Archive | Senior Nat’l Team

Sundhage names roster for Japan friendlies

Posted on 07 May 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named a 21-player roster to face Japan on May 20 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas and on May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

The roster to face Japan is chock-full of veterans, including team captain Christie Rampone, co-captain Lori Chalupny, and outside back Heather Mitts, as well as midfielders Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley. Thirteen of the players won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing last August, but Sundhage has also named several young players who have performed well in WPS action so far.

The matches will mark the return of striker Abby Wambach to international action for the first time since she suffered a broken leg against Brazil on July 16, 2008, in the USA’s final pre-Olympic match. Wambach is currently sitting on 99 career international goals and with one more would join four other U.S. players — Mia Hamm (158), Kristine Lilly (129), Michelle Akers (105) and Tiffeny Milbrett (100) — in the exclusive 100 goal club.

These will be the first-ever international games for the U.S. during the WPS season and the first domestic matches of 2009 for a U.S. team which is in very early preparations for qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Seventeen of the 21 players on the roster are currently playing in WPS, and Sundhage also named four collegiate players.

“Now is the time to start investing in 2011,” Sundhage said. “We are bringing in an interesting mix of some newer players and players with experience, as well as some college players. The WPS has given us the chance to look at some new players, and it’s fantastic that Abby is back in business.”

Tickets for the May 20 match at Pizza Hut Park, home to FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, range in price from $18 to $80, plus special VIP On-Field seats for $125. Tickets are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Dallas Metroplex (including Fiesta, Macy’s and FYE stores), and the Pizza Hut Park ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Tickets for the May 23 match at Rio Tinto Stadium, home to Real Salt Lake of MLS, start at $18 and can be purchased through ussoccer.com, by phone at 801-727-2700 (Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and at the Rio Tinto Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

Sundhage called up at least one player from each of the WPS clubs, including four from both the Breakers and Red Stars.

The four collegiate players named to the roster have just 17 caps between them, but 16 of those belong to Lauren Cheney, one of the top forwards in the country at UCLA and a member of the 2008 Olympic Team who replaced Wambach on the roster after her injury.

All four have represented the U.S. in a FIFA youth Women’s World Cup, including Christine Nairn, who was a member of the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup champions last fall in Chile. Nairn, a freshman at Penn State, has trained with the full national team during the last year and will be looking for her first career senior team cap.

Sundhage also called up forward Casey Nogueira, a member of the USA’s 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team, who had a fantastic junior season at North Carolina last year, pounding in 25 goals with eight assists including both scores in the NCAA title game victory against Notre Dame. She picked up a slew of national player of the year awards after the season. Nogueira earned her lone cap at the 2007 Four Nations Tournament in China, playing the first half against England.

Goalkeeper Kelsey Davis from the University of Portland gets a call up, earning the opportunity to train alongside veterans Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart. A long-time veteran of the USA’s youth national teams, Davis was the back-up goalkeeper at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand and the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia and was a member of the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team that won the 2007 Nordic Cup in Finland.

These will be the first meetings between the U.S. and Japan since the two countries clashed in the semifinal at the 2008 Olympics in China, a 4-2 U.S. victory that saw the Americans fall behind 1-0 before storming back to score four consecutive goals. Japan pulled one back in second-half stoppage time. The USA also edged Japan 1-0 in a must-win game during group play.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster vs. Japan

Frisco, Texas; May 20, Sandy, Utah; May 23
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Kelsey Davis (Portland), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS
(4): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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To face Canada at Rochester, N.Y., Charleston, S.C.

Posted on 20 April 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Canada twice in July, facing its familiar foe on Sunday, July 19, at Rochester Rhinos Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., and then again three days later on Wednesday, July 22, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.

The matches mark the first meetings between the teams since Natasha Kai scored an overtime game-winner in a 2-1 quarterfinal victory for the U.S. at the 2008 Olympics in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 15, 2008.

The game in Rochester kicks off at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The match in Charleston kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Espanol.

Coming off the gold medal triumph at the 2008 Olympics, second-year head coach Pia Sundhage will use these matches to help evaluate the top U.S. players, all of whom are currently playing in Women’s Professional Soccer, as she continues to mold a team for qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Tickets for both games go on sale to the public Friday, April 24, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Rochester and Charleston areas. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale starts Thursday, April 23, at 10 a.m. ET and runs until Friday, April 24, at 8 a.m. ET at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

The two games will be the 45th and 46th meetings all-time between the USA and Canada, the most matches against any country the U.S. team has faced in its history. The most recent meeting at the 2008 Olympics was one of the most tension-filled as the USA went ahead 1-0 on an early goal from Angela Hucles before the match was delayed 99 minutes by lightning. Canadian captain Christine Sinclair equalized soon after the resumption of play and despite outshooting the Maple Leafs 34-8, the USA could not manufacture a goal until overtime, when Kai’s diving header off a Shannon Boxx cross sent the U.S. to the semifinal.

Canada has several players competing in WPS, including Sinclair, who currently has 99 career goals. She will have her first chance for the 100th on May 25 against Japan. Canada’s team may have a different look as new head coach Carolina Morace, a legendary Italian player and coach, will face the USA for the first time from the Canadian bench. Morace squared off against the Americans several times as a player and also as head coach of her native country, a post she held from 2000-2005.

“Although we have played Canada many times, I am very happy we’re facing them again,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Their new head coach Carolina Morace will likely introduce a different playing style. Players who are trying new things for their new coach could be very unpredictable, and we need to respond to that with our tactical skills. It has always been challenging to play our neighbor and I’m looking forward to dealing with their new style which will probably be a little influenced by Italian soccer. I believe it’s also important for us to get to know the new Canada because we will surely play them in World Cup qualification.”

The match in Rochester could mark the return of hometown hero Abby Wambach, who scored 142 goals as a high school All-American and 1997 National High School Player of the Year at Our Lady of Mercy. Wambach has yet to play for the USA since breaking her leg in the final pre-Olympic match, but should get her chance to score her 100th goal in the USA’s games against Japan on May 20 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, (tickets) and May 23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (tickets).

The series brings the U.S. women to Rochester for an international match for the fourth time, but it will be only the second game at the Rochester Rhinos Stadium, which opened in 2006 and features an artificial surface. The last time the USA played there was in Sept. 13, 2006, earning a 3-1 victory against Mexico that saw Wambach score twice in front of her hometown fans.

The USA also returns to Blackbaud Stadium for the fourth time and has not allowed a goal in the three previous wins at one of the nicest small soccer-specific venues in the country. The USA last played in Blackbaud in 2005 in a 3-0 win over Mexico – another game in which Wambach scored twice.

The matches will be the last for the U.S. Women’s National Team at home in 2009, but the team is scheduled to gather for training camps and a European tour following the completion of the inaugural WPS campaign.

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Last minute equalizer wasted as U.S. falls to Sweden in Algarve final

Posted on 11 March 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team lost a penalty kick shootout to Sweden in the championship game of the 2009 Algarve Cup after the match ended dramatically with a 1-1 score in regulation. Shannon Boxx equalized in the 90th minute and the match went directly to penalty kicks, where the USA lost 4-3 after seven shooters.

Boxx’s goal came after an intense second half of searching for a tying goal to answer Lotta Schelin’s tally in the 18th minute. The Americans finally got it with seconds left in regulation time. Sweden’s goal marked the only one allowed by the USA in the tournament.

In the shootout, Sweden’s Louise Fors started with a hard shot into the lower left corner. Boxx answered with a perfect blast into the upper right corner. Lisa Dahlkvist also found the lower left corner, setting the stage for Rapinoe, whose shot was batted away by the Swedish ‘keeper.

Linda Sembrandt hit her shot off the left post and in, followed by Lloyd tucking her chance away into the left corner as well to make it 3-2 Sweden after three shots each. The USA then got new life as Anna Paulson skied Sweden’s fourth shot over the bar. The Americans didn’t take advantage as Christie Rampone clanged her shot off the inside of the left post and behind the Swedish ‘keeper, but it didn’t cross the goal line.

Schelin then stepped to the spot on her team’s fifth kick with a chance to win the match, but Solo acrobatically pushed her shot away with a full-extension dive to left post. The miss meant that late substitute Tina DiMartino had to convert the USA’s fifth kick to send the shootout into sudden death. DiMartino’s shot was seemingly saved by Hammarstrøm with a dive to the left post, which would have ended the game, but somehow the ball squeezed through the goalkeeper’s hands and rolled across the goal line.

Emelie Ölander then blasted her shot over the goal and incredibly, Sweden had missed its fourth, fifth and sixth kicks, giving 88th minute sub Angie Woznuk a chance to win it for the USA. Unfortunately, Hammarstrøm guessed correctly and pushed Woznuk’s shot away with a dive to the left post.

Stine Segerstrom then finished smartly into the lower left corner on her team’s seventh penalty and Heather Mitts cracked her shot off the left post and out to give Sweden the victory.

Mitts earned her 100th cap for the USA in the match, becoming the 25th female player and eighth defender in U.S. history to reach that career milestone.

The match marked the USA’s seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game. The USA won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, but fell in penalty kicks to the Germans in the 2006. The USA won the Algarve Cup for the first time in 2000.

The U.S. played without starting defender Lori Chalupny, who missed her second straight game due to illness, but Rachel Buehler filled in admirably at left back.

The U.S. players now head back to United States to join their WPS clubs in final preparations for the inaugural season that opens March 29 as the Washington Freedom visit the Los Angeles Sol. The U.S. team will not come together again until this summer for matches that will be announced in the near future.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden, 2009 Algarve Cup; Championship Game
Date: March 11, 2009
Venue: Estadio Algarve; Faro, Portugal
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (Noon ET)
Attendance: 1,200
Weather: 72 degrees, sunny, breezy

Scoring Summary:

SWE – Lotta Schelin (Caroline Seger) 18th minute
USA – Shannon Boxx (Megan Rapinoe) 90

Penalty Summary:
SWE: Fors (goal), Dahlkvist (goal), Sembrandt (goal), Paulson (miss – high), Schelin (saved), Ölander (miss – high), Segerström (goal)
USA: Boxx (goal), Rapinoe (saved), Lloyd (goal), Rampone (miss – left post), DiMartino (goal), Woznuk (saved), Mitts (miss – left post)

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 3-Christie Rampone, 4-Rachel Buehler; 9-Heather O’Reilly (12-Angie Woznuk, 88), 16-Angela Hucles (19-Tina DiMartino, 83), 10-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (8-Amy Rodriguez, 46); 15-Megan Rapinoe, 6-Natasha Kai
Subs not used: 13-Kendall Fletcher, 17-Lori Chalupny, 18-Nicole Barnhart, 21-Kacey White
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

SWE: 12-Kristin Hammarstrøm, 2-Charlotte Rohlin, 3-Stina Segerström, 4-Anna Paulson, 6-Sara Thunebro (7-Emelie Ölander, 46); 5-Caroline Seger (19-Linda Sembrandt, 78), 15-Therese Sjögran (16-Louise Fors, 63), 17-Kosovare Aslani (14-Madelaine Edlund, 53), 18-Nilla Fischer (20-Lisa Dahlkvist, 37); 11-Victoria Svensson (capt.) (10-Sara Lindén, 71), 8-Lotta Schelin
Subs not used: 1-Hedvid Lindahl, 9-Anna Lindblom, 13-Alexandra Niilsson
Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby

Statistical Summary:
USA / SWE
Shots: 11 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 5 / 6
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 12 / 11
Offside: 5 / 0

Misconduct Summary:

None

Officials:

Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Fourth Official: Gyongyi Gaal (HUN)

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Kai winner over Iceland sends U.S. to Algarve final

Posted on 06 March 2009 by ASN Staff

A last-minute winner from Natasha Kai gave the U.S. Women’s National Team a dramatic 1-0 victory over Iceland in the second Algarve Cup group game and sends the U.S. to Wednesday’s final.

The U.S. clinched Group B thanks to its victory combined with Denmark’s 2-0 win against Norway. The U.S. will face Norway in its final group match on March 9 in Ferreiras in a game that is now effectively meaningless.

The USA advances to its unprecedented seventh straight Algarve Cup championship game, having won the tournament in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 (the Yanks fell in penalty kicks to Germany in the 2006 final).

In the 90th minute of Friday’s game, U.S. captain Christie Rampone spied Kai making a run into the penalty area and drove an inch-perfect pass over the top of the Iceland defense to the U.S. forward. Kai brought the ball down on her chest just a step inside the penalty area, let it bounce once and then lifted it over an onrushing Iceland defender. Kai then darted past the defender and ripped a left-footed half-volley into the right corner from 12 yards out.

The Americans struggled mightily in the first half as they tried to create an attacking rhythm, but a committed Iceland team in a compact 4-5-1 formation combined with the swirling winds forced numerous errant passes from the U.S. team.

Iceland took advantage of the wind to create some shots in the first half as both teams fired five with just one on goal, but once the second half started, it was pretty much one-way traffic for the USA.

At halftime, Sundhage sent on Heather O’Reilly at right midfield and Lindsay Tarpley on the left, moving Megan Rapinoe from the outside into the withdrawn forward slot, where she played well, and the Americans started to find the width and create more chances. The USA earned seven of its 10 corner kicks after the break as well sending numerous services into the penalty box after Iceland fouls on the wings.

Iceland was unwilling to come out of its defensive shell during the first 30 minutes of the second half before putting together a few counter attacks that almost won the game.

Iceland got its first chance of the second half in the 72nd minute after stripping the ball from the U.S. midfield, which led to a Dora Maria Larusdóttir hitting a blistering drive from the right side of the penalty area. U.S. goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart had to tip the ball over the crossbar, leading to the first of two consecutive Iceland corner kicks that were successfully defended by the USA.

In the 87th minute, Barnhart came out to the top of the penalty area to challenge a bouncing ball and collided hard with Rakel Hönnudóttir, but while the Icelandic midfielder got a foot to the ball first, fortunately for the USA it bounced wide right of the goal.

Kai came into the match in the 68th minute and earned several corner kicks with rushes down the wings while almost scoring in the 87th minute after running onto a ball slipped into the right side of the penalty area by O’Reilly. Kai turned to smack her shot high to the near post, but Iceland goalkeeper Gudbjorg Gunnarsdottir pushed it over the crossbar.

With one minute left in regulation, substitute Rachel Buehler, who had come on just five minutes earlier, knifed through the penalty box to get her head on a Carli Lloyd free-kick from the ride side, but sent her chance skimming wide right.

One minute later, Gunnarsdóttir could do nothing with Kai’s world-class strike, her 24th international goal, and Boxx and Mitts then repelled two long Iceland services off free kicks during the three minutes of stoppage time to earn the victory.

The U.S. will now get two days of rest before facing Norway on Monday and then will begin preparing for either Germany or Sweden in the championship game.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Iceland. March 6, 2009
2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras, Portugal
Kickoff: 3 p.m. (10 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 250
Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy, windy

Scoring Summary:

USA – Natasha Kai (Christie Rampone) 90th minute

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny; 15-Megan Rapinoe, 16-Angela Hucles (4-Rachel Buehler, 84), 10-Carli Lloyd, 12-Angie Woznuk (9-Heather O’Reilly, 46), 19-Tina DiMartino (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 8-Amy Rodriguez (6-Natasha Kai, 68).
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo, 13-Kendall Fletcher, 21-Kacey White.
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

ISL: 12-Gudbörg Gunnarsdóttir; 2-Gúdrun Gunnarsdóttir, 3-Ólina Gudbjörg Vidarsdóttir, 8-Katrin Jonsdóttir – Capt., 18-Sif Altadóttir (14-Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir, 36); 4-Edda Gardarsdóttir, 6- Hólmfridur Magnusdóttir (17-Rakel Hönnudóttir, 64), 7-Dóra Stefansdóttir, 10-Dóra Maria Larusdóttir (16-Erla Steina Arnardóttir, 91+), 11-Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (20-Katrin Ómarsdóttir, 45); 9-Margrét Lára Vidarsdóttir.
Subs not used: 1-María Bjorg Águstsdóttir, 5-Ásta Árnadóttir, 13-Gudný Björk Odinsdóttir, 15-Hallbera Gudný Gisladóttir, 19-Harpa Thorsteinsdóttir
Head Coach: Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson

Statistical Summary:
USA / ISL
Shots: 15 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 10 / 4
Fouls: 12 / 10
Offside: 2 / 2

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Shannon Boxx (caution) 41st minute
ISL – Erna Björk Sigurdardóttir (caution) 71

Officials
Referee: Bibiana Steinhaus (GER)
Assistant Referee: Moiken Reichert (GER)
Assistant Referee: Marina Wozniak (GER)
Fourth Official: Kirsi Savolainen (FIN)

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Wonzuk, DiMartino put down Danes, 2-0

Posted on 05 March 2009 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Team got its 2009 Algarve Cup campaign off to a rousing start, defeating Denmark 2-0 in nasty weather conditions as midfielders Angie Wonzuk and Tina DiMartino tallied in the first half.

With the wind whipping through the small stadium and a drizzling rain falling almost the entire match, the U.S. played the first 20 minutes on shaky legs before warming up to the task.

The first U.S. score came in the 22nd minute on the USA’s first shot on goal as Woznuk scored her second career goal in just her seventh career cap and second start. The scoring sequence started with an attack down the left flank as midfielder Angela Hucles rolled a pass to Woznuk on the wing and she hit a looping cross. The ball was punched to the other side of the penalty area by Denmark goalkeeper Heidi Johansen but Heather O’Reilly ran it down. O’Reilly’s cross was also punched by Johansen, and this time the ball fell to Woznuk near the left post. She settled the ball quickly and while standing just a few paces from the end line, blasted a sizzling half-volley into the roof of the net over the Danish goalkeeper.

The goal energized the U.S. team, which started connecting passes and getting numbers into the attack. Thirteen minutes after the first score, the Americans got another.

This one came off a corner kick from the left side as Christie Rampone looped her cross to the far post. U.S. forward Natasha Kai jumped high to win the ball, heading it hard off the arm of a Danish defender who was protecting the left post. The ball spun out front of the goal and DiMartino, the smallest player on the field at 5 feet 2 inches, found space to slide and smash a left-footed shot through that same defender’s legs and into the net from just a few yards out.

The goal was DiMartino’s first for the full U.S. National Team, and it came in just her second cap and first start.

“It’s a special feeling to score a goal and, for Woznuk and DiMartino, who are fairly new to the team, it shows that on this team anyone can score,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “Everyone is happy when anyone scores a goal, but especially the new players.”

Lindsay Tarpley replaced DiMartino at halftime and immediately added a spark to the U.S. attack, which was also bolstered later in the match by the fresh legs of Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez. But as it turned out, the U.S. got all the goals it would need before the break.

That was partly due to the excellent match played by U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who saved two breakaways in the first half from Danish winger Johanna Rasmussen, pushing the first away with a dive to her right in the 26th minute before securing the second with a dive to her left about 10 minutes later.

Solo made her biggest save just a minute before halftime when Rasmussen’s cross from the left wing was allowed to fall in a dangerous area inside the U.S. penalty box. Danish forward Merete Pedersen got a great strike on the ball from just six yards away, but Solo stuck out her right arm to make a great reaction save and then pounced on the ball before it could spin over the goal line.

Rasmussen created danger down the flanks the entire match and almost pulled a goal back in the 61st minute after Rampone was stripped at midfield, leading to a Denmark counter attack. With the recovering Rampone on her hip, Rasmussen slapped her shot wide right of the goal from the left side of the penalty area.

The match marked the debut of Shannon Boxx in the center of the U.S. defense, where the USA’s usual defensive midfielder performed extremely well next to Rampone. The U.S. team received three uncharacteristic yellow cards in the match. The first was to Woznuk for a cleats-up tackle, the second to Buehler for a powerful slide that was just a second too late and the final caution went to Rapinoe for kicking the ball away after a foul late in the game. The cautions were just a side note however as accumulated yellow cards do not lead to suspension in the Algarve Cup.

Solo made several secure catches in the rainy conditions, but her best play on a cross may have been a punch with about eight minutes left that keep a wicked service from Rasmussen moving across the goal and away from danger.

The victory marked the sixth straight Algarve Cup where the USA has started off with a win. The American women are looking for their third straight Algarve Cup title after defeating Denmark in the championship game the past two years. The win also reversed a strange trend for U.S. matches in Lagos, Portugal, where the U.S. Women won for just the second time in its history after coming into the match with a 1-5-0 record at the venue.

“Even though it was raining the field was pretty good,” said Sundhage. “So we tried to play through the midfield and at times we managed to do that, especially after the first 20-25 minutes. Then every single player in the midfield got involved in every attack and I was very pleased with that.”

The U.S. will have one rest day before its next game, taking on Iceland on March 6 in Ferreiras, with a kickoff at 3 p.m. local / 10 a.m. ET. Fans can follow the action on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT

United States Women’s National Team vs. Denmark
Date: March 4, 2009
Competition: 2009 Algarve Cup; Group B
Venue: Municipal Stadium; Lagos, Portugal
Kickoff: 12 p.m. (7 a.m. ET)
Attendance: 200
Weather: 55 degrees, Cold, windy, rain

Scoring Summary:

USA – Angie Woznuk (Heather O’Reilly) 22nd minute
USA – Tina DiMartino 35

Lineups:
USA: 1-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts (4-Rachel Buehler, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 7-Shannon Boxx, 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (21-Kacey White, 78), 10-Carli Lloyd, 16-Angela Hucles, 12-Angie Woznuk (15-Megan Rapinoe, 62), 19-Tina DiMartino (5-Lindsay Tarpley, 46), 6-Natasha Kai (8-Amy Rodriguez, 62)
Subs not used: 13-Kendall Fletcher, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

Denmark: 1-Heidi Johansen; 2-Mia Olsen, 3-Katrine Pedersen (capt.) (19-Marianne Pedersen, 67), 4-Christina Ømtoft, 5-Line Hansen, 6-Marianne Knudsen, 7-Cathrine Sørensen (18-Nanna Christiansen, 72), 10-Camilla Sand, 13-Johanna Rasmussen, 9-Maiken Pape (17-Nadia Nadim, 21), 11-Merete Pedersen (8-Julie Rydahl-Bukh, 67)
Subs not used: 12-Janne Madsen, 14-Marie Bjerg, 15-Sanne Troelsgaard, 16-Tine Cederkvist Vsikær, 20-Tina Rasmussen
Head Coach: Kenneth Heiner-Møller

Stats Summary:
USA / DEN
Shots: 14 / 8
Shots on Goal: 9 / 4
Saves: 4 / 6
Corner Kicks: 8 / 3
Fouls: 6 / 3
Offside: 0 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Angie Woznuk (caution) 32rd minute
USA – Rachel Buehler (caution) 80
USA – Megan Rapinoe (caution) 85

Officials
Referee: Jenny Palmqvist (SWE)
Asst. Referee: Helen Caro (SWE)
Asst. Referee: Anna Nystrom (SWE)
4th Official: Efthalia Mitsi (GRE)

2009 Algarve Cup Standings

Group A
Team W L T GF GA GD Pts.
GER 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
SWE 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
CHN 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
FIN 0 1 0 0 2 -2 0

March 4
Germany 2, Finland 0
China 0, Sweden 0

March 6
Sweden vs. Finland
Germany vs. China

March 9
Finland vs. China
Sweden vs. Germany

Group B

Team W L T GF GA GD Pts.
USA 1 0 0 2 0 +2 3
ISL 1 0 0 3 1 +2 3
NOR 0 1 0 1 3 -2 0
DEN 0 1 0 0 2 -2 0

March 4
USA 2, Denmark 0
Norway 1, Iceland 3

March 6
USA vs. Iceland
Denmark vs. Norway

March 9
USA vs. Norway
Iceland vs. Denmark

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Sundhage taps Norway’s Riise to coaching staff

Posted on 03 March 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has added former Norwegian star Hege Riise to her coaching staff. The long-time captain for Norway, Riise made her international debut in 1990 and played in four FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments (1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003), helping Norway to the title in 1995 as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2000.

Riise has joined the U.S. team in Portugal at the Algarve Cup, which is being held from March 4-11, where the Americans will play Norway in their third group match. The two-time defending Algarve champion U.S. WNT will open up against Denmark on March 4 at Municipal Stadium in Lagos. Kickoff time is noon local and 7 a.m. ET. The U.S. must win its group to earn a place in the championship game, which will be played at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, a 30,000-seat venue built for the 2004 European Championship. The third-place match will also be played at the venue. Aside from the final and third-place games, the rest of the matches will be held in small stadiums spread out along the southern coast of Portugal.

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (3) (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (6) (St. Louis Athletica);
DEFENDERS (5): Rachel Buehler (2) (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (6) (St. Louis Athletica), Kendall Fletcher (1) (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (5) (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (9) (Sky Blue FC);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (6) (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (1) (FC Gold Pride), Carli Lloyd (4) (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O’Reilly (7) (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (7) (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (1) (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (2) (St. Louis Athletica);
FORWARDS (4): Angela Hucles (5) (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (4) (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (1) (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (4) (Boston Breakers).
Number of Algarve Cups attended, including 2009, in parenthesis

U.S. WNT Algarve Cup Schedule

March 4 Denmark 12 p.m. / 7 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Lagos
March 6 Iceland 3 p.m. / 10 a.m. Parque Desportiva da Nora; Ferreiras
March 9 Norway 3 p.m. / 11 a.m. Estádio Municipal; Albufeira
March 11 Placement Match TBD TBD

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Kick off HDC camp

Posted on 27 January 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage called in 25 players for a 17-day training camp that kicked off the team’s 2009 activity on Jan. 20. The U.S. team convened at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., and will train until Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal. After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China PR fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S.

U.S. WNT Roster

GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica)
FORWARDS (7): Tina Ellertson (St. Louis Athletica), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

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Sundhage calls 25 into camp for of Algarve Cup

Posted on 09 January 2009 by ASN Staff

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 25 players for a 17-day training camp that will kick off the team’s 2009 activity. The U.S. team will convene at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 20-Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal.

The roster is a combination of experience and young players looking to establish themselves in the player pool. The majority of the players are veterans of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and 2008 Olympic Team, led by team captain Christie Rampone who has 211 career caps, 2008 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Carli Lloyd, as well as two of the USA’s top scorers last year in midfielders Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley. Sundhage has called in two goalkeepers in Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart.

The roster also includes several players looking to rebound from major injuries, most notably forward Abby Wambach, who will be seeing her first national team action since suffering a broken leg against Brazil on Aug. 21, 2008, in the final match before the Olympic Games.

Due to forwards Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney – two of the youngest players on the USA’s Olympic gold medal team – missing most of the USA’s post-Olympic Achieve Your Gold Tour due to commitments to their college teams, Natasha Kai missing the final two matches due to illness and of course Wambach’s ongoing rehabilitation, the U.S. team had a dearth of forwards to call on after the Olympics. With all four of those players back in camp, combined with Angela Hucles’ versatility in playing midfield or forward, the first call-up since 2006 for former University of Portland star Megan Rapinoe, and the switch for Tina Ellertson from defender to forward, the USA will have a large group of strikers competing for Algarve Cup roster spots.

Rapinoe was one of the USA’s best players at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand and was on her way to breaking into the senior side in 2006, playing in four matches and scoring twice, but major knee injuries in successive college seasons (2006 and 2007) derailed her international career. She finally got healthy this season, scoring five goals with 13 assists for the Pilots while playing mostly attacking midfielder and during the camp will see her first WNT action in over two years.

Sundhage has called in several other young players who all have extensive youth national team experience as well as some training camp time with the full National Team. Midfielder Angie Wonzuk and defenders Jill Oakes and Kendall Fletcher, all members of the U.S. team that won the inaugural 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup, get call-backs to the National Team after extended absences. Oakes earned her one cap at the Algarve Cup in 2005 while Woznuk has six caps and one goal, scoring against Finland at the Four Nations Tournament in January of 2008. Fletcher, who along with Oakes helped the Pali Blues to an undefeated season and the W-League title last summer, is the only uncapped player on the training camp roster.

Olympic gold medal winning midfielder Tobin Heath, the youngest player in camp at age 20, also returns to the squad after missing all of the Achieve Your Gold matches. Sundhage has also called in Tina DiMartino, one of the top players in college soccer during the 2008 season for UCLA. DiMartino, who has one cap for the senior team, was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the last two the Nordic Cup title teams for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team.

After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S. WNT.

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf, a veteran of six world championships for the USA, will not be joining the U.S. team in the near future as she is pregnant for the second time. Markgraf had a son in the summer of 2006.

UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Jan. 20-Feb. 4, 2008
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.)

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Sundhage gets four-year contract extension

Posted on 15 December 2008 by ASN Staff

U.S. Soccer has re-signed Pia Sundhage as head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for four more years. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced the extension today. Sundhage, 48, has led the USA to a record setting 32 wins so far in 2008 (32-1-2), which includes the team’s memorable run to the Olympic title, culminating in the gold medal victory against Brazil in Beijing, China.

“Pia has demonstrated the qualities of a great leader, a great soccer tactician and she is a winner,” said Gulati. “We are extremely happy to have her on board for the next cycle of the Women’s World Cup and the Olympics and will be looking forward to seeing the Women’s National Team program grow under her direction for the next four years.”

Hired in November of 2007, Sundhage went to work immediately, preparing the team for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying and the 2008 Olympic Games. The USA won all five tournaments it participated in during 2008, taking the Four Nations Tournament in China in January, the Algarve Cup in March in Portugal, the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Mexico in April, the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea in June and the Olympic Games in August.

At the Olympics, Sundhage’s team accomplished something never before done in U.S. history as it rebounded from a loss in the first game to earn the Olympic gold medal.

Sundhage is preparing to lead the team into the final match of the year on the “Achieve Your Gold” Tour, taking on China on Dec. 17 at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

After the tour this fall, the U.S. team will have some time off before coming together in January to start preparing for the run to 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Of course, 2009 will also feature the start of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).

The new league will also give Sundhage the chance to see far more American players in a competitive environment.

“I am looking forward to next year,” said Sundhage. “It is important to find a few new players because it changes the environment a little bit. You represent your club during the week and when you are called up, you are a National Team player, and then you go back to your club so you don’t take anything for granted. It is important to perform at your club in order to be called into the National Team.”

The U.S. Women’s National Team is No. 1 in the world and has won five world championships – two Women’s World Cups and three Olympics — and finished in the top three in all nine senior level women’s world championships staged by FIFA since the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991. The United States is the only team in the world to medal in every tournament.

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U.S. drops South Korea, 3-1

Posted on 02 November 2008 by ASN Staff

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team made it four wins in four games on the 2008 Achieve Your Gold Tour, defeating South Korea 3-1 to open a three-game series that continues on Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Cincinnati and concludes on Nov. 8 in Tampa.

Angela Hucles and Heather O’Reilly each scored first-half goals as the U.S. won their 30th game in 2008, building upon their record number of wins in a calendar year. After the half, Lindsay Tarpley scored her career high 12th goal of the year.

“After about the 20th minute, we started to knock the ball around a little bit and today we scored three great goals,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “I think the whole team did a pretty good job today and there is something very positive to be said about every player.”

Hucles, a native of Virginia Beach and alumna of the University of Virginia, scored the first goal of the match in the 26th minute when she finished a great attacking build. After receiving the ball deep in the right side, Natasha Kai dished the ball into the box for O’Reilly, who looked up and saw Hucles unmarked at the far post. The pass from O’Reilly skipped through to Hucles, who finished perfectly in front of her hometown fans.

“It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time,” said Hucles, who was named Sierra Mist Woman of the Match. “I don’t get as much opportunity to come back to Virginia as I’d like, so it’s great to be able to have my family here and be able to help the team get a win.”

In the 38th minute, Hucles started the play that lead to the second U.S. goal. A perfectly timed through ball into the left side of the penalty from the USA’s leading scorer at the Olympics found Kai, who played a hard cross to the back post where O’Reilly drilled it into the empty net.

Despite the control that the U.S. demonstrated in the latter stages of the first half, South Korea was not without chances. In the 21st minute a shot from the right foot of Park Hee Young went off the inside of Nicole Barnhart’s left post and then behind the U.S. goalkeeper before it was eventually cleared out of danger. Korea had another good chance in the 45th minute, when Park Hee Young played Cha Yun Hee into the area, but her shot went over a charging Barnhart and the crossbar.

The U.S. came out firing in the second half, as halftime substitute Aly Wagner sent a pass wide right to Tarpley about 28 yards from the endline and near the corner of the penalty area. Seeing the Korean goalkeeper off her line, Tarpley drilled a high shot that dipped over the goalkeeper’s head and just inside the far post to give the U.S. a 3-0 advantage.

South Korea got a goal back in the 71st minute, when the U.S. backline turned the ball over inside the penalty area. Hang Song I waited to draw second-half substitute goalkeeper Briana Scurry, off her line before softly slipping a shot inside the far post.

U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. South Korea
Nov. 1, 2008
Competition: International Friendly – Achieve Your Gold Tour
Venue: University of Richmond Stadium; Richmond, Va.
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Attendance: 3,387
Weather: 67 degrees, cool, clear

Scoring Summary:

USA – Angela Hucles (Heather O’Reilly) 26th minute
USA – Heather O’Reilly (Natasha Kai) 38
USA – Lindsay Tarpley (Aly Wagner) 48
KOR – Han Song I 71

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart (22-Briana Scurry, 46); 2-Heather Mitts (19-Marian Dalmy, 46), 3-Christie Rampone (capt.), 15-Kate Markgraf (4-Rachel Buehler, 63), 17-Lori Chalupny (14-Stephanie Cox, 63); 9-Heather O’Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Carli Lloyd (10-Aly Wagner, 46), 16-Angela Hucles; 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 6-Natasha Kai (20-Tina Ellertson, 46)
Subs not used: 21-Kacey White
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

KOR: 18-Kim Jung Mi ; 3-Yi Ju Eun, 13-Kim Do Yeon (16-Shim Seo Yeon, 83), 4-Kim Yoo Mi, 24-Cho So Hyun (15-Hwang Boram, 81); 28-Kim Sooyun (14-Go Taehwa, 57), 8-Kwon Han Nul, 10-Lee Jang Mi, 22-Lee Eun Mi (9-Han Song I, 63); 19-Cha Yun Hee (25-Kim Yunji, 72), 11-Park Hee Young (6-Joen Ga Eul, 63)
Subs not used: 1-Jun Mink Yung, 7-Kim Huiyeong, 12-Lee Sea Eun, 17-Choi Sun Jin, 20-Kim Yu Jin, 21-Kim Seuri, 27-Kwak Jihye, 29-Noh Dahee
Head Coach: An Iksoo

Stats Summary:
USA / KOR
Shots: 14 / 10
Shots on Goal: 7 / 3
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 8 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 9
Offside: 4 / 1

Misconduct Summary:
None

Officials:
Referee: Deborah Coleman (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Shannon Poplstein (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Melanie Johnson (USA)
Fourth Official: Meredith Hacket (USA)

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