November 19, 2011
CAPPING THE YEAR
U.S. Women close out against Sweden
GLENDALE, Ariz.--The U.S. Women’s National Team will close out their resurgent 2011 campaign with a game against Sweden at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday night (9 pm ET, webcast on USSoccer.com).
|Alex Morgan and the U.S. Women wrap up their 2011 schedule Saturday night against Sweden.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The game will be played in front of the largest crowd to ever see the team play in Arizona, capping a year that saw the team not only become media darlings following their run to the World Cup final, but also become relevant to the American public again following a decline with the retirement of Mia Hamm and her generation of players.
The match comes at the end of a two-week camp in Arizona that featured 30 players, of which U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage will pick 18 to suit up against Sweden. The USA is in the midst of preparation for the 2012 Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held Jan. 19-29 in Vancouver, B.C.
The USA opened 2011 with a 2-1 loss to Sweden at the Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China, and will finish the year with a game against the long-time European power. In between it was quite a year for the U.S. women. They into Saturday’s game with a 13-3-3 overall record this year, including a dramatic run to the World Cup Final in Germany. The losses came in the first game of the year to Sweden, in an April friendly to England and in the Women's World Cup to Sweden. Two ties came in the Women's World Cup -- the USA's penalty kick win over Brazil and penalty loss to Japan both count officially as ties.
The USA’s two post-Women's World Cup matches against Canada in September, a 1-1 tie and a 3-0 U.S. win, featured the Women's World Cup roster. While 20 players from the World Cup are on this roster, it is the first match this fall that could feature players who were not in Germany. U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo did not attend training camp in Arizona as she was participating in ABC's Dancing with the Stars. She will return for the December training camp in Los Angeles.
U.S. coach Pia Sundhage called in two collegiate players for the training camp, Sydney Leroux of UCLA and Ingrid Wells of Georgetown. Leroux traveled back and forth from Phoenix to Los Angeles twice, the first to play her NCAA playoff match with the Bruins (winning 1-0 over New Mexico). She then came back to participate in Sunday and Monday trainings before returning to UCLA to prepare for her second round game. Georgetown did not make the NCAA Tournament, freeing Wells to attend the entire training camp.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION -
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (Philadelphia Independence), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Val Henderson (Philadelphia Independence), Jill Loyden (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Meghan Klingenberg (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Atlanta Beat), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbrunn (out of contract)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Yael Averbuch (Western New York Flash), Brittany Bock (Western New York Flash), Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Becky Edwards (Western New York Flash), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat), Kelley O'Hara (Boston Breakers), Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (out of contract), Ingrid Wells (Georgetown), Keelin Winters (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (out of contract)