Sept. 14, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Former Santa Clara women's soccer standout Leslie Osborne ('04) made her first World Cup start and helped the United States women's National team to a 2-0 victory over Sweden in a Group B match at the 2007 FIFA World Cup today in Chengdu, China. The U.S. will face Nigeria in the final Group B match next week.
"Leslie has done so well against Sweden and she is just great in the air, and you saw tonight," said National team head coach Greg Ryan. "She won so many head balls. She was very composed, helped us play and did a great job."
Osborne was inserted into Ryan's 4-3-3 formation, replacing Shannon Boxx, and was chosen to mark Swedish star Victory Svensson. The Menomonee Falls, Wis., native provided excellent coverage on Svensson, while strongly winning numerous head balls.
"I wasn't nervous," said Osborne. "I think I was more excited than anything. This is my first World Cup start and my coach is telling me `I have confidence in you to mark their best player and I want you to play your game.' I've been training for this for the last two year. I think all my nerves got out of the way during the National Anthem, so once the whistle blew it was just fun from there."
Scoring both goals for the U.S. was forward Abby Wambach. The first was a penalty shot in the 34th minute and the second happed at the 58th minute.
For more postgame quotes from Ryan, Osborne and the rest of the Women's National Team, click here.
The United States returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 18, against Nigeria at the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium. Kickoff in the final Group B match is at 4:55 a.m. PT live on ESPN.