Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tarp 100!

The starting lineups are in and Lindsay Tarpley is in it. That means that the 23-year-old midfielder will earn her 100th cap today as the USA takes on Brazil. Making it even more special is the fact that Tarpley will earn her 100th cap in the same venue in which she earned her first, debuting at Torero Stadium on Jan. 12, 2003, against Japan. A 23-year-old earning her 100th cap? Well, the U.S. plays a lot of matches and over the past six years Tarpley has played in almost all of them. As is the tradition on the U.S. team, Tarpley will captain the squad today. Tarpley has plenty of experience wearing captain's band, having captained the U.S. U-19s to the World Championship in 2002. Above is Lindsay with her BFF Heather O'Reilly who has 93 caps and will soon follow Tarp into the 100-cap club. Here are today's U.S. starters:

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 17-Lori Chalupny, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt, 15-Kate Markgraf, 2-Heather Mitts; 7-Shannon Boxx, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 11-Carli Lloyd; 8-Amy Rodriguez, 12-Abby Wambach.

Official Team Pic

The U.S. team posed for it's official 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team picture yesterday and we might be biased, but we think it looks pretty sweet. These are the 18 headed to China next week in search of Olympic gold. For some video of team pic day, click below.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SOLD OUT! (Almost...)

There will be a packed house at Torero Stadium tomorrow night for the USA-Brazil game as the match will be a sell-out. That means about 7,000 fans will pack into the picturesque venue for the largest crowed ever to watch a women's soccer match in San Diego. There are a few hundred standing room only tickets left and U.S. Soccer has made a few hundred more seats available (sometimes tickets get put back into the system), so a few hundred walk-up fans arriving early should be able to get into the match, but don't be mad if they are all gone. You know what they say, the early bird gets the USA-Brazil ticket. Of course, you can also go to to try to grab a few through Ticketmaster while they last. Click here. Oh yeah, if you are coming to match PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY. Torero is a small stadium and is not used to holding so many fans so it would appreciate if you got their early to avoid congestion getting into the stadium.

Taco Night at the Buehler's

Two happy forwards gorge themselves on tasty Mexican food.

On Monday night, the entire U.S. team took a trip north to Del Mar for dinner at Rachel Buehler's house. Rachel is of course from San Diego, altough she attended Stanford, and her family welcomed the team into their home. Special thanks to the proud parents of the first-time Olympian, Mary Ellen and Donald Buehler (a heart surgeon) for hosting the team at their beautiful house. The players scarfed down piles of home made tacos (a local taqueria was cooking up the tortillas, beef, chicken and carnitas right there) and some absolutely fantastic desserts (home made pound cake and cheese cake = yummmmmm) as sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Hey, California livin' is good livin'. Anytime the team can get out for dinner it's a fun night, but they don't often get a back yard picnic and suffice it to say that we had to roll a few players out of there after they ate so much.

Rachel and her younger sister Anna, who like her big sis, will attend Stanford this fall. How about the most patriotic pound cake EVER?

Rachel and her Aunt Mardelle, a devoted reader of the WNT Blog.

You Stay Classy, San Diego!

The U.S. team got a great welcome at the San Diego Airport when they arrived in town on Monday morning. Thanks to all the girls from the San Diego Surf club (and thanks to the Soccer Moms who brought them) for coming out to greet the team. No matter how many flights you take and how many airports you walk through, it's always nice to be greated by smiling and excited faces. Hopefully, everyone got their stuff signed, got to meet former San Diego Surf player Rachel Buehler and we'll surely see most of the same faces at Torero Stadium on Wednesday night.

A-Rod signs some t-shirts. Not long ago, A-Rod was getting her t-shirt signed by WNT players.

Hometown hero Rachel Buehler chats with Jim Stone of the local NBC affiliate.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Home Run for A-Rod

Certainly a great event today outside of Denver. More than 15,000 fans, two excellent teams, a fantastic stadium and one world class finish. Although, it was hot. Darn hot. And dry. So hot and dry in fact that these quotes were uttered by U.S. players after the game:

Tobin Heath: "I felt like I had a big hair ball in my throat."
Stephanie Cox: "My mouth has never been that dry."

The fact that both teams were able to put on good performances in such heat and at a mile-high altitude was truly impressive. And if there are such things at breakthrough games (there probably aren't, as success on the national team usually comes from chipping away at the wall instead of breaking it down), then maybe today was that game for Amy Rodriguez. She came on at halftime and immediately started causing trouble for the Brazilians. Her world-class strike was as spectacular as it was exciting. Yes, the ball did skip through a Brazilian defender's legs to get to her, but it was the U.S. that capitalized on a mistake and her shot off the goalkeeper hands and into the roof of the net was about as good as it gets. The U.S. team travels to San Diego tomorrow morning, will have a light training in the afternoon and then tomorrow's dinner at Rachel Buehler's house! We're not sure of the menu yet, but we know it'll be good eatin'.