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Solo battling quad injury heading into crucial semifinal
AP, January 27th, 2012 11:17AM

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About the only doubt that concerns the USA women heading into its Concacaf Olympic qualifying semifinal against Costa Rica Friday is whether a quadriceps injury might sideline starting keeper Hope Solo. She trained lightly on Wednesday and stepped up her workload in the last pre-match session Thursday.

"We have to make a decision whether she is 100 percent to go or not," said Coach Pia Sundhage. "And if she isn't, we have a tremendous backup goalkeeper."

A decision to insert backup goalie Nicole Barnhart may not matter against the Ticas, who have been beaten by the Americans in all of their meetings with combined scorelines of 34-0.

Solo's participation on the television program "Dancing with the Stars" limited her availability to the national team following last summer's Women's World Cup, and she had been bothered by her quad during a pre-Christmas training camp. She aggravated the injury Monday in the final group game against Mexico, a 4-0 victory in which she didn't have to make a save. "I'm trying to get my quickness back, and my sharpness back, and my kicking back, so I've been focusing a lot on my kicking," she said. "And I think it just fatigued and it pulled a little bit." The winners of the USA-Costa Rica (8 pm ET on Universal Sports Network) and Canada-Mexico semifinals earn the two Concacaf Olympic berths.

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