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U.S. Women Set to Face Italy on Thursday, June 19

United States Women’s National Team
Notes from Seoul, South Korea
2008 Peace Queen Cup
June 18, 2008

U.S. WOMEN TO FACE ITALY NEED ONE POINT TO ADVANCE INTO THE PEACE QUEEN CUP FINAL: The USA and Italy will finish Group B play at the 2008 Peace Queen Cup with a clash at the Suwon Sports Complex on Thursday June 19 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET). Really dedicated fans, vampires and those who work the graveyard shift can log on to’s MatchTracker to follow the action. It will be the second meeting of the year between the teams, which also met in group play at the 2008 Algarve Cup, a 2–0 U.S. victory in Alvor, Portugal. The USA needs a win or a tie against Italy to win Group B and earn a spot in the Peace Queen Cup championship game against Canada, which won Group A today with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand. The USA would qualify for the championship game before kicking off against Italy should Brazil and Australia tie in the match that will begin at 2 p.m. local. The USA won its first two Peace Queen Cup matches by one goal, downing Australia, 2–1, and Brazil, 1-0. Italy has dropped both of it matches so far, falling 2–1 to Brazil and 3–0 to Australia. For a complete Peace Queen Cup schedule and standings, click here.

CANADA WINS GROUP A: Canada won Group A on June 18 with a 2–0 victory over New Zealand as Christine Sinclair scored her fifth goal of the tournament in just the second minute and Kara Lang added another six minutes into the second half. The win gave Canada the full nine points from three group games and a spot in the Peace Queen Cup championship game for the second time. The USA and Canada met in the 2006 Peace Queen Cup Final, a 1–0 U.S. win. South Korea also won its game, 2–0, over Argentina. South Korea finished a respectable second in the group, followed by New Zealand and then Argentina, who failed lost big to Canada, 5–0. Argentina will face Canada again in Group E at the Olympics. Argentina is certainly looking at an uphill battle in China, where they will face China and Sweden in addition to the Maple Leafs.

U.S. WNT Peace Queen Cup Schedule and Results
Date             Matchup                           Venue                                               City                         Kickoff / ET
June 15       USA 2, Australia 1          Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea         --
June 17       USA 1, Brazil 0                Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea         --
June 19       USA vs. Italy                     Suwon Sports Complex Suwon, South Korea         5 p.m. / 4 a.m.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
2008 Peace Queen Cup – Suwon, South Korea

GOALKEEPERS (3): 24-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): 26-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 (8): 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.), 21-Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);
FORWARDS (4): 8-Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 19-Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Italy Women’s National Team Roster
2008 Peace Queen Cup – Suwon, South Korea

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Chiara Marchitelli, 12-Anna Maria Picarelli;
DEFENDERS (10): 2-Diletta Crespi, 3-Roberta D’Adda, 5-Viviana Schiavi, 6-Giulia Perelli, 7-Alia Guagni, 12-Giorgia Motta, 16-Piera Maglio, 20-Olga Gori;
MIDFIELDERS (4): 4-Alessia Tuttino, 10-Tatiana Zorri, 14-Alice Parisi, 17-Valentina Boni, 19-Sandy Iannella;
FORWARDS (5): 8-Malania Gabbiadini, 9-Patricia Panico, 11-Silvia Fuselli, 15-Daniela Sabatino, 18-Pamela Conti.

Current FIFA World Ranking: 13
Overall Record vs. USA: 4–7–1
Last Meeting vs. USA: March 7, 2008 (a 2-0 U.S. win at the 2008 Algarve Cup in Portugal)
Head Coach: Pietro Ghedin
Key Players: G Chiara Marchitelli, D Roberta D’Adda, D Giulia Perelli, D Giorgia Motta, M Tatiana Zorri, F Pamela Conti, F Patrizia Panico, F Melania Gabbiadini.

USA vs. ITALY Fast Facts: The USA met Italy on March 7 at the Algarve Cup in Portugal and prevailed by a 2–0 score as Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly scored in the first and second halves respectively …The USA out-shot Italy 17–4 in that game … Nine of Italy’s starters from the match in Portugal are on the roster for the Peace Queen Cup … 15 of the 17 U.S. players that played against Italy last March are on the Peace Cup roster with just Leslie Osborne and Cat Whitehill missing after suffering major knee injuries over the past month … Italy’s head coach, Pietro Ghedin, was an assistant coach for the Italian men’s team at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups … Italy did not qualify for the 2008 Olympics as they did not qualify for the 2007 Women’s World Cup, which serves as Olympic qualifying for Europe … Italy finished behind Norway and Ukraine in European Group 1 qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup … Italy participated in the 2006 Peace Queen Cup (in the group opposite the USA) and finished second in its group … The USA played Italy in the first-ever international game for the United States in 1985, and lost 1–0 … In fact, the USA lost to Italy the first three times the teams played in 1985, 1986 and 1988, but Italy has won just one of nine games since, with one tie … Italian forward Patrizia Panico, nicknamed “the Scorpion” for her ability to strike goals quickly and lethally, has long been Italy’s top striker, but Melania Gabbiadini gives her a talented striker partner … Gabbiadini gave the USA a bit of trouble down the wings during the match in Portugal … Italy’s back-up goalkeeper Anna Picarelli hails from California and had an excellent Division I college career at Pepperdine University … U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has given playing time to 19 players so far in the tournament … Five U.S. players have played all 180 minutes so far in the Peace Queen Cup: Goalkeeper Hope Solo, defenders Kate Markgraf and Heather Mitts, midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Abby Wambach … The monsoon season in South Korea is usually in late June, with the hardest rains coming in July, but it seems to have started a little early as Seoul was pelted by rain all day Wednesday … The rain is forecast to persist on and off for most of game day on June 19 but it could clear up by kickoff time for the USA-Italy match … The rain could be a positive, cooling down humid temperatures that have been in the high 70s and low 80s as well as softening up the game pitch a bit at the Suwon Sports Complex … U.S. captain Christie Rampone may not play against Italy after banging up an ankle against Brazil, but Carli Lloyd, who broke her nose in the game, should be available … Rampone and Lloyd are the only two players who have started all 16 games for the USA in 2008 … All other U.S. players are healthy and ready for selection.

U.S. WNT Quote Sheet

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage

On playing Italy:
“They were putting pressure on our back line pretty hard [at the Algarve Cup] and kept that up for the first 45 minutes. It’s very good for us to deal with that kind of situation, that kind of pressure, because we need to keep possession and switch the point of the attack even though there is a lot of pressure in the midfield. Playing against Italy is great because they run at you, play physical and have some really good players up top. I am really looking forward to the game.”

U.S. midfielder Lindsay Tarpley
On playing Italy:
“Italy is a very good team. We played them in Portugal last March and I was very impressed with their organization, skill and talent. They have two very crafty forwards who can create chances for them, but we need to come out from the start with energy and a commitment to our style of play."

BRAZIL HIGHLIGHTS: There weren’t too many highlights from the USA-Brazil game on June 17, but what existed, we got on tape. There were some nasty tackles and an opportunistic goal from Amy Rodriguez. We got those, too, plus some post-game reactions from Pia Sundhage and the U.S. players. Go to all_access video to see the highlight package.

WELCOME TO THE DMZ: On the morning of June 18, about three quarters of the U.S. roster took a trip north to the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea that is one of the most unique borders in the world. While it was raining for most of the trip, the team got an excellent tour and briefing on the history of the two Koreas and the DMZ, as well as having lunch with U.S. troops before heading back down to Seoul. Thanks very much to the U.S. and United Nations Command soldiers for being gracious hosts. For a few pics, check out the WNT Blog.

Stat of Note
The U.S. Women’s National Team has traveled, roughly, a little more than 40,000 miles this year to play matches around the globe. That’s almost twice around planet earth!