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U.S. WNT Ready for Olympic Quarterfinal Matchup Against Canada, Live on USA Network


United States Women’s National Team
Notes from Shanghai, China
Aug. 14, 2008


U.S. WOMEN SET FOR QUARTERFINAL CLASH WITH CANADA IN SHANGHAI: After a roller-coaster ride through group play the 2008 Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team will face Canada in a quarterfinal match on Friday, Aug. 15, at Shanghai Stadium. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. local / 6 a.m. ET and will be broadcast live on USA Network and the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel. Fans can also follow on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. The Americans won Group G in dramatic fashion, overturning a massive deficit in goal difference on the final day of matches with a 4-0 win against New Zealand combined with a 5-1 Japan victory over Norway. While the U.S. women have won their group at all previous three Olympic games, this will only be the second quarterfinal match that the team has played. With just eight teams in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, the teams went straight to the semifinal round after group play.

SHANGHAI STADIUM READY FOR QUARTERFINAL: The USA-Canada match will take place at the spectacular Shanghai Stadium which has one of the most unique roofs of any stadium in the world. This is a different stadium, and far larger, than the one the USA played in during the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Completed in 1997, the stadium supposedly holds 80,000, but organizers say the capacity is 56,000 for Olympic soccer matches. While there won’t be nearly that many at the USA-Canada game, the atmosphere should still be electric as Shanghai is embracing its part in the Olympic Games. The weather was quite rainy on Aug. 14 with quite a bit of lightning and thunder, and more of the same is forecast for game day. However, the stadium field is in excellent shape, especially considering that there have been seven Olympic matches on it thus far and should play well rain or shine.

2008 Olympic Women’s Soccer Quarterfinal Matches
Match-Up                         Venue                  Kickoff
USA vs. Canada             Shanghai           6 a.m. ET
China vs. Japan             Qinhuangdao    9 a.m. ET
Brazil vs. Norway            Tianjin                 6 a.m. ET
Sweden vs. Germany    Shenyang           9 a.m. ET

U.S. Women’s National Team
2008 Olympic Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 4-Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 14-Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 2-Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 13-Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 9-Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (3): 12-Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.).

Canada Women’s National Team
2008 Olympic Rost
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GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Karina LeBlanc, 18-Erin McLeod;
DEFENDERS (5): 3-Emily Zurrer, 5-Robin Gayle, 9-Candace Chapman, 10-Martina Franko, 11-Randee Hermus;
MIDFIELDERS (6): 4-Clare Rustad, 6-Sophie Schmidt, 7-Rhian Wilkinson, 8-Diana Matheson, 13-Amy Walsh, 17-Brittany Timko.
FORWARDS (5): 2-Jodi-Ann Robinson, 12-Christine Sinclair, 14-Melissa Tancredi, 15-Kara Lang, 16-Jonelle Filigno.

OPPONENT CAPSULE: CANADA
Current FIFA World Ranking: 9
Olympic History: 1996 (Did not qualify), 2000 (Did not qualify), 2004 (Did not qualify)
Overall Record vs. USA: 3-36-4
Last Meeting vs. USA: June 21, 2008 (a 1-0 U.S. win in Seoul, South Korea at the Peace Queen Cup)
Head Coach: Even Pellerud

Key Players: G Erin McLeod; D Candace Chapman, D Martina Franko, D Randee Hermus, M Sophie Schmidt, M Rhian Wilkinson, M Diana Matheson, F Christine Sinclair, F Melissa Tancredi, F Kara Lang.

USA vs. CANADA Fast Facts: The USA has come more than 6,000 miles to face its neighbor in the Olympic quarterfinal in what will be the 44th meeting between the two CONCACAF countries all-time, most of any opponent in U.S. history … This will be the second time the USA has faced Canada in world championship play, having won the third-place match in the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup … The USA has played Canada four times this year alone, with two of those games being very close matches and two comfortable U.S. wins … The teams last met in the championship game of the 2008 Peace Queen Cup, a 1-0 U.S. win on a stoppage time goal from Angela Hucles … The USA’s first win of the year over Canada came at the Four Nations in China almost eight months ago … The USA and Canada also met in championship game of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Mexico, a thrilling match that saw a fantastic performance from Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod, who made a bushel of spectacular saves to help the game to overtime and then penalty kicks … Carli Lloyd scored on a world-class free kick for the USA in OT and Melissa Tancredi tallied for Canada with just a few minutes left in overtime before the USA prevailed in PKs … The teams also played in Washington, D.C., on May 10 of this year, a 6-0 U.S. win that was one of the USA’s most complete performances of the year … Canada has three dangerous attackers, but leading the way of course is their all-time leading scorer Christine Sinclair, a former University of Portland star, who has 93 career goals, including her country’s score in a key 1-1 tie with China at the Olympics … Kara Lang, who plays her college soccer at UCLA with U.S. forward Lauren Cheney and is coached by U.S. assistant coach Jillian Ellis, has scored once in the tournament and has 32 career goals … Tancredi, a powerful defender turned center-forward who scored against the USA at Olympic qualifying, has seven career goals … Almost all the Canadian players played or are playing college soccer in the United States.

BOXX TO GET 100TH CAP: After U.S. captain Christie Rampone played in her 200th career game against New Zealand on Aug. 12, Shannon Boxx will reach a career milestone against Canada. Boxx, who debuted in 2003, will become 22nd player in U.S. history to play 100 or more times for her country. The 31-year-old Boxx is a special story in that she didn’t play her first match for the USA until she was 26, but has played almost every game for the USA since then when she was healthy.

REFEREES FOR USA-CANADA: An all-European crew will handle the USA-Canada match with Jenny Palmqvist (Sweden) in the middle and Helen Caro (Sweden) and Hege Steinlund (Norway) on the lines. The USA will once again wear all white while Canada will be wearing all red.

Stat of Note
After its 5-1 defeat of Norway, Japan leads the tournament in scoring with seven goals. The USA, Brazil and China all have five goals scored so far. However, goals have been hard to come by. The teams have averaged just 2.3 goals per game through the first 16 games of the tournament.

U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team
USA vs. Canada
Pre-Game Quote Sheet


U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On the Canada match and the team’s development in the tournament:
“We have played them a couple of times and they have all been different games, but certainly some close games. A good part is that they have not scored that many goals against us and secondly the more minutes we have together with this team, the better it is. If you compare the first half of the first game against Norway to the last half against New Zealand, we have improved our a game a lot, so we are really looking forward to the game.”

On having to change the attacking tactics due to Abby Wambach’s broken leg:
“We were forced to change because Abby Wambach broke her leg before the Olympics, but I think we handled that situation well. As I said, the more minutes we have together, the better it is.”

On what other teams in the tournament look like medal contenders:
“Honestly, I just enjoy the moment and look at the next game … I believe it is important to respect the game and whoever we are playing. We are not discussing any other teams. We are just looking forward to the next game.”

U.S. forward Heather O’Reilly

On the Olympic experience:
“The Olympics is special. This is my second Olympics, but I don’t think you ever lose that passion or enthusiasm for being here. It’s so cool to see the other teams and watch everything on TV. It’s not hard to be inspired when you are at the Olympics.”

On the Canada match:
“They are kind of our local rivalry, so of course the competition between us gets pretty intense and heated because we face each other so much and we know so many of the players as individuals. Every time it’s going to be a battle of wills, but we’re definitely very excited to play. We play them a lot of times throughout the year, but this is a different level and a different environment. We’ll be excited and pumped.”

On Canada:
“They are great athletes and very tough … They are going to be one of the most aggressive and toughest teams in the tournament so that’s something that we need to match or beat.”

On playing this tournament without leading scorer Abby Wambach:
“I think that everybody on our team feels like they need to bring an extra ounce of energy and effort. I don’t think there is one player that feels the complete sense of responsibility. I think everyone knows they have to step of their game a little bit and it’s worked great so far for us in the tournament. We just have to keep that going.”

U.S. defender Heather Mitts

On Canada:
“We’ve played Canada quite often, so you would think by now we’d know what to expect from them. We played them in D.C, and played really well and had a great result. Then we played them in South Korea it was a completely different team we played against. I think we were lucky to come away with that win and we know what to expect from them.”

On the quarterfinal match:
“Against Canada, we always know to expect a physical game, but we want to continue to play our game and not get caught up in the other team’s tendencies. It’s important to focus on us. We’ve done that every game and really grown from that disappointing loss to Norway.”

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