|Defender Marian Dalmy, a Santa Clara graduate, was named to the 2007 U.S. Women's World Cup team.
© Howard C. Smith / isiphotos.com
CHICAGO (July 23, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team heads to San Jose, Calif., today to prepare for its match against Japan on July 28 at Spartan Stadium (kickoff at 7 p.m. PT on ussoccer.com’s MatchACCESS). Arriving in the Bay Area will be the entire 21-player 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team as head coach Greg Ryan has filled the last three spots after naming the first 18 players about two weeks ago.
Tickets are on sale at ussoccer.com, all San Jose area Ticketmaster outlets (including Ritmo Latino and f.y.e.), the HP Pavilion Main Box Office (Monday – Friday; 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.) and by phone at 408-998-TIXS. Groups of 15 or more can purchase tickets at reduced prices by calling U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtaining a group order form at ussoccer.com.
To round out the squad, Ryan named midfielder Angela Hucles, forward Natasha Kai and defender Marian Dalmy to the WWC team, which will play three more matches in the United States during its Send-Off Series before departing for China on Aug. 27. The 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held Sept. 10-30 in five Chinese cities. The USA opens its tournament on Sept. 11 in Chengdu against North Korea.
“With the announcement of the final three players for the 21-player roster for the Women’s World Cup, we are moving into our final preparation phase,” said Ryan. “We’ll move forward now in focusing on our team concept both on and off the field. I’m confident that this group of players has the talent and commitment required to bring the World Cup trophy back to the USA.”
Hucles, a skillful midfielder who is the all-time leading scorer at the University of Virginia where she played forward, was named to her second Women’s World Cup roster after being on the 2003 squad, but she did not play in that tournament due to injury. The 29-year-old did see action at the 2004 Olympics where she was part of the gold medal-winning team. She has played 66 times for the USA, scoring five goals.
“Angela has played very well for us in the recent matches against Brazil and Norway,” said Ryan. “Her skill, composure and vision allow us to maintain possession against teams that play a high pressure style of defense. She is also training as a forward so that we have additional depth on the front line.”
Kai, 24, becomes the first Hawaiian to be named to a Women’s World Cup Team, following in the footsteps of fellow islander Brian Ching, who was the first Hawaiian to be named to a men’s U.S. World Cup Team, for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The rambunctious striker has scored seven times in her first 26 games for the U.S., including goals in her first two career matches. The addition of Kai gives the U.S. five forwards on the roster, which also include team captain Kristine Lilly, Abby Wambach, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly.
“Natasha Kai is a dynamic, fast and dangerous forward,” said Ryan. “She has grown tremendously in her understanding of how to play alongside our veteran forwards and has shown the commitment to get herself fitter than ever. Those qualities earned her the last forward spot on our team.”
Dalmy, 22, is by far the least-capped field player named to the Women’s World Cup Team having earned just two caps, against Mexico and Canada earlier this year. The tall, skillful and agile outside back joined Residency Training Camp just last May, which was her first experience with the full team after spending some time with the U.S. Under-21s. With the USA losing versatile defenders Amy LePeilbet (January) and Heather Mitts (May) due to ACL injuries, rosters spots were up for grabs, and Dalmy played her way onto game rosters and the Women’s World Cup Team during the past three months.
“Marian joined us very late in the selection process, but she has been impressive and consistent in her play as a wing defender,” said Ryan. “Her skill and composure make her a very good attacking flank defender. She is developing her defending skills rapidly and looks to have a great future with this team.”
Dalmy, like U.S. midfielders Leslie Osborne and Aly Wagner, attended Santa Clara University, and the USA’s trip to the Bay Area will be a homecoming of sorts for the Bronco trio. Spartan Stadium is just a few miles from the Santa Clara campus. Osborne and Wagner were key players for SCU during the 2001 season (Osborne a freshman, Wagner a junior) when they won the NCAA women’s soccer championship.
Wagner, a San Jose native, won the 2002 MAC Hermann Trophy as a senior and was the first pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft. She has played 112 times for the USA, scoring 21 goals.
Other players with local ties on the Women’s World Cup roster include former Stanford goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, and outside back Stephanie Lopez, the youngest player on the WWC team at 21, who grew up in the Sacramento suburb of Elk Grove.
With the addition of Women’s World Cup rookies Kai and Dalmy, 12 of the 21 players were named to their first Women’s World Cup Team, the most first-timers ever for any U.S. Women’s World Cup Team (not counting, of course, the first Women’s World Cup in 1991).
Despite the number of players entering their first Women’s World Cup, the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team has an average age of 26.7 years old.
The last visit to the Bay Area by the U.S. women came on Sept. 7, 2003, in a 5-0 win vs. Mexico at Spartan Stadium. The most important match ever played by the U.S. WNT in the region was a 2-0 Independence Day victory vs. Brazil in the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto. The U.S. also topped Brazil, 4-0, in the team’s Send-Off match before the 2000 Olympics at Spartan Stadium. Overall, the team has played six games in the region, holding a 6-0-0 all-time record while not allowing a goal.
Japan has never beaten the U.S. in 19 meetings, and in fact, has come away with just three ties, including the last meeting in the United States on May 9, 2004, in Louisville, Ky. The U.S. last faced Japan in a two-game series in Japan in May 2006, with the U.S. winning 3-1 on May 7 behind an Abby Wamach hat trick and 1-0 on May 9 on a Natasha Kai header. The WNT also topped Japan 2-1 en route to a gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Japan qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup with a 3-2 aggregate goals victory after a home-and-home playoff series with Mexico last March. Currently 10th in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, Japan is one of eight teams that have qualified for all five FIFA Women’s World Cups, dating back to 1991.
Following the Japan match, the USA will have a little more than a week off before regrouping in Chicago on Aug. 6 in preparation for a match against New Zealand on Aug. 12 at Soldier Field (12 p. CT live on ESPN2). The USA plays its final domestic match on Aug. 25 against Finland at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. (6:30 p.m. live on ESPN2) before departing for China on Aug. 27.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SOCCER TEAM
||Point Pleasant, N.J.
||Redondo Beach, Calif.
||East Brunswick, N.J.
||San Jose, Calif.
||Elk Grove, Calif.
||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
||Virginia Beach, Va.
||St. Louis, Mo.
||St. Charles, Ill.
FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).
FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – ROSTER BY EXPERIENCE
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (2007), Briana Scurry (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), Hope Solo (2007);
DEFENDERS (6): Marian Dalmy (2007), Tina Ellertson (2007), Stephanie Lopez (2007), Kate Markgraf (1999, 2003, 2007), Christie Rampone (1999, 2003, 2007), Cat Whitehill (2003, 2007);
MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (2003, 2007), Lori Chalupny (2007), Angela Hucles (2003, 2007), Marci Jobson (2007), Carli Lloyd (2007), Leslie Osborne (2007), Aly Wagner (2003, 2007);
FORWARDS (5): Natasha Kai (2007), Kristine Lilly (1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007), Heather O’Reilly (2007), Lindsay Tarpley (2007), Abby Wambach (2003, 2007).
Head Coach: Greg Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall (St. Charles, Ill.)
Asst./GK Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
Asst. Coach: Billy McNicol (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey (Redondo Beach, Calif.)
Equipment Manager: Jeanine Avila (Eagle Rock, Calif.)
Medical Trainer: Gigi Garcia (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
Medical Trainer: Michele Gould (Wilmington, Del.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (East Troy, Wisc.)
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi (Long Beach, Calif.)
Videographer: Noelle Jouglet (San Diego, Calif.)
Team Security: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Cypress, Calif.)