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Ryan Names Roster of 28 for Training Camp as U.S. WNT Heads to Four Nations Tournament for Fifth Time

  • Lilly On Verge of 300th Cap That May Come Against Norway on Jan. 18
  • USA Will Face China, Norway and France in Guangzhou, China
  • Ryan Will Name 20 Players for Tournament as USA Starts Year in Host Country for the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup
  • Rampone and Scurry Return to National Team

CHICAGO (December 21, 2005) – The U.S. Women’s National Team will begin its 2006 schedule in the country in which it hopes to end 2007, traveling to China for the highly competitive Four Nations Tournament that will be contested from Jan. 18-22 featuring the USA, Norway, France and China. A week of training at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 3-9, will precede the trip to the Far East. China will host the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup from Sept. 23-Oct. 13, 2007.
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan has called in 28 players and will use the week of training at the HDC to select 20 for the tournament in Guangzhou that features four of the world’s top ten teams according the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings. The USA is currently second, Norway is third, France is fifth and host China is ninth.

The trip marks the fifth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations tournament, also participating in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Three times the USA has won the tournament, which always features four of the strongest teams in the world, taking top honors in 1998, 2003 and 2004. The tournament in 1998 marked the first time the U.S. women had returned to China since winning the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup. When the Americans touch down in southeastern China, it will be the sixth time in the last nine years they will have traveled to China, which includes a trip in 2001 that featured two exhibitions against the Steel Roses.

The USA will open the tournament on Jan. 18 against long-time rival Norway before facing France on Jan. 20 during the second match day. The USA will finish the tournament on Jan. 22 with one of the world’s toughest international women’s matches, facing China on their home soil. All the U.S. games will kick off at 4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET.

The USA’s tournament opener against Norway could mark a historic milestone for U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, as she is poised to earn her 300th cap. Already the world’s leader in international matches played for men or women with 299 caps, Lilly would become the first player in soccer history to play 300 times for their country. Adding to the uniqueness of the event, Lilly earned her first-ever cap at the age of 16 in China more than 18 years ago.

Should she earn cap number 300 against Norway, it will also mark the 30th time she has played against the Norwegians, who defeated the USA on the way to the Women’s World Cup title in 1995 and the Olympic gold medal in 2000. The USA defeated Norway to win the 1991 Women’s World Cup and also on the way to the 1996 Olympic gold medal.

Lilly hitting the 300-cap mark, a previously unimaginable milestone, is just one achievement in a long line of amazing accomplishments. The “Queen of Caps” has started in every single world championship match ever contested by the USA, has scored 104 career goals (fifth best all-time for women) and has started 288 of her 299 caps, meaning she has come off the bench just 11 times in her 18-year career.
Lilly heads a roster that features nine members of the 2004 Olympic gold medal winning squad, including goalkeeper Briana Scurry and defender Christie Rampone, both of whom return to the fold after a year away from the National Team. Rampone took the year off to have her first child last October and Scurry, the USA’s starter in five of its last six world championship tournaments, stepped away from the team to ponder retirement, but will now make a run for the 2007 Women’s World Cup Team.

The training camp roster also features the USA’s leading goal scorers from 2005 in Christie Welsh (seven goals, one assist), Abby Wambach (four goals, five assists) and Danielle Fotopoulos (four goals), as well as forward Tiffeny Milbrett and her 100 career goals. The U.S. women went undefeated in nine matches in 2005 and did not allow a goal while piling up an 8-0-1 record. The USA’s current shutout streak is at 928 minutes and extends back to December of 2004.

In addition to Lilly, Scurry, Rampone and Wambach, the 2004 gold medallists on the training camp roster include defender Heather Mitts, midfielders Shannon Boxx, Lindsay Tarpley and Aly Wagner and forward Heather O’Reilly. Boxx was in Zurich, Switzerland, earlier this week for the FIFA World Player Gala as one of three finalists for FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year (won for the third time in a row by German Über-forward Birgit Prinz).

The roster is chock full of youth as Ryan continues to give young players a chance to make an impact on the National Team. Twelve of the 28 players are 23 years old or younger, including defenders Amy LePeilbet and Lori Chalupny, both of whom played significant minutes for the USA for the first time in 2005.

Several young midfielders are also looking to challenge veterans Lilly, Boxx and Wagner for playing time. Tarpley, along with Leslie Osborne, a member of the 2004 Olympic Residency Camp, and Carli Lloyd, who earned her first two caps in 2005, are all dynamic midfielders who have shown they can score and play-make.

Ryan also called in three players from the 2005 NCAA Champion Portland Pilots in defender Stephanie Lopez, midfielder Angie Woznuk and forward Megan Rapinoe. All three were members of the U.S. team that took third at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand. Both Woznuk and Rapinoe scored in the 3-0 victory over Brazil in the third place match. Lopez, who is age-eligible for the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, has one senior team cap, earned at the Algarve Cup last year. Wozuk also has one cap, earned against Iceland at The Home Depot Center last July. This will be Rapinoe’s first call-up to the senior team. Like Woznuk, she scored three times for the USA in Thailand.

In addition to Rapinoe, Ryan has called in three other uncapped players. They are former Philadelphia Charge star Stacey Tullock, who trained with the USA in 2004 and 2005, and two of college soccer’s top players, Kendall Fletcher of UNC and India Trotter of Florida State, who will both see their first action with the full national team. Fletcher was a starter on the U.S. team that won the inaugural FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship in Canada in 2002, and also on the USA’s U-21 Nordic Cup championship team last summer. Marci Miller, a defensive midfielder who earned her first two caps in 2005, was also named to the roster.

Rounding out the corps of defenders are Jill Oakes, who anchored a UCLA back line that racked up 18 shutouts in 2005 and Tina Frimpong, one of the fastest players in U.S. history continues to make the transition to defender after scoring 42 goals during her college career as a forward at the University of Washington.
Ryan has called in four goalkeepers in Hope Solo, who had a stellar year while earning seven of the USA’s nine shutouts in 2005, Nicole Barnhart, who earned the other two, Jenni Branam and Scurry.

The USA has not faced Norway since the championship game of the 2004 Algarve Cup, a 4-1 win for the Americans that evened the all-time series at 18-18-2. The USA has actually defeated Norway in the last five matches and will be looking to take a lead in the all-time series for the first time since 1990, when the Americans were 3-2-0 after five games.

The USA last faced France in the opening game of the 2005 Algarve Cup in Portugal, a 1-0 win on a goal from Welsh. The USA has won all nine meetings with the French in their history.

The USA’s last meeting with China came on Aug. 1, 2004, in the final match before leaving for the 2004 Olympics. The USA’s 3-1 victory sent them to Greece on a high note and moved the series to 14-8-10 in favor of the USA. The USA’s record against China in China is 2-3-5 all-time.

2006 Four Nations Tournament Schedule – Guangzhou, China

Date Match Kickoff Local Kickoff ET
Jan. 18 China vs. France 1:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m.
  USA vs. Norway 4 p.m. 3 a.m.
Jan. 20 China vs. Norway 1:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m.
  USA vs. France 4 p.m. 3 a.m.
Jan. 22 France vs. Norway 1:30 p.m. 12:30 a.m.
  USA vs. China 4 p.m. 3 a.m.

Home Depot Center -- Jan. 3-9, 2006

Player Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/G
Barnhart, Nicole GK 5-10 10/10/81 Gilbertsville, Pa. Stanford 3
Branam, Jenni GK 5-7 10/08/80 Placentia, Calif. UNC 5
Boxx, Shannon M 5-8 06/29/77 Redondo Beach, Calif. Notre Dame 50/13
Chalupny, Lori D 5-4 01/29/84 St. Louis, Mo. UNC 15/2
Fletcher, Kendall D 5-6 11/11/84 Cary, N.C. UNC 0/0
Fotopoulos, Danielle F 5-11 03/24/76 Altamonte Springs, Calif. Florida 35/16
Frimpong, Tina D 5-9 05/20/82 Vancouver, Wash. Washington 3/0
LePeilbet, Amy D 5-7 03/12/82 Reno, Nev. Arizona State 10/0
Lilly, Kristine M 5-4 07/22/71 Wilton, Conn. UNC 299/104
Lloyd, Carli M 5-8 07/16/82 Delran, N.J. Rutgers 2/0
Lopez, Stephanie D 5-6 04/03/86 Elk Grove, Calif. Portland 1/0
Milbrett, Tiffeny F 5-2 10/23/72 Portland, Ore. Portland 204/100
Miller, Marci M 5-7 07/18/84 St. Charles, Ill. SMU 2/0
Mitts, Heather D 5-5 06/06/78 Cincinnati, Ohio Florida 41/2
Oakes, Jill D 5-7 07/18/84 West Hills, Calif. UCLA 1/0
O'Reilly, Heather F 5-5 01/02/85 East Brunswick, N.J. UNC 37/5
Osborne, Leslie M 5-8 05/27/83 Brookfield, Wis. Santa Clara 11/0
Rampone, Christie D 5-6 06/24/75 Pt. Pleasant, N.J. Montmouth 136/4
Rapinoe, Megan F 5-7 07/05/85 Redding, Calif. Portland 0/0
Scurry, Briana GK 5-8 09/07/71 Dayton, Minn. UMass 155
Solo, Hope GK 5-9 07/30/81 Richland, Wash. Washington 19
Tarpley, Lindsay M 5-6 09/22/83 Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC 38/8
Trotter, India F 5-8 03/10/85 Plantation, Fla. Florida State 0/0
Tullock, Stacey M 5-7 09/20/78 Phoenix, Ariz. Arizona State 0/0
Wagner, Aly M 5-5 08/10/80 San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara 88/19
Wambach, Abby F 5-11 06/02/80 Rochester, N.Y. Florida 63/49
Welsh, Christie F 5-10 02/27/81 Massapequa Park, N.Y. Penn State 32/20
Woznuk, Angie M 5-5 03/29/85 El Cajon, Calif. Portland 1/0

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart, Jenni Branam, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;
DEFENDERS (8): Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Jill Oakes, Christie Rampone;
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley, Stacey Tullock, Aly Wagner, Angie Woznuk;
FORWARDS (7): Danielle Fotopoulos, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, India Trotter, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.

Team Staff:
Head Coach: Greg Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall (St. Charles, Ill.)
GK Coach: Bill Irwin (Portland, Ore.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Medical Trainer: Todd Daniels (Portland, Ore.)
Team Doctor: Scott Powell (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Atlanta, Ga.)
Massage Therapist: Kara Mirarchi (Boston, Mass.)
Mental Skills Coach: Jeff Troesch (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Equipment Manager: Zac Herndon (Long Beach, Calif.)
Team Security: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Long Beach, Calif.) is the official site of U.S. Soccer, the governing body of soccer in the United States.