U.S. women try to qualify for World Cup




 
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November 21st, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: U.S. women try to qualify for World Cup




KEN PETERS

Associated Press

CARSON, Calif. - The winning streak is hardly foremost in their minds - getting to the World Cup is another matter. Riding a 30-game unbeaten run, the U.S. women try to qualify for the 2007 World Cup when they face Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday night.
A victory will give the U.S. the longest undefeated string in the 21-year history of the women's national soccer team. The streak, at the moment, is 25-0-5.
"So I hear," team captain Kristine Lilly said, smiling. "Now we're just concentrating on winning one."
The U.S. drew a bye in the Gold Cup, meaning the game against Mexico is a semifinal. The winner advances to the World Cup in China because the champion and runner-up in the CONCACAF tournament qualify.
Coach Greg Ryan said his team, a blend of veterans and younger players, has been playing at a high level in every game.
"We're real pleased, but we're not worried or concerned about the unbeaten streak," he said. "We're just going to focus on winning this next one and getting into the World Cup."
Mexico defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 on Sunday to set up its game with the U.S. In the earlier semifinal, Jamaica plays Canada. Jamaica advanced by downing Panama 2-0 in a quarterfinal while Canada had a bye.
This will be the second U.S.-Mexico game in about 2 1/2 months. Abby Wambach scored twice and Lindsay Tarpley had one goal in the American's 3-1 victory in an exhibition game Sept. 13 in Rochester, N.Y.
The Gold Cup championship and the game for third place will be Sunday. The third-place finisher in Carson will face Japan in a two-game playoff for the final World Cup spot.
Mexico beat Trinidad and Tobago on goals by Patricia Perez, Monica Gonzalez and Maribel Dominguez. Mexican goalkeeper Sophia Perez faced only two shots on goal in an easy shutout.
The U.S. squad, with an infusion of youth since Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett retired, will be playing for the first time since a 1-0 victory over Canada in the Nov. 4 title game of the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea.
The Americans began their 30-game unbeaten streak with a 5-0 victory over Mexico on Dec. 8, 2004 - the final game for Hamm, Foudy and Fawcett.
 


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