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Sundhage calls in 27 to camp as Four Nations Cup prep begins.

Sundhage is hired to lead Americans to Olympic gold medal.

Best U.S. effort came a game late, beating Norway for World Cup third place.

Solo dropped from team before World Cup third-place match with Norway.

U.S. Women's World Cup fortunes declined quickly in rout by Brazil.

Brazil rolls to 4-0 victory over Americans in World Cup semifinal.

Scurry to replace Solo in goal for World Cup semifinal with Brazil.

Without best effort, U.S. still dumps England 3-0 in World Cup quarterfinals.

Despite taking group title, U.S. must improve to achieve World Cup goals.

Despite being dominated, U.S. rallies to draw North Korea 2-2 in Women's World Cup.

Despite being dominated, U.S. rallies to draw North Korea 2-2 in Women's World Cup.

Wambach hurts toe in 4-0 romp over Finland in final Cup tune-up.

Wambach hurts toe in 4-0 romp over Finland in final Cup tune-up.

Wambach nets pair, UNC quartet adds four in 6-2 rout of Canada.

Schedule for World Cup prep matches is set.

Ryan, Lilly to visit China for Women's World Cup draw.

Lilly scores two more in U.S.'s 5-0 rout of Mexico.

Wambach's two goals, Lloyd strike beat Sweden 3-2, earn Algarve final.

U.S. women

Tarpley strikes twice again in 4-1 victory over Finland in Four Nations Tournament.

Lindsay Tarpley
By scoring two goals in a second straight outing, Lindsay Tarpley raised her career total to 21, the 16th American woman to reach the milestone of 20 goals.
-- United States Soccer Federation photo --

GUANGZHOU, China (Friday, January 18, 2008) -- Midfielder Lindsay Tarpley scored two goals for the second straight game, helping the United States women to a 4-1 decision over Finland in the Four Nations Tournament this afternoon before an estimated 500 fans at Guangdong Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

"I'm happy because it's another win and we scored four goals," said new U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, who raised her record to 2-0. "The way we played the first half was pretty good. We knocked it around and created a lot of corner kicks."

Tarpley's goals, both assisted by striker Abby Wambach, came within a two-minute span late in the first half, staking the U.S. to a 2-0 lead at the break. After Finalnd narrowed its deficit to 2-1, a pair of reserves -- forward Lauren Cheney and midfielder Angie Woznuvk -- found net to secure the triumph.

"I think the biggest thing is that I'm having fun playing," Tarpley said. "It's a great group of girls and we're playing together, which makes it that much better. I think one of my strengths as a player is reading the game. Whether I'm in the right spot at the right time or trying to think ahead of the ball, those are my strengths, so if I can use those, it definitely helps me on the field."

Following a 4-0 opening victory over Canada, the Americans (2-0, 6 points) can win this round-robin event with a win or draw Sunday against China, which tied Canada 0-0 today and is 1-0-1 with four points.

Canada is 0-1-1 with one point, while Finland brings up the rear at 0-2 with no points.

In the last two Four Nations Cups, the U.S. met China on the final day en route to capturing the title. In six previous visits to the Four Nations Tournament, the Americans earbed top honors five times, in 1998, 2003 and 2004. The U.S. declined an invitation to the 2005 event, coming off the long campaign leading to its goal-medal effort in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

"I'm looking forward to the (China) game, of course," Sundhage said. "The way China played against Canada, I thought was pretty nice. It will be a good challenge for us to see how our way of playing works against a technical Chinese team. It will be a good game."

Sundhage made four changes from the starting lineup from Wednesday's defeat of Canada. She inserted outside backs Stephanie Cox and Tobin Heath, making her first international appearance, had Briana Scurry replace Hope Solo in goal, while shifting Tarpley to attacking midfielder.

"It was more of a fight than nice soccer," Sundhage said.

Central midfielder Carli Lloyd started the sequence on the first goal, weaving around a defender before slipping a pass to Tarpley, who played a quick touch to Abby Wambach in the middle of the penalty area. Wambach pushed past one defender with both players heading to the turf, leaving the ball perfectly settled for Tarpley to poke home from seven yards out for a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute.

Two minutes later, Wambach carried into right side of the penalty area before rolling a pass which an advancing Tarpley powered into the lower left corner of the net from 15 yards away with the first touch of her right foot to make it 2-0.

"I saw Abby going end-line and Finland tends to drop off a lot, so I kind of held in the slot run and she played a perfect ball back for me to one-time it," Tarpley said.

Scoring two goals in two consecutive games for the first time in her international career, Tarpley now has 21, the 16th U.S. woman to reach the 20-goal milestone.

Striker Amy Rodriguez, making her second career start for the U.S., was dangerous running at the Finland defense and had a breakaway snuffed at her feet by goalkeeper Tina-Riika Korpela just before halftime.

Finland pulled to within 2-1 in the 54th minute on a rare foray into the Americans' defensive third. The ball ended up at the feet of midfilder Essi Sainio just inside the penalty area at the right side of the arc and her spinning shot squirted through Scurry's hands and into the net. It was Finland's first goal against the U.S. since 1999 in a series where the Americans are 13-0 with a 42-2-edge in goals.

Finland nearly tied the contest 13 minutes later Anna-Kaisa Rantanen rattled a 35-yard free kick off the crossbar.

"The USA showed us today how to play good football," Finland coach Michael Kald said. "Pia has a great team, a team with a lot of speed, very technical. They have power and they can score goals.

The U.S. needed only two more minutes to expand its advantage on Cheney's strike. Reserve forward Tina DiMartino, in her first appearance for her national team. maneuvered around one opponent, then beat another to the end-line before sending a rolling cross to Cheney, who buried her shot into the left corner of the net from eight yards for a 3-1 lead. The combination of collegiate teammates at UCLA gave Cheney her second career goal in her third cap.

In the 80th minute, the U.S. increased its margin to 4-1 on its 15th of 16 corner kicks (to two for Finland). Cox drilled the ball into the middle where Woznuk nailed her shot into the roof of the net for her first international goal. Korpela got a hand on the ball, but could not keep it out of the net.

This tally was also a collaboration of college teammates with Cox (nee Lopez) and Woznuk having played together at Portland.

"It happened so fast," Woznuk said, "Lopez was taking a corner and I know her balls usually go kind of toward to the near post, so I made my run there and my player wasn't right with me. I was celebrating before I knew it."


United States 4, Finland 1

Lineups: United States - Briana Scurry; Stephanie Cox, Christie Rampone (captain). Ali Krieger, Tobin Heath, Shannon Boxx (Angie Woznuk 46), Carli Lloyd (Leslie Osborne 74), Lindsay Tarpley, Heather O'Reilly (Lori Chalupny 72), Amy Rodriguez (Tina DiMartino), Abby Wambach (Lauren Cheney 46). Finland - Tina-Riika Korpela, Tuija Hyyrynen, Jessica Julin (Anna Westerlund 76), Sanna Valkonen, Petra Vaelma; Tiina Salmén (captain), Essi Sainio, Leena Puranen (Katri Nokso-Koivisto 76), Anna-Kaisa Rantanen (Annica Sjölund 83), Heidi Lindström, Sanna Tolonen (Linda Sällström 46).

Scoring:
United States - Tarpley (Wambach) 37.
United States - Tarpley (Wambach) 39
Finland - Sainio (assist no recorded) 54.
United States - Cheney (DiMartino) 69.
United States - Woznuk (Cox) 80.

Shots: United State 19, Finland 4. Shots on goal: United States 11, Finland 3. Saves: United States 1, Finland 7. Corner kicks: United States 16, Finland 2. Fouls: United States 9, Finland 6. Offside: United States 6, Finland 1.

Referee: Gu Ying (China). Assistant referees: Liu Hongjuan (China), Cui Yongmei (China). Fourth official: Carol Anne Chenard (Canada) Attendance: 500 at Guangdong (China) Olympic Sports Center Stadium. Weather: Cloudy, cool, 66 degrees.


U.S. roster

Goalkeepers (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.).

Defenders (6): Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis), Catherine Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.).

Midfielders (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.).

Forwards (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

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