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Sundhage Names 26 Players to January Training Camp in Preparation for 2011 Four Nations Tournament

Eight Veterans Given Time Off, But Will Join 15 Players Selected from Camp to Face Sweden, Canada and China to Open 2011 Schedule in Chongqing, China

CHICAGO (Dec. 20, 2010) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 26 players to the roster for a six-day training camp from Jan. 8-13 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The camp will precede a trip to China for the 2011 Four Nations Tournament, a competition that will also feature Sweden, Canada and the host.

Eight veteran players have been given the camp off by Sundhage, but they will join 15 players selected from the 26-player training camp roster for the trip to China. Sundhage will bring 23 players to Chongqing to play matches against Sweden on Jan. 21, Canada on Jan. 23 and China on Jan. 25. The Swedes are the USA’s third Group C opponent at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. The USA also opened the 2004 campaign against Sweden at the Four Nations Tournament, winning 3-0 in Shenzhen, China.

While Shannon Boxx, Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Carli Lloyd, Heather Mitts, Heather O’Reilly, Christie Rampone and 2010 Female Athlete of the Year Abby Wambach will get an extended rest after a long 2010 schedule, the roster does feature quite a few experienced players in addition to first-ever call-ups for several young prospects. 

Fourteen players from the squad that qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup by winning a two-leg playoff series against Italy have been named to the roster, including goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, all-time cap leader Kristine Lilly, forward Amy Rodriguez, who was the scorer of the winning goal in the second leg against the Italians, midfielders Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe, defender Stephanie Cox, and forward Lauren Cheney.

2008 Olympic veterans Tobin Heath and Hope Solo also make their returns after major injuries. Heath has been cleared to train with the USA for the first time since the fall of 2009 after recovering from illness and an ankle injury. She has not played in a match for the USA since July of 2009. Solo, who is recovering well from major shoulder surgery last September, will be in camp to continue her rehabilitation and do some light training but will not be cleared to play.

Sundhage has called three players to the national team for the first time. Boston Breakers midfielder Jordan Angeli, a member of the U.S. team at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia, gets her first look after playing in 21 WPS games last season and scoring seven goals, good for second on the team.

Meghan Klingenberg, who finished her career at North Carolina this past fall and was a key member of the U.S. team that won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, gets her first senior team call-up. The youngest player in camp will be 20-year-old Kristie Mewis, the 2008 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year and a member of the USA’s U-17 Women’s World Cup Team in 2008 and U-20 Women’s World Cup Team in 2010. She had an excellent sophomore season for Boston College this year, helping the Eagles to their first Final Four. Sydney Leroux, the USA’s all-time leading scorer in U-20 Women’s World Cups, gets her second call-up to the full team.

The roster is chock full of young WPS players who have worked their way into the WNT player pool this year, including goalkeepers Jill Loyden, Alyssa Naeher and Ashlyn Harris, a new signing for the expansion Western New York Flash, defenders Whitney Engen, Becky Sauerbrunn, Meghan Schnur and Brittany Taylor, and midfielders Kelley O’Hara and Yael Averbuch.

Midfielder Joanna Lohman, who has nine career caps, gets her first call-up since 2007 while veteran midfielder Lindsey Tarpley will be in her third camp since returning from ACL surgery during the last WPS season. Sundhage also called up Leslie Osborne, a veteran of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, who had a fine season for the Boston Breakers and who, along with Tarpley, trained with the USA during the two-leg series with Italy.

The 26 players will spend five full days training at The Home Depot Center before the Four Nations squad leaves for China in the early hours of Jan. 14. This will be the USA’s eighth trip to the Four Nations Tournament, but first since 2008 after skipping the competition last year. During its 21 all-time matches in the tournament, the USA is 13-2-6, with one loss to China and Norway.

U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (5): Nicole Barnhart (Out of Contract), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Jill Loyden (Out of Contract), Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), Hope Solo (Out of Contract)
DEFENDERS (5): Stephanie Cox (Out of Contract), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom), Meghan Schnur (Out of Contract), Brittany Taylor (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Jordan Angeli (Boston Breakers), Yael Averbuch (Out of Contract), Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC), Meghan Klingenberg (North Carolina), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Joanna Lohman (Philadelphia Independence), Kristie Mewis (Boston College), Kelley O’Hara (Boston Breakers), Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Out of Contract), Lindsay Tarpley (Out of Contract)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence)