June 23, 2008
GOING (WITH) SOLO
Scurry an alternate on Olympic team
Barring an injury, there will not be a goalkeeping controversy between Hope Solo and Briana Scurry this August.
|Hope Solo will be the starting goalkeeper on the U.S. Women's Olympic Team in August.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Scurry, the veteran keeper who backstopped the United States to the Women's World Cup championship in 1999 and Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004, Monday was left off the team that will represent the Americans at the Beijing Olympics.
U.S. women's coach Pia Sundhage named the 18-player roster for the Summer Games, selecting Solo and backup Nicole Barnhart. Sundhage made her selections after the U.S.’s 1-0 victory over Canada in the Peace Queen Cup championship match in Suwon, South Korea last Saturday.
Scurry, 37, was named one of the four alternates.
Former U.S. women's coach Greg Ryan decided to bench Solo for the semifinal match with Brazil at last September's Women's World Cup in China in favor of Scurry, although Solo had done a solid job in the U.S.'s first four games. The Americans were embarrassed by the Brazilians and Solo complained to the media. The U.S. finished third in the competition. The decision cost Ryan his job.
This will be the first U.S. roster for a world championship that does not include Scurry since the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She started at the 1995, 1999 and 2003 WWC and the 2000 Olympics.
Nine players on this year's roster were members of the U.S. team that won the gold medal four years ago in Athens, Greece, including team co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, who will participate in their third Olympic Games.
The U.S. will open play against Norway in Qinhuangdao, China Aug. 6. The USA will then face Japan on Aug. 9, also in Qinhuangdao, before finishing Group G action against New Zealand on Aug. 12 in Shenyang.
After taking over the U.S. team at the end of 2007, Sundhage evaluated 46 players in training camp environments during the past seven months and capped 26 players in 18 international matches.
“There are many players that have a lot of experience and are very competitive in practice,” Sundhage said in a statement. “They really show up for every training and want to perform every time they are on the field. It’s good to see them train at a level that is close to the game. For all the coaches, we want to make practices as game-like as possible, and I never had to get on them or yell at them to work hard. They push themselves in a very nice way and that is why it is difficult to pick a team.”
The roster also includes 2004 gold medalists Heather Mitts, Lindsay Tarpley, Shannon Boxx, Angela Hucles, Heather O’Reilly, Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach. Wambach, who scored the winning goal in overtime in the 2004 gold-medal match, leads the Americans in scoring this year with 12 goals. She has 98 career goals.
The other three alternates are defender Ali Krieger, midfielder Kacey White and forward Lauren Cheney.
The U.S. roster:
Goalkeepers (2): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.). Defenders (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.). Midfielders (7): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.). Forwards (3): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).