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Dec. 4, 2007
New USWNT coach calls 24 to Carson

CHICAGO – New U.S. Women’s National Team coach Pia Sundhage has called in 24 players for a mini-camp Dec. 8-12 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

The core of the U.S. team that finished in third place at the recent Women’s World Cup will be augmented by several collegiate players. Goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was benched by former coach Greg Ryan, touching off a massive firestorm of controversy, is among the players in camp. Captain Kristine Lilly is not on the list. Lilly said following the World Cup, she had not made a decision whether to retire or to play in next year’s Olympics.

Sundhage intends to have a quick look at the assembled team, before the squad regroups in early January to prepare for the Four Nations Tournament in China.

The camp is basically the beginning of the run to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, with the USA preparing for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Final Round qualifying tournament, being held April 2-13 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Two countries from the six-team tournament will advance to China.

“It’s a short camp, but it will be valuable time spent together as a team and a unique moment for me to have a chance to work with the best players in the United States for the first time,” said Sundhage. “It will give us the chance to get to know them as players a little bit more, they’ll get the chance to learn my style and I’ll also get the chance to get to know them off the field. It will be a good start to something new.”

The mini-camp roster features 16 players from the 2007 U.S. Womens’ World Cup Team, along with seven players who recently finished their collegiate seasons. Defender Heather Mitts has regained her fitness and makes a return to the squad after suffering an ACL tear on May 12, 2007, which required surgery and caused her to miss out on the Women’s World Cup in China.

Of the seven players coming in from the college ranks, all have considerable youth National Team experience, with five (Yael Averbuch, Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath, Casey Nogueira and Angie Woznuk) having represented the USA at a FIFA youth world championship while the other two (Michelle Enyeart and Nikki Washington) are in the running for a spot on the U.S. U-20 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Of the seven collegians, four come from the University of North Carolina, two from the University of Portland and one from Stanford. Buehler and Woznuk, both of whom have trained with the full National Team during Residency Training Camps, are the only two seniors, having finished their college eligibility with their school’s runs in the NCAA playoffs.

December 8-12, 2007

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (6): Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

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