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May 9, 2011
Sundhage names 21 players for WWC

Boston Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet has been selected to her first Women's World Cup team.
Boston Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet has been selected to her first Women's World Cup team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
CHICAGO -- U.S. Women’s National Team coach Pia Sundhage on Monday named the 21 players who will represent the United States in the Women's World Cup in Germany. Four Boston Breakers were named to the team, Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Amy LePeilbet and Lauren Cheney. Breakers forward Kelly O’Hara and Boston College forward Kristie Mewis were among the final cuts.

U.S. captain and central defender Christie Rampone will play in her fourth Women’s World Cup and is the last remaining player from the 1999 WWC championship team. Midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Abby Wambach will play in their third world championship.

Sundhage named 12 players who will participate for the first time and six who will be playing for the second time.

The roster, which features three goalkeepers, seven defenders, seven midfielders and four forwards, is a product of nearly three years of player evaluation during which Sundhage and her staff saw the U.S. play 34 international matches, conduct numerous training camps, and watch dozens of WPS matches. Since the 2008 Olympics, Sundhage has called up approximately 50 players for training camps and international games before settling on her final roster.

“It’s a great feeling to have the roster chosen,” Sundhage aid. “Now that we have named the roster and are moving forward, we can’t wait for the World Cup. Everybody is healthy and we have great players to choose from. You have all kinds of players that have different qualities on this roster, but all in all, they make up a good team. We have people that organize defensively, people that can step up when it really matters, people that are good in the air, people that are fighters and tricky ones as well.”

Sundhage selected 14 players who were members of the 2008 Olympic gold medal-winning team in Beijing. Only nine players on the roster have previous WWC experience.

The average for caps for the 21 players named to the roster is 72 and they have a combined 57 games worth of Women’s World Cup experience. Just three of the players on the roster have previously scored in a World Cup in Wambach (9 goals), Boxx (3 goals) and Heather O’Reilly (2 goals), but the roster has scored a total of 280 international goals, 117 from Wambach. Seven players have surpassed 100 caps with Rampone leading the way with 234. Rampone will be the most-capped player at the Women’s World Cup.

Of the Women's Professional Soccer clubs, magicJack has the most players on the roster with seven. The Boston Breakers and the Philadelphia Independence have four each, while the Atlanta Beat and Sky Blue FC have two each and the Western New York Flash have one in Alex Morgan, who at 21 is the youngest player on the roster.

The U.S. will play its WWC Send-Off Match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. on June 5 (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET) before the players go on a break. The team will leave for Austria in mid-June for a pre-Women’s World Cup training camp.

The Americans, who has been drawn into Group C with North Korea, Colombia and Sweden, opens its tournament on June 28 in Dresden against the Koreans (ESPN, 11:45 a.m. ET.).

The U.S. roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence)**, Jill Loyden (magicJack)*, Hope Solo (magicJack)**

DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers)*, Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers)**, Ali Krieger (out of contract)*, Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers)*, Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat)*, Christie Rampone (magicJack)****, Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)*

MIDFIELDERS (7): Shannon Boxx (magicJack)***, Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC)*, Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence)*, Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat)**, Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC)**, Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence)*, Lindsay Tarpley (magicJack)**

FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers)*, Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash)*, Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)*, Abby Wambach (magicJack)***

* -- The number of times a player has selected to a WWC team

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