Cheney Named to U.S. WNT Roster for Canada Matches
July 8, 2009
Story courtesy of U.S. Soccer
CHICAGO - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named 21 players for two matches against Canada, the first taking place on Sunday, July 19, at Marina Auto Stadium in Rochester, N.Y., and then again three days later on Wednesday, July 22, at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C.
The match in Rochester, which kicks off at 3 p.m. ET will be televised live on ESPN. The match in Charleston kicks off at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español. Fans can also follow both matches online via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and twitter.com/ussoccer.
Tickets for both games are available through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout the Rochester and Charleston areas. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Visa® is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer.
The roster features 18 players from Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) clubs and three collegiate players. Leading the way is forward Abby Wambach, the USA's leading active scorer, who will head to her hometown of Rochester, N.Y., in search of her historic 100th goal. She currently has 99 international scores in 128 games. As a high school star in Rochester, Wambach scored 142 goals for Our Lady of Mercy where she was the 1997 National High School Player of the Year.
On May 25 of this year, Wambach played her first match for the national team since breaking her leg almost 12 months ago, but did not find the net in the 4-0 victory against Canada in Toronto. This convergence of circumstances means that she will not only try for her 100th career goal in her hometown, but also in the same city that U.S. all-time leading scorer Mia Hamm hit the century mark back on Sept. 18, 1998.
Sundhage also named veteran defender Cat Whitehill and midfielder Leslie Osborne, both members of the USA's 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup Team, who get their first call-ups since major knee injuries knocked them out of the running for a spot on the 2008 Olympic Team. Neither has played for the USA in more than a year. Whitehill has not played for the USA since May 3, 2008, in a 5-4 win against Australia in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala. while Osborne's last cap was May 10, 2008 in a 6-0 win against Canada in Washington, D.C., a match in which she scored. Both have recovered fully from their ACL surgeries and have been regular starters for their WPS clubs.
In addition, defender Stephanie Cox gets her first call-up since January of this year. Cox, who has 54 caps and played all but 45 minutes of the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, is a part of the Los Angeles Sol defense which has allowed just five goals this season.
The roster, which features 16 members of the USA's 2008 Olympic gold medal team, is stocked with regulars, including team captain Christie Rampone, goalkeepers Hope Solo and Nicole Barnhart, defenders Lori Chalupny, Heather Mitts and Rachel Buehler and midfielders Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Lindsay Tarpley and Angela Hucles. Sundhage called up at least two players from all seven WPS clubs, including four from the Boston Breakers and three each from the Chicago Red Stars and FC Gold Pride. Eight players named to the roster have more than 100 career caps.
Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet gets her second call-up this year after performing very well in a starting assignment against Canada in May. Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe, who has just nine caps but scored a wonderful goal in the win against Canada, also got the nod, as did young forward Amy Rodriguez.
Sundhage named three college players to the roster in 2008 Olympic gold medalists Tobin Heath and Lauren Cheney, who scored the fourth goal in the USA's last match in Toronto, and midfielder Christine Nairn, a key member of the U.S. team which won the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile. Nairn earned her first senior team cap in the USA's last match, becoming the first member of that world championship team to debut for the full team.
These matches, the 46th and 47th all-time between the two countries, will complete the three-game summer series with Canada and give Sundhage more information in evaluating the player pool as she continues to mold a team for qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.
The two-game set brings the U.S. women to Rochester for the fifth time (four for international matches), but it will be only the second game at the Marina Auto Stadium, home to the USL's Rochester Rhinos and Rochester Ravens women's team. The stadium, which opened in 2006, features an artificial surface. The last time the USA played there was in Sept. 13, 2006, earning a 3-0 victory over Mexico that saw Wambach score twice in front of her hometown fans.
The USA also returns to Blackbaud Stadium, home of the USL's Charleston Battery, for the fourth time and has not allowed a goal in the three previous wins at one of the nicest small soccer-specific venues in the country. The USA last played in Blackbaud in 2005 in a 3-0 win over Mexico - another game in which Wambach scored twice.
The matches will be the last domestic games for the U.S. Women's National Team in 2009, but the USA is scheduled to gather for training camps and a European tour following the completion of the inaugural WPS campaign.
UNITED STATES WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER
Rochester, N.Y., and Charleston, S.C.
July 16-22, 2009
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
DEFENDERS (7): Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O'Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Leslie Osborne (FC Gold Pride), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars)
FORWARDS (3): Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)