From: David A. Litterer on
The Year in American Soccer: 2008 (Part 3 of 4)

W-League | MISL | Olympics | CONCACAF Club Championships | Men's National team |
Women's National Team

The W-League

The W-League made a major expansion this season, adding ten teams after losing
only 3 from 2007. Pali Blues, FC Indiana and Atlanta Silverbacks were most
impressive this season, going undefeated to their division titles. This was
particularly impressive for expansion clubs Pali and FC Indiana, who perhaps
created a precedent, marking the first time that two expansion clubs in an
established league went to the championship match.

Pali had an advantage, due to the arcane playoff qualification procedures, they
advanced straight to the league semi-finals, while FC Indiana had to fight their
way through two rounds of conference playoffs. In the semifinals, both FC
Indiana and Pali had shutouts on their mind as Indiana defeated Seattle 1-0 and
Pali defeated Washington 2-0. Washington had to settle for a 2-0 win over
Seattle in the consolation game while Pali took the league title with a close
win over Indiana 2-1. Sarah Steinman of Atlanta was top scorer with 19 goals and
40 points, and was also named league MVP.

Leading Scorers:
GP G A Pts
Sarah Steinmann, Atlanta 14 19 2 40
Laura Del Rio, FC Indiana 13 13 9 35
Kelly Schmedes, Charlotte 13 13 8 34
Carolina Smith, Minnesota 12 14 1 29
Christine Latham, Atlanta 13 13 2 28
Jodie Taylor, Ottawa 11 11 2 24
Christie Welsh, Washington 12 6 24
Julianne (Lu) Sitch, FC Indiana 14 10 4 24
Christina Murphy, Charlotte 13 7 23
Shay Powell, Ottawa 11 11 0 22
Christine Rife, Charlotte 13 8 6 22
Lauren Sesselman, FC Indiana 14 22

Leading Goalkeepers: (min 550 minutes played)
Valerie Henderson, Pali Blues 7 1 0.142
Kristin Luckenbill, FC Indiana 11 2 0.205
Erin Reinke, Ottawa 9 3 0.370
Chante Sandford, Washington 12 5 0.454
Allison Whitworth, Atlanta 8 4 0.500
Mallori Lofton-Malachi, Tampa Bay 12 5 0.587
Victoria Johnson, Hampton Roads 11 6 0.833
Jillian Loyden, Jersey 12 1062 0.847
Kara Linder, Fort Collins 5 6 0.857
Meghann Burke, Boston 14 1229 0.878

Most Valuable Player: Sarah Steinmann, Atlanta Silverbacks
Coach of the Year: Tony Anglin, Atlanta Silverbacks
Defender of the Year: Sue Leber, Long Island Rough Riders
Goalkeeper of the Year: Mallori Lofton-Malachi, Tampa Bay Hellenic
U-19 Player of the Year: Fortuna Velaj, Connecticut Passion

All-League Team:

G - Mallori Lofton-Malachi, Tampa Bay Hellenic
D - Dindy Walsh, Laval Dynamite
D - Sue Weber, Long Island Rough Riders
M - Chelsea Cline, Minnesota Lightning
M - Michelle French, Seattle Sounders
M - Lori Lindsey, Washington Freedom
M - Jill Oakes, Pali Blues
F - Shay Powell, Ottawa Fury
F - Sarah Steinmann, Atlanta Silverbacks
F - Christie Welsh, Washington Freedom

Major Indoor Soccer League

The MISL, began the year with high hopes and aspirations, expanding to New
Jersey, Monterrey and Orlando. But serious organizational and structural
problems threatened its existence. The Milwaukee wave returned to their
accustomed spot atop the league standings, in a dead tie with Detroit. Milwaukee
got top spot because of head-to-head records. Monterrey had a respectable first
season, finishing 4th, and cruising to the championship series after defeating
Chicago and Detroit in the playoffs.

The Baltimore Blast repeated their familiar pattern in the playoffs, cruising by
New Jersey and Detroit, to again reach the finals. The Blast took advantage of
the unusual playoff advancement procedures. After a close win in their first
game against Detroit, the Blast were demolished 21-2 in the rejoinder. Yet with
no aggregate score determining advancement, they only had to win a golden goal
session to take the series. In the final, the Blast earned another league title
with a hard fought 14-11 victory over the expansion Monterrey.

League attendance averaged 4,577 per game, close to last season, but by the end
of the season, the league was on the verge of collapse. It officially folded in
June 2008, but the problems were more with the league administration than the
clubs which were still financially strong for the most part. Detroit, New
Jersey, Milwaukee and Chicago banded together to form the Extreme Soccer League,
while Baltimore, Monterrey and Philadelphia banded together with a few teams
from existing lower level indoor leagues to found the new National Indoor Soccer

Final MISL 2007-2008 Standings

Before the season, New Jersey, Monterrey and Orlando were added.

Milwaukee Wave 30 22 8 0.733 -- 424 297
Detroit Ignititon 30 22 8 0.733 -- 455 310
Baltimore Blast 30 19 11 0.633 3.00 392 289
Monterrey La Raza 30 16 14 0.533 6.00 441 399
Chicago Storm 30 15 15 0.500 7.00 321 346
New Jersey Ironmen 30 14 16 0.467 8.00 343 381
Philadelphia Kixx 30 12 18 0.400 10.00 310 349
California Cougars 30 11 19 0.367 11.00 364 450
Orlando Sharks 30 4 26 0.133 18.00 235 464

Quarterfinals: Monterrey defeated Chicago 8-10, 17-5, G.G.
Baltimore defeated New Jersey 22-10, 6-4
Semi-finals: Baltimore defeated Milwaukee 13-8, 14-13
Monterrey defeated Detroit 15-11, 2-21, G.G.
FINAL: Baltimore defeated Monterrey 14-11

The MISL folded in June of 2008. Baltimore, Monterrey and Philadelphia
joined the new NISL. Detroit, New Jersey, Milwaukee and Chicago
formed the new Extreme Soccer League. Orlando was to join the NISL,
but folded before playing any games.

Leading scorers: (thru first quarter of season)
Byron Alvarez, Monterrey 7 0 10 2 22
Denison Cabral, Baltimore 5 1 7 4 21
Ivan Medina, Monterrey 7 0 5 4 14
Machel Millwood, Baltimore 5 0 5 4 14
Jose Birche, Monterrey 7 3 1 1 12
Lucio Gonzaga, Baltimore 5 0 5 2 12
Giuliano Celenza, Baltimore 5 1 2 3 10
Greg Howes, Milwaukee 2 0 3 3 9
Adauto Neto, Baltimore 5 0 3 2 8
P. J. Wakefield, Baltimore 5 1 2 1 8

Leading Goalkeepers: (Through first quarter of season)
Danny Waltman, Detroit 3 129:05 46 38 1 2 7.44
Sagu, Baltimore 5 300:00 88 66 5 0 9.20
Jose Bontti, Monterrey 6 253:04 99 77 4 2 11.14
Juarez, Monterrey 1 57:57 24 18 0 1 12.42
Jeff Richey, Chicago 3 121.55 41 28 1 2 13.78
Tony Meola, New Jersey 2 117.40 30 17 0 2 14.28

Most Valuable Player : Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave
Defender of the Year: Genoni Martinez, Monterrey la Raza
Rookie of the Year: Freddy Moojen, New Jersey Ironmen
Goalkeeper of the Year: Sagu, Baltimore Blast
Coach of the Year: Keith Tozer, Milwaukee Wave

First All-MISL Team:

G - Sagu, Baltimore Blast
D - Genoni Martinez, Monterrey la Raza
D - Droo Callahan, Detroit Ignition
M/F - Greg Howes, Milwaukee Wave
M/F - Dino Delevski, Monterrey la Raza
M/F - Dan Antoniuk, New Jersey Ironmen

2008 Olympics

Men's Team

Men's Olympic qualifying took place in March in Tampa, FL. The United States
opened their qualifying on March 11 against Cuba, with Freddy Adu scoring to
earn the USA a 1-1 draw. He matched this performance two days later, scoring the
lone netter of the match in a 42nd minute penalty kick, to give the US the
shutout over Panama. Next match was a nailbiter that went scoreless until deep
into stoppage time when Eddie Gaven scored on a penalty kick in the 95th minute
for a 1-0 win over Honduras.

The US forged ahead on March 20 at Nashville where they routed Canada 3-0, with
two more goals by Freddy Adu, and one by Kljestan. In the final on March 23, at
nashville, the U.S. battled Honduras through 90 minutes of regular play, and
fought on into overtime, finally falling in the 103rd minute. A frustrating way
to end the series, but it was enough to qualify them for the Olympics.

Men's coach Peter Nowak tabbed Brian McBride, Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst
as the 3 overage players. Other players of note included Freddy Adu, Michael
Oroczo, Maurice Edu, and Sacha Kljestan. All told, the team consisted of ten MLS
players and 8 based overseas. The USA faced a tough challenge in group play;
they were placed in Group B with the Netherlands, Nigeria and Japan.

The Olympic games were an exercise in frustration for the US Men's team, a case
of so close, and so far. Group play got off to a good start as Stuart Holden
found the net halfway through a defensive stalemate as the Nats edged Japan 1-0.
Against the powerful Netherlands, the Americans were in good form, particularly
Freddy Adu, with their aggressive play. After an early score by the Netherlands,
the US regrouped, and early in the 2nd half, Sacha Kljestan scored to tie the
game, and 8 minutes later, Jozy Altidore goal game them the lead. With time
running out, a win and advancement appeared to be a sure thing. But with less
than a minute of regulation time remaining, Sibon found the net for the
Netherlands, earning them a draw. This left the US tied with Nigeria with 1 win
and 1 draw each, and Netherlands with 2 draws. The US would advance if they
either beat or drew with Nigeria or Netherlands lost to or drew with struggling
Japan. Alas, neither was to be. Japan as expected beat Japan, and sloppy play
combined with an anemic offense provided Nigeria with scoring opportunities and
an early lead. The US scored late in the game on a penalty kick, but by then it
was too late, and Nigeria took the win 2-1. The US came in third and did not
advance out of their group. Brazil defeated Belgium 3-0 for bronze, and
Argentina defeated Nigeria 1-0 to take gold, avenging its loss to them in the
1996 competition.

Women's Team

The Women's Team (see below) had an easier time of it than the Men, cruising
easily in their quest to recapture the gold. The women were placed in Group G
with Japan, Norway and New Zealand. Sloppy defending hobbled the US in the first
game, bringing back nightmares of the previous Olympiad as Norway shut out the
Americans 2-0, leaving them in a hole. Fortunately, they took the lesson to
heart and buckled down. Against Japan, Carli Lloyd slammed the ball into the net
to start the scoring and the US held on for a 1-0 win. Things looked better in
the next tie as Japan stunned Norway 5-1, virtually assuring the US of
advancement. Not taking any chances, the Nats came to life for their final pool
play match against New Zealand. Heather O'Reilly scored in the first minute, and
the US never looked back, scoring again near the end of the first half and early
in the 2nd, to give them a 4-0 shutout, and first place in the Group.

Canada came out fighting for the quarterfinal match, quickly tying the game
after a Hucles goal in the 12 minute. The teams battled in stalemate well into
overtime, when Natasha Kai's goal in the 101st minute won the game. They were
matched again with Japan in the semi-final, which was a comparative goalfest.
Ohno put Japan on the scoreboard first, but Hucles and Chalupny scored
successive goals just before halftime to give the US a lead which they never
relinquished. O'Reilly scored in the 70th, and Hucles got her second ten minutes
later. Arakawa scoed in stoppage time to close the gap to 4-2 as the US
guaranteed themselves at least a silver. Germany beat Japan for the bronze.

The gold medal match was held in Beijing at the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium on
August 21 before 51,612, against perennial rival Norway, and this was a
defensive struggle between two imregnable walls of force through regulation and
stoppage time. Finally in the 96th minute, Carli Lloyd's blast hit the net,
giving the US an overtime win and the gold, their third gold medal in the four
women's Olympic competitions to date. Angela Hucles was #2 scorer for the
tournament with 4 goals, behind Christiane of Brazil who had 5.

CONCACAF Club Championships

2008-09 Champions League. After their aborted 2002 attempt to establish a North
American Champions League, CONCACAF was successful this time, establishing a
24-team competition which featured 4 teams from the US, 1 from Canada and 1 from
Puerto Rico, among the other participants. For the US, Houston Dynamo qualified
as MLS Cup winner, DC United as MLS regular season champ (Supprters Shield
winner), New England Revolution as US Open Cup winner and MLS Runner-up, and
Chivas USA as MLS regular season runner-up (behind New England who qualified as
US Open Cup champ). Canada held a qualification series among their three pro
teams (Vancouver Whitecaps (USL D1), FC Toronto (MLS) and Montreal Impact (USL
D1). Puerto Rico qualified as winner of a playoff between the two losing
semifinalists of the 2007 CFU Club Championship, defeating San Juan Jabloteh of
Trinidad & Tobago.

D. C. United and the Houston Dynamo received byes directly to Pool Play. D. C.
United was placed in Group A with Marathon (Honduras - Apertura champion), Cruz
Azul (Mexico - Clausura runner-up), and Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica - Apetura
& Clausura champion). Houston was placed in Group B with Pumas UNAM (Mexico -
Apertura runner-up), Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador - Apertura & Clausera
champion) and San Francisco (Panama - Clausura, Apertura champion) In the
preliminary round, New England Revolution (MLS) lost to Joe Public (Trinidad -
CFU Club champion) 1-2, 0-4. Chivas USA (MLS) lost to Tauro FC (Panama -
Apertura regular season champion) 0-2, 1-1. Montreal Impact (USL D1) beat Real
Esteli (Nicaragua - League champion) 1-0, 0-0. Puerto Rico Islanders (USL D1)
defeated Alajuelense (Costa Rica - Clausura Regular season champion) 1-1, 2-1.
As a result, Montreal was placed in Group C with Atlante (Mexico - Apertura
champion), Olimpia Tegucigalpa (Honduras - Clausura Champion), and Joe Public.
Puerto Rico was placed in Group D with Santos Laguna (Mexico - Clausura
champion), Tauro and Municipal - Ciudad de Guatemala (Clausura champion).

In Pool play, (September-October), D. C. United struggled, earning a 2-2 draw
against Deportivo Saprissa, and earning 2 goals while conceding 11 in their five
losses. Houston did better, earning a 2-1 win and a 0-0 draw against San
Francisco, a 1-0 shutout and 1-1 draw with Luis Angel Firpo and battling Pumas
to a 4-4 draw before losing to them 1-3. they scored and gave 9 goals each, but
the 2-3-1 record was enough to advance. Montreal fared even better, beating Joe
Public 4-1 and 2-0, splitting with Olimpico (2-1 win, 1-1 draw) and looking
respectable against Mexican champ Atlanta with a 0-0 draw and a close 1-2 loss.
Ten goals scored vs. 5 conceded, and a 3-2-1 record advanced them. Puerto Rico
won 2, draw 2 and lost 2 (9 GF, 10 GA). They beat Tauro 2-1 and drew 1-1;
against Municipal they drew 2-2 and lost 1-2, and against Santos they won 3-1
and lost 0-3. Again, enough to advance. The year ended with 1 MLS team, 1
Canadian team and Puerto Rico anxiously waiting for their quarterfinal matches
starting in late February.

CONCACAF Champions Cup: In the quarterfinals, D. C. United (MLS) defeated Harbor
View (Jamaica) 1-1, 5-0; and Houston Dynamo (MLS) defeated Municipal (Guatemala)
0-0, 3-0. In the semi-finals, Pachuca defeated D. C. United 2-0, 1-2 and
Saprissa defeated Houston 0-0, 3-0. In the final, Saprissa defeated Pachuca, 1-1
and 2-1. This was the final edition of the Champions Cup; it was replaced by the
Champions League for 2008-09.

Men's National Team

The USA started preparations for World Cup qualifying with a series of
friendlies, starting with an easy 2-0 shutout of Sweden at Carson, CA. They then
traveled to Houston to play before 70,000 fans cheering mostly for their
opponent, Mexico. Despite the hostile atmosphere, they pulled off a 2-2 draw.
Steeled by the experience, they were prepared when they traveled to Krakow for a
friendly against Poland. Carlos Bocanegra set the tone early, putting one past a
stumbling keeper 12 minutes in, and from there the Americans never looked back.
Onyweu and Eddie Lewis scored to give the US a 3-0 win, marking the US's 4th
straight road victory against Poland.

The US made their first visit to the new Wembley Stadium on May 28 in a highly
anticipated friendly that could not help but bring back memories of the 1950
World Cup triumph. This time it was not to be however, as a lackluster US side,
missing Landon Donovan, fumbled throughout the game, allowing England to score
in each half for a 2-0 shutout before 71,233 fans. They traveled south to Spain
for a June 4 matchup, showing some more energy and a firmner defense but were
still shut out 1-0. In the final matchup before WC qualifying, a record crowd of
78,682 turned out at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, to see a revitalized
USA hold Argentina to a scoreless draw. Tim Howard put on a marvelous
performance shutting out the powerful Argentine striker corps.

Worlds Cup qualifying started off June 22 with an easy 8-0 shutout of Barbados,
Dempsey and Ching each scoring twice. It was then off to more training and
conditioning before flying down to Guatemala City on August 20 for a tough
match. The US fought tenaciously, keeping the game scoreless into the second
half before the hostile crowd, when Steve Cherundolo received a red card.
Fortunately, Guatemala's advantage didn't last long as three minutes later
Gustavo Cabrera was also sent off evening the field. Six minutes later, Carlos
Bocanegra scored off a pass following a corner kick, and the US hunkered down
and protected their lead to the final whistle, giving the US their first-ever
road qualifying win against Guatemala. This was followed by a road trip to Cuba,
on September 6, the American's first trip there since a loss in 1947. The
evening game was played before dim lights in a driving rainstorm before 8,000
fans enthused by the prospect of a rare chance to see Americans at play. Both
teams were off their game, and despite their significant advantages, the US
remained scoreless until Clint Dempsey found the net in the 40th minute. They
couldn't really get anything going after that and simply held on for the 1-0 win.

The team flew north to Chicago to battle Trinidad and Tobago, and the
revitalized team took a 2-0 lead early, and then held firm, eventually earning a
3-0 win. Cuba came to Commerce City, OK for the rematch with the US, and fared
no better, playing short handed for more than half the game, and falling 6-1.
This was the Americans' sixth straight victory in 2010 qualifying, their best
start ever, and a world record for most consecutive wins in a single qualifying
cycle. The streak was broken next game in Trinidad, always a rough game for the
Amerks. The US squad, which included seven players from the Olympic team, never
got off the ground, but kept Trinidad off the board until the 61st minute. Jozy
Altidore set up Charlie Davies for the tying goal. However an unfortunate foul
gave Trinidad a penalty kick which they converted. The US remained listless
after that disappointment, and lost 2-1. But they bounced back in November to
close the year, shutting out Guatemala 2-0 and easily winning Group 1 undefeated
with a 5-1-0 record, and earned advancement to the Hexagonal along with Mexico,
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Trinidad and Honduras.

2008 USA Men's National Team results

2008 Totals: 9W, 2D, 3L
DATE Score Opponent Attendance Location (Event)
Nov 19 08 W 2-0 Guatemala 9,303 Washington, DC, USA (WCQ�10)
Cooper (54), Adu (69)
Oct 15 08 L 1-2 Trinidad & Tobago 18,000 Port of Spain, Trinidad (WCQ�10)
Davies (75)
Oct 11 08 W 6-1 Cuba 20,293 Commerce City, CO, USA (WCQ�10)
Beasley (10,30), Donovan (48), Ching (63), Altidore (87),
Onyewu (90)
Sep 10 08 W 3-0 Trinidad & Tobago 11,452 Bridgeview, IL, USA (WCQ�10)
Bradley (9), Dempsey (18), Ching (57)
Sep 06 08 W 1-0 Cuba Havana, Cuba (WCQ�10)
Dempsey (40)
Aug 20 08 W 1-0 Guatemala 25,000 Guatemala City, Guatemala (WCQ�10)
Bocanegra (68)
Jun 22 08 W 1-0 Barbados 2,000 Bridgetown, Barbados (WCQ �10)
Lewis (21)
Jun 15 08 W 8-0 Barbados 11,476 Carson, CA, USA (WCQ�10)
Dempsey (1,63), Bradley (12), Ching (20,89), Donovan (59),
Johnson (82), o.g. (86)
Jun 08 08 D 0-0 Argentina 78,682 East Rutherford, NJ, USA
Jun 04 08 L 0-1 Spain 14,232 Santander, Spain
May 28 08 L 0-2 England 71,233 London, England
Mar 26 08 W 3-0 Poland 20,000 Krakow, Poland
Bocanegra (12), Onyewu (350, Lewis (63)
Feb 06 08 D 2-2 Mexico 70,103 Houston, TX
Onyewu (30), Altidore (40)
Jan 19 08 W 2-0 Sweden 14,878 Carson, CA
Robinson (15), Donovan (PK-48)

Women's National Team

The Women's National Team had their busiest year ever in 2008, 36 matches, and a
record breaking 34 wins. The packed schedule included a return to the Four
Nations Tournament, as well as Olympic Qualifying, the Olympic tournament, a
triumphant performance in the Peace Queen Cup, their regular appearance at the
Algarve Cup, the usual friendlies and an extended victory exhibition tour after
the Olympic triumph.

First off for the Nats was a sweep of the competition at the Four Nations
Tournament where sound thrashings of Canada and Finland were followed by a tough
1-0 shutout of host China. Tarpley scored four goals during the tournament. She
opened scoring early in the first two Algarve Cup matches to set the US on their
usual breeze through pool play. The Algarve Cup opened March 5 with the US
bludgeoning China 4-0. The next match against Italy was closer, but still a 2-0
shutout. Stalemate ruled early in the 3rd match against Norway, but a midgame
scoring binge by Kai, Wmbach and O'Reilly set the US towards their 4-0 shutout
over Norway. Denmark provided a bigger challenge in the final, limiting the US
to a 2-1 squeaker on March 12, enough to win the Cup.

For the Olympic Qualifying series, new head coach Pia Sundhage promoted three
U19-U20 veterans, midfielder Tobin Heath, forward Amy Rodriguez and defender
Rachel Buehler as part of a continuing youth movement. She defused the
goalkeeper situation by dropping Brianna Scurry and going with Hope Solo and
Nicole Barnhart. Heather Mitts returned after recovery from an ACL injury, but
Cat Whitehill and Leslie Osborne were out with injuries and Kristine Lilly had
taken a leave to start a family. Half of the 18-woman squad had played in the
2004 Olympics, with Shannon Boxx, Abby Wambach, Lindsay Tarpley, and Christie
Rampone expected to be the backbone of the team. Lori Chapulny was moved from
midfield to outside back. The back line was also shuffled, with Sundhange moving
team Captain Christie Rampone from right back to middle, with Cat Whitehill and
Kate Markgraf sharing duties as Rampone's counterpart. Stephanie Cox moved to
right back while Carli Lloyd and Shannon Boxx anchored the midfield.

Qualifying got off to a grand start as the US trounced Jamaica 6-0 on April 4,
followed two days later Kai stepped up, scoring the first 2 goals in a 3-1 win
over Mexico. In the semi-finals on April 9, Kai again scored the first two,
after a scoreless first half, to put the US on top over Costa Rica. The final
match was surprisingly competitive against Canada, with Canada holding the US to
a single netter, and forcing the game to penalty kicks, where the US prevailed
6-5. Messy perhaps, but enough to qualify the team for the Olympics and
hopefully the gold medal.

After a couple weeks rest, the Nats beat Australia 3-2 at Cary, NC and 5-4 at
Birmingham. Then a quick thrashing of Canada 6-0 (Kai scoring a hat trick) in
May and they took another rest before heading off to South Korea in June for the
Peace Queen Cup. This tournament was yet another sweep for the US as they beat
Australia 2-1 before accomplishing three straight shutouts, beating Brazil 1-0
and 2-0, then defeating Canada 1-0 in a close final match before 25,280 in
Suwon, South Korea for the title.

Back from the tournament, the team continued their shutout streak keeping the
net pristine through four more games against three of the tougher opponents,
Sweden, Brazil and Norway, the final being an impressive 4-0 win. This left them
with two more weeks to practice before leaving for Beijing for the Olympics (See
Olympic review above).

After the Olympics, the team launched their victory "AYG" Tour. First up were
three shutouts of Ireland, held in Philadelphia, East Rutherford and Bridgeview
IL respectively. After a month off, they resumed in November in Richmond, VA
with an easy 3-1 win over South Korea. Both teams traveled to Cincinnati where
they battled to a scoreless draw 4 days later. Then it was south to Tampa FL on
November 8, where South Korea battled valiantly before finally falling to a
Heather O'Reilly goal in the 72nd minute. China was the opponent for the final
two matches in December. At Carson, CA on December 13, China held the US to 1
goal but that was enough for a shutout. Four days later they clashed in Detroit
before a sizeable crowd of 11,933. Heather O'Reilly scored in the 32nd minute
and the team held on to close out the tour with a 1-0 shutout.

With the Olympics and victory tour concluded, the team wound down as coach
Sundhange began the long term project of developing the next generation of
players to be groomed for the World Cup looming three years down the road. The
team would not play again until the following March, with a light schedule for
the forseeable future. But what a year it was! A record 34 wins against only 1
loss and 1 draw, a gold medal and three tournament championships was a landmark
in the history of the Women's national soccer program and a benchmark for future
teams to aspire to.