Sunday, May 27, 2012

USWNT names Olympians


By John McMullen
Jmcmullen@phanataicmag.com

CHESTER, PA (The Phanatic Magazine) - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage named the 18-player roster for the 2012 Olympic Games before the team's friendly against China at PPL Park on Saturday.

Eleven players make a return to the Olympics after helping the USA to the gold medal in 2008 in Beijing, China. Midfielders Shannon Boxx and Heather O'Reilly and defender Heather Mitts make their third Olympic Team while U.S. captain Christie Rampone will be playing in a U.S. record fourth Olympic Games.

The U.S. will open Group G play at the Olympics with two matches at the famed Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. The U.S. will first face France (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET) on July 25 - two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies - and then take on Colombia on July 28 (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Korea DPR on July 31 (5:15 p.m. local / 12:15 p.m. ET) at the legendary Old Trafford in Manchester, home to Manchester United.

The U.S. Women's National Team has advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic women's soccer tournament that has been contested. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Athens, Ga., won silver in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and will be going for its third straight gold medal after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece, in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team Roster by Position - Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O'Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach

"As always, these players make it very difficult to select rosters, and for this Olympic team it was a long, productive and interesting process to cut the pool down to these 18," said Sundhage. "The team is a mix of very experienced players and several new fresh faces. All the players are versatile, which is extremely important when you have just 16 field players on a roster. This is a group that is focused on some very high goals and it will be a pleasure to coach them in the Olympics."

Sundhage also named four replacement players in midfielder Lori Lindsey and goalkeeper Jill Loyden - both members of the USA's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup team - twice-capped midfielder Meghan Klingenberg and forward Christen Press, who is uncapped but currently one of the top scorers in the Swedish First Division.
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