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August 29, 2013
DiBernardo called to U.S. Women's National Team

CHICAGO – University of Illinois Senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was called up to replace injured Megan Rapinoe on the U.S. Women’s National Team for Team USA’s Sept. 3 match against Mexico at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

The Naperville, Ill., native will miss Illinois’ match against Illinois State on Sunday (Sept. 1) when she will join head coach Tom Sermanni and the U.S. WNT before returning to the Illini in time for their games at Arizona State next weekend.

The 21-year-old DiBernardo was a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, starting all six games and playing all but 30 minutes of the tournament. She scored a huge goal in the 2-1 quarterfinal victory against a Korea DPR side whose starting lineup was made up mostly of players from its 2012 Olympic Team. DiBernardo finished her U-20 career with 20 international caps and three goals and has been in several camps with the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team this year, earning three caps. A two-time All-American for the Illini, DiBernardo has scored 37 goals with 16 assists in 60 career college matches.

The USA-Mexico match will kick off at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.

Should DiBernardo see action against Mexico, she will become the first female player whose father played for the senior National Team to earn a cap at the senior level. She is the daughter of Angelo DiBernardo, former U.S. Men’s National Team player and 1978 Hermann Trophy winner for Indiana who earned 20 caps from 1979-85. The elder DiBernardo also played in the 1984 Olympics for the USA and played six seasons in the NASL, mostly with the New York Cosmos.

The addition of DiBernardo brings the number of college players on the USA’s 18-player roster to three along with North Carolina senior Crystal Dunn and Virginia junior Morgan Brian, who were starters along with DiBernardo on the U-20 World Cup championship team. DiBernardo is also the third uncapped player on the roster along with the pair of FC Kanas City call-ups, defender Leigh Ann Robinson and midfielder Erika Tymrak.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Kansas City), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign)

DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Portland Thorns FC), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina), Kristie Mewis (FC Kansas City), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Leigh Ann Robinson (FC Kansas City), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Göteborg), Morgan Brian (Virginia), Vanessa DiBernardo (Illinois), Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), Carli Lloyd (Western NY Flash), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Erika Tymrak (FC Kansas City)

FORWARDS (3): Sydney Leroux (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), Abby Wambach (Western NY Flash)

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