Nicole Barnhart Travels to Portugal with National Team

March 4, 2005

Stanford, Calif. - Nicole Barnhart, who finished her collegiate soccer career last fall at Stanford, was recently called up to the U.S. Women's National Team. She will be with the team as they compete for the first time in 2005 at the 12th annual Algarve Cup in southern Portugal, March 9-15.

'We are taking a team to Portugal that has a great balance between experienced gold medallists and talented young players as the Women's National Team program begins its road to China in 2007,' said U.S. interim head coach Greg Ryan. 'This is one of the most difficult tournaments in the world to win, and I know this group will attack that challenge with energy and enthusiasm.'

The United State will compete against three top European teams in group play, opening the tournament against France next Wednesday. Barnhart is one of two goalies on the roster that is traveling to Europe.

'I cannot think of a more deserving player to represent the United States,' noted Cardinal head coach Paul Ratcliffe. 'Nicole has the talent and character to be a successful player at the international level. Stanford Women's Soccer is very proud of Nicole and wish her the very best of luck in Portugal.'

Barnhart, the starting keeper for the 2004 U-21 Nordic Cup championship team, earned her first cap last October as a forward during the 2005 Fan Celebration Tour when the U.S. ran out of field player substitutes in the second half of a match against Mexico in Kansas City.Barnhart played the last four minutes and stoppage time in the 1-0 victory, but has never played in goal for the senior national team.

Stanford assistant coach Jay Cooney has worked with some of the top goalkeepers in the world, helping train LaKeysia Beene, as well as keepers from Mexico, Ireland and Brazil. He spent the past two seasons working with Barnhart.

'It's always an honor to be called to the National Team, and Nicole has really earned it over the last two years. She's been working hard in and out of season preparing for this. Working with past National Team goalkeepers, Nicole certainly ranks up there with some of the best that I've seen. I'm excited to see her shine at the international level. Hopefully, she can be a fixture with the National Team for many years to come.'

None of the Algarve Cup matches will be televised, but fans can follow the USA's four games online at ussoccer.com's MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

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