CHICAGO (Thursday, April 10, 2003) - U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs has named the 24-woman roster that will train for four days before facing Nigeria in an important Women's World Cup warm-up match at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Kickoff is at Noon ET and the match will be televised live on ESPN2. The game will be followed by a WUSA contest featuring the hometown Washington Freedom against the Atlanta Beat that will kick off at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Heinrichs called in all 20 players that helped the USA win the prestigious Algarve Cup in Portugal last month, adding midfielder Jena Kluegel (Boston Breakers), forward Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom), defender Thori Bryan (San Jose CyberRays) and goalkeeper LaKeysia Beene (CyberRays). Heinrichs will choose a roster of 18 players to face perennial African champion Nigeria, which won the African Women's Championships late last year to earn a berth to the 2003 Women's World Cup.
The Super Falcons have participated in all three Women's World Cup tournaments and the 2000 Olympics, and in 1999, became the first African team to advance out of the first round in a women's world championship event. Nigeria defeated Ghana, 2-0, in the African Women's Championship last December after earning its berth to China with a 5-0 win over South Africa in the semifinal. Perpetua Kkwocha scored four goals for Nigeria in that tournament while star forward "Marvelous" Mercy Akide, who played two seasons for the San Diego Spirit in the WUSA and scored against the USA at the 2000 Olympics, scored three goals, as did forward Stella Mbachu. Young midfielder Ifeanyichukwu Chiejine, who captained Nigeria's U-19 National Team at last year's FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship in Canada, scored twice in the qualification tournament.
"This will be our ninth game against a World Cup opponent this year," said Heinrichs. "Nigeria is an athletic foe that poses tremendous physical adjustments for our players and team. They have speed and quickness and their tackling presence is frightening. We have been working to get a game with Nigeria for two years as we haven't seen them since the Olympics. It's a wonderful pre-World Cup match-up for us because historically we've seen that CONCACAF teams often get put in the same group with African countries, so Nigeria could very well be one of our opponents in the World Cup."
Of the 24 players on the roster, 21 are playing in the WUSA this season with two players still in college - defender Cat Reddick and midfielder Lindsay Tarpley of UNC - and one in high school, forward Heather O'Reilly. The world's all-time leading scorer Mia Hamm, and goalkeeper Siri Mullinix, join Wambach as the three Freedom players on the roster.
The match serves as important Women's World Cup preparation for the U.S. women, who have drawn an African team - Nigeria - in first round play for the last two world championship events, the 1999 Women's World Cup and the 2000 Olympics. Those games were the only meetings in history between the USA and Nigeria. The USA faced Nigeria in the second game of the first round at the 1999 Women's World Cup, allowing a goal just seconds into the match before storming back for an historic 7-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd at Soldier Field in Chicago. The two teams also met in the "Group of Death" at the 2000 Olympics, with the USA coming away with a 3-1 victory in Melbourne, Australia.
Following the game against Nigeria, the U.S. Women will face England in Birmingham, Ala., on May 17 (in a match being televised live on ESPN at 12 p.m. CT). The U.S. Women will also face South Korea in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 14 (7 p.m. MT / 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
U.S. Women's National Team
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass/Atlanta||116/0|
|2||Fair, Lorrie||M||5'3"||08/05/78||Los Altos, Calif.||North Carolina/Philadelphia||113/7|
|3||Pearce, Christie||D||5'6"||06/24/75||Pt. Pleasant, N.J.||Monmouth/New York||97/4|
|4||Reddick, Cat||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina/--||30/1|
|5||Roberts, Tiffany||M||5'3"||05/05/77||San Ramon, Calif.||North Carolina/Carolina||96/7|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Jose||167/29|
|7||Kluegel, Jena||M||5'3"||11/02/79||Mahtomedi, Minn.||North Carolina/Boston||24/1|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland/San Diego||152/54|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||233/138|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Diego||41/10|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||1/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford/San Diego||225/39|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina/Atlanta||122/57|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina/Boston||249/90|
|14||Fawcett, Joy||D||5'6"||02/08/68||Huntington Beach, Calif.||California/San Diego||211/26|
|15||Sobrero, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame/Boston||91/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5'3"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland/New York||187/96|
|17||Slaton, Danielle||D||5'6"||06/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/Carolina||36/1|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||37/0|
|19||Hucles, Angela||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia/Boston||18/1|
|20||Tarpley, Lindsay||F||5'6"||09/22/83||Kalamazoo, Mich.||North Carolina/--||6/0|
|21||Bryan, Thori||D||5'8"||04/17/74||Joppatowne, Md.||N.C. State/San Jose||63/1|
|22||Wambach, Abby||F||5'10"||06/02/80||Rochester, N.Y.||Florida/Washington||9/5|
|23||O'Reilly, Heather||F||5'4"||01/02/85||East Brunswick, N.J.||--/PDA Torpedoes||16/2|
|24||Beene, LaKeysia||GK||5'8"||03/09/78||Gold River, Calif.||Notre Dame/San Jose||16/0|
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, Ill.)
Medical Doctor: Dr. Brett Barnes (St. Louis)
Medical Trainer: Gigi Garcia (Miami)
Massage Therapists: Nestor Battung (Chicago)
Scott Street (Chicago)
Team Coordinator: Heather Walles (Chicago)
Equipment Coordinator: James Armstrong (Chicago)
Logistics Coordinator: Rod Bragg (Akron, Ohio)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (San Diego, Calif.)