CHICAGO (Wednesday, October 16, 2002) - U.S. Women's National Team head coach April Heinrichs has named the 18 players who will attempt to qualify the United States for the 2003 Women's World Cup in China. The USA's regional qualification tournament is being played as the eight-team 2002 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup, taking place from Oct. 27-Nov. 9, 2002, at four venues on the west coast of the United States and Canada. All 16 matches of the tournament will be televised live on Fox Sports World.
The USA, which has been placed in Group 1 along with Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and Panama, needs to advance to the championship game on Nov. 9 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to earn one of two automatic berths afforded to the CONCACAF region for the 4th FIFA Women's World Cup, taking place from Sept. 24-Oct. 11, 2003 at four venues in western China.
The U.S. women have not played a Women's World Cup qualification match since Aug. 21, 1994, when the Americans downed Canada, 6-0, to win the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Montreal. The USA had earned its berth to the 1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden with an 11-1 thrashing of T & T in the semifinals. Of the 18 players named to this roster, seven played on that 1994 team: Briana Scurry, Joy Fawcett, Tiffany Roberts, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Mia Hamm and Tiffeny Milbrett.
When the USA kicks off against Mexico, it will end a stretch of more than eight years and 182 matches between qualification games, and the roster will be representative of several generations of U.S. players.
Of the USA's most experienced veterans (Lilly, Fawcett, Hamm and Foudy also played in qualification for the 1991 Women's World Cup), several are closing in on some unique career milestones. With her goal against Italy at the Nike U.S. Women's Cup on Oct. 6, Lilly tied Michelle Akers for second on the USA's all-time scoring list with 247 points (89 goals and 69 assists) and with her next point will trail only Hamm in U.S. history.
Both Lilly and Milbrett (with 88) are chasing 100 careers goals with the U.S. women, a milestone that would put them in the most exclusive club in international soccer as just four players have previously reached that mark.
Fawcett is just two caps away from 200, a number she would reach should she play in both the Mexico and T & T games, with the 200th coming in Fullerton, Calif., just a short distance up the freeway from her hometown of Huntington Beach, Calif. Fawcett, who took time off from the national team in three separate blocks to have three daughters, would become just the fourth player to play 200 times for her country, joining teammates Lilly, Hamm and Foudy.
The naming of Scurry and Roberts to the roster represents a comeback of sorts for both players. Roberts, who as a 17-year-old played in the 1994 CONCACAF Qualification Tournament, was a member of the 1995 and 1999 Women's World Cup teams, but did not play for the national team for more than two years before starting against Norway on July 21 of this year during her stellar season for the WUSA champion Carolina Courage.
Scurry was the USA's starter in both the 1995 and 1999 Women's World Cups. Her splendid goalkeeping throughout USA '99 and her historic save in the penalty kick shootout in the championship game against China helped the U.S. to the title. Following the 1999 Women's World Cup, Scurry fell out of favor due to a lack of fitness and injuries, and did not play for the USA for almost a two-year span, playing on Aug. 20, 2000, and returning last July 21 against Norway. She is by far the most-capped goalkeeper in U.S. history with 107 appearances. Siri Mullinix, the 2000 Olympic starter who has also overcome injuries to re-earn an important roster spot, joins Scurry on the roster and is the second most capped 'keeper with 33 games.
Forward Cindy Parlow, who has scored 52 international goals, is just one goal away from tying Carin Gabarra for fifth on the all-time list. Parlow, who took over Gabarra's number 12 jersey for the USA, and was the youngest U.S. player to ever reach 100 caps, has 111 appearances for the USA while Gabarra retired with 117.
The least-capped player on the roster is midfielder Angela Hucles, whose solid play in six matches this year earned her a spot. Heinrichs also choose two college players in Cat Reddick and Aly Wagner and one high school senior in Heather O'Reilly. Reddick, a junior at the University of North Carolina, has 20 games for the USA since debuting in July of 2000. Wagner, a senior at Santa Clara and a prime candidate for the college player of the year, has 27 caps and experience in the USA's residency camps for both the 1999 Women's World Cup and 2000 Olympics.
O'Reilly, who attends East Brunswick High School in New Jersey, is by far the youngest player on the roster, but will not be the youngest ever to play for the USA in qualifying. That distinction belongs to Roberts, who was 17 years, 3 months and eight days old when she played her first qualifier against Mexico on August 13, 1994. O'Reilly, born January 2, 1985, is already several months older. O'Reilly, as part of the "new Triple-Edged Sword," was one of the stars of the USA's 2002 FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship team, scoring four goals and recording seven assists as the USA won the historic inaugural world championship.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at each venue. For more information, log on to ussoccer.com.
U.S. Women's National Team Roster
|1||Scurry, Briana||GK||5'9"||09/07/71||Dayton, Minn.||UMass/Atlanta||107/0|
|2||Fair, Lorrie||M||5'3"||08/05/78||Los Altos, Calif.||North Carolina/Philadelphia||103/7|
|3||Hucles, Angela||M||5'7"||07/05/78||Virginia Beach, Va.||Virginia/Boston||6/0|
|4||Reddick, Cat||D||5'5"||02/10/82||Birmingham, Ala.||North Carolina/--||20/1|
|5||Roberts, Tiffany||M||5'3"||05/05/77||San Ramon, Calif.||North Carolina/Carolina||85/6|
|6||Chastain, Brandi||D||5'7"||07/21/68||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/San Jose||153/28|
|7||O'Reilly, Heather||F||5'4"||01/02/85||East Brunswick, N.J.||--/PDA Splash||7/1|
|8||MacMillan, Shannon||F||5'5"||10/07/74||Escondido, Calif.||Portland/San Diego||141/48|
|9||Hamm, Mia||F||5'5"||03/17/72||Chapel Hill, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||224/135|
|10||Wagner, Aly||M||5'5"||08/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/--||27/7|
|11||Foudy, Julie||M||5'6"||01/23/71||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Stanford/San Diego||215/39|
|12||Parlow, Cindy||F||5'11"||05/08/78||Memphis, Tenn.||North Carolina/Atlanta||111/52|
|13||Lilly, Kristine||M||5'4"||07/22/71||Wilton, Conn.||North Carolina/Boston||240/89|
|14||Fawcett, Joy||D||5'6"||02/08/68||Huntington Beach, Calif.||California/San Diego||198/26|
|15||Sobrero, Kate||D||5'7"||08/23/76||Bloomfield Hills, Mich.||Notre Dame/Boston||79/0|
|16||Milbrett, Tiffeny||F||5'3"||10/23/72||Portland, Ore.||Portland/New York||178/88|
|17||Slaton, Danielle||D||5'6"||06/10/80||San Jose, Calif.||Santa Clara/Carolina||35/1|
|18||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5'8"||05/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina/Washington||33/0|
Head Coach: April Heinrichs (Charlottesville, Va.)
Asst. Coach: Bill Palladino (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
GK Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Ct.)