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Schedule for World Cup prep matches is set.

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.

Lloyd's second straight winner downs Finland 1-0 in Algarve Cup.

Lloyd goal is winner in 2-1 Algarve opening win over China.

Chalupny, Kai power Americans past China 2-0, to Four Nations crown.

Solo stops help save 0-0 draw with Germany to open Four Nations Cup.

Wambach finds net twice, U.S. defeatd Mexico 2-0, qualify for Women's World Cup.

Pardoned Lilly scores, Americans edge Canada to take Peace Cup title.

Lilly equalizes for 1-1 draw with Denmark to open Peace Cup.

Wambach scores three, assists three in 10-0 rout of Taiwan.

Peace Cup event is added to WWC preparation.

Wambach, Kai provide winning margin in 2-0 win over Canada.

O'Reilly, Whitehill help post familiar 5-0 triumph over Ireland.

Germany blanks U.S. 2-0 in U-21 Nordic final.

Reserve Kai nets winner in 1-0 decision over Japan.

Wambach's three strikes lead 3-1 comeback victory over Japan.

Visit to Japan is scheduled, qualifying road is set.

U.S. women

Mitts diagnosed with torn ACL, will miss second World Cup.

Heather Mitts
Heather Mitts suffered the heartbreak of missing a second straight Women's World Cup after tearing her left anterior cruciate ligament.
-- U.S. Soccer Federation photo --

(Wednesday, May 16, 2007) -- United States defender Heather Mitts will miss a second straight Women's World Cup after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee.

The injury, suffered in Saturday's 6-2 victory over Canada in Frisco, Texas, will keep her on the sidelines for six-to-eight months, eliminating her from consideration for the U.S. team that will compete in the Women's World Cup September 10-30 in five cities in China.

Four years ago, Mitts' World Cup hopes ended when she broke a tibia playing for the Philadelphia Charge in the now defunct Women's United Soccer Association.

Mitts, a member of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Australia, is one of the most recognizable American women players because of her modeling career and work on ESPN Major League Soccer and college football broadcasts. In 2004, she was voted voted espn.com's "Hottest Female Athlete."

Mitts, who turns 29 on June 9, will have surgery within the next 10 days. "It is obviously very sad," she said. "I was definitely feeling good about my game and how much I've progressed as a player over the past few years and ready to make a contribution to the team in the Women's World Cup. To have a setback like this is difficult to handle, but with the support of my family, my teammates, our medical staff and the coaches, I know I can come back strong. This team has become very special to me. I'm confident my teammates will bring home the World Cup, I just hope to be with them to bring home the gold (from the Summer Olympics) in Beijing in 2008."

Mitts had a MRI exam Monday to determine the extent of the injury sustained from making a tackle in midfield during the 25th minute against Canada. Her tears on the sideline indicated she knew the severity of damage to her knee.

Mitts has 71 international appearances with the U.S. and was contending for a World Cup starting spot on the right outside. Her two career goals came in 2004, including one that defeated Canada 1-0 that summer, and she recorded her first assist Sunday when she fed Linday Tarpley's tally for a 2-0 lead in the 13th minute..

"Heather has played great for us in 2007," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "She put in one of the best crosses of the year on our second goal against Canada last Saturday night and we will definitely miss her at the outside back as we move forward in preparing for the Women's World Cup."

Mitts was a clear beneficiary of the WUSA, having made only one, 27-minute relief appearance for the U.S. women in 1999 before the league debuted in 2001. She was a second-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Charge more than a year after completing a stellar four-year career (1996-99) at University of Florida.

Mitts was part of the 1998 Gators NCAA Division I championship team which included a front line of Abby Wambach, the high-scoring star of the U.S. women, and former U.S. teammate Danielle Fotopoulos.

Mitts was a 2003 WUSA All-Star, having played almost every minute of the season before breaking her shin bone in a 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Beat. She collided with Beat midfielder Callie Withers in the 67th minute, briefly went to the sideline and then returned to play the remaining 20 minutes before the broken tibia was discovered. With the injury, she dropped from contention for the WUSA "Defensive Player of the Year" award, missed the Charge's final six games before the WUSA folded, and lost a spot on the U.S. World Cup team.

She did work in the ESPN broadcast boot during the 2003 Women's World Cup.


The field for the 2007 Women's World Cup to be played September 10-30 in China:

Host: China
Asia: Australia, North Korea, Japan.
Africa: Nigeria, Ghana.
North America, Central America, Caribbean: United States, Canada.
Europe: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England.
Oceania: New Zealand.
South America: Argentina, Brazil.

Group A (in Shangai): Germany, Japan, England, Argentina.
Group B (in Chengdu): Nigeria, United States, North Korea, Sweden.
Group C (in Hangzhou): Norway, Ghana, Australia, Canada.
Group D (in Wuhan): China, New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark.


The Wormen's World Cup venues:

Shanghai: Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium (six first-round matches, third-place match, championship game).
Tianjin: - Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium (two first-round matches, two quarterfinal matches, one semifinal match).
Hangzhou: Zhejiang Dragon Stadium (six first-round matches, one semifinal match).
Wuhan: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium (four first-round matches, two quarterfinal matches).
Chengdu: Chengdu Sports Center Stadium (six first-round matches).

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