US SoccerUS Soccer

Next Generation of U.S. Women to Face Italy on July 7 in Islip, N.Y.; Long Island Products Whalen and Welsh Headline Roster

CHICAGO (Thursday, June 29, 2000) - The U.S. Women's National Team will bring a preview of the 2003 Women's World Cup Team and the 2004 Olympic Team to its meeting with Italy on July 7 at EAB Park in Central Islip, N.Y. Sara Whalen and Christie Pearce, both veterans of the 1999 Women's World Cup championship team, will join squad of young stars in a match that carries three levels of significance.

The young players in the national team pool will be 1) looking to work their way into the picture for one of the final spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, 2) looking to gain valuable experience in the build-up for the next Women's World Cup and 3) continue preparations for the Under-21 Nordic Cup this summer in Germany. The Nordic Cup serves as the top competition in the world for Under-21 women. The USA has advanced to the final of the last three Nordic Cups, winning two. U.S. U-21 head coach Jillian Ellis will serve as April Heinrichs' assistant for the match.

The roster features 13 players from the USA's Olympic Residency Camp, including budding stars Aleisha Cramer (18 years old today), Christie Welsh (19), Nandi Pryce (18), Susan Bush (19), Aly Wagner (19) and Alyssa Ramsey (17), who despite their youth have already accrued 52 caps and 17 goals among them. The roster will also feature defender Michelle French, a three-year captain of the U-21 team and a member of the Olympic residency camp. Of the 18 players, just Whalen, Pearce and French are out of college, with 10 players currently at universities and five players recently graduated from high school that will be attending college next fall.

The match will be a stern test for the young U.S. team which faces an Italian side that participated in the 1999 Women's World Cup and features two of Europe's top strikers in Rita Guarino and Patrizia Panico. The USA-Italy match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET as part of a doubleheader featuring the A-League's Long Island Rough Riders vs. the Montreal Impact (9:15 p.m. ET). Tickets can be purchased only at EAB Park and range from $17-$35.

United States Women's National Team Roster
Friendly vs. Italy, July 7
1Branam, Jen GK5-7 10/08/80Placentia, Calif. North Carolina3/0
2Pryce, Nandi D 5-10 5/30/82Casselberry, Fla. UCLA 7/0
3Pearce, Christie D 5-6 6/24/75Point Pleasant, N.J. Monmouth 69/4
4Kraus, Anna D 5-4 7/29/80Sunnyvale, Calif. Santa Clara 0/0
5Putz, Caroline M 5-7 7/12/80Bountiful, Utah Washington 0/0
6Monroe, Mary FrancisM 5-0 2/07/80Tariffville, Conn. Connecticut 1/0
7Whalen, Sara M 5-5 4/28/76Greenlawn, N.Y. UConn 55/6
8Reddick, Catherine D 5-5 2/10/82Birmingham, Ala. North Carolina0/0
9Ramsey, Alyssa F 5-8 9/21/82Charlotte, N.C. North Carolina2/0
10Cramer, Aleisha M 5-10 7/29/82Lakewood, Colo. Brigham Young 6/0
11French, Michelle D 5-4 1/27/77Kent, Wash. Portland 8/0
12Wallis, Marcia F 5-6 3/31/81Los Gatos, Calif. Stanford 0/0
13Bush, Susan F 5-4 11/10/80Houston, Texas North Carolina8/2
14Kluegel, Jena M 5-3 11/02/79Mahtomedi, Minn. North Carolina2/0
15Wagner, Aly M 5-5 8/10/80San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 15/4
16Zepeda, Veronica M 5-0 6/11/82Riverside, Calif. Santa Clara 4/1
18Solo, Hope GK5-10 7/30/81Richland, Wash. Washington 2/0
22Welsh, Christie F 5-10 2/27/81Massapequa Park, N.Y.Penn State 14/11