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US Team Holds Practice Session Ahead of World Cup Semifinal - 2003-10-04

Four teams remain in Women's World Cup soccer action, as the defending champion United States faces Germany in the semifinals Sunday, while Canada takes on Sweden.

The U.S. women held a closed practice on a cool, damp day in Portland. But the atmosphere, as it has been at earlier practices, was bright and energetic.

Brandi Chastain was the hero of the 1999 championship team, booting the decisive penalty kick against China in the final. This year, she is sidelined on crutches after a Swedish player stepped on her foot in the United State's opening game of the tournament.

Chastain pointed out she likes what she saw her teammates doing in practice. "I thought today's training was excellent," she said. "The pace, the movement of the ball, the pace of the players, the intensity of the training even though it was supposed to be a light [and] medium day. You can not manufacture that. It has to be in the heart and the minds and the wills of the players. All of those qualities I think exist now."

The U.S. women and Germany are both undefeated. The winner Sunday goes to the final in Carson, California just south of Los Angeles. Either Canada or Sweden will also play for the World Cup trophy on October 12.