Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
7. SCOUTING REPORT: U.S. women to meet old foes
April 22nd, 2007 4:48PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

The Women's World Cup draw is becoming quite predictable.

The United States, the top seed in Group B at the 2007 Women's World Cup, will face North Korea, Sweden and Nigeria -- the same three opponents it faced in the first round of the 2003 World Cup. In addition, it marked the third straight time the Americans were to face North Korea and Nigeria.
The placement of North Korea, the No. 5 ranked team in the World Cup, sparked controversy as it was placed by FIFA -- not drawn -- in the U.S. group. Coach Greg Ryan said the USA was drawn with the best teams from each of the three pots at Sunday's draw in Wuhan, China. Sweden is ranked No. 4 in the world, and Nigeria has been Africa's best team for almost two decades.

"We have to go in there knowing that we are playing a great team in North Korea and need to get a result, then an incredibly talented Sweden team and then we play African champion Nigeria," he said. "Every game is going to require great focus and intensity to get the results we want."

More than 800 people attended the draw ceremony at the Guanggu Science and Technology Exhibition Centre in Wuhan. On Saturday, China beat the World All-Stars, 3-2, on Ji Ting's goal in the 90th minute in a game that attracted 31,000 fans.

Here's a look at the USA's three Group B opponents:

NORTH KOREA. The North Koreans went into the 2006 Asian Women's Cup as the two-time defending champions, but they had to beat Japan, 3-2, in the third-place game to qualify for the Women's World Cup. Following a post-game brawl after their 1-0 loss to China in the semifinals, three North Korean players were suspended and fined for the altercation, including the goalkeeper Hye Yong Han, who was banned world-wide for a year for kicking the referee in the back. North Korea also won the 2006 U-20 Women's World Cup.

"I think North Korea is the best team in Asia for a few years," said Ryan. "I've watched them many times in Olympic qualification and qualification for the 2003 World Cup, and I think there is no doubt they are the best in the Asia."

Game: Sept. 11 in Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium) 5 pm local/5 am ET.
Record: USA leads the series with a 2-0-0 record.

SWEDEN. The 2003 Women's World Cup runners-up gave the USA perhaps their toughest test of the year, twice coming back from two-goal deficits before falling, 3-2, to the Americans at the Algarve Cup in March. Sweden won its last seven games in European qualifying after opening with a 2-2 tie at home against Iceland.

"Sweden is one of my favorite teams," said Ryan. "They are dynamic, and have great team play, but they also have great individual play. They cut their players loose and let them attack and take risks. They are just fun to watch. I think right now, they are definitely playing the best soccer in Europe."

Game: Sept. 14 in Chengdu (Chengdu Sports Center Stadium) 5 pm local/5 am ET.
Record: USA leads the series with a 14-3-5 all-time record.

NIGERIA. Perpetua Nkwocha's early goal gave the Super Falcons a 1-0 victory over Ghana in the final to clinch their seventh straight African women's championship -- and the fifth in a row by shutout.
The USA has won the two meetings in the Women's World Cup -- 5-1 in 1999 and 5-0 in 2003 -- but Ryan called Nigeria easily the best team in its pot at the Wuhan draw.

Game: Sept. 18 in Shanghai (Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium) at 8 pm local/8 am ET.
Record: USA leads the series with a 2-0-0 record.

CHINA '07 DRAW:
GROUP A:
Germany, Japan, England, Argentina.
GROUP B: United States, North Korea, Sweden, Nigeria.
GROUP C: Norway, Australia, Ghana, Canada.
GROUP D: China, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand.


No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Kljestan and Boyd get first goals    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Sacha Kljestan, whose short-term move to MLS over the summer was thwarted, finally got ...
Zakuani makes 'most difficult decision' in his life    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] At the age of 26, Steve Zakuani is retiring from soccer, his career never ...
Crew lines up young Swede for 2015 campaign    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The Columbus Crew is about to enter the playoffs for the first time under ...
Red Bulls are rolling, Sporting KC is reeling    
[MLS PLAYOFF PREVIEW] Sporting Kansas City starts off defense of its 2013 MLS Cup title Thursday ...
Controversial call sends FC Dallas into next round    
[MLS PLAYOFFS] One game into the 2014 MLS playoffs and already the postseason is roiled by ...
You won't believe he missed from there    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Napoli's Jose Callejon demonstrates how to miss an open net from ...
What They're Saying: Jermain Defoe    
"It was hurtful. In England, at all the clubs I've played for, no one ever said ...
An own goal worthy of dance celebration?    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Less than two minutes after kickoff in this Kenyan Premier League ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 33] Seattle closed out the regular season atop the Soccer America Power Rankings by ...
FIFA introduces official logo    
[WORLD CUP 2018] FIFA and World Cup 2018 organizers introduced the official logo for the tournament ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives