Women's Soccer USA

Coverage of women's soccer in the US. If it's not here...it's not important...

January 31, 2006

Pirates Sign Chinese International Star Zhang

The WPSL Philadelphia Pirates have announced the signing of Chinese international soccer star, Ouying Zhang for the 2006 WPSL Season.
Ouying, who has made more than 80 international appearances and scored over 25 goals for the Steel Roses, will rejoin former WUSA team mate Tara Koleski (San Diego Spirit, NY Power) in spearheading the Pirates offensive line this time around.

This time it's Sinclair and Milbrett

"Tentatively, former UP soccer greats Tiffeny Milbrett and Christine Sinclair plan to go to England in February or March and play for Chelsea. Details still need to be worked out.
“I like Europe. It’s the place growing the most for women’s soccer,” Milbrett says.
Milbrett says she wants to play for the U.S. national team again, and for new coach Greg Ryan. She’d like to be ready for the 2007 Women’s World Cup. At 33, “it’s a matter of how my body holds up. What’s exciting is players are pushing the (age) envelope,” she says."

I am still shaking my head. You might as well play in the Greater Portland Women's League.

A first for Hawaii

"This is a big thing. This is what I've wanted ever since I was a kid, so I'm just glad I'm being given the opportunity. I hope I do good and represent myself and Hawai'i well."

January 30, 2006

Mr. Kleenex

Greg Ryan recalls an office visit from one of his players shortly after he took over.
"She came into my office and started crying," he says."I thought I'd killed her. I thought I damaged this person forever. Then I realized it was just her way of dealing with frustration or anger. After that, I just made sure I had Kleenex."

Mr. Kleenex showing his sensitive side...

Women's soccer friendly corporations

According to Women's World Football it's:
1. adidas - Germany
2. Puma - Germany
4. Nationwide - the UK
5. Qantas Airlines - Australia

January 27, 2006

U20: Rostedt saves Schulz from blushes

USA 3, Canada 2

9 min - Rodriguez USA
56 min - Jamani CAN
62 min - Robinson CAN
73 min - Rostedt USA
83 min - Chenney USA

Dew (USA) sent off in the 41st

On Wednesday Tim Schulz said this about Brittany Bock “I thought Brittany was big time today. She showed world class defending for a U-20, and not only was she good defensively, but she was also good with the ball starting attacks.”
On Friday, leading 1-0 with 45 minutes to go, having 1 player sent off, Schulz in a questionable move took his 'world class' midfielder off and brought on DiMartino.
Canadians responded with equalizing inside 10 minutes, and going ahead 5 minutes later.
While DiMartino does offer some offensive options, she does not match Bock' defensive ability.
With Canadians being particularly strong in the air, on corners and set pieces, one can question Schulz' decision.
Fortunately, the introduction of Jess Rostedt and some curious Canadian tactical decisions (less experienced Collison for Lang) rescued the game for the US.
Schulz has demonstrated that he is capable of beating the minnows but he will have to be a lot sharper in Russia.

WPSL adds fifth team in Florida

The Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) has added a team in West Palm Beach.
Brad Partridge, PBU’s Director of Coaching, has been named as the team’s Head Coach.

January 25, 2006

U20: USA 3, Mexico 0

22 min - Bock
57 min - Rodriguez
69 min - Bock

Quote Sheet: U.S. U-20 WNT Defeats Mexico 3-0 at CONCACAF Qualifying
On Brittany Bock:
“I thought Brittany was big time today. She showed world class defending for a U-20, and not only was she good defensively, but she was also good with the ball starting attacks.”

What was she thinking?

"Swedish Damallsvenskan newcomers Bälinge announced today that they've made an agreement with their third US player, 22 year old midfielder Kacey White."

Kacey, can you say relegation battle with a team comparable to the Long Island Lady Riders, 10 hour trips (including layovers) to, and from the US. And all of this for the equivelent of $600 (per Swedish labor laws).
You left the Wildcats for this?
WHO is advising you?
While Cooper is at the end of her career, Stitch is inexperienced and unproven, you Kacey, have a lot of promise.
Kacey, you need a new agent who will get you a much better soccer and financial deal.

January 24, 2006

April Heinrichs interview

"People have this idea that when you’re the national team coach, you’re out on the field and you don’t do paperwork and you don’t deal with administrative issues and you don’t sit behind a desk. You know it’s just all about being out on the field. I coached less as the national team coach than I did in almost all my other coaching capacities."

Florida GCU

It was news to some when Florida Gulf Coast University Athletic Director Carl McAloose announced men's and women's soccer as two of the three new sports the school would add to become compliant with Division I.

January 23, 2006

U20: USA 5, El Salvador 0

USA – Lauren Cheney (Meghan Holmes) 28th minute
USA – Lauren Cheney (Kelly O’Hara)  32.
USA – Carrie Dew (Sarah Wagenfuhr)  44.
USA – Jessica Rostedt (Danesha Adams) 55.
USA – Jessica Rostedt (Amanda Poach) 82.

USA – 1-Val Henderson; 17-Sarah Wagenfuhr, 4-Carrie Dew – Capt. (20-Kasey Moore, 46), 3-Stephanie Logterman, 19-Meagan Holmes; 6-Brittany Taylor, 11-Brittany Bock (7-Amanda Poach, 46), 15-Lindsey Beam, 16-Kelley O’Hara; 8-Lauren Cheney (9-Danesha Adams, 46), 14-Jessica Rostedt.

January 22, 2006

USA 2, China 0

USA 2, China 0

Hosts China were downed by a formidable United States side 2-0 with a shining "talisman" Kristine Lilly at the last game and had to settle for the second place of the Four Nation Women's Soccer Tournament 2006 here on Sunday.
The US clinched the title with seven points and harvested a progressing young squad inspired by skipper Lilly.

Lilly attracted most of the limelight with her inspiration and edge, converting a penalty unerringly on 11 minutes and then gave China further blow five minutes before the interval when she broke the rivals' offside trap to net home a heavy strike in the box.

The US captain went close seven minutes into the second half with a long-range shot over the bar. With an obvious craving for a hat trick in her 302nd game for the national team, Lilly continued her efforts as the half wore on and created several opportunities, but missed all of them.

The Americans dominated the midfield with quick passes and threaten the hosts' defense with fast flank forays. Aly Wagner rattled the post in the 59th minute with a diagonal drive.
China's best chance came from midfielder Bi Yan's powerful 25-meter left foot shot in the first half, which hit the crossbar.

USA: Solo, Mitts, Frimpong, LePeilbet, Rampone, Boxx, Tarpley, Wagner, Lilly, Wambach, Welsh

January 21, 2006

U20: USA 4, Surinam 0

USA 4, Surinam 0

5 min - Rodriguez, 1-0
25 min - Long, 2-0
52 min - Poach, 3-0
63 min - O'Hara, 4-0

USA: Moore, Henderson, Angelli, Logterman, Krzysik, Taylor, Long, Bock, Rodriguez, DiMartino, Rostedt

Wilkins Named NSCAA Division I Head Coach of the Year

Penn State women’s soccer coach Paula Wilkins was named the Division I National Coach of the Year Friday night by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) at the organization’s convention being held in Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend.

January 20, 2006

WUSA rumors

First, see my October 29 2005 post.

Second, the rumor mill at the Philly convention has it that the 2007 WUSA version will include Chicago, Rochester, Washington, Atlanta, LA, Denver, Dallas and San Diego.
That would make 5 MLS teams involved.

US clubs interested in Danilova???

Are the Wildcats about to spring a surprise?

“On a personal level, Elena Danilova also wants to take it one step at a time. "I want to improve my skills and my overall play. I'd also like to play overseas some day. In fact, I've already had offers from German and US sides, but I don't think I'm ready to leave Russia yet. My goal is to be the best player in the game and become FIFA World Player of the Year at least once."

Washington Freedom to play in W-League

Which league is better?
W-League 1

United Soccer Leagues announced Thursday at the NSCAA Convention that the Washington Freedom Soccer Club, which evolved from the Women’s United Soccer Association’s Washington Freedom will participate in the 2006 W-League season as an Associate Member of the league.
“We are excited about this announcement,” said USL Vice President Tim Holt. “The Freedom SC staff and players were leaders in the WUSA and we hope that their participation as an associate member of the W-League this upcoming season will lead to full membership in the future.”

By the way, look at my post on January 14 2006.
We scooped everyone by 6 days!
Thank you readers!

USA 0, France 0

France continues to make good progress under Elisabeth Loisel.

USA : 18-Hope SOLO ; 2-Heather MITTS, 23-Tina FRIMPONG, 14-Amy LEPEILBET, 17-Lori CHALUPNY ; 13-Kristine LILLY ©, 7-Shannon BOXX, 10-Aly WAGNER, 5-Lindsay TARPLEY (12-Leslie OSBORNE 70') ; 20-Abby WAMBACH, 9-Heather O'REILLY (19-Christie WELSH 63').

France : 1-Sarah BOUHADDI ; 7-Sandrine DUSANG (2-Anne-Laure CASSELEUX 90+1'), 4-Laura GEORGES, 5-Sabrina VIGUIER, 3-Peggy PROVOST ; 15-Elise BUSSAGLIA, 6-Sandrine SOUBEYRAND, 8-Sonia BOMPASTOR © ; 18-Hoda LATTAF, 11-Laëtitia TONAZZI, 13-Ludivine DIGUELMAN (20-Camille ABILY 67').

January 19, 2006

U20: USA 4, Jamaica 1

The U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team got goals from four different players to defeat a physical Jamaican team, 4-1, in its first Group B match at the 2006 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Final Round Qualification Tournament. Forward Amy Rodriguez had a goal and an assist while Lauren Cheney, Tina DiMartino and Danesha Adams added goals.

January 18, 2006

The state of U.S. Youth Soccer

The first track has its origins in politics. In the 1970s, parents across the USA pulled their kids out of Pop Warner football and Little League and stuck them into soccer on the notion that the game was "less violent." Now, obviously, these parents had never seen an Old Firm game, but the point is that all of a sudden soccer went from being a sport to an "activity."

The two are very different — a "sport" is a contest.

Some people are better than others: somebody wins, somebody loses. In the gauzy view of the 1970s, soccer was retro-fitted to make it a game where everyone got a chance to play, and everyone got a trophy for showing up. Everyone was special — and therefore no one was special, and thus soccer became a symbol of liberal excess. While it's a stretch to call this activity 'Communist' (as some did at the time), it's pretty clear that a game in which everyone gets to play and everyone wins is not a sport.

This version of 'soccer' lives on today in the American Youth Soccer Association.

Women's pro soccer trying for a relaunch in 2007

"The likely time for a women's professional league to be relaunched would be in spring 2007. The season would run through August, similar to the WUSA.

Antonucci has been low-key about making announcements, not wanting to overstate expectations.
Still, there is a soon-to-be meeting which Antonucci calls an "investor forum." While not getting too much into specifics, she said a relaunch would include at least eight teams, the number involved in the WUSA.
"We are talking to multiple markets and potential owners in more than eight markets," Antonucci said Wednesday in a phone interview. "We're in serious discussions with some markets, and in others it's more exploratory. The positive news is that we have made great strides with key interested owner investors."

USA 3, Norway 1

1-0 Kristine Lilly (73)
2-0 Shannon Boxx (78)
2-1 Trine Rønning (pen. 81)
3-1 Abby Wambach (85)

January 16, 2006

FGCU may add women's soccer

Tuesday, the Florida Gulf Coast University's Board of Trustees will vote yes or no on whether the school should make the move to Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA.
If FGCU goes Division I and is invited to the Atlantic Sun Conference, it will be encouraged to add men's and women's soccer and track. The school needs to have at least 14 sports when it goes Division I. Right now it has 11.

January 14, 2006

China defeats USA 1-0

With a goal from Ma Xiaoxu, the China National Team defeated the USA 1-0 in a friendly warm-up game before the Four-nation tournament. The veteran Sun Wen was substituted in for the last ten minutes.
Ma Xiaoxu's thunderous shot found the back of the net in the 17th minute after a cross from Bai Lili. But Han Duan, Ma's teammate in Dalian Shide, missed several opportunities in the match.

Washington Freedom

A reader in Virginia wrote to me that Washington Freedom will become an associate member of the W-League.
Stay tuned...

January 13, 2006

Is Ajax America Women the team to beat?

The Elegant Game reports that both Heather Mitts and Danielle Fotopoulos have left W-League team Florida Krush to join WPSL teams Ajax America Women and Central Florida Strikers, correspondingly.
Should this report prove correct, it would make Ajax America Women a clear favorite to win the WPSL this season.
Keep in mind that Ajax had Abby Wambach and Shannon Boxx last year.
Wambach, Boxx and Mitts would make Ajax a favorite in my opinion.

Lamar women's soccer program in the offing

In an attempt to improve the gender equity in its athletic department, Lamar University's executive leadership is in the final stages of approving the addition of women's soccer for intercollegiate competition.
University president Jimmy Simmons said the school's ultimate endorsement could be made in the next two weeks after the athletic department's final presentation.
When asked about soccer, Simmons said, "It's almost a done deal." But soccer's inclusion into the athletic department also depends upon final approval from the Texas State System board of regents.

January 12, 2006

Lilly's Top 10 Greatest Achievements

No. 10 
August, 2003 – Lilly is named First-Team All-WUSA, the only player to earn First-Team all league honors in all three WUSA seasons.

No. 9
August, 1995 – Lilly plays professional indoor soccer with the Washington Warthogs of the MISL, becoming the first women to play on a men’s professional team.

No. 8
December, 1991 – Lilly wins the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year awards despite missing the playoffs and NCAA Final Four to play in 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

No. 7
October, 2004 – After winning her second Olympic gold medal, her hometown of Wilton, Conn., names a street after her…Kristine Lilly Way.

No. 6
December, 2005 – Lilly is named U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year, 12 years after winning the award for the first time in 1993.

No. 5
March 9, 2005 – Lilly becomes captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team as the USA defeats France, 1-0, at the Algarve Cup.

No. 4
May 21, 1998 – Lilly becomes the most capped female player in the history of the world, passing Heidi Stoere of Norway, when she plays in her 152nd game against Japan in Kobe.

No. 3
Oct. 10, 2004 – Lilly becomes the fifth player in world history to score 100 career international goals, tallying against New Zealand in Cincinnati, Ohio.

No. 2
Aug. 26, 2004 – Lilly starts her 40th consecutive match in a world championship for the United States in the USA’s 2-1 victory over Brazil to win the Olympic gold medal.

No. 1
TBD – Lilly plays in her 300th match, the only player in the history of international soccer, men or women, to do so.

January 11, 2006

Gibson at ISU

"Coach Gibson brings a level of experience, enthusiasm, and excitement to our program which I believe will help return us to the top of the Big Sky Conference," said Bubb. "We had an outstanding group of candidates for this position. Allison distanced herself from the field with her enthusiasm, her level of experience, and her clear desire to be the head coach at Idaho State University."

It will be interesting to see if Bubba is right.

January 10, 2006

U-20 Results

US WNT - 1
US U-20 - 1

US WNT - 4
US U-20 - 0

Observations: Brittany Bock can become a natural replacement for Shannon Boxx. Jessica Rostedt has great upside potential and just needs experience. Great speed and balance. Stephanie Lopez is important to the U-20 team.

January 09, 2006


Women’s soccer was the lone sport in Proposal No. 04-21 to survive the cut, as the effort to override a two-scholarship increase in that sport failed by a 191-125 count, a handful short of the 62.5 percent needed. Thus, effective August 1, 2006, scholarship limits in soccer escalate from 12 to 14.

Scurry Has Eye on Job

"A player with her history and past, you're definitely always going to give a shot to somebody with that amount of ability," said Greg Ryan.

January 07, 2006

Sinclair wins Herman Trophy

For the second consecutive year, Christine Sinclair of the University of Portland won the women's honor, putting her in a group with Mia Hamm and Cindy Parlow as the only two-time women's winners.


Here is news that will make you scratch your head.

"Ohio State women's soccer head coach Lori Walker was named to the U.S. Under-20 selection and evaluation committee for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament Jan. 18-27 in Veracruz and Córdoba, Mexico. Walker is assisting in the selection of 20 team members from a national pool of 30 to represent the United States."

Walker has done less with more than possibly any other NCAA D1 coach during the last three seasons.
And I am excluding 2 poor seasons at Kansas.

Big Ten Record 31-38-9
Big Ten Tournament 9-5-0
NCAA Tournament Record 4-3-0


1996 - 7th
1997 - 7th
1998 - 7th
1999 - 5th
2000 - 11th
2001 - 4th
2002 - 7th
2003 - 5th
2004 - 2nd
2005 - 9th

Can you say mediocre...just my OPINION.

January 06, 2006

Boxx interview

For those interested, there is an interview with Shannon Boxx. Nothing in depth, some easy questions....a real waste of braodband.
Will Aaron Heifetz EVER ask meaningful questions? Take a look at these gems.
"Going back to your trip to New Zealand, how was that experience and what did do?"
"We heard you had some trouble on the luge track in Queenstown?"
"You have been known to eat banana pancakes for breakfast before games on every game morning. Is that still one of your rituals?"
"How does one get from Auckland, New Zealand to Switzerland?"
Is this really journalism?

Greg, consider this...

Amy LePeilbet, Kate Markgraf, Cat Reddick, Heather Mitts
Shannon Boxx
Kristine Lilly, Lindsay Tarpley, Lori Chalupny
Heather O'Reilly, Christie Welsh

Abby Wambach? Has not been playing well. Needs to do better and EARN playing time.
Aly Wagner? Good talent. Good vs. the Mexicos, the Jamaicas but will struggle vs. Germany, and ultimately that is the team you will need to beat.
Marci Miller? Allow her to focus on Northern Illinois.
India Trotter will struggle.
Tiffeny Milbrett? Time to move on.
I like the fact that you brought in Lopez, Rapinoe and Woznuk. Give Jess Rostedt a chance to gain training experience with the senior team. She could be good.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not a technical advisor (I don't offer soccer advice, just news coverage and commentary). Smile!

U.S. Women Hit Field for Pre-China Camp

The 28 players in U.S. Women’s National Team camp have jumped feet first into preparation for the Four Nations Tournament in China as the team returns to training for the first time since late October.
The USA will not ease into is 2006 schedule, as the world’s second ranked team faces three of the world’s top nations right off the bat, playing third-ranked Norway on Jan. 18, fifth-ranked France on Jan. 20 and host China, ranked ninth, on Jan. 22.
The U.S. team had a light “shake the legs loose after a travel day” training on Tuesday afternoon before going twice on Wednesday, with the evening session featuring an intense and high-paced 11 v. 11 intra-squad scrimmage with end-to-end action for all 80 minutes. No goals where scored, but the game featured quality chances by both teams and forward Megan Rapinoe, in her first camp with the full national team, pounded a shot off the underside of the crossbar from close range near the end.

The U.S. team will scrimmage again this afternoon, and also on Saturday, Jan. 7, when a split-squad will face a split-squad from the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team in two matches at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Home Depot Center. U.S. head coach Greg Ryan will chose a 20-player roster to travel to China for the Four Nations Tournament.

The USA will leave on Tuesday for Guangzhou, city of the USA’s historic first FIFA Women’s World Cup triumph in 1991.

U.S. captain Kristine Lilly, who will be going for her historic and mind-boggling 300th cap in China, is the only player remaining from that original World Cup-winning team.

GOALKEEPERS: Nicole Barnhart, Jenni Branam, Briana Scurry, Hope Solo;

DEFENDERS: Lori Chalupny, Kendall Fletcher, Tina Frimpong, Amy LePeilbet, Stephanie Lopez, Heather Mitts, Jill Oakes, Christie Rampone;

MIDFIELDERS: Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd, Kristine Lilly, Marci Miller, Leslie Osborne, Lindsay Tarpley, Stacey Tullock, Aly Wagner, Angie Woznuk;

FORWARDS: Danielle Fotopoulos, Tiffeny Milbrett, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, India Trotter, Abby Wambach, Christie Welsh.

January 05, 2006

What I expect in 2006

New year, new expectations.
Here are my top 5 expectations for 2006.
1. A 2007 return of a women's pro league will be announced
2. USA will win the FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup
3. New Jersey Wildcats will win the W-League championship
4. California Storm will win the WPSL championship
5. UCLA will win the NCAA D1 championship

Soccer the best sport

BASEBALL has home runs, American football has touchdowns and basketball has slam dunks. But when it comes to which is the most exciting sport to follow, soccer takes the gold medal.

January 04, 2006

$200,000 per player

Players on the American women's soccer team could earn $200,000 each in years they win the Olympics or World Cup under a labor contract finalized Thursday.
Abby Wambach and fellow U.S. women players could earn up to $200,000 if years that they win either the Olympics or the World Cup.
The deal calls for the U.S. Soccer Federation to pay a minimum of $1.28 million annually to 20 players who would be in residency, with at least 14 guaranteed salaries of $70,000, and at least six guaranteed at $50,000. The USSF has the option of hiring up to four more players at $30,000 per year and can bring in players to camp on a trial basis for up to six weeks.
"U.S. Soccer has been a leader and an innovator in the world of women's athletics through the years and will continue to be so as the team takes the field with the goal of recapturing the Women's World Cup in 2007," USSF president Bob Contiguglia said.

The United States won the Women's World Cup in 1991 and 1999, and won the Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004.

Players would earn $1,000 bonuses for wins in all non-World Cup and non-Olympic games. For the 2007 Women's World Cup and the 2008 Olympics, players would get $10,000 for being on each qualifying tournament roster; $10,000 for making the 20-woman roster for each tournament; $50,000 for finishing first, $20,000 for placing second and $10,000 for winding up third.

If the Americans win either the Olympics or the Women's World Cup, players would split $1.2 million for a 10-game celebration tour.
Depending on how the Americans finish at the 2007 Women's World Cup in China and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the money will increase by 20-27% for the 2011 Women's World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics.
Under the agreement, players can take maternity leave at 50% of salary, and each player receives a housing allowance and a stipend. The USSF guarantees to keep the team in residency annually, except for the year following each Olympics, when there usually are fewer games.

If a new women's soccer league is launched, the USSF will continue to pay salaries, but at a reduced rate. The Women's United Soccer Association launched after the 1999 Women's World Cup, but folded in 2003 after three seasons.

January 02, 2006

Cat Reddick weds Saturday

"Olympic gold medalist Catherine ''Cat'' Reddick, who grew up in Altadena, will marry her college sweetheart, Robert Whitehill of Mooresville, N.C., Saturday in Birmingham. Reddick, a 23-year-old soccer standout at Briarwood Christian High School and the University of North Carolina, lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., and plays for the U.S. Women's National Team. Whitehill is a pre-med student at UNC..."

January 01, 2006

Top 5 women's soccer stories of 2005

Here are top 5 women's soccer stories of the year.
Some are obvious, some were missed by the soccer press.

1. Mark Krikorian's success at Florida State University - the FSU women's soccer team overcomes the turmoil of a coaching change, the transfers of two top players and the loss of several recruits to regroup under new coach Mark Krikorian to reach the semifinals of the NCAA tournament. Krikorian, a former U.S. under-20 head coach, blended in international players with the returning starters to win 20 games.

2. Lilly' remarkable record - the USA’s captain had another remarkably productive and consistent year as she pumped up her world-record cap total to 299. As she has her entire career, Lilly showed her amazing versatility, playing outside left midfielder, forward and attacking midfield at different times during the year.

3. FC Indiana makes women's soccer history - team wins the Women's Premier Soccer League and the US Open Cup titles in the same season.

4. New Jersey Wildcats' first championship - the first time champions claimed the 2005 W-League Championship in front of a franchise-record crowd of of 2,233, in a match televised live on the Fox Soccer Channel.

5. The US WNT - for the first time the U.S. team has gone through an entire calendar year without allowing a goal (in 1989, the team played just one match). Aside from the aberration of 1989, the fewest goals the U.S. women have allowed in a calendar year was three, coming in 1990 when the team played six games. The USA was 8-0-1.

The women try to find a way

Despite their success on the world stage, the future of women's soccer in the U.S. looks cloudy without a league. Plans to minimize the effect on the national team are being put in place.

Both senior national teams are in training this January in Los Angeles. The men are preparing for a series of friendlies before the World Cup in Germany, and the women are competing to make the roster for the Four Nations tournament in China.

The players Greg Ryan has assembled have passed another year without a professional domestic league. Some of the younger contingent from college never got a chance to play in the Women's United Soccer Association, which suspended operations in 2003 after three years of competition.

While it existed, the WUSA was a key developer of U.S. talent, especially for players such as Shannon Boxx, who recently finished third in FIFA's Female Player of the Year voting. Those on the rosters of the league scattered after it folded.

"Many of our players are playing abroad right now," Ryan acknowledged. "Others are playing with W-league teams, WPSL teams."