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U.S. WNT Arrives in Chicago, Prepares for Sunday's Friendly vs. China


U.S. WOMEN ARRIVE IN CHICAGO TO TRAIN FOR FRIENDLY VS. CHINA: The U.S. Women’s National Team arrived in Chicago on the afternoon of Tues., Aug. 22, and quickly got to work Wednesday morning with a 90 minute training session. The team faces longtime rival China on Sunday, Aug. 27, at 12 p.m. CT at the brand new Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2. At Wednesday’s training the team had two collegiate teams watch the session as Northern Illinois and Illinois Institute of Technology’s women’s squads attended and posed for a group photo afterwards. A full gallery from training is available at ussoccer.com. Northern Illinois is coached by U.S. midfielder Marci Miller, who did not make the roster after suffering a knee injury last week in training. The IIT was there as the gracious hosts who have let the U.S. use their facility. The team has settled into Chicago nicely, with several players checking out the downtown shopping scene near the team’s hotel and also some of the players heading to Toyota Park on Wednesday night to see the Fire vs. Revolution in the 2006 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: Tickets for Sunday’s match starting at $16 are still available at ussoccer.com, by phone at 312-559-1212 and at all Ticketmaster outlets throughout Chicagoland (including Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts, Hot Tix, FYE, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino stores). Groups of 15 or more can call U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or obtain a group order form at ussoccer.com.

USA RESET: The U.S. has a 9-0-3 record in 2006 and has won the first three games of this seven-game home stand of sorts. In July, the U.S. topped Sweden (3-2), Ireland (5-0) and Canada (2-0), and has three more friendlies on the schedule following the Chicago game. After the domestic friendlies wrap up in early October, the team will head to South Korea for the 2006 Peace Cup before returning back to the U.S. for the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, which will serve as their World Cup qualifying tournament for China 2007.

Upcoming U.S. WNT Game Schedule (More matches to be announced)
Date           Opponent            Venue                               City Kickoff TV
Aug. 27      China                     Toyota Park                   Bridgeview, Ill. 12 Noon CT ESPN2
Sept. 13     Mexico                   PAETEC Park               Rochester, N.Y. 8 p.m. ET ESPN2/Telemundo (delayed)
Oct. 1         Chinese Taipei    Home Depot Center    Carson, Calif. 1 p.m. PT ESPN2
Oct. 8         Iceland                   Univ. of Richmond       Richmond, Va. 2 p.m. ET ESPN2

RYAN SETS ROSTER: Head coach Greg Ryan named the 18-player roster that will face long-time nemesis China on Aug. 27 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill., including two goalkeepers, six defenders, five midfielders and five forwards on the roster. Sixteen of the 18 players were on all of the rosters for the USA’s three July games when the team swept contests against Sweden, Ireland and Canada. Lilly, the U.S. captain with a world record 309 caps, returns to the roster after missing the Ireland and Canada matches.

Roster By Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Amy LePeilbet (Crystal Lake, Ill.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (5): Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.);
FORWARDS (5): Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Kristine Lilly (Wilton, Conn.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.)

CHICAGO CONNECTION: The U.S. roster features numerous players with Midwest ties. One player on the roster is from Illinois in defender Amy LePeilbet, who grew up in Crystal Lake. Listen to LePeilbet talk about coming back to Chicago on this ussoccer.com podcast. U.S. assistant coach Bret Hall lives in Chicago and was a long-time professional player in the city, playing with Ryan on the Sting. He also played indoor with the Chicago Power of the NPSL and is the only head coach in United Soccer League outdoor history to win three consecutive USL championships, leading the Chicago Stingers to the 1998 D3 Pro League championship and the team’s successor, the Chicago Sockers, to two straight Premier Development League titles in 1999 and 2000. He was also the initial coach of the Chicago Fire Reserves when the team replaced the Sockers in 2001.
HUCLES BACK ON ROSTER: 2004 Olympic gold medalist Angela Hucles returns to the squad after not making a game roster since October of 2005. She has not played in a game for the USA since July of 2005. Hucles, who played in two matches at the Olympics in Greece, participated in the first training block of Residency Camp last April, but was out of camp for three months before being brought back at the beginning of August.

LOHMAN MAKES “FIRST” WNT ROSTER: After midfielder Marci Miller went down last week with a knee injury, a roster spot opened up for Joanna Lohman, a former All-American from Penn State. Lohman played in the 2001 Algarve Cup, earning her four career caps, but it was with a very young roster as the WUSA pre-season camps were opening at that time and the U.S. team consisted of all amateur players. Thus, this is the first roster Lohman has maded with veteran players. She came into Residency Training Camp on trial in late May and was kept on until the end of the Residency period to add depth to the midfield after Shannon Boxx tore the ACL in her right knee.
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