1985 United States women's national soccer team

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The 1985 United States women's national soccer team was the first United States women's national soccer team to play international matches. The team played four matches in Jesolo, Italy, at the Mundialito tournament, losing three and drawing one of the matches.

United States womens national soccer team womens national association football team representing the United States

The United States Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT) represents the United States in international women's soccer. The team is the most successful in international women's soccer, winning three Women's World Cup titles, four Olympic women's gold medals, eight CONCACAF Gold Cup wins, and ten Algarve Cups. It medaled in every single World Cup and Olympic tournament in women's soccer history from 1991 to 2015, before being knocked out in the quarterfinal of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The team is governed by United States Soccer Federation and competes in CONCACAF.

Jesolo Comune in Veneto, Italy

Jesolo[ˈjɛːzolo] is a seaside resort town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy. With around six million visitors per year, Jesolo is one of the largest beach resorts in the country, and ranks 7th overall as a tourist destination. Its 15 kilometer long beaches, and vicinity to central Europe make it a favourite destination of many German, Austrian, Dutch and French visitors.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

Contents

Coaches

Name birthdate WNT coaching years University position career matches comments
Ryan, Mike Mike Ryan February 14, 1935 1985 Head coach A steelworker and soccer coach in Seattle
Rogers, Roger Roger Rogers 1985 Assistant coach Founder, Women's Soccer World Magazine

Players

Name birthdate WNT team member years University position career caps (goals) comments
Michelle Akers February 1, 1966 1985–2000 Central Florida forward 153 (105) Against Denmark, scored first US international goal. [1]
Pam Baughman Cornell 1985 George Mason 4 (1)
Denise Bender 1985 Washington defender 4 (0) Team captain [2]
Denise Boyer-Merdich 1985–1987 Puget Sound midfielder 7 (l)
Tara Buckley 1985 Connecticut 2 (0)
Laurie Bylin 1985 4 (0)
Stacey Enos 1985–1986 North Carolina defender 10 (0)
Linda Gancitano 1985 Central Florida defender 2 (0) Substitute for Denise Bender in first international game; torn ACL in 1986 ended career [3]
Cindy Gordon 1985–1988 Western Washington midfielder 6 (0)
Ruth Harker 1985 Missouri – St. Louis goalkeeper 2 (0)
Tuca Healey 1985 California forward 3 (0)
Lori Henry March 20, 1966 1985–1991 North Carolina defender 39 (3)
Sharon McMurtry 1985–1986 Seattle midfielder 6 (0) U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year for 1985
Ann Orrison 1985–1986 Virginia defender 5 (0)
Emily Pickering 1985–1992 North Carolina midfielder 15 (2) Assist on first US international goal; scored second goal against Denmark [1]
Kathy Ridgewell 1985–1987 3 (0)
Kim Wyant 1985–1987, 1993 Central Florida goalkeeper 9 (0) [4]

Creation of the team

A national women's soccer team had been selected in 1982, 1983, and 1984 but never played together. Club teams had represented the United States in international tournaments, with the Dallas Sting winning the first title for the United States at a FIFA-sanctioned world tournament in 1984. [5] With interest growing in women's soccer, about 70 women, mostly players on University teams, were invited to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to participate in the 1985 Olympic Sports Festival, the first time women's soccer was included among the events. [6] As the players sat on the field at the end of the festival, coach Mike Ryan selected a team of 17 players, all under 25 years of age. The team was issued men's practice uniforms and practiced for three days at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University. Team members were each given a pair of cleats and $10 a day for food, and sewed the "USA" decal on the front of their shirts the night before flying to Italy. [7]

The Dallas Sting is an American-based international youth soccer club headquartered in the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area. Established for competitive amateur girl soccer players, it currently competes in the Elite Clubs National League, among others. It is the first and oldest all girls' soccer club in the country.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Capital of Louisiana

Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana and its second-largest city. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish.

Mike Ryan was an Irish soccer coach from Dublin. He was the coach of the 1985 United States women's national soccer team for its first international games in Italy in August 1985. He finished his career by coaching at Nathan Hale High School before retiring in 2012 after having coached for over 60 years.

The tournament

The Italians greeted the American team enthusiastically and chanted "Ooosa!" (USA), a pre-game chant that the U.S. team adopted for itself. [8] The U.S. team responded by leading a cheer for the Italian team during a game. The Americans were the guests of honor at a rock concert and Michelle Akers, Emily Pickering, and Linda Gancitano were invited to model clothing for a photo shoot. The Americans were unaccustomed to the large and enthusiastic crowds, numbering several thousand people, attending the games. [3]

All did not go well on the playing field for the American team. In their first match, on August 18, 1985, the Americans, accustomed to a polite women's game as it was then in the United States, were out-played by an experienced and physical Italian team and lost 1–0. Carolina Morace struck the Italians' winning goal. [9] Akers and Pickering missed that game because of injuries. [10] On August 21, the U.S. team found their footing and tied Denmark 2-2, with Akers and Pickering scoring goals. They then lost to England and to Denmark in a rematch.

Carolina Morace is a former Italian football player who played as a striker. She played for the Italian national team and for various clubs in women's Serie A. She was the top scorer in Serie A in the 1984–85 season, and for 11 consecutive years from 1987–88 to 1997–98.

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Results

Date Location Opponent Result U.S. scorers
August 18, 1985 Jesolo, Italy Italy Loss 0–1
August 21, 1985 Jesolo, Italy Denmark Tie 2–2 Akers, Pickering
August 23, 1985 Caorle, Italy England Loss 1–3 Akers
August 24, 1985 Jesolo, Italy Denmark Loss 0–1

Aftermath

The team disbanded after the Jesolo tournament. A national team with several new players and a new coach, Anson Dorrance, reassembled in 1986 to play again in Jesolo and at the national soccer complex in Blaine, Minnesota. The team record was better in 1986, with five wins and two losses. [11]

Anson Dorrance American soccer player-coach

Albert Anson Dorrance IV is an American soccer coach. He is currently the head coach of the women's soccer program at the University of North Carolina. He has one of the most successful coaching records in the history of athletics. Under Dorrance's leadership, the Tar Heels have won 21 of the 31 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. The Tar Heels' record under Dorrance stood at 809-67-36 over 33 seasons at the end of the 2017 season. He has led his team to a 101-game unbeaten streak and coached 13 different women to a total of 20 National Player of the Year awards. The NCAA has recognized Dorrance as the Women's Soccer Coach of the Year seven times and as the Men's Soccer Coach of the Year in 1987. On March 10, 2008 Dorrance was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Blaine, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Blaine is a city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the State of Minnesota. The population was 57,186 at the 2010 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.

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References

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