DiMartino, Henderson Selected for Nordic Cup Duty
July 11, 2008
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
CHICAGO - U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team head coach Bill Irwin has named 18 players to the roster that will travel to Falun, Sweden, on July 11 for the 2008 Nordic Cup tournament, being held from July 15-21. The U.S. roster features numerous players with extensive U.S. Youth National Team experience, four who have earned caps with the full U.S. Women's National Team and seven players who have appeared for the USA in a FIFA youth world championship.
The USA has competed in the Nordic Cup for the last 14 years, which is held in Northern Europe every summer, during which time it has become the focus of the USA's oldest Youth National Team.
After winning its first Nordic Cup in 1997 (over Norway), the USA has won an amazing nine out of the last 11 Nordic Cups including seven in a row from 1999-2005, before falling in 2006 in the championship game to Germany. The U.S. recaptured the title last year under Irwin, pounding Germany, 4-0, in the title game. The USA won the last Nordic Cup contested in Sweden in 2004, defeating Norway, 4-1, in the final.
The Nordic Cup features eight teams and two groups followed by placement matches. The USA was drawn into Group B, where it will face Switzerland, England and Norway. Group A features host Sweden, Germany, Finland the full National Team of Scotland.
The American women open play against Switzerland on July 15 in Borlange before taking on England on July 17 in Borlange. The team will finished group play against Norway on July 19 in Famas. The placement matches are on July 21. All the matches are near Falun, which is 120 miles northwest of Stockholm.
Irwin's roster features six players who helped the USA win last year's Nordic Cup in Finland, led by defender Becky Sauerbrunn and midfielder Christina DiMartino, both of whom earned caps for the full National Team at the Four Nations Tournament in China last January. Midfielder India Trotter, who spent the first six months of this year training with the full WNT, and midfielder Yael Averbuch, both have two caps for the senior side.
'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.'
Irwin's squad has gone 4-1-1 in international matches in 2008, all against European countries.
Sauerbrunn, Averbuch, midfielder Meghan Schnur and forward Kerri Hanks, who won the Hermann Trophy in 2006 at Notre Dame, played for the USA at the 2004 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Thailand. Hanks also played for the U.S. team that won the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women's World Cup in Canada. DiMartino, goalkeeper Valerie Henderson and defender Nikki Krzysik played for the USA at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Russia. Henderson was named to the FIFA All-Star Team in that tournament.
Seven players on the roster have previous Nordic Cup experience, led by goalkeeper Cori Alexander, who will be attending her third consecutive Nordic Cup. Forward Kiki Bosio, who scored twice in last year's Nordic Cup, is one of five additional players who were in Finland last year. The group also includes DiMartino, Krzysik, Sauerbrunn and forward Ella Masar.
The youngest player selected is 18-year-old midfielder Katy Frierson who will attend Auburn as a freshman this fall.
Many current full Women's National Team players have participated in the Nordic Cup. At last year's tournament were defender Rachel Buehler, a member of the USA's 2008 Olympic Team, and defender Ali Krieger, who was named as alternate to the Olympic Team.
'As always, playing with the U-23s and traveling to the Nordic Cup is a chance for these players to show that they have the talent to make the jump to the full team,' said Irwin. 'With the new pro league on the horizon, and the next Women's World Cup three years away, this tournament is extremely valuable for these players. Some of them have seen time with the National Team but haven't quite broken in. This is their chance to show that they can perform in a difficult tournament competition.'
Age eligible players for the 2008 Nordic Cup are those born on or after January 1, 1985.
Fourteen different colleges are represented on this year's Nordic Cup roster, with UCLA and Virginia having two each while three players from Santa Clara made the squad.
2008 Nordic Cup Schedule - Sweden
Group A: Sweden, Scotland, Germany, Finland
Group B: USA, Switzerland, Norway, England
Tuesday, July 15
Group A: Sweden vs. Scotland
Group A: Germany vs. Finland
Group B: USA vs. Switzerland
Group B: Norway vs. England
Thursday, July 17
Group A: Finland vs. Sweden
Group A: Scotland vs. Germany
Group B: USA vs. England
Group B: Switzerland vs. Norway
Thursday, July 19
Group A: Sweden vs. Germany
Group A: Scotland vs. Finland
Group B: USA vs. Norway
Group B: England vs. Switzerland
Monday, July 21
7th Place Match
5th Place Match
3rd Place Match
U.S. UNDER-23 WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM
(A Detailed Roster is Available at ussoccer.com)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cori Alexander (Portland), Valerie Henderson (UCLA)
DEFENDERS (5): Marissa Abegg (Stanford), Nikki Krzysik (Virginia), Kasey Moore (Texas), Katherine Reynolds (Santa Clara), Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Yael Averbuch (UNC), Christina DiMartino (UCLA), Katy Frierson (Auburn), Brittany Klein (Santa Clara), Lorraine Quinn (Duke), Meghan Schnur (Uconn), India Trotter (Florida State)
FORWARDS (4): Kiki Bosio (Santa Clara), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame), Katie Larkin (BYU), Ella Masar (Illinois)
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