Solo and Frimpong Picked for U.S. National Team Camp
Dec. 21, 2005
The U.S. opens the year with a trip to China for the highly competitive Four Nations Tournament that will be contested from Jan. 18-22. The field features the USA, Norway, France and China. A week of training at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., from Jan. 3-9, will precede the trip to the Far East. China will host the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup from Sept. 23-Oct. 13, 2007.
Frimpong (Hudson's Bay HS/Vancouver, Wash.) completed her collegiate career in 2004 as Washington's all-time leader in goals (42) and points (97).
From her forward position, she led the Pac-10 in goals as a junior (13) and senior (15) and was named the Conference Player of the Year twice, in 2003 and 2004. Frimpong garnered All-America acclaim in 2003 and 2004.
Frimpong has earned three caps for international appearances with the full national team where she has been converted to a defender.
Solo (Richland HS/Richland, Wash.) is a veteran of the international circuit, having earned 19 caps for appearances in goal for the U.S. Nationals. he did not allow during seven international games in 2005, covering a span of 630 minutes.
Solo finished at UW in 2002 as the Huskies' all-time leader in every goalkeeping category. Solo started 68 games, amassing 325 saves, 18 shutouts and a 1.02 goals against average. In each of her final two seasons (2001, 2002), she was one of 15 nominees for the Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year.
A four-time all-conference honoree, Solo received the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year award. She surrendered only 12 goals in 17 games in 2001 en route to a school single-season record 0.68 goals against average. In 2000, Solo led Washington's to its only Pac-10 women's soccer championship.
U.S. head coach Greg Ryan has called in 28 players and will use the week of training at the HDC to select 20 for the tournament in Guangzhou that features four of the world's top ten teams according the latest FIFA Women's World Rankings. The USA is currently second, Norway is third, France is fifth and host China is ninth.
The trip marks the fifth time the USA has traveled to China in January for the Four Nations tournament, also participating in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Three times the USA has won the tournament, which always features four of the strongest teams in the world, taking top honors in 1998, 2003 and 2004. The tournament in 1998 marked the first time the U.S. women had returned to China since winning the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. When the Americans touch down in southeastern China, it will be the sixth time in the last nine years they will have traveled to China, which includes a trip in 2001 that featured two exhibitions against the Steel Roses.
The USA will open the tournament on Jan. 18 against long-time rival Norway before facing France on Jan. 20 during the second match day. The USA will finish the tournament on Jan. 22 with one of the world's toughest international women's matches, facing China on their home soil. All the U.S. games will kick off at 4 p.m. local / 3 a.m. ET.
The USA's tournament opener against Norway could mark a historic milestone for U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, as she is poised to earn her 300th cap. Already the world's leader in international matches played for men or women with 299 caps, Lilly would become the first player in soccer history to play 300 times for their country. Adding to the uniqueness of the event, Lilly earned her first-ever cap at the age of 16 in China more than 18 years ago.
Should she earn cap number 300 against Norway, it will also mark the 30th time she has played against the Norwegians, who defeated the USA on the way to the Women's World Cup title in 1995 and the Olympic gold medal in 2000. The USA defeated Norway to win the 1991 Women's World Cup and also on the way to the 1996 Olympic gold medal.
Lilly hitting the 300-cap mark, a previously unimaginable milestone, is just one achievement in a long line of amazing accomplishments. The 'Queen of Caps' has started in every single world championship match ever contested by the USA, has scored 104 career goals (fifth best all-time for women) and has started 288 of her 299 caps, meaning she has come off the bench just 11 times in her 18-year career.
Lilly heads a roster that features nine members of the 2004 Olympic gold medal winning squad, including goalkeeper Briana Scurry and defender Christie Rampone, both of whom return to the fold after a year away from the National Team. Rampone took the year off to have her first child last October and Scurry, the USA's starter in five of its last six world championship tournaments, stepped away from the team to ponder retirement, but will now make a run for the 2007 Women's World Cup Team.
The training camp roster also features the USA's leading goal scorers from 2005 in Christie Welsh (seven goals, one assist), Abby Wambach (four goals, five assists) and Danielle Fotopoulos (four goals), as well as forward Tiffeny Milbrett and her 100 career goals. The U.S. women went undefeated in nine matches in 2005 and did not allow a goal while piling up an 8-0-1 record. The USA's current shutout streak is at 928 minutes and extends back to December of 2004.
In addition to Lilly, Scurry, Rampone and Wambach, the 2004 gold medallists on the training camp roster include defender Heather Mitts, midfielders Shannon Boxx, Lindsay Tarpley and Aly Wagner and forward Heather O'Reilly. Boxx was in Zurich, Switzerland, earlier this week for the FIFA World Player Gala as one of three finalists for FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (won for the third time in a row by German Über-forward Birgit Prinz).
The roster is chock full of youth as Ryan continues to give young players a chance to make an impact on the National Team. Twelve of the 28 players are 23 years old or younger, including defenders Amy LePeilbet and Lori Chalupny, both of whom played significant minutes for the USA for the first time in 2005.
Several young midfielders are also looking to challenge veterans Lilly, Boxx and Wagner for playing time. Tarpley, along with Leslie Osborne, a member of the 2004 Olympic Residency Camp, and Carli Lloyd, who earned her first two caps in 2005, are all dynamic midfielders who have shown they can score and play-make.
The defense includes UCLA standout Jill Oakes and Frimpong, one of the fastest players in U.S. history who continues to make the transition to defender after scoring 42 goals at UW.
Ryan has called in four goalkeepers, led by Solo who had a stellar year while earning seven of the USA's nine shutouts in 2005. The other goalkeepers are Nicole Barnhart, who earned the other two shutouts, Jenni Branam and Scurry.
The USA has not faced Norway since the championship game of the 2004 Algarve Cup, a 4-1 win for the Americans that evened the all-time series at 18-18-2. The USA has actually defeated Norway in the last five matches and will be looking to take a lead in the all-time series for the first time since 1990, when the Americans were 3-2-0 after five games.
The USA last faced France in the opening game of the 2005 Algarve Cup in Portugal, a 1-0 win on a goal from Welsh. The USA has won all nine meetings with the French in their history.
The USA's last meeting with China came on Aug. 1, 2004, in the final match before leaving for the 2004 Olympics. The USA's 3-1 victory sent them to Greece on a high note and moved the series to 14-8-10 in favor of the USA. The USA's record against China in China is 2-3-5 all-time.
Special thanks to USSoccer for providing this content.