[USA WOMEN]U.S. women’s national team coach Pia Sundhage will take the same 23 players to Japan in early April to compete in the Women’s Kirin Challenge Cup against Japan and Brazil that she brought to the Algarve Cup.
The USA will face Japan at Yurtec Stadium in Sendai on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. local (6:30 a.m. ET), before facing the Brazilians two days later at Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET). Both matches will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
“Any time we get to play top teams, it’s always valuable,” said U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd. “The more quality teams we can play, the better off we will be heading into the Olympics. We’ve lost to Japan the last two times we’ve played them and playing them in Japan is going to be a huge match. As a team, there are some things we need to work on, but we can’t get better unless we play great teams. We don’t get these opportunities too often so we have to embrace them and try to accomplish the things we need to do before we get to London.”
Sundhage will have to narrow the roster down to the 18 players for the 2012 Olympics.
GOALKEEPERS (3):Nicole Barnhart, Ashlyn Harris, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (9):Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Whitney Engen, Meghan Klingenberg, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O’Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (7):Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Amy Rodriguez
FORWARDS (4):Lauren Cheney, Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach