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U.S. WNT Trains in Connecticut in Advance of Saturday's Match vs. Norway


U.S. Women’s National Team Notes
USA vs. Norway
East Hartford, Conn.
Monday, July 9, 2007


U.S. WOMEN ARRIVE IN CONNECTICUT IN PREPARATION FOR MATCH AGAINST NORWAY ON JULY 14: The U.S. Women’s National Team arrived in Connecticut last Friday (July 6) in preparation for a full week of training in advance of the match against Norway on Saturday, July 14, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 and fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. This will be the second-ever match for the U.S. women at Rentschler Field, home to the University of Connecticut football team. The USA’s first match at the 40,000-seat stadium, which opened in the summer of 2003, was the final match before the 2004 Olympics, a 3-1 win over China on goals from Aly Wagner, Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach. The U.S. team trained on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in hot and humid, but not unbearable weather at the Farmington Sports Arena complex.

USA GOING FOR THIRD WIN ON SEND-OFF SERIES: The Norway match marks the third game of the six-game 2007 Send-Off Series, with the USA defeating China and Brazil, both by 2-0 scores in the first two matches. This will be the USA’s last appearance on the East Coast before the Women’s World Cup, with the three remaining games in California and the Midwest. After Norway, matches against Japan (July 28 in San Jose), New Zealand (Aug. 12 in Chicago) and Finland (Aug. 25 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.) await the world’s top-ranked team. The USA will leave for China and the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, being held Sept. 10-30, two days after the send-off series finale. In the USA’s most recent match against Brazil on July 23 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, the USA got a spectacular free-kick from Kristine Lilly less than a minute into the game and a classic Abby Wambach header to account for the scoring. The USA heads into this weekend’s match having not allowed a goal in 220 minutes since giving up a score in the 50th minute against Canada on May 12.

2007 Women’s National Team Send-Off Series
Date          Opponent        Venue (City)                                                               Kickoff / TV
June 16    China              Cleveland Browns Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)    2-0 W
June 23    Brazil               Giants Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)                 2-0 W
July 14      Norway            Rentschler Field (East Hartford, Conn.)               6 p.m. ET ESPN2
July 28     Japan               Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)                       7 p.m. PT ussoccer.com MatchACCESS
Aug. 12    New Zealand  Soldier Field (Chicago, Ill.)                                      12 p.m. CT ESPN2
Aug. 25    Finland             The Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)            6:30 p.m. PT ESPN2

FIVE OF SIX SEND-OFF SERIES OPPONENTS HEADED TO CHINA: The USA has an excellent schedule of preparation matches heading into the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup as five of the six opponents during the Send-Off Series will be headed to China. Only Finland missed out on the tournament, and that just barely, losing 1-0 to Denmark on the final day of qualification games. A tie would have sent Finland to its first Women’s World Cup. Since the end of the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA is 35-2-10 against teams participating in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, losing in regulation time only to Sweden and Denmark.

RYAN NAMES 18 PLAYERS FOR NORWAY MATCH: U.S. Women’s National Team captain Kristine Lilly, who grew up in Wilton, Conn., heads the 18-player U.S. roster as returns to her home state for the fourth time in her international career that has spanned more than 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. 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. Women’s National Team Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 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 (6): 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.);
FORWARDS (4): 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

WAMBACH ON THE BRINK OF HISTORY: U.S. forward Abby Wambach currently has 74 career goals and is just one score away from tying, and two away from passing, the retired Cindy Parlow for fifth on the all-time list, joining U.S. legends Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (123), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100) in the top-five on the USA’s all-time scoring chart.

O’REILLY & WAGNER STILL SIDELINED: The U.S. team will be without forward Heather O’Reilly and midfielder Aly Wagner for the Norway match as both players continue to heal completely from minor injuries. O’Reilly injured her shoulder against Brazil on June 23 while Wagner is recovering from a groin strain suffered several weeks ago. Both should be fit and ready for selection for the USA’s next match against Japan on July 28 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

LOPEZ STEPPING UP: Stephanie Lopez, a University of Portland star out of Elk Gove, Calif. (basically Sacramento), is the youngest of the U.S. defenders (21) and the third-least capped player on the roster (20 games), but her experience for the USA spans two youth World Championships and a first cap in 2005 at the Algarve Cup. She may be called on to play a major role in the Women’s World Cup at outside back. Stay on your couch at halftime the USA’s match against Norway this weekend on ESPN2 to see a feature on Lopez, her family, and her unique upbringing, giving some insight as to why she is known as a great teammate.

Stat of Note
If Hope Solo starts against Norway on Saturday, it will be her 45th cap, tying her with Siri Mullinix for second place on the all-time caps list for U.S. goalkeepers.
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