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U.S. Women Kick Off 2004 With Training Camp at HDC, Followed by Trip to China for Four Nations Tourney

CHICAGO (Tuesday, January 6, 2004) – The U.S. Women’s National Team’s road to Athens, Greece will start on Jan. 12 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as they kick off a busy 2004 schedule with an 11-day training camp followed by a trip to China for the annual Four Nations Tournament.

U.S. WNT head coach April Heinrichs has called in 27 players for the training camp and will choose a roster of 20 to travel to China where the USA will participate in a tournament that features three of the four semifinalists from the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In addition to China, who begins its preparation to host the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the USA will face its first and last opponents from the Women’s World Cup, opening the tournament against Women’s World Cup runner-up Sweden on Jan. 30. The USA will then face China on Feb. 1 and finish the tournament on Feb. 3 against Canada, who the USA beat 3-1 for third place at the Women’s World Cup. All six matches of the tournament will be played in Shenzhen, China, located just north of the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong in southern China.

Of the 27 players named to the training camp roster, 18 are from the 2003 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team and the other nine are a combination of top WUSA players and young players looking to make their mark as the USA begins preparation for qualifying for the 2004 Olympics in Greece. Following the Four Nations Tournament, the U.S. will return to action for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament taking place in Costa Rica from February 25-March 7, 2004. Following that tournament, the USA will travel to the Algarve Cup in Portugal in mid-March.

The U.S. won the Four Nations Tournament in January 2003, defeating Norway and eventual Women’s World Cup champion Germany, while falling to China, a loss that was avenged in the championship game of the 2003 Algarve Cup. The meeting with China at the Four Nations will be the first for the two countries since that Algarve Cup and the meetings with Sweden and Canada will be the first with those countries since the Women’s World Cup.

The training camp roster includes all three U.S. players who made the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team in co-captain Joy Fawcett, midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Mia Hamm, as well as veterans Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and co-captain Julie Foudy. The roster does include two new names that belong to familiar players, as Christie Pearce and Kate Sobrero will now go by their married names of Rampone and Markgraf, respectively.

Of the young players called in, the roster includes four members of North Carolina’s 2003 NCAA Championship Team in defender Cat Reddick, who played so well in place of the injured Brandi Chastain at the 2003 Women’s World Cup, forward Heather O’Reilly, who was the Offensive MVP of the NCAA Final Four, forward Lindsay Tarpley, who scored 23 goals with 27 assists this year for the Tar Heels and is one of three finalists (along with Reddick and Penn State’s Joanna Lohman) for the 2003 MAC Hermann Trophy, and midfielder Lori Chalupny, who played a stellar match in the NCAA title game.

U-21 and U-19 midfield star Leslie Osborne, the WCC Player of the Year from Santa Clara, gets her second call-up to the full National Team. O’Reilly (a freshman), Tarpley (a sophomore), Chalupny (a sophomore) and Osborne (a junior) were all starters on the USA’s 2002 Under-19 World Championship Team. In addition, defender Amy LePeilbet, who finished her eligibility at Arizona State last fall, gets her first call-up to the full national team after playing well for the U.S. Under-21s during the last two Nordic Cup championship runs, playing every minute of every match in both tournaments.

The 27-player roster includes four goalkeepers as Kristen Luckenbill and Jenni Branam join veterans Briana Scurry and Siri Mullinix. Luckenbill was the 2002 WUSA Goalkeeper of the Year for the Carolina Courage, while Branam emerged as one of the top goalkeepers in the league during the second half of her rookie season in 2003 for the San Diego Spirit.

Heinrichs has also called in former Philadelphia Charge defender Heather Mitts, who spent the 2003 Women’s World Cup doing TV commentary for ESPN and ABC, and Stacey Tullock, who gets her second call-up after proving herself as one of the top defensive midfielders in the WUSA for the Charge.

U.S. Women’s National Team Training Camp Roster
January 12-23, 2004
Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)

1Scurry, BrianaGK5'9"09/07/71Dayton, Minn.UMass127/0
2Bivens, KylieD5'5"10/24/78Upland, Calif.Santa Clara16/0
3Rampone, Christie*D5'6"06/24/75Point Pleasant, N.J.Monmouth108/4
4Reddick, CatD5'5"02/10/82Birmingham, Ala.North Carolina34/1
5Roberts, TiffanyM5'3"05/05/77San Ramon, Calif.North Carolina105/7
6Chastain, BrandiD5'7"07/21/68San Jose, Calif.Santa Clara172/30
7Boxx, ShannonM5'8"06/29/77Redondo Beach, Calif.Notre Dame9/4
8MacMillan, ShannonF5'5"10/07/74Escondido, Calif.Portland159/59
9Hamm, MiaF5'5"03/17/72Chapel Hill, N.C.North Carolina245/144
10Wagner, AlyM5'5"08/10/80San Jose, Calif.Santa Clara53/12
11Foudy, JulieM5'6"01/23/71Mission Viejo, Calif.Stanford239/42
12Parlow, CindyF5'11"05/08/78Memphis, Tenn.North Carolina134/65
13Lilly, KristineM5'4"07/22/71Wilton, Conn.North Carolina263/93
14Fawcett, JoyD5'6"02/08/68Huntington Beach, Calif.California224/26
15Markgraf, Kate*D5'7"08/23/76Bloomfield Hills, Mich.Notre Dame104/0
18Mullinix, SiriGK5'8"05/22/78Greensboro, N.C.North Carolina41/0
19Hucles, AngelaM5'7"07/05/78Virginia Beach, Va.Virginia24/1
20Wambach, AbbyF5'11"06/02/80Rochester, N.Y.Florida22/14
21Mitts, HeatherD5'5"06/06/78Cincinnati, OhioFlorida5/0
22Branam, JenniGK5'7"10/08/80Placentia, Calif.North Carolina5/0
23Chalupny, LoriM5'4"01/29/84St. Louis, Mo.North Carolina4/0
24Luckenbill, KristenGK5'9"05/28/79Paoli, Pa.Dartmouth0/0
25Tarpley, LindsayM5'6"09/22/83Kalamazoo, Mich.North Carolina7/0
26Osborne, LeslieM5'8"05/27/83Menomonee Falls, Wis.Santa Clara0/0
27O’Reilly, HeatherF5'5"01/02/85East Brunswick, N.J.North Carolina18/3
28Tullock, StaceyM5'7"09/20/78Phoenix, Ariz.Arizona State0/0
29LePeilbet, AmyD5'5"03/12/82Reno, Nev.Arizona State0/0

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jenni Branam, Briana Scurry, Kristen Luckenbill, Siri Mullinix;
DEFENDERS (8): Kylie Bivens, Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Kate Markgraf (*nee Sobrero), Heather Mitts, Amy LePeilbet, Christie Rampone (*nee Pearce), Cat Reddick;
MIDFIELDERS (10): Shannon Boxx, Lori Chalupny, Julie Foudy, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly, Leslie Osborne, Tiffany Roberts, Lindsay Tarpley, Stacey Tullock, Aly Wagner;
FORWARDS (5): Mia Hamm, Shannon MacMillan, Heather O’Reilly, Cindy Parlow, Abby Wambach.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Staff -
Head Coach: April Heinrichs (Gainesville, Va.)
Goalkeeper Coach: Phil Wheddon (Monroe, Conn.)
General Manager: Nils Krumins (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)
Medical Doctor: Dr. Chris Amann (Chicago, Ill.)
Medical Trainer: Joan Reed (Stone Mountain, Ga.)
Massage Therapist: Johnny Zecopoulos (Charleston, S.C.)
Massage Therapist: Scott Street (Chicago, Ill.)
Logistics Coordinator: Mark Pharris (Atlanta, Ga.)
Press Officer: Aaron Heifetz (San Diego, Calif.)