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Jan. 28, 2008
UConn's Taylor gets invite

Not wanting to leave any stone unturned as the team continues its preparations for the Olympics, U.S. women's national coach Pia Sundhage will hold what U.S. Soccer called a mega-camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. in February.

A total of 37 players have been invited to the camp, including seven from the area. The camp starts on Friday.

Players with ties to the New England area include: veteran goalkeeper Brianna Scurry who played at UMass; former Boston Breaker Angela Hucles; UConn defender Brittany Taylor; former Dartmouth goalkeeper Kristen Luckenbill; North Haven, Ct native Tiffany Weimer, a defender from Penn State and Trumbull, Conn. Native Manya Makoski a midfielder from Arizona State.

The camp is part of preparations for the CONCACAF Olympic women’s qualifying tournament in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico April 2-13.

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 in Portugal March 5-12.

At the annual tournament in the south of Portugal, the United States 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 March 12. Venues and kickoff times have yet to be confirmed.

For the first week of the mega camp, 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,” Sundhage said in a statement. “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.”

Welsh, who hasn't played with the team in two years, has made 39 international appearances.

The training camp roster:

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, L.I.), 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, L.I.).

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