U.S. women play to scoreless draw
Kristine Lilly, the last of the 1991 world champions, hit the crossbar in the 75th minute and twice fired just wide, Tiffeny Milbrett was off-target when seeking the upper-left corner in the final minutes, and Matildas midfielder Alicia Ferguson cleared off the line a deflected Shannon Boxx shot in second-half stoppage time. There was little offense otherwise. “Finishing is always the last thing to come, because it’s always an exact science …” said U.S. coach Greg Ryan, who has guided the U.S. to a 7-0-1 record this year – with no goals surrendered – but last gathered a group in July. Scott French, (818) 713-36271 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “A team that’s in training all the time, you’re going to score two or three of those goals. A team that gets together every three months, without players who are in leagues playing regularly, it’s not likely you’re going to hit them that well.” Only three national-teamers have been playing in Europe this fall, and only one of them – Milbrett – saw action Sunday. Other players are training with their former college teams, often while coaching, or practicing on their own. Amy LePeilbet, an up-and-coming defender, secured the Americans’ ninth successive shutout, clearing a shot by Selin Kuralay after a miscommunication between goalkeeper Hope Solo and defensive leader Kate Markgraf in the 85th minute. The U.S. was more dangerous after Aly Wagner, a natural playmaker coming off two knee surgeries, entered at halftime. Catherine Reddick, moving from her customary spot in central defense to right back, provided strong service that led nowhere. The Americans have one more game remaining this year, next Sunday against Mexico in Charleston, S.C. Ryan hopes to begin preparations for the 2007 Women’s World Cup early next year. FULLERTON – With no professional women’s soccer league in America, a scaled-back national team schedule, and few willing to pursue opportunities overseas, the players in the U.S. national team’s pool have seen little action in 2005 – and almost none the past three months. It showed Sunday afternoon, the Americans’ lack of sharpness defining a largely tedious 0-0 exhibition draw with Australia in front of 5,394 at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium.