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U.S. Women Defeat Canada, 4-2, in NIKE Road to Pasadena Finale; Milbrett Gets Goal and Assist in Front of Hometown Crowd of 23,325


PORTLAND, Ore. (Sunday, June 6, 1999) - Canadian forward Charmaine Hooper almost single handedly took down the U.S. Women's National Team with two brilliant goals in the first half, but the Americans had an answer each time, and went on to record an exciting 4-2 victory over Canada in front of a noisy crowd of 23,325 fans at Portland's Civic Stadium. The crowd was the largest ever to watch the U.S. women in a stand-alone game outside of the Olympics.

The USA was playing its final game before beginning Women's World Cup play on June 19 against Denmark at Giants Stadium, but Hooper did her best to ruin the day for the Americans, scoring just seven minutes into the match. The Canadian star out-jumped the U.S. defense to send a crackling header into the left corner of the net from seven yards out after running onto a cross from Janette Haas. The goal ended a streak of six matches in which the USA had not allowed a goal. Canada's lead was short-lived, however, as the USA tied the game in the 11th minute on the much-seen combination of Tiffeny Milbrett and Mia Hamm.

Milbrett, who was playing in her hometown where she starred at the University of Portland, penetrated up the middle, drawing two defenders before passing to Hamm on the left flank. Hamm collected the ball, cut hard into the middle and rolled her shot into the left corner for her 109th career international goal. It was her fifth straight game in which she has scored.

Six minutes later, Hamm returned the favor, streaking down the right sideline before cutting to the goal and slotting a perfect far post cross on the ground for the slashing Milbrett to pound home from four yards out.

"The fans are getting geared up for the Women's World Cup. We felt their intensity today," said Milbrett, who scored her 59th career goal. "The World Cup will be our toughest competition ever, but that's what we live for."

Hooper brought her team back into the game in the 44th minute, deftly collecting a long ball in the penalty box. She held off U.S. defender Carla Overbeck, cut the ball behind her leg and powered her shot into the near post from four yards out past U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry. It was Hooper who scored twice for the FIFA World Stars in a 2-1 victory against the USA at the FIFA Women's World All-Star Match in February, but the Americans quickly ended any thoughts of a repeat loss, taking the lead in the 45th minute.

Kristine Lilly took a short pass from Hamm, dribbled across the top of the penalty box and slammed her shot off the underside of the crossbar and over the goal line. The ball bounced out of the goal, but the linesman raised his flag immediately to signal the goal, ending an amazing five-goal first half.

"This was a good game for us," said Lilly, who scored the 74th goal of her international career. "We got caught twice and went a goal down, but that was good for us. Not that we want to be in that situation, but we came back and finished four great goals."

The USA peppered the Canadian net with shots all match, but Canada played an attacking game as well that also produced several scoring chances. Still, the USA out-shot Canada 29-7, putting 19 of those on goal and forcing Canadian goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc to make 14 saves.

LeBlanc saved several point blank shots in the match, including stops of Milbrett in the 15th minute and Lilly in the 65th, but could do nothing about the USA's final goal in the 83rd minute. Cindy Parlow, who showed Canada her full arsenal of dribbling moves while causing havoc in the attacking third all match, skied to head home Shannon MacMillan's bullet corner kick from the right side.

The match marked the end of the 10-game NIKE Road to Pasadena tour that took the U.S. team through nine American cities, including four venues of the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. The USA will now take a week break before regrouping in New Jersey on June 14 to begin training for its Women's World Cup opener. A complete schedule of USA practices times and media availability for the first round will be available next week.

U.S. midfielder Michelle Akers did not play after suffering a mild ankle sprain at practice yesterday, but will be ready to go for the Women's World Cup opener. Brandi Chastain moved from her left fullback position to holding midfielder and performed admirably, but also suffered an injury at the end of the first half, cracking heads with Hooper and opening a gash on the bridge of her nose that required three stitches to close. Chastain left the game for several minutes, but returned to play the rest of the match.

"It was a very good tune-up game, better than I thought it would be," said U.S. Head Coach Tony DiCicco. "It made us realize that some aspects of our game still need to improve. Our marking wasn't good enough, our heading and closing on defense weren't good enough, but we also played very well in a lot of areas."

1999 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

Participants:United States National Team vs. Canada National Team
Competition:NIKE Road to Pasadena / International Friendly
Venue:Civic Stadium (Portland, Ore.)
Date:June 6, 1999 - Kickoff 11:00 a.m. PT
Attendance:23,325
Weather:Cool, Partly cloudy -- 55 degrees

Scoring Summary:1st2ndFinal
United States
314
Canada
202

CAN - Charmaine Hooper, (Jeanette Haas), 7,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Tiffeny Milbrett), 11,
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett, (Mia Hamm), 17,
CAN - Charmaine Hooper, (Tanya Franck), 44,
USA - Kristine Lilly, (Mia Hamm), 45+,
USA - Cindy Parlow, (Shannon MacMillan), 83.

Lineups:
USA - 1-Briana Scurry, 4-Carla Overbeck, 20-Kate Sobrero, 14-Joy Fawcett, 7-Sara Whalen, 6-Brandi Chastain, 13-Kristine Lilly, 11-Julie Foudy (7-Sara Whalen, 67th), 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 12-Cindy Parlow, 9-Mia Hamm (8-Shannon MacMillan, 77th).

CAN - 20 - Karina LeBlanc, 2-Sharolta Nonen, 4- Tanya Franck, 6-Geri Donnelly (14-Sara Joly, 76th), 9-Janine Helland, 10-Charmaine Hooper, 11-Shannon Rosenow (8-Sara Maglio, 72nd), 13-Amy Walsh, 15-Suzanne Muir, 16-Jenette Haas (12-Isabelle Harvey, 64th), 17-Silvana Burtini (18-Mary Beth Bowie, 59th).

Statistical Summary:USACAN
Shots . . . . . . . . . .
297
Saves . . . . . . . . .
3214
Corner Kicks . . . .
122
Fouls . . . . . . . . . .
711
Offside . . . . . . . . .
122

Misconduct Summary:
NONE

Officials:
Referee:
Ricardo Valenzuela(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Mohammad Zarrabi-Kashani(USA)
Assistant Referee:
Mohammad Sagankhaneh(USA)
Fourth Official:
Oscar Myre III(USA)

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