Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Five reasons why the USA will win the Women's World Cup
by Paul Kennedy, September 10th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup

MOST COMMENTED

Soccer America continues its examination of the favorites with a look at the USA, which heads into the 2007 Women's World Cup as the odds-on favorite.

After all, they are undefeated in their last 47 games and have yet to lose under their rigorous coach, Greg Ryan.

The U.S. women believe they may be the best women's team ever assembled.

They are surely "The Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of," as they have been billed by team sponsor Nike.

They take to the field for the first time on Tuesday when they face North Korea in Chengdu (TV: ESPN2, live, 4:55 am ET).

Here are five reasons why the USA will win the Womens World Cup.

1. KRISTINE LILLY. The sole survivor from the 1991 U.S. world championship team, Kristine Lilly is at 36 playing the best soccer of her career.

She played much of her career in midfield but now patrols the left side of the U.S. attack with great effect. The world recordholder with 331 caps has nine goals and five assists in 12 games in 2007.

This will be her fifth and last World Cup. She hopes to start a family soon and says she has no intention of playing again after becoming a mother.

2. ABBY WAMBACH. Abby Wambach (77 goals in 96 games) has a better strike rate than other U.S. greats like Mia Hamm (158 goals in 275 games) and Michelle Akers (105 goals in 136 games).

Wambach, who has scored a a team-leading 11 goals in 2007, left the final World Cup tuneup against Finland in the 27th minute with a toe injury but sustained no serious damage.

"Abby's tough enough that some minor pain is not going to stop her," said Ryan. "She's just an awfully tough person. In the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, she was on a bad ankle that entire Gold Cup, and she scored the goals to get us into the World Cup, so Abby will be fine."

3. DEPTH. Ryan says a big difference from the past is that the USA no longer rely on a few players.

Nowhere is the U.S. depth more evident than in midfield.

Shannon Boxx, arguably the best holding midfielder in women's soccer, was out for eight months with a knee injury, and Leslie Osborne stepped in and played very well.

Carli Lloyd, who scored one goal for the USA going into 2007, scored goals in all four games at the 2007 Algarve Cup, where she was named the best player, and is another key player.

Aly Wagner, one of the best playmakers in women's soccer, would start on most other teams, but she is a role player on the U.S. national team.

4. YOUTH. Veteran Heather Mitts went down with a knee injury, and Stephanie Lopez, a senior at the University of Portland, has stepped into the starting lineup.

Lopez is one of five possible starters who have not played in a World Cup. The others are goalkeeper Hope Solo, midfielder Lori Chalupny, forward Lindsay Tarpley and Lloyd.

Heather O'Reilly and Marian Dalmy were still playing college ball last season, while Tarpley and Chalupny, O'Reilly's former North Carolina teammates, are only two years removed from college soccer.

5. VERSATILITY. Lopez, a left back for most of her young international career, has also been used in midfield as Ryan has experimented with a 3-4-3 formation in place of his usual 4-3-3.

"We wanted to make sure we know how to play in as many systems as possible with as many different combinations of players as possible," says Ryan. "And so I feel good that there are four or five systems we could use in this World Cup, if we need to."

U.S. ROSTER
GOALKEEPERS: 21-Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), 1-Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), 18-Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS: 2-Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), 8-Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), 14-Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), 15-Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), 3-Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), 4-Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS: 7-Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 17-Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), 16-Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), 19-Marci Jobson (St. Charles, Ill.), 11-Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), 12-Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), 10-Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS: 6-Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), 13-Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), 9-Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), 5-Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), 20-Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Chapecoense mourner Claudiane Penegalli     
"It creates indignation because it was a human failure. It wasn't a problem with nature, with ...
What They're Saying: Simon Grayson    
"You expect it in the playground between 4- or 5-year-olds, not from two professionals who've been ...
MLS Moves: Quakes decline options on nine players    
Former U.S. national team defender Clarence Goodson, former U.S. U-20s Marc Pelosi and Tommy Thompson and ...
MLS Moves: Former Xolos sign with Atlanta and SKC    
Two Americans who began their pro careers at Mexico's Tijuana have signed contracts with MLS clubs. ...
Video Pick: Pulisic's pocket warmer    
Both had a laugh when Christian Pulisic entered Borussia Dortmund's 4-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach and ...
U.S. U-17 boys crush competition at Nike Friendlies    
The USA won the U-17 Nike International Friendlies competition in convincing fashion, clinching with a 3-0 ...
U.S. Abroad: Arena watches Pulisic and Johnson    
New U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena watched Christian Pulisic play at Borussia Dortmund as he ...
U.S. U-17s boys romp again, beat Turkey, 5-1     
After opening the Nike International Friendlies with a 7-1 win over Portugal, the U.S. U-17 boys ...
U-20 WWC: USA badly outplayed in third-place game loss    
Japan outshot the USA 29-3 while beating the Americans 1-0 in the third-place game at the ...
U.S. Abroad: Alvarado headed to Santos for Torneo Clausura    
Ventura Alvarado is back in the starting lineup at Mexican giant Club America, which tied Necaxa, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives