April 10, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Greg Ryan announced his roster for the squad's April 14 domestic opener against Mexico, and three former Santa Clara standouts are among the names. Leslie Osborne and Aly Wagner will once again take to the field for the American side, while defender Marian Dalmy has been named to the senior team roster for the first time in her career.
Ryan selected the roster from the 32 players currently in the four-month Residency Training Camp at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The match marks the return to her hometown for U.S. forward Kristine Lilly, who played for the Boston Breakers in the WUSA. Lilly will captain the USA against Mexico in the 19th meeting between the regional rivals. The teams met most recently last November in perhaps the most important match ever between the two countries as the USA defeated Mexico 2-0 in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup to qualify for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, that will be held from Sept. 10-30 in China.
Lilly, who is shooting for her fifth Women's World Cup tournament, comes to Boston with her world-record 323 international appearances. Midfielder Shannon Boxx, whose three games at the Algarve Cup were her first matches since July of 2006 after returning from major knee surgery, is set to play her first domestic game for the USA since Oct. 23, 2005, a 3-0 win over Mexico in Charleston, S.C. Defender Kate Markgraf, also a Boston resident, is not on the roster as she continues to rehabilitate from injuries. She is making her comeback from the birth of her son last year.
Making up the 18 players are most of the U.S. veterans, including last year's leading scorer Abby Wambach, who has racked up 68 career goals in just 88 career games to date. Carli Lloyd, who led the USA at the Algarve Cup in mid-March with four goals - one in each game - to earn tournament MVP honors, is one of the five midfielders on the roster.
The youngest player named to the roster is 19-year-old forward Lauren Cheney, who scored 19 goals for UCLA as a freshman last fall. A member of the USA's squad at the 2006 FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship, Cheney has appeared just once for the senior team but had a great week of training during the USA's first block of Residency Training Camp and earned a spot on the roster for the Mexico match. Ryan also named 22-year-old defender Marian Dalmy to her first-ever national team roster. The 5-foot-9 outside back was the WCC Player of the Year last fall for Santa Clara. She is the only uncapped player on the roster.