U.S. Women Will Face France, Denmark and China in Portugal;
USA Going For Fourth Straight Algarve Cup Title
CHICAGO (February 1, 2006) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has called 26 players into a training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., that will run from Feb. 6-19, 2006, serving as a prelude to the 2006 Algarve Cup. The tournament will be held from March 9-15 in Portugal.
The USA will open the tournament on March 9 against China, face Denmark on March 11 and finish group play with France on March 13. The placement matches will be contested on March 15. Match times and venues will be announced shortly. The other group features Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany, currently first in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. None of the Algarve Cup matches will be televised, but fans can follow the USA’s grueling schedule of four games in seven days online at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker.
U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, who earned her historic 300th career cap against Norway in China, and also led the U.S. with three goals at the Four Nations tournament, heads a training camp roster that features 19 players who were on the Four Nations squad. The only absence is defender Lori Chalupny, who suffered a concussion in the match against France.
The roster includes six players with college eligibility remaining in Stephanie Lopez, Angie Woznuk, Heather O’Reilly, India Trotter, Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Cheney, who has graduated from high school, but will not start college until next fall. All except Cheney will join the camp on or around Feb. 10 due to school commitments.
In Rodriguez and Cheney, Ryan has also called in two of the top players from the U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team that just qualified for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. Both Rodriguez and Cheney scored four goals each for the USA in the recently-completed CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Mexico, as the USA defeated the hosts, 3-0, in the semifinals to earn a berth to Russia, and then downed Canada, 3-2, in the championship game to take the regional title. Cheney had a goal and an assist in the title game while Rodriguez scored in four of the five games in Mexico, including the first goal in the win vs. Canada. Both Rodriguez and Cheney have trained with the full Women’s National Team in the past and Rodriguez has two caps, both earned at the 2005 Algarve Cup.
The only player in camp making her debut with the full Women’s National Team is forward Natasha Kai, the leading scorer for the U.S. U-21s in 2004 before injuries precluded her from seeing any action with the national teams in 2005. The athletic Kai, a former star at the University of Hawaii, where she scored 15 goals her senior year and 72 during her career, becomes the first player from the 50th state to train with the full Women’s National Team.
There is one other new name in the roster, but a familiar face, as defender Cat Whitehill returns to the squad. The former Cat Reddick was married last New Year’s Eve and missed the Four Nations while on her honeymoon. Former UCLA and U.S. U-21 standout Nandi Pryce also makes a return to the roster. Pryce, who has been hampered by some major injuries in her career, has eight caps for the WNT but hasn’t played in a match since 2000.
This will be the 11th trip to the annual Algarve Cup for the U.S. women, who broke a streak of four Algarve tournaments without a first-place trophy in 2000 when they defeated Norway, 1-0, in the championship game. Including that first title, the USA has now won four of the last six Algarve Cups, and has won the prestigious tournament that features many of the world’s top teams for the past three years in a row. The USA defeated China, 2-0, in the 2003 championship game, put together a resounding 4-1 victory over Norway in 2004, as Abby Wambach pounded in three goals, and defeated Germany, 1-0, in 2005 on a goal from Christie Welsh.
During the Algarve Cup, the U.S. will see two of the same opponents they faced during their championship run at the Four Nations Tournament, as they were placed into a group with France, Denmark and China. The USA tied France, 0-0, on Jan. 20 and defeated China for the Four Nations title on Jan. 22. The USA has not played Denmark since last year’s Algarve Cup, a resounding 4-0 victory during group play that spurred the resignation of the Danish head coach.
The 12-team Algarve Cup also features a third group, who play among themselves and are not eligible for the title, but those teams have not yet been set. The Algarve Cup features four match days – March 9, 11, 13 and 15 – with six matches each day. All the games are played at small venues spread out across the Algarve region on the southern coast of the country.
UNITED STATES WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM
Training Camp Roster
Feb. 6-19, 2006
Home Depot Center -- Carson, Calif.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart, Jen Branam, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo; DEFENDERS (7): Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Nandi Pryce, Christie Rampone, Cat Whitehill; MIDFIELDERS (8): Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner, Angie Woznuk; FORWARDS (7): Lauren Cheney, Natasha Kai, Heather O’Reilly, Amy Rodriguez, India Trotter, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.
Head Coach: Greg Ryan Colorado Springs, Colo.
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall St. Charles, Ill.
GK Coach: Mark Dougherty Littleton, Colo.
General Manager: Nils Krumins Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Medical Trainer: Todd Daniels Portland, Ore.
Massage Therapist: Scott Street Atlanta, Ga.
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi Boston, Mass.
Mental Skills Coach Jeff Troesch San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Equipment Manager: Zak Herndon Long Beach, Calif.
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz Long Beach, Calif.
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