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Ryan Names 20 Players for Four Nations Tournament

CHICAGO (January 15, 2007) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan has named the 20-player roster for the 2007 Four Nations Tournament in Guangzhou, China, taking place from Jan. 26-30. The U.S. will face Germany (Jan. 26), England (Jan. 28) and China (Jan. 30) in the annual competition that brings together four of the world’s top women’s soccer teams. All the matches will be played at Guangdong Olympic Stadium in Guangzhou.

Ryan chose the roster after a five-day training camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., that featured 28 players. This will be the sixth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations tournament. The USA also participated in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, taking top honors four times, winning in every year but 2002.

Without several veterans, the U.S. will bring a young roster to the tournament, but several experienced players will still lead the way. Defender Kate Markgraf, who will captain the U.S. team in the absence of Kristine Lilly, has 153 caps and four world championship tournaments on her resume. In addition to Markgraf, Ryan named six other players who were members of the 2004 Olympic Team in goalkeeper Briana Scurry, defenders Cat Whitehill and Heather Mitts, midfielder Angela Hucles and forwards Lindsay Tarpley and Heather O’Reilly. Hope Solo, who started 18 of the USA’s 22 matches last year, earning 13 shutouts, joins Scurry as the two goalkeepers on the roster.

For Whitehill, her first match at the Four Nations Tournament will be her 100th career cap. Should she play against Germany in the USA’s first match of the competition, at 24 years, 350 days, she would become the fifth youngest player and 19th overall to earn a 100th cap for the USA. Only Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm, Lorrie Fair and Lilly (in that order) would have been younger.

This will be one of the youngest rosters the USA has ever taken into a major tournament, with 14 of the 20 players aged 24 or under. Ryan named three uncapped players to the roster in 2006 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Yael Averbuch, 20, from UNC, Lauren Cheney, 19, who scored 19 goals as a freshman at UCLA last season, and Casey Nogueira,l 17, who played a major role at the 2006 Final Four, scoring in both the semifinal and championship game to help the Tar Heels to the NCAA title. Averbuch was a member of the U.S. team that played in the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Cup in Thailand while Cheney and Nogueira were members of the U.S. team that played in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. Ryan also named Florida State star India Trotter, who earned her first and thus far only career cap at the Four Nations last year.

As all four teams at the Four Nations will be participating in the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the tournament will serve as a simulated run-through of a Women’s World Cup group, giving each team valuable experience in the country that will host the Women’s World Cup in a little less than eight months.

Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (7): Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (6): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Joanna Lohman (Silver Spring, Md.), Marci Miller (St. Charles, Ill.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.);
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.).

Team Staff:
Head Coach: Greg Ryan (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Asst. Coach: Bret Hall (St. Charles, Ill.)
Asst. Coach: Billy McNicol (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
GK Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Team Physician: Dr. Scott Powell (Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Team Physician: Dr. Chris Amann (Chicago, Ill.)
Medical Trainer: Michelle Gould (Wilmington, Del.) 
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Atlanta, Ga.)
Massage Therapist: Jarrod Fritz (Charleston, S.C.)          
Equipment Manager: Jeanine Avila (West Covina, Calif.)
Team Security: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Videographer: Noelle Jouglet (San Diego, Calif.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (Cypress, Calif.)