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U.S. WNT Look to Set Wins Record Against Ireland on Saturday


U.S. WOMEN LOOK TO SET WINS RECORD: The U.S. Women’s National Team will complete its three-game series against Ireland on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., but this friendly carries a bit more significance as the U.S. team can make a bit of history. With a victory, the U.S. women will set a record for wins in a calendar year, a pretty impressive statistic considering this is the 24th year of competition for the team. The team is sitting on 28 wins under head coach Pia Sundhage in 2008 with an overall record of 28-1-1. The previous record was set in 2004, also an Olympic gold medal year, when the U.S. was 28-2-4. The USA won the first two matches of this thee-game set by a combined 3-0 score, but will be looking for a bit more offense on Saturday night in Bridgeview, Ill. Fans can watch the game live via video web stream on ussoccer.com’s MatchAccess and also follow the match on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

USA vs. IRELAND ON MATCHACCESS: Fans who can’t make their way out to Bridgeview and are looking for a way to see what could be an historic match for the U.S. WNT can watch a live video stream of the match against Ireland live on ussoccer.com’s MatchAccess. Fans can find a link to the live video stream on the front page of ussoccer.com, or by clicking on “Sights and Sounds” and then “Live Events”.  

U.S. WNT Achieve Your Gold Tour
Date        Opponent    Venue                                      City                                     Kickoff / Score
Sept. 13    Ireland        Lincoln Financial Field        Philadelphia, Pa.            2-0 U.S. Win    
Sept. 17    Ireland        Giants Stadium                    East Rutherford, N.J.      1-0 U.S. Win
Sept. 20    Ireland        Toyota Park                            Bridgeview, Ill.                 7 p.m. CT

WNT BACK IN CHICAGO: Most of the U.S. team was recently in the hometown of U.S. Soccer on Sept. 3 to appear on the special season premier of the Oprah Winfrey Show that featured about 150 Olympic medalists. The show aired Sept. 8. The squad returned to Chicago for Saturday’s match with Ireland, which will be the USA’s second appearance in Bridgeview, and comes on the heels of the U.S. Men’s big win over T&T in a World Cup qualifier on Sept. 10. The first game at Toyota Park was in August of 2006, a 4-1 in over China. The USA has played six games in its history at Soldier Field, including the legendary 7-1 win over Nigeria in the 1999 Women’s World Cup, and also played a match in St. Charles, Ill. in 1997, a victory over South Korea. Overall, the USA is 8-0-0 in Chicago and its suburbs.

U.S. Women’s National Team
ACHIEVE YOUR GOLD TOUR Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 22-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 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 (6): 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 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.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);
FORWARDS (2): 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii).

Ireland Women’s National Team Roster / Clubs
GOALKEEPERS (2): 24-Emma Byrne (Arsenal Ladies), 26-Lynn Bradley (Raheny United);
DEFENDERS (7): 12-Sharon Boyle (Raheny United), 5-Yvonne Tracy (Arsenal Ladies), 2-Meabh De Burca (Salthill Devon), 4-Niamh Fahey (Arsenal Ladies), 3-Alisha Moran (Fulham FC), 13-Ciara McCormack (FK Larvic), 7-Ciara Grant (Arsenal Ladies);
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Sonya Hughes (Tolka Rovers (FPU), Selina Moyland (University of New Haven), 14-Jemma Connor (West Brom (England), 17-Mary McDonnell (Boston Renegades), 15-Susan Byrne (St. John’s University), 8-Aine O’Gorman (Stella Maris);
FORWARDS (4): 10-Michele O’Brien (New Jersey Sky Blue), 11-Stefanie Curtis (Bristol Rovers), 9-Katie Taylor (St. Catherines), 18-Denise Thomas (Boston Renegades).

BOXX HONORED FOR 100TH CAP, WILL MAKE 100TH START: Before the game at Toyota Park, U.S. midfielder Shannon Boxx will be honored for earning her 100th cap. She was the 22nd woman in U.S. Soccer history to do so, earning her century in the quarterfinal game at the Olympics, the same match in which she notched the game-winning assist in the overtime victory over Canada. Since Boxx debuted in 2003, she has started almost 95 percent of her games. The match in Chicago will be her 105th game and her 100th career start.

CAREER YEARS: Natasha Kai (15 goals), Lindsay Tarpley (11 goals), Carli Lloyd (9 goals) and Angela Hucles (7 goals) are all having their best scoring years on the U.S. Women’s National Team. With one more goal, Heather O’Reilly (7 goals) will notch her best-ever scoring year as well. Young forward Amy Rodriguez, who scored two game-winning goals against Brazil this year, scored six goals in her first WNT campaign. Twenty-year-old Tobin Heath also scored her first WNT goal in 2008. Heather O’Reilly has nine assists in 2008, which surpasses her career total during her National Team career from 2002-2007, when she notched eight.

WHOLE ROSTER GETS A RUN: With the three college players on the 2008 Olympic team unavailable as they are playing for their schools, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage called in Olympic alternates Briana Scurry and Kacey White to bolster a roster that currently has just 14 field players and three goalkeepers. Understandably, Sundhage has given all 17 players playing time during the first two matches, making multiple subs at halftime in each of the first two matches. Lindsay Tarpley was a bit under the weather last Wednesday at Giants Stadium and did not play, but should be ready to go Saturday night at Toyota Park in a match about as close to her hometown of Kalamazoo, Mich. The match in Bridgeview will also be the Chicago debut of the newly minted Chicago Red Stars players in the new WPS: Tarpley, Carli Lloyd and Kate Markgraf.

Stat of Note
With her start against Ireland on Sept. 17, U.S. captain Christie Rampone earned her 205th career cap, passing Tiffeny Milbrett to move into fifth place on the all-time caps list. In that same game, Rampone’s center back partner Kate Markgraf earned her 192nd cap, tying her with Brandi Chastain for seventh on the all-time caps list.

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