When the USA takes on Canada for 3rd place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003 on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 12:30 p.m. (insert TV), it won’t be the first time the USA has contested the consolation match. The USA made the Final in 1991 and 1999, and won both times, but in 1995 and 2003, the Americans lost in the semifinals. Still, the USA remains the only country in the world to make it to the Final Four in all four Women’s World Cups.
The USA faced China for third in 1995 after falling to Norway, 1-0, in the semifinals, and rallied to win the bronze medal with a 2-0 victory on goals from Tisha Venturini and Mia Hamm. China has lost to Germany in a match many said the Chinese should have won. The match was a replay of the opening game of the tournament when the USA tied China, 3-3, in group play after being up 3-1 with 17 minutes left. Venturini opened the scoring in the 24th minute with her third goal of the tournament and Hamm sealed the match in the 55th minute on a breakaway at the quaint Stromvallen Stadium in Gavle, Sweden. Briana Scurry picked up the shutout in front of just over 4,000 fans.
Seven U.S. players who appeared in the match are on the 2003 team, and while the sting of losing in the semifinals is still present, the Americans will be focused intently on adding another bronze medal to their collection.
The loss to Germany in the semifinal broke a 27-game home unbeaten streak for the USA, but the team will try to start another one against Canada.
"We would never disrespect the tournament, our Federation or Canada by not taking this game as we would every game," said U.S. captain Julie Foudy. "We are very focused on playing our best against Canada just as we’ve done the entire tournament. The positive of the Germany game is you walk away and say we left everything out there. We left our hearts on that field trying to make it work. In the last final minutes when they scored the last two goals, it was because we didn’t want to go down without a fight. I’m proud of that. It doesn’t dissipate the pain, but at least you go away knowing you gave it everything you got."