Tuesday, July 19, 2005
U.S. Women’s National Team
Notes from Carson, Calif.
ICELAND FINISHES SUMMER SCHEDULE: The U.S. Women’s National Team finishes its three-game summer schedule at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., on Sunday, July 24, against Iceland, a team it played twice last September to open the 2004 “Fan Celebration Tour.” The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. PT) with Rob Stone and former U.S. captain Julie Foudy calling the action. Fans can also follow the game live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. When the USA last played at the HDC on Dec. 8, 2004, they said goodbye to several legends, but this game will continue the introduction of numerous young players working to make an impact on the national team.
USA-ICELAND TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets for the USA-Iceland game start at $15 and are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all Southern California Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Robinson’s-May, Wherehouse Music and Tower Records), The Home Depot Center ticket office (stadium ticket office open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and by phone at 213-480-3232. Groups of 20 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1249 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.
ZEROS: The USA is 6-0-0 on the year and has not allowed a goal against while scoring 18, an average of three per game. Combined with a shutout over Mexico on Dec. 8, 2004, the USA put together a streak of seven consecutive shutout victories. While that is not close to a record (the USA won 14 straight by shutout in 1991), it is tied for the second longest such streak in U.S. history. Four different times the USA has posted six shutout victories in a row, and has gone seven games once before this streak.
CAMP HDC: The U.S. women began their week of training on Sunday (July 17) with an afternoon practice amid the familiar surroundings of the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., site of the team’s Olympic Residency Training Camp in 2004. U.S. WNT head coach Greg Ryan has called in 24 players to this training camp, but will choose 18 players at the end of the week to suit up for the match. This U.S. roster features a few new faces as Ryan continues to identify talent that can help the USA qualify for the 2007 Women’s World Cup. As has been the case with all of Ryan’s training camps this year, the U.S. team is playing quite a bit, with both of Monday’s training sessions featuring 30-minute full field scrimmages. Forward Christie Welsh scored the lone goal in the morning session while Danielle Fotopoulos tallied in the afternoon game.
NORDIC SUMMER: Seven players from the Portland, Ore., training camp roster (and five players from the game roster) in Sweden with the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team for the Nordic Cup. U.S. U-21 WNT head coach Jillian Ellis named a 19-player squad that is in Sweden for the 15th Annual Nordic Cup being held July 20-26 in 10 small venues about a two-and-a-half hour drive West from Stockholm. The USA has won seven Nordic Cup titles, but has never won in Sweden. U-21 midfielder Manya Makowski is checking in from the Nordic Cup for the second straight year with her humorous dispatches from Scandinavia in Manya’s Musings.
UNDEFEATED AT THE HDC: This will be the USA’s fourth match at the beautiful Home Depot Center, having played there twice in 2003 and once in 2004, all wins. The USA defeated Costa Rica, 5-0, in one of the final matches before the 2003 Women’s World Cup, then faced Canada at the HDC in the third place match of that tournament, winning 3-1. That game saw the only goal allowed by the USA at the HDC, as the third match was the 5-0 win over Mexico on Dec. 8, 2004, in the final game for U.S. legends Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Joy Fawcett, who did not play due to injury.
2005 RECAP: The U.S. women opened their 2005 schedule with a highly successful trip to the Algarve Cup in Portugal, winning all four games by shutout and defeating Germany 1-0 in the championship game, before racking up a 2-0 win over Canada and a 7-0 win over Ukraine on home soil. Against Canada, Lori Chalupny scored a dipping rocket from outside the penalty area and Heather O’Reilly, Aly Wagner, Abby Wambach and Christie Welsh combined for a brilliant second goal, with Welsh finding the net from close range. Against Ukraine, the USA scored twice in the first half and five after the break, with Danielle Fotopoulos notching two in the first 45 minutes. It was Fotopoulos's first multi-goal game for the USA in nearly six years since she scored a pair of goals against South Korea on October 3, 1999. Against the Ukraine, Portland native Tiffeny Milbrett scored her historic 100th career goal, made even more special as it came on her college field where she had so much success under the late Clive Charles. Christie Welsh, Kristine Lilly, Wagner and O’Reilly also added goals. Welsh is the USA’s leading scorer in 2005 with seven goals in six games. The USA has received goals this year from forwards, midfielders and a defender (Chalupny).
AT THE CENTURY MARK, MILBRETT SHOOTS FOR MORE: Having scored her historic 100th career goal on July 10 in her hometown of Portland, Ore., Tiffeny Milbrett is now within striking distance of even more milestones. Milbrett left the U.S. team at the beginning of 2004 and had not played for the USA since Nov. 3, 2003, a 3-1 U.S. win over Mexico before coming on as a sub against Canada in the USA’s first domestic match of the year on June 26. It will be difficult for Milbrett, or any player, to catch the world’s all-time leading scorer Mia Hamm who has 158 career goals, but the second spot is up for grabs by both Milbrett and U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, who has 104 career goals. Within reach are: Elisabetta Vignotto (107), Michelle Akers (105) and Carolina Morace (105), who along with Milbrett and Lilly are the only female players to score 100 or more goals for their countries, although Germany’s Birgit Prinz, with 86 career goals, will soon follow. The current edition of Center Circle highlights 12 of Milbrett’s most memorable goals.
THAT WAS REAL GOOD: The U.S. Women’s National Team got a special treat on Monday night, July 18, getting choice seats almost right behind the visiting team bench to watch legendary club Real Madrid and their roster of superstars take on the Los Angeles Galaxy. The “Galacticos” of Madrid put on a show for the sold-out HDC crowd, defeating the Galaxy, 2-0, and providing numerous exhilarating moments with their dribbling and passing during the match which had the U.S. players in awe. Perhaps one of the highlights for the U.S. players was Tiffeny Milbrett calling out to Real Madrid forward Michael Owen after he had been subbed (Owen!! Hey Owen!!), and the England superstar turned and gave her a smile. Another highlight, which came after the game, was surely when David Beckham peeled off his jersey, and just mere yards from the U.S. team, the bare-chested icon handed it to a fan. Unfortunately, none of the U.S. players were able to get their paws on the prized garment.
CONSPICULOUS BY HER ABSENCE: U.S. captain Kristine Lilly will miss this event as she is running her annual soccer camp in her hometown of Wilton, Conn. It is the first match she has missed since skipping the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March of 2004 when then-head coach April Heinrichs was giving veterans some events off during a tiring Olympic preparation year. The U.S. women have played 349 matches in their history. Lilly has played in 297 of them, about 85 percent.
NEW KIT IN RED: Having unveiled their new white jerseys against Ukraine on July 10, the USA will sport the new red jerseys for the first time against Iceland. The USA has received an entire new kit from Nike that includes training gear, sweat tops and pants, travel gear and game uniforms.
Stat of Note:
Of Tiffeny Milbrett’s 100 career goals, just one has come against Iceland. Abby Wambach has three goals in her two games vs. Iceland.
Quote of the Day:
U.S. midfielder Aly Wagner, who sat not more than 20 yards from the Real Madrid bench, commenting on her favorite parts of the Real Madrid-Los Angeles Galaxy match.
“I’m not sure if I enjoyed the first half more, when (all the Madrid superstars) were on the field, or the second half when they were all sitting on the bench.”