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October 29, 2008
U.S. Women to face China in Detroit

U.S. Captain Kate Markgraf will make her first appearance with the U.S. Women’s National team in her home state.
U.S. Captain Kate Markgraf will make her first appearance with the U.S. Women’s National team in her home state.
CHICAGO – The gold medal-winning U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team will return to Detroit for the first time in 15 years as the Achieve Your Gold Tour stops at Ford Field on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The game against China will be a homecoming for a pair of U.S. players from Michigan. Defender Kate Markgraf, from Bloomfield Hills, and midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, from Kalamazoo, will get to play in their home state with the WNT for the first time.
The last appearance for the U.S. Women’s National Team in Detroit – and their only other appearance in the Motor City – came in 1993 when the U.S. defeated Canada 3-0 at the Pontiac Silverdome on a pair of goals from Joy Fawcett and one from Michelle Akers. That match was a test run for the grass surface that was installed for matches in the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

Markgraf, formerly Kate Sobrero, was a three-time all-state selection as a forward at Detroit Country Day, where she scored 16 goals and tallied 26 assists as a forward. After scoring seven goals as a collegiate defender at Notre Dame, Markgraf scored her first goal in 193 appearances with the U.S. team on Sept. 20 of this year, converting a penalty kick in an Achieve Your Gold Tour match against Ireland. The goal came in Toyota Park in suburban Chicago, where Markgraf will suit up next spring for the Chicago Red Stars in the new WPS. Her 193 appearances are the seventh-best all-time for a U.S. player, and she was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. teams at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, as well as the title-winning 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Married to Chris Markgraf in 2003, her son Keegan was born in 2006 and has traveled the world with the U.S. team.

Tarpley grew up in Kalamazoo, starring at Portage Central High School as a first-team all-state selection all four years. As a senior she was named Michigan’s Miss Soccer and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. She led her club team, the Michigan Hawks, to the Under-18 National Championship after winning three state titles. She also helped the Michigan Under-18s to back-to-back ODP National Championships. Tarpley has appeared more than 100 times for the U.S. team since 2003, and has two gold medals (2004, 2008). This year she scored a career-high 11 goals, including one versus New Zealand in the Olympics. Last December, she married Kalamazoo native and UCLA Women’s Soccer assistant coach B.J. Snow in their hometown.

In addition to the U.S. team’s pair of Michigan natives, the majority of the U.S. roster from the Olympics will be available for the game. Midfielder Carli Lloyd, who scored the game-winning goal in the Olympic final against Brazil, and goalkeeper Hope Solo, who made the key saves to keep a shutout in the final, headline the roster.

This will be the third meeting of the year between the U.S. and China, with the U.S. recording a pair of shutout victories in the first two meetings which came earlier this year. The two teams have faced off 40 times in history – the third most of any opponent for the U.S. behind Canada and Norway – with the U.S. holding a 21-8-11 lead in the series that includes the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup final.

Before the Detroit leg of the Achieve Your Gold Tour, the USA heads to Richmond, Va. (Nov 1), Cincinnati (Nov. 5), and Tampa, Fla. (Nov.8), for three matches against South Korea .

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