February 2, 2012
After qualifying, U.S. women called back to camp
CHICAGO - The U.S. Women's National team, isn't getting much down time after qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics, as coach Pia Sundhage has called 28 players in for an week long camp ahead of a game against New Zealand on Feb. 11 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas.
After a week of training, Sundhage will name 18 players to suit up for the game that will pit two participants from the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, and should New Zealand earn Oceania's lone berth to London, two of the 12 teams that will be at the this summer's Olympics, as well. The match will kick off at 4 p.m. ET. More than 14,000 tickets have already been sold for the venue that seats 20,500 fans.
"It is always good to play a World Cup team," said Sundhage. "There were many positives to take out of Olympic Qualifying in Canada and one of those was the depth of the team. We have many talented players and the challenge for the coaching staff will be figuring out the best combination of players as we continue to prepare for the Olympics. A good week of training in Texas, followed by match against a quality opponent like New Zealand, certainly helps in that process."
Nineteen of the 20 players on the roster from Olympic qualifying will be in Texas, with the notable exception of defender Ali Krieger, who suffered tears to the MCL and ACL in her right knee in the first game of the tournament. Krieger will undergo surgery this week and begin her rehabilitation.
Eleven different players scored for the USA in Vancouver, led by Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez and Carli Lloyd, who all had six goals apiece. Lloyd scored in each of the five games. Lauren Cheney led the USA in assists, picking up seven to go with her two goals, while the speedy Alex Morgan had six assists to go with four goals, two of which were scored in clinical fashion on breakaways in the 4-0 championship game victory over host Canada.
From players not on the qualifying roster, Sundhage has called back into camp goalkeepers Jill Loyden and Ashlyn Harris, defenders Stephanie Cox and Whitney Engen, and midfielders Yael Averbuch, Meghan Klingenberg, Kristie Mewis and Christine Nairn.
The match will mark the USA's first game in Texas since May of 2007, when the Americans hammered Canada 6-2 in Frisco in the first-ever appearance for the U.S. women at the home of Major League Soccer's FC Dallas.
The week-long camp in Frisco and the match will serve as a warm-up for the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, which this year will be held from Feb. 29-March 7. The USA will leave for Europe about 10 days after facing New Zealand.
New Zealand is a virtual lock to earn Oceania's lone berth to the 2012 Olympics once qualifying commences in the smallest of FIFA's six Confederations. The match will be the ninth meeting between the countries, with the U.S. holding a 7-1-0 series edge.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster by Position -
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Jill Loyden, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (8): Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O'Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (12): Yael Averbuch, Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Meghan Klingenberg, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Kristie Mewis, Christine Nairn, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez, Keelin Winters
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach