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U.S. WNT Coach Greg Ryan Names 20 Players for Four Nations Tournament in China


Monday, January 9, 2006
U.S. Women’s National Team
U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
Notes from Carson, Calif.

RYAN NAMES 20 PLAYERS FOR FOUR NATIONS TOURNAMENT: U.S. head coach Greg Ryan has named the 20 players who will travel to China tomorrow for the Four Nations Tournament that begins Jan. 18 as the USA opens its 2006 schedule with a match against long-time rival Norway. U.S. defender Christie Rampone, a starter at outside back on the 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning team, makes her first roster in her first camp since having a baby girl (Rylie) on Sept. 29, 2005. Said Rampone: “It’s been an adjustment, but I feel great. Not playing a game in over a year, it’s always going to be tough to come back, but physically and mentally I feel good. It’s just a matter of getting back and comfortable with the team on the field.” Other 2004 Olympians to make the roster are defender Heather Mitts, midfielders Shannon Boxx (recently returned from the FIFA World Player Gala where she was voted third best player in the world for 2005), Aly Wagner, Lindsay Tarpley and team captain Kristine Lilly, and forwards Heather O’Reilly and Abby Wambach, who with four goals and five assists was the second-leading scorer on the team last year behind Christie Welsh (seven goals), who was also named. The USA departs tomorrow on a 15-plus hour flight to Hong Kong and will then travel to the bustling metropolis of Guangzhou (population: 6.5 million) to set up base for the tournament. Located in southern China, the more than 2,000-year-old city will not be as cold as more northern parts of the country in January, but temperatures are expected to be chilly, especially after the U.S. team trained in bright sunshine all week at the HDC.

United States Women’s National Soccer Team Roster – Four Nations Tournament -- Guangzhou, China
GOALKEEPERS (2):
Jenni Branam, Hope Solo; DEFENDERS (6): Lori Chalupny, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone; MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner, Angie Woznuk; FORWARDS (4): Heather O’Reilly, India Trotter, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.

YOUNG TEAM WILL HEAD TO CHINA: U.S. head coach Greg Ryan chose several young players, including uncapped 20-year-old forward India Trotter of Florida State who was in her first camp with the full national team this past week. Ryan also chose 20-year-old midfielder Angie Woznuk, who scored the first goal in the NCAA Championship game last year, helping the Portland Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA title. Six players named to the roster have two or less caps, including Trotter (0 caps), Woznuk (1), midfielder Carli Lloyd (2), defender Stephanie Lopez (1), midfielder Marci Miller (2) and defender Tina Frimpong (2). Goalkeeper Jenni Branam has five caps, but will be looking for her first since 2000. Lopez, the youngest player named to the Four Nations roster at 19, was also named to the roster for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team that will participate in CONCACAF qualifying in Mexico from Jan. 18-27. Lopez will join her mates on the U-20s after the completion of the Four Nations Tournament. The roster also includes midfielder Leslie Osborne and defender Amy LePeilbet, both of whom were members of the USA’s 2004 Olympic Residency Training Camp, but who have just 11 and 10 career caps respectively. The “youngness” of the U.S. roster is underscored by the fact that two “veteran gold medallists” in Tarpley and O’Reilly are younger than Osborne and LePeilbet.

U.S. U-20S GET SHOT AT FULL TEAM AS U.S. WOMEN WIND DOWN CARSON CAMP: The U.S. Women’s National Team made the most out of its week of training camp at The Home Depot Center, practicing every day since last Tuesday (Jan. 3) in preparation for the Four Nations Tournament. The WNT took on the U.S. U-20s in a pair of scrimmages on Saturday (Jan. 7). The teams tied the first match, 1-1, while the elders dominated the second, winning 4-0. The first match was scoreless until about 75 minutes when the U.S. scored off a long Jenni Branam punt that was flicked on by Danielle Fotopoulos and finished by Tiffeny Milbrett. The U-20s tied the game just two minutes later on a great individual effort from midfielder Danesha Adams, who kicked the ball loose from the hands of a diving Branam and finished from a sharp angle. In the second game, the veterans showed their class, getting two goals from Abby Wambach, one from Kristine Lilly (all in the first half) and a final goal near the end of the game off a dynamic dribbling run and shot by midfielder Carli Lloyd.

U-20s PRIMED AND READY FOR CONCACAF QUALIFYING: Bolstered by a week of hard training that included no less than eight matches against outside competition and one intra-squad game, the U.S. Under-20 Women will head into the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Final Qualifying Tournament with a united team that is fit and ready to claim one of 16 places in the 2006 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Championship to be held in Russia from Aug. 16-Sept. 2. After much deliberation, U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team head coach Tim Schulz has chosen his 20-player roster for the qualifying tournament that opens for the USA on Jan. 19 against Jamaica. Schulz also talked of the unique challenges of the accelerated preparation for CONCACAF qualifying in a one-on-one exclusive interview with ussoccer.com.

FOUR NATIONS PITS USA AGAINST THE WORLD’S BEST: This will be the fifth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations tournament, also participating in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The USA has won the tournament three times, which always features four of the strongest teams in the world, taking top honors in 1998, 2003 and 2004. The tournament in 1998 marked the first time the U.S. women had returned to China since winning the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. When the Americans touch down in southeastern China on Jan. 12, it will mark the sixth time in the last nine years they will have traveled to China, which includes a trip in 2001 that featured two exhibitions against the Steel Roses. The USA will open the tournament on Jan. 18 against long-time rival Norway before facing France on Jan. 20 during the second match day. The USA will finish the tournament on Jan. 22 with one of the world’s toughest international women’s matches, facing China on their home soil. All the U.S. games will kick off at 4 p.m. local time/ 3 a.m. ET.

LILLY ON BRINK OF HISTORY: The USA’s tournament opener against Norway could mark a historic milestone for U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, as she is poised to earn her 300th cap. Already the world’s leader in international matches played for men or women with 299 caps, Lilly would become the first player in soccer history to play 300 times for their country. Adding to the uniqueness of the event, Lilly earned her first-ever cap at the age of 16 in China more than 18 years ago.

2005 Four Nations Tournament - Guangzhou Olympic Stadium, Guangzhou, China
Jan. 18   USA vs. Norway      1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
               China vs. France        4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET 

Jan. 20   USA vs. France        1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
                China vs. Norway      4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET 

Jan. 22   France vs. Norway    1:30 p.m. local / 12:30 a.m. ET
                USA vs. China         4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET 

STAT OF NOTE: The USA has an excellent record of 13-2-3 against countries other than China in matches played in China, which includes six wins at the 1991 Women’s World Cup. On Chinese soil, the USA has faced Brazil (1-0-0), Canada (1-0-0), Czechoslovakia (0-0-1), Germany (2-0-1), Japan (2-0-0), Norway (3-2-0), Sweden (3-0-1) and Taiwan (1-0-0). The USA is 3-3-5 against China in China, and 3-0-0 in matches played in Taiwan against Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

Quote of the Week:
Do you think U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team defender Nikki Krzysik was excited to play against the full Women’s National Team during both teams’ training camps earlier this week at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.?

“These are the days you dream about. An elbow from Abby Wambach in the head? I’m okay with that, because it means you’re getting to play against Abby Wambach.”

--Nikki Krzysik prior to the scrimmage vs. the full Women’s National Team.

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