CHICAGO (Friday, January 4, 2002) - Christie Welsh, the 2001 Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club award winner, has replaced Mia Hamm on the 24-player training camp roster set to come into Charleston, S.C. on January 8. Hamm, who has a lingering injury to her left leg, will look to get 100% healthy before taking part in U.S. Women's National Team events in February and March and the 2002 WUSA season.
U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs will pick 18 players to face Mexico on Saturday, January 12 at Blackbaud Stadium at 7 p.m. ET (live on ESPN2). The USA will train for several more days in Charleston after the Mexico match and then Heinrichs will pick an 18-player roster to travel to China for the Four Nations Women's Tournament in Guangzhou from Jan. 23-27, 2002. The tournament features four of the world's top teams in China, Norway, Germany and the USA.
Welsh, a powerful 5-foot-10 striker, was the consensus college player of the year this past season after scoring 25 goals with 18 assists for Penn State University and was named an NSCAA First-Team All-American. She was also named the NSCAA Player of the Year and the Big-10 Player of the Year. In addition, she is up for the U.S. Soccer Chevrolet Young Female Athlete of the Year award, along with Aleisha Cramer, Jena Kluegel, Jill Oakes, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton and Abby Wambach, all of whom except Oakes are also on the U.S. training camp roster for this event. Fans can vote for their choices for the Chevrolet U.S. Soccer Players of the Year at www.ussoccerfan.com. Welsh has a career total of 12 goals in 20 matches for the USA.
Mexico announced the 18 players that will take on the USA at Blackbaud Stadium, including Lisa Nanez of the WUSA champion SanJose CyberRays, Monica Gerardo of the Washington Freedom, and Gina Eagleson, who was on the San Diego Spirit roster for most of the WUSA season before being waived and picked up by the CyberRays, playing a key role in their championship run. Eagleson (formerly Oceguera), captained Mexico at the 1999 Women's World Cup. The CyberRays waived her after the season.
Mexico also named 5-foot-10 defender Monica Gonzalez, who starred for Notre Dame during her senior year this past fall after which she was named an NSCAA Second-Team All-American. Mexico's goalkeeper will be former San Diego State star Linnea Quinones, who was Mexico's starter at the 1999 Women's World Cup. Mexico's most dangerous player is forward Iris Mora, who scored on an improbable 50-yard shot against the USA in Mexico's 3-2 loss during the last meeting between the two teams at the end of 2000 in Houston, Texas. Mexico also named former USC Trojan Susie Mora, a member of the 1999 Women's World Cup Team, as well as the University of Portland defender Ana Del Bosque.
Following is Mexico's 18-player roster:
Goalkeepers: Linnea Quinones, Jennifer Molina;
Defenders: Maria Castillo, Gina Eagleson, Ana Del Bosque, Elizabeth Gomez, Monica Gonzalez, Martha Moore, Susie Mora;
Midfielders: Patricia Perez, Lisa Nanez, Christina Romero, Dioselina Valderrama, Monica Vergara, Janeth Palmira;
Forwards: Iris Mora, Teresa Guadalupe, Monica Gerardo.