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Soccer: U.S. Women's World Cup team is named

May 9, 2011 | 12:23 pm

Soccer_640
Pia Sundhage
, the Swedish coach of the U.S. women's national soccer team, Monday named the 21 players she will take to Europe next month to compete in the 2011 Women's World Cup in Germany.

The team consists of a mix of veterans and younger players but with an emphasis on the latter.

Among the more experienced players are defender Christie Rampone, who will be playing in her fourth World Cup and is the last remaining player from the team that defeated China in the Rose Bowl to win the 1999 tournament.

Also included are midfielder Shannon Boxx and forward Abby Wambach, each appearing in her third World Cup.

Two-thirds of the players were on the team that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, including eight starters.

"You have all kinds of players that have different qualities on this roster, but all in all, they make up a good team," Sundhage said. "We have people that organize defensively, people that can step up when it really matters, people that are good in the air, people that are fighters, and tricky ones as well."

The players range in age from forward Alex Morgan, 21, to Rampone, 35, and the players' average age is 27.

The U.S. will play North Korea, Colombia and Sweden in the first round of the June 26-July 17 tournament.

The full U.S. roster, by position:

Goalkeepers -- Nicole Barnhart, Jillian Loyden, Hope Solo.

Defenders -- Rachel Buehler, Stephanie Cox, Ali Krieger, Amy LePeilbet, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn.

Midfielders--Shannon Boxx, Tobin Heath, Lori Lindsey, Carli Lloyd, Heather O'Reilly, Megan Rapinoe, Lindsay Tarpley.

Forwards -- Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Wambach.

The U.S. team will leave for Austria in mid-June for a pre-World Cup training camp before heading to its first game, against the North Koreans in Dresden on June 28.

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-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Christie Rampone, Carli Lloyd and Heather O'Reilly celebrate the soccer team's gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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