Wednesday, June 18, 2008

First Game Over in Suwon

Australia has defeated Brazil, 1-0, in the first match of Group B, but the USA was two minutes away from qualifying for the Peace Queen Cup Final without ever breaking a sweat. A tie would have qualified the USA for the championship game no matter what the result againt Italy, but Aussie striker Kyah Simon's 90th minute strike gave the Matildas the hard-fought victory and they repelled two Brazilian scoring oportunties in stoppage time. As expected, the USA will now need a win or a tie against Italy to make the final. U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage is giving five players their first starts of the tournament, including goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who will play her first match since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in early May. The USA's 2008 leading scorer (11 goals) Natasha Kai also returns to the lineup sheet after sitting out the 1-0 win over Brazil on June 17. Team captain Christie Rampone will see her streak of 16 consecutive starts end after getting a knock on the ankle against Brazil, but is fit enough to play and could see time off the bench. Carli Lloyd will start despite breaking her nose last game. She'll wear a protective mask dubbed "The Hawk" by the U.S. athletic training staff, because, well, it sort of makes her look like she's got a beak? Or maybe like the Superhero? We're not quite sure.

The U.S. starters:

24-Nicole Barnhart; 2-Heather Mitts, 26-Rachel Buehler, 15-Kate Markgraf – Capt., 14-Stephanie Cox; 21-Kacey White, 16-Angela Hucles, 11-Carli Lloyd, 9-Heather O’Reilly; 6-Natasha Kai, 20-Abby Wambach.


Kylie said...

Good luck USWNT!!

Hopefully it'll be a good game, we come away with a win and get into the final because I know quite a few people (myself included) who are only going to be getting about 4 hours of sleep this morning...=]

Great to see Kai back, nice to see Barnhart will get some time as well-and I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of Carli and her 'beak.'

Impedient said...

Congratulations on the win once again! Great 2 goals from Abby!

I'm very confident and sure that the team will walk away with the title of this tournament, very confident. No one can catch us!

A fan all the way in Asia, Singapore,

MARDELLE said...


Great game ladies on to the finals. :)

Emily(LOVES US SOCCER) said...

yay good to see HAO start in this one!!