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Sundhage Names 21 Players For 2008 Peace Queen Cup; U.S. Women Will Face Australia, Brazil and Italy

CHICAGO (June 2, 2008) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 21 players to the roster that will travel to South Korea for the 2008 Peace Queen Cup, being held from July 15-21 in Suwon, South Korea.

The eight-team Peace Queen Cup will feature two groups of four teams each with the group winners advancing to the championship game after round-robin play. The tournament will serve as excellent preparation for the five nations competing in this tournament -- Argentina, Canada and New Zealand from Group A and the USA and Brazil from Group B – that will also travel to China in August for the Olympics.

The USA, which was drawn into Group B with Australia, Brazil and Italy, will play all its first round matches at the 27,100-seat Suwon Sports Complex. Group A, which features South Korea, New Zealand, Canada and Argentina, will play all its matches at the Suwon World Cup Stadium, which holds just over 43,000.

The U.S. women will open the tournament on June 15 against Australia at 2 p.m. local / 1 a.m. ET, face Brazil for the first time since the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal on June 17 (2 p.m. local / 1 a.m. ET) and then finish group play against Italy on June 19 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET).

The winners of the two groups will play for the championship on Saturday, June 21, at the Suwon World Cup Stadium.

In naming the roster for the Peace Queen Cup, Sundhage also paired down the roster competing for spots on the Olympic Team. The 21 players on the roster for South Korea, plus defender Ali Krieger, make up the 22 players from which the 18-player Olympic Team will be selected. Krieger has returned to Germany to finish her club season for FFC Frankfurt, for whom she recently helped win the UEFA Women’s Championship with a two-leg aggregate triumph over Swedish power Umea.

From the 27 players who competed in training camp over the past two weeks at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., Sundhage released goalkeeper Kristen Luckenbill, defenders Keeley Dowling, Kendall Fletcher and Stephanie Cox, midfielder Angie Woznuk and forward India Trotter. Midfielder Leslie Osborne tore the ACL in her left knee during training camp and was ruled out of contention for an Olympic spot.

Three players return from injury to make the final 22. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart has bounced back strong from arthroscopic knee surgery a little less than a month ago, team captain Christie Rampone is ready to go after surgery to remove her gall bladder about three weeks ago and midfielder Aly Wagner has recovered from double-hernia surgery to earn her roster spot. The final 22 features 11 members of the USA’s 2004 Olympic gold medal squad.

The U.S. women head into the 2008 Peace Queen Cup with a record of 13-0-1 in 2008. During those 14 matches, 12 different players have scored for the USA, led by Natasha Kai with 10 goals, and Abby Wambach and Lindsay Tarpley with nine apiece.

The USA won the inaugural Peace Queen Cup in 2006, defeating Canada in the championship game, 1-0, on a goal from Kristine Lilly.

2008 Peace Queen Cup
June 15-21 -- Suwon, South Korea
Roster By Position

GOALKEEPERS (3): Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Team Staff:
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage Redondo Beach, Calif.
Asst. Coach: Jillian Ellis Los Angeles, Calif.
Asst. Coach: Erica Walsh State College, Pa.
GK Coach: Phil Wheddon Monroe, Conn.
Sports Science/Fitness Coach: Helena Andersson Orebro, Sweden
General Manager: Cheryl Bailey Redondo Beach, Calif.
Athletic Trainer: Gigi Garcia Miami, Fla.
Athletic Trainer: Deb Prouse Camarillo, Calif.
Team Physician: Dr. Steve Schafer Bradenton, Fla.
Team Physician: Dr. Daniel Lamar Bradenton, Fla.
Equipment Manager: Andrew Dessert Kansas City, Mo.
Massage Therapist: Mark Higgins Chicago, Ill.
Massage Therapist: Pamela Durant Charleston, S.C.
Videographer: Libby Wells San Diego, Calif.
Team Security: Mark Pharris Atlanta, Ga.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Cypress, Calif.

2008 Peace Queen Cup Groups / Schedule