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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2003, 19:09 Thread Starter
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Norway's World Cup Roster

Last Monday in press conference at Hankø just outside of Fredrikstad in southeastern Norway, head coach Åge Steen announced Norway's 20 player roster for the World Cup.

As expected Hege Riise who has made an amazing recovery from ACL surgery less than four months ago was named to Norway's roster. The final two players dropped from Steen's squad were Karin Bredland og Leni Larsen Kaurin.

There were no great surprises with Steen's announced roster, but Ragnhild Gulbrandsen who scored one of Norway's three goals in the 2000 Olympic gold medal match was left off the squad after having suffered through two injury plagued seasons with the Boston Breakers in the WUSA. Ragnhild, broke a bone in her foot prior to the start of this past WUSA season while ironically enough training in Norway with Coach Steen.

Ragnhild was actually getting more playing time with the Breakers especially during the second half of this past season , but Gulbrandsen injured her knee while training for Norway's friendly match against Nigeria last month and didn't play in the Breakers semifinal loss to the Freedom.

One day after Steen announced his roster, Norway's starting right back Marianne Paulsen tore her ACL in a training session at Hankø. In somewhat of a surprise move instead of replacing Paulsen with an experienced defender, he replaced her with one of the final two players he had cut, midfielder Karin Bredland.

Picture of Norway's 2003 World Cup Squad

Here is Norway's complete roster with information about each player's date of birth, club team, caps, and goals scored:

Goalkeeper:

1 Bente Nordby 23.07.74 Kolbotn 118/0
12 Ingrid Hjelmseth 10.04.80 Trondheims-Ørn 5/0

Defenders:

2 Brit Sandaune 05.06.02 Trondheims-Ørn 114/8
3 Ane Stangeland 02.06.80 Klepp 26/0
4 Monica Knudsen 25.03.75 Asker 81/6
13 Anne Tønnessen 18.03.74 Klepp 59/2
15 Marit Fiane Christensen 11.12.80 Asker 6/0
16 Gunhild Følstad 03.11.81 Trondheims-Ørn 2/0

Midfielders:

5 Karin Bredland 07.01.78 Røa 1/0
6 Hege Riise 18.07.69 Carolina Courage 177/55
8 Solveig Gulbrandsen 12.01.81 Kolbotn 66/19
10 Unni Lehn 07.06.77 Carolina Courage 87/19
19 Kristine Edner 08.11.76 Røa 10/1
20 Lise Klaveness 19.04.81 Asker 18/1

Forwards:

7 Trine Rønning 14.06.82 Kolbotn 29/4
9 Anita Rapp 24.07.77 New York Power 57/11
11 Marianne Pettersen 12.04.75 Asker 92/63
14 Dagny Mellgren 19.06.78 Boston Breakers 70/37
17 Linda Ørmen 22.03.77 Asker 45/12
18 Ingrid Camilla Fosse Sæthre 19.01.78 Arna- Bjørnar 15/2
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2003, 19:26
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Do you think they can make it all the way?

"It's a step up, like moving from Iceland to Finland"
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old September 14th, 2003, 19:52 Thread Starter
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Norway Can Make it All the Way

Quote:
Originally posted by tarmpropp
Do you think they can make it all the way?
If you asked me this question before Bente Nordby and Marianne Pettersen came out of retirement five months ago, I would have said no. However, with Nordby and Pettersen back on Norway's roster and Hege Riise making such an amazing recovery from ACL surgery less than four months ago , I am cautiously optimistic that Norway can in fact "make it all the way."
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2003, 07:51 Thread Starter
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Norwegian coach comments on his WC roster

Here's an English translation of an article from one of Norway's leading newspapers Dagbladet:

Slik er fotballjentene

Coach Åge Steen comments on the squad he brings with him to America.

BENTE NORDBY (Goalkeeper/29 yrs/119 caps/Kolbotn)
Bente has been arguably the best keeper in the world for many years, and still is. She is very eager to exercise, has her main strength on the line, but also in one-on-one situations. She loves challenges and gets better the bigger the occasion is. In that aspect, USA '03 suits her perfectly. Bente is our first choice, one of the team's matchwinners. Can win a game on her own.

INGRID HJEMSETH (Goalkeeper/23 yrs/5 caps/Trondheims-Ørn)
Ingrid represents the new generation of goalkeepers. She is fearless, dives into dangerous situations and has a knack of getting injured much because of that. In addition to being courageous she is very good off the line where she has an even bigger potential than Bente. Ingrid will definitely be Norway's next No.1.

BRIT SANDAUNE (Defender/31 yrs/115 Caps/Trondheims-Ørn)
Brit has enormous experience and is a typical "continuity-carrier". She is very consistent in her performances. She is a bit shy and cautious by nature, but she always delivers the goods on the field. She is also very good at taking care of the younger ones in the squad.

ANE STANGELAND (Defender/23 yrs/27 caps/Klepp)
Ane is tough and a "no-mercy" type of central defender. She trains with a Division 2 Men's team a couple of times every week in addition to her time with Klepp. She has had her nose broken a number of times - last time in Algarve last winter - much thanks to her physical style of playing. Her main strength is of course duel-battles with attackers.

MONICA KNUDSEN (Defender/28 yrs/82 caps/Asker)
Monica is our bulldozer in defence. When she decides to tackle she goes in with everything she is worth - and even more. She used to be a midfielder, but has moved back and has experienced a big boost as player after the change. Monica is strong in the duel-battles, but still needs to work on the tactical part of the game. She occasionally "falls asleep" during games and needs a wake up call to get up to her brilliant best. I doubt she will "fall asleep" during the World Cup.

ANNE TØNNESEN (Defender/29 yrs/59 caps/Klepp)
Anne is a more playing defender, good on the ball and rather different from the bulldozer Monica. She was put out of action with a head-injury during the Sydney Olympics, and she has broken her leg twice this last year, but "Unlucky-Anne" is back in action now having missed a lot of the preparations before the World Cup. All her re-hab work has impressed everybody and given her a deserved place on our teamroster.

MARIT FIANE CHRISTENSEN (Defender/22 yrs/6 caps/Asker)
Marit came from Larvik to Asker this year and is something of a rough diamond. Her height makes her dominant in the air. She is still very green on the national team, but it will surprise me if she doesn't get a lot of caps. In addition to her great potential she is also a great joker. There is always a lot of laughing where Marit is.

GUNHILD FØLSTAD (Defender/21 yrs/3 caps/Trondheims-Ørn)
Gunhild has great speed and could be the successor for the injured Marianne Paulsen at right back in the World Cup. She is tall, slim and athletic. She is nice and the most quiet person off the field in the group. However, when she does talk there is always something interesting coming from her. As with Marit, Gunhild is a player for the future.

HEGE RIISE (Midfielder/34 yrs/177 caps/Carolina Courage)
Hege is the boss and the "mother" in the team. She has won everything and has enormous knowledge in the women's game. She uses that knowledge all the time and makes sure things are running smoothly. On the field Hege is a soccerplayer with capital S. She has a vision none else is anywhere near, superb passing ability and a free-kick expert. She might be a deciding factor in the World Cup.

SOLVEIG GULBRANDSEN (Midfielder/22 yrs/67 caps/Kolbotn)
Solveig's goal is to become the greatest player in the world. She thinks and talks a lot about the game also off the field. She could be a big star in the World Cup if she takes out her full potential. She is a typical winner who wants to win everything she participates in no matter if it is a friendly or World Cup final. She is at the "very advanced" level technically and tactically and she also dares to ask her coaches critical questions.

UNNI LEHN (Midfielder/26 yrs/88 caps/Carolina Courage)
Unni has climbed through the ranks from the underage national teams and is today a virtually complete player. She is a ballwinner, good at penetrating passes and also a goalscorer. She works tirelessly for the team no matter what position she plays in. She has a good engine and a woman you can always count on.

KRISTINE EDNER (Midfielder/26 yrs/10 caps/Røa)
Kristine must have the longest throw-ins in the world. She has never played for junior national teams and was a late bloomer in the game. She is central midfielder with a good engine always capable of making long runs from midfield. Kristine Edner is always smiling regardless of situation. Positive with a great mental attitude.

LISE KLAVENESS (Midfielder/22 yrs/19 caps/Asker)
Lise is an intelligent player with clear opinions about everything both on and off the field. [Bauser edits: She has her own column in the sportssection of Norway's biggest newspaper (VG) which is quite remarkable for a relatively inexperienced player who is by no means a household name here]. She is very eager to train and the staff must hold her back so she doesn't "overtrain". At the national team she has proven to be a great ballwinner with good skills and strength in the air. She masters the basics in the game very well which makes her a great asset in midfield

TRINE RØNNING (Midfielder/21 yrs/30 caps/Kolbotn)
Trine is very rare because she can play at every single position - even the goalkeeper's! From the outset she is a midfielder, but against Trondheims-Ørn in the cup she put on the gloves and made sure the champions were eliminated. Trine is the youngest member of the squad.

KARIN BREDLAND (Midfielder/25 yrs/1 cap/Røa)
Karin is a workhorse with good defensive qualities. She is awkward to play against and many opponents think of her like a mosquito you can't kill who just comes back to annoy you time and time again. She is a central midfielder who needs to work a little more on her passing game.

ANITA RAPP (Forward/26 yrs/58 caps/New York Power)
Anita is our best left-footed player. She still works on improving her right. Out on the left flank she very often tries her special "Anita-dummy" which opponents fail to find a cure against all the time. She is very good at crossing the ball and is among the best in the aerial game. Important at set pieces.

MARIANNE PETTERSEN (Forward/28 yrs/93 caps/Asker)
Marianne is back after taking a break from the NT. She is a typical goalgetter who just smells goal. Her bodycontrol and balance is unique much thanks to her long background as a dancer. Her goals usually come from a long toe inside the six yard box or with the thigh or knee. Marianne is not likely to score with a thunderous shot from 30 yards, she just gets the ball in the net. That's the most important thing.

DAGNY MELLGREN (Forward/25 yrs/71 caps/Boston Breakers)
Dagny is captain and a matchwinner for Norway. You order, she delivers. Opponents often shiver when her name is on the teamsheet. They know she is trouble.

LINDA ØRMEN (Forward/26 yrs/46 caps/Asker)
Linda has good speed and is dangerous when cutting in from the left flank. She is good at timing her runs and is often alert when scoringchances appear. Even if Linda plays on the left, she also has a good right foot.

INGRID C. FOSSE SÆTHRE (Forward/25 yrs/15 caps/Arna-Bjørnar)
Ingrid is the best defensive forward we have. Very good at receiving passes and play them quickly through to a quicker partner up front. She is strong and very difficult to get hold of. She is completely different from her striking colleagues Marianne and Dagny.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2003, 07:56 Thread Starter
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Bente Nordby in Goal For Norway

Quote:
Originally posted by nordby1

BENTE NORDBY (Goalkeeper/29 yrs/119 caps/Kolbotn)
Bente has been arguably the best keeper in the world for many years, and still is. She is very eager to exercise, has her main strength on the line, but also in one-on-one situations. She loves challenges and gets better the bigger the occasion is. In that aspect, USA '03 suits her perfectly. Bente is our first choice, one of the team's matchwinners. Can win a game on her own.
Even though Norway was one of the first countries to qualify for WC '03, I wasn't feeling very optimistic about their chances last November after Bente decided to retire from playing for the National Team. :depress:

While Astrid Johannessen and Ingrid Hjelmseth did a good job in goal for Norway during Bente's time off from playing for the National Team, Norway's record against some of the other top countries in the world was not very impressive. After three straight victories against the U.S. with Bente in goal, Norway has since lost three straight to the U.S. without Bente in the line-up. Norway also didn't record any victories against Germany, China, or Sweden during Bente's five month break and ended up finishing last in the Four Nations Tournament this year after having finished first the previous year.

Now that her motivation and desire to play for Norway has returned, I expect Bente to have an outstanding tournament. There is no goalkeeper in the women's game that I would rather watch play in a championship match than Bente Nordby and hopefully I will get to do just that on October 12th at the Home Depot Center. :

Last edited by nordby1; September 17th, 2003 at 08:02.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old September 17th, 2003, 08:00 Thread Starter
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Brit Sandaune

Quote:
Originally posted by nordby1
BRIT SANDAUNE (Defender/31 yrs/115 Caps/Trondheims-Ørn)
Brit has enormous experience and is a typical "continuity-carrier". She is very consistent in her performances. She is a bit shy and cautious by nature, but she always delivers the goods on the field. She is also very good at taking care of the younger ones in the squad.
Brit Sandaune has also quietly become the fifth most capped player in the history of Norwegian women's soccer. Since the last WC I don't think anyone else has played more minutes for Norway than Brit has.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old September 19th, 2003, 05:03
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Norwegians Anxious For Cup Showdown With U.S.

OSLO, Norway (AP)-- It's a bitter memory for American soccer fans, an oh-so-sweet one for Norwegians.

At the 2000 Olympics, last-minute substitute Dagny Mellgren scored during overtime against the United States, snatching away the gold medal from the powerful, heavily favored U.S. women.

Norway is ready to be the spoiler again as the Women's World Cup opens Saturday in Philadelphia.

"We think we have a good chance to go all the way, but it's the small margins that decide," Norway coach Åge Steen said. "The dream would be a final against the United States. That would be very special."

The idea isn't improbable given the United States' No. 1 standing in the FIFA rankings, followed by Norway at No. 2.

For Norway to get a shot at the United States, it has to fight its way through the challengers in Group B in the first round: Brazil, France and South Korea.

"We are excited. We are looking forward to it," said Steen, who took over as head coach in November 2000, succeeding Per Mathias, who led the team to Olympic gold in Sydney.

"The U.S. is the big favorite. They have never lost a major tournament at home."

But Norway is the only country with a winning record against the U.S. women. And with the gold medal in 2000, a bronze medal in the 1996 Games in Atlanta and a 1995 World Cup win, the Nordic country of 4.5 million can rightfully claim itself as a soccer powerhouse.

Mellgren, the striker who was the heroine for the Norwegians in Sydney, will be back as captain. Known in the United States for her outstanding work with the WUSA's Boston Breakers, she has a reputation for playing fast and skilled with the ball. One of Norway's all-time top scorers, she has 37 goals in 70 games.

The Norwegians will also be heading into the championships with 10 of 22 players who brought the team Olympic glory in 2000.

Fans were especially relieved that veteran midfielder Hege Riise, a WUSA star, was selected to the squad after a major knee operation in May. The 34-year-old Riise has appeared in far more national team games than any other Norwegian, and her 55 goals put her fourth on the all-time scoring list for Norway.

Also on the teams that won Olympic gold and World Cup and European championships, Riise was chosen her country's best female player of the last 50 years.

She is seen as one of the driving forces, on and off the field, behind Norway's triumphs. And she is geared up for the World Cup.

"She is getting better and better with every practice," Steen said.

Riise said because she hasn't played a game in four months, she's not at her peak and probably won't play entire games. But, she added, championships bring out the best in everyone on the Norwegian team "and we are going for gold."

"This is a greedy gang that gets extra motivated for the big games. The better the team we meet, the more up we are," she said. "It's also encouraging when we notice that the other team fears us. We are good at the psychological part, and never give up."

Veteran goalkeeper Bente Nordby, with 118 national team games, has been a strong player for her Norwegian league team Kolbotn. She made spectacular saves last month despite the pain from broken ribs.

Another member of that Olympic champion returning for the World Cup is Unni Lehn, a midfielder for the Carolina Courage. Lehn, known for her tactical and technical skills, has played 87 games and scored 19 goals for the Norwegians.

New York Power midfielder Anita Rapp, a veteran of the Olympic team, also is among Norway's key players. She is strong in the air and in setting up goals.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2003, 13:31
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Norway's backup goalie, Hjelmseth, broke her arm in practice, trying to save a hard shot from Dagny Mellgren. Dunno if it's allowed to replace her or what. But Norway's in trouble it Nordy picks up any injuries now.

Rød Makt
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old September 20th, 2003, 13:54
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I am starting to get nervous now, I hope it will be a good match, and of course that Norway wins today.

Jinxter, our backup keeper is on her way, but she will only be ready for the second match, and not for today's match.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old September 28th, 2003, 00:07 Thread Starter
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Norwegian Coach Knutsen On "Inside Soccer" 9-27-03

Hans Knutsen, the top assistant of Norwegian Coach Åge Steen, will be a guest on the "Inside Soccer" internet radio show today at 5:30 PM Pacific time (8:30 PM EDT).

Here's the direct link for listening to the "Inside Soccer" show along with the phone numbers:

Inside Soccer

Toll Free Number: 888-514-2100
Intl Number: 001-858-268-3068
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old September 28th, 2003, 00:09 Thread Starter
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Some Info About Knutsen

In a "toppserien.com" article that I found from last December it says that Hans Knutsen is 47 years old and was Even Pellerud's top assistant on the Norwegian National Women's Team from 1991 - 1996. Knutsen was offered a job as one of the assistant coaches of the Philadelphia Charge last December and turned it down. There is a picture of Hans with the following article:

Says "No" to Philadelphia

Knutsen also coached the men's teams Kongsvinger and Eik in the Norwegian First Division and has coached the women's teams Asker and Nikko (Japan). I'm not sure about the timing, but Hege Riise has also played for Asker and Nikko over in Japan so Knutsen may have coached Hege at the club level as well.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old September 28th, 2003, 17:42 Thread Starter
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Re: Norwegian Coach Knutsen On "Inside Soccer" 9-27-03

Quote:
Originally posted by nordby1
Hans Knutsen, the top assistant of Norwegian Coach Åge Steen, will be a guest on the "Inside Soccer" internet radio show today at 5:30 PM Pacific time (8:30 PM EDT).
It was a good interview yesterday with Coach Knutsen. I'll post the link to the archives of the show when it becomes available in a day or two.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old September 28th, 2003, 18:14 Thread Starter
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Journal Entries By Lise Klaveness

Norwegian midfielder Lise Klaveness has been posting regular journal entries at her website :

Velkommen

If someone who is fluent in Norwegian could post an English summary or translation of Lise's last two entries made yesterday, that would be much appreciated.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old September 29th, 2003, 00:10 Thread Starter
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Link to Coach Knutsen "Inside Soccer" Interview

Quote:
Originally posted by nordby1
It was a good interview yesterday with Coach Knutsen. I'll post the link to the archives of the show when it becomes available in a day or two.
Here is the link to yesterday's interview on "Inside Soccer" with Hans Knutsen:

September 27, 2003
(Interview starts about 5 minutes into segment #9)
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old September 30th, 2003, 07:19 Thread Starter
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Anne Tønnessen

Quote:
Originally posted by nordby1
Here is the link to yesterday's interview on "Inside Soccer" with Hans Knutsen:

September 27, 2003
(Interview starts about 5 minutes into segment #9)
I had a chance to ask Coach Knutsen about the lack of playing time for Anne Tønnessen in this World Cup and he responded by saying that Anne has been injured and is not in her best form yet while the two other central defenders (Knudsen & Stangeland) are at the moment playing better than Tønnessen.

I found it interesting that in an article posted today at the "toppserien.com" website Tønnessen said that she is disappointed with her lack of playing time and that she "is not here as a tourist." Her suggestion to Coach Steen is to play her with with Stangeland in the center of the Norwegian defense and move Monica Knudsen back to the midfield where normally plays for her club team Asker and where she started for Norway in the 2000 Gold Medal match.

For some reason I can't post the direct link to the article, but if you go to "toppserien.com," click on the article titled "- Skuffet om jeg ikke får spille."
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