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Nikki Washington

U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team
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11 Questions with Nikki Washington

U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team and North Carolina forward Nikki Washington sat down and answered 11 questions with Center Circle on the eve of the team's Group A showdown with Mexico at the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament and professed her love for Portugal, A-1 sauce and Chapel Hill.


Center Cirlce: You’re a EURO 2008 fan…. Who’s your team?
Nikki Washington: Well, I’m a Portugal fan but they’re out of it. I just really like their style of play a lot and of course I like Cristiano Ronaldo - I can even get past his mullet. I can’t pick another team now, I’m a die hard.

CC: We know you love music – what’s on your playlist?
NW: I’m going to give the typical answer and say everything. I love Lil’ Wayne, but I can’t listen to the same thing all the time. I also love the Goo Goo Dolls, which are at the opposite end of the spectrum. And The Fray. And Eminem…
(ed. note: Nikki kept going, but for the sake of space we stopped there)

CC: What is it about A-1 sauce that you love so much?
NW: I don’t know, but whenever I think about it or smell it, my mouth waters. I love it on steak and mashed potatoes, but I’ll eat it on anything. I can eat it by the spoonful. I’m a big fan of sauces in general – I have to have a sauce with everything. I went through a Heinz 57 phase, but A-1 is just so good.

CC: What is your favorite thing to do at home in Texas?
NW: Definitely just hanging out on my front yard and juggling, or playing with my brother, Brandon , who just graduated from college.

CC: What is your favorite thing to do in Chapel Hill?
NW: I love spending time with my team – we have a lot of fun. We play late-night soccer in our stadium sometimes when there isn’t a field marshal on duty to kick us off. We just mix up the guys and girls teams and just play small-sided games under the lights. During exam time is when we really do it a lot, just to get a study break. It’s awesome.

CC: What was it like to wear the captain’s armband against Cuba?
NW: Wearing the arm band and getting to exchange the flags and stuff like that is always cool. It’s a different role for me, and it’s one that I’m still getting used to. I’m still learning about the role but I think it’s going well for me so far. It’s always an honor.

CC: Three words that describe your personality off the field:
NW: Goofy, (a little) weird, sometimes serious

CC: They’re making a movie about your life – who plays your leading man?
NW: Patrick Dempsey. I’m a big Grey’s Anatomy kick right now, so definitely McDreamy.

CC: If you weren’t pursuing a career in soccer right now, what would you be pursuing?
NW: I’d want to be a teacher. Unfortunately it’s too hard to work student teaching into my schedule at UNC with soccer, it’s too demanding. I want to work with younger kids, like preschool aged. I love kids.

CC: Do you want kids of your own someday?
NW: Definitely. I always say I want to have two kids because I don’t like the idea of having a middle child, but I think I want more than two so I don’t know what to do! Maybe just have four kids?

CC: What’s your favorite thing to do on the road?
NW: Listen to music and just spend time with my teammates. I talk online a lot to keep in touch with my friends at home or at school. I really just creep around and hang out with my teammates. I also keep a journal, so I like to sit out here in the lobby and do that in the evenings.

U.S. WNT Training Camp Update

U.S. Women’s National Team Training Camp Update
Carson, Calif.
December 10, 2007


PIA ERA BEGINS
The U.S. Women’s National Team hit the field on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 8 for the first practice session of a five-day mini-camp, the first training under new head coach Pia Sundhage, who addressed the team for the first time in a meeting prior to departure to The Home Depot Center. On a cold, wet and windy night, the first practice under Sundhage was a 90-minute training, as the players got their legs back under them after the month layoff since the end of the Women’s World Cup and the three-match post-WWC tour vs. Mexico. After a long year in 2007 that included 24 matches and a third-place finish at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the team was set to regroup in January in preparation for the Four Nations Tournament in January, but Sundhage’s hiring on Nov. 13 necessitated the mini-camp, giving both coach and players a valuable opportunity to get to know each other before jumping into a major competition at the beginning of 2008.

U.S. Women’s National Team Training Roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (6): Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

2008 SCHEDULE STARTING TO TAKE SHAPE
While much of the 2008 schedule for the U.S. women is still to be determined as head coach Pia Sundhage continues to formulate her plans, this much is known. The U.S. team will play in three major tournaments in the first four months of the year, starting in January at the annual Four Nations tournament in China. The game schedule, venues and opponents have yet to be finalized (although with U.S. and China, you have half the field), but the U.S. team will enter training camp in early January at The Home Depot Center before leaving for China a little more than a week into the new year. The U.S. team will also once again enter the Algarve Cup in Portugal in mid-March with the final schedule still to be determined. The most important tournament, however, will take place in April in Chihuahua, Mexico, as the USA is one of six teams entering the CONCACAF Final Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament being held from April 2-13. Should all go well in Mexico, the U.S. team will likely have another springtime Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as well as a slate of domestic games, and possibly a foreign tour.

BEIJING VIA MEXICO

The 2008 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Final Round qualifying tournament will be held April 2-13 at the Estadio Olimpico Universitario in the city of Chihuahua, the capital of the northern state of Chihuahua, Mexico. The six-team tournament will determine the two CONCACAF countries that will participate in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The six participating teams include the defending Olympic champion USA along with Canada and Mexico from the North Zone, all of which received byes into the Final Round. Joining them will be Costa Rica, which recently qualified from the Central American Zone, and two teams from the Caribbean in Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. For the first time, the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament will feature 12 teams, up from 10 in 2004 and eight for both 2000 and 1996. Seven of the 12 teams for Beijing are already set. By virtue of their finish at the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Germany and Norway will represent Europe. Sweden recently won a two-game playoff with Denmark and will be the third European entrant. Japan and North Korea have qualified from Asia, and China has an automatic berth as host. Argentina has qualified from South America, forcing Brazil into a playoff against the second place finisher from Africa. Qualifying in Africa is on-going with Ghana and Nigeria in position to battle for the lone automatic berth. One team will also qualify from Oceania.


U-20s MOVING ON UP
The U.S. training camp roster features seven players culled right from the college ranks for this camp. It was a bittersweet call-up for the septet, all of whom were available for the training camp because their college teams were knocked out of the NCAA Playoffs before the NCAA Final Four. All seven have played with the U.S. U-19s or U-20s, but just three are capped with the full team, led by midfielder Yael Averbuch who has played just two games for the WNT.

Yael Averbuch, Midfielder
Played for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. Scored six goals with six assists for UNC as a junior this fall. Two caps came over 50 minutes of action at the 2007 Four Nations tournament in China.

Rachel Buehler, Defender
Played for the USA at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada, helping the USA to the title, and at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. Finished her career at Stanford this fall. Played in 81 games in her college career, starting every game over the past three seasons. Uncapped at the senior level, but did train with the USA during Residency Camp this year.

Michelle Enyeart, Forward
A key member of the USA’s current U-20 pool, she played for the USA at the Pan American games in Rio de Janeiro last summer. Led the Portland Pilots in scoring during her sophomore year this fall with 12 goals and 15 assists. Uncapped at the senior level.

Tobin Heath, Midfielder
Played for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia, mostly in the back. Had two goals and five assists for the Tar Heels this season as a sophomore. Uncapped at the senior level, she is age-eligible for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.

Casey Nogueira, Forward
Played for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. Had 13 goals and three assists for the Tar Heels this season as a sophomore, leading the team. Has one cap at the senior level, earned at the Four Nations Tournament in China last January, and she is age-eligible for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile.

Nikki Washington, Midfielder
A member of the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team player pool, she had seven goals with seven assists for the Tar Heels last season, including the winning goal in the ACC championship game. Uncapped at the senior level.

Angie Woznuk, Midfielder
Played for the USA at the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada, helping the USA to the title, and at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand, where she was one of the best players in the tournament, winning the Silver Ball as the second most-valuable player and the Bronze Boot as the tournament’s third-leading scorer. Finished her career at Portland this fall, scoring nine goals with seven assists. Has one cap at the senior level, earned in 2005 against Iceland.

WHERE THEY ARE, NOW
Sixteen of the 21 members of the USA’s 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team are at mini-camp, but where are the other five? Read below for answers.

Rest, Please
Kristine Lilly just needs some rest, which she has earned after 340 caps, 20 years on the National Team and five Women’s World Cups. The U.S. captain has also yet to decide if she will attempt a run to the 2008 Olympics.

Taking a Breather
Defender Stephanie Lopez went from an intense Residency Training Camp to an even more intense starting role at the 2007 Women’s World Cup and then straight into an emotional senior season at the University of Portland. The 21-year-old needs a breather. And oh yeah, she’s getting married next weekend.

In Africa
Midfielder Angela Hucles is in Africa during humanitarian work.

Bun in the Oven
Defender Tina Ellertson is pregnant with her second child, but plans to return to action following the birth. She’s due in April.

Bear Time
Midfielder Marci Jobson has retired from international play. She’s also the new head women’s soccer coach for the Baylor University Bears, leaving Northern Illinois, where she was the head coach for three seasons.



U.S. WNT To Have First Training Camp Under New Head Coach Pia Sundhage

CHICAGO (December 4, 2007) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will hold its last training camp of 2007, and first under new head coach Pia Sundhage, from Dec. 8-12 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Sundhage will bring in 24 players for the mini-camp designed to give her a quick look at the core of the U.S. team, plus a handful of young players just coming off the college season, before the squad regroups in early January to prepare for the Four Nations Tournament in China.

The camp is basically the beginning of the run to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, with the USA preparing for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Final Round qualifying tournament, being held April 2-13 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Two countries from the six-team tournament will advance to China.

“It’s a short camp, but it will be valuable time spent together as a team and a unique moment for me to have a chance to work with the best players in the United States for the first time,” said Sundhage. “It will give us the chance to get to know them as players a little bit more, they’ll get the chance to learn my style and I’ll also get the chance to get to know them off the field. It will be a good start to something new.”

The mini-camp roster features 16 players from the 2007 U.S. Womens’ World Cup Team, along with seven players who recently finished their collegiate seasons. Defender Heather Mitts has regained her fitness and makes a return to the squad after suffering an ACL tear on May 12, 2007, which required surgery and caused her to miss out on the Women’s World Cup in China.

Of the seven players coming in from the college ranks, all have considerable youth National Team experience, with five (Yael Averbuch, Rachel Buehler, Tobin Heath, Casey Nogueira and Angie Woznuk) having represented the USA at a FIFA youth world championship while the other two (Michelle Enyeart and Nikki Washington) are in the running for a spot on the U.S. U-20 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Of the seven collegians, four come from the University of North Carolina, two from the University of Portland and one from Stanford. Buehler and Woznuk, both of whom have trained with the full National Team during Residency Training Camps, are the only two seniors, having finished their college eligibility with their school’s runs in the NCAA playoffs.

UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM
TRAINING CAMP ROSTER
December 8-12, 2007
The Home Depot Center - Carson, Calif.
 

Players Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
Averbuch, Yael M 5-10 11/03/86 Upper Montclair, N.J. UNC 2/0
Barnhart, Nicole GK 5-10 10/10/81 Gilbertsville, Pa. Stanford 4
Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Notre Dame 77/17
Buehler, Rachel D 5-5 08/26/85 Del Mar, Calif. Stanford 0/0
Chalupny, Lori M 5-4 01/29/84 St. Louis, Mo. UNC 53/6
Dalmy, Marian D 5-10 11/25/84 Lakewood, Colo. Santa Clara 5/0
Enyeart, Michelle F 5-6 07/26/88 Hemet, Calif. Portland 0/0
Heath, Tobin M 5-6 05/29/88 Basking Ridge, N.J. UNC 0/0
Kai, Natasha F 5-8 05/22/83 Kahuku, Hawaii Hawaii 35/8
Lloyd, Carli M 5-8 07/16/82 Delran, N.J. Rutgers 44/10
Markgraf, Kate D 5-7 08/23/76 Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 168/0
Mitts, Heather D 5-5 06/09/78 Cincinatti, Ohio Florida 71/2
Nogueira, Casey F 5-6 02/23/89 Raleigh, N.C. UNC 1/0
O’Reilly, Heather F 5-5 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.J. UNC 72/15
Osborne, Leslie M 5-8 05/27/83 Brookfield, Wis. Santa Clara 52/2
Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Point Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 177/4
Scurry, Briana GK 5-8 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 167
Solo, Hope GK 5-9 07/30/81 Richland, Wash. Washington 52
Tarpley, Lindsay F 5-6 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC 79/17
Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 117/21
Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 105/86
Washington, Nikki M 5-5 08/01/88 Mesquite, Texas UNC 0/0
Whitehill, Cat D 5-7 02/10/82 Birmingham, Ala. UNC 123/11
Woznuk, Angie M 5-5 03/29/85 El Cajon, Calif. Portland 1/0


GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Marian Dalmy (Lakewood, Colo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (9): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Nikki Washington (Mesquite, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.);
FORWARDS (6): Michelle Enyeart (Hemet, Calif.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Raleigh, N.C.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Team Staff:
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage Stockholm, Sweden
Asst. Coach: Mark Krikorian Tallahassee, Fla.
Asst. Coach: Erica Walsh State College, Pa.
GK Coach: Phil Wheddon Monroe, Conn.
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey Redondo Beach, Calif.
Medical Trainer: Gigi Garcia Miami, Florida
Massage Therapist: Jenny Pishko Chicago, Ill.
Massage Therapist: Mark Higgins Chicago, Ill
Equipment Manager: Angie Garza San Diego, Calif.
Videographer: Noelle Jouglet San Diego, Calif.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Cypress, Calif.
Team Security: Ben Payne Atlanta, Ga.

U.S. U-20 Women Head to Maryland for Pan-Am Prep

CHICAGO (June 4, 2007) - In its final training camp before heading to Brazil for the 2007 Pan-American Games, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team will hold a training camp in Maryland as head coach Jillian Ellis brings in 24 players for eight days from June 9-16, a period that will include scrimmages against two W-League teams.

As the Pan-American Games is an “open” tournament for women, Ellis will bring four “overage” players into this camp, none of whom who are age-eligible for the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, the ultimate goal of this team, to be held at the end of next year in Chile.

Those “overage” players are forwards Michele Weissenhofer and Lauren Cheney (who spent most of the last three months in Residency Training Camp with the full Women’s National Team), midfielder Amanda Poach (a member of the FIFA All-Star Team at the 2006 U-20 WWC in Russia) and defender Brittany Taylor.

Ellis also named four players just graduating from high school in Gatorade Girl’s National High School Player of the Year Melissa Henderson, a forward from Garland, Texas, headed to Notre Dame, and defender Meghan Klingenberg from Pennsylvania and forward Rachel Givan from Mississippi, both headed to UNC, and midfielder Kylie Wright, who will attend UCLA. Ellis also named the Parade Girl’s High School Player of the Year, junior Teresa Noyola, who at 17 is the young player on the roster.

For the first time, Ellis will have on her roster the three players from U.S. team that competed in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship who are age-eligible for the next U-20 WC, in midfielder Tobin Heath and forwards Casey Nogueira and Kelley O’Hara, all of whom spent some time training with the full Women’s National Team in 2007. Ellis also gives a first call-up to midfielder Nikki Washington, who performed so well for UNC during the NCAA Final Four last fall. Ellis has some serious height in her goalkeeper corps, calling in 5-foot-11 Chantel Jones, 5-foot-9 Alyssa Naeher and 6-foot Kristin Olsen. The camp may have an emphasis on attacking as Ellis has called in 10 forwards among the 24 players.

While in Maryland, the U-20s will take on the Virginia Majestics on June 12 and face the Washington Freedom on June 14. The Pan-Am games will be held in Rio de Janeiro from July 12-26 and will feature two groups of five teams each with Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the USA participating on the women’s side. Matches will be held on July 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23 and 26.

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team Roster – Boyds, Maryland
June 9-16, 2007

Goalkeepers (3): Chantel Jones (Virginia), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Kristin Olsen (USC)
Defenders (4): Meghan Klingenberg (Hot Spurs), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Brittany Taylor (UConn), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA)
Midfielders (7): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Tobin Heath (UNC), Teresa Noyola (MVLA Mercury), Amanda Poach (Santa Clara), Nikki Washington (UNC), Kylie Wright (So Cal Blues)
Forwards (10): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Gina DiMartino (Boston College), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Rachel Givan (Mississippi United), Melissa Henderson (Dallas Texans), Alicia Jenkins (Stanford), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix College), Casey Nogueira (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Michele Weissenhofer (Notre Dame)

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