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PIA SUNDHAGE NAMES 2012 U.S. OLYMPIC WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM
11 Players Return from 2008 Beijing Olympics; Rampone to Play in Record Fourth Olympic Tournament
CHICAGO (May 27, 2012) - U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has named the 18-player roster for the 2012 Olympic Games. Eleven players make a return to the Olympics after helping the USA to the gold medal in 2008 in Beijing, China. Midfielders Shannon Boxx and Heather O'Reilly and defender Heather Mitts make their third Olympic Team while U.S. captain Christie Rampone will be playing in a U.S. record fourth Olympic Games.
The U.S. will open Group G play at the Olympics with two matches at the famed Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland. The U.S. will first face France (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET) on July 25 - two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies - and then take on Colombia on July 28 (5 p.m. local / 12 p.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Korea DPR on July 31 (5:15 p.m. local / 12:15 p.m. ET) at the legendary Old Trafford in Manchester, home to Manchester United.
The U.S. Women's National Team has advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic women's soccer tournament that has been contested. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Athens, Ga., won silver in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and will be going for its third straight gold medal after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece, in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
U.S. Olympic Women's Soccer Team Roster by Position - Detailed Roster
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nicole Barnhart, Hope Solo
DEFENDERS (6): Rachel Buehler, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Kelley O'Hara, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn
MIDFIELDERS (6): Shannon Boxx, Lauren Cheney, Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe
FORWARDS (4): Sydney Leroux, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach
"As always, these players make it very difficult to select rosters, and for this Olympic team it was a long, productive and interesting process to cut the pool down to these 18," said Sundhage. "The team is a mix of very experienced players and several new fresh faces. All the players are versatile, which is extremely important when you have just 16 field players on a roster. This is a group that is focused on some very high goals and it will be a pleasure to coach them in the Olympics."
Sundhage also named four replacement players in midfielder Lori Lindsey and goalkeeper Jill Loyden - both members of the USA's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup team - twice-capped midfielder Meghan Klingenberg and forward Christen Press, who is uncapped but currently one of the top scorers in the Swedish First Division.
Sundhage will take the Olympic team plus the four alternates to Sweden for a two-week training camp that features matches against Sweden on June 16 and against Japan on June 18 as three of the world's top women's soccer nations continue their Olympic preparations. Both U.S. matches will be played in Halmstad, Sweden, about 90 miles south of Gothenburg.
The U.S. team will play its Olympic send-off match on June 30 against Canada at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. MT and almost 10,000 tickets have already been sold. The match will be broadcast live on NBC. Fans will also be able to follow the match on ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and via Twitter @ussoccer_wnt.
Tickets starting at $22 are on sale to the public through ussoccer.com , by phone at 801-727-2700 (Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT) and at the Rio Tinto Stadium ticket office (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a customized official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available now exclusively through ussoccer.com.
Source US Soccer.com