U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage announced today her 18-player roster for the Olympics (with college, caps and goals in parentheses):
goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (Stanford, 9), Hope Solo (Washington, 64); defenders Rachel Buehler (Stanford, 11/0), Lori Chalupny (North Carolina, 70/6), Stephanie Cox (Portland, 42/0), Kate Markgraf (Notre Dame, 181/0), Heather Mitts (Florida, 78/2), Christie Rampone (Monmouth, 193/4); midfielders Shannon Boxx (Notre Dame, 92/18), Tobin Heath (North Carolina, 12/2), Angela Hucles (Virginia, 84/7), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers, 62/15), Heather O’Reilly (North Carolina, 90/19), Lindsay Tarpley (North Carolina, 96/26), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara, 121/21); forwards Natasha Kai (Hawaii, 48/19), Amy Rodriguez (USC, 19/4), Abby Wambach (Florida, 123/98).
*Nine players on the roster were members of the U.S. team that won the gold medal four years ago in Athens, including team co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, who will both participate in their third Olympics.
*At age 20, Heath is the youngest player on the roster, while Rampone (who turns 33 Tuesday) is the oldest. The average age of the squad is 26.
*Veteran goalkeeper Brianna Scurry, who was at the center of the controversy with fellow net minder Hope Solo at the last World Cup, did not make the squad. Sundhage said the controversy had nothing to do with her decision and the door remains open for Scurry in the future.
*Scurry was named as one of four alternates available in case of injury, as was UCLA’s Lauren Cheney.
Quotable: Captain Christie Rampone –
“It’s been a long seven months, with Pia coming in and making a huge transition for this team, but everyone has been very receptive and willing to change. It’s tough when you have limited time, but everyone trusted Pia and believed in Pia. She’s done an amazing job with this team and in the way we have changed this system. We are a more possession-oriented team. Of course, there are times when we get away from it, but she believes in us and we keep trying to getting better on the field.”
I’ll have more on the roster selection and the run-in to the Olympics for the team in Tuesday’s weekly column.