A round-up of women’s soccer news from around the world.
U.S. skipper Greg Ryan has revealed the 18 players that he will take to Japan for the scheduled friendlies on May 7th and 9th. The U.S. will look to improve on its 14-0-3 all-time record against Japan in the first meetings between the two countries since the 2004 Olympic quarterfinal, which the U.S. won 2-1. Veteran goalkeeper Briana Scurry makes her first appearance on a game roster since the end of 2004 and is the only player named to not have participated in the recently concluded Algarve Cup.
The full roster includes goalkeepers Briana Scurry and Hope Solo; defenders Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, and Cat Whitehill; midfielders Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley and Aly Wagner; forwards Natasha Kai, Kristine Lilly, Heather O’Reilly, Abby Wambach and Christie Welsh.
U.S. U-21 Plan Short Trip To Europe
The U.S. U-21 Women’s Team is also planning its own trip abroad, as the squad prepares for the upcoming annual Nordic Cup, to be held in Norway this summer. The team will face Seastum, a Dutch women’s club, on April 29th in Tiel, Holland before taking on Holland’s U-21 squad at the same venue on May 2nd. The three-match tour will then end on May 4th in Duisburg, Germany against that city’s women’s Bundesliga team. Head coach Jill Ellis will be evaluating some new talent as many of her regular selections are with the senior squad or the U-20 team.
Packing their bags for the trip are: goalkeepers Cori Alexander and Kati Jo Spisak; defenders Rachel Buehler, Kendall Fletcher, Holly Gault, Hayley Hunt and Lauren Switzer; midfielders Bristyn Davis, Tobin Heath, Sarah Huffman, Noelle Keselica, Manya Makoski, Rebecca Moros and Jennifer Redmond; forwards Danesha Adams, Liz Bogus, Katie Griffin, Kelly Hammond, Ashlee Pistorius, and Tiffany Weimer.
U.S. U-20s Win in Brasil
The U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team managed to win Brasil’s Ricardo Teixeira Cup, on the strength of a 4-0 trouncing of Canada, despite losing to the hosts, 1-2, two days later. The win over Canada avenged a tie between the two earlier in the cup, as second-half substitute Kelley O’Hara exploded for two goals, adding to first-half tallies from Lauren Cheney and Jessica Rostedt. The trip finished on a sour note, however, as the U.S. lost to Brasil on April 24th despite a Jordan Angeli strike 14 minutes into the match. The Brasilians got even in the 38th minute as Renata Costa made good on her free kick from 25 yards out. Play was rough—there were 38 total fouls committed between the two sides—and culminated in a red for U.S. keeper Val Henderson in the 65th minute after she fouled a Brasilian attacker. Two minutes later Maurine got the home side the winning goal after she scooped up a poor clearance and sent the ball into the back of the net.
Next up for the U.S. U-20 squad is a brief training camp from April 30th through May 7th at the HomeDeportCenter in Carson, California before traveling to Germany for a round of matches in early May. Only 11 of the 17 players called into the camp were with the team in Brasil, as seven regulars (Carrie Dew, Ariel Harris, Stephanie Logterman, Stephanie Lopez, Brittany Bock, Danesha Adams and Amy Rodriguez) will not be able to join the team until its trip overseas.
Included on the training camp roster are: goalkeepers Kelsey Davis, Joanna Haig and Val Henderson; defenders Jordan Angeli, Jill Gilbeau, Erin Hardy, Nikki Kryzsik, Sara Wagenfuhr; midfielders Natalie Capuano, Tina DiMartino, Katie Larkin, Allie Long, Amanda Poach and Lorraine Quinn; forwards Lauren Cheney, Kelley O’Hara and Jessica Rostedt.
U-20 World Championship Draw
FIFA recently revealed the final draw for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, and the U.S. were placed into Group D, with Argentina, France and the second qualifier from the African confederation. Group A is surely this tourney’s Group of Death, with both hosts Russia and Brasil, in addition to New Zealand and Australia. Group B features China PR, Finland, Canada and the first qualifier from Africa and Group C contains defending champs Germany as well as Mexico, Korea and Switzerland.
The championship’s official opener on August 17th will see Group A’s Brasil take on Russia in what promises to be a thriller. The Americans will kick off their tourney a day later against the African team and will then face Argentina on the 21st and France on the 24th. Later rounds will begin on August 26th and the event will culminate with the championship match on September 3rd.
UEFA Qualifying Results
Last weekend’s UEFA qualifying featured no upsets and many lopsided scoresheets. In Group 1, Italy thrashed their hosts Greece 5-0 as Patrizia Panico found net four times. Italy now are tied with Norway for the top spot in the table, although the Azzurre have played one more game. Group 2’s Sweden barely managed to slip past the CzechRepublic 3-2, but thanks to Lota Schelin’s two late goals the Swedes are now in sole possession of first place. Laura Kalmari registered a hat-trick to help Finlandbeat Poland5-1 in Group 3 but Spaintook control of the table with a 4-2 victory over Belgium. Up next for the Spaniards is a trip to Denmark on Thursday, April 27th in a match between the group’s top two teams.
Group 4 saw the Republic of Ireland get revenge for last month’s 2-0 loss to Switzerland and beat the Swiss by the same score line. With the victory, the Irish move into third place in the pool and their opponents drop to fourth.
Finally, France kept hosts Hungary without any points or goals with a 5-0 drubbing. Les Bleues remain in second in Group 5, three points behind table-leader England.
The next full schedule of UEFA qualifiers is set for the first weekend in May.
Goal.com Women’s Editor Sayre Priddy