U.S. under-23 women set out for title defense

[NORDIC CUP] The U.S. under-23 women's national team is headed Friday to Falun, Sweden, for the 2008 Nordic Cup, being held from July 15-21.

The USA has won nine out of the last 11 Nordic Cups, including the 2007 final. Coach Bill Irwin's squad includes four senior internationals.

Defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielder Tina DiMartino earned caps for the full national team at the 2008 Four Nations Tournament in China. Midfielder India Trotter, who spent the first six months of this year training with the full WNT, and North Carolina midfielder Yael Averbuch both have two caps for the senior side.

The U.S. squad ranges from Trotter, who played her last season at Florida State in 2006, to incoming Auburn freshman Katy Frierson.

"We have players who have won the Nordic Cup and played in Youth World Championships," said Irwin. "We've had some excellent international matches this year leading into this tournament and some success against European teams, but we will look to the experienced players to lead this team in Sweden. We are expecting mature and consistent performances from our team with four matches in seven days."

The USA was drawn into Group B, where it will face Switzerland, England and Norway. Group A features host Sweden, Germany, Finland and Scotland's national team.

U.S. UNDER-23 WOMEN'S ROSTER:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cori Alexander (Portland), Val Henderson (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (5): Marissa Abegg (Stanford), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Kasey Moore (Texas), Katherine Reynolds (Santa Clara), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (North Carolina), Tina DiMartino (UCLA), Katy Frierson (Birmingham United, Ala.), Brittany Klein (Santa Clara), Lorraine Quinn (Duke), Meghan Schnur (Connecticut), India Trotter (Florida State)
FORWARDS (4): Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Katie Larkin (BYU), Ella Masar (Illinois)

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