Kellerís pair powers U.S. women by Canada 4-0.ORLANDO, Fla. (Sunday, August 2, 1998) -- The United States women got two first-half goals from Debbie Keller and battered Canada with 35 total shots to register a 4-0 victory in a preliminary to the 1998 Major League Soccer All-Star Game today at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
It was the U.S. team's first trip to the Citrus Bowl since playing two matches here during the 1996 Olympics on its way to the gold medal.
Canada mounted an early run at the U.S., taking two shots in the first nine minutes, but in sweltering mid-90s heat, the U.S. went on attack and put the Canadians on the defensive for the rest of the match. The Canadians managed one more shot during the game, that coming with just one minute left.
The U.S. broke through in the 25th minute when Kristine Lilly drove around the left corner of the penalty box, drawing goalkeeper Nicole Wright to the near post, before bending a cross to the far post. Keller met the ball on the dead run and re-directed it into the open net.
Wright made 12 total saves including several point blank stops, but couldn't stop Keller's second goal in the 37th minute. Keller collected a poor clearance at the top of the box before smacking a 27-yard shot that skidded off the turf, kissed the right post and settled into the net.
The goals were Keller's 10th and 11th of the year, making her the team's second leading scorer behind forward Mia Hamm. Keller has scored 11 of her 15 career international goals in 1998, and has scored 10 goals in her past 14 games.
"Now that I'm done with college, I've really been able to concentrate on soccer," said Keller, who scored the winning goal in the 1996 NCAA championship game, one of three national crowns she earned while playing for North Carolina. "I'm getting more playing time and whenever you get the chance, you start to improve. This year has been a lot of fun."
The third American goal came off a bullet near-post cross from Julie Foudy in the 61st minute.With a defender hanging on Tiffeny Milbrett, she still managed to get position and re-directed the ball with her head into the roof of the net from two yards.
"The United States team is the best in the world and there's not much else to be said," said Canada coach Neil Turnbull. "They're great to watch, and for us, it's a learning experience. We're amateurs playing professionals. We have a reasonable club structure, but when you play a team like the United States, it goes up 10 levels. I think our players deserve a lot of credit for their performance."
Foudy scored her 24th international goal in the 88th minute on a play that started with MacMillan's cross from the left corner. Milbrett kept the ball alive at the near post, deflecting it up in the air with her leg, and Foudy headed the ball just inside the left corner from close range.
Canada is in preparation for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, to be held in Toronto from September 28 to August 6, 1998. The winner of the tournament earns a berth in the Women's World Cup while the runnerup will face South American runnerup Argentina in a two-game home-and-home playoff series to determine the final Western Hemisphere slot.
The U.S. team will take a month off before regrouping in early September for U.S. Women's Cup '98 on the East Coast.
United States 4, Canada 0Lineups: United States- Tracy Ducar, Christie Pearce, Carla Overbeck, Kate Sobrero, Joy Fawcett (Sara Whalen 46), Tisha Venturini, Michelle Akers (Brandi Chastain 46), Kristine Lilly (Julie Foudy 46), Debbie Keller (Danielle Fotopoulos 76), Shannon MacMillan, Mia Hamm (Tiffeny Milbrett, 46). Canada - Nicole Wright, Cindy Walsh, Isabelle Morneau (Roxanne Chow 72), Marie Claude Dion (Heidi Slaymaker 46), Liz Smith (Birgitte Chandonnet 72), Sarah Joly, Suzanne Muir, Helen Stumbos (Isabelle Harvey 46), Charmaine Hooper, Shannon Rosenow, Amy Walsh.
Scoring: United States - Keller (Lilly) 25; United States - Keller (unassisted) 37; United States - Milbrett (Foudy) 58; United States - Foudy (Milbrett) 88. Shots: United States 35, Canada 3. Saves: United States 2, Canada 12. Corner kicks: United States 7, Canada 0. Fouls: United States 7, Canada 14. Offside: United States 0, Canada 0. Yellow card cautions: Canada - Joy 41; Canada - Walsh 58.
Referee: Sandra Hunt (United States). Assistant referees: Kari Seitz (United States), Sharon Wheeler (United States). Attendance: 34,416 at Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Weather: Very hot, humid, 93 degrees.