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U.S. WNT Ready To Face Chinese Taipei at The Home Depot Center


United States Women’s National Team
Pre-Game Notes
USA vs. Chinese Taipei
Oct. 1, 2006


DOMESTIC SCHEDULE WINDS DOWN AS USA GEARS UP FOR QUALIFYING: The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its second-to-last domestic friendly of the year against Chinese Taipei on Sunday, Oct. 1 at the team’s home base, The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., where the USA recently finished its six-month Residency Training Camp that ran from the beginning of April into the middle of September. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT live on ESPN, but fans can also follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker. This will be the USA’s sixth domestic game of the summer/fall with the Americans winning the previous five, the closest of which was a 3-2 win over Sweden on July 15 to start the run. This match will be an important one for the USA as U.S. head coach Greg Ryan continues to mold his team in preparation for CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying to be held in late November in the USA with dates and venues to be announced. The USA has won all five domestic games this year after playing the first nine matches of the year outside of the United States. The U.S. team is in the midst of a run of seven domestic matches before heading to South Korea at the end of October for the 2006 Peace Queen Cup Korea. Now that Residency Training Camp is over, the U.S. team will come together for training camps leading up to games and events. The USA is 11-0-3 in 2006, with all three draws being 0-0 affairs. The USA and Germany played to a 0-0 tie in the championship game of the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal last March, with the USA falling in penalty kicks, 4-3. The Peace Queen Cup Korea will be the teams final matches before the USA enters qualifying for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

U.S. WNT Upcoming Schedule
Date Opponent Venue City Kickoff TV
Oct. 1 Chinese Taipei Home Depot Center Carson, Calif. 1 p.m. PT ESPN2
Oct. 8 Iceland U. of R Stadium Richmond, Va. 2 p.m. ET ESPN2
Oct. 29 Denmark Gimhae Stadium Kimhae, South Korea 3 a.m. ET
Oct. 31 Australia Cheonan Stadium Cheonan, South Korea 2 a.m. ET
Nov. 2 North Korea Suwon WC Stadium Suwon, South Korea 3 a.m. ET

WAMBACH SHOOTING FOR 60: With two goals against Mexico in the USA’s last match on Sept. 13 in her hometown of Rochester, N.Y., Abby Wambach upped her career international goal total to 59 in just 77 games, the best strike rate in U.S. history. Wambach, scorer of the winning goal in overtime against Brazil in the 2004 Olympic Final, scored her 50th career goal in 3-1 win over Norway on Jan. 18, 2006, in the USA’s 2006 Four Nations opener. The goal, in just her 64th game, marked the second fastest a U.S. player has scored 50 goals. Michelle Akers scored her 50th goal in her 48th game, one of five against Chinese Taipei at the 1991 Women’s World Cup. It took Mia Hamm 94 games to score 50, getting goals 50 and 51 on July 30, 1995, against Chinese Taipei. Kristine Lilly scored her 50th goal in her 164th match. Tiffeny Milbrett scored her 50th in her 107th match, and Cindy Parlow did her one game better, scoring her 50th in her 106th match. Wambach has a team-leading 10 goals in 2006 and is just one goal away from tying Shannon MacMillan for sixth on the all-time U.S. goal scoring chart. The retired Cindy Parlow is next on the list with 75 goals in her international career.

MARCI SPEAKS: She may not be the youngest player on the U.S. roster (in fact, she is the second oldest player ever to earn her first cap for the USA), but Marci Miller is young at heart and spirit. She talks about her late-coming National Team career, her major injuries during the WUSA and and her “other job” as head coach at Northern Illinois University on this ussoccer.com podcast.

NIKE FRIENDLIES GOING STRONG: The U.S. Under-15 and Under-16 Girls' National Teams played their last matches at the Women's Nike Friendlies on Saturday, capping off the third day of the inaugural event at U.S. Soccer's National Training Center at The Home Depot Center. The U.S. U-15 squad captured their third victory of the Friendlies with a 5-0 win against the Under-16 San Diego Surf. The U.S. U-16s also ended on a high note, winning 4-0 against the Under-18 Real Colorado women. Sunday's matches will feature the U.S. Under-17 WNT, who will face the Dallas Texans at 10:30 a.m. The Women’s Nike Friendlies is the first event of its kind for youth women’s players, and is modeled after the annual tournament for youth men staged in Bradenton, Fla. Each team will play three games in an environment which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses. Tournament standings are not kept during the competition. Match results and lineups for all games can be found at ussoccer.com's Women's Nike Friendlies homepage.

MARKGRAF BACK ON ROSTER: Defender Kate Markgraf is back on the U.S. roster for the first time since giving birth to her son on July 18, 2006. Markgraf trained for two days with the team prior to the match against Mexico on Sept. 13, but will likely see action for the USA tomorrow against Chinese Taipei for the first time since Keegan Jamison Markgraf came into the world at 7 pounds even and a lengthy 19 inches. Markgraf, who was known as Kate Sobrero when she started in her first Women’s World Cup in 1999, has played 146 times for the USA, but has not played in a match since Oct. 23, 2005.

U.S. WOMEN AT THE HDC: The U.S. Women will be playing its fifth match at the Home Depot Center, and first since a 3-0 win over Iceland on July 24, 2005. The U.S. Women are a perfect 4-0-0 at The HDC, having scored 16 goals over the four matches and allowed just one. The U.S. team is very familiar with The HDC having spent two Residency Training Camps here at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center, the first for the 2004 Olympics and then again in 2006. The Home Depot Center was the site of the last match for Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett (who did not play due to a back injury). The historic trio pulled off the uniform for the last time on Dec. 8, 2004, after a 5-0 win over Mexico.

RAPINOE AND LOPEZ LEAVE UofP FOR USA.: Forward Megan Rapinoe, who was called in to replace forward Heather O’Reilly for the USA’s last match against Mexico (after O’Reilly tweaked her ankle) once again has made a game roster. Rapinoe, who has 10 goals already for the University of Portland Pilots as a sophomore this season, will be joined by her UP teammate Stephanie Lopez, who along with UCLA’s Danesha Adams, form the trio of college players on the USA’s roster for the Chinese Taipei game. The players’ colleges did not miss their star players too badly as Portland beat the University of Washington, 5-0, on Friday night and UCLA defeated the University of San Diego, 3-0. Rapinoe came into Residency Training Camp in mid-May and made rosters for the USA’s three matches in July, earning her first two caps against Ireland (July 23) and Canada (July 30). She scored 15 goals with 13 assists as a freshman last year to help the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA title. She was one of the stars on the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. She had an excellent tournament in Thailand, scoring three goals, tied for the team lead, including one in the third-place match victory over Brazil. Lopez, who was also in Residency Training Camp this year, played every minute of all six matches in Thailand, and was the captain of the U.S. U-20 team that finished fourth at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia in early September. She has started all four matches she has played since returning from Russia, scoring one goal, the first of her college career. Both Lopez and Rapinoe saw action off the bench against Mexico on Sept. 13 with Lopez earning her sixth cap and Rapinoe getting her third.

ADAMS GETS BOUNCE FROM RUSSIA TO WNT: Forward Danesha Adams makes her first roster with the senior Women’s National Team after an excellent performance at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia last month. Adams led the USA in scoring with three goals and won the Bronze Ball as the third most valuable player in the tournament. She also nailed both of her penalty kicks in the USA’s shootout losses in the semifinal and third-place match. Adams, a junior at UCLA, has scored three goals in fives matches for the Bruins since returning from Russia. Adams, who was a member of the USA’s U-21 Nordic Cup Team this past summer, brings speed and dynamic dribbling ability to the U.S. team as she looks for her first-ever cap.

U.S. Roster (Hometown – caps/goals):
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn. - 156), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash - 31);
DEFENDERS (6): 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo. – 22/2), 8-Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash. – 14/0), 4-Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif. – 6/0), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich. – 146/0), 2-Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio – 55/2), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J. – 148/4);
MIDFIELDERS (5): 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va. – 54/5), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J. - 14/0), 15-Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill. – 7/0), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis. – 23/0), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif. – 102/21);
FORWARDS (5): 9-Danesha Adams (Shaker Heights, Ohio –0/0), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn. – 311/112), 25-Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif. – 3/0), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich. – 51/10), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y. – 77/59).

Chinese Taipei Roster (Club)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Huang Feng Chiu (Fei Yang), 18-Chen Yi Ju (San Chung), 22-Chen Hui Shan (Hsing Wu Tech. College);
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Wang Chia Yu (San Chung), 3-Huang Yu Chen (Fei Yang), 4-Lee Hsueh Hua (Taiwan College of Phys. Ed.), 6-Yu Pei Wen (Taiwan College of Phys. Ed.), 16-Lu Hui Mei (Fei Yang), 19-Hsu Chi Ling (Hsing Wu Tech. College), 20-Lin Chiung Ying (Fei Yang);
MIDFIELDERS (8): 7-Chuang Shu Mei (Taiwan College of Phys. Ed.), 8-Lan Mei Fen (Taiwan College of Phys. Ed.), 9-Chiu Fu Yu (Taiwan College of Phys. Ed.), 12-Lu Yen Ling (Fei Yang), 13-Chien Wan Ling (Ching Wen Tech. College), 14-Wang Hsiang Huei (Fei Yang), 15-Shih Li Hui (Fei Yang), 21-Su Wan Ching (Fei Yang);
FORWARDS (3): 5-Chen Ya Huei (Fei Yang), 10-Tseng Shu O (Fei Yang), 11-Tsai Li Chen (Hsing Wu Tech. College).

CONFUSION MADE IN TAIWAN: So is the USA playing Chinese Taipei or Taiwan? As a matter of fact, both. The answer is a bit of a game political semantics. In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalist Party fled China to the island of Taiwan as the communists gained complete control of Mainland China. The Communists had planned to invade, but the U.S. Navy stepped in to prevent the attack and the U.S. vowed to defend the island. Under Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists, Taiwan was (and still is) known as the Republic of China, while the mainland is the People's Republic of China. Taiwan held international recognition as China by the United Nations until the 1970s around the time of Chiang Kai-shek's death. The U.S. established formal diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China on Jan. 1, 1979, which necessitated in not recognizing Taiwan as a separate nation, because PR China believes it still belongs to them. PR China wanted to call the island Taiwan, China - but the inhabitants wanted to be known simply as Taiwan. They compromised using the name of the largest city on the island and settled on Taipei, China (or Chinese Taipei) - which is less offensive to both parties. This has led to international organizations, such as FIFA and the Little League World Series, to allow Taiwan to compete under a politically neutral flag and the name Chinese Taipei.

A LOOK AT CHINESE TAIPEI: Chinese Taipei’s heyday was in the late seventies when they won the AFC Women’s Championship three times in a row (1977, 1979, 1981), but since then, their fortunes have been on a decline. Their last memorable performance was in 1999 when they reached the final before losing, 3-0, to China, a team that would advance to the Women’s World Cup Final later that year. Chinese Taipei, ranked a respectable 26th in the world, did not have a good performance at the most recent Asian Women’s Championships that were held in Australia last July in a tournament that also served as the Women’s World Cup qualifiers. Chinese Taipei started off with a respectable 2-0 loss to China, but then got hammered by Japan, 11-1. Japan did not even end up qualifying for the Women’s World Cup. Perhaps disheartened by the 10-goal loss, Chinese Taipei fell to Viet-Nam, 1-0, in its final group match. Chinese Taipei brings a very young team to the USA with an average age of just over 21 years old, and several of the younger players on the team were brought up to the senior team after appearing in the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in 2001 in India, where they had a second-place finish. Chinese Taipei’s oldest player is goalkeeper Chen Yi Ju Chinese at just 25. Taipei’s top player, captain and team leader is central defender Huang Yu Chen. Their coach is former player Chou Tai Ying, who was a member of the seventies teams that won the AFC titles.

EIGHT OF 16 BERTHS LEFT FOR CHINA ’07: European qualification for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup is complete with England earning a 1-1 draw against France on Saturday (Sept. 30) to claim Europe’s fifth and final berth to China. Following are the Confederations and their respective spots for the 16-team 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

2007 FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP BERTHS BY CONFEDERATION
Host: China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, (Japan)*
Africa: 2 Berths
South America: 2 Berths
CONCACAF: 2.5 Berths
Oceania: 1 Berth
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England

*Japan will face third-place finisher in CONCACAF for final berth to WWC ’07.

Stat of Note
In the USA’s last meeting with Chinese Taipei on July 30, 1995, Tisha Venturini scored three goals. It was her only career hat trick.

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