Growing up in Portland, Oregon, an eight-year-old Tiffeny Milbrett sat in front of the family TV and marveled at the amazing athletes – track and field stars and volleyball greats – who competed in the Summer Olympic Games.
In fact, she was so mesmerized by those Olympian feats that Milbrett not only fantasized about performing at the highest level possible, she made it a goal to compete at what she called “the pinnacle" of sports. "Oh gosh, that's where I wanted to be, in that competition," she told ussoccer.com on the verge of being inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2018. "I wanted to be an Olympian."
And it was after watching the local Portland Timbers of the old North American Soccer League (NASL) that Milbrett fell in love with the game of soccer. “I just feel fortunate I was able to play soccer at the upper echelon for so many years,” she added, looking back on a legendary career with the U.S. Women’s National Team. “It was really, really my goal, in my heart and in my blood.”
Among the Greats
She accomplished that and then some, becoming one of the greatest international soccer players of her own, or any other, generation. Milbrett became the first woman to score a goal in two Olympic gold medal matches and was a member of the legendary U.S. team that hoisted the 1999 Women's World Cup, among myriad other honors.
Tiffeny Milbrett celebrates scoring in a 7-1 win vs. Nigeria at the 1999 Women's World Cup with Julie Foudy.
For her outstanding accomplishments, Milbrett was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She will be enshrined in the new Hall, joining other U.S. soccer greats on Saturday Oct. 20 at the grand opening at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
"I just feel most humbled to be considered alongside all that talent," Milbrett said. "I think it’s just the influence of the powerful people that helped shape the sport to where it is today. Just being able to live out my dream and being a part of being excited about the sport of soccer. We're still doing that to this day. And also, just being alongside all those influential people, whether it’s the ones being inducted for what they did on the playing field or off. I'm proud to be a part of these people that helped shape and mold the direction and advancement of soccer in this country. I take that very seriously. It's pretty cool to be a part of the group of people that have helped [grow the game]. It’s a reminder of the influence that you had with the sport and to continue to help it grow."
Milbrett was destined for greatness early on. She was a three-time Oregonian 3A player of the year, graduating Hillsboro High School holding Oregon state records for goals (54) in a season and career (131). During a sterling four-year career at the University of Portland, Milbrett struck 103 goals and collected 246 points while earning All-America honors an astonishing three times.
She began to make her impact on the National Team by connecting for a team-high three goals at the 1995 Women's World Cup, in which the Americans finished third.
Milbrett celebrates scoring her 100th career WNT goal on July 11, 2005 at Merlo Field on the campus of University of Portland where she played collegiate soccer.
Milbrett the Match-Winner
In the very first Olympic women's soccer final a year later in Athens, Ga., she brought her game to yet another level by connecting with Mia Hamm for the game-winner to lift the U.S. to a 2-1 triumph over China in the Final. "Scoring goals is fickle," she said. "It's really interesting. There's something about performing in a pinnacle competition that speaks to what I always dreamed about in these pinnacle moments. It was extremely special to be able to have that reward after all the work you've done through the years and be rewarded with that kind of joy. Quite frankly, very few things you feel in your life are like that."
Four years later, Milbrett scored one of her most dramatic goals in the 2000 Olympics gold medal match against Norway in Sydney, Australia. Already with one goal under her belt in the match, the 5-foot 2-inch Milbrett managed to leap highest among some behemoth Norwegian defenders to head home a right-wing cross from Hamm two minutes into second-half stoppage time to knot proceedings at 2-2.
Milbrett admitted she did not remember too much of that 11th-hour scoring sequence.
"I don't even remember scoring to be honest,” she said. “I've seen it on video. It’s pretty amazing. I remember running to celebrate."
Regulation ended and stoppage time loomed. Teammate Michelle French was shaking out the Portland-born dynamo's legs. "She's just going: 'Do you know what you just did? Do you know what you just did?'" Milbrett said with a laugh. "And I'm like, 'Ok, let me just rest. I've got to get back.' I think that's what they refer to as just being in the zone. You're playing. You're focused on the task at hand."
The U.S. lost that confrontation in extra-time. But never one to rest on her laurels, Milbrett continued at the 1999 Women’s World Cup quarter-finals, weaving through the German defense to score a memorable goal in an epic 3-2 win, in what is still considered one of the greatest women's soccer matches of all-time.
A Century of Goals
She finished her 16-year international career with 100 goals in 206 appearances, nearly a goal every other game. And when she wasn't scoring for her country, Milbrett did it for her club – the New York Power. In the Women's United Soccer Association's (WUSA) inaugural 2001 season, Milbrett bagged a unique trifecta of honors. She recorded the first hat-trick in league history, won the scoring title (16 goals) and scooped MVP honors.
Tiffeny Milbrett ended her club career with one final championship as part of FC Gold Pride in 2010.
Milbrett, who celebrates her 46th birthday on Oct. 23, played three seasons for the Power, collecting 31 goals in 50 matches before completing her professional career in Women's Professional Soccer with FC Gold Pride, finding the net 10 times in 40 games.
These days, Milbrett is head girls coach with the Colorado Rapids. It’s not unreasonable to think, with her attitude, pedigree and work ethic molding young players, perhaps one of those youngsters will find her way to the pinnacle of the beautiful game the same way Tiffeny Milbrett did.Read more
FRISCO, Texas. (Oct. 17, 2018) – The U.S. Women’s National Team finished a perfect 5-0-0 run and defeated Canada 2-0 in the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship title game on Wednesday night. It was the sixth regional title for the USA, which outscored opponents 26-0 in the tournament.
Like in its previous four games, the USA found the opening goal inside the first 10 minutes of the match when Rose Lavelle scored from the top of the box in the second minute of play to put the USA ahead. The rest of the half went scoreless but as it tends to be when these teams meet, it was a physical matchup that saw Canada’s Rebecca Quinn and Allysha Chapman earn yellow cards in the 26th and 31st minutes, and Tobin Heath pick up a caution in the 33rd. The teams also combined for 16 fouls in the first half.
The USA outshot Canada 7-3 in the first 45, with Canada only managing to get one of its own on target, which Alyssa Naeher did well to push wide.
In the second half, the USA did not allow Canada to get a shot on goal, and outshot its northern neighbor 5-1, for a final 12-4 shot advantage. The U.S. continued to push throughout the period and in the 89th minute got its second goal when Morgan finished a Lindsey Horan cross with her left foot for her tournament-leading seventh goal.
The USA earned three individual awards, with Morgan winning Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament, Julie Ertz – who was on the 2014 Concacaf Women’s Championship roster but did not play – winning the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament, and the team won the Fair Play Award. Additionally, Kelley O’Hara, Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Ertz, Horan, Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe and Morgan earned Concacaf Best XI honors for their play throughout the tournament.
Earlier in the day, in the Third-Place Match, Jamaica defeated Panama 4-2 in a penalty shootout, after the teams tied 2-2 through regulation and extra-time, to earn an automatic berth to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Jamaica becomes the first Caribbean nation in history to advance to a Women’s World Cup. Panama will now go into a two-leg intercontinental playoff and face Argentina for a chance to secure a spot in France.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Rose Lavelle, 2nd minute: Lindsey Horan made a powerful run into the left side of the penalty area and crossed into the middle. Shelina Zadorsky cleared the ball, but only to the top of the box where Lavelle collected and then fired a left-footed grass-cutter that skipped into the lower right corner from 20 yards out. With the goal, the USA continued its streak of scoring inside the first 10 minutes of all five games in this tournament. USA 1, CAN 0. WATCH GOAL.
USA – Alex Morgan (Lindsey Horan), 89th minute: Crystal Dunn recovered a poor clearance at the top of the box and passed it to Horan, who was inside the 18-yard box on the left side. Horan looked up and saw Morgan in the middle. She crossed the ball into the six-yard box where an incoming Morgan finished with her left foot through traffic and over Stephanie Labbé for her seventh goal of the tournament. USA 2, CAN 0. WATCH GOAL. FINAL.
Additional Player Notes:
- Rose Lavelle scored her sixth international goal tonight in her 18th career cap. It was her third goal of the tournament.
- Alex Morgan scored her 97th international goal. She scored seven goals throughout the tournament to up her 2018 total to 17. She’s scored 24 goals over her last 24 WNT matches. It was her 151st cap. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list and is third all-time in two-goal games (22), behind only Abby Wambach (37) and Mia Hamm (28). With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now tied with Michelle Akers for third all-time in multi-goal games (26) behind Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38).
- Lindsey Horan, the 2018 NWSL MVP, has played in every game for the USA this year. She earned her eighth assist of 2018, second most on the team, and led the team in assists during the tournament with five.
- Alyssa Naeher earned her 20th career shutout tonight in her 37th cap.
Additional Team Notes:
- The USA is 16-0-2 in 2018, with wins against Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (thrice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Canada; and ties against Australia and France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 26 matches (23-0-3), and has outscored its opponents 91-17 through that stretch, scoring in all 26 games.
- The USA is now 32-1-0 all-time in World Cup qualifying, including 18-0-0 at home, and hasn’t conceded a goal in 11 straight WCQ games (1053 minutes) dating back to 2010. The last goal allowed came in the 27th minute against Mexico on Nov. 5, 2010.
- Under Jill Ellis in World Cup qualifying the USA has a record of 10-0-0 with 47 goals scored and 0 against.
- The WNT hasn’t conceded a goal in 704 minutes in 2018, with the last one coming against Brazil during the Tournament of Nations on Aug. 2.
- The U.S. women have won six of seven WCQ tournaments, finishing first in the qualifying competitions for the 1991, 1995, 2003, 2007, 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups.
- The USA has scored 184 goals in WWC qualifying while allowing five.
- Six of the USA’s 26 goals in this tournament came via headers.
- Ten different players scored in the tournament for the USA (26 total goals): Alex Morgan (7), Tobin Heath (4), Carli Lloyd (3), Megan Rapinoe (3), Rose Lavelle (3), Julie Ertz (2), Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis.
- U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis made three subs tonight: Carli Lloyd for Rose Lavelle in the 88th minute, Mallory Pugh for Tobin Heath in the 92nd minute and Casey Short for Crystal Dunn in the 23rd.
Brad Friedel’s international career was launched in a low-profile location at King George V Park in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1992. But Friedel considers that match, a 2-0 U.S. victory over Canada before a crowd of 3,500, a high point of a career that included 82 National Team caps, victories in the English League Cup and Turkish Cup, and an English Premier League record: 310 consecutive appearances.
“The first time you put on the shirt for the senior [National] Team, it was not a luxurious game, it was away from home against Canada,” Friedel recalled. “But I was still in college at the time and to get a senior cap was a special moment.”
For Friedel, a member of the 2018 National Soccer Hall of Fame induction class, that match was the first of 21 shutouts in goal for the U.S. Fittingly, Friedel concluded his international career with another clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Poland at Kazimierza Gorskiego Stadion in Plock on March 31, 2004.
2002, the Highpoint
Then, there was the 2002 World Cup, the best U.S. finish since 1930, on the globe’s biggest stage. “The run we had in the 2002 World Cup,” Friedel said. “You look back and I think that was – I know there have been some fantastic players since then – but that was arguably the best U.S. squad that’s been assembled top to bottom. A lot of players played in Europe, big roles at their clubs at the time. Incredible competition for places. And I think being disappointed going out in the quarterfinals instead of just being happy reaching the quarterfinals says a lot about where soccer in the United States had come. That whole run was probably the most special moment in the U.S. shirt.”
Friedel saved penalty kicks against Korea Republic and Poland, then blanked Mexico 2-0 in the second round as the Americans advanced to a quarterfinal date with Germany (1-0 loss) in the 2002 World Cup, joint-hosted by Korea Republic and Japan.
Friedel celebrates defeating arch rival Mexico 2-0 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Round of 16.
Friedel’s first exposure to international soccer had been as a youngster, when he accompanied his father to a Charity Shield match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Wembley Stadium in 1980. But Friedel’s professional career aspirations did not begin to take shape until he was selected for the U.S. Olympic team while still a student-athlete at UCLA.
College Pathway to Stardom
“When I got out to UCLA, Sigi [Schmid] brought in a lot of talented players,” Friedel recalled. “College soccer was a lot different then. It was the place where all the best young players went, so the level was much higher back then than it is today. But he, along with a few of the other universities in the country, put on really good programs, and it was the first time I had been looked at by a National Team coach. It was Lothar Osiander with the Olympic team, and that was when we started traveling overseas and to South America. And after each game that you play and training sessions, and agents are coming up to you, and you start thinking this could be the career path. “I didn’t really think about it until then. I was just a Midwest kid in Cleveland playing every sport and soccer didn’t really have a much of a future to it back then. So, looking back on it, it was really fortunate stuff.”
Before making his debut with the full U.S. team, Friedel played in the 1992 Olympic Games (he also helped the team finish fourth in the 2000 Olympics) and later that year won the Hermann Trophy as the top collegiate player in the country.
Friedel combined athletic versatility – he played basketball, soccer and tennis in high school – with anticipation, a powerful presence and tactical savvy to attract offers from Europe. He had trials with Nottingham Forest, then coached by Brian Clough, and Liverpool before signing with Newcastle United in 1995. Friedel returned home to play for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1996 and ’97, then spent the next 18 years in Europe, where he played for seven clubs in three countries.
Cup Success for Friedel
Former Liverpool star Graeme Souness brought Friedel to Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers, the teams winning the Turkish Cup (1996) and English League Cup (2002).
Meanwhile, Friedel was competing with Kasey Keller and Tony Meola for the starting goalkeeper position with the U.S. National Team. Friedel played in a 1-0 loss to Serbia in the final U.S. game of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, then became the undisputed starter in 2002. Friedel credited a healthy diet and yoga workouts to helping extend his career. In Friedel’s last season with Tottenham Hotspur, he weighed about 200 pounds, less than his playing weight at UCLA.
“I never started playing this sport for the personal accolade,” said Friedel, who currently coaches the New England Revolution of MLS. “It’s a team sport. But when you can be recognized by the country you were born in and represented, it truly is an honor and I accept it humbly. It’s not something that ever really crosses your mind when you’re playing, getting into a Hall of Fame. But it’s a very nice feeling when I found out, and the way I did find out was really good. Over the last few years I’ve become pretty close with Tab Ramos, and when he turned up [at New England Revolution practice] I had no idea. It was a nice touch. But it truly is an honor and I enjoyed every minute playing and representing the United States.”Read more
USA vs. CANADA
Date: Oct. 17, 2018
Venue: Toyota Stadium; Frisco, Texas
Broadcast: FS2 & UDN
Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT
Starting XI vs. Canada: 1-Alyssa Naeher; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 7-Abby Dahlkemper, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 8-Julie Ertz, 16-Rose Lavelle, 9-Lindsey Horan; 17-Tobin Heath, 13-Alex Morgan (capt.), 15-Megan Rapinoe
Substitutes Available: 2-Emily Sonnett, 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd, 11-Mallory Pugh, 12-Hailie Mace, 14-Casey Short, 18-Ashlyn Harris, 20-Christen Press
- U.S. head coach Jill Ellis is starting the same lineup she put out against Mexico in the opening game of the tournament on Oct. 4, against Trinidad & Tobago on Oct. 10 and in the semifinal against Jamaica on Oct. 14. She made nine changes on Oct. 7 against Panama, and Alyssa Naeher, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe did not see minutes in that second game.
- All 20 players on the U.S. roster have seen minutes through the first two matches of the tournament. No player has played the total of 360 minutes, but defender Abby Dahlkemper has been on the field the most (347 minutes).
- Ten different players have scored the 24 goals in this tournament thus far: Morgan (6), Heath (4), Carli Lloyd (3), Rapinoe (3), Rose Lavelle (2), Julie Ertz (2), Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis. Nine players have assists, with Lindsey Horan leading the way with four.
- Four players have seen action in all four games of the tournament so far: Abby Dahlkemper, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan and Rose Lavelle. They are all starting tonight.
- The USA is 15-0-2 in 2018, with wins against Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (thrice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil, Chile (twice), Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica; and ties against Australia and France.
- The USA is unbeaten in its last 25 matches (22-0-3), and has outscored its opponents 89-17 through that stretch, scoring in all 25 games.
- The USA is 31-1-0 all-time in World Cup qualifying, including 17-0-0 at home.
- The U.S. WNT hasn’t conceded a goal in 10 straight WCQ games (963 minutes) dating back to 2010. The last goal allowed came in the 27th minute against Mexico on Nov. 5, 2010. Under Jill Ellis in World Cup qualifying the USA has a record of 9-0-0 with 45 goals scored and 0 against.
- The WNT hasn’t conceded a goal in 614 minutes in 2018, with the last one coming against Brazil during the Tournament of Nations on Aug. 2.
- The U.S. women have won five of six of WCQ tournaments, finishing first in the qualifying competitions for the 1991, 1995, 2003, 2007 and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cups. The USA finished third in the qualifying tournament for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and had to go through a two-game playoff against Italy to qualify for Germany 2011. The USA played Canada in the championship game of each of the first four tournaments in which both participated (the USA did not have to qualify as host in 1999).
- The USA has scored 182 goals in WWC qualifying (an average of 5.7 per game) while allowing five.
- Alyssa Naeher has 19 career shutouts and will earn cap No. 37 tonight and her 14th in 2018.
- Kelley O’Hara will earn her 112th cap tonight in her eighth start and appearance of 2018.
- Abby Dahlkemper will earn her 28th cap tonight. It will be her 15th appearance and 14th start of 2018.
- Becky Sauerbrunn will earn her 147th cap tonight. Sauerbrunn is in 20th place on the all-time caps list.
- Crystal Dunn came off the bench to play outside back against France on March 4 and has been playing in that position ever since. Dunn will earn cap No. 73 tonight and make her 13th start of 2018.
- Julie Ertz will earn her 71st cap and has scored 18 international goals, most recently against Jamaica on Oct. 14.
- Lindsey Horan, the 2018 NWSL MVP, has played in every game for the USA this year. She will make her 15th start tonight and has scored three goals with seven assists in 2018, second most on the team.
- Rose Lavelle will earn her 18th career cap tonight and makes her seventh start this year. She has scored five international goals, most recently her first career brace vs. T&T on Oct. 10.
- Tobin Heath will make her eighth start for the U.S. WNT tonight. She has scored 25 career goals, the most recent with her second career brace vs. Jamaica on Oct. 14. Heath will earn cap No. 142 and is in 22nd place on the USA’s all-time caps list. She has six assists in 2018.
- Alex Morgan, who comes into the match with 96 goals after scoring her 22nd career brace against Jamaica on Oct. 14. She will earn her 151st cap tonight. At age 29, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list and is third all-time in two-goal games (22), behind only Abby Wambach (37) and Mia Hamm (28). With her hat trick against Japan on July 26, the fourth of her career, Morgan is now tied with Michelle Akers for third all-time in multi-goal games (26) behind Abby Wambach (45) and Mia Hamm (38). She’s scored 23 goals over her last 23 WNT matches. She leads the WNT with 16 goals in 2018.
- Megan Rapinoe has scored 41 international goals and is 15th on the all-time goals list. Rapinoe leads the USA with 12 assists on the year and now has 56 for her career, good for sixth place in the U.S. all-time assists list. Seven of Rapinoe's 12 assist this year have come on Alex Morgan goals.She will earn cap No. 144 tonight and make her 15th start of 2018. She has scored seven goals in 2018.