U.S. and Brazil Meet in 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup

With meetings against Brazil in the last four women’s soccer world championships (two Olympic Games and one Women’s World Cup) it is no surprise that the USA will once again meet Brazil in a major match at a FIFA event. While the meetings at the 2004 Olympics, the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Olympics took place in two finals and one semifinal, the clash on July 10 at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium in Dresdenwill occur in the quarterfinal  , one of four epic matches that will take place over two days here in Germany. The match will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN3.com and Galavision at 11:30 a.m. ET, with the pre-game show on ESPN beginning at 11 a.m. The match is expected to be a sell-out at the almost 26,000-seat stadium, which should make for a raucous environment at a World Cup that has already set the standard for fan atmosphere.

FAMILIAR FOES:Although the USA has not played Brazil since the 2008 Olympic final in Beijing, the two teams are quite familiar with each other, having met 27 times overall and seven times in 2007 and 2008. Eight players from Brazil’s Women’s World Cup roster have experience in Women’s Professional Soccer, led by five-time FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta, who played for the Los Angeles Sol, FC Gold Pride and currently for the Western New York Flash. The only other Brazilian currently playing in the league is Marta’s Flash teammate Maurine.

WINNER GETS FRANCE OR ENGLAND:The winner of USA-Brazil will advance to the Women’s World Cup semifinal on July 13 in Mönchengladbach against the winner of the all-European tussle between France and England. The winner of the Germany vs. Japan and Sweden vs. Australia quarterfinals will meet in the other semifinal on July 13 in Frankfurt.

QUICK HITS

U.S. in the World Cup

Abby Wambach’s goal against Sweden was her 10thin Women’s World Cups, making her just the eighth player in history to hit double figures in Women’s World Cup goals.

The USA out-shot its three group opponents by a 66-34 margin.

In the 27 prior meetings between Brazil and USA, the USA has 23 wins, two losses and two draws.

The USA and Brazil have met three times in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first coming in the group stage in 1991, when USA cruised to a 5-0 victory, and the second at the historic semifinal of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 2-0 U.S. victory. The most recent encounter took place four years ago, also in the semifinal, when Brazil won 4-0 on a Leslie Osborne own-goal, two goals from Marta and a strike by Cristiane.

The teams have played four times in the Olympics, all U.S. wins, including two gold-medal matches. The teams also met in the semifinal in 2000 in Sydney, the U.S. pulling out a 1-0 victory on a goal from Mia Hamm. The teams met in group play at Athens 2004, with the USA winning 2-0 in a match that saw Brazil as the aggressor but Mia Hamm struck a penalty kick and Abby Wambach added a goal for the victory. The rematch in that tournament came in the gold medal game with the USA prevailing 2-1 after extra time as Lindsay Tarpley and Pretinha scored in regulation and Abby Wambach got the winner in the 112th minute. In the 2008 gold medal game, the game again went to overtime where Carli Lloyd scored the game-winning goal in the 96th minute.

Against Brazil, the USA will be wearing its all back uniforms for the first time in the tournament.

The 2-1 setback to Sweden in the final game of group play was just the second loss for U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo since she took over as the No. 1 ‘keeper in 2005. Since then, she has a remarkable record of 72-2-8.

With the start against Sweden, Solo passed Mary Harvey for second most games ever played by a U.S. goalkeeper in a Women’s World Cup with seven.

The penalty kick goal for Sweden in the 16thminute of the USA’s Group C final ended Hope Solo’s scoreless streak at 796 minutes, just 47 minutes short of the longest streak in team history, a record that has stood for 20 years. Kim Maslin-Kammerdeiner played 843 minutes without allowing a goal from 1988 to 1991, which were the first 843 minutes of her international career. Solo’s streak is the second longest in team history.

The USA’s six goals in the tournament have been scored by six different players and four of those players – Lauren Cheney, Rachel Buehler, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd – scored their first Women’s World Cup goals.

Nine players have made their Women’s World Cup debuts in this tournament: Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Buehler, Cheney, Amy Rodriguez, Alex Morgan, Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey and Kelley O’Hara.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has used 17 of the 21 players on the roster so far, with only the back-up goalkeepers and defenders Heather Mitts and Becky Sauerbrunn yet to see the field.

Seven players have played every minute so far: Buehler, Cheney, Krieger, Lloyd, Christie Rampone, Solo and Wambach.

Heather O’Reilly, who sat out the Sweden game, is recovered from a minor injury and will be available for selection against Brazil.

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