNC||69 / 15|
|6||Kai, Natasha||F||5-8||05/22/83||Kahuku, Hawaii||Hawaii||25 / 7|
|7||Boxx, Shannon||M||5-8||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame||66 / 14|
|8||Ellertson, Tina||D||5-9||05/20/82||Vancouver, Wash.||Washington||22 / 0|
|11||Lloyd, Carli||M||5-8||07/16/82||Delran, N.J.||Rutgers||32 / 5|
|12||Osborne, Leslie||M||5-8||05/27/83||Brookfield, Wis.||Santa Clara||40 / 2|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||F||5-4||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||UNC||327 / 123|
|14||Lopez, Stephanie||D||5-6||04/03/86||Elk Grove, Calif.||Portland||20 / 0|
|15||Markgraf, Kate||D||5-7||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||159 / 0|
|16||Hucles, Angela||M||5-7||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia||65 / 5|
|17||Chalupny, Lori||M||5-4||01/29/84||St. Louis, Mo.||UNC||40 / 4|
|18||Solo, Hope||GK||5-9||07/30/81||Richland, Wash.||Washington||44|
|19||Jobson, Marci||M||5-7||12/04/75||St. Charles, Ill.||SMU||14 / 0|
|20||Wambach, Abby||F||5-11||06/02/80||Rochester, N.Y.||Florida||92 / 74|
Roster by Postition:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.);
FORWARDS (4): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).
Head Coach: Greg Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall (St. Charles, Ill.)
Asst./GK Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Team Doctor: Steve Lucey (Greensboro, N.C.)
Medical Trainer: Julie O’Connell (Chicago, Ill.)
Equipment Manager: Jeanine Avila (Eagle Rock, Calif.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (East Troy, Wis.)
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi (Long Beach, Calif.)
Videographer: Noelle Jouglet (San Diego, Calif.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Cypress, Calif.)