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January 9, 2009
Lilly not on WNT roster for first 2009 camp

Kristine Lilly was not on the roster called into camp by U.S. Women's National Team coach Pia Sundhage.
Kristine Lilly was not on the roster called into camp by U.S. Women's National Team coach Pia Sundhage.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
It might be a while before Kristine Lilly gets another cap with the United States Women’s National Team. Lilly, who took most of 2008 off in order to have her first child, was left off the roster for the team’s upcoming training camp by coach Pia Sundhage.

According to a team spokesperson, Lilly, who has 342, appearances with the national team, could make it back on the roster if she performs well during the Women’s Professional Soccer season. She is expected to play for the Boston Breakers in the new league. The 37-year-old Lilly, who began her WNT career in 1987, made two appearances in 2008 on the team’s post-Olympic tour.

The team will train at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 20-Feb. 4 in preparation for the annual Algarve Cup that will be held from March 4-11 in southern Portugal.

The roster selected by Sundhage in advance of the Algarva Cup is a combination of experienced and younger players looking to establish themselves in the player pool. The majority of the players are veterans of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team and 2008 Olympic Team, led by team captain Christie Rampone who has 211 career caps, 2008 U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Carli Lloyd, as well as two of the USA’s top scorers last year in midfielders Heather O’Reilly and Lindsay Tarpley. Sundhage has called in two goalkeepers in Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart.

The roster also includes several players looking to rebound from major injuries, most notably forward Abby Wambach, who will be seeing her first national team action since suffering a broken leg against Brazil on Aug. 21, 2008, in the final match before the Olympic Games.

Due to forwards Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney – two of the youngest players on the USA’s Olympic gold medal team – missing most of the USA’s post-Olympic Achieve Your Gold Tour due to commitments to their college teams, Natasha Kai missing the final two matches due to illness and of course Wambach’s ongoing rehabilitation, the U.S. team had a dearth of forwards to call on after the Olympics. With all four of those players back in camp, combined with Angela Hucles’ versatility in playing midfield or forward, the first call-up since 2006 for former University of Portland star Megan Rapinoe, and the switch for Tina Ellertson from defender to forward, the USA will have a large group of strikers competing for Algarve Cup roster spots.

Rapinoe was one of the USA’s best players at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand and was on her way to breaking into the senior side in 2006, playing in four matches and scoring twice, but major knee injuries in successive college seasons (2006 and 2007) derailed her international career. She finally got healthy this season, scoring five goals with 13 assists for the Pilots while playing mostly attacking midfielder and during the camp will see her first WNT action in over two years.

Sundhage has called in several other young players who all have extensive youth national team experience as well as some training camp time with the full National Team. Midfielder Angie Wonzuk and defenders Jill Oakes and Kendall Fletcher, all members of the U.S. team that won the inaugural 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup, get call-backs to the National Team after extended absences. Oakes earned her one cap at the Algarve Cup in 2005 while Woznuk has six caps and one goal, scoring against Finland at the Four Nations Tournament in January of 2008. Fletcher, who along with Oakes helped the Pali Blues to an undefeated season and the W-League title last summer, is the only uncapped player on the training camp roster.

Olympic gold medal winning midfielder Tobin Heath, the youngest player in camp at age 20, also returns to the squad after missing all of the Achieve Your Gold matches. Sundhage has also called in Tina DiMartino, one of the top players in college soccer during the 2008 season for UCLA. DiMartino, who has one cap for the senior team, was a member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the last two the Nordic Cup title teams for the U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team.

After the completion of the camp, Sundhage will choose 18 players to make the annual pilgrimage to Portugal for the always competitive Algarve Cup, where the USA will face Denmark, Norway and Iceland in first round play. Germany, Sweden, Finland and China fill out the other group. It will be the 14th trip to the prestigious tournament for the U.S. WNT.

U.S. defender Kate Markgraf, a veteran of six world championships for the USA, will not be joining the U.S. team in the near future as she is pregnant for the second time. Markgraf had a son in the summer of 2006.

The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Jan. 20-Feb. 4, 2008
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Jill Oakes (West Hills, Calif.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tina DiMartino (Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Tina Ellertson (Vancouver, Wash.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Megan Rapinoe (Redding, Calif.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.)
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