[U.S. WOMEN] U.S. women’s national team coach Pia Sundhage named the 20 players she will take to the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament Oct. 28-Nov. 8 in Cancun, Mexico.
The squad includes Kristine Lilly, who has played in five Women's World Cups.
Only six other players have taken part in Women's World Cup qualifying. Forward Abby Wambach participated in qualifying for the 2003 and 2007 Women’s World Cups, while defenders Heather Mitts, Stephanie Cox and Christie Rampone and midfielders Heather O’Reilly and Carli Lloyd participated in qualifying for 2007.
“Of course, we wanted to pick the best team so we looked at the best players for their particular positions and tried to make both our attack and defense as strong as possible,” said Sundhage. “On any roster, you want experience, but we also wanted to get some fresh inspiration with some new players.”
Some notable selections:
Nicole Barnhart and Jill Loyden are the two goalies in the absence of Hope Solo, who is sidelined.
Becky Sauerbrunn (two caps) made the qualifying roster after being a late addition to the USA’s recent training camp due to an injury to Joanna Lohman.
Alex Morgan of the University of California is the lone collegian on the roster
Ali Krieger, who plays her club soccer in Germany with FFC Frankfurt, is the lone foreign-based player.
The USA will play Haiti, Guatemala and Costa Rica in Group B at the 20,000-seat Estadio Quintana Roo, opened in August 2007 and built for Atlante of the Mexican First Division when the club relocated from Mexico City. Group A will consist of host Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, which will play in the 9,000-seat Estadio Beto Avila, the home of the Quintana Roo Tigres' baseball team.
The top two teams in each group will cross over for the semifinals on Nov. 5 at Estadio Beto Avila. The championship game and third-place match will be played on Nov. 8 at Estadio Quintana Roo.
The two semifinal winners will advance to the World Cup finals, while the third-place winner will face Italy or Switzerland in a playoff for a berth in Germany.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jill Loyden (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (FC Gold Pride), Kristine Lilly (Boston Breakers), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (4): Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers), Alex Morgan (California), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)