Former Norwegian great Riise joins U.S. staff

[U.S. WOMEN] Former Norwegian star Hege Riise has joined the U.S. women's national team staff as an assistant coach.

Riise, who played in four Women's World Cup tournaments (1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003) and helping Norway to the title in 1995 as well as an Olympic gold medal in 2000, comes to U.S. Soccer after coaching several seasons with Team Strommen in the Norway First Division, as well as with the Norwegian U-19 Women's National Team. She was on Norway's staff as an assistant coach for the 2008 Under-20 Women's World Cup.

Riise, 39, scored the first goal in Norway's 2-0 victory over Germany in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup final and was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's top player. She played three seasons for the Carolina Courage in the WUSA.

"With the type of experiences she's had in soccer, and with the kind of player she was with a great ability to read the game, she will help us in both defending and attacking," U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. "One of her strengths as a player was finding different ways to attack and her knowledge will help us become more unpredictable. She will teach me and the team a lot."

Riise joins a coaching staff that also includes UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis, Penn State head coach Erica Walsh and Syracuse head coach Phil Wheddon, who trains the USA's goalkeepers. All three coaches were on Sundhage's staff for the 2008 Olympics.

Riise has joined the U.S. team in Portugal at the Algarve Cup, where it opens play against Denmark on Wednesday.

U.S. Algarve Cup Roster
(March 4-11, 2009)
GOALKEEPERS
Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica).
DEFENDERS
Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC).
MIDFIELDERS
Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica).
FORWARDS
Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers).

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