The U.S. women's national team held its second-to-last training in Charleston on Friday afternoon at 1 p.m., simulating the possible game time temperature, and it was the hottest and most humid training of the trip so far. But the afternoon cooled towards the end of training as scattered raindrops started to fall.
It could be wet Sunday for the U.S. team as the outskirts of Hurricane Wilma may graze Charleston, but as of Friday afternoon, there was just a 10 percent chance of rain during the match. The U.S. team played 11 v. 11 for 20 minutes on a shortened, 75-yard long field, making for some tight space and combative play from the U.S. team.
With two weeks of training behind them, the U.S. will be a bit more physically prepared for the match against Mexico, which kicks off at Blackbaud Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. ET (Live on ESPN2 and Telemundo). Of course, fans can also follow on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
The match against Mexico should mark cap number 299 for the legendary Kristine Lilly as she continues her run to the unimaginable 300th cap. With 104 career goals in her 18 years on the women's national team, she also just needs one more to tie Michelle Akers for second on the all-time U.S. goals chart behind Mia Hamm.
If the U.S. women's national team does not allow a goal against Mexico, it will be the first time the U.S. team has gone through an entire calendar year without allowing a goal since 1989, when the team played just one match. Aside from the aberration of 1989, the fewest goals the U.S. women have allowed in a calendar year was three, coming in 1990 when the team played six games. The USA is 7-0-1 on the year and have not allowed a goal in nine straight matches dating back to the final game of 2004, which came against Mexico when the current shutout streak started. The total shutout streak now stands at 838 minutes.
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan has chosen 18 players from the 24 in training camp to suit up for the match against the Mexico. Ryan named four players to the 18 who were not on the USA's game roster for the match against Australia last weekend. Suiting up for the USA will be goalkeeper Jenni Branam (25 years old), midfielders Carli Lloyd (23) and Leslie Osborne (22) and forward Heather O'Reilly (20). The average age of the U.S. game roster is 25.8.
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Jenni Branam, 18-Hope Solo;
DEFENDERS (5): 23-Tina Frimpong, 14-Amy LePeilbet, 15-Kate Markgraf, 2-Heather Mitts, 4-Cat Reddick;
MIDFIELDERS (5): 7-Shannon Boxx, 13-Kristine Lilly, 5-Carli Lloyd, 12-Leslie Osborne, 10-Aly Wagner;
FORWARDS (6): 6-Danielle Fotopoulos, 8-Shannon MacMillan, 16-Tiffeny Milbrett, 9-Heather O'Reilly, 20-Abby Wambach, 19-Christie Welsh.