UW's Solo to Join U.S. National Soccer Team Training Camp in September
Aug. 25, 2001
CHICAGO - Washington junior Hope Solo was one of 24 players selected to participate in the pre-U.S. Cup training camp in early September, U.S. Women's Soccer National Team coach April Heinrichs announced. The team is preparing for the 2001 Nike U.S. Women's Cup, a four-team tournament that promises to bring six world-class matches to three Midwest venues.
A product of Richland (Wash.) High School, Solo is one of three goalkeepers who will attend the camp in Chicago, Ill., beginning on Sept. 4. Solo's participation will likely force her to miss some collegiate games. She should be available for the Huskies' first two games in Logan, Utah, Sept. 1 at Utah State and Sept. 3 against Northwestern, before joining the National Team. Solo may miss Washington's games on Sept. 7 at Gonzaga and the home opener against Idaho on Sept. 9.
'I'm really excited about going to the camp, especially to see where I am compared to the rest of them since I haven't really been involved since residency,' said Solo who missed the spring quarter of 2000 at Washington while training full time with the National Team in the U.S. pre-Olympic residency camp. She has made seven appearances with the full National Team.
Solo does have mix feelings about missing some of the collegiate season.
'I'm happy about being invited to the camp, but I'm not happy about missing UW games,' Solo said. 'I guess if it's going to be in season, it couldn't have happened at a better time because it's before Pac-10 games start.'
Heinrichs will train 24 players for four days before selecting 18 players to face Germany on Sept. 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., Japan on Sept. 11 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio and China on Sept. 16 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The match against China marks the first meeting between the two teams on American soil since the historic Women's World Cup Final on July 10, 1999. Heinrichs named nine players from that match, including Brandi Chastain, who converted the now legendary final penalty kick.
In a somewhat historic move, Heinrichs called in five players currently beginning their college seasons. All five of the college players on the Nike U.S. Women's Cup roster played major roles in the U.S. Under-21 National Team's triumph at this summer's Nordic Cup, including Solo who started in goal. Defender's Cat Reddick and Jena Kluegel from North Carolina anchored a defense that allowed just two goals in four matches. Midfielder Aleisha Cramer from BYU scored two goals and had two assists in the historic 6-1 victory over Sweden in the Nordic Cup championship game. Forward Abby Wambach from Florida dominated opposing defenses in Norway, scoring three goals in the tournament, but missed the final game due to suspension for yellow cards.
'I think it's marvelous that these college coaches understand that for these young players to make the 2003 World Cup roster, the time to invest in them is now,' added Heinrichs who formerly coached at Virginia.
Previously, the only college players to play for the U.S. National Team during their college seasons were Cindy Parlow, Kristine Lilly and Julie Foudy. Parlow played just 22 minutes against Sweden on November 1, 1997, in Chattanooga, Tenn., as she had to face Virginia in UNC's final Atlantic Coast Conference match of that season the next day. Both Foudy and Lilly played their college seasons in 1991 before leaving for the Women's World Cup, missing the NCAA playoffs.
'What you're going to see with this roster is great diversity and the immediate impact of the WUSA,' said Heinrichs. 'The WUSA is helping develop some of the top players in America and increase the depth of the pool. I can now say we have six goalkeepers, a dozen or so defenders, the same number of midfielders and at least eight forwards. It's a great position for me to know the depth chart at every position because I am seeing it for myself in an active league.'
Included in the 19 WUSA players named to the roster are the top two scorers from the 2001 season in Tiffeny Milbrett of the New York Power, who terrorized the league with 16 goals, and Shannon MacMillan of the San Diego Spirit, who tallied 12 goals and six assists.
Heinrichs also called in the world's all-time leading scorer in Mia Hamm (127 goals), and the world's all-time cap leader Kristine Lilly, who has 227 international appearances for the United States. U.S. captain Julie Foudy, who earned her historic 200th cap against Canada on June 30, was also named along with fellow 2000 Olympians Lorrie Fair, Cindy Parlow and Kate Sobrero. Also returning to the U.S. National Team roster is another 2000 Olympian in Joy Fawcett, who came back from the birth of her third daughter on June 5 to play, and score, in a WUSA match just six weeks later.
Heinrichs also called in a number of players who impressed during the inaugural WUSA season, some with past international experience, and others who will be getting their first taste of national team competition. Defender Tiffany Roberts, who has 79 career caps and was a member of the '95 and '99 Women's World Cup Teams and the '96 Olympic Team, gets her first-call up since January of 2000. She has not played in a match for the USA since Oct. 10, 1999.
With defender Christie Pearce, a starter in all five matches at the Olympics, out for six months after tearing her ACL while playing for the New York Power, Heinrichs will give a look to three of the brightest young right backs in the WUSA, calling in Kylie Bivens of the Atlanta Beat, Staci Burt of the Carolina Courage and Heather Mitts of the Philadelphia Charge. For Bivens and Burt, this is the their first full national team call-up. Mitts was a member of the USA's U-21 National Team program and has one full national team cap.
Goalkeeper Lakeysia Beene and defender Kelly Lindsey, two members of the Bay Area CyberRays who played key roles in helping their team to the WUSA championship, both spent time in the U-21 program and Beene played on several U-21 Nordic Cup teams. Both also played on a young U.S. team that won the Australia Cup tournament in January of 2000. Forward Angela Hucles of the Boston Breakers and defender Lindsey Stoecker of the Washington Freedom both played in all 21 matches for their clubs this year. Hucles also spent several years in the U.S. U-21 program. Jaime Pagliarulo of the San Diego Spirit joins Beene and Solo to make up the three goalkeepers on the roster.
Of the 19 WUSA players called in, four were from the San Diego Spirit, while the Bay Area CyberRays and Boston Breakers placed three players each. The Philadelphia Charge, Carolina Courage, Atlanta Beat and Washington Freedom have two players on the roster. The New York Power is represented only by Milbrett.
The Americans will face three talented teams as all three nations bring rosters stocked with their top players. Germany is coming off its glorious victory at the 2001 European Women's Championships. The Germans hosted the event and delighted their country with a 1-0 victory over Sweden on a 'golden goal' by Claudia Muller. While Philadelphia Charge captain Doris Fitschen has retired from international competition, Germany brings a roster stocked with veterans, including some extremely talented attacking personalities in Muller, Birgit Prinz, Martina Muller, Sandra Smisek and Renate Lingor. Germany's long-time first-choice goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg should be in the nets for her country.
'This has to be the most competitive Nike U.S Women's Cup ever,' added Heinrichs. 'It's similar to a group of death in a major tournament.'
China also brings a roster stocked with some of the world's best players. All six Chinese players in the WUSA have been called in as Fan Yunjie and Wen Lirong of the San Diego Spirit, Goa Hong of the New York Power, Sun Wen of the Atlanta Beat, Bai Jie of the Washington Freedom and Liu Ailing of the Philadelphia Charge will all renew their long-time rivalry with the U. S.