Posted on January 2, 2012
U.S. women’s national coach Pia Sundhage has called up 29 players for nine days of training at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., prior to the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament.
That competition is set for Vancouver, Canada. from Jan. 19-29.
The camp will run from Jan. 7-15 as the U.S. Women kick off the year with an important training period after which Sundhage will choose a 20-player roster for Olympic qualifying. All 29 players called up for this camp participated in the U.S.’s December training camp at The HDC.
The American team includes many of the players who played key roles in the second-place finish at the Women’s World Cup last summer. That included goalkeeper Hope Solo, defender Christie Rampone, midfielders Shannon Boxx, Megan Rapinoe and Heather O’Reilly and forwards Abby Wambach and Lauren Cheney.
Of the 29 players called up, 12 participated in qualifying for the 2008 Olympics during a tournament held in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in April 2008. The U.S. won that tournament, defeating Canada in penalty kicks in the championship game after earning its berth to Beijing with a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in the semifinal during a match played in a dust storm. The women will have no such issues in Vancouver as all the games will be played indoors on an artificial surface.
In Vancouver, the U.S. will open Group B play against the Dominican Republic on Friday, Jan. 20 — the second match day of the competition — at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Americans will face Guatemala on Sunday, Jan. 22 (7:30 p.m. ET) and finish group play against Mexico on Tuesday, Jan. 24 (7:30 p.m. ET).
Host Canada heads Group A, which also features Costa Rica, Cuba and Haiti. The matches will be broadcast on the Universal Sports Network and Telemundo.
All the matches will be played at the newly renovated BC Place. The group winners and runners-up will play in the semifinals on Friday, Jan. 27, with the winners of those games qualifying for the Olympics. The championship game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 29. All group games and the semifinals will be played in doubleheader formats.
The Americans have reach the championship game of all four previous Olympic tournaments, winning the gold medal in 1996, 2004 and 2008. They also earned a silver in 2000.
The U.S. training roster:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Nicole Barnhart (out of contract), Ashlyn Harris (Western New York Flash), Jill Loyden (out of contract), Hope Solo (out of contract)
DEFENDERS (9): Rachel Buehler (out of contract), Stephanie Cox (out of contract), Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash), Meghan Klingenberg (Boston Breakers), Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt), Amy LePeilbet (out of contract), Heather Mitts (out of contract), Christie Rampone (out of contract), Becky Sauerbrunn (Sky Blue FC)
MIDFIELDERS (11): Shannon Boxx (out of contract), Tobin Heath (out of contract), Lori Lindsey (out of contract), Carli Lloyd (out of contract), Kristie Mewis (Boston College), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Kelley O’Hara (out of contract), Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (out of contract), Ingrid Wells (FC Göteborg), Keelin Winters (Boston Breakers)
FORWARDS (5): Lauren Cheney (out of contract), Sydney Leroux (UCLA), Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash), Amy Rodriguez (out of contract), Abby Wambach (out of contract)
Photo: Lauren Cheney was called in the U.S. women’s January camp. Scott Bales/YCJ
Categories: Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, North America, Olympic Qualifying, U.S.A., Women
Tags: 2012 London Olympics, Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone, CONCACAF, Heather O'Reilly, Hope Solo, Lauren Cheney, Megan Rapinoe, Pia Sundhage, Shannon Boxx