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U.S. U-20 WNT Midfielder Morgan Brian Named Gatorade National Girls' Soccer Player of the Year

CHICAGO (May 25, 2011) – In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Morgan Brian of Frederica Academy (St. Simons, Ga.) as its 2010-11 Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year.

As the recipient of the 230th Gatorade National Player of the Year trophy to be awarded since 1985 in all sports, Brian becomes the first student-athlete from the state of Georgia to receive this award.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Brian as the nation’s best high school girls’ soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Brian from more than 356,000 girls’ soccer players nationwide. Brian is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-7-inch senior midfielder led the Frederica Academy Knights to a 17-2-1 record and a fourth straight Georgia Independent School Association Class AA state title. Brian scored 71 goals and passed for 30 assists this season. A two-time Gatorade Georgia Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year, she was the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Youth Player of the Year for club competition and the 2010 PARADE National Player of the Year. She recorded 186 goals and 95 assists in her prep soccer career, which began as an eighth grader, helping the Knights to five consecutive state finals.

Brian has been a regular call-up to U.S. Soccer’s youth national teams, playing in the 2008 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and captaining the U.S. U-17s squad in 2010. She is currently a key player in the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team program that is in the early stages of preparing for qualification for the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Uzbekistan.

Brian has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom, served as class president from 2008-10 and class secretary from 2006-08. She is also a co-founder, along with U.S. U-17 and U-20 goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin, and one of the lead fundraisers for the Many Hearts, One Goal Foundation, which won a National Sportsmanship Award in 2011 for the work done to benefit the Haitian Under-17 Women’s National Team following that country’s 2010 earthquake.

Brian has also volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity, the Relay for Life and the Manna House, providing meals for the needy. A member of her local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and Sevenoseven Ministries, a faith-based youth mentoring group, she is also a licensed youth soccer coach, donating her time as an instructor for Florida’s Clay County Soccer Club.

Brian has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Virginia this fall.

“Without question, Morgan is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school girls soccer player based on her statistics on the field and the impact her accomplishments have had on Frederica Academy’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms. “But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, softball, and boys’ and girls’ track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year website at http://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.  

ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL GIRLS SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Year Name High School Status
2010-11 Morgan Brian Frederica Academy, St. Simons, Ga. Virginia
2009-10 Mollie Pathman Durham Academy, Durham, N.C. Duke
2008-09 Rachel Quon Lake Forest, Lake Forest, Ill. Stanford
2007-08 Teresa Noyola Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Calif. Stanford
2006-07 Melissa Henderson Berkner, Richardson, Texas Notre Dame
2005-06 Lauren Cheney Ben Davis, Indianapolis, Ind. Boston Breakers/U.S. WNT
2004-05 Amy Rodriguez Santa Margarita, Lake Forest, Calif. Philadelphia Independence/U.S. WNT
2003-04 Ashlyn Harris Satellite, Satellite Beach, Fla. Western NY Flash/U.S. WNT
2002-03 Heather O’Reilly East Brunswick, East Brunswick, N.J. Sky Blue FC/U.S. WNT
2001-02 Jill Oakes Harvard Westlake, N. Hollywood, Calif. Retired/UCLA graduate
2000-01 Mary McDowell Wheat Ridge, Wheat Ridge, Colo. Retired/North Carolina graduate
1999-00 Aleisha Cramer-Rose Green Mountain, Lakewood, Colo. Retired/Former U.S. WNT
1998-99 Christie Welsh Massapequa, Massapequa, N.Y. Retired/Former U.S. WNT
1997-98 Aly Wagner Presentation, San Jose, Calif. Retired/Former U.S. WNT

 

USA Defeats Mexico 1-0 in First Ever-Snow Game For WNT

SANDY, Utah (March 31, 2010) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 1-0 on snow-covered field as Abby Wambach scored the game’s lone goal in the 60th minute. It marked the first time in the 26-year, 443-game history of the U.S. Women that the team has played a game in snow.

The snow fell throughout the morning and afternoon before kickoff, and kept falling during the entire 90 minutes, increasing in intensity during the second half. The snow blanketed the pitch, making for some unique conditions as the players struggled to connect short passes that got caught up in the snow and had difficulty keeping their feet in the slippery conditions.

Despite the weather, the U.S. team created a good number of dangerous chances, but Mexican goalkeeper Erika Vanegas played a fantastic match, making 12 saves including several spectacular stops.

The USA finally broke through the slush and Mexico when Carli Lloyd dribbled up the middle and slipped a short pass into the left side of the penalty area to Shannon Boxx. The U.S. captain took a touch towards the endline and slid a hard cross through the six-yard box to Wambach, who stepped in front of a defender and tapped the ball into the open net from a yard out.

Wambach then led a group of U.S. players into the right corner for a group session of snow angels. Several U.S. defenders who weren’t involved in the celebration dropped to the snow near midfield and made snow angles of their own.

The goal was the 105th of Wambach’s international career, tying her with the legendary Michelle Akers for third on the USA’s all-time scoring list behind only Mia Hamm (158) and Kristine Lilly (129).

The U.S. team appropriately wore white jerseys, shorts and socks during a match in which a bright yellow Nike ball was used on a field covered in white. Mexico battled gamely through the tough conditions as well, but could not get behind U.S. center backs Rachel Buehler and Amy LePeilbet, who did an excellent job of running down numerous through balls and keeping possession for their team.

Among Vanegas’ better saves were a seventh-minute stop at the feet of Amy Rodriguez, who had busted through in the right side of the penalty area, a stoning of Carli Lloyd’s one-on-one chance in the 14th minute and a great flying tip of Wambach’s left-footed bender that was headed into the left side-netting in the 19th minute. Venegas also came out bravely for a skipping cross from the right side by Rodriguez that Lilly would have gotten a toe on had it not been for the charging Mexican goalkeeper.

She also snagged a low drive from Rodriguez in the 25th minute with a diving stab to her left and then batted away a looping shot by Boxx in the 35th minute. Six minutes before halftime, Heather O’Reilly broke through in the right side of the penalty box and dribbled almost to the corner of the six yard box before trying her luck with a high drive to the near post, but once again Vanegas got a hand on the ball to tip it over for a corner kick.

To cap her brilliant half, Vanegas took a cross off the head of Wambach in the final seconds before the break.

In the 77th minute, substitute Kelley O’Hara latched onto a long cross in the right side of the box, lost her defender on a great inside cut and then fired at goal, but somehow the Mexican ‘keeper got a glove on it to push the ball wide.

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage made all six of her allowed substitutions, which included giving first-ever caps to forward Alex Morgan, who played the entire second half, and defender Brittany Taylor, who played the last 12 minutes.

The match also marked the first start for Lilly since Oct. 20, 2007. Lilly, who increased her world record cap total to 344, had several good chances to score in the first half and did some fine work down the left wing despite the ever-deepening snow drifts on the flanks.

The USA moved to 6-0-0 in 2010 and extended its unbeaten streak in domestic matches to 43 games. The U.S. players will now return to their WPS clubs for the opening of the second season of the professional league which kicks off April 10 and 11.

Sundhage will not call the team together again until mid-May to prepare for the match against Germany on May 22 as the world’s top two teams meet at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, at 6 p.m. ET live on ESPN2.

- U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: March 31, 2010
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Rio Tinto Sadium; Sandy, Utah
Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT
Attendance: 3,732
Weather: 34 degrees; cold, steady snow fall

Scoring Summary:  1    2    F
USA                         0    1    1
MEX                         0    0    0

USA – Abby Wambach (Shannon Boxx)              60th minute

Lineups:
USA: 18-Nicole Barnhart; 4-Cat Whitehill (22-Brittany Taylor, 79), 26-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet, 14-Stephanie Cox (17-Meghan Schnur, 61); 9-Heather O’Reilly (19-Kelley O’Hara, 61), 7-Shannon Boxx (Capt.) (5-Lori Lindsey, 73), 10-Carli Lloyd, 13-Kristine Lilly (16-Casey Nogueira, 46); 8-Amy Rodriguez (21-Alex Morgan, 46), 20-Abby Wambach
Subs not used: 1-Hope Solo
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

MEX: 1-Erika Vanegas; 22-Alina Garciamendez, 3-Rubi Sandoval, 4-Marylin Diaz, 13-Lulu Gordillo (2-Leticia Villalpando, 31), 5-Maria Castillo, 8-Guadalupe Worbis (Capt.)(6-Monica Vergara, 90), 11-Nayeli Rangel, 10-Maribel Dominguez, 17-Veronica Perez (7-Evelyn Lopez, 69), 19-Dinora Garza (15-Luz Saucedo, 61)
Subs not used:, 9-Monica Ocampo, 12-Pamela Tajonar, 20-Lili Godoy, 21-Kaylie Garcia
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar

Statistical Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 20 / 4
Shots on Goal: 13 / 2
Saves: 2 / 12
Corner Kicks: 7 / 1
Fouls: 9 / 6
Offside: 2 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Carli Lloyd (caution)     71st minute

Officials
Referee: Jennifer Bennett (USA)
Asst. Referee: Veronica Perez (USA)
Asst. Referee: Deborah Coleman (USA)
Fourth Official: Karen Abt (USA)

ussoccer.com Woman of the Match:
Abby Wambach

 

Post-Match Quotes: USA 2, Norway 1

U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach PIA SUNDHAGE

On the match:
“It was a very important game for us. In 2008 we had a bunch of games where we scored late and refused to lose and we saw the same thing today. If you look at the last 10 minutes, there is something to be said about the way we played and all of us going out there and really wanting to get that goal.

“It was a good battle. All of sudden the coach changed four players (in the 61st minute), and then a fifth, and it’s hard to deal with. But even though they scored a goal, we came back and that’s huge. Tactically, the way we did it, having A-Rod in there, but also mentally, the attitude that we had to go for a goal.”

On playing on a muddy field:
“It is what it is. You have to adjust your game and I think we did quite well. That’s one of the reasons we put Cat Whitehill on at center back, to play that big ball a little more and stretch them out. She did great. We could attack in a different way because of her long balls.”

On the combination of Abby Wambach and Lauren Cheney up top:
“Usually you have one running and one target, but we have two targets now. Abby is phenomenal in the air and Cheney is good receiving the ball. That combination has turned out to be a good idea and one of the reasons is Cheney reads the game very well. That means we have A-Rod coming off the bench to provide some speed, which was important as she played the last minutes.”

On Abby Wambach’s match:
“It’s fun to score a goal, but not only did she score, it was the way she did it. She did it with power, she made the right decisions. Her whole game is exactly what we need from her. She was good today and she means a lot for the team.”

On dealing with adverse conditions:
“We just have to deal with the pitch. If it’s hard to play through midfield, I believe it’s still important to try to find Boxx and Carli and play it wide. If you look at (flank midfielder) Heather O’Reilly the first 20 minutes, I think she did very well. We found her with good balls and had a couple of crosses. Even if the pitch is not the best, I think we need to continue to play our game and believe in what we do even though it’s even harder because of the field. But we will gain some confidence from being successful. The game today will be good to take out some (video) clips and say, look you can do it regardless of the field.”

U.S. WNT Forward ABBY WAMBACH

On the match:
“The surface was pretty interesting, it doesn’t really play into either one of our hands, but I think we did well with it today. I thought the subs that came on did very well for us. I thought Cat really settled us down in the back and gave us a lot of great balls in behind their defense. On a field like this, you really just want to get it as high as possible as soon as possible. Playing on the ground is hit or miss, but obviously at the end to tuck one in is great for our team.”

On the getting the dramatic win:
“Norway is a great team, a team that the USA always plays their best against, so to get a win against them is something that we’ll take and put in our back pocket.”

On notching her first two-goal game since June 19, 2008, before she broke her leg:
“It’s just one of those things, getting back in the rhythm, especially after a short off-season. Trying to be playing at the national team level is something I didn’t get much opportunity to do last year when I was recovering from my leg break. Even though the WPS offers really, really great competition, it’s still not national team level and getting more experience on the field with the U.S. National Team is something that I definitely don’t take for granted any longer. Anytime I can get the chance to keep improving and get back to that old 100 percent Abby Wambach is something that I relish. Today, granted, I scored two goals, but I am still working my way back to the rhythm of the play. Our team is trying some new things and getting new personnel on the field to try new things so going into 2011 we can be a team to beat.”

U.S. WNT Forward LAUREN CHENEY

On the match:
“I think we played awesome considering the circumstances, we just played with heart. That last 10 minutes we didn’t give up. It was a feeling. I felt like we were going to score, I never felt like we were going to tie or lose that game. Obviously the conditions were not ideal, but that’s just something you have to deal with in soccer.”

U.S. WNT Defender CAT WHITEHILL

On the match:
“In the first half (when she was on the bench), I was noticing the field a lot and it was preventing us from playing the game that we really wanted, which is short, quick passes and one and two-touch soccer. We had to kind of play out wide and longer and spread the field out because the best footing was out wide. Norway is a great team, they’ve always been a great team and been one of our biggest nemesis. When they bring in their top four players when our team has been playing the whole game and they are already tired, that’s a little bit intimidating. Unfortunately, we allowed a goal, but it was neat to see the team come together and rally and score in the 92nd minute.”

On her long ball that led to the winning goal:
“There were a lot of big gaps when it came to their defense today and I noticed that Cheney and Abby were finding them really well. I was like, you know what, we don’t have much time left, let’s try and aim for that gap and I know that Cheney can out-run these girls. I thought she was going to score, but at least it got the ball down there and that’s what led to the goal.”

Cat Helps Dogs

Somehow Izzy got out. It was a hot summer day in the San Fernando Valley and she wanted to go for a walk. So Izzy pushed her way through a heavy door to the garage and apparently navigated her way around a huge metal gate to freedom. She took a stroll down Dickens Street, crossed over a heavily trafficked Ventura Boulevard without incident, and moseyed on over to the parking lot of a World Market. There, because it was so hot, Izzy spotted an open car door and hopped in.

Five minutes later Robert Whitehill’s cell phone voicemail buzzed.

“Ummm…your dog Izzy just jumped into my car and I don’t know where she came from,” said the woman on the message, who had gotten his number off Izzy’s tags. “But she looks really hot, so we are going to give her some water and wait for you to come pick her up.”

Working at Stetson-Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Burbank in preparation for entering medical school, Whitehill immediately jumped into his car and raced to the World Market.

There, he found Izzy panting, but calm, sitting inside the woman’s car. He was hesitant to tell his wife about Izzy’s potentially perilous journey, but later that night he spilled the beans. It is one of many great stories about a dog who has become Cat’s best friend.

FOUND: FURRY FREEWAY FRIENDS

How Izzy came to be a part of the Whitehill family is an amazing story in itself. During U.S. Women’s National Team Residency Training Camp in Los Angeles in 2006, Cat was living with Aly Wagner and Natasha Kai. One day, she and Wagner arrived home from practice when a neighbor came running to them in a hysterical state, practically yelling, “Help me, please! I really need your help!”

Initially thinking there was some sort of emergency, the pair of soccer players soon found out that the woman had just rescued two Rottweiler mix puppies from the 405 Freeway (one of California’s main arteries for those not of the West Coast). She had gotten them into her car, but once she got home, the dogs were so scared that one had retreated to the corner of the garage and the other had wedged herself under the car.

The woman had to leave for an appointment and was flustered after trying and failing to get the dog out from under the car. Being good Samaritans and animal lovers, Wagner and Whitehill set about completing the task that fate had presented to them. Neither could fit under the car, so Wagner got a broom and slowly nudged the dog from under the vehicle and into Cat’s arms.

That dog was Izzy.

“I could feel her heart beating so fast,” said Cat. “The woman couldn’t take them as she was an older lady whose husband had recently passed away and she already had two dogs. She was going to take them to the pound. I held her in my arms and my heart melted.”

The recently married Whitehills had talked about getting a dog at some point but figured it would probably be down the road after they got settled in a house with a yard. That schedule was soon to be fast-tracked. Cat had Wagner take a picture of her with the dog on her cell phone and sent it to Robert’s phone with the following question:

“Robert, what do you think?”

“At that point, he really had no choice but to say yes,” said Cat. “I’m not sure if I chose Izzy or Izzy chose me, but she’s been the greatest dog anyone could ever have.”

Wagner and her husband adopted Izzy’s brother, named him Hermann, and have had him ever since. That’s two soccer players, two rescued Rottweilers and two great homes.

“It took about a week to 10 days for Izzy to stop being a scared puppy,” said Cat. “She wouldn’t come near anyone. She didn’t want anything to do with us. We slowly started to bring her back, give her love and good food. I took her to a dog park after about a month and she was in heaven. Ever since then she’s been the dog we love today.”

HELPING HER THROUGH THE DOG DAYS

While it’s true that Cat rescued Izzy, in a sense Izzy also rescued Cat. When Izzy first started living with them, Cat was going through some hard times on and off the field. After Residency Camp ended, the Whitehills stayed in Los Angeles so Robert could finish his work at the orthopedic clinic. With no soccer practice to attend, few friends in L.A. and Robert working long hours, Izzy was Cat’s constant companion.

“Izzy became my best friend, confidante and best listener,” said Cat. “She really helped with my frame of mind and I started to enjoy L.A. more.”

Once the Whitehills moved back to North Carolina, where Robert was starting medical school at UNC, and because of her experience with adopting Izzy, Cat decided to learn more about rescuing dogs.

“I didn’t know a lot about it,” said Cat. “I learned about how many dogs needed to be rescued and about pet overpopulation and I wanted to do something about it because of how Izzy had touched my life.”

Cat got in contact with Athletes For Hope, a non-profit organization started in 2007 by a number of high-profile athletes, including Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali and Lance Armstrong, with the mission of “educating, encouraging and assisting athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.”

The organization asked Cat about her interests and she mentioned her passion for helping animals, so they put her in touch with the SPCA of Wake County in Raleigh, N.C.

“When I went to visit Wake County SPCA, the people were wonderful and the facility was incredible,” said Cat. “It was clean, there was plenty of space for dogs, and they also had cats and rabbits. What they do for animals is tremendous so I decided to do what I could to help out.”

Since then, Cat has not only donated money to the cause but also worked with the SPCA to use her name to promote the organization, participated in a walk to raise money for an inexpensive clinic to spay and neuter pets and raised more than $3,000 herself.

DOUBLE THE DOG

Settled in North Carolina with a big yard, Cat and Robert had talked about getting a friend for Izzy after the 2008 Olympics, but when Cat went down with an ACL injury, knocking her off the team, once again, that plan was put in motion earlier than expected.

“When I was out with my ACL and before I had surgery, I was pretty sad, so almost every day I would go to the SPCA website just to look at the puppies,” said Cat. “I had mentioned to Robert in the past that I wanted a white German Shepherd and one morning I went to the site and they had just gotten in a litter of dark German Shepherd-Husky mixes. But then we came across a picture of the runt of the group, a little white puppy. We just looked at each other and said, ‘that’s the dog we want.’”

They put Izzy in the car and raced over to the SPCA to meet the white puppy.

“The great thing about the SPCA is that they allow you to bring in your own dog to meet a potentially new dog,” said Cat. “We brought Izzy in and the women working that day said that you could tell that Izzy liked this dog and the dog was loving Izzy. If Izzy was sold, we were sold.”

They took her home and named her Maeby.

“They could not be two more opposite dogs,” said Cat of her two furry friends. “Maeby is extremely high energy and wants to go on long runs and Izzy is more of a stronger and reserved type of dog. Our vet said she’s never seen two more opposite dogs love each other so much and they are inseparable now. I’ve never thought I would be a Rottweiler owner, but I will be one for the rest of my life.”

With her two rescue dogs now an important and inseparable part of the family, Cat wants to take her work with dogs to another level. She talks about how dogs have been taken into prisons and research has shown how the experience helps prisoners improve their outlooks and learn responsibility. She cites a study from a female prison where the percentage of women who returned to jail after taking part in a program where they took care of a dog was far lower than those who did not.

She talks about how dogs assist the elderly in retirement homes, bond with kids in pediatric hospitals and of course how dogs assist the handicapped.

“I want my message to be about saving dogs’ lives and controlling the pet population, but I also want people to know that saving dogs can also enhance a person’s life,” said Cat. “Dogs are loyal. They don’t care where you came from or where you are as long as they have someone to love them.”

Izzy and Maeby? Those are two lucky dogs.

Sundhage Names 24-Player Roster For WNT Training Camp From Dec. 5-15 at The Home Depot Center

CHICAGO (Nov. 13, 2009) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 24 players for an 11-day training camp running from Dec. 5-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. This will be the last action of the year for the U.S. women, who have compiled a record of 7-0-1 in full international matches in 2009.

Eighteen players on the roster come from WPS clubs, but Sundhage has also called in six of the nation’s top college players who are finishing up their seasons this fall.

Sixteen of the 18 players that were a part of the USA’s roster for the 1-0 victory over Germany in late October were named to this camp, including Abby Wambach, who scored the winning goal in that match in front of 30,000 fans in Augsburg, Germany. Wambach comes into camp as the most-capped player on the roster with 131 games played for the USA. Defender Cat Whitehill is right behind her at 130. The other players with more than 100 caps on the roster are midfielders Shannon Boxx (118) and Heather O’Reilly (116) and defender Heather Mitts (104). Defender Lori Chalupny looks to be the next U.S. player to hit 100 as she currently sits on 92 career caps.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe returns to the roster after missing the Germany trip due to minor arthroscopic surgery on her left knee. Midfielder Leslie Osborne also returns to the roster after departing early during the last training camp due a calf injury.

Sundhage called up the USA’s two most experienced collegians in UCLA forward Lauren Cheney (19 caps) and North Carolina midfielder Tobin Heath (19). Both were members of the USA’s gold medal-winning 2008 Olympic Team.

Also getting the nod are midfielder Christine Nairn (Penn State), who was just named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher (Penn State) who was just named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, forward Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), who was the MVP of the ACC Tournament, and forward Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), who scored 23 goals in 20 regular season matches. O’Hara was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Nairn and Naeher were members of the USA’s 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Team that took home the title in Chile while Nogueira and O’Hara played for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Russia.

Nairn scored her first-ever goal for the full national team in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Canada on July 22, 2009, in Charleston, S.C. in what was just her second career cap. Nogueira has one senior cap while O’Hara, who has been in one previous full National Team training camp, and Naeher, who gets her first call-up to the senior side, are uncapped.

The five-foot-nine Naeher, who allowed just one goal during her five starts with the U-20s in Chile, will train alongside veterans Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart.

If one or more of the college players on the roster makes it to the NCAA Women’s College Cup being held at Texas A&M on Dec. 4 and 6, they will arrive a few days late into training camp. Sundhage will also be attending the semifinal matches of the College Cup on Dec. 4 in College Station, Tex.

U.S. WNT ROSTER BY POSITION Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Brittany Bock (Los Angeles Sol), Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)

U.S. Defender Cat Whitehill Tears ACL

SEOUL, South Korea (June 11, 2008) – Veteran U.S. Women’s National Team defender Cat Whitehill tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during training in Seoul, South Korea, on June 10, and will miss the 2008 Olympics. The U.S. WNT is in South Korea to compete in the Peace Queen Cup.

Whitehill, who played every minute of the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, had an MRI on Tuesday night in Seoul, confirming the ACL injury. Whitehill has played 129 times for the USA and was a likely candidate for the USA’s 18-player roster for the 2008 Olympics. She won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and also played a key role for the USA at the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Whitehill, 26, will leave the team to return to the United States where she will have surgery sometime in the next few weeks.

“Obviously, it’s a huge disappointment coming so close to a major tournament,” said Whitehill. “I’ve gotten a lot of hugs from my teammates and everyone on the team has been really supportive. It’s still a shock, especially since it’s the first major injury of my career, but now it’s time to go home, have surgery and spend time with my husband and be a good mom to my dog. I’ll be watching the team and cheering in front of the TV.”

The blow to the U.S. team comes just 19 days after the USA lost midfielder Leslie Osborne, also a likely Olympic Team member, to an ACL tear. Whitehill will have about an eight-month period of rehabilitation.

Defender Stephanie Cox will travel to South Korea to replace Whitehill on the roster for the Peace Queen Cup as well as in the pool of 22 players being considered for spots on the 18-player 2008 Olympic Team. Cox started all six games at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but was not originally named to the USA’s 22-player roster when U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage pared down the player pool following the USA’s most recent training camp.

After many years of consistent contribution to the youth national teams, she made her first world championship team for 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team, but expected to have a reserve role … That all changed when Brandi Chastain was injured in the first half of the first match, and Whitehill stepped in to play every minute of every match the rest of the way and has since developed into one of the most capped defenders in U.S. history … 2009: Played in one match for the USA, making her return to the national team on July 19 against Canada in Rochester after recovering from ACL surgery … 2008: Played in just six matches, starting two, before tearing her ACL on June 10 at the Peace Queen Cup in South Korea, knocking her out of contention for a spot on the Olympic Team … 2007: Played in all 24 games, one of two players to do so, and started 23 matches … Led the USA in minutes played during the year with 2,116 and played every minute of all six Women’s World Cup matches, one of two players to accomplish that feat … Has played every minute of 11 straight Women’s World Cup games … One of the top-scoring defenders in U.S. history, she did not get a goal in 2007, but set a record for assists in a calendar year by a defender with seven, including three at the WWC … Earned her 100th cap in the first match of the year against Germany at the Four Nations Tournament in China … 2006: Did not play in the Four Nations Tournament in China after missing training camp due to her honeymoon … Returned to the team for the Algarve Cup, coming on at halftime of the first game against China and playing every minute the rest of the way …Scored five goals, including a legendary 70-yard free kick against Sweden, as she tied for the second-highest scoring year for a defender … Her quirky free-kick against Sweden is unofficially the longest goal in U.S. WNT history … 2005: Played every minute of all four matches at the 2005 Algarve Cup and got a key assist off a free kick against Finland … Started all nine matches during the year and was second on the team in minutes played … 2004: Played in five games at the 2004 Olympics, starting three … Surpassed 50 caps in 2004 at the age 21 … Started 28 of the 32 matches she played overall, logging 2,527 minutes, third most on the team … Scored three goals from the back … 2003: Voted the U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year … Established herself as a legitimate starter on the national team, starting in 12 of her 17 matches, and played more than 1,000 minutes (1,239) for the second year in a row … Played all but 45 minutes of the 2003 Women’s World Cup, starting five of the six matches … Scored two goals, one on a spectacular header against Korea DPR in the USA’s third first-round match, the first time in U.S. Women’s World Cup history a defender had scored twice in a match … Also picked up a huge assist on the USA’s lone goal in the historic 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Norway, launching a free kick into the penalty box for Abby Wambach to head home … Injured foot suffered in training kept her out of the Four Nations Tournament in January, but she returned for the Algarve Cup in March … 2002: Played in 16 matches, starting 11, by far the most in her to that point … Her 1,195 minutes were surpassed by just three players … Started all five matches at the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, helping the USA qualify for the 2003 Women’s World Cup … 2001: Played in eight matches and started seven for the WNT in 2001, third most on the team … Her 642 minutes were second most on the team … Scored her first full international goal against Olympic champion Norway on March 17 on a free kick at the Algarve Cup in Portugal … 2000: Earned her first cap with the U.S. National Team on July 7, 2000 against Italy … Youth National Teams: Led the U.S. U-21s to the Nordic Cup title in Denmark in 2003, the fifth consecutive Nordic Cup won by the USA and fourth in a row with Reddick as a starter … She assisted on the winning goal in the championship game win against Sweden … Played in three matches for the U.S. Under-21 Women’s National Team at the 2002 Nordic Cup, missing the first game of the tournament when she played 90 minutes for the full U.S. WNT against Norway on July 21 … She then played every minute of the remaining three games, scoring against Greece and Germany, to help the USA to its unprecedented fifth Nordic Cup title in the past six years … Captained the U-21s to the 2001 Nordic Cup championship in Norway ... Also helped the U-21s to the Nordic Cup title 2000 in Germany ... Played for the Under-18 National Team in 1998 and 1999 and captained the squad in 2000 … Also played with the U.S. Under-16 National Team in 1998 ... Was a member of the U.S. Under-18 WNT that won the gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games, scoring the game-winning goal in the championship game against Mexico on a blast from distance … First Appearance: July 6, 2000, vs. Italy … First Goal: March 17, 2001, vs. Norway.
2009: Allocated to the Washington Freedom for the inaugural WPS season in 2009 … Played every minute of 19 matches for the Freedom, scoring three goals with two assist while helping the club to an 8-7-5 record, a third-place finish in the WPS and a berth to the playoffs … Named as a WPS All-Star … Youth: She played club soccer for 10 years for the Alabama Attack ... Won five Alabama state titles and made the regional semifinals twice.
Full name is Catherine Reddick Whitehill ... Formerly Cat Reddick, she married Robert Whitehill on Dec. 31, 2005 … Goes by the nickname “Cat” … Her father played college football at Virginia Tech ... Hobbies include basketball and watching college football on TV ... Is a huge fan of college football, especially the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs … Lists her idol as former Florida QB Tim Tebow … Worked with a child with autism in helping with physical education for a semester during her sophomore year at UNC … Says her parents, sister and husband as the people she most admires ... Biggest sports thrills are winning an Olympic gold medal, scoring two goals against Korea DPR during the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and winning the NCAA Title as a senior with a perfect record at home in North Carolina ... Loves the TV sitcom “Friends” … Her car is named “Pheebs” as in Phoebe on “Friends” … Loves to sing in her car, even though she admits she’s not so good at it … If she wasn’t a soccer player, she might just be a cowgirl … Majored in communications ... Wants a career in sports broadcasting and did color commentary for ESPN during the NCAA College Cup in 2008 and 2009 … One of her most favorite things is sweet tea … Rescued a Rottweiler-Shepherd mutt named Izzy during 2006 Residency Training Camp … Also adopted Maeby, a white German shepherd mix, from the SPCA in Raleigh, N.C., and is now working for PAL (People. Animals. Love), an organization which allows her to brings her dogs to inner city schools, retirement homes and children’s hospitals to give them love and hope … Spokesperson for the SPCA of Wake County … Worked with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to benefit relief for Katrina victims, especially in her home state of Alabama, and is on the U.S. Soccer Foundation Players Advisory Council … Spoke in front of Congress on behalf of Title IX.
As a senior, she played in just 13 of North Carolina’s 27 matches due to playing in the Women’s World Cup, but started the last 12 games, scoring six goals with five assists … Won the Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player … Scored winning goal on a penalty kick in the ACC Championship Game in a 3-2 win against Florida State … Her leadership was a key to UNC finishing off its perfect 27-0-0 record and NCAA Championship as she was named Defensive MVP of the Final Four … Marshaled a defense that shut out all six of its opponents in the NCAA Tournament … Named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team … Capped a brilliant college career with her third NSCAA All-American selection, this one to the First-Team … Also was a three-time First-Team All-ACC honoree … The Honda Award winner for soccer as a senior, signifying her as the nation’s outstanding female athlete in her sport … As a junior, she played in just 17 of North Carolina’s 27 games as a junior in 2002 due to national team commitments, but still scored six goals and had five assists … She took a red-eye flight from the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup Final in Los Angeles to play in the ACC Championship game in Florida, then scored 20 seconds after entering the game as a substitute and added another goal from 40 yards out as the Heels claimed the ACC title … Led the Tar Heels to the NCAA Final Four, scoring five goals in the five games before the semifinals, and was named First-Team All-ACC and an NSCAA First-Team All American … Played in 23 games for UNC as a sophomore in 2001, scoring three goals with 10 assists in helping the Tar Heels to an undefeated regular season and into the NCAA championship game ... Named an NSCAA Second-Team All-American … Named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2000 NCAA Final Four, starting her first game of the season in the NCAA championship game against UCLA as the Heels won the national title … Honored as the Most Valuable Defensive Player of the NCAA Final Four ... Played in all 24 matches for the Heels ... Was a member of the NSCAA Freshman All-America Team ... Named to the Southeast Region All-Freshman Team ... Scored four goals and had five assists on the season for 13 points ... Scored one goal in each of the first two games of the season against Texas and Texas A&M, with both goals coming with less than one minute remaining in the first half and tying the match at 1-1 ... Was named North Carolina’s Rookie Player of the Year in 2000 … Attended Briarwood Christian School ... Played four years of soccer and three years of basketball ... Was a 1999 and 2000 Parade All-America selection in soccer ... Was a four-time All-State selection in soccer ... Was the Birmingham News State and Metro Player of the Year in soccer ... Was a two-time Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year for the State of Alabama ... Led her basketball team to the state Final Four twice and soccer team to four high school state titles ... Named All-State in basketball as a senior ... Was named the Birmingham News Shelby County Player of the Year in basketball ... Was named one of Birmingham Magazine’s Top Six People of 1999 ... Is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Birmingham Belles service organizations ... Is active in church youth groups and in fund raising for a “Kids Without Toys” program.
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