Heinrichs called up 13 members of the USA's 2000 Olympic Team, including the world's all-time leading scorer in Mia Hamm (127 goals), and Kristine Lilly, the all-time leader in international appearances with 225 caps. Two players are poised to achieve significant milestones during the series as U.S. captain Julie Foudy currently sits at 199 appearances for the national team, and if she plays in either game, will become just the third player in the history of international soccer to play 200 times for her country, joining Hamm and Lilly in that exclusive club. Forward Cindy Parlow, at just 23 years of age, will become the youngest player in U.S. history to reach the magical 100-cap mark if she plays in both matches.
"I'm just happy this old 30-year-old body made it this far," said Foudy. "It's been an honor to represent my country so many times and to be included in the same group with Mia and Kristine is truly special. Much of the credit must go to U.S. Soccer for giving us so many chances to compete and I'm sure all the players are looking forward to getting the team back together again."
Heinrichs also named two players who are making names for themselves with their WUSA performances in defender Keri Raygor of the Boston Breakers and San Diego Spirit goalkeeper Jaime Pagliarulo. Both players traveled with the USA to China for two matches last January. Raygor was a member of the national team pool from 1991-'94 as Keri Sanchez, earning eight caps including one start and one appearance as a substitute in Haiti at the 1991 CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament for the 1991 Women's World Cup.
Raygor earned a recall to the national team with a solid performance at the WUSA Player Combine last December and then played against Japan on Dec. 17 in the USA's last match of 2000. Her last appearance for the USA before that game was March 18, 1994, against Sweden at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, marking six years, 274 days between appearances for the national team. Pagliarulo played a spectacular match in the first game of the China tour in Panyu, holding a dynamic Chinese side at bay for almost the entire game, but fell victim to a last-minute goal as the USA lost, 1-0. Pagliarulo has proven to be one of the top goalkeepers in the WUSA with consistent spectacular play through the early part of the season.
Of the 15 WUSA players named to the roster, the San Diego Spirit, Washington Freedom and Boston Breakers are represented by three players each. The Atlanta Beat and the New York Power have two players each on the roster while the Philadelphia Charge and the Bay Area CyberRays have one each.
Heinrichs also called up three young guns in Aleisha Cramer, Catherine Reddick and Jena Kluegel, who hails from Mahtomedi, Minn., and will be returning home when the USA travels to Blaine. Both Cramer and Reddick have captained the U-21s in the past and both captained the USA at the Algarve Cup last March. All three players were on that 2001 Algarve Cup Team in Portugal that almost defeated Olympic champion Norway, as well as the 2000 Under-21 Nordic Cup championship team last summer in Germany. The 5-foot-11 Cramer had a banner freshman season at BYU last fall that earned her First-Team All-American honors. A veteran of the USA's 2000 Olympic residency camp (as is Kluegel), Cramer was the third youngest player ever to play for the full U.S. National Team when she debuted at 16 years, 141 days in December of 1998.
Both Reddick and Kluegel played key roles in the NCAA title run for the University of North Carolina last season. Reddick, who will be a sophomore this fall, did not start a game for the Tar Heels until the NCAA Championship match and played a key role in the victory. Kluegel, who will be a leading candidate for the college player of the year trophies next season as a senior, scored the winning goal for the U-21s in the Nordic Cup championship game last summer, helping the USA to a 1-0 victory over host Germany.
"I don't go home too often, so I'm just so excited to come back to Minnesota and be a part of the national team at the same time," said Kluegel, who played for the USA at the U.S. Soccer Festival in Blaine in 1997 as a senior in high school, but will make her first trip to Minnesota for a full international match. "I've learned a lot from these players by watching and playing with them, especially at Olympic residency camp last year, and I'll never take for granted every chance I get to train and play with the national team."
The USA will play Canada in Toronto at Varsity Stadium on June 30 before traveling to Minnesota. The match in Canada will be preceded by a game featuring the Under-19 Women's National Teams of the USA and Canada, both of whom are preparing for the first-ever FIFA U-19 Women's World Championships which will be staged in Canada in 2002.
The USA's match in Canada comes the day before Canada Day, which celebrates the events that occurred on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act created the Canadian federal government. The match in Blaine comes one day before the USA's Independence Day. The USA has not faced Canada in Canada since May 22, 1995, a 2-1 U.S. win in a in a friendly before the 1995 Women's World Cup.
The U.S. women have not played a domestic game since December 17, 2000, when they tied Japan, 1-1, in Phoenix, Arizona. Although the USA and Canada have played each other 26 times, the Independence Day Series carries some added spark as USA has failed to beat Canada in the last three meetings, including losses in the last two games, after having reeled off 21 consecutive wins from 1986-2000. The all-time record stands at 22-3-1 for the Americans.
Blaine holds a special place in U.S. women's national team history as the program's first 10 domestic matches were played there. In fact, from 1985-1990, the U.S. women never played a domestic match outside of Minnesota until facing Norway on Aug. 30, 1991 in New Britain, Conn. The USA has an international record of 7-3-0 at the National Sports Center. The U.S. women also played in the 1997 U.S. Soccer Festival in Blaine. Heinrichs too may have a warm spot in her heart for Blaine, having played in all 10 matches there, scoring nine goals, including three two-goal games.
The clash in Blaine will be a rematch of the first meeting between the teams on July 7, 1986, in the USA's first-ever domestic game. Carolina Courage head coach Marcia McDermott scored along with Joan Dunlap as the USA recorded a 2-0 win. Two days later, Canada won the second of the three-game series, 2-0, but would not defeat the USA again for 14 years as the Americans started their 21-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory as Heinrichs scored twice.
|United States Women's National Team Roster|
Independence Day Series, USA vs. Canada
June 30 in Toronto, Ontario
July 3 in Blaine, Minnesota
|1||Pagliarulo, Jaime||GK||5'7"||07/20/76||Hershey, Pa.||George Mason||San Diego||2/0|
|2||Fair, Lorrie||M||5'3"||08/05/78||Los Altos, Calif.||North Carolina||Philadelphia||86/7|
|3||Pearce, Christie||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Point Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth||New York||89/4|
|4||Reddick, Catherine||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina||--||7/1|
|5||Serlenga, Nikki||M||5'5"||06/20/78||San Diego, Calif.||Santa Clara||Atlanta||28/6|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara||Bay Area||140/25|
|7||Kluegel, Jena||M||5'3"||11/02/79||Mahtomedi, Minn.||North Carolina||--||10/0|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||M||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland||San Diego||124/34|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina||Washington||216/127|
|10||French, Michelle||D||5'4"||01/27/77||Kent, Wash.||Portland||Washington||13/0|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||01/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford||San Diego||199/38|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina||Atlanta||98/45|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina||Boston||225/87|
|14||Raygor, Keri||D||5'4"||12/25/72||San Jose, Calif.||North Carolina||Boston||11/0|
|15||Sobrero, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame||Boston||65/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5'2"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland||New York||166/83|
|17||Cramer, Aleisha||M||5'10"||07/29/82||Lakewood, Colo.||BYU||--||13/0|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina||Washington||30/0|