Hawkins, Kraus Join U.S. Soccer on European Tour

March 6, 2001

CHICAGO - Sophomore midfielder Devvyn Hawkins and junior defender Anna Kraus were named to the U.S. Women's Soccer National Team roster for the upcoming European tour. Hawkins is one of 11 on the team that will be looking for their first international appearance on the senior level, while Kraus already has one cap under her belt. Additionally, Bronco assistant coach Eric Yamamoto is traveling with the team as the goalkeeper coach.

With the National Team veterans in pre-season training camps with their WUSA clubs, U.S. head coach April Heinrichs will lead a young squad to Europe for a March 7 match against Italy in Rieti, just outside of Rome. The team will then head to Portugal for the eight-team Algarve Cup, an annual tournament that features the full women's national teams of Canada, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, China, Denmark and Finland.

The U.S. roster will feature 16 players currently in college and four high school-aged players, with an average age of just over 19 years. Seven of the players were members of the USA's 2000 Under-21 Nordic Cup championship team last summer in Germany.

The U.S. roster would have featured several players with a bit more experience if not for a spate of injuries that kept six of the USA's brightest young stars at home, including Bronco midfielders Aly Wagner, a sophomore who was named the 2001 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year and is still hampered by hamstring problems, and Veronica Zepeda, a freshman who is still recovering from severe shin splints.

Kraus, a likely starter against Italy, earned her previous cap against Italy last July when she came on as a substitute in the 68th minute.

The Algarve Cup will run March 11-17 in several towns on the Southern coast of Portugal and the USA will face Canada (March 11), Portugal (March 13) and Sweden (March 15) in first round play. The Algarve Cup is consistently one of the world's most competitive international events outside of the Women's World Cup and the Olympics, setting up a huge challenge for the young U.S. team.

At the end of round-robin play within the groups, the group winners will play for the Algarve Cup championship. The two second-place group finishers will play for third place, the third-place finishers for fifth and the last-place finishers will play for seventh. The USA has won the tournament just once in six trips to the tournament.