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
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
Preseason play wrapped up Saturday with the Houston Dynamo (Carolina Challenge Cup), New York Red Bulls ...
Gallardo shines as U.S. U-17s rout Cuba     
Joe Gallardo, who suffered a broken shinbone last August, scored a hat trick as the USA ...
Garber: 'Nobody's looking for a work stoppage'    
Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston on Friday, MLS commissioner Don Garber ...
What They're Saying: Univision's Juan Carlos Rodriguez    
"If the rights are already fixed, there's little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the ...
2015 MLS Preseason Action    
The MLS preseason wraps up on Saturday with 18 of 20 teams in action, all but ...
MLS issues record fine to owner Dell Loy Hansen    
One MLS owner, Real Salt Salt's Dell Loy Hansen, has not been shy about expressing his ...
id2 tour kicks off Monday in Argentina    
The id2 National Selection will kick off its tour of Argentina with the first of four ...
Concacaf Under-17 Championship television schedule    
The USA kicks off play in the Concacaf Under-17 Championship Friday against Cuba in San Pedro ...
USA enjoys long history of U-17 regional success    
The U.S. U-17s will get a chance at the 2015 Concacaf Under-17 Championship to avenge the ...
D.C. United sadly outclassed in Costa Rica    
Alajuelense jumped on top early and pounded D.C. United, 5-2, in the first leg of their ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives