Just For Kicks
THE United States men's and women's national teams returned to action this week with success.
U.S. men, women
back in action
In their first match since winning the 1999 World Cup, the women blanked Ireland, 5-0, before 30,564 fans at Foxboro Stadium Saturday.
Tiffeny Milbrett scored twice and had an assist. Kristine Lilly scored her 77th international goal, Julie Foudy netted her 32nd and Joy Fawcett accounted for the fifth goal.
The U.S. women have not allowed a goal in the last 345 minutes dating back to the second half of their World Cup match against Germany.
Coach Tony DiCicco's team has one more match before the Nike U.S. Women's Cup '99 in early October. That match is against Brazil at Denver's Mile High Stadium on Sept. 26. It's a rematch of the World Cup semifinal and will be shown live on ESPN.
A victory would break the U.S. women's record for most wins in a year and give DiCicco his 100th victory as national team coach.
The Nike U.S. Women's Cup '99 involves the U.S., Brazil, Finland and South Korea. Doubleheaders are scheduled for Columbus, Ohio (Oct.3), Kansas City, Mo. (Oct. 7) and Louisville, Ky. (Oct. 10).
DiCicco expects to have all World Cup players available except midfielder Michelle Akers, who is taking time off before rejoining the team in January, and defender Lorrie Fair, who is in her senior season at North Carolina.
BRUCE Arena took his men's team to Kingston, Jamaica, last night for a full international against the long-time CONCACAF foe.
The 18-man squad included eight players hoping to earn their first cap (appearance) for the United States.
Four, defenders Chad McCarty and Steve Cherundolo, and strikers Chris Albright and Josh Wolf, are from the U.S. Under 23 national team. The other first-timers are midfielders Billy Walsh, Jay Heaps, Henry Gutierrez and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
Seven of the eight play for Major League Soccer teams, while Cherundolo is playing with Hanover 96 (Germany).
Albright scored less than two minutes into his international debut when he knocked a loose ball into the net in the 80th minute to give the U.S. (7-3-2) a 2-2 tie.
"Rebuilding the national team is a long-term process," Arena said. "To insure success down the road, our younger, talented players need to be exposed to the international game. This game gave me the opportunity to look at some new faces."
Jamaica remained unbeaten in 41 home games since losing to the Americans in 1994.
The U.S. Under 21 Women's National team won the Nordic Cup in August when Lauren Orlandos scored the "golden goal" six minutes into extra time in a 2-1 victory over Norway.
Orlandos, 18, is a freshman defender for the University of Portland. The Pilots host the Hawaii Wahine Sept. 26.
Two freshmen goalkeepers from Hawaii have enjoyed remarkable starts to their collegiate careers.
Kristin Masunaga (Iolani) is the only goalie on the Colorado College roster. She has shut out New Mexico in overtime, Belmont, Wyoming and Alabama-Birmingham in her first four starts for the Tigers (4-0).
The 5-foot-7 Masunaga has made 23 saves to maintain her 0.00 goals allowed average.
Shaye Anderson (Parker) has two shutouts in her first four starts for the Western Washington Vikings (3-1). She has been credited with 14 saves and 1.00 goals allowed average.
At 5-10, Anderson and striker Taryn Mauer are the tallest Western Washington players.