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U.S. WNT Third Place Match against Costa Rica to Be Televised Live on ESPN2

U.S. Women's National Team vs. Costa Rica
Cancun, Mexico
2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying
Nov. 7, 2010

U.S. WOMEN FACE COSTA RICA FOR CONCACAF PLAYOFF BERTH LIVE ON ESPN2: With a direct berth to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup now lost due to the USA’s upset at the feet of Mexico on Nov. 5, the Americans are faced with the task of refocusing against Costa Rica on Monday, Nov. 8, at Estadio Quintana Roo with a victory in the third-place match earning CONCACAF’s berth in a two-game playoff against Italy. Italy finished fifth in European qualifying, defeating Switzerland in the final playoff series. The USA-Costa Rica clash will kickoff at 5 p.m. local / 6 p.m. ET and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 with Adrian Healey and Julie Foudy handling the commentary. Fans can also watch the match on as well as, which has been video streaming all the matches of the CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament.

ONE WIN GETS YOU TWO GAMES: A victory for the USA against Costa Rica would set up a two-leg home-and-away series with Italy for the last of 16 berths to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Italy navigated its way through two difficult playoff series’ in Europe to earn its Confederation’s fifth spot. The first leg would take place in Italy on Nov. 20 in Padova, just east of Venice. The return leg would take place on Nov. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. outside of Chicago. Kickoff times are to be determined. The winner of that playoff series will be determined by the total goals scored over the two games. If the teams have scored the same number of goals over the two matches, the goals scored in the away match will be counted as double. If the total goals are the same at the end of the two matches and same number of goals are scored away, then two 15 minutes overtime periods will be played followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.

2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying
U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule and Results
Date                Opponent         Kickoff / Result             Venue                                                              TV
Oct. 28             Haiti                  5-0 W                            Estadio Quintana Roo; Cancun, Mexico              --                     
Oct. 30             Guatemala        9-0 W                            Estadio Quintana Roo; Cancun, Mexico              --                     
Nov. 1              Costa Rica        4-0 W                            Estadio Quintana Roo; Cancun, Mexico              --
Nov. 5              Mexico             1-2 L                             Estadio Beta Avila; Cancun, Mexico                   --
Nov. 8              Costa Rica        6 p.m. ET                      Estadio Quintana Roo; Cancun, Mexico              ESPN2            

U.S. WNT Quick Hits:

  • The U.S. has brought a roster of 20 players to Mexico, but head coach Pia Sundhage will name 18 to suit up for the match. All of which are healthy, but U.S. midfielder Megan Rapinoe is suspended for the third-place match after picking up yellow cards against Guatemala and Mexico.
  • Wambach has nine career Women’s World Cup qualifying goals. With one more, she will tie Carin Gabarra for third place on the USA’s all-time WWC qualifying goal scoring list. She now sits behind only Michelle Akers (17), Mia Hamm (12) and Carin Gabarra (10).
  • The USA’s 43 goals this year have been scored by 12 different players – Abby Wambach (14), Lauren Cheney (6), Amy Rodriguez (6), Megan Rapinoe (4), Alex Morgan (3), Carli Lloyd (3), Heather O’Reilly (2), Yael Averbuch, Kristine Lilly, Shannon Boxx, and Rachel Buehler, plus an own goal by Iceland in the Algarve Cup.
  • The USA’s loss to Mexico in the semifinal was just its second under Pia Sundhage and second since the end of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It was also the USA’s first-ever loss to Mexico in 26 games.
  • Since the end of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA is 54-2-6.
  • Abby Wambach’s scored in all three first round games and has six goals total in the tournament, tied for most in the tournament with Mexico’s Maribel Dominguez. Her six goals have upped her career total to 115.
  • Amy Rodriguez has four goals in the tournament. Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have two each and Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Rachel Buehler have one a piece.
  • For the third-place game against Costa Rica, the USA returns to Estadio Quintana Roo, site of its group matches, after playing the semifinal at the adjacent Estadio Beto Avila.
  • The USA is 6-0-0 all-time against Costa Rica.
  • Should the third-place match be tied at the end of regulation, two 15-minute overtime periods will be played. If the score is still tied, penalty kicks will ensue.

LET’S PLAY TWO - USA AND COSTA RICA MEET FOR SECOND TIME IN EIGHT DAYS: The USA and Costa Rica met in Nov. 1 in first round play with first place in Group B on the line, but this time much more will be at stake. The USA registered a 4-0 victory in the first game getting a first half goal from Abby Wambach and a second half scores from Lauren Cheney, Yael Averbuch and Alex Morgan. Monday night’s match will mark seventh meeting between the teams with the USA winning all of the first six. The last match between the USA and Costa Rica before this tournament came in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics with the Americans winning 3-0 in the semifinal match to earn their berth to Beijing. The match was actually played in a wild dust storm in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Costa Rica played a solid first 15 minutes in the game on Nov. 1, creating three chances to score in the early going before the USA took control and eventually out-shot Costa Rica, 13-5.

TICAS GROWING STRONGER: The growth of Costa Rican women’s soccer and of its youth teams has been impressive. Costa Rica qualified for its first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2008 when it participated in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and then also made the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this year. Costa Rica is led by midfielder Shirley Cruz who plays her club ball for Olympique Lyon in France. She is Costa Rica’s only foreign-based player. Costa Rica won its first two matches of the tournament over Guatemala and Haiti, but since then has lost two 4-0 games to the United States and Canada. In its semifinal match, Costa Rica held Canada scoreless through the first half before surrendering four second half goals, including an own goal in stoppage time.

USA HISTORY BODES WELL FOR THIRD-PLACE GAME: The USA has a successful history in third-place matches, having won a third-place game at the 1995, 2003 and 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments. In 1995, the USA defeated China, 2-0, in 2003 the USA defeated Canada, 3-1, and in 2007 the USA beat Norway, 4-1. This will be the first time the USA has played a third-place match in a CONCACAF tournament, having won every CONCACAF event it had previously competed in.

U.S. WNT CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), 1-Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): 19-Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), 14-Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), 16-Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), 6-Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), 2-Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), 3-Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 17-Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 4-Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), 7-Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), 13-Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), 11-Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), 9-Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): 12-Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), 5-Alex Morgan (California), 8-Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), 20-Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

Costa Rica WNT CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Dinnia Diaz, 18-Priscila Tapia                    
DEFENDERS (6): 20-Wendy Acosta, 3-Hazel Quiros, 6-Carol Sanchez, 8-Daniela Cruz, 2-Silvia Flores, 4-Yahaira Aguilar,
MIDFIELDERS (6): 5-Ivonne Rodriguez, 7-Maria Barrantes, 10-Shirley Cruz, 13-Yuliana Rodriguez, 14-Cristin Granados, 16-Katherine Alvardo
FORWARDS (6): 9-Carolina Venegas, 11-Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, 12-Laura Sanchez, 15-Monica Malvassi, 17-Jacqueline Alvarez, 19-Adriana Venegas

THE GOAL IS GERMANY: The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup will run from June 26-July 17, 2011, in nine German cities spread out all over the country: Berlin, Frankfurt, Mönchengladbach, Sinsheim, Wolfsburg, Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Leverkusen. Almost all of the cities will host four matches, but unlike past Women’s World Cups, there will be no doubleheaders. The largest stadium is in Berlin (74,244), which will host just the opening game featuring the Germans. The smallest stadium is in Bochum, which seats 23,691. The Women’s World Cup Final will take place in Frankfurt (49,240) on July 17. So far, more than half of the field is set. The qualifiers so far are: host Germany, Korea DPR, Japan and Australia from Asia and Sweden, Norway, France and England from Europe, New Zealand from Oceania and Mexico and Canada from CONCACAF. Still to be determined are the teams from South America and Africa, whose qualifying tournaments are underway, as well as the CONCACAF third place finisher vs. Italy playoff winner.

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STAT OF NOTE: Abby Wambach has scored 14 goals in 2010, the fourth highest total of her career. She scored 31 in 2004, 20 in 2007 and 17 in 2006.