Author Topic: Wambach hurts toe in 4-0 romp over Finland in final Cup tune-up.  (Read 935 times)

Offline David

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CARSON, Calif. (Saturday, August 25, 2007) -- The United States women rolled to a thoroughly dominating 4-0 victory over Finland in its final tune-up before the Women's World Cup, but the news wasn't all good. Star striker Abby Wambach suffered an injury to her big toe and was forced to leave the match in the 27th minute.

Wambach leads the U.S., 13-0-2 in 2007 (10-0-2 against World Cup entrants), with 11 goals, while adding three assists. In her career, she has 77 goals in 96 games. The U.S. Soccer Federation reported Wambach, who watched the remainder of the game from the bench, had a jammed toe, but it would seem likely tests will be taken to determine the severity of the injury.

Wambach was injured in the 10th minute and hobbled until asking to come out 17 minutes later. She was carrying in the middle of the field when sliding Finland defender Petra Vaelma whacked Wambach's legs out from under her, though no foul. was called. Both players got up and Vaelma then kicked Wambach in the right foot as she attempted to tackle the ball.

Wambach briefly sat on the turf, holding her foot.

"I haven't heard any more. I just saw her at halftime and she's pretty sore," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "We just don't know. We hope that she is fine and it's just a sprain or something like that.

"I'm not even going to think about it yet. Abby's tough enough where we'll throw a cast on her and she'll play anyway. She's an awfully tough kid. In the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament (last November), she was on a bad ankle that entire Gold Cup, and she scored the goals to get us into the World Cup, so I am confident that Abby will be fine."

In a classic mismatch, the U.S. did not allow a shot on goal, holding a 38-2 edge in shots, 16-0 on frame. "Tonight, we hit the back of the net and had tons of chances," Ryan said. "I thought that we had a lot of energy in attack tonight. We said let's just roll up our sleeves and go after them in attack. It's important to carry that kind of spirit into the World Cup. We are going to go after teams and if they can hang with us, OK. If not, we'll just keep swinging until we can knock them out."

By winning their 13th straight outing, the U.S. women enter the World Cup ranked No. 1 in the world, having not lost a match in the last three years. The Americans are 39-0-7 (.924), 38-0-7 (.922) under coach Greg Ryan.

The WWC runs from September 10-30 in China with the U.S. opening against North Korea on September 11.

Striker Kristine Lilly, who has played in a world-record 331 international games and has 126 goals, reached a milestone in the 30th minute when she registered her 100th career assist, setting up midfielder Shannon Boxx's header that put the U.S. ahead 1-0. Finland goalkeeper Tinja-Riikka Korpela made it easy.

"It's nice. It helped us score a goal. That is always good," Lilly said of the assist. "It's always good when you can help your team win and hit some milestones along the way."

Lilly sent a free kick from deep in the left corner to Boxx, facing the left post from eight yards out. Boxx headed the ball with a weird backspin into the far corner over Korpela who, apparently misreading the movement on the ball, though it would go over the crossbar. When it became obvious the ball would fall into the net, Korpela waved at it feebly.

Of her 15 career goals, Boxx has five goals in five appearances at The Home Depot Center, where the U.S. team trains. "My first cap was here. My first goal was here," she said. "This place will always have a special place for me and I will always remember my first goal with the national team."

Ryan said, "She's one of the best in the world at set play goals. She looked like a forward tonight, taking players on. I think she likes it here."

Six minutes later, the U.S. made it 2-0. Forward Heather O'Reilly, cutting horizontally from the right sideline, split the defense with a pass to fellow midfielder Lori Chalupny, racing behind the defense and approaching the box. Taking the ball forward, Chalupny crossed to Lilly for an easy four-yard tap into an unprotected net.

All three players who combined on the goal are University of North Carolina alumni. In fact, a UNC grad was involved in each of the four tallies with striker Lindsay Tarpley contributing the third goal.

That tally came in the 68th minute when defender Christie Rampone delivered a long ball down the right side to Tarpley, who ran right past an obviously exhausted Vaelma.. Tarpley carried into the box, dodged Korpela to the right and shot eight yards into the right side to make it 3-0 with her 17th career goal..

O'Reilly "must have taken at least a half dozen, maybe more, shots tonight," Ryan said. "I'm glad she got rewarded for her good play with that nice goal at the end."

Eight minutes later, O'Reilly finished the scoring with a sliding finish of midfielder Carli Lloyd's cross.

Notes: The U.S. women will take a day off an depart for Shanghai and the World Cup on Monday.

United States 4, Finland 0
Lineups: United States - Hope Solo, Christie Rampone, Catherine Whitehill (Marci Jobson 84), Kate Markgraf (Tina Ellertson 79), Stephanie Lopez; Shannon Boxx (Aly Wagner 79), Lori Chalupny (Leslie Osborne 76), Heather O'Reilly, Kristine Lilly - captain (Natasha Kai 74), Lindsay Tarpley, Abby Wambach (Carli Lloyd 27); Finland - Tinja-Riikka Korpela, Petra Vaelma (Hanna Pyhäjärvi 69), Tiina Salmén (captain), Jessica Julin, Miia Niemi (Maija Saari 28), Susanna Lehtinen, Sanna Valkonen, Katri Nokso-Koivisto (Veera Vartiainen 84), Leena Puranen, Susanna Hokkanen, Annica Sjölund (Linda Sällström 60), Sanna Talonen (Susanna Hokkanen 90).

United States - Boxx (Lilly) 30.
United States - Lilly (Chalupny) 36.
United States - Tarpley (Rampone) 68.
United States - O'Reilly (Lloyd) 76.

Shots: United States 38, Finland 2. Shots on goal: United States 16, Finland 0. Saves: United States 0, Finland 12. Corner kicks: United States 7, Finalnd 2. Fouls: United States 7, Finland 8. Offside: United States 4, Finland 1. Yellow card cautions: none.

Referee: Kari Seitz. Assistant referees: Flisha Mariscal, Marlene Duffy. Fourth official: Jennifer Bennett Attendance: 7,118 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Weather: 73 degrees and clear.

The field for the 2007 Women's World Cup to be played September 10-30 in China:
Host: China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, Japan.
Africa: Nigeria, Ghana.
North America, Central America, Caribbean: United States, Canada.
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England.
Oceania: New Zealand.
South America: Argentina, Brazil.

The Wormen's World Cup venues:
Shanghai: Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium (six first-round matches, third-place match, championship game).
Tianjin: - Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium (two first-round matches, two quarterfinal matches, one semifinal match).
Hangzhou: Zhejiang Dragon Stadium (six first-round matches, one semifinal match).
Wuhan: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium (four first-round matches, two quarterfinal matches).
Chengdu: Chengdu Sports Center Stadium (six first-round matches).

Group A will be based in Shanghai.
Group B will be based in Chengdu.
Group C will be based in Hangzhou.
Group D will be based in Wuhan.

Offline BillyBoy

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Re: Wambach hurts toe in 4-0 romp over Finland in final Cup tune-up.
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2007, 07:48:55 PM »
For those who really want to know.  :D

According to Norwegian media. Kristine Lilly became the second national team player to reach three figures for both goals and assists. Mia Hamm being the other.