U.S. womenÆs national team head coach Greg Ryan has called in 28 players for a week of training Jan. 3-9 at the Home Depot Center before the team heads to Guangzhou, China, for the Four Nations Tournament Jan. 18-22 against host China, Norway and France.
The USAÆs tournament opener against Norway could mark a historic milestone for U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, as she is poised to earn her 300th cap. Lilly would become the first player in soccer history to play 300 times for her country. Lilly earned her first-ever cap at the age of 16 in China more than 18 years ago.
Lilly is one of nine 2004 Olympic gold medalists to be called up. Goalkeeper Briana Scurry and defender Christie Rampone return after a year away from the national team.
RyanÆs picks included three players from the University of Portland, NCAA Division I champion: Stephanie Lopez, Angie Woznuk and Megan Rapinoe. Four University of North Carolina players were picked: Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, Lindsay Tarpley and Heather OÆReilly. Also called up was Florida State star India Trotter and UCLAÆs Jill Oakes.
After meeting Norway Jan. 18, the USA faces France Jan. 20 and China Jan. 22. All the U.S. games will be played at Guangdong Olympic Center built in 2001. Its next major international test after the Four Nations Tournament is the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March.
GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart, Jenni Branam, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;
DEFENDERS: Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Jill Oakes, Christie Rampone;
MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley, Stacey Tullock, Aly Wagner, Angie Woznuk;
FORWARDS: Danielle Fotopoulos, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather OÆReilly, Megan Rapinoe, India Trotter, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.