CHICAGO (July 17, 2008) – Forward Lauren Cheney will replace Abby Wambach on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team after the USA’s leading scorer broke her leg in the first half of the USA’s 1-0 victory over Brazil last night in San Diego.
The 20-year-old Cheney was originally named as an alternate to the 2008 Olympic Team, but will now replace Wambach on the 18-player Olympic Roster. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native has been training with the U.S. team this entire year and has played in 10 games, starting three.
Cheney has 12 full international caps and three goals, two of them scored this year, including one against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
A member of the U.S. squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Championship, she scored 21 goals in 30 matches for the U-20s in 2006 heading into the World Championship and has scored nine goals in 11 U-20 international matches.
Cheney has had a phenomenal first two seasons at UCLA, scoring 42 goals in 44 games, and will be a junior for the Bruins this fall.
“There are obviously tons of emotions going through me right now,” said Cheney. “I have the deepest sorrow for Abby, but I am excited to be part of the 18 going to the Olympics. Abby is one of the players who took all of us young players under her wing. She has always been there to help us out and guide us. Abby is irreplaceable, but I’m ready for any role I am asked to fill, and I’ll do anything I can to help the team win the gold medal. In China, we’ll be playing for our country and ourselves, but also for Abby.”
The addition of Cheney gives the U.S. three collegiate players on its 18-player roster that also includes Tobin Heath, who will be a junior at UNC, and Amy Rodriguez, who will be a senior at USC.
Forward India Trotter was named as an alternate to replace Cheney.