U.S. Women Will Face Irish for the Fourth Time in Four Years
Second Domestic Match of 2006 Will Be Live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. PT
CHICAGO (July 19, 2006) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 18-player roster that will face Ireland on July 23 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego in the USA’s second domestic match of the year. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow the match live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.
Tickets for USA-Ireland are on sale online at ussoccer.com, at all San Diego and Southern California area Ticketmaster outlets (including Tower Records, Robinsons-May and Second Spin stores) and by phone at 619-220-8497. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets by logging onto ussoccer.com or calling 312-528-1290. Tickets will be available at Torero Stadium only on the day of the event.
The match at Torero Stadium will mark the second trip to San Diego for the U.S. women, who tied Japan, 0-0, there in the first game of 2003. Coincidentally, the only U.S. Men’s National Team match ever held at Torero also ended in a 0-0 draw, against Canada in the MNT’s first match of 2006.
The picturesque Torero Stadium has quickly gained a reputation as one of the best small soccer facilities in the country. The match is convenient for the U.S. team, who will bus to San Diego from its Residency Training Camp home base at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The USA has played Ireland four times in its history - once in 1999, once in 2003 and twice in 2004 - and scored five goals in the each of those matches, the most recent being a memorable five-goal performance by Abby Wambach on the “Fan Celebration Tour” after the Olympics in 2004. All five of her goals came in the second half of the match played in Houston, Texas. The meeting with Ireland on June 14, 2003, in Salt Lake City, Utah, was memorable as well, as young forward Heather O’Reilly, who is of Irish decent, made her first-ever start for the USA, and within 74 seconds had scored the first goal of the game and broken her leg in a collision with Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne on the same play. The injury eventually cost O’Reilly a place on the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team.
Ireland is still in the qualification process for the 2007 Women’s World Cup but has already been eliminated and can’t advance to China. Ireland sits fourth out of five teams with two matches left to play in Group 4, which also includes defending Women’s World Cup champions Germany and rising European power Russia.
Ryan made two changes from the roster that beat Sweden last weekend in Blaine, Minn., on a dramatic last minute goal by Kristine Lilly, adding goalkeeper Briana Scurry in place of Nicole Barnhart and forward Christie Welsh in place of Lilly. The U.S. captain was not named to the roster this week and will also miss next week's match against Canada on July 30 in Cary, N.C., (tickets) as Ryan continues to develop some of the young forwards on the team in game action. The USA is also without defensive midfielder Shannon Boxx, who tore knee ligaments during practice on Monday and will be out six to eight months.
The USA will bring eight members of its 2004 Olympic gold medal winning team to San Diego, including Wambach, who has scored 55 goals in her first 73 games, the best strike rate in U.S. history. Wambach played a part in all three goals in the 3-2 win against Sweden last weekend, scoring the first, challenging the Sweden goalkeeper on the second, a move that allowed Cat Whitehill’s 70-yard blast to find its way into the net, and then winning a header off a throw-in from the right flank that led to Lilly’s game-winner (watch).
Also on the roster is Lindsay Tarpley, who earned her first cap against Japan at Torero Stadium in 2003 and scored the opening goal in the Olympic gold medal match against Brazil, as well as gold medalists Christie Rampone, Heather Mitts, Aly Wagner, O’Reilly and Whitehill. San Diego fans will be familiar with Wagner, who was the top draft choice of the San Diego Spirit of the now-defunct WUSA in 2003 and helped the Spirit to its first-ever playoff berth.
Legendary goalkeeper Briana Scurry missed last week’s game in her home state of Minnesota due to lingering symptoms from a concussion, but has been pronounced fit and ready to play. With 155 appearances, Scurry is by far the most capped goalkeeper in U.S. history but has not played in a match for the USA since the end of 2004 after taking 2005 off from the international game. Hope Solo has been the goalkeeper of choice for most of Greg Ryan’s tenure, starting 16 of the 19 matches Ryan has coached. During that time, Ryan has not lost a match in regulation, going 15-0-4.
The USA will bring several young talents to San Diego as well, including 23-year-old Leslie Osborne, who played in place of Boxx last week against Sweden and had a fine match, 24-year-old midfielder Carli Lloyd who has just 10 caps and Megan Rapinoe, who at 21 years old will be looking for her first cap. The USA has some young talent on defense as well in center backs Amy LePeilbet and Tina Frimpong, as well as dynamic outside back Lori Chalupny, who last weekend made her first appearance for the USA since January after recovering from a series of concussions.
Rapinoe is a rising sophomore at the University of Portland, who scored 15 goals with 13 assists as a freshman last year to help the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA title. She was also one of the stars on the U.S. team that finished third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand, scoring three goals, tied for the team lead, including one in the third-place match victory over Brazil. Rapinoe came into Residency Training Camp only in the middle of May, but has made enough of an impression on the coaching staff to make her first two WNT rosters.
The USA will arrive in San Diego on Friday, July 21, and train that afternoon as well as on Saturday before facing the Irish on Sunday.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (5): Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.)
Head Coach: Greg Ryan - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall - St. Charles, Ill.
GK Coach: Mark Dougherty - Littleton, Colo.
General Manager: Nils Krumins - Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Team Physician: Dr. Scott Powell - Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Medical Trainer: Cody Malley - Apex, N.C.
Medical Trainer: Debbie Prouse - Thousand Oakes, Calif.
Massage Therapist: Scott Street - Atlanta, Ga.
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi - Boston, Mass.
Equipment Manager: Zac Herndon - Long Beach, Calif.
Team Security: Mark Pharris - Atlanta, Ga.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz - Long Beach, Calif.