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Heinrichs Names 2004 U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team


CHICAGO (July 1, 2004) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs today named the 18 players that will represent the USA at the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Officially, U.S. Soccer has nominated these 18 players to the U.S. Olympic Team pending certification by the USOC.

Heinrichs named two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and four forwards to the roster, with numerous players able to play multiple positions.  The Olympic roster features two less players than the 20-player Women’s World Cup squad.

“This was the most difficult roster selection that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Heinrichs.  “Largely because the parity in the pool of players is greater than it’s ever been.  With six months of preparations, everybody ended this last training block playing their best soccer of the year, but the final team is a great blend of players in terms of talent, personality, versatility and winning mentality.”

Fourteen of the 18 players named to the roster were on the USA’s 2003 Women’s World Cup Team, but only half the team (nine players) have participated in an Olympics in either 1996, 2000, or both.

Seven of the players earned a spot on their third Olympic Team in goalkeeper Briana Scurry, defenders Joy Fawcett and Brandi Chastain, midfielders Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly and forwards Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow.  All seven played a part in the USA’s 1996 gold medal victory in Athens, Ga., at the first Olympic women’s soccer competition, and will be shooting for a similar result in another Athens, this time Greece, where the 2004 gold medal match will be held.

Parlow remains the youngest U.S. women’s soccer Olympian, winning a gold medal in 1996 at the age of 18. This time around, the youngest player chosen to the Olympic roster is 19-year-old forward Heather O’Reilly, who was on track for a spot on the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team before breaking her leg in a exhibition match three months prior to the tournament.

O’Reilly is joined on the Olympic roster by 20-year-old midfielder Lindsay Tarpley, the USA’s second leading scorer in 2004 with seven goals.  In 2002, O’Reilly and Tarpley helped the U.S. Under-19 Women’s National Team win the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada, as they formed two-thirds of a devastating front line that roared through the competition, scoring a combined 10 goals between them. Tarpley scored the “golden goal” that defeated the hosts 1-0 in the title game in front of almost 50,000 fans in Edmonton.

In addition to O’Reilly and Tarpley, two other players were named to their first roster for a world championship event in defender Heather Mitts and goalkeeper Kristin Luckenbill, a Dartmouth graduate who is the only player from the Ivy League ever to earn a cap for the United States.  Midfielder Angela Hucles, who was named to her first Olympic Team, was a member of the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team, but did not see any action in the tournament.

The U.S. roster features a wide age range from 36-year-old Fawcett to O’Reilly, with an average age of 27.4.  The most capped player on the roster is Lilly at 273 games played for the USA, also the most caps of any player in international soccer history.  The least capped player on the roster is Luckenbill, the 2002 WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year, who has played just three matches, all in 2004.  While the U.S. team features a dynamic mixture of veterans and young talent, the squad will be a highly experienced one, with the average caps per player on the 2004 Olympic Team at an amazing 104.

The U.S. team is currently in Nashville, Tenn., in preparation for a match against Canada on Saturday, July 3, at The Coliseum.  The match will kickoff at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN as fans across the U.S. gets their first look at the 2004 Olympic Team.

The U.S. team will finish its pre-Olympic schedule with two matches, the first coming on July 21 vs. Australia in Blaine, Minn. (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), with an Olympic send-off match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn. against China (3 p.m. ET on ESPN2). Ticket information for all matches on the team's pre-Olympic schedule is available at ussoccer.com.

The USA’s Olympic draw has the team opening the tournament on Aug. 11 against Greece in Heraklio, followed by an Aug. 14 match against Brazil and an Aug. 17 match against Australia to finish group play, both in Thessaloniki.

2004 UNITED STATES OLYMPIC WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (2): Kristin Luckenbill, Briana Scurry; DEFENDERS (6): Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Cat Reddick; MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Aly Wagner; FORWARDS (4): Mia Hamm, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.

Coaching Staff:
Head Coach    April Heinrichs              Gainesville, Va.
Assistant Coach:            Tracey Leone        Phoenix, Ariz.
Assistant Coach:    Greg Ryan        Colorado Springs, Colo.
GK Coach:                       Phil Wheddon                 Monroe, Conn.

GOALKEEPERS (2):
KRISTIN LUCKENBILL
Paoli, Pa.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
Luckenbill made her first trip with the full National Team to Birmingham, Ala., for the April 24 match against Brazil and earned her first cap, performing admirably after coming on for Briana Scurry in the 66th minute.  She earned her second career cap on May 9 versus Mexico, coming on for Scurry in the 77th minute. Her 3rd career cap came on June 6, playing the second half in a 1-1 draw with Japan.  The 2002 WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year for the Carolina Courage came into Olympic residency camp on “trial,” earned a full-time spot in Residency Camp, then earned roster spots for the first three domestic games of 2004 and finally, a spot on the Olympic Team. The Dartmouth graduate, a former member of the Big Green ski team and former high school ski coach, became the first-ever player from the Ivy League to earn a cap for the U.S. women.  Big and strong, Luckinbill is an intimidating presence in the penalty area and has a world-class kicking game.

BRIANA SCURRY
Dayton, Minn.
Olympic Games experience: 1996, 2000 – 5 Olympic matches
Scurry was the USA’s starter in the 1995, 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cups, as well as the 1996 Olympics.  Before the 1996 Olympics, she told Sports Illustrated that if she won a gold medal, she would “run naked through the streets of Athens.”  She did.  Scurry has said she will not repeat the feat should all go well for the USA in Greece.  Scurry is by far the most-capped goalkeeper in U.S. history with 138 appearances.  She is 108-10-10 in her career, including 69 shutouts, more shutouts than any other goalkeeper has caps in U.S. history.  In 1996, she earned two shutouts and allowed just three goals over five games, playing every minute of the Atlanta Games. Scurry was the back-up goalkeeper on the 2000 Olympic Team and did not play in the tournament.  She made a major turn-around in her game, rebuilding her body and mind after falling out of favor in 2000 due to lack of fitness and injuries.  She regained the starting spot for the 2003 Women’s World Cup and is currently the USA’s first-choice ‘keeper.  Scurry, whose big-game performances are legendary, is one of the most athletic goalkeepers in the history of women’s soccer.

DEFENDERS (6):
BRANDI CHASTAIN
San Jose, Calif.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 – 10 Olympic matches, 1 goal
Chastain has played extensively in the middle of the U.S. defense, but in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, played left back, which was also her position in the 1999 Women’s World Cup.  Chastain gives the USA tremendous experience, depth, savvy and composure on the ball no matter where she plays, and also adds versatility to potential U.S. lineups.  Chastain did not make the roster for the USA’s first two trips of the year, but returned for the Algarve Cup in March.  Still one of the best attacking defenders and most skillful players in the world, she brings some unique attributes to the position and is one of the best on the team in the air.  Chastain’s goal celebration after her penalty kick won the 1999 Women‘s World Cup was captured on the covers of Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated and will forever be one of the most famous images in women’s sports history. Chastain scored her only Olympic goal on a wonderful volley against Nigeria in 2000 during the USA’s 3-1 victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

JOY FAWCETT
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 – 10 Olympic matches
Fawcett is the most capped and highest scoring defender in U.S. WNT history with 232 games played and 27 goals scored.  At 36 and with three daughters, the ultimate “Soccer Mom” is still playing world-class soccer from the center of the defense.   She missed five games this year due to back surgery, but returned to the lineup on June 6 versus Japan and is fully recovered and ready for the stretch run to the Olympics.  Fawcett also recovered from surgery to remove bone spurs from her ankle in just 11 days early in the 2003 WUSA season, then had her best pro club season, earning First-Team All-WUSA honors as well as the 2003 WUSA Defender of the Year award.  She is the only player to play every minute of the 1995 and 1999 Women’s World Cups and 1996 and 2000 Olympics and will no doubt be the only mother of three on the entire 2004 U.S. Olympic Team.  A master at diffusing attacks before they develop with her dynamic running, composure and ability to read the game, Fawcett has been one of the USA’s most consistent players throughout each world championship in which the team has played.

KATE MARKGRAF
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Olympic Experience: 2000 – 5 Olympic matches
At 27, Markgraf (nee Sobrero) is in her prime and already has three world championship tournaments under her belt.  Able to play in the middle (where she did with Carla Overbeck in the 1999 Women’s World Cup and at the 2000 Olympics with Joy Fawcett) and on the flank, where she is currently seeing the most minutes, Markgraf’s versatility will be a key to the USA’s success.  She has had a fantastic first part of 2004, helping the USA with her attacking down the flanks (she has two assists in 2004), but is widely regarded as one of the best one-on-one defenders in the world.  She is tied with former Notre Dame teammate Shannon Boxx for most starts on the U.S. team this year.

HEATHER MITTS
Cincinnati, Ohio
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The speedy and feisty defender came on strong in 2004, getting her first significant minutes with the full National Team and starting the last nine matches the USA has played.  Primarily an outside back throughout her career, Mitts has shown she can play in the middle as well, where she played very well in the absence of Joy Fawcett due to back surgery.  Mitts’ versatility will bode well for the U.S. back line, as she is able to fill numerous roles, and her recovery speed makes her an important cog in the U.S. defense. Mitts became popular off the field in 2003 as a studio analyst for ESPN for the 2003 Women’s World Cup and a morning show host for a local affiliate in Philadelphia.

CHRISTIE RAMPONE
Point Pleasant, N.J.
Olympic Experience: 2000 - 5 Olympic matches
A 2000 Olympic starter, she played every minute of the five matches in Australia and has quietly become one of the best outside backs in U.S. history.  Rampone (nee Christie Pearce) is a Monmouth University graduate and remains the only player from a small soccer school to make an impact on the national team.  She earned her 100th cap for the USA against Brazil on July 13, 2003, captaining the team for the first time.  A forward in her college career who scored 79 goals in 80 career games, her transition to defender for the U.S. was immediate, and she has distinguished herself throughout her career with tremendous speed, tenacity and athletic ability.  Despite coming back from a major knee injury in 2002, the rugged Rampone has one of the team’s best vertical leaps and is one of the toughest defenders in the world to get behind.

CAT REDDICK
Birmingham, Ala.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
One of the breakout stars of the 2003 Women’s World Cup, she started five of six matches at the tournament after replacing an injured Brandi Chastain in the staring lineup. Reddick, the only player reared in the state of Alabama to earn a cap with the full national team, is versatile enough to play in the middle or on either flank, but seems to have found a home in the center.  She was a star on the last four U.S. U-21 Nordic Cup Championship teams, most recently helping the USA to the title in Denmark in 2003.  Strong and fast, she serves some of the best long balls in the world and is one of the hardest U.S. players into the tackle.  Reddick scored twice against North Korea at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, becoming the first, and only, U.S. defender to score twice in a world championship match.

MIDFIELDERS (6):
SHANNON BOXX
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
An amazing story in that she made the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team without ever previously earning a full national team cap (the only player in history to do so), the rugged Boxx has emerged as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders. The USA’s ball-winner in the middle, she recently captained the FIFA Women’s World All-Star Team against Germany in Paris on May 20, leading her team to a 3-2 victory.  A classic defensive midfielder with world-class ball-winning skills on the ground and in the air, she is also very skillful with the ball at her feet, and has become a key player in setting the USA’s attacking rhythm.  She scored in her first three career caps, a U.S. record, including a fantastic header against Sweden in the 2003 Women’s World Cup opening game, and has pounded in nine goals in her first 23 matches, a remarkable scoring rate for a holding midfielder.  She was named MVP of the prestigious Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal in March as the USA defeated Norway 4-1 in the title game.

JULIE FOUDY
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 – 10 Olympic matches, 1 goal
The U.S. captain and midfield motor broke 200 caps in 2001 and is still going strong.  Playing mostly outside right midfield, her leadership will once again be a key to the USA’s success.  With 44 goals in her 253 caps, Foudy has shown she can find the net as well, especially in big games, having scored in all four of her Women’s World Cup tournaments and in the 2000 Olympics, placing a delicate header into the corner of the Chinese net during first round play.  Incredibly skillful with a never-ending work rate, Foudy’s ability to find the forwards on crosses and in the middle of the field should play a major role in the U.S. attack.

ANGELA HUCLES
Virginia Beach, Va.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The darting and gliding Hucles is of great value to the Olympic Team as she can fill in at all four positions in the midfield.  Hampered by injuries during the middle of 2004, she is healthy now, and can contribute with her razor sharp skills, deft passing and tireless running.  She scored twice against France at the 2004 Algarve Cup in Portugal, doubling her career scoring output for the national team in one game, and was an accomplished scorer during her college days at the University of Virginia, where she played for U.S. head coach April Heinrichs.

KRISTINE LILLY 
Wilton, Conn.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 - 10 Olympic matches, 1 goal
The most capped player in the history of the world, but also one of the greatest scorers of all time, she needs just five goals to hit the magical 100 mark.  The tireless Lilly has 273 caps, and at 32, a mind-boggling 300 caps is not out of the question.  She was named to the All-WUSA First Team in 2003, the only player so honored in all three WUSA seasons. No doubt the greatest flank midfielder in women’s soccer history, with an end-to end playing style, she is able to impact the game on both ends of the field.  Her header off the goal line in sudden death overtime during the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final against China remains one of the greatest clutch plays in U.S. history.  In hypothetical discussions of the greatest player in women’s soccer history, Lilly’s name must be mentioned.

LINDSAY TARPLEY 
Kalamazoo, Mich.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The 2002 Chevrolet U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year is having a breakout year in 2004, scoring against Sweden, Canada, Mexico and Norway among her seven goals.  A forward all her life, Tarpley has adapted well to the attacking midfielder slot, starting eight matches there this year, while showing the capacity to play-make as well as score herself.  Tarpley scored one of the greatest goals in U.S. soccer history when she pounded in a rebound of her own shot in the championship game of the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship, giving the USA a dramatic 1-0 sudden death overtime victory over host Canada and the first-ever world title for youth women.  Despite her youth, Tarpley’s experience in a world championship and versatility will make her valuable part of the Olympic Team. 

ALY WAGNER 
San Jose, Calif.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The first choice in the 2003 WUSA draft, she brings some special playmaking talents that can slice an open opposing defense.  She led the USA in assists in 2002 with 11 and was second with eight in 2003.  She also has 14 goals in her 62 caps, showing she can find the net as well.  Able to pass and shoot equally well with both feet, Wagner presents a clear and present danger to any defense as she is constantly probing for openings to send the dangerous U.S. strikers into the penalty area, as well as working hard for space to fire long range shots on goal, like she did at the 2003 Algarve Cup, where she scored two big goals from distance to help the USA to the championship.

FORWARDS (4):
MIA HAMM 
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 – 10 Olympic matches, 3 goals
The all-time leading international scorer in the history of the world with 149 goals and 132 assists, Hamm is playing some of the best soccer of her career.  Equally happy to score, pass or play defense, she has five goals and a team-leading nine assists this year, continuing her amazing goals to assists ratio.  The most recognizable women’s soccer player and perhaps the most recognizable female athlete on the planet, Hamm’s selflessness on and off the field have made her a crowd favorite wherever she plays.  Hamm scored one of the biggest goals of her career in the 2000 Olympic semifinal in a 1-0 win over Brazil and assisted on both U.S. goals in the gold medal match.

HEATHER O’REILLY
East Brunswick, N.J.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The youngest player on the U.S. roster, O’Reilly has already experienced a lot on the international stage, appearing 22 times for the full National Team, twice for the U-21s and 18 times for the U-19s.  Perhaps the fastest player on the roster, she has completely recovered from the broken leg that erased her chances of making the 2003 Women’s World Cup Team.  O’Reilly, who is still age-eligible for the 2004 FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship, scored an amazing 18 goals in as many U-19 international matches, including four goals and seven assists in the 2002 FIFA U-19 World Championship.

CINDY PARLOW
Memphis, Tenn.
Olympic Experience: 1996, 2000 – 7 Olympic matches
Parlow gives opponents a different look than the darting strikers, but her strength and skills in the air make her just as difficult to contain.  At just 26 she has already played in two Olympics and two Women’s World Cups and scored 69 goals in 143 games, or almost one goal for every two games played.  With the skills of a midfielder, the scoring attitude of a forward and the tackling presence of a defender, Parlow is a menace all over the field.  She is fifth all-time in U.S. history in goals (69) and sixth in points (165).

ABBY WAMBACH
Rochester, N.Y.
Olympic Experience: First Olympics
The tall, imposing striker was the USA’s leading scorer at the 2003 Women’s World Cup with three goals, including the historic game-winner in the 1-0 victory over Norway in the quarterfinals, and is the USA’s leading scorer in 2004 with 12 goals, all scored in the last 12 matches.  The 2003 U.S. Soccer Chevrolet Women’s Athlete of the Year, she played a major role in leading the Washington Freedom to the 2003 WUSA title, piling up 33 points from 13 goals and seven assists to tie teammate Mia Hamm for the WUSA scoring lead.  She was also honored with the WUSA Goal of the Year for a spectacular diving header and was the only American among the six forwards on the All-WUSA teams, earning First-Team honors. With smooth skills despite her size and a world-class heading and shooting presence, Wambach is a force, and brings a physicality to the game which is almost impossible to contain over 90 minutes.


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