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.