CHICAGO (July 15, 2004) – The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team travels to Blaine, Minn., next Monday in preparation to face Australia on Wednesday, July 21, at the National Sports Center. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. CT / 7 p.m. ET and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 as the U.S. women play their penultimate match before leaving for the 2004 Olympics in Greece.
The match marks the 13th time the U.S. women have played in Blaine, Minn., the most games that any city in the United States has ever hosted. The USA played in Blaine seven times in the 1980s and three times in 1990, followed by an 11-year gap until a 1-0 win against Canada in July 2001. The most recent match in Blaine featured a resounding 4-0 victory over Norway in July 2002.
The match carries some extra intrigue as it will preview the Aug. 17 meeting at the Olympics that pits these two countries together in the final match of Group G opening round play in Thessaloniki. Australia has participated in three Women’s World Cup tournaments and this will be the second Olympic Games for the perennial Oceania champions.
The USA has had great success against the Matildas, as they are known in their home country, winning all 14 matches ever contested between the two teams, most recently at the 2002 Nike U.S. Women’s Cup, a 4-0 win in Cary, N.C. But the Aussies have put together a string of fantastic results of late, defeating China 2-0 and drawing 1-1 on a recent trip to China. Australia spilt games with Mexico recently, winning 2-1 and losing 2-0, in Mexico.
The match marks the return of Dayton, Minn., native Briana Scurry to her home state. Scurry, who has played 138 times for the United States, as well as in three Women’s World Cups and one Olympics, holds every goalkeeping record in U.S. history, including a staggering 69 career shutouts.
On July 1, Heinrichs named two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and four forwards to the 2004 Olympic Team, with numerous players able to play multiple positions. Fourteen of the 18 players named to the roster were on the USA’s 2003 Women’s World Cup Team. Only half the team – nine players – have participated in an Olympics in either 1996, 2000, or both.
Leading the way for the USA are veterans Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and captain Julie Foudy, players who have played in every world championship ever contested by the USA. Hamm will be shooting for her milestone 150th career goal against Australia while Lilly will look to add to her world record of 274 international matches played. At 149 career goals thus far, Hamm has scored 42 more goals more than any other player in history, the equivalent of Hank Aaron hitting 200 more home runs than the next greatest slugger.
While the USA has some of the most accomplished players in women’s soccer history on its roster, the two youngest players chosen to the 2004 Olympic roster are 19-year-old forward Heather O’Reilly and 20-year-old midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, the USA’s second leading scorer in 2004 with seven goals.
This will however not be the first world championship event for O’Reilly and Tarpley. In 2002, the pair helped the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team win the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada, as they formed two-thirds of a devastating front line the roared through the competition, scoring a combined 10 goals. Tarpley scored the “golden goal” that defeated the hosts 1-0 in the title game in front of almost 50,000 fans in Edmonton
In addition to O’Reilly and Tarpley, two other players were named to their first roster for a world championship event in defender Heather Mitts and goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, a Dartmouth graduate who is the only player from the Ivy League ever to earn a cap for the United States.
The U.S. roster features a wide age range from 36-year-old Fawcett to the 19-year-old O’Reilly with an average age of 27.4. The most capped player on the roster is Lilly, while the least capped player is Luckenbill, who has played just four career full international matches, all in 2004. While the U.S. team features a dynamic mixture of veterans and young talent, the squad will be a highly experienced one, with the average caps per player on the 2004 Olympic Team at an amazing 104.
Australia also brings its Olympic Team to Minnesota, and while it is a young squad with 12 players 24 years old or under, including 16-year-old Sally Shipard from Wagga Wagga, the Matildas do have some experience with three former WUSA players on the roster. Defender Dianne Alagich was a member of the San Jose CyberRays, defender Cheryl Salisbury played for the New York Power, as did midfielder Joanne Peters. The six-foot Salisbury is by far Australia most capped player, and has played in the midfield and at forward for her country, scoring 28 times for the Matildas. Peters, a hard-shooting midfielder, is the main offensive threat from the midfield, having pumped in 15 goals in her career.
In filling out his 2004 Olympic Team roster, Australia head coach Adrian Santrac has only chosen 12 members of his 20-player 2003 Women’s World Cup Team that tied once and lost twice in the opening round of the tournament, failing to advance to the quarterfinals.
Following the match in Minnesota, the U.S. team will finish its pre-tournament schedule with an Olympic send-off match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn., against rival China at 3 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. The USA’s Olympic draw has the team opening the tournament on Aug. 11 against Greece in Heraklio, followed by an Aug. 14 match against Brazil and an Aug. 17 match against Australia to finish group play, both in Thessaloniki.
2004 U.S. Women's Olympic Soccer Teams Roster
No. Player Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
1 Scurry, Briana GK 5-9 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 138
3 Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Pt. Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 119/4
4 Reddick, Cat D 5-5 02/10/82 Birmingham, Ala. North Carolina 57/4
6 Chastain, Brandi D 5-7 07/21/68 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 177/30
7 Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Notre Dame 24/9
9 Hamm, Mia F 5-5 03/17/72 Chapel Hill, N.C. North Carolina 258/149
10 Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 64/14
11 Foudy, Julie M 5-6 01/23/71 Mission Viejo, Calif. Stanford 254/44
12 Parlow, Cindy F 5-11 05/08/78 Memphis, Tenn. North Carolina 144/69
13 Lilly, Kristine M 5-4 07/22/71 Wilton, Conn. North Carolina 274/95
14 Fawcett, Joy D 5-6 02/08/68 Huntington Beach, Calif. California 232/27
15 Markgraf, Kate D 5-7 08/23/76 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 119/0
16 Tarpley, Lindsay M 5-6 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. North Carolina 24/7
19 Hucles, Angela M 5-7 07/05/78 Virginia Beach, Va. Virginia 33/4
20 Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 38/26
21 Mitts, Heather D 5-5 06/06/78 Cincinnati, Ohio Florida 20/1
24 Luckenbill, Kristin GK 5-9 05/28/79 Paoli, Pa. Dartmouth 4/0
27 O’Reilly, Heather F 5-5 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.J. North Carolina 23/3
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Briana Scurry;
DEFENDERS (6): Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Reddick;
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner;
FORWARDS (4): Mia Hamm, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs Gainesville, Va.
Assistant Coach: Tracey Leone Phoenix, Ariz.
Asssitant Coach: Greg Ryan Colorado Springs, Colo.
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon Monroe, Conn.
General Manager: Nils Krumins Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Equip. Coordinator: Tonya Alleyne San Diego, Calif.
Doctor: Dr. Sandy Glasson Virginia Beach, Va.
Medical Trainer: Cody Malley Apex, N.C.
Medical Trainer: Debbie Prouse Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Massage Therapist: Scott Street Chicago, Ill.
Massage Therapist: Neomi Gonzalez San Francisco, Calif.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Hermosa Beach, Calif.