Tuesday, April 01, 2008

USWNT Announces Olympic Qualifying Roster & Schedule

ussoccer: U.S. WNT vs. Denmark - 03-12-08 - Algarve Cup

USSoccer announced the 20-player roster for 2008 Concacaf Olympic women's qualifying tournament yesterday. The squad includes five players who didn't play at the 2007 World Cup: Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Kacey White(North Carolina), Lauren Cheney(UCLA) and Amy Rodriguez (USC).

The six players from Greg Ryan's 21-player roster for the World Cup who aren't on the team are: Kristine Lilly, Tina Ellerton, Brianna Scurry, Marian Dalmy, Aly Wagner, and Marci Jobson. Lilly and Ellerton are pregnant and have not retired. Jobson has taken the job as the head women's soccer coach at Baylor. I don't think any of the others have retired, but Wagner has struggled with pace and Dalmy was very young, inexperienced and a surprise addition to the World Cup roster.

As to Brianna Scurry, I think Pia Sundhage handled the Scurry/Solo situation exactly right. She complimented both players when she got the job, invited them both to her early camps, then quietly dropped Scurry, first from the Algarve Cup roster, and now from the Olympic qualifying squad. Scurry was the greatest keeper in the world in the past, but her skills have eroded and her storied mental toughness is no longer enough to keep the ball out of the net. (See Brazil 4, USA 0)

Another omission from the squad I wonder about is Heather Mitts. I thought she would have been sufficiently rehabbed from her knee injury to compete for a spot, but it's her second major knee injury and that can take a long time to heal. This is not the final Olympic roster, either; it's the roster for qualifying, and there could be changes for the actual Olympic team.

GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart (Gilbertsville, Pa.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.);

DEFENDERS: Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Christie Rampone (Point Pleasant, N.J.), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.);

MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas);

FORWARDS: Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O'Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Here's the qualifying schedule:

USA Olympic Qualification Schedule – Group A
Date Match-Up Kickoff Local / Pacific Time
April 4 USA vs. Jamaica 7:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. PT
April 6 USA vs. Mexico 1:30 p.m. MT / 12:30 p.m. PT

Group A
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 2 Mexico vs. Jamaica 7:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. PT
April 4 USA vs. Jamaica 7:30 p.m. PT / 7:30 p.m. PT
April 6 Mexico vs. USA 1:30 p.m. MT / 12:30 p.m. PT

Group B
Date Match-up Kickoff (Local)
April 2 Trinidad & Tobago vs. Canada 5 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. PT
April 4 Costa Rica vs. Trinidad & Tobago 5 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. PT
April 6 Canada vs. Costa Rica 11 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. PT

Semifinals Kickoff (Local)
April 9 Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group B 5 p.m. MT / 4 p.m. PT
April 9 Winner Group B vs. Runner-up Group A 7:30 p.m. MT / 6:30 p.m. PT

Final/Third-place Game Kickoff (Local)
April 12 Third-Place Game 5 p.m. MT / 4:00 p.m. PT
April 12 Championship 7:30 p.m. MT / 6:30 p.m. PT

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