Future Stars Get Chance to Make Their Mark Down Under; U.S. Women will Bring Young Talent to Australia Cup
CHICAGO (Sunday, December 26, 1999) - The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team will bring a young squad consisting mostly of college stars to the Australia Cup, played in Melbourne and Adelaide from Jan. 7-13, 2000. The Americans will face the Czech Republic (Jan. 7), Sweden (Jan. 10) and Australia (Jan. 13) in the four-team, six-game tournament that will kick off Olympic preparations with the first games of 2000. With the Women's World Cup veterans still in contract negotiations with U.S. Soccer, numerous young stars will get their first chance to make an impact in a full international match.
Twelve members of the 18-player roster played college soccer last season, three are high school seniors poised to enter college next fall and just three are out of college. Almost all the young players have seen significant action with the U.S. Under-21 and Under-18 National Teams. Leading the way for the newcomers is forward Mandy Clemens from Santa Clara University, who swept both post-season player of the year awards, winning the Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year and the Hermann Trophy. She scored 24 goals with 23 assists to lead her team through an undefeated regular season.
Seven players on the roster will be looking for their first cap. Nine more players have just three caps or less. Just one player on the roster has scored a goal in a full international match, that being midfielder Aly Wagner who tallied against Japan in May of this year. Ten member of last summer's Under-21 Nordic Cup championship team will make the trip, including forward Susan Bush, Wagner and defender Michelle French, all part of the USA's pre-Women's World Cup residency camp in Florida. French has captained the youth national team for the past three years. Joining that trio will be Nordic Cup alumni midfielders Jenny Mascaro (formerly Streiffer) and Heather Aldama, and defender Danielle Slaton. Both goalkeepers -- Siri Mullinix and Lakeysia Beene -- have been part of Under-21 Nordic Cup teams for the past three years.
The three high school seniors are midfielders Veronica Zepeda and Aleisha Cramer (also Nordic Cup veterans) and defender Nandi Pryce. Cramer has played for the U.S. U-16, U-18, U-21 and full national teams in the past two years. When she played against Ukraine at the end of 1998, she became the third youngest U.S. player ever to play a full international at 16 years, 141 days. The veteran member of the group, by far, is Thori Bryan, who has 53 caps as was on the USA's 1995 Women's World Cup Team. Rounding out the roster is defender Kelly Lindsey, midfielders Mary Frances Monroe and Nikki Serlenga, and forwards Christy Welsh and Sherrill Kester. Lindsey, Serlenga and Welsh all showed extremely well for their college teams at the 1999 College Cup in San Jose, Calif., earning them call-ups for the Australia Cup. Welsh put together an amazing freshman year, scoring 27 goals with 13 assists for Penn State.
With a new head coach not yet named after the resignation of Tony DiCicco, Women's World Cup assistant coaches Lauren Gregg and Jay Hoffman will guide the team in the Australia Cup.
|United States Women's National Team Roster|
|Jan. 7 vs. Czech Republic, Jan. 10 vs. Sweden, Jan. 13 vs. Australia|
|1||Mullinix, Siri||GK||5-8||145||5/22/78||Greensboro, N.C.||North Carolina||1/0|
|2||Bryan, Thori||D||5-8||140||4/17/74||Joppatowne, Md.||N.C. State||53/0|
|3||Lindsey, Kelly||D||5-7||140||9/3/79||Omaha, Neb.||Notre Dame||0/0|
|4||Pryce, Nandi||D||5-10||140||5/30/82||Casselberry, Fla.||C.F. United||0/0|
|5||Clemens, Mandy||F||5-5||125||9/3/78||San Diego, Ca.||Santa Clara||1/0|
|6||Zepeda, Veronica||M||5-0||100||6/11/82||Riverside, Ca.||Claremont Stars||1/0|
|7||Wagner, Aly||M||5-5||120||8/10/80||San Jose, Ca.||Santa Clara||6/1|
|8||Monroe, Mary Frances||M||5-0||115||2/7/80||Tariffville, Ct.||UConn||0/0|
|9||Bush, Susan||F||5-4||120||11/10/80||Houston, Tex.||North Carolina||3/0|
|10||Cramer, Aleisha||M||5-10||130||7/29/82||Lakewood, Co.||Colorado Rush||2/0|
|11||French, Michelle||D||5-4||135||1/27/77||Kent, Wash.||Portland||3/0|
|12||Welsh, Christie||F||5-10||150||2/27/81||Massapeaqua Park, N.Y.||Penn State||0/0|
|13||Mascaro, Jenny||M||5-6||130||5/25/78||Baton Rouge, La.||Notre Dame||1/0|
|14||Aldama, Heather||M||5-2||110||12/1/78||Redlands, Ca.||Santa Clara||2/0|
|15||Serlanga, Nikki||M||5-7||130||6/20/78||San Diego, Ca.||Santa Clara||0/0|
|16||Kester, Sherrill||F||5-3||120||3/7/78||High Point, N.C.||Duke||0/0|
|17||Slaton, Danielle||D||5-6||135||6/10/80||San Jose, Ca.||Santa Clara||1/0|
|18||Beene, Lakeysia||GK||5-8||135||3/9/78||Gold River, Ca.||Notre Dame||0/0|
|General Manager||Brian Fleming||Orlando, Fla.|
|Coach||Lauren Gregg||Charlottesville, Va.|
|Coach||Jay Hoffman||Chagrin Falls, Ohio|
|Press Officer||Aaron Heifetz||West Los Angeles, Ca.|
|Team Administrator||Dana Schoenwetter||Chicago, Ill.|
|Trainer||Sue Hammond||Athens, Ohio|
|Equipment Manager||Dainis Kalnins||Chicago, Ill.|
|Massage Therapist||Clint Wynn||Gainesville, Fla.|
|Team Doctor||Dr. Doug Brown||Portland, Maine|