CHICAGO (June 3, 2004) – U.S. Women’s National Team’s head coach April Heinrichs has named the 18-player roster that will face Japan on Sunday, June 6, at the Univeristy of Louisville’s Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in the USA’s third domestic match of 2004 and the third of six games across the country before the team leaves for Greece in early August. The match will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Heinrichs made two changes from the roster that faced Mexico in New Mexico during the USA’s most recent match on May 9, adding defender Joy Fawcett, who has fully recovered from back surgery, and forward Shannon MacMillan. The match could mark the first action for Fawcett since March 5 in the championship game of the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament. This will mark the fourth game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium for the U.S. women, who won the previous three games, two of which came at the 2000 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup.
The U.S. roster, chosen from 34 players currently in Olympic Residency Camp in Los Angeles, features the usual mix of veterans and young, emerging talent. U.S. captain Julie Foudy, who scored her 44th career goal against Brazil on April 24, leads the way along with Kristine Lilly, the world’s most capped player, 69-career goal scorer Cindy Parlow, and Women’s World Cup and Olympic gold medal-winning goalkeeper Briana Scurry. Shannon Boxx, who recently captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Stars to a 3-2 victory over world champion Germany at Stade de France in Paris, was also named to the roster along with midfielder Aly Wagner.
Mia Hamm, the world’s all-time leading scorer, continues to terrorize opposing defenses as she has added five goals in 11 games this year, increasing her career total to 149.The second-most capped player in history behind Lilly with 256 games played, Hamm has also upped her career assist total to 132 with a team-leading nine assists so far this year. Hamm, who scored her 100th career goal on Sept. 18, 1998 and broke the world scoring record with her 108th career goal on May 16, 1999, will reach another milestone with her next score, extending her world record to an unprecedented 150 goals.
Wambach has been on a torrid scoring run in 2004 having pounded in a team-leading 11 goals in her last 11 matches, a streak exceeded only by a then 25-year-old Michelle Akers who would score 39 goals in 26 games during an historic 1991.
The youngest player on the roster is 20-year-old midfielder Lindsay Tarpley who is the USA’s second-leading goal scorer in 2004 with seven goals in her first year with the full Women’s National Team. Heinrichs also named forward Shannon MacMillan to her first domestic roster of 2004. MacMillan, the 2002 Chevrolet U.S. Soccer Player of the Year has one goal this year, but is fifth on the all-time U.S. scoring list with 60 goals and 51 assists. Also named was forward Christie Welsh, who made her third straight roster. A former Hermann Trophy winner from Penn State, Welsh has 13 goals in 23 caps for the full National Team after scoring against Brazil on April 24 in her first game for the USA since April of 2002.
Including Fawcett, Heinrichs named six defenders to the roster in veterans Brandi Chastain, Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, as well as rising stars Cat Reddick and Heather Mitts, who has started 10 of the USA’s 14 matches so far this year, the most of any defender behind Reddick and Markgraf. Goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, who earned her first two career caps in the last two matches, joins Scurry on the roster.
Japan is on a roll recently, having finished second in the Asian Qualifying for the 2004 Olympics by dethroning reigning Asian champion North Korea in the semifinals by a 3-0 score in front of more than 30,000 fans in Tokyo. Japan benefited from a North Korean own goal in the match, albeit off a brilliant Japanese build up, and also got goals from Eriko Arakawa and Mio Otani. Japan easily disposed of its first-round opponents in Olympic qualifying, downing Vietnam 7-0 and Thailand, 6-0. Japan fell 1-0 to China in the Asian Championship Final, but already had booked its place in Greece with the rousing semifinal victory.
The USA has never lost to Japan, going 13-0-2, but the Americans still have a bit of a score to settle, having tied the skillful and hard-working Japanese the last two times the teams have met after 13 straight victories. The USA tied Japan, 2-2, in 2000 and 0-0 in the first match of 2003. Japan will be without their best player, former Atlanta Beat midfielder Homare Sawa, who suffered a knee injury during qualifying. Sawa, Japan’s all-time leading scorer and by far the greatest female player in Japanese history, should be healthy and ready to go by the Olympics. The 2004 Athens games represent the second trip to the Olympics for Japan, which also competed in Atlanta in 1996, but did not advance out of the first round.
Japan has two very talented, albeit short, goalkeepers in the 5-foot-4 Nozmi Yamago and the 5-foot-3 Shiho Onodera, but both are capable of spectacular saves and have stonewalled the U.S. during the last two matches. Japan brings a veteran team to Kentucky – a team almost identical to its 2003 Women’s World Cup side as 17 players appeared for Japan at USA’ 03 – with 10 players having earned 30 or more caps, lead by defenders Yumi Obe who has appeared 83 times for her country. Without Sawa, Japan’s top scoring threat is 25-year-old forward Mio Otani, who has scored 30 goals in her 44 career games, a similar scoring pace to the USA’s Abby Wambach, who turned 24 yesterday and who has 25 goals in her 36 career games.
Tickets for USA-Japan range in price levels from $18 to $45 and are on sale now at all area Ticketmaster outlets (including Kroger’s stores), as well as the University of Louisville athletic ticket office in the Student Activities Center (open Mon. through Fri. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). Tickets can also be ordered by phone at 502-361-3100 (Louisville) or 859-281-6644 (Lexington) and online at ussoccer.com.
USA vs. JAPAN
June 6, 2004 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium – Louisville, Ky.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
No. Players Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
1 Scurry, Briana G 5-9 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 137
3 Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Pt. Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 117/4
4 Reddick, Cat D 5-5 02/10/82 Birmingham, Ala. UNC 55/4
6 Chastain, Brandi D 5-7 07/21/68 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 176/30
7 Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Ca.Notre Dame 22/9
8 MacMillan, Shannon F 5-5 10/07/74 Escondido, Calif. Portland 170/60
9 Hamm, Mia F 5-5 03/17/72 Chapel Hill, N.C. UNC 256/149
10 Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 62/14
11 Foudy, Julie M 5-6 01/23/71 Mission Viejo, Calif. Stanford 252/44
12 Parlow, Cindy F 5-11 05/08/78 Memphis, Tenn. UNC 142/69
13 Lilly, Kristine M 5-4 07/22/71 Wilton, Conn. UNC 272/95
14 Fawcett, Joy D 5-6 02/08/68 Huntington Beach, Ca. California 231/27
15 Markgraf, Kate D 5-7 08/23/76 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 117/0
16 Tarpley, Lindsay M 5-6 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC 22/7
20 Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 36/25
21 Mitts, Heather D 5-5 06/06/78 Cincinnati, Ohio Florida 18/0
24 Luckenbill, Kristin G 5-9 05/28/79 Paoli, Pa. Dartmouth 2/0
30 Welsh, Christie F 5-10 02/27/81 Massapequa Park, N.Y. Penn State 23/13
GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Briana Scurry; DEFENDERS (6): Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Reddick; MIDFIELDERS (5): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner; FORWARDS (5): Mia Hamm, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Tracey Leone (Phoenix, Arizona)
GK Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Doctor: Dr. Sandy Glasson (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Medical Trainer: Julie O’Connell (Chicago, Ill.)
Medical Trainer: Debbie Prouse (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Chicago, Ill.)
Massage Therapist: Naomi Gonzalez (San Francisco, Calif.)
Equipment Coordinator: Tonya Alleyne (San Diego, Ca.)
Team Security Officer: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Hermosa Beach, Calif.)