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Irwin Calls in 24 Players for U.S. U-23 WNT Training Camp from Dec. 13-20 at The Home Depot Center

CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2009) – U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach Bill Irwin will run a unique training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Dec. 13-20 with players called in from Women’s Professional Soccer clubs as well as the college ranks. Of the 24 players in camp, 11 are from WPS teams and 13 are from the college programs.

The age cut-off date this year for the Under-23 WNT is players born on or after Jan. 1, 1986, and many WPS players fall into this category. Six of the WPS players called up were born in 1986 and this camp will be their last run with the U-23s while the other five are still age-eligible for U-23 competition in 2010.

The beginning of the U.S. U-23 training camp will overlap three days with the end of the full Women’s National Team training camp at The HDC, giving U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage and her staff the chance to evaluate the younger players in a competitive environment. The U.S. U-23s will also get the chance to compete with and against the full WNT players.

“This will be a great training camp for both the players and coaches,” said Irwin. “The WPS players will get the chance to get in some excellent training in a team environment, the college players will get the chance to test themselves against players who have one year of experience in the pro league and the coaches for both the U-23s and the full National Team will get to see how the players measure up to full national team players who have won a lot of games internationally for our country.”

All of the WPS players earned their call-ups through solid play in the inaugural season of the women’s pro league. Many have also put in solid performances for the U.S. youth national teams in the past. Midfielder Tina DiMartino of FC Gold Pride is the only player on the U-23 roster who has earned caps with the full Women’s National Team and currently sits on five with one career goal, scored in the first match of the year against Denmark at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

With U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage calling in seven collegiate players for the full WNT training camp, many of the potential top 2010 WPS draft picks will be at The Home Depot Center in December.

Of the 13 college players called in by Irwin, 11 are seniors. Seven players on the roster have appeared for the USA in a youth Women’s World Cup in Jordan Angeli (Santa Clara), Kelsey Davis (Portland), DiMartino, Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Val Henderson (Philadelphia Independence), Nikki Krzysik (Philadelphia Independence), and Allie Long (Washington Freedom). Angeli, who was a member of the USA’s 2006 U-20 Women’s World Cup squad, makes her return to national team activity after injuries sidelined her for most of the last few years.

All of the college players called up are coming off excellent seasons, most notably Angeli, who was named the West Coast Conference Defender of the Year and Katie Scheopfer of Penn State who was named the Big 10 Offensive Player of the Year.

Stanford’s Christen Press has scored 20 goals so far this season and combined with full WNT call-up Kelley O’Hara (25 goals), have produced a remarkable 45 total goals for the undefeated and untied Cardinal who are headed to the NCAA College Cup this weekend at Texas A&M.

All of the field players called up from WPS clubs saw significant minutes this season, including defender Allison Falk (now of the Independence) who played almost every minute during her 16 starts for the regular season champion Los Angeles Sol, Brittany Klein, who started all 20 games for the Chicago Red Stars and DiMartino, who played almost every minute of her 18 starts for FC Gold Pride.

Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Kelsey Davis (Portland; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Val Henderson (Philadelphia Independence; Orinda, Calif.), Allison Lipsher (Boston Breakers; Honolulu, Hawaii), Meagan McCray (FC Gold Pride; Novato, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (10): Jordan Angeli (Santa Clara; Lakewood, Colo.), Allison Falk (Philadelphia Independence; Danville, Calif.), Caitlin Farrell (Wake Forest; Ft. Meyers, Fla.), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest; Austin, Texas), Alicia Jenkins (Stanford; Diamond Springs, Calif.), Nikki Krzysik (Philadelphia Independence; Clifton, N.J.), Kat Reynolds (Santa Clara; Medina, Wash.), Brittany Taylor (UConn; Campbell Hall, N.Y.), Elise Webber (St. Louis Athletica; Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA; Garland, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Ashley Bowyer (Ohio State; Aliso Viejo, Calif.), Bianca D’Agostino (Wake Forest; Longmeadow, Mass.), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride; Massapequa Park, N.Y.), Brittany Klein (Chicago Red Stars; Arcadia, Calif.), Allie Long (Washington Freedom; Northport, N.Y.)
FORWARDS (5): Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara; Mission Viejo, Calif.), Amanda Cinalli (Atlanta Beat; Maple Heights, Ohio), Kia McNeil (St. Louis Athletica; Avon, Conn.), Christen Press (Stanford; P.V. Estates, Calif.), Katie Schoepfer (Penn State; Waterford, Conn.)