April 9, 2007
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
CHICAGO - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 18-player roster that will face Mexico on April 14 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., as the USA begins the stretch run to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The clash between Mexico and the USA, which recently moved up to number one in the FIFA World Rankings, will be broadcast live on ussoccer.com's MatchACCESS streaming video at 5 p.m. ET, marking the first-ever webcast of a full national team game on ussoccer. Fans can also follow along with lineups, stats and commentary on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
The match will be the opening game of a doubleheader also featuring the hometown New England Revolution against the expansion Toronto FC. Tickets for the two-game package start at $32 and are available online at ussoccer.com, at all Massachusetts Ticketmaster outlets (including Macy's and FYE Stores), the Gillette Stadium box office (Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and by phone at 866-448-7849 or 617-931-2222. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets at discounted prices by calling the New England Revolution at 877-438-7387 (877-GET-REVS).
Ryan selected the roster from the 32 players currently in the four-month Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The match marks the return to her hometown for U.S. forward Kristine Lilly, who played for the Boston Breakers in the WUSA. Lilly will captain the USA against Mexico in the 19th meeting between the regional rivals. The teams met most recently last November in perhaps the most important match ever between the two countries as the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, that will be held from Sept. 10-30 in China.
Lilly, who is shooting for her fifth Women's World Cup tournament, comes to Boston with her world-record 323 international appearances. Midfielder Shannon Boxx, whose three games at the Algarve Cup were her first matches since July of 2006 after returning from major knee surgery, is set to play her first domestic game for the USA since Oct. 23, 2005, a 3-0 win over Mexico in Charleston, S.C. Defender Kate Markgraf, also a Boston resident, is not on the roster as she continues to rehabilitate from injuries. She is making her comeback from the birth of her son last year.
Making up the 18 players are most of the U.S. veterans, including last year's leading scorer Abby Wambach, who has racked up 68 career goals in just 88 career games to date. Carli Lloyd, who led the USA at the Algarve Cup in mid-March with four goals - one in each game - to earn tournament MVP honors, is one of the five midfielders on the roster.
The youngest player named to the roster is 19-year-old forward Lauren Cheney, who scored 19 goals for UCLA as a freshman last fall. A member of the USA's squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship, Cheney has appeared just once for the senior team but had a great week of training during the USA's first block of Residency Training Camp and earned a spot on the roster for the Mexico match. Ryan also named 22-year-old defender Marian Dalmy to her first-ever national team roster. The 5-foot-9 outside back was the WWC Player of the Year last fall for Santa Clara. She is the only uncapped player on the roster.
Mexico comes into the match feeling the sting of failing to qualify for the Women's World Cup after losing a two-game playoff to Japan in mid-March, but head coach Leo Cueller's squad will feature Maribel Dominguez, Mexico's greatest ever women's player with 53 goals in 69 games for the tricolores.
This will be the sixth-ever game for the USA on an artificial surface. The USA and Mexico also played on artificial grass on Sept. 13, 2006, in Rochester, N.Y. at PAETEC Park, a 3-1 U.S. win.
The U.S. women will be playing their first match in the Boston area since the historic 1-0 win against Norway on October 1, 2003, during the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals at Gillette Stadium. Abby Wambach scored the USA's goal on a header in front of more than 20,000 fans.
The USA-Mexico clash is the first of eight domestic games the U.S. women will play over the five months before leaving for China. The schedule continues with a match against Canada (tickets) on May 12 in Frisco, Texas. The USA will wear pink uniforms in that match to benefit Breast Cancer Awareness. The USA will then embark on a six-game 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup Send-Off Series, starting against China on June 16 in Cleveland and continuing against Brazil on June 23 in East Rutherford, N.J. in a re-match of the 2004 Olympic gold medal game.