CHICAGO (Tuesday, August 26, 2003) - With 27 days until the USA’s opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2003, U.S. Women’s National Team head coach April Heinrichs has named the 20 players who will represent the United States in their home country on women’s soccer’s grandest stage.
Leading the way are four players who are poised to play in their fourth Women’s World Cup tournament in team captains Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, the world’s all-time leading scorer Mia Hamm (140 goals) and the world’s all-time appearance leader Kristine Lilly (253 caps). Hamm, Lilly and Foudy have played in all 18 of the USA’s Women’s World Cup matches.
The roster is a product of more than two and a half years of player evaluation by Heinrichs and her staff that included 42 international matches, countless youth national team practices and games and almost 260 WUSA games. In the last three years, Heinrichs has looked at 56 players in full international matches.
"The roster is a reflection of the veteran leadership and heading into this Women’s World Cup, we will need the veterans to provide leadership and the foundation for our consistent performances," said Heinrichs. "I also think this roster reflects an injection of youthful energy and enthusiasm as it includes a large contingent of young WUSA professionals. These players have proven themselves on the highly competitive battlegrounds of the WUSA."
Overall, Heinrichs selected 12 players who were on the USA’s historic 1999 Women’s World Cup Team and 13 that were on the USA’s 2000 Olympic Team.
"We all know that there are advantages and disadvantages to naming a team too early or too late, but I felt that after watching the players play this week in San Diego, that the timing was perfect to do it now," said Heinrichs, who trained the team for four days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center – Chula Vista and then attended the Founders Cup WUSA Championship game last Sunday.
Of the 20-player roster, four are set to play in their third Women’s World Cup tournament (Brandi Chastain, Tiffeny Milbrett, Tiffany Roberts and Briana Scurry), four made their second Women’s World Cup Team (Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Christie Pearce and Kate Sobrero) and eight players will be Women’s World Cup debutantes (Shannon Boxx, Kylie Bivens, Angela Hucles, Siri Mullinix, Cat Reddick, Danielle Slaton, Aly Wagner and Abby Wambach).
"Three things led us to make the decision to announce the roster today," said Heinrichs. "Obviously, we had some injuries to key personnel and we wanted to provide as much of an opportunity as possible for them to return to the field. We still don’t have clarification as to the regulations regarding replacement players so that caused us to pause as well, and we also wanted to leave open the possibility of bringing on a player or players that were having great seasons or late season surges for their WUSA clubs that would warrant them being a member of this team."
The inclusion of MacMillan, the USA’s leading scorer in 2003, marks a remarkable comeback from ACL surgery on May 21 after suffering the serious knee injury three days earlier while playing for the San Diego Spirit. MacMillan worked tirelessly to rehabilitate her knee, trained with the USA last week, and still has almost four weeks left before the opening match on Sept. 21 against Sweden at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.
Heinrichs chose two goalkeepers to the roster (all three previous U.S. WWC teams had three goalkeepers) as ’95 and ’99 Women’s World Cup and ’96 Olympic starter Briana Scurry and 2000 Olympic starter Siri Mullinix got the nod. Both goalkeepers had stellar seasons in the WUSA for the Atlanta Beat and league championship Washington Freedom, respectively.
The youngest player and only non-professional selected to the roster is 21-year-old defender Cat Reddick, who is a senior at the University of North Carolina. On the 1999 Women’s World Cup roster, Lorrie Fair, then a rising senior at UNC, was the only college player selected. In 1999, the tournament was in the summer and Fair did not miss any college games. Reddick will miss about a month and a half of her college season while representing the USA.
Midfielder Aly Wagner, the second youngest player on the team and the top pick in the 2003 WUSA Draft by the Spirit, was one of the last players released from both the 1999 Women’s World Cup Team and the 2000 Olympic Team, but has realized her dream of making a U.S. squad for a world championship. Slaton and Mullinix, both members of the USA’s 2000 Olympic team, make their first Women’s World Cup Team.
Four players were bolstered by strong WUSA seasons, including defender/midfielder Kylie Bivens of the Atlanta Beat and All-WUSA First Team midfielder Shannon Boxx of the New York Power, who becomes the first-ever uncapped player named to a U.S. Women’s World Cup Team.
Midfielder Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers) and Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom) also had stellar seasons for their clubs. The 5-foot-11 Wambach tied for the WUSA lead in scoring with 33 points and tallied both goals in the WUSA championship game last Sunday, including a dramatic "golden goal" six minutes in overtime to defeat the Atlanta Beat, 2-1. Wambach has scored seven goals in her 12 matches for the USA in her young international career.
The selection of Roberts completes of rebirth of sorts for the midfielder who started four games at the 1995 Women’s World Cup at the age of 18. Roberts played 78 minutes as a reserve over two games at the 1999 Women’s World Cup, but was out of the national team picture for almost two years until an excellent WUSA season in 2002, which included a league championship with the Carolina Courage, thrust her back into the national team. Her next cap will make her the 16th U.S. player to play 100 times for her country.
The 20 players named to the roster have a combined 116 games of Women’s World Cup experience and seven of those players have scored in a Women’s World Cup, led by Hamm and Milbrett, who have scored six goals each. Lilly has scored five times in Women’s World Cup tournaments. Fawcett and Foudy have both scored once in each of their three Women’s World Cups. Parlow and MacMillan also own Women’s World Cup goals.
Of the 11 players who started the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final, nine made the 2003 squad, with only retired legends Carla Overbeck and Michelle Akers not on the team.
"This is the best roster a U.S. Women’s National Team has ever fielded in a world event," added Heinrichs. "We have experience, composure, athleticism, versatility and depth in every position."
The 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team is an experienced side with an average age of 27.5 years. Combined, the roster has 2,182 caps and 575 international goals. With 10 players having 100 or more caps, four players over 200 and two players almost at 100, the U.S. roster averages an astounding 109 caps per player. Nine players, almost 50% of the roster, hail from California.
Of the WUSA clubs, the San Diego Spirit has the most players on the roster with four. The Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, New York Power and Washington Freedom have three players each. The Carolina Courage have two players and the San Jose CyberRays have one. From the colleges, six players represent the University of North Carolina, Santa Clara has four alumni and Notre Dame and Portland have two each.
The 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team is currently on a break and will re-group in Los Angeles for training at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., from Aug. 29-Sep. 3. The team will then travel to San Jose, Calif., where the U.S. will be based from Sept. 4-7. That schedule includes two matches, the first against Costa Rica on Sept. 1 at The Home Depot Center (8 p.m. PT on ESPN2) in the first-ever game for a U.S. National Team at the sparkling new stadium and the second on Sept. 7 against Mexico at Spartan Stadium (10 a.m. PT on ESPN).
U.S. Women’s National Team
|1||Scurry, Briana***||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass/Atlanta||119/0|
|2||Bivens, Kylie*||D||5'5"||10/24/78||Upland, Calif.||Santa Clara/Atlanta||7/0|
|3||Pearce, Christie**||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Pt. Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth/New York||100/4|
|4||Reddick, Cat*||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina/--||34/1|
|5||Roberts, Tiffany***||M||5'3"||05/05/77||San Ramon, Calif.||North Carolina/Carolina||99/7|
|6||Chastain, Brandi***||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Jose||169/29|
|7||Boxx, Shannon*||M||5'8"||06/29/77||Redondo Beach, Calif.||Notre Dame/New York||0/0|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon**||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland/San Diego||154/58|
|9||Hamm, Mia****||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||237/140|
|10||Wagner, Aly*||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Diego||45/10|
|11||Foudy, Julie****||M||5'6"||01/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford/San Diego||229/41|
|12||Parlow, Cindy**||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina/Atlanta||126/61|
|13||Lilly, Kristine****||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina/Boston||253/91|
|14||Fawcett, Joy****||D||5'6"||02/08/68||Huntington Beach, Calif.||California/San Diego||214/26|
|15||Sobrero, Kate**||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame/Boston||95/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny***||F||5'3"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland/New York||190/98|
|17||Slaton, Danielle*||D||5'6"||06/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/Carolina||39/1|
|18||Mullinix, Siri*||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||38/0|
|19||Hucles, Angela*||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia/Boston||22/1|
|20||Wambach, Abby*||F||5'11"||06/02/80||Rochester, N.Y.||Florida/Washington||12/7|
* First Women’s World Cup
** Second Women’s World Cup
*** Third Women’s World Cup
**** Fourth Women’s World Cup
GOALKEEPERS (2): Siri Mullinix (Washington Freedom), Briana Scurry (Atlanta Beat);
DEFENDERS (7): Kylie Bivens (Atlanta Beat), Brandi Chastain (San Jose CyberRays), Joy Fawcett (San Diego Spirit), Christie Pearce (New York Power), Cat Reddick (UNC), Danielle Slaton (Carolina Courage), Kate Sobrero (Boston Breakers);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx (New York Power), Julie Foudy (San Diego Spirit), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Tiffany Roberts (Carolina Courage), Aly Wagner (San Diego Spirit);
FORWARDS (5): Mia Hamm (Washington Freedom), Shannon MacMillan (San Diego Spirit), Tiffeny Milbrett (New York Power), Cindy Parlow (Atlanta Beat), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom).
Head Coach: April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va.)
Assistant Coach: Bill Palladino (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Ct.)
Sport Psychology Consultant: Dr. Colleen Hacker (Tacoma, Wash.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Chicago)
Team Administrator: Heather Walles (Chicago)
Medical Doctor: Dr. Sandy Glasson (Virginia Beach, Va.)
Medical Trainer: Cody Malley (Apex, N.C.)
Julie O'Connell (Chicago)
Massage Therapists: Nestor Battung (Chicago)
Scott Street (Chicago)
Equipment Coordinator: James Armstrong (Chicago)
Logistics Coordinator: Rodd Bragg (Akron, Ohio)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (San Diego, Calif.)
2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Bio Shorts
Career WWC Stats = Games Played/Games Started, Minutes Played, Goals, Assists
SIRI MULLINIX - #18 (First Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: n/a
Mullinix, the 2000 Olympic starter, was dogged by injuries for the better part of 2001, but returned to the Washington Freedom lineup last season and helped her club to the WUSA title game with some stellar play. Back in form and playing as well as any goalkeeper in the WUSA, she helped her club back to the WUSA championship game this year, and then once again was solid in the nets as the Freedom won the league title. In the semifinal against the Boston Breakers, she made two saves in the penalty kick shootout to lead her team to victory after holding Boston scoreless for 105 minutes.
BRIANA SCURRY - #1 (Third Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 11/11, 1014, GA-7, Record-9-1-1, GAA-0.62
KYLIE BIVENS - #2 (First Women’s World Cup) -- Career WWC Stats: n/a
BRANDI CHASTAIN - #6 (Third Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 8/7, 693, 1G, 3A
JOY FAWCETT - #14 (Fourth Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 17/17, 1560, 3G, 3A
CHRISTIE PEARCE - #3 (Second Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 1/0, 17, 0G, 0A
CAT REDDICK - #4 (First Women’s World Cup) -- Career WWC Stats: n/a
DANIELLE SLATON - #17 (First Women’s World Cup) -- Career WWC Stats: n/a
KATE SOBRERO - #15 (Second Women’s World Cup) -- Career WWC Stats: 5/5, 435, 0G, 0A
SHANNON BOXX - #7 (First Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: n/a
JULIE FOUDY - #11 (Fourth Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 18/16, 1516, 3G, 4A
ANGELA HUCLES - #19 (First Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: n/a
KRISTINE LILLY - #13 (Fourth Women’s World Cup) – 18/17, 1524, 5G, 3A
TIFFANY ROBERTS - #5 (Third Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 6/5, 427, 0G, 1A
ALY WAGNER - #10 (First Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: n/a
MIA HAMM - #9 (Fourth Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 18/18, 1491, 6A, 7A
SHANNON MacMILLAN - #8 (Second Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 6/1, 253, 1G, 3A
TIFFENY MILBRETT - #16 (Third Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 12/9, 908, 6G, 0A
CINDY PARLOW - #12 (Second Women’s World Cup) – Career WWC Stats: 6/6, 429, 2G, 2A
ABBY WAMBACH - #20 (First Women’s World Cup) -- Career WWC Stats: n/a