US SoccerUS Soccer

U.S. Women Kick Off World Cup Year with January Training Camp

CHICAGO (January 2, 2007) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Greg Ryan will bring 28 players to The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., for a five-day training camp from Jan. 11-15, preceding the team’s trip to China for the 2007 Four Nations Tournament.

Following the camp, Ryan will name a 20-player roster for the prestigious tournament that features four of the top-12 teams in the world, including top-ranked Germany, as well as England (12), China (9) and the USA (2). All four teams will return to China from Sept. 10-30, for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.

This will be the sixth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations Tournament, an annual competition that always features four of the strongest teams in the world. The USA also participated in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006, taking top honors four times, winning in every year but 2002.

The Four Nations in 1998 saw the U.S. women return to China for the first time since winning the 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup there. When the Americans touch down in southeastern China in mid-January, it will mark the seventh time in the last 10 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. 26 against long-time rival Germany as the world’s top two women’s soccer teams clash. The USA will then play England on Jan. 28 and finish the tournament against host China on Jan. 30. The USA will play all three matches in Guangzhou, a bustling metropolis in Southeast China. Stadiums and kickoff times have yet to be finalized.

With several U.S. veterans not participating in the January training camp or the Four Nations Tournament - including the USA’s top two scorers from 2006 in Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly - the trip to China will be an excellent opportunity for several young forwards to show their talents.

Ryan will bring eight forwards to training camp, the two most experienced being 2004 Olympians Heather O’Reilly (22 years old) and Lindsay Tarpley (23). Also called-up were Natasha Kai (23), who burst onto the international scene last year to score six goals in her first 17 matches, and 19-year-old Lauren Cheney, a member of the U.S. team that played in the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship in Russia. Cheney, who has yet to earn a cap on the senior level, scored 21 goals in all matches for the U.S. U-20s in 2006 and followed that up with a spectacular freshman year at UCLA, where she scored 19 goals and helped lead the Bruins to the NCAA Final Four.

Also earning call-ups were 2006 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner Kerri Hanks of Notre Dame, a member of both U.S. teams that played in the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship, and Casey Nogueira, a reserve on the 2006 U-20 World Championship squad who came up big as a freshman for the UNC Tar Heels in the NCAA Final Four, scoring in both the semifinal and championship games. Rounding out the of forwards are former Santa Clara star Megan Kakadelas, a member of the USA’s 2002 U-19 World Championship winners, and former Penn State star Tiffany Weimer.

With veteran Aly Wagner not at this camp, young players will also have a chance to shine in the midfield. Joining 2006 Residency Camp members Angela Hucles, Joanna Lohman, Marci Miller, Carli Lloyd and Leslie Osborne (whose play at defensive midfield in place of the injured Shannon Boxx earned her a nomination for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year), are a trio of young midfielders who distinguished themselves at the U-20 and college levels in 2006. Leading the way are Brittany Bock of Notre Dame and Tobin Heath of UNC, both of whom started for the U.S. U-20s in Russia, as well as 5-foot-10 Yael Averbuch, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 for UNC who scored a team-leading 16 goals last season. Heath, a midfielder most of her youth career, also played in the back for the U-20s.

Boxx, who has started 58 games for the USA over the past four years, will re-join training camp as a non-rostered player, but only for light and non-contact work as she continues to rehabilitate a torn ACL suffered last July.

The camp will also bring Nogueira and Heath together for the first time in a WNT training camp. The duo famously starred together in “Ball Tricks Battle,” one of’s best-ever all_access videos (watch). Nogueira, who graduated from high school a year early to attend UNC, is the youngest player in camp and won’t turn 18 until February 23.

On the back line, veteran Christie Rampone will not be in camp, but the USA still has a slew of experienced defenders in Kate Markgraf, Cat Whitehill, Heather Mitts and Lori Chalupny. Young defenders Tina Frimpong, Stephanie Lopez (who captained the USA in Russia) and India Trotter all got excellent experience during the 2006 Residency Training Camp. Hard-nosed Stanford defender Rachel Buehler, a starter for the USA in both the 2002 and 2004 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championships, gets her second call-up to the WNT, while Penn State sophomore Sheree Gray, a flank midfielder on the 2004 U-19 team, earns her first.

Whitehill, who scored a career-high five goals from the back in 2006, is sitting on 99 caps and, should she make the roster, could make her historic 100th international appearance vs. Germany. At 24 years, 350 days, she would become the fifth youngest player ever to earn a 100th cap for the USA. Only Cindy Parlow, Mia Hamm, Lorrie Fair and Lilly (in that order) would have been younger.

In goal, U.S. veterans Hope Solo and Briana Scurry lead the way, while UCLA junior Val Henderson, who earned a spot on the FIFA All-Star Team last summer in Russia, will see action in her first-ever WNT training camp.

The U.S. training camp roster is filled with youth (it averages just 23 years of age) and features just seven players who were members of the USA’s 2004 Olympic gold medal-winning team. Eleven of the players have yet to earn a cap for the USA, and Trotter has just one.

Ryan called in four players from 2006 NCAA champion North Carolina in O’Reilly, Averbuch, Heath and Nogueira, and two players from runner-up Notre Dame in Hanks and Bock. Fifteen of the 28 players have played in a FIFA youth world championship for the USA, a major indication of the U-19/U-20 program’s impact on the senior team.

2007 Four Nations Tournament Schedule

Date Match-up City
Jan. 26 China vs. England Guangzhou, China
Jan. 26 USA vs. Germany Guangzhou, China
Jan. 28 China vs. Germany Guangzhou, China
Jan. 28 USA vs. England Guangzhou, China
Jan. 30 Germany vs. England Guangzhou, China
Jan. 30 USA vs. China Guangzhou, China

Training Camp Roster
Jan. 11-15, 2007
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Player Pos. Ht. DOB Hometown College Caps/Goals
Averbuch, Yael M 5-10  11/03/86  Upper Montclair, N.J. UNC   0/0
Bock, Brittany M 5-7  04/11/87  Naperville, Ill. Notre Dame 0/0
Buehler, Rachel D 5-5   08/26/85  Del Mar, Calif. Stanford  0/0
Cheney, Lauren F 5-8  09/30/87  Indianapolis, Ind. UCLA   0/0
Chalupny, Lori D 5-4  01/29/84  St. Louis, Mo. UNC   29/2
Frimpong, Tina D 5-9  05/20/82  Vancouver, Wash. Washington  17/0
Gray, Sheree D 5-2  12/12/85  Toms River, N.J. Penn State 0/0
Hanks, Kerri F 5-6  09/03/85  Allen, Texas Notre Dame 0/0
Heath, Tobin M 5-6  05/29/88  Basking Ridge, N.J. UNC   0/0
Henderson, Val GK 5-7  04/19/86  Orinda, Calif. UCLA   0/0
Hucles, Angela M 5-7  07/05/78  Virginia Beach, Va. Virginia  59/5
Kai, Natasha F 5-8  05/22/83  Kahuku, Hawaii Hawaii    17/6
Kakadelas, Megan F 5-9  07/26/83  Carlsbad, Calif. Santa Clara 0/0
Lloyd, Carli M 5-8  07/16/82  Delran, N.J. Rutgers   21/1
Lohman, Joanna M 5-5  06/26/82  Silver Spring, Md. Penn State 7/0
Lopez, Stephanie D 5-6  04/03/86  Elk Grove, Calif. Portland  9/0
Markgraf, Kate D 5-7  08/23/76  Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Notre Dame 153/0
Miller, Marci M 5-7  12/04/75  St. Charles, Ill. SMU   13/0
Mitts, Heather D 5-5   06/09/78  Cincinnati, Ohio Florida   63/2
Nogueira, Casey F 5-6  02/23/89  Cedarburg, Wis. UNC   0/0
O’Reilly, Heather F 5-5  01/02/85  East Brunswick, N.J. UNC   51/8
Osborne, Leslie M 5-8  05/27/83  Brookfield, Wis. Santa Clara 30/2
Scurry, Briana GK 5-8  09/07/71  Dayton, Minn. UMass   158
Solo, Hope GK 5-9  07/30/81  Richland, Wash.  Washington  37
Tarpley, Lindsay F 5-6  09/22/83  Kalamazoo, Mich. UNC   58/13
Trotter, India D 5-8  03/10/85  Plantation, Fla. Florida State 1/0
Weimer, Tiffany F 5-4  12/05/83  North Haven, Conn. Penn State 0/0
Whitehill, Cat D 5-5   02/10/82    Birmingham, Ala. UNC   99/11

GOALKEEPERS (3): Val Henderson (Orinda, Calif.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Tina Frimpong (Vancouver, Wash.), Sheree Gray (Toms River, N.J.), Stephanie Lopez (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);
MIDFIELDERS (8): Yael Averbuch (Upper Montclair, N.J.), Brittany Bock (Naperville, Ill.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, 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 (8): Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Kerri Hanks (Allen, Texas), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Megan Kakadelas (Carlsbad, Calif.), Casey Nogueira (Cedarburg, Wis.), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Tiffany Weimer (North Haven, Conn.) 

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.
Sports Psych. Consultant: Dr. Colleen Hacker - Tacoma, Wash.
Medical Trainer: Julie O’Connell - Chicago, Ill.
Medical Trainer: Greg Banks - Charleston, S.C.
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.