Jan. 28, 2008
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer Communications
CHICAGO - Coming off a championship at the 2008 Four Nations Tournament in China, U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage has called 37 players to the next U.S. Women's National Team training camp that begins on Feb. 1 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp is part of preparations for the CONCACAF Olympic Women's Qualifying Tournament, being held April 2-13 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
After a week of training and evaluation, Sundhage will release some players and focus on the remainder of the group to pick a 20-player roster for the 2008 Algarve Cup, which will be held from March 5-12 in Portugal.
At the annual tournament staged in March for the past 14 years in the south of Portugal, the USA will face China (March 5), Norway (March 7) and Italy (March 10) in Group B play. Group A is made up of Women's World Cup champion Germany, Sweden, and Finland. The placement matches will be held on March 12. Venues and kickoff times have yet to be confirmed.
For the first week, Sundhage will split the 37 players into two groups, a larger one consisting of younger players and the other made up of veterans, who will focus primarily on fitness and strength training with new fitness coach Helena Andersson. On Feb. 9, the remaining players from the first group will come together with the veterans for a week of training before Sundhage chooses the Algarve Cup roster.
"With such a short amount of time until qualifying, we are going to continue to look at players with a focus on who can help us in Mexico," said Sundhage. "Of course, we will also need to choose a roster for the Algarve Cup, which is a big competition, so this camp will be important for that selection as well."
Sundhage has already looked at 35 players so far in 2008 and will see an additional 10 for the first time in a camp environment during the first week of training.
For the majority of new call-ups, almost all of whom have extensive experience with the U.S. Youth National Teams, it will be their first camp with the full Women's National Team. Among the more experienced players getting their first call-up under Sundhage are Olympic gold medalist Kristin Luckenbill, who was the back-up to Briana Scurry in 2004, and forward Christie Welsh, who has played 39 times for the USA. Defender Heather Mitts, a 2004 Olympian with 71 caps, returns after recovering from an ACL injury suffered last May.
Nineteen of the 20 players who helped the USA win the Four Nations Tournament in China are on the roster, with the exception of defender Ali Krieger, who returned to Germany to play for her club team FFC Frankfurt. Two players from the USA's 2007 Women's World Cup Team return to camp in defender Kate Markgraf and forward Natasha Kai, after missing the last event with injury and illness, respectively.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (4): Cori Alexander (Martinez, Calif.), Kristen Luckenbill (Paoli, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (12): Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Becky Sauerbrunn (St. Louis, Mo.), Brittany Taylor (Campbell Hall, N.Y.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (13): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Jen Buczkowski (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Lindsay Huie (Mission Viejo, Calif.), Sarah Huffman (Flower Mound, Texas), Noelle Keselica (Gaithersburg, Md.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Manya Makoski (Trumbull, Conn.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (8): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.). Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.), Christie Welsh (Massapequa Park, N.Y.).