Saturday, July 12, 2008

Now That's Going Green

One U.S. player will be wearing these sweet kicks tomorrow against Brazil in the match broadcast live on ESPN at 2 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. ET. We're not saying'll have to tune in to find out. Suddenly, we're hungry for peppermint, or maybe thirsty for some green tea.

Christie's Old Guards

Did you know that Christie Rampone has had the same shinguards for eight years? The WNT Blog didn't, until we found today. That has to be some kind of record, right? Said Christie: "I stick with what works. I like the way they feel." 'Nuff said. That dates these guards back to about the middle of 2000. These puppies are going on their third Olympics! We're wondering if maybe Nike can dig into the time capsule and pull out another pair for Rampone? Those things have to fall apart one day, right? Anyway, those guards have more caps than almost anyone who has ever played for the National Team. Speaking of a lot of caps, JP Dellacamera, who has done more WNT games on TV than anyone else by far (we don't want to say how long he's been around, but he did Mia Hamm's college games), and Tony DiCicco, who coached the USA for 119 games from 1995-1999, chatted with Abby Wambach after today's training to prepare for the ESPN broadcast tomorrow.

True Pioneer

The U.S. team had a special guest at training today in Linda Gancitano. Don't know her? You're excused, but she was one of 12 women who played in the first-ever U.S. Women's National Team match on Aug. 18, 1985 in Jesolo, Italy. The defender came off the bench that day against Italy, making her the first-ever substitute in U.S. history. She got her one career start against Denmark in the final match of that four-game tour and her two career caps make her one of the 281 women to have played for the full U.S. Women's National Team. She lives in Florida, but was visiting friends in Denver and made contact with U.S. Soccer, so we invited her to training. She's coming to the game tomorrow too. Surely, she'll be thinking "We've come a long way, baby." Check back soon on's all_access video for a short piece as we take Linda back, WAY the first-ever WNT game. Above, Linda takes a pic with two WNT greats. Below, the first-ever U.S. team.

That's Linda, front row, third from the left (we think).


The U.S. team trained today at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and as it's the first visit for the WNT to the venue, we must say we came away extremely impressed. Kudos to the architects, designers, workers and anyone else that was involved in building this building as it's surely one of the best soccer venues in the country. The 18,000-seat stadium, which opened in April of 2007, is surrounded by a 24 fields, and the stadium pitch is about as good as it gets. It's also wide. Very wide. We're told that the stadium features the largest video scoreboard for a stadium its size in the world, and that's pretty cool. The U.S. team had a 70-minute training in perfect weather and the atmosphere tomorrow for the game should be rockin', as it will be the fourth largest crowd to see the U.S. team play this year and largest inside the USA.


Friends and family are certainly a fixture at U.S. WNT games in the States. For the Brazil match in Colorado, Lori Chalupny's little sister Casey has made it out. Lori's self-proclaimed "Number-one fan" is on a little family vacation and has been watching her big sister play since...well...since she was born. Lori is 10 years older and first held Casey at the hospital while still wearing her soccer uniform after she rushed over from a game. Casey plays for the St. Louis Soccer Club, but will attend Ursuline Academy next fall, which is the rival high school to Lori's Nerinx Hall. Yes, Casey will not be a Marker. She's also been known to make some cool signs for her sister, including "Lori Chalupny is my sister" and "We Love the Ginger Princess." We'll see what she comes up with tomorrow as she will surely be trying to get on ESPN.

Totally Tarp

A few of the Nike-endorsed athletes did some interviews and cool photographs for Nike Digital and Nike Brand Connections today after lunch. Without giving up too much, you should see some nice stuff over the next few months and into the fall. Here's a sneak peak of Lindsay Tarpley with our WNT BlogCam (Nike had some "nicer" cameras, to say the least).

New WNT Webisode!

The new WNT webisode is now available on US Soccer's myspace page. This webisode features an inside look at the team after they qualified for the Olympics. Also, don't miss the special cameos from Rylie and Keegan. CLICK HERE to check it out!

Two Masks

Turns out that Kate Markgraf broke her nose against Sweden on July 5 in Skelleftea. She was out of the game for a few minutes while the USA's athletic trainers stemmed the blood flow and she changed jerseys, and she played the rest of the game with cotton in her nose. It seems she headed the back of a Sweden player's head, exactly like Carli Lloyd did against Brazil in the Peace Queen Cup, and now the USA will have two players wearing protective masks to shield their tender noses for this Sunday's game against Brazil. It's not the first time, or even the second, that Markgraf has broken her nose, so the U.S. co-captain is used to the process. Not like it's easy to play with a mask, though. But Kate is tough. She's from Detroit. Well, a suburb of Detroit. Lloyd will wear her mask for the next two games, but may not have to wear it in the Olympics. Markgraf is game-by-game.


The U.S. Women's National Team match against Brazil on Sunday from Dick's Sporting Goods Park will not only be aired live on ESPN at 2 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. ET, but it will also be shown live on the Armed Forces Network/Extra, meaning that our service men and women around the world will be able to tune in. As we've said on this Blog in the past, often military personnel make up a large part of the USA's cheering section when the team plays abroad, so it's great that they'll get to see the team play at home as well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Get'em While They're Hot...

No, not hot dogs, tickets. Which are going fast for both of the USA's matches against Brazil, the first this Sunday and then against next Wednesday. There's only a couple of thousand left for Sunday's match at Dick's Sporting Goods Park and for the clash at Torero Stadium in San Diego, less than 500 seats remain. That means if you live in San Diego, Orange or Los Angeles counties and you want to come to the game, you'd better move fast. Click here for one of the precious few tickets left to the July 16 match, which is the USA's Send-Off to the 2008 Olympic Games. A packed house at Torero Stadium seems like a great way to send the team off to the Olympics. You are classy San Diego!

On the Road Again...

After a four-day break following the USA's trip to Scandinavia, the team is back on the road as (almost) all the players arrived in Denver today to prepare for the match against Brazil on Sunday, live on ESPN at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. Defender Stephanie Cox gets in tomorrow to complete the 18-player Olympic roster. The U.S. team will have one training session at Dick's Sporting Goods Park tomorrow morning before facing the Brazilians on Sunday. The teams met a little less than four weeks ago at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea with the USA coming away with a 1-0 victory, but Brazil will bring a stronger team to Colorado and San Diego that the one that appeared in Suwon. J.P. Dellacamera and former U.S. WNT head coach Tony DiCicco, the current head coach of the U.S. U-20 Women's National Team, will be calling the action for ESPN. Several of the players did sit-down interviews this evening for the ESPN broadcast, and kudos to Abby Wambach, who stepped out of a cab, threw her stuff in her room and went straight to her interview. She's a pro, that Abby. She's also going for her 100th goal on Sunday, but of course, she'll tell you that playing well and winning take precedence over any records. Still, the WNT Blog would like to see her bag the 100th on Sunday in the USA's second-ever match in Colorado.