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Ellis Names 18-Players To U.S. Roster for Pan-American Games

CHICAGO (July 2, 2007) – U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach Jillian Ellis has named 18 players to the roster that will travel to Brazil on July 7 for the 2007 Pan-American Games, being held from July 12-29 at four stadiums in one of the world’s most storied soccer cities, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 10-team Pan-American women’s soccer competition will feature two groups of five teams each with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinal games after round-robin play. The Pan-American games, which are an “open” tournament for the women, meaning no age limit, stands to be one of the most competitive international tournaments the U.S. U-20s will play outside of a FIFA world championship, as several of the countries will be sending their full Women’s National Teams.

The USA opens play against Paraguay on July 12 at João Havelange Stadium. The USA will then face Panama on July 14 at the Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex, and Argentina on July 18 at João Havelange Stadium, before finishing group play against Mexico on July 20 in the famed Maracanã Stadium.

The tournament’s semifinal matches will be held on July 23 with the championship game on July 26, both at Maracanã.

The U.S. women head into the Pan-American Games with a record of 6-3-3 in 2007 and will be playing in their first major tournament for this group of players. Of the 12 matches the U-20s have played heading into the Games, two were against Mexico’s full Women’s National Team, five were against universities, and the other five came against established women’s clubs.

Ellis will bring just two “overage” players, meaning players who aren’t age-eligible for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in forward Lauren Cheney and defender Brittany Taylor. Cheney, who has two senior team caps and scored her first full international goal against Mexico on April 14, participated in Residency Training Camp with the full U.S. Women’s National Team in 2007 along with Pan-Am teammate Kelley O’Hara.

In addition, midfielder Tobin Heath and forward Casey Nogueira both trained with the senior side in January, with Nogueira earning her first-ever full international cap at the Four Nations Tournament in China. Four players on the roster -- Cheney, Heath, Nogueira and O’Hara – were members of last year’s U.S. team that finished fourth at the U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia.

Ellis’ roster includes four players still in or having just graduated high school in June of 2007. All but two players on the roster, both rising high school seniors in midfielder Teresa Noyola, who was Parade’s 2007 Girl’s High School Player of the Year, and forward Melissa Henderson, named Gatorade’s 2007 Girl’s High School Player of the Year, will return home to begin their college seasons in August. Following the collegiate season, preparations for the 2008 U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying will continue, but CONCACAF has yet to confirm the dates for sites for the qualifying tournament.

Forwards Michelle Enyeart, Henderson, Jessica McDonald, and O’Hara all lead the USA with two goals a piece thus far in 2007.

2007 Pan American Games
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
July 12-29, 2007

GOALKEEPERS (2): Chantel Jones (Virginia), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State);
DEFENDERS (5): Lauren Barnes (Upland, Calif.), Kaley Fountain (Wake Forest), Nikki Marshall (Colorado), Brittany Taylor (Connecticut), Lauren Wilmoth (UCLA);
MIDFIELDERS (5): Becky Edwards (Florida State), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Teresa Noyola (Palo Alto, Calif.) Nikki Washington (North Carolina), Kylie Wright (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.).
FORWARDS (6): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Michelle Enyeart (Portland), Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas), Jessica McDonald (Phoenix College), Casey Nogueira (North Carolina), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford)

Coaching Staff:
Head Coach: Jillian Ellis Los Angeles, Calif.
Asst. Coach: Dave Chesler Boise, Idaho

2007 Pan American Games Women’s Soccer Schedule

July 12, 2007                          Venue
Argentina vs. Panama          Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Ecuador vs. Jamaica            Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Brazil vs. Uraguay                  João Havelange Stadium
USA vs. Paraguay                  João Havelange Stadium

July 14, 2007                          Venue
Uraguay vs. Canada            Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
USA vs. Panama                  Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Brazil vs. Jamaica                João Havelange Stadium
Paraguay vs. Mexico            João Havelange Stadium

July 16, 2007                         Venue
Panama vs. Paraguay         Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Jamaica vs. Uraguay           Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Canada vs. Ecuador            João Havelange Stadium
Mexico vs. Argentina            João Havelange Stadium

July 18, 2007                         Venue
Panama vs. Mexico              Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
USA vs. Argentina                 João Havelange Stadium
Brazil vs. Ecuador                 João Havelange Stadium
Jamaica vs. Canada            Zico Football Center - CFZ

July 20, 2007                         Venue
Argentina vs. Paraguay       Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Uraguay vs. Ecuador           Miécimo da Silva Sport Complex
Mexico vs. USA                     Maracanã Stadium
Brazil vs. Canada                 Maracanã Stadium

July 23, 2007                      Venue
Semifinals                            Maracanã Stadium

July 26, 2007                      Venue
Finals                                     Maracanã Stadium