It's rare that the U.S. WNT plays a team it has never faced before, but that's what will happen
this evening when the USA takes on Guatemala in Group B action. You can watch live on CONCACAF.com
via a free video web stream. (You have to sign up, though).
In fact, this will be the just USA's seventh meeting with a Central American country.
The USA's picturesque hotel here in Cancun has been the site of several weddings during the team's
stay and it seems that defender Ali Krieger and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris have attended all of
them...or at least checked them out. For Krieger, it's more a matter of vocation, as she has
aspirations of being a wedding planner after she finishes playing soccer.
Even though the Day of the Dead is not celebrated until Nov. 2 in Mexico, tomorrow is Halloween
in the United States, and as you can see, forward Lauren Cheney got a head start with this scary
gent who sits in the lobby of the U.S. hotel. Tomorrow, the American players are planning on
dressing up in costumes, but there will be no Trick or Treating (well, maybe for Kristine Lilly's
two-year-old Sidney), but some players may wear costumes to dinner.
U.S. forward Abby Wambach and goalkeeper Hope Solo are two of 10 nominees for the 2010 FIFA Women's
World Player of the Year. The nominations included seven players who were part of WPS teams this
past season. In addition, for the first time FIFA will name a men's and women's coach of the year
We spied U.S. goalkeepers Jill Loyden and Nicole Barnhart opening up a book called "Meditative
Coloring" so we decided to inquire as to what the heck was the deal with that. Seems the U.S.
goalkeepers find some calmness and tranquility in the coloring and it's a great way to pass the
down time here in Cancun during Women's World Cup qualifying.
As is proven by this pic. The U.S. players were treated to their own banner in the hotel lobby as
they walked back from the pre-game meal. Pretty cool to get your pic taken with Abby Wambach and
Kristine Lilly (and Lil's daughter Sidney). Go USA.
Air Rapinoe: This shot didn't go on frame, but oh man, if it had scored...
The 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying is off and running and the Americans took control
of Group B after the first match day with a 5-0 win over Haiti. The match featured tons of chances
for the U.
It's not often a winning team would enter the opponent's locker room, especially after a World Cup
qualifying match, but that's exactly what happened tonight in Cancún, Mexico after the USA's 5-0
win over Haiti.
The island nation is still recovering from the devastating earthquake of last January 12 that
reduced much of the country to rubble and took an estimated 230,000 lives, injured more than
300,000 and left one million homeless.
The U.S. WNT wasn't able to train at Estadio Quintana Roo today (none of the Group B teams are
getting stadium trainings to preserve the field which will host six first round matches), but the
squad did move to its training site for the rest of the tournament, which happens to be on a sod
farm, hence it's a pretty good pitch.
For some reason, U.S. WNT defender Heather Mitts really likes jumping out from behind things and
scaring her teammates. And we mean, she REALLY likes doing it. No one is safe. Not players,
coaches, staff members, or sometimes by accident, hotel workers. And truth be told, what's not to
like? It's tons of fun and works every time, and when you've got a lot of downtime on WNT trips,
you have to do something to pass the time, right?
The U.S. team had practice at mid-day today and the session featured many mini-games of 4 v. 4 on
both big goals with goalkeepers and on small goals. After a somewhat lackluster practice yesterday,
the squad had a great training today, which is usually what happens when you put these players in
competitive game situations.
Big news inside the U.S. WNT to start this event as midfielder Heather O'Reilly got engaged over
the break. While in Chapel Hill for Mia Hamm's charity golf tournament, Heather's long-time
boyfriend Dave Werry (they were college sweethearts!) popped the question.
Werry asked her to go on a jog through campus and as they entered the track around UNC's Fetzer
Field, where O'Reilly starred for the soccer team and Werry played lacrosse, up on the scoreboard
was this message:
The U.S. WNT continued its preparation today for the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying
tournament on what was widely agreed by the players at the hotest day so far. The team is actually
loving the heat, but it could cool down tomorrow as some rain is expected due to a possible
tropical storm brushing past Cancun.
On a day off for the U.S. WNT today, six of the more adventerous souls took a day trip to one of
the Seven Wonders of the World...the ancient Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza! As spectacular as it is
in pictures, it was even more so in person. The team had an excellent guide (if you visit Chichen
Itza, ask for Rey) who did a wonderful job at explaining the history, the culture, religion and
science of the Mayans, whose ancient city is spread out over a vast area and dates back at least
1,000 years, if not more.
Today was a day off for the U.S. WNT. The team will train on Sunday and Monday, have Tuesday off,
and then hold its pre-game practice on Wednesday before opening the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup
Qualifying Tournament on Thursday against Haiti. Fans can follow that match on ussoccer.com's
MatchTracker or watch via a free web stream on CONCACAF.
The U.S. WNT practiced today at the stadium for the third division squad of the Mexican First
Division team Atlante. It was a bit antiquated, but definitely had some character and the field was
in good shape. The U.S. team had a great practice, perhaps its best in a while, under some hot, hot
U.S. defender Stephanie Cox, formerly Stephanie Lopez, has got a little bit of media attention
early in the trip. That's due to the fact that she is the first player of Hispanic descent to make
an impact on the U.S. Women's National Team. Cox's grandfather was born in Mexico, a fact that made
prominent in one newspaper today: "Stephanie, a defender with Mexican blood.
The U.S. WNT had only one practice today so it was a solid two hours. The field was a bit bumpy,
but the players attacked training with the usual gusto on a beautiful day in Cancun. Here are a few
Shannon Boxx dribbles between Amy Rodriguez (L) and Lori Lindsey
The U.S. WNT practices so far have been viewed by quite a few fans and attended by a solid number
of media as well. While Mexicans love soccer, it's likely that they don't see much women's soccer
in Cancun, and especially not played by elite female players. The fans watching have created
somewhat of a festive atmosphere at training.
Megan Rapinoe and Lori Lindsey battle for a ball on the sideline
The first full day for the U.S. WNT in Cancun was a busy one, consisting of a morning on-field
training and afternoon weights, meaning the players didn't get much chance to enjoy the scenery,
although there were some brief dips in the ocean.
Megan Rapinoe and Amy Rodriguez get an early start on the Mexican cuisine at the Dallas
Welcome to Mexico, U.S. Women's National Team. The players and staff flew into Dallas this
morning from all different parts of the USA (and if your name is Ali Krieger, Germany too), to
catch at 4:30 p.
If you are going to be in Cancun, Mexico, from Oct. 28-Nov. 8, or just need to get away and can
think of nothing more relaxing than taking in some CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying matches,
here is some information on tickets for all the games.
Tickets will be available on game day at the stadium box offices and the LOC is working on making
them available at the box offices several days before the matches as well.
Kate Markgraf, one of the most-capped players in the history of the U.S. Women's National team with
201 games played, has retired. A starter for the USA in the last six world championships, she
played her last match for the U.S. National Team on July 17 against Sweden in East Hartford, Conn.,
and retires as one of the greatest defenders in U.
U.S. WNT head coach Pia Sundhage has named the 20-player roster for the 2010 CONCACAF Women's World
Cup Qualifying tournament in Mexico. A few surprises perhaps, but it's also stocked with
experience. Sundhage seems to have put together a nice mix of veterans and young players as well as
a balanced squad strong in both the attack and defense.
In case you were wondering who won the team 4 v. 4 tournament on the last day of camp last
Saturday, here is your answer. "But there are five players?" you say...Well, the teams had a sub,
and they ran players in and out, a la indoor soccer. Also, U.S. goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers manned
the nets for the champs.
The U.S. team had a fun warm-up today for afternoon practice which in part included a team
handball-type game where the players had to advance the ball by throwing it and heading to
teammates to get it near the goal, before trying to head the ball through two poles. Here's the
catch: players weren't allowed to run, just walk.
The end of this 20-day training camp, plus two games against China, to prepare for the CONCACAF
Women's World Cup Qualifying tournament is tomorrow. The last practice will consist of a 4v4
tournament on big goals with goalkeepers, which is always entertaining with the WNT. As you can
see, despite the long and physical demanding camp, that came right on the heels of a long and
demanding WPS season, the players are still smiling.
At the USA's weight training session this morning, fitness coach Dawn Scott decided to surprise
the team with a competition. She divided the squad into threes for a triathlon of sorts, with one
teammate running one mile on the treadmill, one teammate rowing one kilometer on the rowing machine
and the last teammate riding one mile on the stationary bike.
WNT players catch some Philly rays before departing for practice
There's no rest for the weary with Women's World Cup qualifying on the horizon as the day after
a 1-1 tie with China, the U.S. team hit the training field once again. Well, there actually was
rest for quite a few players, the ones who played 45 or more minutes in the match.
If you were watching ESPN's SportsCenter or PTI today, you might have seen a clip of Abby Wambach
hitting a guy in the stands with an errant shot during warm-ups for yesterday's match vs. China.
The shot just got away from Abby, but she hit it pretty hard, and it flew into the stands and
pegged the dude in the arm/back, causing his hot dog to flip out of his grasp and onto the ground.
It certainly was not the prettiest game in recent U.S. WNT history, but one of the highlights was
the first full international goal for 21-year-old forward Alex Morgan, who came off the bench in
the 71st minute and added an attacking spark to the cause, tying the game in the 83rd minute with a
sophisticated and powerful finish.
No, not that Mia and Lilly. The USA's special guests where just a bit younger. Allow us to explain.
Along with his wife, top-notch ESPN cameramen John "Shoope" Chupein, who is based in Philadelphia,
adopted two girls from China as babies and named them after Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly. Obviously
(big) Mia wasn't at training yesterday, but the girls did get to meet (big) Lilly who was also a
baby (relatively, she was 16) when she debuted for the USA in China against China in 1987.
We're pretty sure this picture sets a record for most caps in one row of a team bus. That's 566
caps worth of experience right there. We might even submit this picture to the Guinness Book of
World Records. Think about the topics these two could discuss?
The U.S. WNT got its first look at PPL Park today and what a great soccer venue it is. If you've
ever been in some of the small stadiums across Europe, this really has that feel, and that fact
that more and more of these stadiums are being built in America is a foundation on which our
professional game can certainly continue to grow.
Despite the bungee cords around their wrists, U.S. goalkeepers Ashlyn Harris and Nicole Barnhart
(Jill Loyden had the training off) are not in trouble. Those are just devices used by U.S.
goalkeeper coach Paul Rogers to help the GKs move their hands and elbows as a unit. The GKs were
soon unshackled and allowed to play untethered in the 7v7 scrimmage.
...and you are looking to watch Wednesday night's U.S. WNT game vs. China with a few of your best
buddies (and you are over 21), we suggest heading to Claddagh Irish Pub in Columbus or O'Brien's
Pub in San Diego.Both have confirmed they are showing match and will be cheering loudly for Pia
This is the first time for these players in an airport. NOT.
The U.S. team left a warm Atlanta this afternoon (the team had a regen training in the morning) for
a cooler Philadelphia on what was the longest short flight in a while. A bit of a delay at the
outbound gate, some serious turbulence upon decent (was only about 10 seconds, but seemed like 5
minutes) and then some time spent on the tarmac in Philly before getting to the gate.
After the USA's 2-1 victory over China last night in Kennesaw, Ga., on goals from Megan Rapinoe and
Heather O'Reilly, the team will travel this morning to Philadelphia to prepare for the second leg
of this tw0-game series taking place on Oct. 6 at PPL Park. The game will be broadcast live on
ESPN2 at 7 p.
Yesterday afternoon, 15 U.S. players and head coach Pia Sundhage took a short trip (just 30 minutes
from the team hotel) to the horse rescue farm of WNT legend Michelle Akers. The USA's all-time
greatest player (just ask Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly), is still bringing her farm back into form
after some terrible flooding last September (as chronicled on ESPN's E:60).
Yael Averbuch shoots low as Nicole Barnhart makes herself big on the point-blanker
After 11 days of kicking each other, the U.S. team will finally get an opponent tomorrow as they
take on China at 6 p.m. ET at the beautiful Kennesaw State Soccer Stadium. The match will not be on
TV, but fans can follow on ussoccer.
U.S. forward Sydney Leroux, the youngest player in WNT camp at age 20, has done well during her
first-ever call-up, but she might remember the experience for another reason. The other day at
training, she broke her right thumb. How does a soccer player break her thumb, you ask? Well, a
ball skipped hard off the wet turf and caught her thumb at just the wrong angle.